There are so many things we can be doing to improve our health status on a daily basis. Do we always make the effort? No. In light of a global crisis, it may have us rethinking how easily we put some of that effort off. When life (or life for everyone) comes to a screeching halt, it almost seems like a direct order from mother nature that we need to reevaluate our habits of livelihood and maybe switch some out for ones that are more efficient or self/environmentally preserving. When there are so many overwhelming suggestions right now, I suggest you start with the simple things in life covered in my top 5 Ways to Focus on Your Health. The goal is to make the process easy and practical to your current lifestyle and how to adjust to the new normal.
What Ways Do You Need To Focus On Your Health?
For weeks I have been in a continuous conversation with my thoughts about “intuitive eating” and “flexible health habits”- wondering to myself, how much can one person afford to not create these important daily habits before something takes that all away and really teaches them to change completely. I never expected to receive such an extreme answer from the world.
Not everyone thinks having established health routines is important. Do they at some point need to or do people really get by without every really needing to prioritize their health?
All along I knew in the back of my mind what the answer was, but seeing our habits in a truer light during historic pandemonium proves to me that the following methods I use with my clients is crucial to maintaining a balanced life under any strain or health status. It is proof that when you think you are ready may be too late to start trying, much like hydration. Thirst is a sign you are already too late to fulfill your needs. If you think this is something you don’t need, you are wrong. In the next crisis, you won’t be prepared to survive without learning about some new things regarding your health practices.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to share more of the same things you have seen or already tried time and again with your health. This isn’t about an at home workout roundup or a recipe roundup. While those can be so helpful, this is about rocking your core and changing your life for the better. Of course, without completely overwhelming yourself during this panicked time or requiring you to attain the unattainable.
What I am looking for is for you to take this opportunity to get into the dusty parts of your life and clean out the nitty gritty of some of your daily habits. There will be no better time to start shaking things up in order to optimize your comfort, nourishment, happiness and overall financial efficiency related to your health. It’s time to find new ways to focus on your health with a personal deep clean.
If you think you don’t need this or if you think you are ready (or not even) for this crisis or not, chances are, you are going to get restless during an extended self quarantine and there may be some casualties (struggles, rationing, arguments, etc.) that might go on in your household during this time.
This historical moment has everyone policing others over their behavior, not totally sure themselves what is right or wrong anymore. Self isolation with limited resources and freedom teaches you a lot about how much time, energy, money and awareness you are willing to commit towards your health.
Some may realize they devote too much of one thing to achieving a balanced livelihood and this can cause a lot of stress and strain on your lifestyle during the current crisis.
It is now or never to give yourself a shot at improving the quality of your life when you can no longer just buy a cheap solution for every problem. It’s time to figure things out for yourself and learn a few new things about how your health habits influence your quality of life and overall health. Instead of just ordering a solution, make one (these obviously are not words for every need, but can apply to many during sudden tough times).
5 Ways to Focus On Your Health At Home
1. Assess Your Pantry Staples
First thing is first during this crisis, we have to bring up the fear shopping and how we might be feeling about our food habits right about now. Does this situation have you at all reevaluating how you normally stock your pantry? I sure have and I am also glad to have started this practice of re-prioritizing my pantry items months ago, for the sake of saving money & reducing environmental impact. This moment in history is proof to me that no matter what your situation is, it is always good to be prepared.
Don’t put off your health efforts now. This doesn’t mean go all in and avoid carbs, go totally gluten free (unless you need to), eat plant based, avoid junk food, etc. I mean, it is time to make a plan for your pantry preparedness and reconsider making minor changes while keeping a well balanced and stocked pantry. You can get detailed tips and suggestions by referring to my balanced pantry essentials list included in the Mindful Eating Ebook listed below.
Here is what is included in the Pantry List:
2. Spend Some Time Eating Mindfully
Isolation at home is not ideal to many people and feelings of restlessness can set in. A global crisis requiring widespread self isolation is the perfect time to prioritize self grounding work and learn more about the connection between your body processes & how you are feeling.
There are so many ways you can expand your relationship with food and your current health status through mindful eating. I strongly encourage you spend your time during this isolation period learning about your eating and digesting processes through the mindful eating exercises in my Mindful Eating Ebook & the Free Balancing Self Care Ebook that I created with Lauren from Flora & Vino.
