This is a personal journey of a month of only drinking home made juices and smoothies. Of course plenty of healthy avocado, spinach and other nutritionally balanced ingredients Juicemaster style. 28 days later and how do I feel?
A key component of mental wellbeing is physical wellbeing and nutrition plays a key role. Keeping yourself and your staff healthy is a vital element of a healthy and productive business. Just how much of a part does nutrition play though?
What I noticed in my own body is that nutrition and exercise have a massive part to play, so this year, by way of self-experimentation I want to see exactly how I feel when changing gear to a new level of care of my physical health. I want to see exactly how that effects my mental health and my overall wellbeing.
It has been a month since I did my 28 days on juice. The whole point of this experiment was to be able to see what effect diet had on health generally, stress levels and mental acuity. I noticed a massive difference in energy when I was juicing and this is still true. My energy levels continue to be pretty good.
Was 28 days on juice worth it?
After 28 days of juicing I was very happy to be eating again and the transition to food was great. I focussed on smaller portions, less coffee, limiting myself to just 2 cups a day, healthy soups and salads and very little alcohol. As time has passed and my diary has been really busy and lots of lunches and dinners, at least 4 per week sometimes more, I have made some sensible choices and some unhealthy ones. It is very much about balance for me.
Whilst the juicing might have stopped, regular visits to the gym continued, combining Pilates, cardio and some classes at our local gym, Third Space.
What I learned from 28 days
What has been really interesting is that I am much more clued in to what my body has to tell me about what I am eating. I am able to feel exactly what my body wants and what it considers to be unhealthy. Some things I eat and feel great, others I eat and I can feel the effects. I had scampi and chips one day and the chips were floured before cooking to make them crisper. The following day my knees were really achy and rheumatic.
This last week I have been eating a larger than usual amount of bread. I do feel bloated and heavy. Also, being away, I have not been to the gym. Did the change of diet really make the difference or was it the reduced exercise? Don’t know is the honest answer, but probably a little of both.
I also note that a little bit of sugar as in chocolate or dessert seems to be ok but a couple of days in a row and the sugar cravings start to come back really quickly. I also notice that if I overindulge then I feel quite tired and struggle to wake up the following morning.
Craving some healthy juice
Interestingly, I do find that I am craving healthy juice, so I have planned in 3 days of juicing next week. Perhaps I should do a quick top up of home made vegetable juice.
I am experimenting with my diet to see what longer term changes work for me. I am seeing how different foods affect me. Not only how do they affect my mood but what other changes do I notice like motivation, focus and energy. It is going to be a journey over the next 12 months and I will be mentioning progress periodically.
All of this, at the end of the day is to see how food and nutrition plays a vital part of overall wellness, both physical and mental. Its all about balance and finding what is right for you.
Certainly my conclusion so far is that good nutrition plays a critical role in mental health as much as physical health. Just from the differences I have noticed within myself when I have no stress, it is clear that food plays a key part in both mood and energy. If you are stressed the temptation can be to comfort eat, which actually will make you feel worse. If ever there is a time to have a good healthy diet to support yourself, it is in times of stress and difficulty.
I have kept the weight off, but more importantly the health benefits have continued.