*Paid collaboration with BioCare
Recently the BioCare Clinical Nutrition Team shared with me some tips on spring cleaning my body and giving it a boost after the long winter. We always talk about spring cleaning our houses. Why wouldn’t we spring clean our bodies? It got me thinking seriously about my own health and the fact that since I became pregnant with Hugo, I have just been an extension of him – a parent rather than a person. It’s hard getting back to yourself after a baby, and I think that spring cleaning my body will really help me feel more like me again.
Time For Spring Cleaning my Body
Hugo is now ten months old, but from the moment I became pregnant, my own self- care has taken a bit of a backseat. That’s what we do as parents though isn’t it? We put everyone else ahead of ourselves, and that is especially true with a new-born baby. After I had Hugo, he became quite ill with colic, silent reflux and suspected CMPA. I was breastfeeding so my diet had to change and I went dairy free for four months. Now he is crawling and moving around more my attention is solely on him, and I often forget to take care of myself.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about the changes I can make that will make a positive impact on my health and mind so here’s what I’m going to be doing to spring clean my body and get back to feeling like myself again.
Incorporate Exercise into my Daily Routine
I’m not a gym goer. In fact, the thought of having to attend the gym makes me want to hibernate, but I am fully aware of how much exercise is beneficial to the body and mind. I want to increase my activity but saying I am going to join the gym, start running or take an aerobics class three times a week is a stretch. I think trying to incorporate exercise into my daily routine is much more achievable and in the long run beneficial. Things like walking the long way home from the school run, taking the stairs over the lift and adding in an extra dog walk a day can have a positive impact on my health without feeling like it’s a burden or a considerable change.
A great way to encourage this is by monitoring my steps using a step counter. I am going to aim for 12,000 steps a day at first, and I think this will be easy in the week with the school run and such, but I know on the weekend it will be much harder however with this nicer weather it means I am less likely to reach for the car keys!
Get a Good Nights Sleep
Ahhhh this is, of course, Hugo dependent but he is sleeping far better these days however there is still more that I can do to help get a good nights rest and I’m going to start by having a media detox after 8pm. No phones, no TV and absolutely no social media after 8pm. When Hugo goes to sleep, it seems a productive portion of time to get work done; however, if I don’t set a curfew I find I am still aimlessly scrolling through Instagram at 11pm! By making the cut off 8pm, it means that I still have a good two hours of work time when Hugo is sound asleep but means that I am giving myself a ‘wind down’ period, so it doesn’t impact my sleep.
Getting good quality sleep can really help your mood and overall health, and I will be monitoring this again using a fitness tracker that logs sleep.
Drink More Water
Sometimes it’s the simple things we struggle with right? I am increasing my water intake to stay hydrated which is known to help concentration and metabolism. There are times when I can go the full day having drunk nothing but a strong coffee, and that is not good for anybody. When I was breastfeeding full time, I really tried to stay on top of my water intake, but this has dropped substantially of late!
I am going to use an app on my phone to log when I am actually drinking and use it as a reminder to drink throughout the day and stay hydrated!
Take Care of my Gut
Gut health is something I continually put on the back burner, but I am determined to change that. I have been taking BioCare Everyday BioAcidophilus which is a food supplement that contains two strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Unlike some probiotic supplements, there is no need to refrigerate, and it can survive the high acidity of the stomach without being destroyed or reduced. A good probiotic supplement can help regulate digestion by helping restore the balance of the good bacteria in the gut which can also help boost the immune system.
I’ve found taking BioCare Everyday BioAcidophilus has had a positive impact on my digestion, and I plan to continue taking them as part of my regular routine.
Change my Diet
So I’ve already touched on gut health, but I definitely think that I need to be more aware of what I am putting into my body. I’ve already discussed in depth previously my desire to lose weight, and I have been making changes to my lifestyle accordingly however honestly I don’t always consider what I am putting in my body, and that can lead to issues. Currently, I would be lying if I said I ate five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and I eat way more processed food than I care to admit. Tackling this is a great way to spring clean my body.
I live a life where I reach for convenience foods, and sometimes that means they aren’t nutritionally balanced. I plan to vary my diet by incorporating at least five portions of fruit or vegetables daily and reducing my processed food intake by at least half. I plan on using a meal planner to prep and organise my food in advance so that it saves me time and temptation to reach for something less balanced.
Prepare for the Pollen
As the weather changes to spring and the flowers begin to flourish there is also an increase of that dreaded pollen. Each year I suffer from different hayfever symptoms due to pollen allergies. My symptoms are mild compared to most, but it does mean that I am left feeling pretty rotten somedays. I’ve tried most things in the past, but now that we have moved closer to the countryside I am nervous this year will be worse. To try and combat this I am taking BioCare Quercetin Plus which contains Vitamin C, Bromelain and Quercetin which are said to have anti-histamine properties.
So far so good I have been taking the supplement for a few weeks and I have incorporated it into my morning routine.
I think spring cleaning my body is a real positive step to feeling more like myself again and not just Mum!
BioAcidophilus is £13.96 for 28 capsules and BioCare Quercetin Plus is £26.65 for 90 capsules both are available from BioCare.co.uk or independent health food stores.
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Love as always!
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