Relax your mind
Coming back to work after a nice and restful holiday can sometimes feel a bit disheartening, especially if the first weeks are crammed with meetings and workshops. Some of us also endure hectic commutes and environments, which leave us feeling out of balance, stressed, and low in energy. Having a healthy and active lifestyle is not just about the health of the body, but also about the health of the mind, and prolonged mental stress can really take its toll if sufficient recovery is lacking.
The ultimate way to relax your body and mind is of course to get sufficient sleep. Adults are recommended to sleep 7-9 hours every night, but it is of course highly individual how much you need. During sleep, both the body and mind regenerate. Lack of sleep for long periods of time increases the risk of weight gain, metabolic disorders, depression, and impaired immunity (Consensus Conference Panel, 2015). On a positive note, by making sure you get enough sleep and rest, you will have an easier time losing unwanted weight, building muscle when exercising, and fighting off infections. Sleep is so essential!
Apart from waking up fresh faced after a good night’s rest, you can practice this simple stress relief technique if feeling overwhelmed at times. Just a few minutes of deep mindful breathing is enough to help reduce stress and make you feel more focused – try it!
- Breathe deeply several times
- Roll your shoulders
- Stretch your neck from side to side
- Bring your ear towards your shoulder, hold for 10 seconds, relax, and repeat on the other side
- Smile! When smiling the cheek muscle contracts signalling to the brain to release chemicals that help us relax
There are also other ways to help relax your mind. Incorporating the essential oils from Mind & Mood can help you feel relaxed and balanced, but also energised and empowered.
- The Relax Me Essential Oil Blend helps to relax the body, soothe the mind and melt away the stresses of the day. Sandalwood is the key ingredient, and its aroma activates a structure in the brain that helps you feel calm and relaxed (Pons & Globus Pallidus).
- The Balance Me Essential Oil Blend helps to calm, clear, and focus the mind. Olibanum is the key ingredient, and its aroma activates a structure in the brain that increases your mindfulness, self-awareness, and concentration (Precuneus).
- The Energise Me Essential Oil Blend helps to invigorate, energise, and uplift the mind and mood. Pink pepper is the key ingredient, and its aroma activates a structure in the brain that makes you feel energised and urges you to move (Motor Cortex).
- The Empower Me Essential Oil Blend helps to boost confidence, empowerment, and raise self-esteem. Laurel is the key ingredient, and its aroma activates a structure of the brain that influence how you perceive yourself (Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex).
Refocus on your habits
Although it is only early autumn and the sun is still high in the sky, many find themselves in a post-holiday energy dip. When feeling a bit off-kilter, trying to refocus on your healthy and active lifestyle can feel overwhelming. Instead of thinking that you must do everything right from the start, try to ease back into your healthy routine. Much like the in saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, the same principle applies to getting back on track. Remember that it can take a little over two months for new habits to feel like second nature (Lally et al., 2010). So, take small steps, focus on one behaviour at a time, be consistent and, above all, be kind to yourself. You will eventually be back to your healthy and active lifestyle: eating a balanced and varied diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and connecting socially.
If you feel like you have mostly lived on deep fried foods, cocktails, and ice cream, and skimped on more nutrient rich foods during your holiday, this could also be one of the reasons for you feeling less energized. Eating a balanced and varied diet full of nutritious foods and plenty of water helps to keep your body and mind healthy and happy, but the all-inclusive buffet can sometimes get in the way of good habits. If this sounds familiar to you, a food supplement could be beneficial to complement your daily diet.*
*Food supplements should not be used as substitutes for a balanced and varied diet.
The Omega 3 provides the essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from sustainably sourced fish oil certified by Friend of the Sea. EPA and DHA are vital parts of all cell membranes in the body, including the skin, and have important roles in a lot of organs, including maintenance of the normal function of the heart*, eyes** and brain**. EPA and DHA are found in fatty fish and seafood, but the intake is generally quite low globally, and from a public health perspective an increase would be favourable.
*The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of EPA and DHA.
** The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 250 mg of DHA.
The Astaxanthin & Bilberry Extract provides a combination of antioxidants that includes one of nature’s most powerful antioxidant astaxanthin from microalgae (Haematococcus pluvialis L.) and extract from the common Nordic berry bilberries. In addition, it provides vitamin C and vitamin E that contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress by neutralising damaging free radicals. Taken alongside a balanced diet, the combination helps combat oxidative damage and support overall wellbeing.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has recently concluded that 8 mg of natural astaxanthin is safe to consume daily. Given that the Astaxanthin & Bilberry Extract contains 3 mg natural astaxanthin per capsule, you can easily complement the WellnessPack with a single jar of Astaxanthin & Bilberry Extract to reap all the benefits.
Although it is only early autumn, soon the sun is going to be less strong, and we will be spending more time indoors once it gets colder. Less exposure to the sun results in lower synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, and many national food agencies encourage supplementation with vitamin D between October and April. But make sure to continue eating foods rich in vitamin D such as fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, eggs, and fortified dairy products. Vitamin D plays many other crucial roles in our bodies, including contributing to the proper functioning of the immune and nervous systems and supporting our metabolism. So, make sure to get enough!
