What do we mean by nutritional non-negotiables and why we feel that they’re important?
Nutritional non-negotiables are the things that you would never do i.e. totally non-negotiable. So, it’s a tool to help you implement key nutrition practices consistently all the time. The big rocks in our food plan are likely to be our nutritional non-negotiables. They must happen, because they underpin everything else that we do nutritionally to get the ultimate results that we desire.
Are nutrition foundations, the same as nutritional non-negotiables?
Nutritional foundations are broadly what everyone should have in place at least 80% of the time and doing that will promote good health. The next step is to add sports nutrition on top of foundations to promote good running performance.
The difference is that nutritional non- negotiables are more personal to an individual. So, it’s something that will contribute to an individual achieving their health goals, and something that they’ll stand by no matter what, because they know it’s so important to feeling better and performing optimally.
Are non-negotiables the same for everyone or personalised?
In our Healthy Woman Healthy Runners Programme, we explain the range of non- negotiables and how they may impact on midlife health, but there’s always going to be a personalised element. So usually, what we do is help clients rank what would make the biggest difference to them, and then work with them to put new practices in place, so that they’ll soon be living in a way which encompasses their personal non-negotiables.
Typical mid-life health goals and how some nutritional non-negotiables would support health
Based on the feedback we’ve had from clients and women in our face book group;
TYPICAL MID-LIFE HEALTH GOALS
· Being a healthy weight
· Having optimal muscle tone
· Good energy all day – no slumps or dips
· Minimising hot sweats/flushes
· Good quality sleep
There are certain physiological drivers which lead to gaining weight, losing muscle tone, experiencing low energy, peri and menopausal symptoms and poor sleep. So, these physiological drivers tend to be related to fluctuating female hormones during peri menopause and decreasing female hormones in menopause and post menopause. Other factors which are influential are stress hormones, digestion and liver function.
Looking at the role of stress related to hormonal balance
Stress and stress hormones are a key player in disrupting hormonal balance for example:
- Typically In mid-life we have a lot going on with family – children, elderly parents and lots of responsibilities – job, home etc which may put us in a place of chronic stress so it’s likely we’ll have high cortisol levels which may lead to the body storing fat around the middle.
- An increased cortisol production compromises production of sex hormones (known as “progesterone steal” or “cortisol steal”). This effect results in an imbalance of female sex hormones, which could exacerbate peri and menopausal symptoms.
There are some nutritional considerations which may impact positively on managing stress hormones and have a positive influence on balancing sex hormones …
Balancing blood sugar is the cornerstone of all hormonal health, so following a low Glycaemic Load food plan and the 5 healthy routines (part of our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners programme) is vital:
1. Eating regularly
2. Eating Protein at every meal
3. Following Plate Balance
4. Optimal Hydration
5. Optimal Activity
It’s also supportive to minimise stimulants such a caffeine, alcohol and sugar as they may lead to a spike in blood sugar which may lead to increased cortisol levels. Our lifestyle is interlinked with how we get the best out of our nutrition. When it comes to managing STRESS one of the most impactful thing you can choose to do is REST. Taking short breaks during the day away will also help you de stress and support hormonal balance.
Helping you establish your nutritional non-negotiables – the circle exercise