Monday, June 2, 2008

Massage Therapist Self-Care: Small steps to nutritional improvement

Nutritional change can be easier than you think. In our society, we often have a “no pain, no gain” or an “all or nothing” mentality. This, more often than not, will only lead us to disappointment and failure in our efforts to improve. I have often found myself in this type thinking of….”Oh well, I already messed up and ate a piece of cake, I might as well have the ice cream too.” That way of thinking can often lead to consuming hundreds of calories more than we need, instead of just a few.

One of the first significant changes I was able to implement easily, was to set the intention to have a healthy breakfast. I had been told repeatedly how important breakfast was to setting up my day, but I couldn’t find the time to make the right decision. I was your typical corporate employee who would get up, rush to get to work with my only fuel being coffee. Around 10:00 I would start to get a little hungry. Unfortunately, healthy options were non-existent. I began to set myself up for success by making a quick breakfast easy to access on my way out the door. As you prepare for a day full of massage sessions, it is important you have taken care of your own body first.

Everyone is different but some ideas on how to start the day right include;

  1. Eat something that is alive, such as fresh fruit, juice or vegetables. The enzymes that have not been destroyed by pasteurization or heat are easy to digest and will give you needed energy. You can quickly grab fresh fruit before you head out the door.
  2. Eat a protein and some healthy fat. To keep you full and full of energy, add a protein such as yogurt, kefir or an egg to the mix.
  3. Eat something with fiber such as whole grain toast, pitas or oatmeal. Adding ground flax to just about everything will provide fiber and healthy fat.

Some great combos to consider:

The “Get Up and Go" Kefir Smoothie

1 Cup Plain Kefir (You can usually find this at health food stores or in the health section of major grocery stores. If you can't find it, substitute with organic yogurt)
1/4 C any combination of mixed fruit (my favorites- frozen cherries and blueberries or mango and pineapple)
1 T Ground flax (optional)-- adds some great omega fatties

Put it all in a blender and blend away! If you use the plain kefir, it will be a bit more sour so you might add some honey, stevia or agave nectar.

Kefir is a milk based liquid product that is cultured, similar to yogurt, but has many more beneficial intestinal friends. For a more thorough description of the benefits of kefir click HERE.

Quickie Oatmeal with "adds"

Plain instant oatmeal
Add heated soy or lowfat milk
Add ground flax
Add ghee or non-hydrogenated coconut oil
Add dehydrated fruit

A great source for unrefined coconut oil is HERE.


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