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4 Tips on Reducing Fatigue, Anxiety and Depression and a 3-Day Meal Plan to Boost You Up!

Written by Jo Cooke-Best

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Posted on May 04 2020

Times are dificult for many of us right now. We’re 8 weeks (9 weeks in our household) into an existence, which changed overnight. Some are having to adjust to isolation on their own, others are stuck at home with house full of people and/or demanding minions. We have families unsure if they will have jobs to return to, many are worried about redundancy risks and others like me have a fledgling business which is just getting started, in quite possibly the worst time, and just about every other varying possibility in between. We are completely surrounded by negative emotions, yet were reminded of simple acts of kindness daily which restore faith that there is still good in the world. This doesn’t stop the niggling emotions sneaking in... seeds of doubt, the worry, stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue and the daily affects of emotions that aren’t ours.

When you are dealing with anxiety and depression, simply getting out of bed can seem like a huge obstacle and yet a small victiory at the same time. Even this simple task can leave you feeling exhausted both mentally and physically. 

When you feel like this you can very quickly get into a habit of eating junk food for a few days and thinking that slumming it is okay, and to be fair, its perfectly acceptable to have cheat days, just not long term. If we are not careful this short sideways step can be followed by a downward slump of grabbing easy, quick food and reducing the quality of nutrition that our bodies need. Combine this with a reduction in exercise, maybe even no exercise at all and I can safely say your body is likely sore and totally run down by now.

 

 

 

Then you get someone like me who comes along and says “hey, you need to eating clean & healthy” - hello overwhelm & fatigue! 

Let me help you calm the chaos, take the stress and indecision away. 

Try not to think of healthy eating as trials & tribulations to overcome. Instead, consider it as part of your own personal therapy, a way to improve your metal health and wellbeing naturally. A simple way in which you can take control.

Food is your therapy.
One way to make improvements to our mental health naturally is by what we consume. Remember the age old saying “we are what we eat”?! Think back to the times when your angry cause your hungry, your loosing concentration and your ability to focus because you haven’t eaten for a few hours, when you ate that delicious meal and you felt happy and content afterwards. Quite simply if you eat rubbish... you’re going to feel rubbish! 

Exercise is a medicine.
The other way to make improvements is to add some exercise into the mix. Yes we cannot go far away from our homes at the moment, but we can walk around the blocks where live, we can look for local trails and if your fit enough you can go for a run or a cycle. Obviously this may be something you need to warm up to, if you are just starting out it may be too daunting to jump straight into the deep end. Simply set a target of just one 5 or 10 minute walk, twice a day to start with and try doubling it every 3 days or 6 days, once your starting to find it a little easier. Combine exercise and healthy eating together and you will certainly feel the benefits of it - it might feel like hell for a few days but you will reap the rewards within a few days!

Be regular.
If you can do your exercise at the same time everyday, eat your meals at the same day and get up at the same day - this is the same as taking medicine, this becomes your medicine and your body will begin to crave it. The mind actually craves routine & structure! 
Be consistent with your meals to keep your blood sugar levels regular - this stops the highs and lows that your body and emotions go through when you skip meals.
Stick to a routine! If your not getting dressed your not gearing your body or mindset up for the day. Your automatically settling for sleepy mode, or ‘mañana’ (the Spanish word for tomorrow... mañana never comes 😉) mode. Again, another easy habit to get into and a hard one to get out of! 

Mindfulness.
Starting to remember what were thankful for, recharge, relax and take time for yourselves. Recharging our batteries and learning to relax is a strange concept at the beginning - but a totally good way to bring the positives to the surface and forget about the negatives! Your body needs to recharge, it needs the energy from the food and it needs you to focus on the positives, the negatives only drag you down. Forget what you cant do, focus on what you can! 
GRATITUDE - Sit down at the end of the day and write down 3 things you are grateful for. Try to do this everyday. 
LISTEN TO MUSIC - Music is good for the soul, it calms the chaos in the mind and can be a good deterrent to everyday life. Try to listen when your cooking dinner, driving the car, working or doing chores.
MEDITATION - If you can, try to meditate at least once a day. If you don’t like guided meditations, listening to chill out music consisting of nature sounds, the ocean, rain fall, they work in the same effect. It gives your body and mind a period off time to shut off, recalibrate and for our chakras to realign. 

