I'm trying to stay calm and positive without feeling overwhelmed and anxious during this difficult time. The energy is frantic around my neighbourhood…. panic buyers are stockpiling supplies, leaving many who need it without necessities, a cycle that's breading fear and uncertainty. Last week my dad called me from his nursing home saying how they've started to ration toilet paper to one roll a week for him and my mum based on the short supply.
Today, I'm sharing a few of my own, personal wellness solutions on what I'm doing to stay healthy and look after my physical and mental wellbeing.
Boost your immune system whenever you can, as its greatly suppressed by stress and the heightened sense of crisis across the world. Nutrition is a crucial component of my approach because food forms the foundation to your health. I also have some excellent tips on how to boost your immune system HERE.
1: Eating healthy:
While most people have stocked up on tinned foods, rice and pasta, leaving shelves bare….my local grocer, as well as most of the major supermarkets, still have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available for everyone. I love to meal prep like any other week and cook up a few pots of my budget-friendly 3-Ingredient Vegetable Soups from my cookbook Earth To Table as well make my Immune-Boosting Miso Soup and Nourishing Congee.
I've frozen my favourite berries and some avocado, ready to pop into a blender with a spoonful of Healthy Chef Protein, and some water. I have also shared some delicious immune-boosting smoothie recipes, made from pantry and freezer staples that can support your immune system.
It's the perfect time to go plant-based as fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vital for our immune system. I also have hundreds of budget-friendly, immune-boosting nourishing and recipes in my cookbooks, recipe app and on my website that are simple and budget-friendly.
Focusing on your health is your first priority, and for me, it's a daily ritual that starts with nutrition and to allow the body to function at its best and build strong immunity.
Every day I make sure to have my Natural Immune Support which provides a healthy dose of vitamin C + D needed for immune health. I also make sure I get enough protein throughout the day to support my delicate immune system, and for myself, I aim to get at least 60 - 80 g per day. For the immune health benefits of protein see my post HERE.
Two serves of Healthy Chef Protein shaken with plant-based milk or water or blended into a smoothie is a simple meal replacement and hits all of my protein requirements perfectly.
I also like to support my immune system by caring for my gut health, as it's also crucial, so I often add Wild Marine Collagen, Beauty Collagen, Probiotics and fermented foods into my diet. I love to add my Organic Superfood into cultured yoghurt or into a Stress Buster Smoothie or a spoonful of Wild Marine Collagen into my shake or bone broth to support my digestive system and nourish the gut lining.
I've also swapped my coffee for Matcha Green Tea. Studies show Matcha can stimulate immune function, which may help to eliminate antibiotic-resistant bacteria. I also drink loose leaf Green Tea throughout the day.
Most importantly, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! To remove all unwanted toxins and to feel refreshed. It's important to cook real meals utilising fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, cooking at home is grounding for the soul and much healthier than buying take away. Stick with your regular healthy eating plan, steering clear of sugary drinks and fast food.
2: Support With The Right Supplements:
Making sure to get enough vitamin D, zinc and vitamin C to support your immune system is key. Studies show that vitamin C, D and zinc deficiency can cause suppressed immune function. Vitamin C acts like your personal bodyguard, helping to protect cells and assist in healing.
Studies show the use of vitamin C can reduce the duration and symptoms of colds and respiratory tract infections. Healthy Chef Natural Immune Support is high in vitamin C + D as well as immune-boosting antioxidants such as turmeric and ginger, ideal for nourishing the body during periods of immune and adrenal suppression, stress, fatigue, illness, infection and vitamin D deficiency.
Beauty Collagen is also rich in vitamin C, zinc and essential amino acids to support not only healthy skin but a healthy immune system. Studies show that zinc is critical for the development and function of immune cells.
3: Prioritise Sleep.
Good quality sleep is essential for your body and mind to revive, repair and recharge. Studies show that poor sleep patterns and not getting enough sleep are closely linked with suppressed immune function, depression, weight gain and obesity.
To get a night of good sleep, it's essential to create the right environment such as sleeping in a cool room and not going to bed on a full stomach. I also love drinking a warming Turmeric Latte or Rooibos Chai Latte before bed made with creamy plant-based milk and sweetened with a little manuka honey. This restorative beverage provides my body with antioxidants and tryptophan, an essential amino acid that can promote restful sleep.
4: Exercise Regularly.
Exercise will help to increase your metabolic rate, support lean muscle, shape and strengthen your body, enhance your immune system, reduce depression, so you will feel better, move better and live better. I have a tonne of awesome health and wellness tips in my self-help book The Ultimate Body Shaping Guide.
When I work out at home, I try and focus on full-body training such as floor pilates, yoga, stretching and some quality core exercises that you can easily do in your living room. 20 reps free squats x 20 reps push-ups x 20 reps abdominals …repeat x 5 daily. Cleaning the house daily to some good disco music is also great exercise, it burns energy, tones the body and clears the mind.
5: Washing My Hands.
Washing your hands regularly to help prevent any transfer of bacteria is key to staying healthy. Washing our hands with soap and water can remove microbes from our skin and disrupts the outer membrane of most viruses and bacteria. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are a good substitute if you can't wash your hands.
6: Gargle + Nasal Wash Daily.
Last week my doctor told me to gargle with salt water and do daily nasal washes to remove bacteria and to help reduce the risk of viral respiratory infection. I'm a massive fan of gargling and nasal washes and have been doing it for years.
Research also suggests that gargling with salt water can alleviate symptoms and even help prevent upper respiratory infections. Research also shows that saline nasal irrigation (SNI), is effective in treating upper respiratory conditions.
As things unfold with COVID-19, I encourage everyone to keep a cool head and to think of others. I also encourage you to take steps to protect your health and boost your immunity and where possible, try to prioritise wellbeing in your lives – sleep, movement, nutrition, hydration, mindfulness, and kindness are all key.
Sending you so much love,