We have been fortunate to have had the most beautiful weather these past couple of weeks and I’ve often taken the opportunity to go for a lovely walk or run, either with my family or some days it’s just been Mitzy Dog and me!
And it has got me thinking about stress and the hormone cortisol…
Everyone I meet seems to be flat out at the moment. With January and February out of the way, our work and social schedules are filling up fast and often seem fit to burst. When busy, it is so important to be kind to yourself and to look after yourself, both mentally and physically, especially when you might be emotionally or physically drained. At times of stress you should be more mindful about your raised cortisol levels and the effects excessive cortisol has on your body.
Sometimes it’s just the case of doing something straight forward like going for a walk or run without wearing a watch or without thinking about how far or fast you are going. Enjoying the simple pleasure of outdoor exercise, but without putting your body under too much added stress.
Yes, everyone does need the stress hormone cortisol to enable us to get up and out of bed every day, but after that we don’t need it in excess. Too much cortisol can lead to a low immune system – hence making you more prone to cold and other illnesses.
Do try and focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet when under added stress and take time out for you. Maybe make some nutritious, healthy soups (have a look at the one I make below – it is SO easy. The recipe is totally made up by me and you can basically add whatever you like!) Plus remember to eat all your healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, nuts and butters.
My Hearty Vegetable Soup Recipe (totally made up from whatever I have in the fridge.)
- Onion, garlic & celery – fried in a small amount of coconut oil
- Herbs and spices of your choice – I often use turmeric and make it slightly spicy or smoked paprika
- Carrots – chopped
- Lots of broccoli or spinach (I buy frozen spinach and use that)
- Red or orange or green peppers (some of each)
- Vegetable stock cube, low in salt (I’m a veggie so it is up to you what cube to use)
- If the greengrocers have lots of big tomatoes, I buy a few bags of those then wash and chop them up to use as the base of my soup.
- Add beans, lentils or meat – whatever you like and takes your fancy!
I then may either eat it as it is (so it is more like a stew), or I will whiz it for a short time in the blender to make it slightly less chunky. I portion it up so I can eat some that week and then freeze the rest. Essentially, soup is one of the healthiest, easiest foods to make – I am NOT a cook at all but I do enjoy making a healthy, hearty soup.
Have a great March and remember to do something for yourself this busy month – no matter how short a time you have. Have a bit of ‘ME TIME’!
Focus on slow deep breathing and just having five minutes to yourself. You’ll be amazed how beneficial this simple habit can be.
See you all soon