There is no better time to start a self-care routine than in the pre-summer months! And it doesn’t have to be drastic, restrictive or overwhelming. Small swaps and little tweaks to your diet and lifestyle can make some of the most significant changes. Read on for some of Nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr’s easiest tips to get you feeling confident from the inside out
The human body is made up of around 60% water! Therefore, it makes sense that keeping ourselves optimally hydrated is key for health, including physical performance, energy, mood, skin, gut health and more…
I always advise my clients to drink between 1.5-2.5 litres of filtered water daily, but this number might be higher if you are doing any form of high-intensity exercise where you sweat a lot or have lots of saunas (lucky things!).
Water also supports flushing out waste from the body and removing the build-up of toxins, regulating body temperature and assisting with brain function! So…drink up, and if you struggle with your H2O intake, try herbal teas or flavouring your water with fresh fruits.
AHH, that summer time puffiness, often caused by the heat, the booze or those highly salty foods you’ve been nibbling on. But do not panic, there are a number of ways we can reduce water retention with some self love.
- Dry brushing- The benefits of dry brushing are endless – it helps to awaken your senses, leaves you with super smooth skin, stimulates blood flow and can even help to break down cellulite. It is so easy to incorporate into your morning routine, and is great for when you feel that little bit swollen first thing, after a long flight or a day of standing. Start at your feet and move up your body, brushing in wide, circular clockwise motions towards the heart.
- Hydrating foods- Eating highly hydrating foods may be just what your body is craving to reduce that bloat. Stick to all-natural, wholefoods with a high water and potassium content to get you feeling good, think cucumber, asparagus, melon, pineapple and berries. Natural unsalted nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and brazil nuts are also highly nutritious and are a great addition to any meal. Try to avoid alcohol, caffeine and processed foods high in salt, sugar and fat to get you back to feeling your best.
- Elevated legs- Raising your legs whilst watching TV, listening to a podcast or at night before bed can help to limit water retention, too. Elevating your legs helps to allow gravity to work with you rather than against you, and it comes from viparita karani, a yoga pose which has your legs inverted up a wall with your torso and head lying flat on the ground. A common cause of leg swelling can be due to weak circulation, so giving your body 15 minutes to de-puff may be just what it needs to leave you feeling lighter and brighter.
Moving your body is a great way to get the blood pumping and get you feeling good. Everyone is individual when it comes to their workout of choice… it doesn’t have to be sweating until you can’t see and pounding on a treadmill for 3 hours! A brisk 30-minute walk or even a gentle stretching session can help to release endorphins and relieve stress. As summer draws closer, working out outside is a great way to top up your vitamin D levels whilst getting in your daily movement. Working out at least 3 times a week is a fantastic way to feel connected with your body, whilst making you feel stronger, more flexible and confident as you step into summer.
PROTECT YOUR SKIN
It’s SPF season, and although it’s recommended to wear SPF all year round, we will now be spending more time outside as the weather warms and days get longer.
Wearing a good quality SPF is essential to protect our skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation, and even on those cloudy city days, our skin is still susceptible to the sun’s rays which can result in wrinkles and discolouration. When it comes to skin protection, it can be confusing as to which one to use with so many on today’s market.
I suggest investing in a good quality SPF to wear every day on your face and chest, even when you don’t think you’re exposed to any sunlight, it still creeps through those clouds! SPF50 offers 95% protection from UV, with SPF30 offering 93% protection. And although a 2% difference does not sound much, it adds up over time. My favourite, all-natural SPF is by Tropic available here.
SUPPORT YOUR GUT HEALTH
The health of our gut impacts pretty much every aspect of our health! There are numerous signs and symptoms that can indicate poor gut health including irregular bowel movements, constant fatigue, sleep disturbances and food intolerances. But even if you don’t have gut symptoms, it is still worth being proactive! You may find that by looking after your gut, you get that added boost in energy, less anxiety or even clearer, fresher looking skin.
My top 3 easy gut health tips to include into your daily routine are:
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly, it should take at least 20 minutes to finish your meal, so take your time and eat mindfully to fully enjoy the whole experience.
- Manage your stress levels- many gut symptoms manifest from high stress levels, so taking time out away from work, screens and the hustle and bustle of everyday life is key to getting your gut health under control. Try 10 minutes of meditation, some deep breathing techniques, slow stretching or a 20 minute walk in the sunshine.
- Take a good quality probiotic at the same time every morning, probiotics act as a fertiliser to stimulate the growth and development of healthy bacteria in the gut.
When it comes to feeling our best, getting a solid, good night’s sleep is just as important as eating nutritious foods. Poor quality sleep is associated with lowered mood and can heighten feelings of anxiety or depression. Aiming for 7-9 hours a night of good quality sleep is fundamental, but practising good sleep hygiene is key!
Sleep hygiene is a set of rituals that you can incorporate into your night time routine to leave you feeling alert and fully refreshed the next day.
Try some of our favourite sleep tips below:
- Having a solid sleep schedule, aim to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
- Avoid the use of technology and blue light 1 hour before bed, and try to wind down by listening to a podcast, relaxing music or reading a book.
- Monitor your caffeine intake, and do not consume caffeine after 3 pm in the afternoon. Caffeine can stay in your system for hours, and if consumed too late in the day can impact your deep and REM sleep quality.
- Keeping your bedroom cool, dark and quiet can help you to fall and stay asleep. A bedroom temperature between 15.6C and 19.4C is the optimal temperature range for sleeping.
- Try MEDAHUMAN NIGHT. A functional wellness drink that helps you switch off and sleep, formulated by nutritionists.