Pillar 2: Nutritional Wellness

Have you ever heard the popular expression “You are what you eat”?

Nutritional wellness is based on understanding our bodies and minds’ essential nutritional sources to function healthily. Our diet has an astounding effect on many life processes, including appearance, attitude, body functions, sleeping patterns, immune system, and work performance. 

We often prioritize pleasure, convenience, portion size, and preparation time when we think about what we eat and drink. But when was the last time you thought: “Am I consuming what my body needs?” 

Let’s talk about the essential nutrition that a human needs:

  1. Water

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” We are all aware that we need to hydrate to function. However, we often overlook what we drink and how much we have to hydrate throughout the day. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. Many flavored and carbonated beverages contain high amounts of sodium, which oppositely dehydrates the body. People often experience headaches and irritability when they need to reach for a caffeinated beverage. Some people might accredit this feeling to possibly developing a dependency on caffeine; however, studies show that those feelings are often caused by dehydration. Many studies show that hair quality, skin quality, alertness, and temperament highly depend on a person’s hydration. Dehydration is directly connected to emotional symptoms of tiredness, depression, anger, and anxiousness. 

2. Vitamin Supplements

Nutrient deficiencies exist extensively among many members of the U.S. population. It is estimated that 92% of the population suffers from at least one mineral or vitamin deficiency based on the Dietary Reference Intakes. Taking a daily multivitamin supplement can improve your sleep quality, body functions, joint health, immune health, energy, and gut health. 

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3. Diet

You are what you eat. Are you getting all of the nutrients that you need?

Dietary health has several perspectives. Different people thrive by pursuing different diets. Whether you enjoy Keto, Vegan, Paleo, Angus, or any diet style, it is essential to make sure that you consume all of the macronutrients and micronutrients your body requires to function. The objective is to find a diet that works best for you, and is enjoyable and sustainable so that you can see yourself committing to this lifestyle long-term. 

Micronutrients: Vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting, and other functions. Meanwhile, minerals play an essential role in growth, bone health, fluid balance, and other processes.

Macronutrients: Carbohydrates, fat, and protein. They are the nutrients you use in the largest amounts. They are the nutritional components of food that the body needs for energy and to maintain the body’s structure and systems.

Many apps are available to download that were created to help you track your hydration and your intake and calculate your macros and micros. 

App suggestions: MyFitnessPal, Hydro Coach, MyPlate.

Tips: Consistency is key! You have to enjoy your intake to sustain your long-term health. Think of creative ways to incorporate healthy, balanced meals into your diet. Be sure to make them enjoyable! Try to find seven healthy and delicious recipes that will give you a meal to look forward to. An accountability partner helps us utilize a support system to reinforce, motivate, and maintain dietary goals. 

Exercise:

Utilize this checklist every day to keep track of your macronutrients, micronutrients, and water intake. 

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