Interview with Liv Darcy a holistic health coach 

Self-care in these strange times.

After one week of homeschooling, I am reminded of this quote:

“To be a good parent, you need to take care of yourself so that you can have the physical and emotional energy to take care of your family.” Thank you for the pep talk, Michelle Obama!

There are many facets to “taking care of yourself”, I’m going to focus on 3 that I think give the most bang for your buck:

1. Get enough sleep
It’s very easy to justify staying up late to get things done, but please remember this:

  • There are no supplements or foods that can give us the benefits that restorative sleep can. Sleep needs to be non-negotiable. So get the technology out of your bedroom, be horizontal by 10pm and we’re aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep. (Reach out if you need help with this, improving people’s sleep is one of my superpowers!)

2. Water, water, water
Most of us don’t drink enough water. Even mild dehydration can trigger feelings of fatigue, brain fog, headaches and irritability. None of those symptoms are conducive to a harmonious household!

How much water are we aiming for?

25ml to 35ml per kilo of bodyweight. Get your calculator and I’ll walk you through the calculation:

If you’re 70kg, multiply 70 by .025 = 1.75 litres (this is your minimum)

Now get out your Pyrex jug and measure how much water your usual cup/glass/ water bottle can hold. Mine is 300ml, so 1.75 litres divided by 0.3 = 5.8 glasses of water per day.
(No, tea/coffee/soft drink/wine do not count, we want to be drinking water)

3. Did you know that 90% of our “feel good” hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut? Our digestive system is amazing!
We have approximately 2kg of bacteria in our digestive system and one of the jobs of the “good” bacteria is to create serotonin. The diversity of our gut bacteria is really important, so we want to be eating things that feed our “good” bacteria and not the “bad”. (Actually, it’s the quantity of these types of bacteria that label them “bad, we still need them in small amounts)

What should we eat more of?
A variety of fruits and vegetables, we want to see a rainbow on our plate. The guidelines are 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables each day (a recent survey showed only 10% of Australians meet this recommendation and I think we need more than 2 and 5!)
What should we have less of?
Refined carbohydrates – sugar, bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, pasta, alcohol etc. These encourage the growth of bad bacteria. Note: I’m not saying don’t have them, but reminding you to make them a minor part of your daily intake.
What does this look like in real life?
If you’ve got junk in the pantry then you’ll eat junk! Harsh but unfortunately true. Food manufacturers spend millions formulating their products so that you can’t just have one. They’re designed to be addictive and non-satiating so that you finish the packet and go back to the shop to buy more.

My suggestion is to fill your fridge with washed and cut up veggies to snack on with dip eg hummus, or to throw into a meal quickly. Use old pesto jars to store a variety of nuts for a snack. If you’re making a pasta dish for dinner then serve less pasta, more veg-filled sauce and a salad on the side – delicious!

If you’re keen for more tips, please follow me on Facebook and please reach out if you need a hand getting your health journey on track. Remember that we’re not looking for perfection, just gradual improvements to replace old habits with healthier habits.