Healthy Handbag Guide

You may have detoxed your kitchen and your workspace from all things unhealthy this new year, but what about your handbag?

It can be hard to stay on track while you’re out and about especially if you’re feeling peckish and want to grab a quick snack while on the go.

To help you out we’ve pulled together the top three things you need to keep in your handbag to keep you healthy and happy:

1. Keep Hydrated

Keep on top of your water levels is essential for detoxing your body, increasing your energy and attention levels, curbing hunger and keeping your digestion even.

Drinking water is also one of the easiest ways to get your skin glowing. If you’ve normally got a fizzy drink in your bag, swap it for water with some fruit or berries thrown in for some extra flavour. Nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com, Shona Wilkinson, says:

“Water is important for our brain to function well.  When we are dehydrated we often get headaches and feel tired.  Severe dehydration can lead to becoming confused and even having hallucinations”

“If you struggle to drink the recommended 2 litres a day, make your water a bit more fun by adding some fresh fruit like blueberries or strawberries, a few slices of cucumber, or some lemon and mint.”

2. Trick of the Mind

If you’re trying to stay healthy but find yourself craving sweet treats while you’re on the go it can mean that you end up spending money on snacks as well as derailing your healthy intentions. If you would normally reach for a chocolate bar or a pack of sweets, keep a Slissie, a lipstick-sized anti-snacking device, in your handbag.

Corinne Sweet, psychologist and best selling author, explains:

“When we are hungry, or are craving snacks (which may be due to psychological issues, such as boredom, as much as physiological appetite), we need to satisfy our sense of taste.  The taste (and smell) of food can send messages to the hypothalamus in the brain, so that we are preparing to experience the food itself – it prepares the stomach to receive the food, and gets the gastric juices flowing.  If we are wanting to ‘trick’ the stomach (and therefore the brain) into thinking we have satisfied our appetite, quite often people will smell some food and drink water, as way of sending a ‘full’ message to the brain.”

“Slissie works in a similar way.  The smell (olfactory senses) and taste (tastebuds) combine to trick the brain into thinking that the appetite has been satisfied.  In fact, ‘sensory boredom’ can mean you have satisfied the craving for a particular taste and no longer need to pursue it once it is satiated.” 

Slissie Starter Packs from £39.99 (www.slissie.co.uk)

3. Tease Your Brain

If you want to keep your mind ticking over while you’re on the go, keep a puzzle book or a copy of the newspaper’s brainteasers in your handbag to do in spare moments on the train or bus.

Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist and author of ‘Natural Alternatives to Sugar’, says:

“Just as your body needs regular exercise, your brain needs regular exercise too. Keep it fit by playing cards and chess games, reading books, doing crosswords, learning an instrument or new language or by pursing a new hobby.”

3. Minutes of Mindfulness

With the abundance of mindfulness apps, such as Headspace, on the market it is easy to take a quiet 5-minute break with a little bit of meditation if you’re having a stressful day.

Shona explains:

“Meditation is now gaining mainstream recognition through scientific research for its ability to reduce stress. Those in stressful jobs or situations can benefit enormously from meditative practice. It can be done anywhere, such as on the bus or train into work and even 5 minutes can be helpful to clear your mind and feel refreshed.”

Jordan Harris

Jordan is a current university student and has enjoyed an international upbringing across Asia and the UK. Self-confessed handbag hoarder and stationary queen, she is pursuing a career in the world of journalism.

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