Mindfulness is no longer viewed as a touchy-feely fad! Using your time wisely and being more mindful of your breathing, surroundings and daily decisions may reduce stress and help boost your wellbeing, according to brand new research.[i] Instead of being preoccupied with memories of the past, churning thoughts, and worries about the future, our experts have provided 6 easy ways you can practice mindfulness in your daily routine – so you can start living in the present!
Nutritionist, Alix Woods in collaboration with itsu, the healthy Asian inspired eatery (www.itsu.com) explains why plant power should be incorporated into our diet. “Meat is undeniably the mealtime superstar in western cultures. Conversely, the Asian diet, although variable between the many countries it comprises, is largely centred on plant foods; vegetables, whole grains, fruit and moderate amounts of lean protein. It’s easy to see why the Asian diet may be positively influential on wellbeing. “
“Meat is often served as a side element, whilst vegetables, soy products, spices and soups take the main stage. With abundant research pointing to the health and sustainability benefits of a plant-based diet, being mindful of our meat consumption and exploring new ways to incorporate plant-based protein onto our dinner plates are essential.”
TIP: Try dedicating one day a week to being “Meat Free.” The perfect plant-based meal that Alix Woods recommends is the “itsu Humble Warrior [£5.79, itsu.com], which has baked not fried quinoa & sweet potato falafel, nutrient dense avocado, seed & veg salad, sushi rice with low fat green herb dressing.”
Remember that your health is the most important thing in your life and saying no is absolutely fine. “Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is, or is not a priority, and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading Nutritionist and author of Natural Solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer’s (www.marilynglenville.com).
Maija Kivelä, Yoga instructor at Maître of Thyme (www.maitreofthyme.com) suggests to take a step-back and take some time to yourself with Restorative yoga to calm your mind. “Yoga in general can increase your mindfulness and calm both your mind and body. Restorative yoga in particular seeks to achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation. It provides healing for the body and the mind. It is a mellow and slow-paced style of yoga that will have you holding positions for longer. This style focuses on poses that invigorate your immune system and stretch out the aches and pains of the week.”
TIP: Visit the holistic wellness boutique, Maître of Thyme, located in the heart of London, for a 1:1 tailored yoga class with Maija. “I really hope that my classes will not only support physical and mental strength but also make you happier and help you to follow a healthier lifestyle.”
Alcohol may be making you depressed and anxious – As alcohol reduces the absorption of many essential nutrients, it may be having a major impact on your brain chemistry in a negative way. For example, those consuming excessive alcohol may have lower levels of tryptophan (the amino acid that is converted to serotonin). Low serotonin is a major feature of depression, anxiety, confusion and hostility. The absorption of B vitamins are also majorly affected by alcohol consumption, and deficiency in these crucially important vitamins will add to stress, nervous tension and energy levels,” explains Nutritionist and Fitness Instructor Cassandra Barns.
TIP: Thanks to its natural fizz, Equinox Kombucha (RRP £1.80, Waitrose), is the perfect alternative to alcohol. This refreshingly tasty drink is packed full of beneficial bacteria, essential acids and B-Vitamins to support gut health and aid digestion!
Cassandra suggests considering hemp products for a natural helping hand when dealing with everyday stresses. Cassandra explains, “Phytocannabinoids are natural substances found in the hemp plant, most of which are non-psychoactive – in other words, they don’t have the mind or behaviour-altering effects associated with cannabis as a drug. Research has suggested that some phytocannabinoids can have benefits for our health – including anti-anxiety, calming effects. For this reason, a supplement containing natural phytocannabinoids could have benefits for calming our nervous system and helping prevent burnout. I recommend Natures Plus new HempCeutix Complete Capsules to help harmonise your mind and body (£39.95, www.naturesplus.co.uk).”
GO TO SLEEP MINDFULLY
“Keep a journal by your bed where you can write down what you need to do the next day at least an hour before bed. The aim is to stop the dialogue in your head which can end up stopping you from getting off to sleep or else waking you up in the middle of night remembering something that has to be done the next day,” says Dr Glenville.