Refuelling For The New Year

good foodWelcome to the first Help to Health blog of 2013 and may I start by saying that I trust you had a fabulous Christmas, and that the New Year brings you everything that you wish for and deserve.

Hopefully, having read some of my previous blogs, you had a pain free Christmas holiday and can now start to look forward to a happy and healthy New Year.

Hands up all those who like to indulge at Christmas?  I know I do, and I’m sure I’m not alone.  We spend 11 months of the year being conscious of what we eat so a month of having a little of what we fancy will not do us too much harm in the long run.  As long as it is just for the holidays, we should be able to return to our normal routines pretty easily.

The trouble is, that all those tasty treats are high in all the food elements that we would ordinarily be looking to keep a lid on.  Now we all know about the obvious effects of this, so I am not here today to bang on about that, albeit important to bear in mind.  This snippet of genius is all about improving your mood and wellbeing.

In the chiropractic world, joint and muscle pain never rests, so even though Christmas is a holiday period, someone forgot to tell our bodies that!  Lucky for me I love my job so therefore I am more than happy to come in over the holiday period and help those in need.

However, if you were to ask me how I feel about that on the first work morning after Christmas then my face may tell you a different story!  Tiredness and lethargy are two feelings that spring to mind.

This is in no small part due to what I have been fuelling my body with over the previous few days.  One of the things I love most about going to work in between Christmas and New Year is that it forces me to kickstart my normal routine.

So what can you do to help yourself?  Well, there are some foods that increase levels of dopamine.  This is a neurotransmitter in the brain, also called the ‘feel good chemical’, and is active when a person is engaged in pleasurable activities.  You can find them in soya beans, almonds, beets, meat and grain.

Improve your concentration levels with foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  Oily fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon etc. are  good sources of this.  For the non-fish eaters among us, flaxseeds and walnuts are also good.

Alcohol and coffee are diuretics.  This means that when we drink these substances, more fluid per unit of alcohol/coffee is lost when we go to the toilet, making a net loss of total fluids within the body.  If this is kept up for a sustained period of time then dehydration may set in.  Tiredness and lethargy are two common symptoms associated with this.  Water makes up 70% of a human’s total body weight, so make sure that any loss is replenished in order for your body to function at its optimum.

At the end of the day, our bodies will only function at the level that the fuel we provide them with can manage.  To put it another way, you wouldn’t put regular unleaded in a formula one car!

Happy New Year again to you all, and no sleeping on the job in 2013!