In our March interview we spoke with one of the Passion And Fruit Nutritional Therapists, the amazing Marcelle Rose Dip CNM mBANT CNHC BA(Hons).
Marcelle shared some valuable tips with us on how to nourish ourselves throughout the day to increase energy levels and how companies can promote healthy eating with their employees. Enjoy the read!
1. How important is food really for our energy levels?
Getting the right balance of foods in our diet is essential for our energy levels and for providing us with sustained energy, throughout the day. It’s a common misconception that all calories are created equal and that every calorie from any food will behave the same way inside the body.
We need to ensure that we are having regular meals containing good quality protein (fish, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, lentils, and beans), healthy fats (oily fish, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds) and plenty of fibre (veggies, fruit, wholegrains etc) within our meals. It’s these foods that help our blood sugar levels to remain balanced and we are less likely to get energy dips and feel fatigued throughout the day. It’s also vital to limit sugary and refined foods where possible. These will initially cause a spike in our blood sugar levels followed by a sharp dip which is when energy crashes occur.
2. How did a healthy nutrition benefit you or in our words, how did your passion for nutrition bear fruit?
Before I started to lead a healthier lifestyle, I suffered with IBS, low energy and generally just didn’t feel myself. I was working in a stressful job as a buyer in the fashion industry and would eat whilst stressed, had serious sugar cravings and my energy levels were on the floor! It didn’t occur to me that I needed to nourish myself with food.
It took me some time to realise that I had to make some changes and I became inspired to find out more. Having changed my diet, I began to reclaim my energy; felt less bloated and very rarely had sugar cravings. I was also able to overcome my digestive problems. I finally embarked on retraining as a Nutritional Therapist when I realised the vast difference diet could really make. That’s when I knew that I could help other people to feel great too and support them on their journey to wellness.
3. We all know the afternoon craving rush. How can we get around it in a healthy way?
As mentioned before, balancing your blood sugar is essential for preventing energy crashes but it will also help to prevent those dreaded sugar cravings. So as well as ensuring that you’re having well balanced meals, three times a day, I would recommend only having a snack if you really need one. And of course what you snack on is important too! Ensure that it contains some protein which will help to regulate blood sugar levels. Some examples are raw vegetable sticks or oatcakes with humus, or tahini, an apple and some not butter, a hard- boiled egg, edamame beans and roasted seaweed.
There are some great simple recipes out there, for making your own tasty, healthy snacks such as trail mix with mixed seeds, nuts, goji berries, cacao nibs and coconut chips, or you can throw together some energy balls. These often contain nuts, seeds and dates with protein powder. My only caveat is to watch the amount of dried fruit or other natural sugars too as these will still effect your blood sugar levels.
It’s also especially helpful to plan in advance- bring snacks and maybe your lunch with you to the office to avoid hunger setting in, which can easily lead to poor food choices.
4. Beyond the bowl of fruit, what can companies do to promote healthy eating for their employees?
Many of my one to one clients tell me they find it difficult to eat well when there are unhealthy snacks and drinks within reach in the office. So encouraging a healthy eating environment can really help employees to make better choices. Avoid having vending machines containing junk food or providing free fizzy drinks and biscuits. If you have a cafeteria within the company, look into providing appealing healthy options for the staff and limit the sugary snacks. Unfortunately many of the seemingly healthy cereal bars are also loaded with sugar and won’t help with performance and resilience or wellness amongst staff.
Providing herbal teas and easily accessible fresh filtered water can make a considerable difference too. Employees often forget to drink (or just drink caffeine) and can become easily dehydrated which can significantly affect their performance.
Encourage employees to go out and take their lunch break. When eating at our desks; on the phone and checking emails, we are likely to be in our ‘fight or flight’ state which will halt many digestive functions and may result in an accumulation of digestive symptoms. By eating when in a relaxed state, employees will be able to eat mindfully and make better food choices too!
5. What are some of the topics you are covering in your nutrition workshops with Passion and Fruit?
I cover a wide range of topics ranging from brain health, resilience, re- energise, performance refuel, sleep and boosting immunity within my workshops. Organisations often need something to specifically suit their challenges and needs, so I work with them on developing the right topic specifically for them. I try to make the workshops as interactive and engaging as possible providing explanations that are both easy to understand and informative. I find participants are particularly motivated by specific examples and case studies.
Participants are often provided with exercises to do before the workshops themselves to get them focused and help them to realise that they do need to take some changes on board. I work with them to commit to changes in habit and offer them some practical solutions on how they can fit these into their busy lives!
Additionally, many organisations benefit from the one to one sessions I provide their employees through Passion and Fruit. These are both practical and effective at creating long term commitment to change. They can be shorter health coaching sessions or more in-depth nutritional therapy sessions.
If you would like to enhance your eating habits either for yourself or for your teams through 1-1 nutrition sessions or workshops, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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