When we hosted our last Instagram live, there were a few subjects that kept popping up. Therefore, we thought we’d put together some simple tips in response to 3 of these common questions.
Q: If you have to eat out (social event) what are the better options?
It’s always good not to turn up starving as this is when you tend to choose less nutritious options and over-do it. Enjoy a small snack 1-2 hours beforehand. We love protein balls, a boiled egg or seed crackers with cottage cheese or hummus. When eating out, opt for grilled, roasted or steamed methods of cooking as opposed to fried, tempura and crumbed. You can also ask for a side salad or a side of steamed greens to help reach your veggie intake for the day.
Remember, do not deprive yourself! If you are craving pizza, then go ahead. Eat it mindfully and savour it. At JSHealth we believe in enjoying all foods in moderation. Something else you can try is asking someone if they want to share, that way you get to taste a few things. You could enjoy a pizza/pasta and a salad/greens and then you’re getting the best of both worlds. When it comes to alcohol, the best options to choose are 1-2 glasses of wine or clear spirits with soda or even kombucha. Cocktails are fun and delicious but are usually filled with sugary cordials or syrups so keep these to a minimum.
Q: How do you naturally manage PMS symptoms?
Some of the primary PMS symptoms are abdominal pain and cramps. These types of symptoms can often be caused by inflammation. Dietary wise, aim to include anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, pineapple, turmeric, oily fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and dark green leafy veggies.
Magnesium + Calcium
Research suggests that the mineral magnesium is worth considering when it comes to painful periods. It can help to relax the uterine muscles and reduce levels of the hormones involved in pain and inflammation. Focus on including magnesium rich foods like avocado, wholegrains (oats, buckwheat, wild rice), nuts and seeds, beans, dark leafy greens, bananas, raspberries, figs and raw cacao. Increasing your dietary calcium intake in conjunction with magnesium can also be beneficial and there are lots of sources e.g. yoghurt, unhulled tahini, broccoli, sardines and tinned salmon, sesame seeds, tempeh, brazil nuts, and almonds.
It’s important to know that stress plays a massive role in the production of hormones and the regularity of the menstrual cycle. Impaired functioning of our central stress response system and increased cortisol levels can trigger menstrual irregularities and PMS symptoms. Practice self-care strategies such as putting your legs up against the wall for 10-15 minutes, listening to music, going for a walk or reading.
Please keep in mind that when it comes to PMS it is always worth checking in with your health practitioner for some personalised advice and support.
Q: How to eating healthy while travelling?
I can’t emphasise enough, that holidays and travelling are for enjoyment, experiences and making life-long memories. How can you focus on building these when you’re feeling guilty about which foods you’re eating? Here are a few suggestions you can take on board to have the best of both worlds – not completely let go of routine but also allowing yourself to indulge and enjoy the eating experience.
Firstly, try avoid drinking alcohol on the aeroplane and the first day that you arrive at your destination to reduce the adverse effects of your jet-lag.
You don’t need a hotel gym or to plan intense workouts everyday – just walk to most of your destinations. It’s a great way to explore the city, plus the added bonus of saving money on transport. What about organising a hike? Don’t forget to take snacks to your daily activities e.g. something easy to grab from the buffet breakfast or from a local supermarket. This is to avoid not eating for an extended period of time which can result in overdoing it when you finally do sit down for a meal. A bag of nuts, fruit, carrots or hummus are all easy to take and can be munched on wherever you are!
Lastly, keep hydrated! This is especially important if you’re in a hot location and doing a lot of physical activity.
- Mohammad-Alizadeh Charandabi S, Mirghafourvand M, Nezamivand-Chegini S, Javadzadeh Y. Calcium With and Without Magnesium for Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Double-Blind Randomized PlaceboControlled Trial. International Journal of Women’s Health and Reproduction Sciences. 2017;5(4):332-338.
- Saeedian Kia A, Amani R, Cheraghian B. The Association between the Risk of Premenstrual Syndrome and Vitamin D, Calcium, and Magnesium Status among University Students: A Case Control Study. Health Promotion Perspectives. 2015;5(3):225-230.
- Kalantaridou S, Makrigiannakis A, Zoumakis E, Chrousos G. Stress and the female reproductive system. Journal of Reproductive Immunology. 2004;62(1-2):61-68.