10 Tips for a Healthier, More Balanced Life with Vegan Nutritionist Simon Hill

Australian author and nutritionist Simon Hill has a passion for helping people eat and live better — channeled through his wildly successful podcast and his recently published new book. We asked Simon for his personal top-10-tips for a better, healthier and more balanced life.

Simon Hill of the Plant Proof podcast & author of The Proof is in the Plants - Interview for Antagonist, the digital first pure play vegan media house based in Berlin & NYC
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August 14, 2021

Words – Simon Hill
Protocol — IIelyzaveta Kachanova
Illustration – Eric Mirbach

We discussed his new book and the backbone of the man’s work in this piece, but Simon dropped a couple additional knowledge bombs we can’t keep from you. So, here’s 10 things Simon Hill likes you to try out in order to live a healthy life:

1 – Eat More Fibre

Fibre is only found in plants and is most abundant in whole, unprocessed plants. The key thing to understand is that all plants contain different types of fibre. And these unique types of fibre feed different gut bugs (or ‘bacteria’) in your microbiome. 

So, in order to keep all of the health promoting bacteria in your gut happy, you need to be eating a diet that contains good plant diversity.

“We should be eating 30-40+ unique plants a week.”

Ideally, based on research out of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine we should be eating 30-40+ unique plants a week.

Make a list of your unique plants in one week and share with me on Instagram #plantproof40 

2 – Stay Hydrated

Your urine should be a clear to straw color. That’s the best indicator of good hydration.

How much water that is will depend on your body size and activity levels.

3 – Vegans: Focus on These Nutrients

In my book I write about eight nutrients of focus. These are Omega 3’s, B12, D3, Calcium, Iodine, Iron, Selenium and Zinc.

I recommend everyone supplements with Vitamin B12 and D3, and the other 6 can be obtained through food, fortified-foods and/or a supplement.

These are covered in more detail in my book.

4 – Start Small

If you are new to this way of eating, start small. Building new habits takes time. Go slow and celebrate the small wins along the way. 

5 – Nurture your Circadian Rhythms

Our bodies have natural rhythms that regulate things like our heart rate, hormone levels (e.g cortisol), blood pressure etc across the day. These rhythms are affected by light exposure and meal timing.

“When it comes to our diet, when we eat matters.”

In other words, when it comes to our diet, when we eat matters!

Try to avoid food and bright lights late at night a few hours before bed. Upon waking, if possible, eat your first meal a few hours after waking.

For example this could look like:

  • Wake up 6am, eat breakfast 8am

  • Eat dinner at 7pm (dim the lights at this time too)

  • Bed at 9pm

Eating like this is called Circadian Rhythm Eating. 

6 – Move

Do some form of movement each day for at least 30-40 minutes. Even a brisk walk is great!

7 – Get Outside

Go for a swim in the ocean or a walk in the park.

8 – Be Social

Catch up with your friends and family regularly. Particularly friends who are like-minded and share the same lifestyle as you — that makes it easier to stick with your healthy habits.

9 – Establish your ‘Non-Negotiables’

I have certain ‘non-negotiables’ that I like to stick to which make me feel good and help me operate at my highest level. Mine are a selection of tips shared above of course and go as follows (yours can look different of course):

Water, water, water — staying hydrated is the most overlooked health hack out there.

Mini med — I like to do a mini meditation each day. 5-10 min. Usually with some meditation music in the background. Slow breathing and a mantra. If I find I’ve been scrolling too much on social media – I often use this as a way to break the cycle.

Movement — 45+ mins of exercise every day. Gym, swimming, yoga, pilates, jogging or even a brisk walk.

Food When I am eating well, my meals are loaded with color. All of the color is a good way of ensuring your meals are jam packed with vitamins, minerals and important antioxidants. Two of my favorite food groups that are absolute powerhouses are berries and dark leafy greens.

10 – Acceptance

A lot of the time in life we cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we react.

“When we can’t control what happens to us, we can still control how we react.”

If I feel anxious or stressed I usually take a step back, come back to my breath (perhaps do a mini medi depending on where I am) and ask myself what’s causing that feeling?

Usually it’s being unorganized and feeling like I have too many balls in the air at once. Planning my calendar and knowing what distractions I need to clear in order to execute generally helps me feel better and move forward in a productive manner.

The other thing I find that helps with stress is workshopping challenges with friends. Talking with someone else can often help you devise a plan to alleviate the stress.

Find Simon on Instagram and make sure to subscribe to his podcast — a stunning guest list and an enormous back catalogue of episodes, packed to the brim with nutritional information, await you.

Simon’s Book “The Proof is in the Plants” is out now, find out where to get it here.

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