Adulthood is mostly about being tired and wishing you hadn’t made plans. Add parenting into the mix and you become a new level of exhausted. I know, because I used to be one of these tired people – and I can’t reassure you that you will soon get the amount of sleep you did before becoming a parent or that there’ll be less work to do, clothes to wash and dinners to cook.
I can, however, offer some health and wellness advice that will get you through the exhaustion, and give your body and mind the best chance at feeling energised at least some of the time.
The first step is to examine your lifestyle and prioritise sleep, exercise, meditation and a healthy diet, as there are certain vitamins and minerals that your body cannot produce. These are called essential nutrients.
A good diet should be supported by good supplementation, as there are certain vitamins and minerals that your body cannot produce.
We’re not eating the same nutrient-rich food that our ancestors ate, so we’re not getting the same essential nutrients from our diet as they did. Up to 100 years ago people were eating grass-fed animals and grass is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.
The food chain began with a grazer (e.g. a cow) eating the grass to the human eating the cow and getting the essential nutrients not only from the grass that was consumed by the cow, but also from those that naturally occur in the meat of the animal.
Our diet has changed drastically in the last century and products such as cereals, energy bars, etc. are fortified (meaning the nutrients have been added to the product during the manufacturing process) to ensure they have some nutrient value for the consumer.
Supplements you should consider adding to your diet
Omega-3 has so many benefits. It’s a very good anti-inflammatory, so it’s good for heart health, helps arthritis and decreases blood clots. It also decreases plaque build-up in your arteries and decreases blood triglycerides.
Most of us don’t eat salmon or trout every day, so we consume less Omega-3 than we did in the past. In fact, we used to eat a 1:1 ratio of Omega 3:6, but now have about a 1:10 ratio. This imbalance of Omega-3 and 6 in our diets can be carcinogenic.
A good B Complex
There are lots of B-vitamins that all have their own specific functions, but the main function of all the B-vitamins is to convert the food we eat into energy. For this reason, it is always advised that you take B-vitamins in the morning because you might have problems sleeping if taken later in the day.
“The first step is to examine your lifestyle and prioritise sleep, exercise, meditation and a healthy diet.”
They’re also water soluble so must be taken with food, otherwise they will pass through your body and out in your urine without your body absorbing anything. They’re also not stored by the body very well and so must be taken daily. If you find your urine turns a bright yellow colour after taking your B-vitamins, this is due to Riboflavin (B2) and is nothing to worry about. A B-complex is usually recommended as we seldom need to take a B-vitamin on its own. One exception here is folic acid, which all women of child-bearing age should be consuming daily.
Vitamin is another water-soluble vitamin that passes through your system very quickly and shoul, therefore,e be taken daily. It can even be taken in the morning and at night. Vitamin C important in helping collagen production, which is why smokers should take lots of Vitamin C. It’s also a good immune system booster and is needed for cell repair. Along with vitamin E, it’s a good antioxidant, is effective in healing wounds, keeps us from getting sick and helps keep those wrinkles at bay.
If you like your wine or beer, milk thistle should be on your shopping list. It improves liver function and helps detoxify the liver.
There are so many vitamin and mineral supplements, each with their own functions, that just one trip to the vitamin aisle in your pharmacy will leave you feeling quite overwhelmed. Rather than waste money on a product that may not be what you need, it’s advisable to chat toa good homeopath or health shop.
The four I’ve mentioned here are a good base for general health. Remember, if you eat well, exercise a fair amount and supplement, meditate and sleep an adequate amount (not always easy for new parents), you will have more energy and will be on the right path to happiness.
As a health and wellness coach, Saskia V is the owner of Whole Again Health, a holistic business that offers health and wellness consulting, nutritional advice, personal training and sports massage therapy. She is an expert in the field of health and wellness, and can speak confidently on any topics relating to this area. Saskia has been nominated for two MTN Radio Awards and is currently the weekday lunchtime presenter on Mix93.8fm.