6 Tips for Getting More Sleep

If you’re not getting enough sleep (who is?) then this is just for you.

Clearly the duck I captured in my photo is getting enough, catching forty winks right in the middle of the day…or maybe not, because he’s sleeping on his feet! Whatever it is, getting enough sleep is crucial for our health and well-being, as well as our ability to function well during the day. Last week, a young guy I know stayed working until 1 a.m.. Later that morning, while cycling back in to work, he fell asleep momentarily and fell over, grazing and bruising himself badly. While that may seem obvious, lack of sleep is one area that we could be paying more attention to.

Ever since the invention of the electric bulb, we’ve been defying our natural body (circadian) rhythms and staying up later into the night, doing whatever it is that we do. We might watch TV or, if you’re like me, you’ll be reading or writing on your computer. The bottom line? Our mind is over-stimulated at a time of day (actually, night) when we should naturally be winding down, getting ready for sleep and rest.

Many studies have now shown that we should ideally be getting 8 hours of sleep each night. Both our mind and our body need that time to rest, re-energise and re-charge. In addition, both our mind and our body are inextricably linked. If our mind is not rested, then neither is our body. So here’s the question – do you feel as if your mind is properly rested? The answer for most is “rarely”.

[Tweet “We live in a mind-oriented culture, and we seldom recognise that we are not properly rested”]

While we may have heard the term, “stress,” we often don’t associate mental tiredness with it. Mental pressure, yes, but not mental tiredness. Have you ever been working at your desk, for example, and you’ve felt tired, but pushed it away and carried on anyway? Lol, me too, I’ve been there, done that. We all do. That tiredness is physiological stress, and it affects us, not just mentally, but also emotionally and physically. Quite simply, it affects our entire well-being.

We all know how grumpy we can be when we are tired and are suffering from lack of sleep. Ogres appear as if out of nowhere and we can snap at people without meaning to. Imagine what’s happening inside of your body for you to be doing this.

Here are just some of what happens in our bodies when we are stressed (extracted from Deepak Chopra’s book, Grow Younger, Live Longer):

  • One part of your adrenal glands pumps out adrenaline and noradrenaline, which constricts blood vessels
  • Another part of your adrenal glands pumps out cortisol
  • Your pancreas releases more of the hormone glucagon
  • Your pancreas releases less insulin
  • As a result of the increased glucagon and decreased insulin, your blood sugar level rises
  • You reduce the blood supply to your digestive organs and increase the blood supply to your muscles
  • Your pituitary gland releases less growth hormone

Hormones (insulin, glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone) are chemical messengers. The change in the cocktail of hormones mentioned by Dr Chopra above tells our bodies to “keep going” and not spend effort or energy in healing and repairing because we need to keep on “keeping going”. To properly heal, regenerate and rejuvenate, we need adequate rest.

In the short-term, we all recognise how a lack of sleep affects us from the mental perspective – our ability to concentrate, our mental agility and ability to respond quickly are all compromised, but we don’t necessarily recognise how lack of sleep over the long-term will impact on our health and well-being.

Our bodies are amazingly clever. We can’t ourselves heal a cut or wound and we trust our bodies to do that for us. But we take our bodies so much for granted.

Today, the invitation is to give yourself the gift of adequate and restful sleep. Restful sleep is when both your body and mind are in deep rest and your mind is sleeping. You drift off easily to sleep and you sleep soundly through the night. If you happen to wake up during the night, you are able to get back to sleep easily (that means, no middle of the night prowling or sending emails! I laugh, because I have been known to do that)

Here are six tips to help you get more sleep and to sleep more deeply:

  • Find ways to practice waking meditations. These are moments when you are awake, but your mind is restful. You are fully present and attentive to whatever you are doing, be it washing the dishes, going for a walk or tidying your papers, but your mind is at rest, relaxed and focused on that one thing.
  • Power down your computer half an hour earlier each day and do something less stimulating instead. Perhaps read a book in bed.
  • Download the F.lux programme (free) from www.justgetflux.com. Light from our computers are primarily in the blue spectrum, but our brain recognises light in the orange spectrum (think sunset) as a sign to get ready for sleep. The flux programme changes the colour of the light emanating from your computer in the evenings and nights so that it is less stimulating (blue light) on your brain.
  • Make your room as dark as possible. When light hits your skin, it affects your circadian rhythm, affecting the depth of your sleep and interfering with weight loss. By the way, light in your child’s bedroom will also affect their sleep, so consider turning off their night light after they’ve fallen asleep.
  • Keep your room cool but not cold, to encourage your body to “mini-hibernate”.
  • Make it a habit to go to bed at the same time each night and go to sleep before midnight. Our bodies do its best healing work between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., with the hours before midnight being the most significant. You’ll also find that these hours before midnight are the most rejuvenating. There’s a reason why “beauty sleep” is a recognised term in our vocabulary.

