Wow. Things have gotten surreal over the course of the past week or so. The future is unknown, and anxiety levels are running high. If this is you, hop over to my blog post from last week about growing through this challenging time and managing your stress- you can find that post here
This week I want to talk with you all about the importance of the work that I do with my private clients and with all of you - nutrition. Nutrition is at the core of our overall health and wellbeing. In a time like this, when disease surrounds us, and stress levels are high, eating well and giving our bodies the fuel they need to function at their best is of upmost importance. I am going to share a few of my very best tips here that are generalized and that most people can benefit from.
1. Eat your vegetables from all colors of the rainbow
You guys haven't heard me say this one before, have you? Just kidding - I know I can sound like a broken record sometimes saying this. But seriously - vegetables have the most nutrient density of any other food. Did you know that there are 37 thousand billion billion chemical reactions per second in the human body. Stop and read that sentence again, and really think about it. That number is so big and staggering, it's easy to gloss over. Our bodies are so incredible!! These reactions are driven largely by enzymes, coenzymes, and co-factors -- many of which are derived from vitamins and minerals from the food that we eat. So just imagine for a moment that we become deficient in a certain vitamin. That means there is not enough of this vitamin that can get broken down into the smaller parts that are used for these reactions. Our bodies are incredibly adaptable, and have back-up plans, but it isn't ideal and puts a greater strain on our entire system. Whenever there are additional strains besides nutrient deficiencies, such as stress, disease, lack of water or sleep, etc. - it makes the body work even harder. So, to help your body have the boost it needs to function at its best, it is important to focus on nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Need a recommendation for how many vegetable servings to get in each day? It depends on how many you're currently at- try to get at least 3 servings in/day and go up from there. I like to have a vegetable at every eating occasion - it is helpful when trying to keep my focus on vegetables to eat them frequently throughout the day.
2. Get some D
Fresh air and Vitamin D. Vitamin D also helps to boost the immune system, sunshine and D are great for boosting your mood. In fact, a deficiency in Vitamin D has actually been scientifically shown to increase your susceptibility for an autoimmune condition and increased risk of infection. Go for a walk, sit outside and work, catch up on some gardening. 15-30 minutes/day depending on your skin tone and where you live without sunscreen will do wonders. Then don't forget to put some sunscreen on or you'll burn! My favorite? Beautycounter's non-nano zinc lotion, mist, and stick - can be found here.
3. Improve gut health
I emphasize gut health a lot, and for good reason- did you know that 2/3 of your immune system is in your gut? Take a moment and really think about your intestines and digestive tract - they are a long twisty tube - and technically the inside of your gut is the outside world. The lining of your gut must act like the security detail of your body - determining which items such as nutrients get into the body, and which things need to be kept out of the body and pass on through. Imagine if your security detail of your gut isn't at its best - maybe some couldn't get paid, some got injured or are out sick, some are partying in Florida (we have to keep the humor alive, right?)- but the point is, they aren't all there- the security detail of your gut is not working as it should be, and particles get into your body that shouldn't, leading to an immune response in the body- your immune system starts to be in a tizzy all the time, starts attacking its own tissue, and you may develop an autoimmune condition. When your immune system isn't working as well as it should, you are also more likely to get an infection- which is not what we want, especially right now. That is a really simplistic overview of what can happen if our guts aren't working as they should, but I wanted to paint a picture that you can visualize easily. How to improve gut health? That is a loaded question - for now, focus on eating your vegetables, getting some fresh air and Vitamin D, moving your body daily, and managing stress. I'll give more specifics on gut health next week.
Wow - that turned into a long post. I want to tell you all the things you can be doing to help in this time without overwhelming you, so decided to just tease the topic for next week instead of going into detail. But there is so much more to nutrition than these basic recommendations - if you are considered an at-risk person for experiencing complications from this virus, or if you have other health conditions, or would just like a completely personalized plan to keep your health at its best, I would love to talk with you more about what working together individually would look like. You can schedule a completely free 25-minute phone call to chat more by clicking this link.
I pray that you and your family are well and continue to be well. If I can do anything to be of service to you during this time, please don't hesitate to reach out.