Who would have thought on New Year’s Day 2020, that in three months we would all be facing so many obstacles and being quarantined in our homes for what seems likes years instead of days.
Yes, this too shall pass, but in the mean time, what can we do to not only stay healthy (the refrigerator calls to me throughout the day), but to also build or keep our immune system up to par and not go absolutely bat sh*&#t crazy?
We’ve put together some easy things you can do to help you and your family make it through and not just survive, but thrive!
- This first one is a no brainer. Drink more water! Did you know that drinking more water can help you feel more physical and have less mental fatigue? One study found when you drink more water, you actually elevate your mood. Not to mention all the health benefits of hydrating your body, mind and soul.
- Eat more beans, legumes, chickpeas and peas. The other people you’re in quarantine with may not appreciate this, but if you’re all doing it together, it may not matter. All of these are filled with plant-based proteins. They are full of fiber so you digest them slower, which helps you to feel fuller longer which helps you to avoid the cravings that cause snacking. They also give your body numerous immune-boosting minerals, including zinc and magnesium. Bring on the beans!
- STEP AWAY FROM THE REFRIGERATOR! At no time has it been more clear that snacking has become an olympic sport than during this stay-at-home phase of our lives. We know we are not hungry, but the urge to fill our selves up and pacify our needs takes over and the trench to the kitchen gets deeper as we once again make our way towards the refrigerator.
Here’s what you can do. Try and eat 5 or 6 small meals per day, three hours apart. Make sure you include non-starchy veggies along with some plant-based fats and a portion of protein. You can add a small portion of starchy veggies (potatoes) or whole grains, but keep it small. Also when you find yourself reaching for snacks, drink a big glass of water. Sometimes you confuse thirst with being hungry. If you must snack, then a handful of nuts - I like Brazil nuts - or some carrots or celery can placate your palate with the need for crunch and chewing.
- Incorporate immune building supplements into your daily regimen. Supplements like those with 100% stabilized allicin, derived from garlic, provide amazing immune building benefits. Allicin has not only been proven to help build your immune system, but also has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial benefits as well. This writer swears by Allimax. I take two per day and I feel amazing and don’t get sick.
- Cut back on sugars and sugary foods. Did you know insomnia is linked to poor diet quality and consuming too much sugar elevates your risk for sleep issues? Here’s a goal to reach. Stay below 25 grams of sugar per day for women and children and below 36 grams for men.
- Let’s Get Physical, Physical… Olivia Newton John had it right, or at least the title of her song is the right idea. Ha! Now is a perfect time to keep moving. Of course the ideal is 30 minutes per day, five days a week, but let’s get real, for some of us that is simply not happening. Although today, you have a better chance of getting into a good regimen that can carry over once we are free once again.
The CDC says some physical activity is better than none and even a little activity has health benefits. So vacuum, clean out that closet, mow the lawn using a hand mower, garden, play basketball with the kids, walk the dog, or anything that gets you moving you body. You know what they say, “Use it or Lose it”.
- Ommmmmmm! Learn to Meditate. There is no time like the present to learn how to quiet your mind and destress. Meditation, when conquered (it took this writer a while to get the hang of it), Is amazing for stress release and balancing out your mind, body and soul each day. Studies show it not only helps reduce stress, but id also can help to reduce emotional and binge eating.
- Head to bed at the same time each night. It’s tempting to binge a different show each night now that you have all this “extra” time on your hands will quarantining. But remember, things WILL get back to some form of normal and you don’t want to have all kinds of bad habits when that happens. Stick to a routine. Sleep is extremely critical to keep your immune system healthy and it’s important to keep a consistent sleep schedule. So turn off the boob tube and go get some rest. Your body and your house mates will be thankful.
- Practice Gratitude. I know at times like this, it’s may seem really hard to find things to be grateful for. All the doom and gloom on the news, being trapped in your home either with or without your family, money worries and more. But if you can learn to take a moment, breathe and find the good things around you, your positive outlook will pay off. Research has shown that being positive helps you become a healthier eater, reduces stress and makes for a more peaceful experience. I journal each night what I’m grateful for that day. Having this documented helps when I am blue and can look back at all positive things in my life. And with the popularity of social media at this time, doing a public gratitude post not only helps you, it can inspire others to think about what they are grateful for too. And that is a wonderful thing.
- Lastly… LOVE! Telling or showing those in your life that you love them does every part of your being good. They say there are two main emotions, love and fear. When we come from a place of love it empowers us as well as others. It also triggers those powerful endorphins and helps to keep you calm and manage stress better. When you live in a constant state of fear, it clouds judgement, induces stress, high blood pressure and can lead to declining health. So even though we may not be able to hug or physically show those your love, tell them or show them via actions. Love really is the way to fulfilled life.