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Planting Seeds in Spring Blog #1 - Your daily sun & water: nutritional foundations for vibrant energy and robust mental and emotional health



Welcome sweet reader! Thank you for taking the time to nourish your mind to further nourish your body.


Beginning my nutrition schooling I felt like a fresh baby lemur - wide eyed and bushy tailed. Ready to observe and take in each teaching with bated breath. I had no idea the wellspring of knowledge I was about to dive headfirst into! What an exciting and overwhelming time it turned out to be. I learned so much about where to start and was shocked at how much I truly did NOT know. Taking in the foundations of nutrition was a lesson in compassion for myself and others as much as it was a hard talking science class. Over and over again I have had to forgive myself for my learned ignorance. For the conditioned misunderstanding that all calories are equal, or that protein isn't just for babes and bro's who want to bulk ... "What do you mean protein is an ingredient necessary to build hormones? digestive enzymes too?" the alchemy that exists within became an ever exciting topic for me. Lets get into it..


I will share some daily foundations we can all benefit from implementing. By no means is this an exhaustive list, nor is it a checklist you must hold yourself to every day or every week. Remembering compassion for the ebbs and flows of your internal and external world is the FIRST thing I want to mention. Don't forget you're human, honey. Sometimes we have hard days. Sometimes our souls scream for a comfort day because our dishwasher explodes or we had a particularly difficult customer at work. I abide by the 80/20 rule.. think of these foundations as your goal 80% of the time.. the other 20% is about listening to the call from within. What does your soul need? If its something sweet and binge watching the trashiest TV you can find - do it!

Now, with that being said, before any big changes can occur, before we can dive into our goal based targeted approach on hormonal imbalances, gut health, liver support.. whatever it may be we must first address our foundations. You cant build a house without a foundation. Think of these as the poured foundation of your life! the roots of the great tree that is you. As a flower cannot reach for the sun without first anchoring themselves to the ground think of these practices as your anchor point. Stability needed to reach for the stars.


Ponder foundation #1 - Ensuring Dietary Diversity


Diversity is the spice of life! Its important to have diversity so we can make sure we are getting a full nutrition profile. If we are skipping out on any group of food we could be missing the juicy bits of nutrition to run our bodies and ease our minds. Now we cant expect to squeeze in every type of food daily but weekly diversity should be the goal at the very least:


  • Including at least 5 servings of vegetables a day. Within these 5 servings it is important to include: Allium (think garlic, onions, & leeks!), cruciferous, root, leafy greens, squash and other variety's like zucchini and cucumber to name a few!

  • 5 daily servings of fruit. Fruit is needed for essential nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. Antioxidants found in fruits may play a role in protecting the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. Some studies suggest that diets rich in antioxidants are associated with a reduced risk of mental health disorders.

  • Alkalizing and detoxifying herbs like cilantro, parsley, oregano, basil, and dill. Later on in my blog series we will talk about all the benefits of healthy detoxification systems.

  • Complex carbohydrates for a healthy insulin response - being on the insulin rollercoaster can feel like STRESS in our bodies. Only consuming white or refined grains can prevent a feeling of fullness and leave us on a blood sugar roller coaster we will be begging to get off. Some examples of complex carbohydrates are: Oats, brown and wild rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, and black beans.

  • Probiotic rich foods. These foods nourish and maintain the two way highway between our brains and our guts. Happiness starts from within, literally! 90% of our serotonin is made in our guts. Here, one of serotonins important jobs is to activate the movement a.k.a peristalsis of the gut to keep everything in transit, which i would argue is just as important as the mood boosting qualities it possesses.

Ponder foundation #2 - Focusing on Fats and Proteins


The foundational pieces of energy, hormones, and happiness truly start with fats and proteins. As i mentioned earlier our bodies are beautiful machines of alchemy. They take in the foods we eat, break them down, and then build them back up into the bodies we reside in. Protein is absolutely necessary for the structural notes of being human (think muscles, joints, and ligaments) but its also critical for building some of our most important energy based hormones including thyroid hormones and blood sugar hormones.


Fats, beautiful fats, they are needed to build hormones too! the dietary cholesterol we take in is used to build estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and progesterone. Think avocados, coconut, hemp seeds, walnuts, salmon.


  •  We should be aiming for 20-30g of protein per meal. What does this look like for real? (Download my free protein guide with recipes at the bottom of this blog)


Ponder foundation #3 - Daily Moving and Grooving


Without movement our bodies can stagnate - think of the difference between a flowing river and a boggy pond. Our lymphatic system removes the waste from our body through movement and keeps us feeling flowy and fresh, removing the debris from our shores that contribute to brain fog and inflammation. Movement doesn't have to be complicated to be effective or to feel good. Kitchen dance parties release the feel good endorphins that reduce pain and improve sleep just as much as a structured exercise class. In the bustle of daily living fitting movement in can feel difficult. But 5, 10, or 15 minutes is better than no movement at all! This can be a walk on your lunch break at work or 10 minutes of bouncing and stretching added to your morning or evening routine.


Ponder foundation #4 - Staying Mindfully Hydrated


Water is an essential alchemical medium - it dissolves and supports absorption of C & B vitamins, transports hormones, and helps to remove waste. Try adding a dash of sea salt into your water for an added mineral kick that your adrenals and thyroid will love.


Ponder foundation #5 - Plan ahead


When it comes to reducing stress and creating space for more good, this is one of the most important steps. Planning ahead ensures you are nourished even on the busiest days. We have all been there, running from one task to the next when the realization hits that you haven't eaten a proper meal since this morning and suddenly the sun is going down.. You don't need to plan your whole week but knowing what you're eating for at least the next 24hrs is a game changer. I mark down both my meals and snacks for the days ahead. This keeps me mindful of what's in my fridge, and when groceries are needed - so i can pencil that in to my agenda too! I have a personal preference towards a paper agenda over a digital one. Holding it in my hand and seeing it every morning helps me stay on track.


Ponder foundation #6 - Turn your face towards the sun


I mean this both figuratively and literally. Time outside with sun exposure on our eyes has been well studied to improve mood and reduce levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Just as our "negative" responses to the stressors of our lives are learned, so to, can more positive outcomes. Studies into neuroplasticity show that repeated practices of mindful gratitude and peace carve out new pathways for a more gentle and resilient experience of life. Things will still come up, as they always do, but our bodies ability to handle it expands. Looking towards the good brings more good. Our attention is a magnet for more of the same things. Don't forget your energy and time are as good as currency. Focus on the things that feel good and fill you up.


“Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.” —Walt Whitman.


Protein guide
.pdf
Download PDF • 19.60MB

Beauty! You have reached the end. Thank you for taking the time to read and happiest of spring equinoxes to you. May this fresh season bring with it many blessings. May I offer a reminder that we have reached a perfect time to plant the seeds of self care for a most abundant new year.


If you have any questions or would like to brainstorm on where these practices can fit in for you please reach out 😊


Blessings,

Nikki 💕





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