Nutrition matters now more than ever! I often speak to clients who come to me in the January rush telling me “oh, the holidays happened. I didn’t have time to eat well and snacks and treats were everywhere! That’s why I haven’t been able to meet my heath goals”. By March, they are back in my office wanting to get back on track to get “swim suit ready” but, by September I’ll hear “Man, summer was so busy! We had a lot of traveling, you know, eating out and barbecues. Not a lot of time for working on my health.” And so it continues.
Guess what? There will always be something that can keep you from your goals. Now, a global pandemic is not something small, but is it keeping you from your goals? Are you still getting up and being active? Are you getting in a workout (there are SO many free resources right now) to get your body moving and your heart rate up? Are you eating well? Do you still need to meal prep? Are you cooking most of your own foods?
Are you taking advantage of this global slow down to change your habits? You have nothing but time now. What have you been wanting to get in the habit of that busyness prevented you from before? Or which habits are you looking to break?
Nutrition does not have to look like smoothies and salads all day every day (although, they are tasty!). Consider making the following changes to tweak your diet and make it more supportive of your immune system, your energy levels and your mental health:
*fruits and veggies—yep, eat those fruits and veggies! They are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that help fight the inflammatory response which triggers the immune system. Broccoli, spinach, oranges, berries and mushrooms can all help strengthen the immune system while lowering inflammation.
*cook with aromatics, herbs and spices—aromatics like garlic and ginger can help strengthen the immune system. Instead of taking a turmeric supplement, use it in your baking or cooking! Get creative and try a new recipe! Use cinnamon, rich in polyphenols, to fool your body into thinking you are having something sweet without adding sugar. My favorite is to sauté sliced apples in some butter or ghee and cinnamon!
*proteins—not just for building muscle! Eating a variety of proteins provides essential amino acids needed by the body and can be a great source of zinc and vitamins like A and D, all of which help boost immune function. Seafoods, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds all are great additions to your diet.
*hydration—are you drinking enough water? Hydration can also be obtained through eating fruits and veggies, but even the best produce eater still needs water! Our bodies are mostly made of water and water helps carry oxygen to our cells. Try adding some herbs or produce to your water to make an infused water if you don’t like to drink it plain. I love cucumber and mint or slices of lemon and lime!
Ok, ok. So nutrition is important for our physical body. So what?
It is also important as self-care for your mental health. Poor eating habits can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety. Nutrition plays an important role in mental health. The way we eat affects how we feel. Research is constantly emerging showing an important link between digestive health and mental health, immune function and wellbeing. What you eat matters.
When we prepare our own food, it is a harmonious connection between our body, mind and nature. It allows for more mindful behaviors and eating. It helps our digestive system to do it’s job when we go through the process of preparing food and sitting down to eat it. Doesn’t that just sound more calm that rushed grab-and-go eating while rushing to the next event/practice/appointment? Cooking your own food also promotes healing and weight management.
How have your nutrition habits been? Have they gotten off track? We cannot control a lot of things right now with this pandemic, but we can control what we eat.
Do you want to learn to eat better? Take a step toward improved mental and physical health by optimizing this global downtime. If you have gotten off track with your nutrition and are looking for extra support, let’s work together!
Connect with me and learn how I can help you during this unique time. Emerge from this quarantine with healthy habits, ready to conquer the next challenge life is sure to bring!