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5 Simple Ways to Improve your Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic

So the last few weeks have been a blur. I don’t know about you but my pre-COVID schedule has changed a lot and I have slowly started adapting to the reality of having my whole family home. Between trying to mitigate the real stress that this outbreak has caused to trying to manage having my husband work at home, helping my son master the new e-learning curve  – all while I put the finishing touches on my new nutrition program – has been a challenge to say the least. 

Some things have slipped, I’ll just be real. I don’t invest a lot of time in getting dressed everyday (thank you leggings) but I do make it a priority to check in with my loved ones on a regular basis because I’m not just worried about my health – I’m worried about theirs too. And this heightened concern has made me even more focused on my family’s health & nutrition, because in a real way, our lives could depend on it. This is why I wanted to share the five simple strategies I follow everyday, to keep all of us healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Staying Healthy: Mentally and Physically

I’ve come to understand that after reading many articles about the coronavirus, that those most at risk are older people and people with underlying health issues. That’s a high level overview (and yes there are always exceptions), but that’s the ghist.  It’s highly likely that all of us will get the virus at some point (no one is immune), and that is just a fact. But that doesn’t mean we are helpless or that there aren’t things we can do to help our bodies when we contract the virus and boost our overall health and wellness.

And I know, with the stress of the situation, the urge to self soothe with food, alcohol and hours of Netflix binging is seductive. I get it, trust me.

But now, more than ever, it’s important to make choices that will improve our health & keep us feeling strong. As appealing as it is to indulge in lots of numbing TV, high calorie treats and lots of wine … these aren’t the strategies that will help us in the long run. 

Health is our greatest wealth right now and we can’t afford to not take care of ourselves when the stakes are so high. So I encourage you to adopt the five simple strategies that I am going to share with you, so that you use this quarantine time to come out stronger than you were before. 

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Improve the Nutritional Quality of your Meals

This first strategy is all about playing the meal transformation game. It involves improving the nutritional quality of the meals or recipes that you already enjoy to that they are more nutritious. A great example of this is opting to make a home-made version of a meal that you would normally buy pre-made. Like making home-made pizzas instead of buying frozen pizzas or ordering take-out. By doing this, you can add whole foods and fresh ingredients to your diet that will still give you all the same flavour (maybe more flavour) with a TON more vitamins and minerals. 

Another option would be to start pairing foods you enjoy with healthier sides – like a salad or roasted veggies – so that again, you’re adding more great nutrients to your diet so you do everything from improving your gut health to boosting your mood and your energy levels. Make it a challenge to see how you can makeover recipes you love (check out my recipe makeover guide for tips in my FREE Resource Area) and not only will you be healthier, but your whole family will as well!

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Exercise Daily

Maybe you didn’t exercise pre-quarantine but that shouldn’t stop you from getting active now. If you were a regular exerciser, and you’re feeling lost without the gym, just know that there are a TON of resources to help you workout from home. 

My daily rule of thumb is 30 – 45 minutes of get-sweaty time a day. By consistently spending time working out, you’re taking steps to strengthen your body which is vital to not just getting stronger, but boosting your endorphins, keeping your body (and gut) healthy and managing stress levels. 

If you’re looking for online options try Beachbody or Peleton for amazing workouts – I love them both – and be consistent. This is one of those times when being healthy & strong is really, really important.

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Manage your Stress

The stress and anxiety of the Covid19 pandemic is and can be, all consuming. I know it all too well so managing that stress is one of my priorities every single day. Too much stress and anxiety can cause hormonal imbalances, interfere with our sleep and impact our physical health so practicing specific strategies to mitigate that stress is vital to staying well. For me that looks like this: limiting time on social media (and all the negativity), checking in on what’s going on in the world 1 – 2 x a day, practicing deep breathing exercises several times a day and incorporating yoga into my workout schedule.

For you that might look different – maybe it might be hot baths or long walks with your partner – whatever it is, figure out what makes you feel calm and start doing those things more often. I share even more of my stress management strategies in my Free Stress Guide, so feel free to download that and learn how to better manage your stress.

Take your Vitamins

In addition to cooking nutritious meals and snacks, I also advocate for adding vitamins to your regimen. Yes, the ideal situation is to get the majority of our vitamins and nutrients from the food we eat but sometimes that’s not possible. So, it’s important to supplement with quality vitamins and minerals whenever possible. I strongly advocate for a multi-vitamin pack that includes vitamins B12, D3, C and Omega-3. If you want additional help with stress, sleep, blood sugar control – check out Magnesium as well. 

By giving your body the vitamins it needs, you’re going to ensure your immune system and gut health are in good shape so that you feel great and you have a much better chance of fighting off illnesses.

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Eat More Plant-Based Meals

Eating more vegetables (especially greens) is an amazing way to boost your immune system, increase your energy levels, support good digestion, balance blood sugar and so much more! 

When I am meal planning, I make about 70% of our meals plant-based because I know just how good they are for our overall health. If you’re new to the whole plant based eating concept, don’t feel like you have to go ‘all-in’. Maybe you want to start by just ensuring you’re getting 1 – 2 servings of veggies with each meal, maybe that’s where you are comfortable. Or maybe you look at doing a Meatless Monday in addition to that. You can absolutely ease your way into the plant-based diet and get used to that style of eating. Our family really enjoys plant-based meals which is one of the reasons why I created Plant-Based Recipe Books & Meal Plans – to make it easier for other families to start adopting a healthier eating lifestyle.

These are just a few essential strategies to becoming a Health & Wellness Warrior

If these strategies aren’t part of your norm, they might feel strange for awhile. So work on one thing at a time and slowly add more things in over time. Regardless of how your approach, implementing these strategies will help you take care of yourself and your family in the midst of this surreal pandemic situation.

Because even when so much is out of our control – you get to decide how you are going to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

It all starts with knowing how you want to respond to the situation and how you want to show up, even when nothing in our lives is normal. You are in full control of your health during the coronavirus pandemic. Yes, even now. Especially now.

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