Happy restful sleep to you. Do let me know how you go.

Love,

Veronica
x

Easy-to-Make Paleo Bread

Lol, I hardly ever make anything that’s not easy to make these days. I can’t eat normal breads as a matter of course because the strong flour used in making breads makes me feel as if I’ve taken a sleeping tablet and I just can’t keep my eyes open.

This bread is great because it has a good dollop of protein in it and it’s gluten-free. It has a slightly nutty flavour and the little bit of honey in it gives it a teensy bit of sweetness. I make it the “old-fashioned” way too – with a wooden spoon and a mixing bowl. :-)

Try it out and let me know how you like it. It’s great served warm too and I especially love it with a generous spread of butter.

Easy-To-Make Paleo Bread

(adapted from Elana’s Pantry)

Ingredients:
2 cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
¼ cup golden flaxmeal
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C or 350°F.
Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed.
Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, oil, honey and vinegar into the middle.
Using a wooden spoon (or your hands, make sure they’re clean, of course), draw in the dry ingredients from the sides into the middle and combine until well mixed.
Transfer batter to a greased 7.5 x 3.5 loaf pan.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 2 hours.
Serve.

Voila!

The 10-Day Negative Thought Fast

There’s no question. How we think affects affects our health. It affects how we feel affects the decisions we make affects the actions we take… or don’t take… affects the very energy or vibration (or vibe) of you. If you have ever picked up the vibes from just entering a room and somehow knowing that “something” had gone on just before you entered the room, even though you hadn’t seen or heard any of the conversation, then you know what I’m talking about.

Those vibes can be quite tangible at times. You can get a clear sense of it, even if you can’t pick it up via any one of your five senses. Now imagine being immersed in such energy all day long. That’s exactly what is happening in your body.

[Tweet “Every single cell is eavesdropping on every single thought you have and this has a profound effect on your health”]

For example, did you know that cancer is anger unexpressed? You see, it’s not about never having a “negative” thought or feeling, but how you use it as a positive message and then transmute it into something that is empowering and positive. Intuitively, we know that positive thoughts and emotions have a high energy or vibration and negative thoughts and emotions have a low vibration. We say things like, “I’m feeling low today,” or “I was on a high after getting the good news.”

Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion, says:

…the emotions are the link between the physical body and the non-physical states of consciousness, and the receptors on every cell are where this happens. The attracting vibration is the emotion, and the actual connection – peptide to receptor – is the manifestation of the feeling in the physical world…

What we experience as a ‘feeling’ is the actual vibrational dance that goes on as the peptides bind to the receptors, whether it happens in your conscious awareness or not. Below what we notice happening, a huge amount of emotionally mediated information is being exchanged throughout the body and the brain, much of which never rises into our consciousness. This is why I say: “Your body is your subconscious mind.

What is the nature of your thoughts? Are they mostly positive? One way to tell is to gauge how you’re feeling. What you think is how you feel and because the two are so inextricably linked, how you feel affects how you think and then how you think affects how you feel affects how you think and so on. You see?

In its research paper, Science of the Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance, the HeartMath Research Centre reported:

It became clear that negative emotions lead to increased disorder in the heart’s rhythms and in the autonomic nervous system, thereby adversely affecting the rest of the body. In contrast, positive emotions create increased harmony and coherence in heart rhythms and improve balance in the nervous system. The health implications are easy to understand: Disharmony in the nervous system leads to inefficiency and increased stress on the heart and other organs while harmonious rhythms are more efficient and less stressful to the body’s systems.

Translating this into everyday health terms, it means:

  • Longer life span
  • Less stress
  • Greater resilience
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Better sleep
  • Increased resistance to the common cold
  • Better stress management and coping skills
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease-related death
  • Increased physical well-being
  • Better psychological health

Remember, every single cell is eavesdropping on every single thought you have and this has a profound effect on your health.

