Updated: Jan 15
As we are all fully aware most of us (with exception of our fabulous NHS service workers) have been encouraged to self-isolate. So what does a Nutritionist do with that time haha!! I have decided to take the time to give you my top tips about staying healthy and fit whilst at home.
The tips below will help you keep a healthy body and a clear mind during this time when our normal routines of going to work, eating out, and exercising at the gym have been placed on hold. This is actually a great opportunity for you to make those health changes you have had on the back burner for the last few months, but the busyness of life has stopped you from implementing. I hope you find the tips below helpful.
Keep a regular bedtime routine. Going to bed at a reasonable time and waking up at a similar time each morning. Allowing your circadian rhythm to get out of sync may result in sleep problems further down the lie. If you already have sleep problems then taking the time to settle in to a good routine may do wonders for you. Try turning off all screens about 1-2 hours before bedtime. Blue light may affect your sleep quality so shutting this off well before bedtime may help to improve your quality of sleep. Try reading before bed or play a family game together. Not only will this build unity, it will add fun and relax you all before bed. A soak in the tub before bedtime may be beneficial for some. Or you could try meditation or prayer. If you have problems getting to sleep, practise deep breathing.
Overnight Fasting. Allow a good fasting time overnight from your last meal to your breakfast. This helps in a number of things. Firstly, our digestive system has a wee hoovering system that comes and clears the debris overnight. For it to do a thorough deep clean it needs at least 12-14 hours. This allows our digestive system to be more effective when it does check in for food processing!!! Overnight fasting also may help with weight loss. If we are eating late into the night any food intake will be used to keep our bodies alive, any excess will be stored as fat in our body. However, fasting for a good length of period means the energy we need to keep us alive allows us to use fuel via our ketogenic system. In other words we start to burn fat rather than store it! Yes you may lose weight while you sleep!!! As a Nutritionist this is often advice that I give most of my clients and we get results :)
Dried Wholefoods. We have a whole host of healthy dried wholefoods that we can buy and believe me the healthier stuff in the shops are still there, it’s the weight gaining, white refined good shelves that I have found empty lately. Yes! there were still plenty of dried beans, legumes, nuts and seeds available in the shops. These store excellently for long periods of time and can make wholesome healthy foods. Lentils, peas and legumes are excellent source of protein, fibre and prebiotic foods, which will help strengthen the immune system. Go carefully though as too much may cause flatulence if you are not used to eating them. And remember to following the instructions on the packets, as they may cause stomach cramps if you do not comply!! People suffering from IBS may find that they cannot tolerate these types of foods. However, to help you, you may wish to purchase a digestive enzyme* containing galactosidase which helps with the digestion of such foods. Udo’s Choice Digestive Enzyme contains galactosidase. Also tinned chickpeas thoroughly washed may be tolerated in small amount with those with IBS. You can also sprout many dried foods. Mung beans are easy to sprout and are easier to digest for people with IBS. You can sprout nuts and grains too. Sprouted seeds are nutrient dense and can be added to salads or stir-fries.
Keep on moving. This is so important. If you are working from home, take regular breaks. Go fill up on water, have a cuppa or nip to the loo. Whilst at the sink, do some squats and stretches. Walk up and down the stairs a few times if you have them. Sign up for an online fitness programme. I am currently doing Figure 8. It’s a dance plan which I love and helps me to keep active and fit in my own home. I do it with my daughter which is great fun! There lots of plans out there to suit everyone. If you have a fitness teacher, ask them to do online classes so you can join in from home. If you can get out, go for a walk or a run. Yes, it’s allowed, as long as you don’t get too close to others. If you have a nearby park, try a brisk 15 minute walk around it, it’ll do you good.
Keep Hydrated. As a Nutritionist, this is really one tip I have to keep banging on about as it's so easy to forget to drink!! Hydration is the key to good health. We need it to replenish many of our cells, for energy, to detox our body and to help with our digestive system. Many people who are constipated are simply not drinking enough water. Depending on your weight, height and level of activity, you need to be aiming for 2-4 litres per day. This is best in the form of water. Herbal teas are also good. Although coffee can be counted remember it also acts as a diuretic, so keep it to a minimum.
Stay connected. We can still phone, FaceTime, Zoom, Skype people so please for your own sanity use the time you now have to connect with friends, family and colleagues.
Eat a variety of food. It's so easy to stick to the humdrum every day foods that are easy to reach for but variety is key to providing as many different nutrients as possible. Take advantage of what is in season. The Chinese have been successfully treating Corona with vitamin C. It's not coincidence that citrus fruit is season just now. Enjoy your oranges, lemons and limes while they last.
If you are worried about your health and want to improve your immune system then why not get in touch with about my 30 day or 90 day nutrition and lifestyle plan, whereby I do a thorough investigation into your health, history and genetics and help you find a nutrition and lifestyle plan that works for you.
A recent quote from a client when asked what she would say to a friend she about my services said.....
"Definitely do it. It will change your outlook, give you the chance to really change your health situation for the rest of your life.
You are a special person Marie and I am glad to have met and worked with you."
Marie Jarvis, Nutritional Therapist / Nutritionist, BSc, DipION, BANT, CNHC,
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*Note: if you have a health condition, are on medication or are pregnant, you should consult a doctor, pharmacist or healthcare practitioner before taking supplements.