Yesterday I was invited to speak at an event titled ‘Love Yourself Masterclass’ for veterinarian and vet nurses here in Brisbane, because quite tragically, these practitioners have the highest suicide rate in the country.
Yes that was not a typo.
These incredible human beings that do an AMAZING job at taking care of our beloved pets are struggling. Struggling to take care of themselves as a result of a highly stressful and emotionally challenging work environment, that is affecting them physically, mentally and emotionally – right to the core.
This gut wrenching suicide statistic is 4 times higher than the average Australian, and twice as high as other medical professions.
So what can be done to support our mental health in the workplace?
Well there are many things, one of which is critically important, is sufficient quality sleep. Something that I spoke about in detail at this event yesterday because it actually trumps nutrition.
But I’ll save that for a separate post, because it deserves it’s very own.
In today’s post I want to talk about the importance of feeding our bodies with the right foods and nutrients, because this simple practice can make a DRAMATIC difference to our mental health.
This week we’re talking all things digestive health – in particular constipation and small intestinal bowel overgrowth, otherwise known as SIBO. Given shift workers are often plagued with gastrointestinal complaints due to the biological stress associated with ongoing disruption to our sleep/wake cycle, together with diets that are often made up of processed foods which contain little fibre, this is an episode that you don’t want to miss!
Lynda Griparic is a Naturopath, Nutritionist, Writer and Yoga teacher with over 16 years of experience in the health industry who specialises in digestive health, in particular SIBO and constipation. She has extensive experience in running healthy, effective and sustainable bowel care programs and has expertise in investigating and treating the underlying causes of gut disturbance. Lynda has an intense interest in poo and she’s also the creator of the delicious BetterMe Tea a tea designed to promote improved gut health and digestion – assisting those who struggle with constipation and sluggish bowel movements to go to the bathroom with ease.
In this informative and entertaining episode chatting with Lynda, you’re going to learn:
Why it’s important to have regular bowel movements
Some of the causes and triggers of constipation
Exactly what is SIBO, and how it can impact on your health
Foods to avoid and support your gut health whilst working 24/7
For Those Of You Who Have To Work On Christmas Day (or Night)!
These Lime, Coconut and Date Christmas Balls are perfect for sensitive tummies on night-shift, and also make for a nice change to the regular “Cacao Protein Ball” recipes that we see flooded on the Internet, not to mention the caffeine in the cacao can keep us awake post night-shift!
What’s great about them?
They are rich in vitamin C, which is important for shift workers fighting with depleted immune systems as a result of little sleep.
When combined with foods containing non-heme iron (such as those found in plant based food sources such as the almonds), the vitamin C in the limes will help to increase the amount of iron that the body can absorb. Given low iron status can contribute to fatigue – this is something that shift workers definitely want to avoid!
Gelatin contains an amino acid called glutamic acid, which is converted to glutamine in the body that has been shown to improve the integrity of the gut wall and help prevent intestinal permeability or “leaky gut”. Intestinal permeability (IP) is quite common in shift workers due to circadian descyncronisation, or a disruption to the normal sleep/wake cycle, which in turn, can contribute to gut disturbances.
Citrus fruit such as limes can enhance cardiovascular health, as lime juice and peel was shown to reduce the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries, thereby lowering the risk of stroke.
Ingredients (makes 20)
1 cup of almond meal
1 cup of medjool dates, pitted
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 dessert spoon Changing Habits gelatin
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
How to make them!
Blitz all ingredients into your food processor until the mixture begins to clump. Transfer to a mixing bowl and roll into small little balls, then cover in desiccated coconut to create that Christmasy-snowflake look!
Store in airtight container in the fridge before taking into work, and sharing with your workmates on Christmas Day :-).
Boshtam, M, Asgary, S, Moshtaghian, J, Naderi, G and Jafari-Dinani, N 2013, ‘Impacts of Fresh Lime Juice and Peel on Atherosclerosis Progression in an Animal Model’, ARYA Atherosclerosis, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 357-362.
Rapin, J & Wiernsperger, N 2010, ‘Possible Links between Intestinal Permeablity and Food Processing: A Potential Therapeutic Niche for Glutamine’, Clinics (Sao Paulo), vol. 65, no. 6, pp. 635-643.