Your Self-Care: Fuelling Your Success

In our industry we dedicate ourselves to making others look and feel great, but who looks after you? In the first part of this new series, Nutritional Therapist Rebecca Attle offers her expert advice on fuelling your body so that you ‘look’ and ‘feel’ the part when you’re strapped for time.

Are you working long hours with back to back appointments leaving little time for lunch? Is the only time you get for a break in between taking payment from one client and cleaning down for the next?

Working in the hair and beauty industry is hard, both physically and mentally, not to mention the exposure to a wide range of toxins (particularly the case for nail technicians/hairdressers). If you feel like you have less energy than before, you often feel tired, you have a penchant for sweet treats and / or are suffering from indigestion and bloating after meals, then the food that you eat along with how you eat it has a key role to play.

How can you make sure that you are fuelling your body with what it needs to allow you to function optimally both at work and at play?

The gold standard is of course bringing in your own food from home. Food brought in from home is more cost effective and less processed. It does take more time to plan and prep but it is so worth it.

Whether you're bringing your food in or relying on the local shop, the most important thing is to make sure that you're balancing out your blood sugar levels. Put simply, when you eat carbohydrates it releases glucose (sugar) into your bloodstream. A hormone called insulin then allows the glucose to enter the cells in your body giving you energy. If this is all nicely balanced, you have good energy throughout the day, but if you have big spikes and big lows in blood sugar levels (imagine a roller coaster) then your energy, mood and concentration can be all over the place.

Food brought in from home is more cost effective and less processed. It does take more time to plan and prep but it is so worth it.
3 steps to achieve balanced blood sugars

If you can commit to applying the following three steps, you will, in a short period of time, not only ‘look the part' but also ‘feel the part'. Your energy levels will increase, the mid-morning / post lunch slump will be a thing of the past and your brain will no longer feel like treacle:

  1. Swap white versions of bread, pasta, rice, etc (carbohydrates) for wholemeal/wholegrain varieties.
  2. Make sure you always combine these carbohydrates with a good quality protein (meat, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses, tofu) for all meals including snacks.
  3. Ditch the fizzy drinks including the diet sodas. They may have zero calories but they mess up your gut and keep you craving sweet things.
How you eat

If, like so many of us, you're bolting your food down whilst scrolling, this will inevitably leave you with a bout of indigestion and bloating. Your body needs to be relaxed when you eat to be able to fully digest and absorb all of the nutrients from your food. Bringing your food in from home means that you can save time going to the shop and spend that time on how you eat:

  • 10 deep breaths before starting.
  • Chewing every mouthful of food before putting the next one in.
  • Avoiding phones/TVs which can trigger your nervous system.
Here are some healthy lunch ideas:

  • Leftovers from the night before in a food flask.
  • Salad jars - add the dressing at the bottom so it doesn't make your leaves soggy.
  • Homemade soups - add some lentils/beans for extra protein.
  • Healthy snacks such as sliced peppers, apple, cucumber, celery with some nut butter, crushed avocado, hummus (beware of the garlic!) are great for nibbling on when cleaning in between clients; rotate each day to increase variety and diversity.
  • Homemade smoothie that you can keep in the fridge and have a sip on throughout the day. Making it with water instead of milk/milk alternative will help it to stay fresher and adding nuts, avocado and a clean protein powder will also help you feel fuller.
  • Opt for protein bars with as few ingredients in them as possible.
  • Always include lots of antioxidant-rich foods along with a good quality antioxidant supplement to help mop up the toxins.

Rebecca Attle is a Nutritional Therapist at Empowered to Nourish and Founder of the Acne 360º Recovery Solution. She specialises in helping women in their 30s and 40s get rid of acne once and for all. Download her free guide Glow From the Inside Out: 3 Clear Skin Rituals for Acne-Free Skin in Your 30s & 40s.