In her latest book, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength, Mandy Ingber, yoga teacher to Jennifer Aniston, looks at how the practice of yoga, along with meditation, self-care, nutrition, and even music, can help everyone maintain optimum wellness and find resilience even during the most stressful and trying times.
Here Mandy shares her top tips on how to nourish your heart, body and mind with foods that will lead to a healthier and happier you not only through challenging periods but through all stages of life.
By the time you're thirsty, you are already dehydrated. I advise filling a glass water bottle with spring water or filtered water, sipping the water slowly throughout the day - not glugging it - in order for your body to best absorb it. I also begin my day with warm water with lemon.
Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables
Eating at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day is a good guideline for making sure you get enough nutrients and antioxidants in your diet. Select locally grown, organic produce if you can. Generally, store-bought produce can be contaminated with pesticides and genetically modified, so be aware of where your food is sourced.
Eat dark leafy greens for detoxification
Greens are excellent for your blood, and the darker the better. For those who find it a challenge to work greens into your diet, a 16-ounce cold-pressed green juice (all veggie) is equal to two servings of vegetables. I recommend drinking one green juice daily to ensure you're getting what you need, or toss a cup of dark leafy greens into your morning smoothie.
Nourish your body every three to four hours
When you wait too long to fuel your body, your blood sugar levels drop. When this happens you can not only lose energy but also become emotional without realizing why. So try to eat every three to four hours - not a full-blown meal, just a healthy snack to recharge yourself.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast
If you are not a morning eater, you must honor that, so if it's got to be quick and light try a smoothie or shake with protein powder to keep your muscles fed and to give your body support. I plan my morning meal the night before for a quick morning prep and also prepare a to-go container in case I need to rush out of the house. Other quick options are eggs with sliced avocado or fresh berries with Greek yogurt.
It's important to find the foods that taste like treats to you. Rather than focusing on what you are not eating, make a list of the foods that are heart healthy and that you love to eat.
Abstain from sugar and coffee or foods that spike your blood sugar level
I have a sweet tooth just like anybody else, and coffee is my on-again/off-again love affair. I will say, though, that each of these stimulants will have you riding above your emotions while offering little nutritional value, and a restriction or minimal intake of both may help your moods.
Heart-healthy foods for your pantry
Stock up on the following to improve heart health and wellness: almonds, apples, artichokes, asparagus, avocado, banana, blueberries, black beans, broccoli, brown rice, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, chia seeds, dark chocolate, flaxseed, grapefruit, green tea, kale, kidney beans, mackerel, oatmeal, olive oil, oranges, papaya, pomegranate, popcorn, rainbow trout, raisins, red bell peppers, salmon, sardines, spinach, sweet potato, tea, tomatoes, tuna, walnuts.