The future of health is you
Functional nutritionist Shelley Gawith shares her five tips for business owners struggling to maintain their health and dealing with the stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Looking back to the presentation I did in January 2019 to more than 100 doctors in the US on the keynote topic of ‘The Future of Health’ none of […]
Functional nutritionist Shelley Gawith shares her five tips for business owners struggling to maintain their health and dealing with the stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Looking back to the presentation I did in January 2019 to more than 100 doctors in the US on the keynote topic of ‘The Future of Health’ none of us would have anticipated what the next few months would bring in terms of global pandemic.
The five tips for staying well, however, still apply and particularly to business owners who are often overworked and experiencing heightened levels of stress. The current global climate now means that while some businesses are potentially working harder than before, many are now faced with high levels of uncertainty and in limbo.
To remain resilient, boost our immunity and avoid burnout here are my tips from my clinic work and insight as well as my own personal health journey that I feel can help business owners to re-prioritise their health and avoid burnout.
In business as in life we often feel like our to-do list is endless, so sleep is often sacrificed. Sleep, however, is when our immune system repairs itself, right now our immune system is vital to our health. We need this down time. Sleep needs to become a top priority.
We also need to be creative and have time to allow for creative thinking. When we get into what is known as REM sleep at night this is when our brains can be creative. The key thing about getting into our REM sleep is we need to make sure that we are in a parasympathetic state (our central nervous system being in the ‘rest and digest’ state.) If we are sympathetic dominant (stressed out state) before we go to sleep we will not get into this REM sleep.
2. Get hydrated
Every single client that comes into my clinic tells me that they drink water. But when I look at their food diaries, they might only be having one or two glasses of water a day, or even worse, they are counting their coffees and caffeinated teas which are actually dehydrating them. By far this is the one change that people make where they see massive shifts in their health. Once clients get hydrated perfectly for their bodies, they can’t believe how much better their energy is, how much calmer they feel and how their headaches have gone. But the biggest remark they make is “no one ever taught us that at school”. So you need to be drinking your body weight/30 in water. That is your baseline. Add back extra water for every caffeinated drink you have. Then there is also a technique to how you drink your water. You can’t just gulp it or skull it that doesn’t get you hydrated. Sipping through a straw is a game-changer, change to that technique and watch your health improve dramatically.
3. Kick sugar
You need to kick processed sugar. Not fruit but processed sugar. Sugar inflames your body, it decreases your white blood cells receptivity by 40 percent for 4-5 hours after eating any processed sugar. Most business owners work when they are sick, so if you are sick, please do not eat any sugar. It also depletes your immune system. Most of us are working hard so we need to have our immune systems working optimal. Sugar gives us fast energy, so we get a quick burst of energy – the problem is, it doesn’t last! We want to be eating healthy fat sources at each meal as they satietate us, but also give us long lasting energy. Our brain is nearly 60 percent fat so we need lots of healthy fats during the day to have the best cognitive function. Healthy fats include all nuts and seeds, dairy products if they don’t inflame you, avocados, coconut products, olives, a range of extra virgin oils. Sugar feeds infections.
4. Eat your power foods
Power foods give us the best energy, mental clarity and function. They make your body feel energised after eating them. You know you are eating power foods, when you experience no symptoms after eating, except good energy. If you get bloated, low energy, acne or feel constipated or have loose stools after eating, you are not eating your power foods. Each of us will have our own power foods, every client in clinic has their own list. But all plant based fats are power foods. All leafy greens are your power foods. You want to eat as many colourful vegetables as possible, aiming for at least six cups of veggies per day. The rest of your power foods we want to work out for you.
5. Breathe better
Doing one simple breath can change your nervous system. We often don’t think about how we are breathing during the day or even if we are not breathing and just holding our breath as we are so busy or stressed. It’s really important to stop throughout the day and do some deep breathing. The easiest breathing technique for switching our nervous system is the 4-6-7 technique. Inhale for four seconds, hold for six and exhale for seven. This switches our central nervous system from being sympathetic dominant to parasympathetic dominant. Remember we want to be parasympathetic to help with our sleep. It also boosts our immune system. We need to switch between these two branches of our central nervous system throughout the day and the quickest way to do this is with our breathing. I encourage clients to tie their breathing in with something they do every day, so either before eating. Remember this if nothing else: When stress is on, digestion is off. Perhaps use a trigger to help you breathe better, like when you stop at a red light either driving or walking. So every time you stop at a light do your breathing exercises, it stops you thinking you are wasting your time at the lights. Now you are stacking your health benefits, which is the best way to do it.
Pause now and take a deep breath, reset your central nervous system.
I appreciate that you don’t need another thing ‘to do’ but I encourage you to choose TWO of the above tips and integrate them into your daily life. Now is the ideal time to revisit your health and wellness because more than anything, the one thing that affects the future of your health is YOU.
Here is the link to a free online quiz that can help you assess the state of your health: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/shelley-gawith-best-self-short
Shelley Gawith, is a functional nutritionist, speaker, and the CEO of Shelley Gawith Functional Nutrition & Detoxification Centre. Learn more about Shelley here: https://shelleygawith.com/ and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shelleygawithfn/