The Empowered Woman's Guide to Wellness: Nutrition, Workouts, Mindfulness, Boundaries, and Sleep

As part of our Empowering month, we asked some strong and inspiring women in our community to share their expertise on fuelling their body and minds.

From nutrition, to workouts, mindfulness, meditation, sleep and how to create strong boundaries whilst juggling motherhood and business.

◆ Nutrition recommendations for optimising female health

By Lauren Windas, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Author and Co-founder of ARDERE

Lauren’s go-to food diary for optimal female health

  • Starting the day with a protein-rich breakfast with some healthy fats such as poached egg and smoked salmon over rye bread with some steamed spinach, tomatoes olive oil and pumpkin seeds (a breakfast full of protein, good brain-fuel fats including omega 3) and also fibre from the rye, tomatoes, seeds and spinach.

  • Lunch might involve a quinoa and beetroot salad with grated carrot, rocket, kimchi and lemon vinaigrette topped with crushed walnuts – full of plant diversity and macro-nutrient balanced

Dinner might be a chicken stir-fry with buckwheat noodles, pak choi, sweetcorn, mushrooms, beansprouts and bell pepper with a drizzle of peanut butter, tamari and lime dressing – again incorporating diversity, healthy fats and protein for hormonal/blood sugar balance.

When it comes to eating around your period, I would advise focussing on iron-rich foods to replenish lost iron lost during menstruation, so consuming foods such as lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, lentils and spinach for example. If you are plant-based or vegan, look to incorporate vitamin C sources around your iron foods to enhance iron absorption, for example squeezing some lemon juice over a kidney bean chilli (the vitamin C in the lemon juice will aid the uptake of iron from the beans). Stay hydrated with plenty of water during this time of the month too.

Check out our “How can food impact my mood” bitesize nutrition video on YouTube here

Lauren Windas Co-founder of ARDERE

Niki Rein, founder of Barrecore

 Living well through low-impact movement

By Niki Rein, founder of Barrecore and business strategist for Silver Linings Wellbeing

Barre fitness and other forms of low impact but high strength workouts such as Vinyasa yoga and calisthenics are excellent forms of exercise for women who want to feel and look strong throughout their lives. Whether they are looking to get or maintain a lean physique and balance hormones in their 20´s, be fit to lift and play with young children and/or have booming energy and a strong immune system for a demanding career in their 30´s and 40´s or desire to transition with grace, beauty and strength into pre and post menopausal years, body weight and low impact exercise is the basis for living well, with poise no matter what decade.

Enjoy Slow Burn Beginner Barre on YouTube here

 How to say no: juggling motherhood and creating boundaries

By Chrissy Sundt-Dolan, Founder of Silver Linings Wellbeing

As a busy mummy and business owner there is a lot of ‘plate spinning’ going on and I know that so many of our SL clients share these challenges and the day-to-day juggling act.

As a consistent ‘yes’ person and people pleaser I have had to learn to say ‘no’ and create boundaries around work and protect family life.

There is nothing more empowering than setting and maintaining those boundaries.  Like having a strong, healthy body, having healthy boundaries and recognising what doesn’t serve you is akin to a superpower. 

I highly recommend taking time to stop and review every new opportunity with surgeon-like precision. Does it take you closer to your goals? If not, the answer has to be NO.

If you are consistent in this practice it will create a clear path and reduce stress enormously.

 How to feel calm and controlled amongst the chaos

By Catherine Turner, in-house meditation expert

Many of us lean into meditation and mindfulness to feel calmer, and it definitely ticks that box. However, when we make these practices a daily habit, we get to tune into our natural inner strength and explore the workings of our own mind. With time, this allows us to become less at the whim of our own invasive thoughts and high drama emotions. Being less reactive means we feel more in control, happier in our own skin and able to remain relaxed, clear and focused even under pressure. How empowering is that? Big shifts begin from simple techniques applied during our day.

Re Centre: sitting or standing, allow the body weight to descend into your feet. Drop your awareness down deep inside your belly, below the navel, resting there, becoming aware of the natural movement your your breath in and out. No need to try too hard – just observe and let yourself be with the experience for a few minutes.

Instant Calm: if you are feeling overwhelmed or frazzled, take yourself away from the situation and literally shake it out. Stand for a moment, feeling the weight drop into your feet, hands on your hips or lower belly. Now gently, slowly begin to shake, sway or bounce in any way that feels good – moving your whole body for as long as you like. Warning: it’s addictive!

Enjoy a 6 minute meditation “Be Fully Present and Calm” with Catherine on YouTube today

 Sleep through your life stages

Katie Fischer, in-house sleep coach

Arguably the single most performance-enhancing behaviour we have, sleep is a natural nightly first aid, which allows mind and body to recharge, repair and rejuvenate. Scientists advise that most adults should be getting around 7 hours or more of shuteye a night to maintain optimal health. However, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause can often make it harder for women, in particular, to obtain the rest they need. Understanding the impact of fluctuating hormones on sleep quality and being able to make informed decisions about which treatment options are right for them is crucial in ensuring that women can continue to enjoy all the benefits of a good night’s sleep as they move through key biological changes in their lives.

Turn your thermostat down in the hour before bed. Studies have shown that women experience less vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes and night sweats) at night when air temperature is in the lower optimal sleep range recommended by scientists of 16-18°C.

Our Empower Barre series is available now for free on YouTube. Join Chrissy and Jennifer both on the mat as they take you through some powerful exercises that will tone and sculpt your body, without any heavy impact on your joints.

Endorphins, joy, increased strength and tone are guaranteed!

SL by Chrissy on YOUTUBE

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