Christmas can of course be fabulous but it can also be draining, so I asked Julie Weston, a qualified Nutritional Therapist with her business – Natural Vitality ) to write a blog on how to keep our energy up this time of year and this is what she said:
“With demanding lifestyles many women over 40 complain of low energy and fatigue. This might be due to an underlying health condition but could also be down to poor food choices these suggestions may help you to stay upbeat throughout your busy day!”
- Don’t skip breakfast!
- Avoid sugary breakfast cereals – opt instead for something with protein to sustain you for longer. Adding nuts/seeds to porridge, choosing a nut based, low fruit/no added sugar muesli or introducing eggs at breakfast eg. buckwheat pancakes, omelettes or the humble boiled egg.
- Drink plenty of water – an old but efficient tip to help you stay energised.
- Snack if you feel a low ebb but try and ensure your breakfast is satisfying enough to last till lunch….if you do snack add some protein eg. carrot and houmous, apple and nuts or rice cake and nut butter.
- Try to limit caffeine – no need to give it up, both coffee and tea offer health benefits but try and work out how it makes you feel – if it gives you a definite kick then be prepared for a come down! It is a stimulant so be mindful!
- Exercise – Don’t sit for too long (sitting is the new smoking!!) Get up shake your booty – run the stairs – have a stretch – play with the dog and return to your desk!
- Consider a high quality multi-vitamin, ideally specific to women, particularly if you are approaching or in the menopause. The soils are depleted of many essential minerals we require to maintain energy levels so however well we eat it is likely we need an extra boost. Some high-quality brands are www.biocare.co.uk and www.nutri.co.uk. You may need a practitioner code to order direct which I can supply or look for these products on amazon.
Ingredients Serves 4-6
225g (8oz) Buckwheat flour
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
475ml rice, almond or dairy milk or 275ml milk and 200ml water
1 large egg
1-2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In another bowl whisk together the milk, water and egg.
- Gradually poor the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking constantly as you do to form a smooth batter. It should be quite thin but gloopy!
- Heat a frying pan, brush the base and sides with a knob of butter or coconut oil then ladle a little of the pancake mix into the pan to make a thin pancake.
- Fry for 2-3 mins, then toss or turn the pancake and cook the other side. I find the first one is often almost a test – they get better!
- Serve with berries, seeds, yoghurt and/or a dash of maple syrup.
This wheat and gluten free flour is related to the rhubarb family and despite its name is not a grain at all but a fruit seed!
It is a great for those who have problems digesting wheat because it is easily digestible. Energising and nutritious it is a great alternative to porridge but particularly good for pancakes and scones because of its nutty and sweet flavour.
Buckwheat has been linked to a lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is also great for blood sugar control due to its low glycemic index (as long as you don’t cover it in sugar after you have made the pancake!!).
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