Help! How Do I Get Back To Work Mode?
Fuel your body with the ‘hustle’ of September
Q: What can you suggest to help me feel my best mentally, emotionally and physically coming out of summer and getting back into fall work mode? -Alexandra, Pickering
A: Nobody likes to say goodbye to summer vacation or summer work hours. It can feel like a struggle to get back on track and get the mind and body in line with “the hustle” of September.
As always, the foundation for optimizing mind and body is built on healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Reduce the intake of processed foods, junk foods and refined grains/sugars. Eat an abundance of colourful vegetables and fruit. Include protein and healthy fats at every meal. Drink ample amounts of water. Keep caffeine intake to a minimum. Establish a regular sleep-wake routine. Commit to working out and moving the body several times a week. Take a moment daily that is just for you to be still, breathe, and reset (ie, journalling, guided meditation). Consistency is key ☺
To build on the above suggestions, consider the following:
Even though in early fall we can take advantage of the more nutrient-dense, locally grown produce, be mindful that most of today’s soil lacks the dynamic nutrient backbone required to support the growth of vital produce to fuel our bodies optimally. Also, during more stressful times of the year, the demands on the body are increased, as is the need to supply it with an abundance of good fuels… because “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. I like to supplement my diet with a blend of organic plant-based “superfood” powders to boost nutrient intake and support optimal body function. When possible, I chose a fermented form. The fermentation process makes the contents more digestible and creates beneficial enzymes and B vitamins.
Fermented foods also support a healthy microbiome (gut bacteria), as they are a source of good bacteria, aka probiotics. The microbiome plays a pivotal role in immune function, metabolism, digestion, supports mood and brain function, is vital for the absorption of vitamins and minerals, and supports general health. In addition to fermented foods, prebiotics further support a healthy gut ecosystem. Prebiotics nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut to help them thrive and proliferate. Prebiotics are found naturally in various foods like garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, leeks, radishes, turmeric etc. They can also be found in supplemental forms such as inulin, arabinogalactan as well as in greens or superfood powder blends.
MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oils are naturally occurring fats that are most popularly found in coconut and palm oil. MCT oils are easily absorbed by the body and readily broken down into ketones, a molecule that can cross the blood-brain barrier to provide the brain with instant energy. Because of this property MCTs have been studied for their neuroprotective and cognitive benefits, especially with regards to protecting against degenerative neurological diseases.
Please remember, that to properly address any health concerns and fully optimize health and vitality, work one on one with a medical and/or naturopathic doctor.
Dr. Michelle Pobega, ND, runs a naturopathic practice near the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto. Stay connected with her at drmichellend.ca, Facebook and Twitter @MPobegaND