So, what is your balance of thought and emotion?

Most of us don’t really know, because most of the time, we’re quite unconscious of how we’re thinking. You know, you can be worrying over something and not even realise that you’ve been worrying until you’ve been at it for a while. Truth is, it’s not about never having a “negative” thought again – it’s about recognising them, then understanding what the underlying message is, then pivoting them around to more empowering and supportive thoughts which change your state of being, allowing you to make more empowered decisions.

Someone I work with started off our conversation with, “My stomach feels like a stone right now,” and “I don’t know…”. After working with her on pivoting her thoughts, I asked, “Do you feel complete on this now?” to which she replied, “Yes, I really do. It’s amazing how sick I felt earlier and now feel strong.” She then went on to take specific action from a strong empowered base, rather than her initial position of not knowing what to do.

This is where the 10-day Negative Thought Fast comes in.

Are you up for the challenge?

You’ll find that your life can truly be exceptional when you focus on positive solutions rather than the constraints of your challenges.

This 10-Day Negative Thought Fast was originated by Emmett Fox, one of the most popular self-help authors and speakers of the early 20th century. It’s a challenge and adventure from which you stand to reap numerous benefits.

Here’s how to play this game:

  • If you break any of the other rules, you must start the 10 days over from the beginning. To get the full effect, you must complete 10 consecutive days. This is to stretch you. As Oliver Wendell-Holmes said, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
  • You cannot focus on a negative thought or remain in a negative emotional state for more than five minutes. Ideally, the time should be much shorter. Five minutes should be plenty of time to recognise what’s going on and put a stop to it. Remember, even one instance of lingering for more than five minutes means starting over. And if you don’t know how long you’ve been indulging in negative thoughts, that’s OK, just decide how you’d like to carry on.
  • You must focus on solutions. When the negative thoughts start, the idea is to immediately start contemplating possible solutions. Spend your time solving your challenges instead of focusing on them.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had the same challenges for quite a while without resolution. So why not try something else instead of dwelling on what’s wrong?

This sounds deceptively easy, but you may surprise yourself with how difficult it might be to give up negativity. We tend to think that worrying helps in some way. But you’ve probably been worrying about a lot of things for a long time and they haven’t improved. Oh, and what about those things you’d been worrying about which never came to be? Haha!

When you’re faced with a negative thought (and there might well be many!), first ask, “What might be the positive message underlying this?”The point is to immediately begin focusing on solutions. When you ask a better question, you’ll receive better answers.

Over the 10 days, you’ll begin to form a habit of immediately recognising a negative mental state and then focusing on solutions for what you feel negatively about. If you continue the process after the 10 days are completed, you’ll have stretched your mind and developed a new habit that will only require a minimal amount of maintenance.

You might need several attempts to complete the full 10 days. That’s OK! It’s common to have numerous slips on day one and then a few others later in the process. Don’t go beating yourself up over it, ok. Remember, you’re stretching your mind, changing your norm, so just as a baby learning to walk, cut yourself the same slack.

Try this 10-day adventure and see if it doesn’t change your life. You’ll be so amazed at the results that you’ll never want to go back to the old way of dwelling on the challenges in your life. So start this today, change your life for the better and let me know how you get on.

Much love to you.

The Power of Antioxidants for a Younger You

I’ve recently been studying biology and chemistry in order to be able to understand better how our bodies work. When you realise exactly how much is going on in your body every milli-second, not only do potentially blow a gasket, because it’s out of this world, but you also then realise how amazing and wonderful our bodies are. I used to complain about my body – generally, it was always about being too fat, whether or not I was at the time. My mind made my body the enemy.

But now, understanding even just a smidgeon of what my body does every moment, I can totally appreciate my body for what it does for me.

Our bodies are continually working for our benefit and you know how it’s awful when you’re working hard and you aren’t given any support? We often do that to our bodies! If you can give your body some loving support by giving it some of what it needs to help it do its job, just think of what difference that would make to the level of often hidden stress on your body. Ultimately, lesser stress means more energy and a healthful glow, from the inside out.

Now, that is a Vibrant. Younger. Radiant. You!

So what are antioxidants and what can they do to keep you at your best?

