While we all sit at home, doing our duty to reduce the spread of the covid-19 virus, this is the perfect time to focus our attention inward and take care of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Once this is all over, and we get back to our new normal lives, we will want to come out of it feeling better than ever and be ready to take on the world. In this blog, you’ll learn how to stay healthy during the covid-19 lockdown and beyond.
I listened to a very informative webinar the other day that was hosted by one of my holistic health mentors, Dr. Brian Clement, who is the co-director at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. In this webinar, he spoke about a few foods that we can eat on daily basis that will help protect us from the covid-19 virus and many other diseases as well some other practices to benefit our health.
Let’s start with the foods we can eat on a daily basis that will provide us with the best nutritional value to support our best health.
At Hippocrates Health Institute, their mandate and nutrition protocol includes a variety of raw foods with an emphasis on sprouts from a variety of different seeds. Sprouts are considered some of the most nutritious foods in the world because many sprouts contain complete proteins and living enzymes that support great health and fight disease.
The top sprouts Dr. Clement recommends include:
- Garlic is considered to be very healing in verbal medicine. It is not only good for fighting off viruses but is also anti-bacterial and supports heart health.
- Allicin is a sulphurous compound in garlic that appears to encourage healing.
- According to Dr. Clement, garlic must be consumed in its raw form as sprouts or the full raw bulb. Anywhere between one and five cloves per day seems to yield the best results.
- Onion, like garlic contains sulphurous compounds that support good health. Onions discourage platelets from sticking together and prevent blood clots, they lower blood cholesterol, triglycerides and other forms of fat.
- One half of a small raw onion, or at least 1/2 cup of onion sprouts, each day will allow you to experience the health benefits of this powerful food.
- Clover sprouts look and taste similar to alfalfa sprouts and like all sprouts provide the body with protein, fibre, calcium, iron, vitamin C and folate.
- Dr. Clement recommends eating two to four handfuls of these sprouts each day for best results.
- Fresh, organic radish sprouts, like all sprouts, are rich in vitamin A, B, C and K. These spicy sprouts are also rich in chlorophyll, help boost the immune system, relieve constipation and support weight loss.
- A handful of these sprouts per day is recommended for best results.
- Sunflower sprouts are my favourite sprouts to each by themselves, add to a sandwich or salad.
- These hearty sprouts are high in complete protein, contain a good amount of vitamin C and high in vitamin E. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in these sprouts help to reduce blood pressure, increase the elasticity of arteries and prevent heart disease.
- One to two handfuls of these per day is recommended for best results.
The second important food to consume each day, according to Dr. Brian Clement, is vegetables juices. These juices provide quick energy and nutrition to the body without taxing the digestive system.
Some of the top vegetable juices Dr. Clement recommends to ward off disease, include:
- Parsley is rich in vitamins A, C, and K and are shown to reduce bad breath, improve bone health, protect against chronic diseases and provide antioxidant benefits.
- Watercress is an ancient green that contains an abundance of healing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It has been shown that eating greens such as watercress on a daily basis can help maintain healthy bones and prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
- Basil is flavourful heavy green herb that is often used in traditional Chinese Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and other holistic medicine systems as powerful healing herb.
- The benefits of consuming basil are numerous and include:
- Reduce memory loss
- Reduce depression
- Prevent and reduce stroke damage
- Improve fasting blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood
- Prevent certain cancers
- Provides antibiotic and anti-viral properties
- Consume fresh basil, add to juice or smoothies or use a basil essential oil internally or topically.
- Rosemary has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as a range of health benefits including:
- Improving digestion
- Enhancing memory and concentration
- Supports brain and eye health
- Reduces risk of disease
- Rosemary has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as a range of health benefits including:
- Consume fresh rosemary, juice or use a rosemary essential oil internally or topically.
- Thyme is thought to have antibacterial, insecticidal and anti-fungal properties.
- People used thyme throughout history for embalming and to protect from the Black Death.
- Consume fresh rosemary or use a rosemary essential oil internally or topically.
- We already spoke of the various benefits of sprouts above. Sprout juice is a great way to also consume their healing properties without taxing the digestive tract.
- Fresh, raw squash, according to Dr. Brian Clement, makes a great base for vegetable juice.
- Juice different varieties of squash with the vegetables, herbs and sprouts above and drink 16 ounces two times per day for best results.
