Make sure the future you, thanks you
Who you will be in 5 years’ time has a lot to do with how you’re living your life today. The friends that surround you, the love you give your family, the articles you read, the podcasts you listen to, the food you eat and the habits you adopt – are all shaping your future self. Which is why I encourage you to think of that person in 5 years’ time when making choices today.
It takes 21 days to break a habit and 3 months for those new habits to stick for life. I like to think of this approach to health like a savings account: the money you invest makes interest and then that interest starts earning interest too, which means that your investment keeps on rewarding over time. The key however is consistency. If you don’t make regular deposits into your health account, you can’t be disappointed by poor outcomes. You have to put in the hard yards upfront.
How to make choices for long-term health
We are not machines. We are all living, feeling, emotional and spiritual beings, which is why I base my approach to health and nutrition on an acute understanding of human emotion and spirituality, balanced with the latest scientific research. I believe that health is determined by numerous factors:
1. Optimal nutrition
Treat your nutrition as a skill set. You can radically transform your health through the power of food. Nutrient-dense whole organic food and good quality animal protein (in moderation) are powerful tools. Even your water should be of the best quality – filtered and pure, not from a plastic bottle. And remember, weight loss is a by-product of being healthy so don’t get fixated on the scale.
2. Intermittent fasting
Nutrition is not only about what you eat, but when you eat. Not only does intermittent fasting trigger autophagy and ketosis, it also helps keep your hormones in check.
Triggering autophagy and ketosis – Autophagy is a phenomenal process where the body rids itself of old cellular matter, which can have incredible benefits for healing and longevity. Autophagy also switches on ketosis – fat burning mode! Two protocols that I love are Patrick Holford’s “5-Day Diet” which I do every other month, alternating with the “Grow a New Body” diet by Dr Alberto Villoldo.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Patrick Holford in an IG Live: “What’s happening on an autophagy diet,” says Patrick, “which is what the 5-Day Diet is, is a big increase in stem cells, so you get this massive repair process – it’s a bit like a factory reset.” Watch the interview here.
Hormonal balance – Every time you snack you raise your insulin. Insulin is a natural hormone that regulates the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood to provide the body with energy, or to store for future use. This means it is also a fat storage hormone as our bodies simply can’t burn fat in the presence of high levels of insulin.
Dr Jason Fung, author of The Obesity Code, suggests the underlying cause of obesity is a hormonal imbalance in the body due to years of poor eating and consistently elevated insulin levels. Balancing insulin depends on WHAT and WHEN you eat. There is no need to eat 6 times a day. Eating whole, unprocessed foods that trigger only minimal insulin response and practicing short periods of intermittent fasting can help regulate hormones.
3. Quality sleep
This seems like an obvious one, but the powers of restorative sleep are vastly underestimated. Sleep is a critical component of healthspan – it affects everything from hormonal health to detoxification, mental health and weight management. Sleep also allows your glymphatic system to “spring clean” your brain and nervous system. While you’re asleep, your other bodily processes are not as active as they are during the day, allowing glymphatic activity to take priority, removing waste products from your brain and nervous system and encouraging brain health.
Watch my IG Live with Mollie McGlocklin for strategies on maximising your sleep hygiene.
Moving gets your lymphatic system working, whether it’s via breath-work, bouncing on a trampoline, taking the dog for a walk, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), body brushing and more. Movement is good for producing serotonin and in turn affecting your mood. ,
I read something interesting the other day that links the movement patterns of our ancestors with HIIT. Studies indicate that we are geared for short bursts of high-intensity activities (e.g hunting), followed by a moderate pace (walking) and seldom any form of sustained cardio, which raises cortisol promoting the likelihood of injury.
5. Actively seeking joy
One of the many beautiful things about humans is our diversity. Some people come alive listening to music. For others it’s puzzles or pottering around the garden. I feel like we need a lot more joy in our lives – I highly recommend some kind of self-care that makes you feel vibrant and alive and you wake up enthusiastic, full of zest for life, and have a sense of purpose.
6. Your relationship with others
Being held within a circle of loving friends and family that understand you and support you is priceless in terms of your emotional and physical health. Just as investing in those around you with mindfulness and kindness is an exercise in happiness too.
7. Your relationship with yourself
I am convinced that this is the most important investment we can make. How you feel about YOU, is the foundation of everything. My work is to assist you to remove limiting beliefs, feed your body the best possible nutrients, feed your mind and soul with great thoughts, to treat your body with the most love and to teach you to be gentle and kind on YOU. You are the master of your life.