By Natasha Turner, ND
With my patients, I always stress it is not knowledge that ensures good health, but action. Think about it—how many diet or self-help books have you read but never applied the principles to your daily life? Or worse, how many have you purchased and never opened?
There is a myriad of theories, guidelines and information sources surrounding the nutrition and wellness industry. Sometimes it appears the more you read, the more confused you become. But the basic principles of healthy living are not rocket science. The baby steps taken today may result in giant leaps for your wellness in the future.
We all want a quick fix for better health, weight loss, and more energy. My first book, The Hormone Diet provides you with a 6 –week roadmap to wellness, but if you are not yet on the road to health, you can begin with this simple healthy day. You can tweak the hours if you need to; just use this as a guide. Remember the old adage that definitely rings true when it comes to nutrition, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
6:30 – 7:30 am
Drink two cups of warm water with lemon each morning. This simple habit increases the flow of digestive juices, helps to cleanse the body and resets our pH balance, making us less acidic, which helps reduce the risk of disease. It’s also fantastic for your skin – want another tip? Now, these are totally optional but certainly of benefit:
- Add 1.5 tbsp of Nova Scotia Marine Collagen + Vitamin C + C in the water according to a recent study in The Globe and Mail it helps support bones, tendons, and arthritis, while other sources say it helps treat and prevent skin wrinkles. I also include Creatine, BCAA and Antioxidants as a source of creatine and glutamine for energy and strength.
I personally have added these items to my daily and on rising supplement routine and have done so for years – also totally optional for you:
- 4 capsules of Dopamine Support (Rhodiola, Tyrosine and Phenylalanine)
- 1 to 2 caps Vitamin Curcumin
- 1 Clear Resveratrim
7:00 – 7:30 am
Do 20 to 30 minutes of interval cardiovascular exercise or one hour of brisk walking on an empty stomach. This will reduce elevated morning cortisol levels and burn extra body fat. This habit is most important to prevent weight gain following a cheat day or while you are on vacation and remember your maximum number of cardio workouts (my preference and recommendation as the best choice is walking) is five days a week. Keep this rule in mind: when you eat more – move more! You can learn more about this here: Clear Medicine Weight Loss, Clear Medicine Weight Loss Group Program.
7:30 – 7:45 am
Enjoy a smoothie each morning during the work week for breakfast. In a blender, combine whey protein powder, 1 serving Soluble and Insoluble Fibre, and 2 tbsp hemp seeds with ½ cup berries and water or coconut milk (in the carton). Drink it on your way to work if you need to. Meet your basic supplement needs effortlessly by taking your omega supplement (2 caps New Concentrated Marine-Based Omega 3’s – Marine Based Oils or 4 caps Pure Form Plant Based Omega – (I recommend this for all those over forty as it builds bone density and assists in heart health).
During your day
Have a meal mid-morning (11- 1pm) and mid-afternoon (2 – 4 pm) each day. My go to options are:
- Two boiled eggs plus two more egg whites chopped on mixed greens with tomatoes with balsamic dressing
- 2 cups chopped salad lightly cooked in coconut oil spray, with 4 egg whites and ricotta cheese
- 1 to 2 cups of vegetarian squash soup topped with Ricotta cheese and served with sliced chicken or turkey on the side
- A B-up Bar
- A chocolate Vitamin Complete Shake – that contains a fiber supplement, multivitamin and whey protein meal replacement all in one. I also have a version that is whey free and other that is does not contain the multivitamin.
Keep a large mason jar on your desk and aim to drink two to three of these jars per day. One or two filled with water and the third filled with 2 green tea bags and 2 lemon or ginger or hibiscus tea bags. Be sure to steep your green tea to allow the active ingredients to reach full potency.
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Eat your hormonally balanced dinner before 7pm to avoid weight gain, earlier is better. Remember that two-thirds of your plate at mealtimes should be occupied by veggies; one-third salad and one-third baked, steamed stir-fried veggies. The other third should be your protein (approximately 30 grams for women; 40 grams for men). Your fats may fall on top of your carbohydrate selections (as an olive oil or salad dressing, for instance) or be consumed within your protein selections. Don’t forget to add spice. It will lower the blood sugar impact of your meal and aid weight loss by reducing insulin. If you had a metabolic strength training session this day, then you have earned your starchy carbohydrates like quinoa, beets or squash (about ½ a cup or the size of your fist) with your evening meal. Avoiding starches at breakfast will aid appetite and craving control during the day while enjoying them in the evening will help to improve your sleep.
8:30 – 9:30 pm
Spend some time alone, even if it is just 15 minutes, to breathe deeply, meditate, ponder, review your goals or write in a journal to wind down before bed and collect your thoughts. Designate this time as YOUR time daily.
This is the ideal time to replace zinc and magnesium – the two most common mineral deficiencies and I also suggest taking a supplement of melatonin now for most people over 40 as it helps to reduce stress hormone, boosts thyroid hormone, aids bone density and assists with growth hormone. It is also breast and prostate cancer protective.
9:30 – 10:30 pm
Aim to get to bed before 10 (or definitely before 11 pm) in a completely darkened room for optimal recovery, and to maximize the release of melatonin and growth hormone. Most sleep experts agree that 7.5 -8.5 hours a night is optimal. But some people may require more or less sleep than others. If you wake without an alarm and feel refreshed when you get up, you’re likely getting the right amount of sleep for you.
Repeat the very next day and you will be well on your way to optimal (and hormonally balanced) health.