How is it February already? Well, at least it means we are starting our new 2021 journey through the body and mind to help both our staff and yours to boost their wellbeing for their work and personal lives! We can’t wait to get stuck in (Check out last month’s post to learn all about our mission for this year). For February, we are focusing on health and digestion…
Now, the whole digestion topic is everywhere at the start of every year. It seems every company out there wants you to make a new YOU for the new year. And whilst positive changes to our diet and lifestyle are always good, we feel this direct and intense focus on it for such a short period of time can actually have a negative impact in the long run. At Acorn, we don’t believe in fad diets and quick fixes. We believe in long term solutions, positive lifestyle changes and an overall shift in attitudes to change our way of thinking when it comes to our digestion and diet for the long haul.
We all know that eating healthy foods is good for us. Drinking more water, boosting our fruit and vegetable intake and creating a varied and balanced diet are all things we know we should be doing, but how do we really go about it? And are we really doing it? Right now, it can be easy to fall back on those comfort foods and calorific treats to make us feel better in the moment. But those quick and short-lived treats may feel good at consumption, but they can actually have a negative impact on our energy and wellbeing over a long period.
So, this month, we want to make actionable choices and trackable changes to our daily habits to take stock of how healthy we really are being, and what we can do to improve it.
Count those calories: Of course, to maintain a healthy weight, we need to ensure we don’t exceed our recommended calorie intake (2000 for women, 2500 for men). But do you know how many calories are in your dinner, snacks and drinks? It really can be quite surprising! One way to track your calories is by downloading an app onto your smartphone like MyFitnessPal. This allows you to track your calories with everything you eat or drink throughout the day. It’s easy to search for the foods you’re eating, or even scan the barcode to find the specific brand or product you have in your hand! You can then add it to your intake. It will also show you how much protein, sugar, fat and more you’ve taken in during the day so you can see areas which you are falling short, and areas which you may need to cut back on. This is a great way to take stock of where you are at right now, before deciding what changes to make for the better.
Quick Acorn Tip – If you love a quick snack to see you through the afternoon, check out these surprising and delicious snacks, all less than 100 calories! https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/surprising-100-calorie-snacks/
Foodie Focus: Now you know your current situation and where you’re at right now with the kinds of foods you love, it’s time to get focused! Firstly, take a look at your mental and physical health. Do you struggle with low energy? Do you regularly get sugar cravings? Are you feeling low and down? It may sound strange, but there are certain foods that can really help with whatever you’re feeling right now. For example, if you’re slightly overweight, it’s all about making simple switches in your diet so you don’t have to feel like you’re losing out. Choose sugar-free drinks, fat-free yoghurt, lean meats, explore new fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water. There are so many options out there that mean you don’t have to compromise on taste, texture or quality and you can still enjoy the foods you love. If you find yourself in a slump at your desk, with no energy to see you through the day, make sure to pack a banana in your bag! They are one of the best foods for energy, alongside foods like eggs, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, apples and brown rice. Craving sugar? Then switch out that chocolate indulgence for berries, chia seeds, yoghurts, or even dark chocolate which is a better option than the standard milk chocolate we often reach for. And, if you’re feeling low, try mood-boosting foods like bananas, oats, berries, fatty fish, fermented foods and dark chocolate.
With a little bit of research, you’ll be surprised how different foods can help you feel so much better about life, thus making you happier and more productive for work and play!
Action for Employers: Broaching the subject of food can feel like a strange one for employers, as you don’t want to feel like you are dictating something which is so personal to each individual. However, there has never been a better time to offer support, guidance and information to employees to help them make positive and proactive changes to their lifestyle. A better diet means better physical health, better immune systems, better productivity, better mental health… the list goes on and these positive results are great for you and for them. How about setting up a cookery club? Give employees a space where they can share recipes they love for everyone to try. This will help promote the conversation around healthy eating, make staff feel like they are part of something even when they are working remotely and create the discussion around the foods we eat and love.
Quick Acorn Tip: How about creating a team-building evening on video chat where everyone cooks and devours a delicious healthy meal with a prize for the most successful plate of food created! Ready, steady, cook!
Right now, a huge focus is being put on our mental health, and quite rightly so. So many of us are feeling isolated and struggling to find our way through this pandemic and keeping our mental health in tip top shape is really important. However, one way to really help our mental health is by boosting our physical health too. They work in harmony. And by taking stock of what we are putting into our bodies can really help us to enable positive change and boost both the physical AND mental areas of our health for the better.
Now, we’re off to make a healthy low calorie snack, what about you?
Don’t forget to check back nest month when we will be focusing on core-strength. No, you don’t need abs of steel! We will take a look at the importance of core strength and how improvements can really help all areas of your physical health and simple ways to do so.