Does Your Wellbeing Check Out?
While many individuals focus only on the fitness side of their health goals, it's important to take a holistic approach to improve your total wellbeing and incorporate a healthy diet to compliment the exercise you're doing. Danielle suggests little tweaks to your eating habits over time can help improve overall health and wellbeing while allowing your body to adjust to the small changes and make adopting this healthy lifestyle easier.
Blackmores is empowering Australians to take control of their health and wellbeing. The Blackmores innovative Wellbeing Check, which provides a personalised health summary to support you reach your goals and to help you feel your best. To start your wellbeing journey, visit https://wellbeingcheck.blackmores.com.au
Interview with Danielle Steedman, Naturopath and Blackmores Wellbeing Coach
Question: Why should we not only focus on the fitness side of our 2018 health goals?
Danielle Steedman: At the very essence, total wellbeing is a state of being happy and healthy – both in body and mind. It's about feeling good physically, mentally and emotionally by creating and practising lifelong healthy habits through balance and moderation. Wellbeing is also about building your resilience and strength to get through the more challenging and unexpected things that life can throw you!
When you look after yourself physically, you may see improvements in your social and emotional wellbeing as well. That's why it's important to regularly check with all aspects of your wellbeing, so you are able to identify and target any areas where you may need improvement.
Question: How can we take a holistic approach to our health, this year?
Danielle Steedman: Looking after your own health is essential. Only when we are -topped up' can we really come from a place of true holistic wellbeing. You can do this by enjoying a healthy diet, exercising regularly (for both body and mind! Exercise is so important for stress management), maintaining good relationship with friends, practicing spirituality or connecting in a way that brings meaning into your life.
Wellbeing really is physical health, as well as emotional and spiritual wellbeing as a whole. Giving some time and energy to these personal aspects can help you also take a holistic approach to your health.
Question: How important is complementing our fitness regime with a healthy diet?
Danielle Steedman: Nutrition can play a big part in a person's wellbeing. A well-balanced diet complete with fresh and unprocessed foods helps keep your body functioning at its best, whilst giving you important nutrients to maximise your energy levels.
Essentially nourishing your body from within can give you more happiness and a healthier mindset. This can come from a range of factors, including a quality night sleep, daily movement, wholesome food, laughter and being in touch with nature and the outdoors!
Question: What four changes can we make, to ensure 2018 is our best year?
Danielle Steedman: Take time for yourself
This may seem like a simple wellbeing goal, but it's really important to take time out of your busy schedule and focus on doing things for you. This could be as simple as reading a book, having a spa treatment, or even just having some quiet time at home with a cup of tea. Allow yourself that time to breathe, relax and re-energise.
Check your fitness
Are you moving your body daily? It doesn't need to be slogging it out on the treadmill for an hour every day, just a simple commitment to move every day – whether that is walking to work, going to a 30-minute HIIT class or taking a stroll with friends.
Check your social life
Finding the balance between work and social life can be difficult, but it's important to make yourself available for meeting up with your friends and family and developing those key relationships. If finding the time seems daunting, you can meet your friend for a walk or a friendly game of tennis, you'll not only be able to reap the social benefits, but you'll be able to improve your fitness as well.
Check your diet
Take care of your body the best way possible by consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet, full of colourful vegetables, oily fish, wholegrains and fruit. Nourish yourself at every meal, with fresh foods and start cooking from scratch (if you're not already!) and enjoy health snacks, which will help keep your energy levels up.
Question: What little tweaks should we make to our eating habits to improve overall health and wellbeing?
Danielle Steedman: Go for the crunch and make it cold – Pile your plate high with fresh, chilled salad ingredients, such as lettuce, peppers, carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas and cucumber. They're high in health-boosting vitamins, and are nice and filling (on the plate and in your stomach), so you'll be less likely to reach for something calorific.
Chew properly – All that crunching and chewing is good for your immune system, as well as your waistline. A study at The University of Manchester found that a specific type of immune cell, the Th17 cell, is stimulated when you chew, helping to protect against bacterial and fungal infections in the mouth.
Tasty toppings – swap your fatty mayonnaise for yoghurt, specifically Greek yoghurt. It contains 10 times more protein than mayo, but with a lot less calories, and is ideal to add with most dishes, such as your breakfast muesli, salads and protein. Add some herbs, or a squeeze of lemon for extra taste.
Make smart spread swaps – swap the butter for avocado on your bread or toast instead. It'll taste just as creamy, but you'll also have the added benefits of all those good fats from the avocado. To make it go further, mash it with a little olive oil, so that it's smooth and creamy. You can even use avocado as a replacement for butter in baking – you (and the kids) will never know the difference.
Question: Why is it important to only make little tweaks to our diet?
Danielle Steedman: By making small tweaks to your diet it sets you on the right way to see big changes to your overall wellbeing. Sometimes when you make drastic changes, it can be more difficult to implement in the long term.
Question: What are your top five snacks that we can keep at our desk?
Danielle Steedman: Unsalted nuts and seeds
Chopped up vegetables and salad items, such as carrot, celery, cucumber
Maybe don't keep it at your desk, rather in the fridge – Greek yoghurt for a protein-packed snack
A boiled egg with avocado – this is my go-to mid-morning snack that keeps me going until lunch time.
Question: Can you share your 2018 goals, with us?
Danielle Steedman: Keep a sense of humour – it can be easy to get caught up in responsibility and routine. I'm going to try and remember to laugh and play whenever I can! Laughter is the best medicine, after all!
Try something new – push myself out of my comfort zone and try something new. There's a new dance class starting up around me, and even though I love to dance, it's not really an art I have ever mastered, so I'm going to be brave and try it out!
Get creative – Turn off the screen and get creative. It's too easy to veg out and lose time messing around on social media and Netflix, so this year I'm going to make the effort to turn off the screens and get crafty. I'm thinking a creative writing course, finishing my knitting and maybe even a pottery class.
Detox my makeup – I would prefer to use natural chemical free make up on my skin, and this year I'm going to make an effort to only purchase ethically produced, natural products.
Avoid foods I know don't agree with me – I know my digestive system is happier when I am not eating white flour and sugar but sometimes these foods slip into my diet increasing frequently. I'm going to really try and avoid them this year, and replace them with wholegrain or vegetable varieties.
Interview by Brooke Hunter