Want to feel happier, calmer and more kick-ass? It’s all about working healthy habits into your daily routine. Here are Lorraine Pascale’s tips for getting the best out of YOU!
1. Wake up early…
I’ve always been a morning person. I’ve never needed a lot of sleep, only five or six hours. My doctor said it wasn’t a problem because I don’t feel tired during the day. Getting into an early morning routine can be hard to start with, but now if I stay in
bed until 7am it actually makes me feel more sluggish.
2. …and smell the coffee
I get up at around 5am and meditate for half an hour. It settles my mind and makes me peaceful. Sometimes I get great ideas during meditation, so I’ll have my notepad with me. They say that 20 minutes’ meditation is more restful than an hour’s sleep. Then I have an espresso to wake me up before I go to the gym. It takes 20 minutes to kick in, so by the time I get there I’m fired up. One coffee a day is fine.
3. Sip a smoothie
I have a nutrient-packed smoothie for breakfast. I use my Haden Health Blender to whiz up broccoli sprouts, blackcurrants, carrot juice, rocket, protein powder, a walnut, fresh turmeric and root ginger, a square of dark chocolate and black pepper – which boosts the effectiveness of turmeric. The only powder I use is protein. The ginger makes me feel very awake. If I don’t have my smoothie I don’t feel as energised.
4. Be good to your gut
I add a sachet of a prebiotic called Bimuno to my smoothie, which feeds good gut bacteria. Healthy digestion gives you more energy and supports your immune system. Feeding your good bacteria strengthens your gut-brain connection.
5. Get the kit
I live in my workout gear: today I’m wearing Lululemon leggings and a Nike sweatshirt. Just wearing my gym clothes makes me feel invigorated.
6. Workout smarter
I take my phone with me to the gym and use the website bodybuilding.com. It has all the exercises you need and videos of how to do them. The trainers are all well known in the industry. I’m on week seven of a 12-week course with Jamie Eason. Today I’m doing back, rear and deltoids; on other days I’ll do abs or biceps.
7. Heart your routine
At the gym, I’ll do 30 minutes of cardio followed by weights. Cardio is good for your heart, gives you energy and produces feel-good endorphins. You don’t have to go mad; breaking a gentle sweat is fine. I prefer to work out myself rather than with a trainer, but I think it’s good to book one training session before you start doing weights, as technique is so important to guard against injury. You could also find a personal trainer on social media, send them a video of yourself working out and ask for their feedback to check you are doing it right.
8. The lift you need
I used to do heavier and heavier weights, but as you get older you need to be careful about injury. You can combat this by doing the same exercise with a weight that’s not as heavy, and moving more slowly. It’s called TUT (time under tension). You aren’t going as heavy with the weights, but you are still putting a lot of tension on the muscles.
9. Be a nature lover
Nature makes me feel revitalised. I love being near water, so I walk my rescue dog Watson around the lake in London’s Battersea Park or Hyde Park twice a day for half an hour. Even if you don’t have a dog, a morning walk is really positive. I walk with my headphones on and listen to an audiobook. People often recognise me. (I’m not being unfriendly – I’m just a real introvert and a bit shy.)
10. The D-word
I take vitamin D in a supplement – even though I’m outdoors a lot, dark skin doesn’t absorb much of it. I also take an iron supplement as I don’t get enough from my diet.
11. Think positive
My mind is always racing, but I don’t feel the need to switch it off. It may be racing with exciting things, which light me up. If the thoughts are negative, I try to sit with them to see what they are trying to tell me, and I question any negative beliefs. I give myself time to let them process through me.
12. Text yourself
I send myself positive messages on my phone. I write down things that I’ve learnt or lines from books and set them as an alert in my calendar on repeat. ‘When we judge, we create negative karma’ is the type of line that resonates. It gives me a lift.
13. Shake it out
Shaking is a very powerful way to get rid of tension – note how animals, especially dogs, do it. Someone told me about a [shaking] technique called TRE (trauma release exercises) and I found some exercises on YouTube. The other day, someone broke into my car. It left me really stressed, which is very tiring. So I shook it off.
14. Up the protein – and greens
Eating these at lunchtime keeps my energy up until dinner. I eat a lot of tofu and grilled chicken and always a bag of crisps, which probably isn’t so great for energy, but I’ve discovered crisps made of chickpeas. My quick energy-balancing lunch recipe is grilled chicken salad: grill a chicken breast in salt, pepper and a little fresh lemon, serve with rocket, a handful of pine nuts and a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.
15. Water, water!
I’ve been drinking three litres of water a day since the beginning of the year and it’s definitely one of the most energising things I’ve done. It’s beneficial for the mood too (no dip at 4pm) and for feeling more positive. I didn’t realise that I was dehydrated and it was making me lethargic. Everyone bangs on about it, but it does actually work.
16. Be prepared… for anything
Nerves before a meeting are good – they show that you care. It sounds obvious but my best advice is to be prepared – competence breeds confidence. Do your research, visualise the meeting going well and then take a few deep breaths before going in.
17. Feel the lows
Sometimes we feel like crap, and that’s just a fact. I’ll try to get myself out of it by watching Netflix, calling a friend, going for a walk or listening to an audiobook. But occasionally nothing works, so you just have to wait for the emotion to pass. At such times I acknowledge my feelings rather than try to run away from them. Emotions are a physical thing too, so I’ll ask myself where in my body I’m holding them – for instance, my throat might be tight. When I connect with my body, my emotions begin to lose their power over me.
18. Ditch the snacks
I’ve stopped snacking and have noticed a huge difference in my energy levels. It’s actually good to feel a bit hungry. The nutritional medicine experts I work with tell me you should always have gaps of digestive rest – if your body is constantly working, it makes you lethargic. Not snacking is hard and I hate it sometimes, but it does work. It means I can really enjoy my food. I love eating dinner, I love bread and a glass of wine and I don’t want to waste energy feeling guilty, which I will if I’ve been snacking all day.
19. Make it an early bedtime
I always make sure that I’m in bed by 10pm. I might wake up at 3am and work for an hour – I have some good ideas at night.
20. And finally… commit!
If you wait for the motivation to come, it will be fleeting: you must commit yourself to being healthy. At 46 I want to be as healthy as possible in order to feel the best that I can. I like to fit into my clothes and I like eating, so I have to go to the gym. I want to stay this size, stay well and feel strong. Make a commitment to yourself to do something that makes you feel great. Life’s hard, so do what you can to feel good.
For more details of Lorraine’s range of kitchen gadgets go to hadenappliances.com