Let’s start at the beginning.

Our bodies are essentially an incredulous chemistry lab, continually breaking down chemicals in the body and creating different substances. The foods we eat gets broken down and then other molecules are created from those foods. It’s all part of its natural process of cellular metabolism.

Through exposure to UV light, our environment (for example, air pollution or cigarette smoke), as well as part of our normal cellular metabolism, some molecules are split in such a way that they lose one or more electrons and become unstable. These unstable molecules, known as free radicals, now start to ferociously scavenge for another electron to pair up with and become stable again. And here’s the thing. They steal the electrons from the cells in your body.

The loss of electrons is known as oxidation and is similar to the rusting you see on old nails or when a cut apple turns brown. The trouble with free radicals is that when they steal the electrons, they set up a chain reaction, propagating more and more free radicals causing ongoing scavenging and stealing of electrons. This snowball effect leads to a trail of damage in our cells. You’ve probably heard the terms, “oxidative stress” and/or “oxidative damage”.

The results of oxidative damage are both visible and invisible changes to our bodies. The older we are, the more of this has happened in our bodies. This is why the development of diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and neurological deficiencies may begin to affect you as you age. Also, thinner skin wrinkles and brittle bones are a problem. The more free radicals we encounter, the greater the damage that can be done.

How do antioxidants help?

Antioxidants break the propagation of free radicals by giving up their own electrons but without becoming unstable themselves. This causes the chain of reactions to stop. In other words, they quench the propagation of further free radicals thus stopping further oxidative damage to your cells. Hence, the name, antioxidants.

This is how antioxidants help fight the aging process that goes on in your body. Our bodies can manufacture some of these antioxidants but not others. What’s more, our ability to make antioxidants tends to fall as we get older. So to get the benefit of the full range of these power-packed substances, you have to eat them.

The good news is there’s a wide variety of foods that contain antioxidants.

They are all around. Look no further than your local farmer’s market or your local store. Think “Eat a Rainbow” and no, I’m not talking about Skittles or M&Ms! Fruits and vegetables are your principal sources of antioxidants. Marine plants and some seafood are other sources too.

The most common dietary antioxidants and some common foods in which to find them are:

  • Vitamin C – green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits,
  • Vitamin A – carrots, kale, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, broccoli
  • Vitamin E – nuts, whole grains, vegetables
  • Lutein – spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kiwi fruit
  • Lycopene – tomatoes
  • Beta-carotene – think orange! Carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin

Antioxidants can also be found in nuts, legumes, cold water fish, seafood and red meat.

While certain minerals like zinc and selenium are not antioxidants, they boost the immune system to fight against free radical damage, so eating a varied diet of fruits, vegetables and the other foods mentioned will increase the amount of antioxidants in your system and help reduce the incidence of disease.

How much should you have?

Scientists don’t have any idea of a recommended daily dose of antioxidants to correct free radical damage and the diseases that come with age, but they do know that eating foods rich in antioxidants makes a huge difference in how we live.

Perhaps Dr Richard Passwater, the author of the book, The Antioxidants: The Amazing Nutrients That Fight Dangerous Free Radicals, Guard Against Cancer and Other Diseases and Even Slow the Aging Process, says it best.

Combinations of antioxidants are like a balanced symphony working together. A symphony orchestra produces sounds so much more harmonious than merely having 20 drums playing. It is not the quantity, but the blend. The same is true with antioxidant nutrients: you get better results with moderate amounts of a full complement than you get with using very large amounts of just one nutrient…

For this reason, most of us in the field recommend that a person take a variety of antioxidants (a “cocktail”), not just a single substance.

The importance of synergism is that the antioxidant nutrients each contribute to the total protection. They work together in the antioxidant cycle and reach all body compartments–fat and water-based, blood and internal cell. They protect against all types of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. No one antioxidant can do all of this.

Here’s to your antioxidant cocktail!

Much love.

Why Sunshine is Important For Your Health

Many health experts consider the benefits of Vitamin D to be one of the most important health discoveries in the last century. When I found out about getting Vitamin D levels checked, I thought I’d do just that. When I went back to the GP to pick up my results and discuss them, here is pretty much what the doctor said, “Some years ago, we used to test everyone for their Vitamin D levels, and virtually everyone is deficient. So it was decided that there was no point in carrying out the testing, because just about everyone is deficient, so now, we only do it if the person has clinical symptoms of being deplete.”

