September always feels like a bit of a fresh start for me. The season is shifting in a very energetic way and popping with vibrant, fresh colours everywhere which I find really inspirational.
The kids being back at school helps me to get into a focussed routine again and provides a structure to tie my health habits to, all of which took a back seat over the summer months.
Here’s the three foundational habits I’m prioritising at the moment:
75% of your brain is water. Just 2% dehydration reduces your memory, attention and cognitive ability! Yikes! Summer does tend to come with time outdoors and a convivial atmosphere away from your regular health habits. Whether it’s one more cup of coffee in the sunshine, an extra glass of your favourite tipple at a BBQ or the fruit juice or fizzy you choose to avoid the wine, they all serve to have us drinking less of the good stuff - the plain old H2O.
Aim for 4-6 cups of plain water a day.
I recommend keeping a full glass of water beside your bed so that starting your rehydration is the first thing you do when you get up. This is also useful if your focus after summer excess is on shrinking your waistline (and not shrinking your brain!)
Timetables can easily go out the window in the hazy Summer days. The focus I’ve got at the moment is getting back into breakfast. Eating a breakfast of good quality protein and low-sugar spike carbohydrates or healthy fats is essential to making every day a great day.
We set the tone for our mood, day-long energy and the next night’s sleep with what we nourish ourselves with at breakfast.
My favourite way to start the day is a poached egg on seeded sourdough toast with a side of berries. In order to be fully mindful about it I make sure I’ve given myself time to sit down and chew it. That simple step alone can really increase the benefit of breakfast - giving our all important digestive processes the calm environment and small pieces that they need to work at their best too.
After the peaks and troughs of summer exercise I'm re-establishing a mindfulness movement practice of walking and thinking.
At the moment this involves getting back into walking in the forest, which is so lovely at this time of year. The vibrant riot of colours in the autumnal leaves really makes me feel joyful! I do this without headphones or speakers so as to let my mind either wander or to focus on a single thing I want to work through. Either way, for mindful walking to be truly effective it’s important to do it without the stimulus of having something in your ears.
Studies show that walking is specifically helpful in maintaining robust neuronal pathways in your brain.
Walking in the forest or by the sea is really great for increasing your diversity of microbes, which help to keep your gut and brain talking nicely to each other. If that’s not an advert to get out and walk, I don’t know what is!
If you’d like a hand with getting all the wheels of your well-being turning together so that you have more ‘get up and go’ why not find out which personalised nutrition and health programme would support you best.