Focus on wellbeing
You wouldn’t put the wrong fuel into your car, so you must ask yourself why would you put the wrong fuel in your body? Eventually it will break down just like your car would, right? Taking care of your body and mind is an important part of being a successful leader – if your health is not being maintained to the highest standard then you are not really giving yourself the chance to operate at your optimum. With this being such an important area, we wanted to dedicate some space to wellbeing, giving practical tips over a series of blogs that will enable you to incorporate new healthy habits resulting in even more success in your daily life…
Drinking habits of a leader…
Approx. 68% of our body weight is water. It supports, maintains, and protects our body, cells and organs. In a nutshell it is what is keeping us alive, yet it is reported that 75% of people in America are dehydrated, with the UK and Europe following suit with similar figures. Although dehydration effects each person uniquely, some symptoms may include mental fuzziness, brain fog, waves of fatigue, food cravings, anxiety, constipation, and headaches. Long-term dehydration can lead to chronic health issues including decreased kidney function, kidney stones, hypertension, urinary tract infections and intestinal failure.
We lose water through natural bodily processes and exercise, however our lifestyles and what we are consuming are negatively impacting our hydration; Sugary drinks, alcohol, the over usage of caffeinated drinks, along with eating processed foods high in sugar and salt being the main culprits. Obesity can also decrease water to as low as 45% of body weight, putting an even greater strain on health.
Although this may all sound a little gloomy, the wonderful news is that there is an opportunity to introduce better drinking habits that will support hydration and enhance your overall wellbeing in a matter of weeks.
Here’s how to get started…
Drink water, water and more water!
- Upon waking start your day by drinking 2 glasses of water. You can also squeeze in some lemon to really cleanse, hydrate, and wake up your body even further.
- Drink a glass of water 15 minutes before and after food – combining the two is not good for digestion or water absorption. (If you are feeling extra thirsty while eating it is an indicator you may have too much sugar and salt in your meal).
- Drink before you feel thirsty: Sip on water throughout the day, make it a habit.
- Drink a glass of water before and after caffeinated tea or coffee. Use this rule for alcoholic beverages too.
- Before and after taking a bath or shower have a glass of water.
- Ensure you stay hydrated with water during exercise.
- Limit your caffeinated drinks to 2 a day.
- Jazz up your water with berries or other fruits.
- Choose a glass or bottle you will love drinking from- always have this close by.
- Drink water at room temperature.
Have a Caffeine Detox
Having a caffeine detox is a great way to re-set your body’s hydration levels. You can do this by drinking just water and non-caffeinated herbal tea for a few days. You may find you have some initial withdrawal symptoms from the caffeine (headaches or mood swings). Pay close attention to how you feel after any symptoms pass – do you feel more energised and are you sleeping better? If you find you are still craving the caffeine for energy it is highly likely that there are other things that you want to address; like how much sleep you are having, what food you are eating, along with nutrient and stress levels.
Alternative ways to enhance hydration
- Sip on non-caffeinated herbal tea, explore different varieties. Use a teapot and have your favourite herbal tea on tap.
- Switch your soda/sugary drink to a pure natural freshly squeezed fruit juice, vegetable juice or fresh coconut water.
- Fruit and vegetables are full of water – aim for at least 7 – 10 portions a day.
- Swap your alcoholic beverage for a kombucha– not only will this fermented tea drink energise you as it is high in B vitamins; it will give your liver a break and it is also fantastic for your gut health – just don’t have more than one a day as this still has some caffeine, a little sugar and a tiny bit of alcohol due to the fermentation process.
Other things to consider
- Ensure you read the labels of your drinks including non-dairy milks – check for hidden sugars.
- Salt, artificial flavourings and other highly processed ingredients are extremely dehydrating. Try and opt for natural ingredients and use unrefined salt (celtic sea salt, pink or black Himalayan salt are best).
- Invest in a water purifier at home. Not only will it make your water taste better and be more enjoyable to drink, it will also help reduce exposure to chlorine, VOCs, lead, fluoride, parasites, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, micro-plastics, and other contaminants that are found in our tap water.
- Avoid bottled mineral water – not only is it bad for the environment, but plastic chemicals are shown to leach into the water causing more health issues. If the only option is bottled, go for a glass bottle instead.
About our Blogger – Claudia Halabi
Claudia is one of the founding members of Emerging Workplace Leaders, she works part time for JLL within their EMEA talent acquisition team, is a health blogger and coach and is also a Mum! Along with being on a mission to support new leaders entering the workplace sector and sourcing diverse talent to join JLL, she also has a passion for food and the role it plays in supporting, nurturing, and healing the body and mind. Through coaching she empowers others to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing; creating a more wholesome lifestyle complimented by a diet based on predominantly unprocessed, whole plant foods. Claudia survived colon cancer in 2017 and went on a journey to completely transform her life, she educated herself on nutrition and health is now studying to deepen her knowledge even further. As well as supporting those within the workplace, Claudia also has a special interest in mother and child nutrition. She runs educational workshops and programmes for parents, with a focus on making important changes to their own diet and lifestyle, whilst empowering them to build more conscious and healthy nutrition habits in their babies and toddlers with the help of plant-based food.
For more information or to get in touch please find Claudia on Instagram @lustyandgreen or LinkedIn
We would also love to hear from anyone who incorporates any of the above changes and what results they see, so please do comment below or get in touch!