The Mindful Eating Ebook includes intuitive eating exercises and has you review every element of your dietary habits like budget, skills, equipment, taste preferences and recipes you like. It encourages you to try new things and guides you through implementing them, making sure you and your body benefit from the experience. If you want to expand on the pantry stocking section in this, check out the spices tips listed in number 3 below.
The Balancing “You” Time Ebook includes easy and minimal plant based recipes, sustainability tips and intuitive eating exercises.
Note: I am making the Mindful Eating Ebook Free Until Further Notice. Just click each image to download directly.
3. Take a Look at Your Spice Cabinet
Now that we are all reviewing our food stocking skills a little differently these days, it is the perfect time to get to know some of the spices you have tucked in the back of your pantry (make sure they are not too old-gross!). While essentials are flying off the shelves, many stores still have a lot of the flavor enhancing ingredients I keep stocked up on.
Chances are, you may end up eating meals that are more sparse in ingredient variety or freshness compared to what you may prefer or are used to. If you want to include more fresh foods to improve your health, it can be tricky but you can do it and be smart about it. Read up on some of my favorite flavorful pantry essentials in the Balanced Spices Handout and turn some really boring meals into cheap and delicious ones!
If you want to expand on a larger pantry overhaul, this spice guide is the perfect way to take that to the next level. In the spice handout, I go over maximizing the uses of fresh, dried and packaged ingredients. Testing out new options for acid, aromatic flavor, minerals, fats, salt etc. is a great way to reduce your overall use of certain ingredients, reduce your grocery budget and lean more on nonperishable items. This gives you a chance to explore new flavors without feeling like your supplies are greatly restricted at this time. After all, the best remedy for a restless soul is something delicious.
Download my Free Balanced Spices Handout to take your spice game to the next level. Here is what you get:
4. Learn About Immune Boosting Nutrients
Everyone has something to say or has questions about how to boost your immunity during this pandemic. These days, doing so effectively is going to be hard based on limited access to supplement vendors, mail delivery and the fresh foods we might normally go for as a cheap and delicious way to get an immune boost.
The reality of any situation is that you should always have a plan and routine to include immune boosting nutrients. Those who already have nutrient rich pantry staples will have an easier time adjusting to the new normal and a better experience in isolation as well as, whether or not they get sick.
I recommend you spend some time learning about a variety of immune boosting nutrients and where to find them. Read more about some of my favorite immune boosting nutrients below. I had a strong desire to highlight these nutrients over others because most can be found in cheap, shelf stable pantry essentials and make a big difference in your overall immune health. Click through the links below to get an introduction to some immune supporting nutrients & how they function.
Zinc is a powerful and popular immune boosting nutrient. It has a wide range of functions as it is found in over a hundred different enzymes and plays an important role in healing wounds. Needless to say, it is all over our immune system, protecting us through active healing and the eradication of pathogens. It can help improve symptoms and quality of life in prevention of and treatment of a number of conditions or illnesses. Zinc is an important and abundant nutrient to support everyday health … Read More . . .
B12 is a big conversation among vegetarians, vegans and plant based individuals. B12 is abundant in many animal proteins but difficult to maintain on a plant based diet. B12 is a critical immune supporter and more importantly, an energy and probiotic regulator. We need it to turn our food into energy and create new blood cells as well as manage the bacteria found in our digestive tracts (from mouth to gut). B12 is necessary to keep the brain, blood and nervous system functioning optimally. It is … Read More . . .
Many people know that calcium is important to grow and maintain strong bones. Many people don’t know the wide range of foods that contain calcium outside of dairy and the roles that calcium plays in the human body. Did you know that calcium is important in monitoring the pH levels in the blood? Foods that contain a lot of calcium are tofu, almonds, spinach, parmesan, sardines and tahini. If you don’t eat enough varieties of calcium rich ingredients, you definitely want to check out … Read More . . .
Magnesium plays an important role in the processes of movement and relaxation. It plays a key role in our recovery, rejuvenation, and ability to use energy. Without magnesium, we can’t get very far and may struggle with restlessness, cramps, fatigue, aches and pains, dehydration, and impaired mental function (i.e. over emotional, angry, poor concentration, poor comprehension, etc). Magnesium helps maintain a healthy energy system in our body and keeps it’s physical structure clean, active and … Read More . . .