Vitamin D3, together with a unique sustainably sourced highly bioavailable calcium and +70 trace minerals, is found in our Marine Calcium & Vitamin D . Both vitamin D and calcium help support bone mineral density and healthy teeth, and vitamin D further helps enhance the absorption of calcium.
Reconsider your diet
You might reconsider your holiday diet of BBQs, cocktails, late night snacks, and plenty of ice cream, which most likely increased your calorie budget with unwanted weight gain as a result. If you have previously failed with self-directed weight loss attempts, using a meal replacement could be a good idea to easier adhere to a calorie restricted diet. There is scientific evidence proving that incorporating a meal replacement into a calorie restricted diet offers long-term weight loss success. Even greater weight loss results are seen when combining meal replacements with behavioural change and a supportive community (Astbury et al., 2019).
If you notice that you have gained unwanted body weight, you might want to give our meal replacement shake a try! The Meal Replacement for Weight Control is a nutrient-dense meal solution based on science with a holistic approach for the purpose of achieving and maintaining your weight goals easily and safely. It is intended to be used as part of an energy restricted diet in combination with other nutritionally balanced foods, plenty of water, and regular physical activity.
Inspired by the Nordic Diet, the formula has natural, plant-based ingredients and is high in protein and dietary fibre coming from pea, faba bean, and chicory root, with healthy fats, and 23 essential vitamins and minerals. It provides a healthy, nutritionally complete, and calorie-controlled meal in one easy-to-make shake when mixed with cow’s milk, or soy milk alternative for a vegan option. Designed to fuel you with lasting energy and satisfy your hunger throughout the day.
For weight loss: Substituting two daily meals of an energy restricted diet with meal replacements contributes to weight loss. Replace two of your three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) with one serving of the Meal Replacement for Weight Control shake and eat one nutritionally balanced main meal.
For healthy nutrition and weight maintenance: Substituting one daily meal of an energy restricted diet with a meal replacement contributes to the maintenance of weight after weight loss. Replace one of your three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) with one serving of the Meal Replacement for Weight Control and eat two nutritionally balanced main meals.
Using a meal replacement to achieve and maintain your weight goals is one part of the puzzle, but your overall diet and calorie intake, exercise level, sleep habits, stress relief, and community support are also important factors to consider – even if only wanting to get rid of some unwanted holiday weight gain. Having a holistic and balanced approach to weight management makes it easier to adhere to a calorie restricted diet in the long-term. A successful diet is a diet that is easy to adhere to, since the better you follow your calorie restricted diet, the better success you have at losing unwanted body weight (Gibson & Sainsbury, 2017) Highly restrictive diets are hard to comply with and not sustainable in the long term. Not only can trying to lose weight too fast be harmful for both the body and mind, but research shows that it also sets you up for failure as it increases the risk of giving up (Dalle Grave et al., 2005).
It is quite a simple equation to maintain weight, calories in = calories out, but, in reality, it is far easier to gain weight than to lose weight (Smethers & Rolls, 2018; Hopkins & Blundell, 2016). It is the calorie balance that is key and there is no food that is innately fattening. Of course, you have probably noticed that it is far easier to overeat foods that are high in calories, fat and/or sugar, but not very filling (Smethers & Rolls, 2018). But there are no “bad” and “good” foods, and you should not demonise foods, even when wanting to lose unwanted weight. Build 80-90% of your diet around nutritious “everyday” foods that provide plenty of protein and dietary fibre, which help to keep you feeling full and your metabolism going. Leave 10-20% for less nutritious “sometimes” foods that you desire, which will help to keep you sane and on track. This should set you up for weight management success!
A holistic approach helps you find balance
At the end of the day, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is easier if remembering that small but consistent steps lead to big changes in the long-term and that having a holistic approach helps to achieve balance in both body and mind.
Astbury NM, Piernas C, Hartmann‐ Boyce J, et al. A systematic review and meta‐analysis of the effectiveness of meal replacements for weight loss. Obes Rev. 2019;20:569–87.
Consensus Conference Panel, Watson NF, Badr MS, Belenky G, et al. Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: Methodology and Discussion. J Clin Sleep Med. 2015 Aug 15;11(8):931-52.
Dalle Grave R, Calugi S, Molinari E, et al.; QUOVADIS Study Group. Weight loss expectations in obese patients and treatment attrition: an observational multicenter study. Obes Res. 2005 Nov;13(11):1961-9.
Gibson AA, Sainsbury A. Strategies to Improve Adherence to Dietary Weight Loss Interventions in Research and Real-World Settings. Behav Sci (Basel). 2017;7(3):44.
Hopkins M, Blundell JE. Energy balance, body composition, sedentariness and appetite regulation: pathways to obesity. Clin Sci (Lond). 2016;130(18):1615‐28.
Lally P, van Jaarsveld CHM, Pott, HWW, Wardle J. How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 2010;40:998-1009.
Smethers AD, Rolls BJ. Dietary Management of Obesity: Cornerstones of Healthy Eating Patterns. Med Clin North Am. 2018;102(1):107-124.