What?

[Tweet “Virtually everyone typically has less than the optimal level of Vitamin D and nobody has said anything about it!”]

Wait, wait, what’s that got to do with sunshine and health? OK, let’s back up a bit.

The body manufactures Vitamin D from cholesterol, through a process triggered by the action of sunlight on skin, which is why it’s often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”. So it’s not really surprising – if like me, you live anywhere other than in the tropics or close to the Equator, then you are likely to be lacking in Vitamin D – just as my doctor had said.

But why should you care and why is this important for your health? Well, consider some of the benefits of Vitamin D.

  • Crucial for bone health, aiding in the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous.
  • Increases bone density & helps decrease the potential for fractures.
  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis; this is especially important for women over 40,
  • Enhances the immune system, lowering the incidence of colds or flus
  • Lowers incidence of cancer & rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Helps to control hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Contributes to heart/cardiovascular health
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Prevents against diabetes, autoimmune diseases, & multiple sclerosis
  • Eases muscle aches & fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Improves serotonin levels, thus aiding the control of depression
  • Helps control appetite and even improves fat-loss efforts

That’s just some of the benefits. The bottom line is that Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in our health but most of us are not in the optimal range for Vitamin D.

So what can you do?

If you can, get some sunshine. Vitamin D from sun exposure is the best way to get your Vitamin D levels to within the optimal range. However, we’ve been somewhat “brain-washed” by the media into thinking that all sun exposure is bad. This is not true. Getting healthy sun exposure (not over-exposure, which is when your skin burns and leads to aging and potentially, melanoma) – some 10 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight – on unprotected skin is the ideal way to get in your daily dose of Vitamin D. Some people will need less, others more. The darker your skin, the longer the exposure you will need to optimise your vitamin D production.

However, sunlight is stronger near the equator and weaker the further away from the equator you are, which means that those of us who do not live close to the Equator can’t make much, if any, Vitamin D from the sun, particularly in the autumn and winter months. On top of that, if you often apply sunscreen, spend little time outdoors or have naturally dark skin, you are certainly highly unlikely to be getting enough sunlight to enable your body to produce sufficient Vitamin D.

While it’s good to include foods in your diet that contain vitamin D, such as fish (wild salmon is good), cod liver oil, milk and eggs, that won’t be enough because we can’t get very much Vitamin D from food.

So the answer is: Vitamin D supplementation.

But wait! Don’t just rush out and buy any old bottle of Vitamin D.

There are two forms of Vitamin D

Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol or “pre-Vitamin D”) is a synthetic version and inferior to Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is chemically indistinguishable from the form of Vitamin D that is made when the skin is exposed to sun. So when shopping for your supplements, make sure you get Vitamin D3 and supplement only with Vitamin D3.

Now, make sure you take enough. The US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 600 IU (International Units), while in the UK, the RDA is 400 IU. But there is increasing research that points to these levels being insufficient. So if you follow those guidelines, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss out on the important benefits of Vitamin D.

According to GrassrootsHealth, a public health promotion organisation:

The body needs at least 4,000 IU/day in order to maintain a healthy concentration of 25(OH)D in the blood. Because most of us don’t get enough sun exposure, the little vitamin D we get that way, plus food and fortified food sources, totals no more than about 2,000 IU/day. Thus in order to meet the body’s need for about 4,000 IU/day, most adults should take supplements providing 1,000-3,000 IU daily.

25(OH)D is the measurement of Vitamin D levels in the blood. 1,000-3,000 IU daily, mentioned above, is the minimum according to GrassrootsHealth, while the Vitamin D Council recommends 5,000 IU a day. Is this too much? Studies have shown that doses of 10,000 IU/day are safe (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499343).

So, how do you know if you are getting enough?

Have a blood test called 25(OH) or 25-hydroxyvitamin D. It is the ONLY blood test out there that measures the amount of Vitamin D to determine if you are getting enough or not.

This is the interpretive guide for the various levels that came with my Vitamin D results. Before I began supplementation, I came in at 45 nmol/L. Now I’m at 107, and my aim is to get to 125.