Right, lets stop hindering and work on a plan!

I have kept the plan lucid to some extent when it comes down to grains and fillings, I know shopping is über difficult at the moment and its not always possible to grab our core shopping products. Having other options shown to you will help with the sudden stresses  if something is out of stock. If for example they don't have quinoa, don’t stress, pasta or rice is perfectly adequate! There is always a second option!! 

This plan has been designed to be affordable. The aim is not to cost having complete different meals and ingredients everyday, but to use ingredients that complement each other throughout the days and can be used again in later meals highlighted by - Leftover.

At the end of the 3 day cycle think about what you enjoyed and what you didn’t. Make a few adjustments to the meals to mix it up for the next 3 days, or continue with the same plan for another 3, then mix it for the next 6 days, that way you’ll cover almost a week at a time. Day 7 you can use leftovers from throughout the week to create another meal following one of the day plans. 

DAY 1
BREAKFAST - Banana smoothie - (1 banana, a handful of ice, 1/2 glass of coconut milk, 1/4 cup of chilled water (preferably carbon or Shungite filtered), 1tsp of each turmeric, cinnamon & ginger, 1tbsp of chia seeds), and a handful of berries, whizz it in a blender or smoothie maker. 
SNACK - A couple of table spoons of granola (my banana & maple GF granola is delicious), 2 or 3 tbsps coconut or soya yogurt and a few berries.
LUNCH - Open-Face BBQ Pulled Jack Sandwiches, you can top with dairy free cheese, add salad or even omit the Pulled Jack and simply enjoy a cheese salad sarnie.
SNACK - Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus with rice cakes.
Dinner - Mediterranean roasted veggies (courgette, peppers, tomatoes, beetroot, broccoli and if you can tolerate mushrooms, add some chestnut mushrooms - they are high in vitamin D), salmon and Quinoa or pasta.


DAY 2
Breakfast - Banana smoothie - (Leftover)
Snack - Granola, yogurt and berries - (Leftover)
Lunch - Mediterranean roasted veggies with Quinoa or pasta dinner (Leftovers). Enjoy this hot or cold! 
Snack - Avocado Salsa with rice cakes.
Dinner - Jacket potato, salad and a topping of your choice, baked beans, salad, ham or sun dried tomato hummus (Leftover) - keep it simple and fresh and use the ingredients from other days. If you had salad yesterday lunch continue to use that this evening, if you had BBQ Jack, use that etc.

DAY 3
Breakfast - Banana smoothie - (Leftover)
Snack - Granola, yogurt and berries - (Leftover)
Lunch - Open face avocado salad sandwish (Leftover).
Snack - Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus (Leftover) with rice cakes.
Dinner - Mashed potato (Leftover) with salmon and salad.

There is a reason I have specifically put the smoothie in for the first meal is because the ingredients have been proven to be fabulous healers for the body, mind, gut and a natural energy booster. I specifically selected the ingredients for their high antioxidant levels, natural pain reducing properties, digestive aid and ability to feed the brain. By day 3 or 4 you should see a marked improvement in your energy, cognitive function, fatigue and pain in the body should be reducing. This has seen me through multiple operations and sessions of therapy and... 4 years down the line this is still my go to first dish of the day. You will find that this smoothie also stops you craving sugar, even after the second day. I can safely say if I don’t have it for a couple of days then the pain creeps in and the fatigue is worse. 
NOTE: This is not a meal substitute, it is a booster. This is why the snack in the morning is a more substantial than grabbing a piece of fruit.  

Enjoy - Please leave me feedback if you try this, would be great to hear some positive stories!

Take care & stay safe
Jojo XxX

About the author

Jo is an entrepreneur, writer, and investigator for all things healthy for the mind, body, soul, and planet. And, not to dismiss, a long-term collector of allergies, intolerances, and chronic illnesses! In early 2020, after a stark realisation that her health was being impacted by her current direction in business, she redirected her career, using years of personal research and development to launch Ecological Footprints. A lifestyle brand for the whole family (furry kids included), selling a wonderful selection of plastic free, biodegradable daily living products, a food shop full of gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan foods, and a safe place for us all to explore her blog - her journey into eco-friendly sustainability, clean living to maintain health & chronic illnesses and yummy free-from recipies for all the family. When she's not working you can find her spending time with her family, enjoying the countryside or in her little organic veggie garden! 





 

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