This week we’re talking all things rejuvenation, a spring clean for the body if you will. It’s August, mid summer and London is HOT. In fact, it’s been really hot for a really long time and whilst that is absolutely fantastic (rain gods, we are NOT complaining), how have you handled your nutrition and hydration? Has your sleep been disrupted and left you feeling groggy and off kilter? Or maybe you’ve taken to this heat-wave like a duck to water - quite frankly we wish we were in some sort of cooling bath 100% of the time right now.
Rejuvenation is all about cellular energy. When each tiny, individual cell in our bodies is working optimally then the better our detoxification and energy systems will function. It’s all very well doing a juice cleanse, and yes, that’s of course one of the things that we recommend as it’s a simple and effective way to feel good, but if you continually look after yourself on a cellular level then there’s less chance that you’ll need to do something radical to feel great in the short term.
Let’s start with hydration. We know that 60% of our body is made up of water. Old news right? And whether you struggle to get your 2 litres a day in or not is even more crucial in this warm weather and here’s why: for the right minerals and nutrients to be able to enter and leave our body’s cells we need to maintain the correct osmotic pressure inside and outside the cell and provide the right medium for those processes to work. You wouldn’t think it, but water also lubricates the joints in our spine and helps your body recover from illness by providing a way out for toxins via sweat and urine. Our Liver and Kidneys also need a good supply.
Also tied up with the idea of cellular energy is the sodium pump. Ever heard of that before? Didn’t think so. However I’m sure you do know that too much salt is bad for you right? Here’s why: Sodium and Potassium are two very important minerals for cellular health. If our cells under function then we are on the way to an unhealthy body. They are very closely linked with the osmotic pressure we mentioned before, controlling the movement of water in and out of cells, but they also work together to maintain the structural elements of cells, control the responsiveness and reactivity of our nerves and muscles and most importantly for this blog post, are inextricably linked with the way we make energy. Your cell needs the right balance of both sodium and potassium to do this, however it is so common in the Western world for there to be an abundance of sodium and a lack of potassium. All of our food contains sodium already, so we don’t need to add it on top of that. Just by eating a normal, balanced diet we should get all the sodium we need. Potassium, on the other hand, is in a much more vulnerable position in our food sources. Food processing depletes potassium drastically, as does choosing mainly protein rich foods (which are higher in sodium) over a rainbow of different vegetables (which are naturally higher in potassium). Coffee and alcohol will also deplete you of these vital minerals and in general sodium is retained much better than potassium, so being mindful of what you choose to eat and how you live your life can have a really positive impact. Try a week where you don’t put salt on your food or in your cooking, after a day or so you’ll be surprised at just how salty natural foods can be on their own.
Detoxifying or cleansing can be a great way to kick start a period of rejuvenation. As summer winds down why not try a juice cleanse to clean out your system and set you up for a healthy winter? Allowing your digestive system to rest, whilst still supplying your body with minerals and nutrients from 100% Organic juice, is a great way to let your natural systems of detoxification fire up and get to work. Our favourite is the green cleanse, because you can’t beat the amazing quality of the microminerals in those greens!
Pay special attention to your adrenal glands. Too much coffee, not enough sleep, too much stress and a diet high in sugar is a sure fire way to put a huge burden on your adrenal glands which are working tirelessly to regulate your blood sugar and hormones such as cortisol; that’s the one that makes you feel stressed! Swap to green tea or matcha for a week and see how you feel, then just have one every other day and eventually see if you can do without caffeine altogether. You’ll be amazed at how your body re-sensitises itself to the effects of caffeine and if you go cold turkey for a while you’ll even feel the effects of a humble cup of tea! For more information on blood sugar and insulin resistance have a read of this post.
And remember, take time to rest and reset. Your body is only ever as strong as your mind, so give yourself the time to refresh and rejuvenate and maybe skip the hard core workouts for a week and go for long, gentle walks and lots of yin yoga instead.