One of the best ways to help prevent stress and burnout in busy, high achieving women is with a healthy diet (and I’m not just saying that because I’m a nutritionist and dietitian!!).
A few benefits of Eating Healthier Meals are:
Poor gut health attributes to:
Maybe you even have a few healthy favourite recipes that you want to prepare ahead of time each week and simply changing that habit of starting the week well is more likely to inspire you to end the week eating well too. Perhaps you are interested in healthy, home-delivered meals and would like to know the best options personally for you.
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I remember how often I’d hear myself saying…
When I look back over my 20-year working life, it never eased. The more senior I became the busier I was and although I may have gotten better at handling the workload and stress, I eventually came to realize that I’d been kidding myself about that and I was on a road to burnout!
Sadly, by the time I started to work with a Leadership Coach I was so exhausted that my coach had me focus on my wellbeing first and although that frustrated me, at that time, it was exactly what I needed. I now see that professional women haven’t been supported enough in mastering how to have a great career, AND be the best Mum they can be AND look after their own health too.
So, what can we High Achievers do to have-it-all?
Check out my Facebook Group Community “Break Free from Burnout”. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2754575401240267/
Does coffee count as part of my water intake?
For most people yes. This blog is less than a 2 minute read and discusses how much and what types of fluid to consume each day.
Most of us have heard that the body has a high fluid content (about 60% of your total weight is fluid) and hence needs fluid to function. Being well hydrated is particularly important for optimal blood pressure, heart rate and brain function. Signs of inadequate fluid intake or dehydration include dark urine, headaches, poor concentration and confusion. We need to take in fluid every day as it is naturally lost in urine, bowel motions, breathing and sweat.
How much fluid should I drink each day?
It depends on your weight and activity levels. We now know that to maintain body function it's probably less than the typical 6-8 glasses (1.5-2L) recommended per day. However, in hot climates and for those who are active this is probably a good starting point. We tend to get about 20% of our fluid from our foods. However, for those eating a lot of processed foods and not enough of the recommended fruit and vegetable intakes then I would recommend a higher intake of fluids (around the 1.8-2L/day depending on size and activity). For those with kidney failure or on haemodialysis your fluid requirement will be tailored to your unique situation so please check with your doctor and specialist.
So what counts as fluid?
Anything that is fluid at room temperature can be counted as part of your fluid intake. Water is best but tea and coffee and other drinks like juice also count as fluid (they may also be contributing a lot of sugar so not as good for your teeth or waist line). Fruit, vegetables, dairy, soups and stews also significantly contribute to fluid intake (range from 50-90% content as fluid).
I thought coffee was a diuretic so why does it count towards my fluid intake?
A diuretic increases the amount of urine produced by the body. Water or any drink consumed in large amounts is a diuretic. The body adjusts to the caffeine contained in coffee (and some teas) after about 4 to 5 days. Therefore if you drink coffee regularly (e.g. 1-3 cups every day) it will contribute to your fluid intake (even more will count to your fluid intake but generally I recommend people having no more than 2-3 "real" coffees a day). If you don't drink coffee and then suddenly have a couple of coffees at once then this may have a diuretic effect.
So if I can count coffee as part of my fluid intake, what about alcohol?
For most people, No, alcohol does not count as part of your fluid intake. Alcohol is a true diuretic that your body cannot adjust to so does have a dehydrating effect (hence the advice to have 1 or 2 non-alcoholic drinks for every one containing alcohol). The exception is for those people who have had a decreased urine production due to kidney failure or on haemodialysis (or on a fluid restriction for another medical condition) where all fluids (including alcohol will be counted as your fluid intake. (For further information on the best types of fluid to consume on a fluid restriction please consult with your specialist).
Take home message - is to consume a diet high in unprocessed foods (like vegetables and fruits), regularly consume fluid (water is best, but your couple of cups of tea and coffee also count- for most people alcohol shouldn't count) and have more fluid in summer and when you are active. Aim for the equivalent of 6 cups a day or more of fluid so that you need to urinate every 2 or so hours and it is light yellow in colour.
For further information check out some of the research articles from A/Prof Ben Desbrow and his team
Health Disclaimer: the information in this blog is for general discussion and not intended as medical advice. For medical advice please see your doctor.