This means the things and errands we had planned for today (which involved cycling to and from) may now be postponed due to the weather. (Yes, we could always take a taxi, but that’s no fun.)
I don’t often mention it or write about it on here, but I am a qualified nutritionist (before English-teaching-Lou!) however I’ve been travelling and doing other things with my life lately, so this has taken a back-seat (and I hope I haven’t forgotten everything that I studied so hard for!). Next year, I am aiming to go back to uni (in Australia) and complete a masters or post-graduate degree that will give me the extra credentials and expertise so that I’ll then be able to work as an accredited dietician. Anyhoo, I digress, the point I was trying to get at, is that I love all things nutrition related and about how we can thrive and live our lives to the fullest and happiest, and cure any ailments, just by good nutrition and being aware of what we eat. I mentioned yesterday that I’d be eating lots of healthy, healing foods, so I thought I’d expand a bit more on exactly what those would be.
The first thing that comes to mind, when thinking about healing your body, would be protein, and making sure you’re getting enough good quality sources of this. Such as: lean-meat and fish (if you are not vegetarian), eggs, tofu, yoghurt, nuts, seeds, pulses. A protein powder/drink can also be useful. Protein helps to heal and repair the body and build new, lean muscle.
However it’s not just protein that you’d need to ensure your getting enough of. Key vitamins/minerals to up your intake of would be: vitamin C (and antioxidants, to help with inflammation), vitamin A (acts as an antioxidant also, for inflammation healing, and also needed for new cells/tissue) , zinc (needed to repair and grow new muscle), along with a regular supply of B vitamins (for tissue regeneration and repair as well as daily general well-being, energy etc), enough calcium (from more ‘natural’, bioavailable sources if possible, i.e. dark green veg, almonds, eggs, tinned fish rather than bovine sources of calcium for their young, ie. Milk), an adequate intake of carbohydrate (even if not training), and enough ‘good’ fats too (for reducing/eliminating inflammation).
So, to up your vitamin C, people often think ‘oranges/citrus fruit’, but there is an abundance of vit C (and antioxidants) in potatoes (mainly the skin, so keep it on if possible), strawberries, kiwifruit, broccoli, capsicums, cabbage, and many other fruit and veg. So, aiming for a variety of different coloured fruit and veg will help increase your vit C intake (and usually your B vitamin intake too).
For making sure you’re getting enough vitamin A, initially look for orange coloured veg, such as sweet potato and carrots, but also be aware that there’s vit A in eggs, fish, dairy products (aim for eating less of these though), and dark green leafy veg.
Zinc is often thought to go hand in hand with your protein intake, i.e. if you’re getting enough protein then you’re probably getting enough zinc, but if you’re unsure, then aim to add in some: nuts, beans, seafood (i.e. oysters and crab), lean meat, dairy foods (but keep these to a minimum). A zinc supplement can be useful too (although it’s best to aim to get your vitamins and minerals naturally through bioavailable food sources rather than a capsule, but an extra supplement at times, such as when you are aiming to heal and injury or prevent an illness, can be a very good thing).
Good sources of B vitamins: cereals, beans, nuts, meat, fish, vegetables etc (found in many different foods, so aim for a varied and interesting diet).
Eating enough in general, and not reducing your carbohydrate intake is important for healing too. If you eat too few kilojoules or not enough carbohydrate sources, then your body will naturally start to burn your own protein for fuel instead, thus slowing the healing process. Good sources of carbohydrate foods to choose would be starchy, whole-grains if possible, and aiming for a variety of these and not just one type.
‘Good’ fat choices could be olive oils, peanut butter (or other nut butters), flax seeds, oily fish (salmon, sardines, tuna etc), and avocado.
So, these would be the main foods and items to focus on, but don’t underestimate the power of herbs and spices! I mentioned previously re: Husband’s turmeric habit, and turmeric is an amazing panacea that can assist with a number of ailments and issues. I really need to take his advice about this and incorporate it into my daily diet, along with more garlic, especially when aiming to heal quickly. (One of turmeric’s benefits is that it has anti-inflammatory properties).
I think I have most of this covered, as my daily diet anyway consists of a large variety of different coloured veg, a good amount of carbohydrate (from rice, bread, other grains in soups/porridge, potatoes), plenty of tofu, nuts, seeds and eggs, and a fair bit of olive oil and peanut butter. I have also added in some protein powder drinks too (courtesy of my recent prize of a giant tub of protein powder), and I have a zinc supplement (in theory anyway – for some reason I forget to actually go and find the bottle and take a pill out to take it! They’re around here somewhere…) so I will be adding that in too. Oh yeah, and GREEN TEA, loads of it (we drink it by the bucketload here), I will be continuing with that, for its anti-oxidant properties and for making me feel awesome. I will also eliminate any beers or wine and my usual ice-cream addiction for the next week (yep, you read that correctly!), as this will help no end too, I’m sure.
So, in theory: good nutrition + lots of rest/sleep + positive thinking = I will be fixed and have ‘new’ legs again in no time, yes?? That’s the plan anyway.
Here are a few links to articles re: healing and nutrition if you fancy reading more (theirs may well be more technical than my ramblings on here too):
Oh, Ginger too! Fresh ginger is great for pain relief and reducing inflammation too. (How could I forget ginger?! Another of Husband's daily habits - hmmm, I really SHOULD follow his example more, it seems...)
Are you a fan of protein powders?? (This has been the first one I've really given a go, and so far, so good. It's not my favourite thing to drink though.)
Enjoy your day people! Wow, it's the weekend (pretty much) already, again! How the hell did that happen?!