I’ve always prided myself on my self-control, my proven track record to delay instant gratification. To say no to a side of fries with my burger or to that glass of Pinot during a party. It didn’t matter. The post-pandemic pause has ushered in a new bad habit of staying up with my smartphone, where Instagram binges and Facebook scrolls have become my new night-time normal. At a time when most of us are overworked, overstimulated, and just…over it, habits have been amplified and abandoned, both to our advantage and our detriment. So what routine should be on the loop and what monotony should we break? We asked a few experts for their most effective solutions.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
CULTIVATE: “Increasing the biodiversity of plant-based foods in your diet.” Dr Uma Naidoo, MD, a Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist and the author of This Is Your Brain On Food, prescribes incorporating different colours, textures and veggies in your nutrition plan. “Fill about 80 per cent of every plate with healthy vegetables, a hearty salad or vegetable-rich soup. Vegetables are a great source of fibre, which nurtures the gut microbiome and in turn supports your physical, digestive and mental health.”
ELIMINATE: “Consuming refined sugars.” A spoonful in my tea here, a cookie there. Like most, I am guilty of consuming more sugar than is good for me. Dr Naidoo shares, “Over a 24-hour period, the brain needs only 62 grams of glucose to do its job. You can easily meet this need through healthy, whole foods. Consuming unhealthy processed foods like baked goods and soda floods the brain with too much glucose. This ‘sugar flood’ can lead to inflammation in the brain and may ultimately result in depression.”
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