Potassium is one of the more important nutrients that the body relies on. It plays a vital role in hydration of all things in the body. Many processes in the body cannot take place without proper fluid control to all areas. In a time of dehydration, potassium adjusts to help support all of the vital processes that take place. It keeps all parts of our muscles, skeleton and nervous system flowing together smoothly. This plays a critical role in many healing processes, especially the role of … Read More . . .
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral. While not the most commonly found nutrient, it is typically found among high protein sources. Antioxidants remove toxic stress on the body caused by a number of agents of oxidative stress/inflammation (like pollution, mold, illness, mental stress, injury, stale food, plastic, etc.). The impact of toxins found in these everyday encounters vary in severity. Your body needs cleanup protection measures and selenium plays anti-inflammatory roles in the … Read More . . .
When you hear vitamin A, you probably think about orange foods like carrots and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A is actually present in a number of nutrient rich ingredients ranging in color from red, orange, yellow and even green. Some ingredients with a lot of vitamin A include liver, carrot juice, sweet potato, butternut squash, collard greens, pumpkin, bluefin tuna, swiss chard, broccoli rabe, boo toy and kale. Vitamin A is a powerful fat soluble antioxidant that can support durability of skin, … Read More . . .
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients. While people associate with Vitamin D with happiness and sunshine, it actually plays a critical role in sustainable energy. Vitamin D is fat soluble but created with hormones/other nutrients found on the surface of skin. It is then absorbed through fat in the skin and eventually absorbed through the blood stream. As a powerful nutrient, it works by maintaining energy converted from food, supporting your blood pressure regulation (helpful & … Read More . . .
5. Tips for a Healthy Back While Working From Home
There is no time like during the current global circumstances to make us reassess how we do just about everything related to our health. While many are working from home for extended periods, they might just learn a new thing or two about their health in ways they might not expect.
Some might expect to make changes to their hygiene habits, but others might realize a thing or two about how their body operates physically while working in a new setting. Sounds minor enough compared to a global pandemic but posture still is very important.
We tend to go about our days as usual, paying attention to the task at hand but rarely do people ever stop to think mindfully about how they hold a pencil & how that might be effecting the whole of the body and physical health.
You can’t easily cause injury from holding a pencil but if you take the example of straining your wrist while you write and add it all up with hundreds of other minor strains throughout the day, multiply that by years and you can be prone to developing some aches, pains or even worse, injuries. Over time, that can create major health issues that can cause frustrating physical limitations you would not want to be experiencing during a global pandemic. It’s blunt and tough, but true. Practicing good posture can save you a lot of struggle in a situation you wouldn’t expect to be in.
Now is the perfect time to asses how you go about your day to day and what you can do to improve overall health and prevent any prolonged health issues like neck and back pain.
Here are some helpful tips and tutorials on neck & back pain:
Tips on everyday activities for a healthy back: https://www.spine.org/KnowYourBack/Prevention/Lifestyle-Choices/10-Tips-for-a-Healthy-Back
Proper Computer Posture: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/how-to-sit-at-a-computer/
Importance of Good Working Posture: https://www.anthrodesk.com/blog/the-importance-of-good-posture-at-work
While you are stuck at home, consider some potential upgrades for the future by checking out my favorite 10 Office Tools To Help Relieve Back Pain.
Ways to Focus On Your Health Moving Forward
While we all panic, worry, hope and pray, do what you can to create moments for yourself and your own growth. If you think you don’t need it or can’t make it happen, reconsider. You are only self sabotaging and the value of the impact you have over not making the effort to improve these areas of your life can add up. While so many need help, we cannot be there for others if we are not healthy first. Make sure you are taking extra care, learning new things on how to do so and are supporting others in new ways you haven’t been before. You can easily add 5 Ways to Focus on Your Health every day with small changes that make a massive difference in your own and others quality of life.
Make sure to get on social media and let me know what tips you found the most helpful in these resources. What do you need help with? Connect with me @theakkitchen and tag #theakkitchen on Instagram, Facebook , or if you want to customize 5 Ways to Focus on Your Health, you can book an appointment, or send me an Email!