Thursday, 9 June 2011

Feeling healthy while you're burning the candle at both ends?

Do you work longer than long hours and find yourself having difficulty sleeping or feeling re-energized when you awake? Do you find that there isn't enough coffee or tea in the world to make you feel alert? UGH, that can be pretty frustrating can't it. The simple truth is that whenever we go against our bodies natural sleep/ awake pattern we begin to experience health issues. So what can you do when the work you do has you up all hours of the night? How can you feel energized and stay healthy? Well I am going to share with you some quick and simple meal plans. Lets explore some ideas to extinguish the burned out you and light up the energized you.

Here's a tip: Stay hydrated. I know, we hear it all the time. The truth is that drinking coffee, tea(including green tea) and soft drinks only dehydrate you which adds to your feeling of tiredness. Choose water.

I adore sweets. Cakes, cookies and pies - yum! The problem is that bread, pasta, cakes and goodies will give you a quick sugar boost but ultimately will have you feeling sluggish. When you're working through the night your bodies natural rhythm of digestion has slowed. The body cannot clear fat from the blood stream as efficiently nor can it regulate blood sugar as well. Overtime this can lead to chronic indigestion, weight gain, heart problems, blood pressure problems and diabetes. Hardly worth that piece of pie!

If your job does not require you to stay physically active but you are required to stay mentally alert try to keep your eating patterns to a normal daytime. For instance, if you wake-up and start your day at 3PM then have your dinner between 5-8PM. Then you can have a late night snack - mind your portion size though - remember your body has slowed down. A good snack would be veggies with a few crackers and cheese. A small amount of protein and fat will assist you in remaining alert plus protein has a longer burn time so it will keep you going longer than something sugary.

If your job requires you to stay physically active you still want to try to keep your eating pattern to a daytime schedule. The difference is that you have a few more late night snacks and you can add fruit. The most important thing to remember is that you want to choose snacks that are easily digestible and will give your body the most energy. Fruit and nuts, veggies and hummus, cheese and crackers (as a first snack, earlier in the night). These will keep you energized and your bodies recovery time shortened. If at the very end of your shift you are required to do another burst of physical activity a healthy sports bar can be beneficial. Look for  a bar that has natural ingredients and is designed for post workout. Examples: Lara, ProBar, Think Organic, Pure Bar  and Vega!! You could have a sports bar for one of your earlier snacks as well just make sure you are having enough water to aid digestion. Examples of sports bars that are designed for during workout: Clif, Luna, Odwalla and PowerBars.

I hope this was helpful ... stayed tune for my next post when we explore recipes to a few home-made energy bars!!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Are you stuck in a veggie rut?

Do you ever feel like you're stuck with the same veggies prepared the same way every time? UGH, that can get pretty boring can't it. Whenever we read or listen to anything about nutrition and health we are told that we need to add more veggies to our day. A difficult task when your stuck in a veggie rut. Well, I am going to share with you some quick and simple recipes. Lets explore some ideas to drag you out of your rut and get some delish veggies on your plate.

Here's a tip: If you want to roast your veggies; warm your pan ahead of time, otherwise the starch will stick to the pan. I am sure we all want to spend more time enjoying our cooking and less time scrubbing our pans!

I adore roasted veggies! I like to peel and chop large pieces up and throw them into my warmed cast iron pan. I never peel potatoes that are to be roasted - those peels are too super good for you to be discarded.
Often I will mix my potatoes - Yukon Golds, Peruvian Blue, PEI White and of course some yummy Yams. I gently rub extra virgin oil all over them and toss in a wee bit of salt and sweet curry. Go light on the salt & curry you want the taste of the potatoes to be able to shine. Then I add carrots and parsnip - I am really into the Heritage Sunburst Carrots right now. They have an amazing beet red on the outside and beautiful orange on the inside - Mm beta-carotene. If you enjoy Beets, then by all means add them - I am not a huge fan; although, I have been known to enjoy the little golden beets. Don't leave the onion family out - shallots and garlic are SO tasty and SO good for you. Are there any veggies that you want in there - Red Pepper? Endive? Mushrooms - sure, throw it on in!
Alright now, get your clean hands in there and make sure all the veggies are touched with that olive oil. When they are, put a lid on and put them in the oven at 375F for about 45 minutes. As you begin to smell the aroma have a look and give them a stir. Don't be afraid to check on them.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you want to try a bit of Honey Dijon as a dipping sauce - mm mm it's yum:)