Many women struggle to manage stress in their lives. The delicate balance between family, personal life, career, and health can easily become lopsided, leaving you feeling frazzled and worn down. Luckily, nutrition expert Elisa Zied’s new book, Younger Next Week, offers easy ways to revamp your diet and lifestyle to feel better from the inside out. I’ve been a fan of Elisa’s work for 10 years so I was excited to talk to her about her new book and provide you with some of her best tips.
What health messages do women in their 30’s and 40’s need to hear?
My target audience for the book is women in their 40’s, but the messages are relevant to younger women as well. Women in their 30’s are often struggling to balance work, family, and personal life. They are trying to do it all. No matter what the sources of stress are, all women need to hear the messages in Younger Next Week.
One of the most important things women need to realize is that it is okay to cut yourself some slack and prioritize YOU. This is not being selfish. You need to help yourself first in order to be able to help others.
A second key message is that looking your best comes from in the inside out. It is critical to learn how to cope with stress in a productive way in order to exude youth and vitality. The 7-Day Vitality plan included in Younger Next Week can help women recharge in just one week.
Diet and lifestyle factors can positively or negatively affect energy levels. Can you briefly sum up your top 3 tips to feeling your best?
1) Sleep! Aim for 7-8 hours every night to feel as energized as possible during the day. It is important to prioritize sleep and be as consistent as possible with bedtimes throughout the week.
2) Eat regularly. Every meal doesn’t have to be extravagant, nor do you have to eat every 2 hours. Eat moderately, enjoying a small meal every 3 to 4 hours. Don’t eat if you’re not hungry, but don’t wait until you are starving. Pair produce with protein to keep blood sugar and energy steady. By making a conscious effort to eat throughout the day, you won’t feel starving or lethargic.
3) Stay Active. A body in motion stays in motion. The more you move, you more you want to! I believe in the philosophy, “Move it or lose it.” Move your body not only to maintain muscle mass, but also your sanity! Physical activity is a great way to deal with stress, boost your mood, and feel your best overall. Learn how to get back on track with your work-outs. Follow the hashtag #moveitorloseit on Twitter for more great tips.
You highlight the importance of sleep throughout the book. Why is sleep so essential to feeling younger, and what are some of the best ways to improve sleep quality?
Adequate sleep is the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Without enough sleep, you may be left feeling groggy and craving comfort foods. You may also be snippy and prone to bad moods. Sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety, depression, and weight gain, feeding into a vicious cycle of feeling bad, eating more, and moving less.
Sleep is often the first thing that goes when faced with a hectic schedule. When you have the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep, prioritize it! Sleep helps keep you on an even keel mentally. It also helps your skin and body cells regenerate overnight, helping you look refreshed and vibrant. Sleep can even help improve your libido, providing even more benefits!
For the best sleep, try to establish a routine you stick to most nights. I recommend waking and falling asleep within an hour of the same time each day. Dramatic changes can throw off your body clock and make it difficult to get the sleep you need.
It is also important to set your room up for success. Do you have a comfortable bed with sheets you love to cozy up in? Are all the lights off at night while falling asleep? Computer screens or other blinking electronics can be sneaky sleep disrupters. Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable to encourage a great night’s sleep.
Finally, avoid eating large meals late at night, since that can lead to heartburn and indigestion. Excessive alcohol before bed can also disrupt your sleep cycle, making it tough to feel your best. The types of food you eat can even influence your ability to fall asleep. Include both protein and carbohydrates at dinner to help your body produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which promotes rest and relaxation. Herbal teas and tart cherry juice may also help you feel relaxed before bed, but getting regular quality sleep is more about your routine than your food choices.
Where can I find more information about Elisa Zied and her book, Younger Next Week?
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