Another habit we can all get better at that will enhance our health is to drink enough water. According to Dr. Brian Clement, most people do not drink enough water and are dehydrated most of their lives. This places the body at greater risk of developing a variety of diseases. Hydration seems to be the main reason for many different health issues. Simply drinking more water could be exactly what you need to have overall better health that will show through your skin and body weight.
To ensure you are drinking enough water and staying hydrated it is best to consume 1/2 to one ounce of water per pound of body weight. For example, if you weight 150 pounds you will want to make sure to drink at least 75 to 150 ounces of water each day. To determine this amount in cups and litres use this equation:
- 75 oz/8 oz per cup = approx. 9 cups
- 9 cups/4 cups per litre = 2.25 litres
- 150oz/8oz per cup = approx. 18 cups
- 18 cups/4 cups per litre = 4.5 litres
To review, if you weight 150 pounds and you are not active and don’t live in a hot, humid climate you would want to be sure to drink at least 2.25 lites of water per day. However, if your’e an active person or you live in a hot, humid climate, you’ll want to drink up to 4.5 litres water per day to stay adequately hydrated.
Hydration is such an important part of optimal health that I have dedicated a full module on water and hydration to my Love Yourself Healthy Program and other courses so my clients can learn how important it is to develop this habit. Many clients notice a major shift in the health just from drinking more water alone.
Exercise & Physical Activity
To gain the best health, numerous studies show that exercise, or at least moving the body a little each day, provides a variety of health and wellness benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Weight control
- Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Help manage blood sugar levels and reduce risk of diabetes
- Help you quit smoking
- Strengthen bones and muscles
- Reduce risk of some cancers including colon, breast, uterine and uterine cancer
- Reduce risk of falls
- Improve sleep
- Improve sexual health
- Increase longevity
For best health results, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week. Exercise recommendations can be met through 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week or 20 to 60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise three days per week.
In my Love Yourself Healthy Program, I review various aspects of exercise including the ideal program for each level of fitness. It’s important to consult with a health and fitness professional before starting any exercise program. For best results, it’s important have a program designed by a fitness professional that suits your personal needs and goals.
Rest & Recovery
I have to say, the one thing I’m grateful for about this time of self-isolation and social distancing is the opportunity to get some rest and recovery the body and mind. Rest and recovery is an extremely important concept of health and wellness that is often overlooked.
Rest does not mean sitting in front of the television set and binge watching your favourite shows. Real resting and recovery comes from truly resting the body and mind in silence at least a few minutes each day. It also means doing things that help to reduce stress and shut off the sympathetic, flight or fight, nervous system and turn on the parasympathetic, rest and digest, nervous system.
I get that life can be busy. However, if you choose to around each day in the fight to flight mode and don’t take the time to truly rest the body and mind, you place yourself at higher risk of getting run down and sick. Take the time to slow down, sit in silence or meditate each day. It will do wonders for your overall physical, mental and emotional health.
Finally, during this time of social distancing and isolation, it’s especially important to take time to connect with the people who are important to you. Just because we can be physically close to the ones we care about doesn’t mean we can’t still connect.
We live in a world of smart phones, FaceTime, Google chat and zoom meetings and all of them are virtually free. Since being stuck at home I’ve been able to run my registered yoga classes, host free yoga and cooking classes online and I’ve scheduled a variety of chats and visits with friends and family over Zoom and Facetime. It has really helped ease the feelings of isolation and disconnection. Think about the people in your life. Take time to make the point to call, text or email.
Humans are social animals. We must stay connected to each other in healthy ways during these uncertain times or we will all go crazy. Having a sense of community is something the human race seems to have lost over time. It’s time to get back to it.
There are many different reports, articles and opinions out there in regards to the Covid-19 situation. We can choose to give in to or release the fear. Just tune in to your heart and listen to what your soul says is the truth about what’s happening right now.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. We might not know what that reason is right now but there always is one even if it’s just on a soul level.
What’s happening right now is a chance for us to stop, take a step back, breath and remember the things that are really important to us.
This is a chance to take a good hard look at some of the lifestyle practices that people choose and examine how these lifestyle practices, such as eating animals that are kept in dirty factory farming situations or poor cleanliness routines, effect all of us around the globe.
With everyone staying inside, the earth is being given a chance to heal. There isn’t as much pollution and the active destruction of the earth’s beauty has slowed down if not come to a halt.
Take this time to shut off the news, reduce or eliminate your time in social media (or be very careful what you look at while on these platforms) and take this time for you to reflect, learn and grow. Let’s use this opportunity to come out of this better off than when we came in to it.
Until next time my friends,
Rachel Joy Olsen, BSc., MBA