Diet, exercise and sleep are often grouped together as a sort of “holy trinity” of wellness. Being a nutritionist, I focus largely on diet but, as a holistic nutritionist, I also counsel my clients on how important quality sleep, stress reduction (be the stress physical, mental or environmental) and appropriate exercise is for health.
To me, however, sleep is more than just one third of the trinity. Sleep is the absolute foundation of wellness. A chronically under-slept person is unlikely to have the time or energy to make sound nutritional choices or exercise. And, as you will see, poor sleep leads to a cascade of physiological effects that significantly impair health.
As a result, it is one of the first things I discuss with my clients. “Sleep to your health”, I say (in place of the old adage “drink to your health”)!
So often, being told to do something (like eat more vegetables) because “it’s good for you” is not enough. Sometimes you need scare tactics to drive the point home. I didn’t religiously wear my night guard to protect my teeth until my dentist casually mentioned my molars might crumble. Now that had impact! So, in that spirit, I lay out the myriad reasons why, if you don’t snooze, you lose.
So many people come to me looking to improve their sleep that I decided to devote the blog post coming later this month to the significance of slumber. Just as there are foods and beverages that disrupt sleep (hello spicy and fatty food, caffeine and alcohol!), there are foods that promote a restful night. To whet your appetite, I have dished up a duo of dreamland dinners (à deux) serving several foods that may help you drift off to sleep. Sign up to receive the recipes.
I hope this leaves you hungry for my upcoming blog post, Don’t Snooze, You Lose, where I will discuss why quality sleep is so vital to our health and well-being. I will also offer nutrition and lifestyle tips for a better night’s sleep. In the meantime, enjoy the recipes (just not with wine or coffee if you want some satisfying shut-eye) and I invite you to share them with family and friends!
A Duo of Dreamland Dinners
- Slow Cooker Lamb & White Bean Stew (because this is made in a slow cooker, the recipe serves 4 – enough to serve up a second time). Before serving, I like to chop up some chard or other leafy greens and stir them in to the stew just until they wilt. This adds colour and amps up the magnesium content and magnesium is great for relaxation!
- Warm Apples with Cinnamon
- Roasted Butternut Squash Harvest Bowl (vegan main course option)
- Sunbutter Oat Cookies
Join The Nutritional Reset community here to receive this month’s menu today (as well as each month to come)! And read on for some nutritional tidbits about a few featured foods from the recipes…