Vitamin-D-interpretive-results

 

Why, when it says that a level of greater than 50 is adequate? Because more importantly, it’s the level that is optimal that really counts. According to the Vitamin D Society, optimal Vitamin D levels are 100-150 nmol/L, making sure that your body functions the way it was developed.

If you’re interested in having your blood tested for Vitamin D levels, you can do this by post/mail.
In the UK: http://www.vitamindtest.org.uk
In the US: https://www.grassrootshealth.net/proj-welcome/ and you will become a part of their D Action Study.

Your health is in your hands. Taking Vitamin D yet? :-)

To read more about Vitamin D:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/

It’s Snack Time, Baby!

It’s mid to late afternoon and it’s starting… dang those sugar cravings! No matter how many times you’ve tried, no matter how much willpower you exert, somehow, the sugar always wins in the end. Know what I mean?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly half of us report an afternoon slump where energy and concentration are challenged. One of the most common reasons for afternoon fatigue is fluctuating blood sugar levels. If too much sugar is released into the body at once, by either waiting too long to eat between meals and/or having high carbohydrate or sweet foods, your body tries to rebalance your blood sugar levels by releasing insulin. This causes your blood sugar levels to first rise and then fall rapidly, leading to a quick burst of energy followed by a deep crash.

Many people experience this in the afternoons, especially after a high carbohydrate laden lunch. And therein lies the afternoon energy slump… you know, those times when you can barely keep your eyes open!

The first step, is, to mindfully choose the kind of lunch to have in the first place (Hint: some good healthy protein with loads of “above-the-ground” veggies). Either way, snacks are key. Yay! When we eat in a way that supports us, we can actually eat more and weigh less.

Snacks bridge the gap between meals and stop that rumbling stomach when lunch and dinner are hours away. They keep your blood sugar stable and your hunger in check so that you’re not raiding the vending machine or gorging everything in sight at your next meal. Snacks are also a great way to get in extra whole foods to ensure that you are getting in the correct nutrients for the day.

So, what kind of snack is the right snack? To keep energy levels up and bridge the gap properly, choose a snack made up of a complex carb, a healthy fat, and clean protein. This combination will increase your energy levels for a longer period of time. If you’ve been part of the “low fat brigade”, know that fat is important too. Not only does your body need it in order to function properly, but it also gives you satiety – that satisfied feeling that is missing when you eat a meal that’s devoid of fat. If you’ve ever had a super lean protein with salad and a non-oil dressing and then thought, “I know I’ve eaten enough to no longer be hungry but I just don’t feel satisfied, it feels like there’s a gap,” then you know exactly what I mean. At times like those, it would be oh so nice to have a yummy dessert just to finish up and feel satisfied, right?

But back to that afternoon slump. It’s the time of day when another cup of coffee or quick sugary snack seems like the perfect way to carry you to the end of the day. Don’t! With this snack list in hand, and a little planning, you can easily push through and run to the finish line. Don’t let that afternoon slump take control of you when you have the power to take control of it instead. Below is a list of my top ten snacks to beat that slump, so arm yourself with the ingredients and knowledge that you have the power to keep your hunger and energy in check all day!

Nine Top Snacks To Prevent The Afternoon Slump

1. A handful of raw unsalted nuts/homemade trail mix – the protein, fibre, and fat is a perfect snack combination

2. 2 cups of mixed raw veggie sticks and 2 tbsp of your favorite dip – hummus, tahini, pesto, etc.

3. Hardboiled egg, ¼ avocado, and tomato drizzled with some olive oil or you might like to try some flavoured olive oil instead – basil oil or chilli oil, for example.

4. ½ cup organic Greek yogurt (or a lactose-free option) with 1 tbsp nut butter, cinnamon, and ½ apple, sliced, OR Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp mixed nuts, seeds, and berries

5. Green smoothie – cucumber, kale, spinach, parsley, celery, lemon ginger, and coconut oil

6. Super smoothie – unsweetened almond milk, ½ banana, 1 tbsp almond butter, protein powder, vanilla, cinnamon, hemp seeds, maca powder/cacao powder, and ice

7. 1 apple, sliced, with 1 tbsp nut butter or coconut butter (yum!)

8. Berries with fresh mint and some almonds

9. Nori seaweed, canned salmon/tuna, avocado, spinach, and cucumber wrap

Oh, and one last thing. When you have your snack, really take some time out to savour every mouthful. Enjoy!