Are you one of the fortunate ones who saw self isolation as a time to eat well, lose weight, sleep more, exercise at home and now are bursting with energy right now?
If not, this is the perfect time to reboot. Social activities are still at an all-time low, so perhaps you could turn your attention inwards to improve your overall health and to prepare to bounce into spring in a couple of months!
First cab off the rank now is improving your immunity – which is particularly important at the moment given we are in our traditional cold and flu season.
Here are some simple changes you can make yourself:
- Take probiotics and eat food that feed your good gut bacteria such as sauerkraut, bone broth, kefir, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, and leeks.
- Eat easily digestible foods such as colourful vegetable soups, casseroles, fresh green juices. Include some garlic, turmeric and ginger, which are natural healers. Spirulina and chlorophyll smoothies also help increase immunity and better absorption of food.
- Essential fatty acids boost the immune system, Alaskan salmon. Nuts, seeds. Flaxseed oil in salads, smoothies, even off the spoon.
- Herbs such as Echinacea, Cat’s Claw, Bacial Skullcap, Gotu Kola, Pelargonium, Siberian ginseng can help.
Free radicals in your body can damage cells and contribute to serious illness. Antioxidants are molecules that can deactivate free radicals, preventing them from damage. Fresh fruit and vegetables are good choices of antioxidants.
Delicious antioxidant rich foods include berries, especially goji berries, pomegranates, turmeric, Brazil nuts and green tea.
Herbs such as Turmeric, Ginkgo, Cat’s claw, Devil’s claw, Astragalus, Andrographis are favourites
To improve immunity we also need to move the lymph. The lymphatic system collects waste from your cells and tissues, it doesn’t have a heart to pump the fluid around, it relies on movement of your muscles. So you’ve guessed it, exercise is the key if you’ve been sitting a lot during isolation. This can be gentle exercise such as yoga, Pilates and tai chi – it doesn’t have to be running a marathon, although that really moves the lymph. Also new research has shown that sitting 5 hours a day is akin to smoking 1 ½ packs of cigarettes a day so remember to get up every half an hour if you’re spending your day on a computer right now.
Daily skin brushing before your shower improves circulation and stimulates your lymphatic system, take a rough brush and exfoliating mit and brush from the hands to the heart and the feet to the heart. You’ll feel tingly and energised immediately
Lymphatic drainage massage helps remove the fluid and waste, if time and budget allows, a massage a fortnight is recommended. How decadent.
Useful herbs are Calendula, Clovers, Poke Root.
Detoxification, which improves immunity, stimulates the release of toxins so it’s important to help facilitate their release.
Water, water, water! Filtered and at least 2 litres a day, but depending on your weight and exercise, you may need much more. Herbal teas count towards your water, but coffee and tea work against you.
Food needs to be fresh (remember the saying ‘eat what can be killed or grown’) and for best results, eat bitter food – all those bitter lettuces, rocket, endive, as well as all the cabbage family foods. Plus lemon in water on rising, dandelion tea or grapefruit.
Sweating is beneficial for detoxification; a favourite treatment is infrared saunas. These are so much more comfortable than the traditional saunas which can burn the lips and nostrils. Infrared saunas are a great way to promote sweating which assists detoxification. Sit back, listen to a guided meditation and relax. You will feel amazing afterwards.
Epsom salts baths encourage elimination of toxins through the skin whilst absorbing magnesium, are perfect for winter time. Not to mention it will kill off many virus’ that cannot survive in heat. Aim for 1 to 2 baths week. A great excuse if you are a bath person.
Colonics are a super way to aid detox, regulars become addicted to the way they make you feel. We can book you in to our favourite clinic at Gravity North.
Useful herbs include Dandelion, St Mary’s Thistle, Globe Artichoke, Gentian, Licorice, Burdock, Picrorrhiza, Oregon Grape, and Vervain
It’s imperative to keep stress levels low at all times, but especially now because when you are stressed and your cortisol is high, it lowers your white blood cells and interferon which fight virus’.
Useful herbs are Rhodiola, Withania, Rehmannia, Skullcap, Zizyphus and Schisandra.
While winter is not the time I normally advise dieting, if you have put a few too many kilos whilst being in isolation, your body will thank you for it right now. There are a myriad of ways to lose that extra weight. As I am nearing 10,000 kilos in weight loss (in my patients you understand, not me), why not let me design the best solution for you to help remove those so easy to put on, but oh so hard to remove, kilos?
Useful herbs include Coleus, Goat’s Rue, Globe artichoke, Fennel and Licorice.
Don’t forget to manage your sleep, whether you are affected by too much or too little work, sleep helps you manage stress. Slow your mind before you sleep to energise yourself. Turn off all your stimulating high vibrational content – media, social media, work communication, at least 1 hour before sleeping, 10pm-2am is the best time for sleeping for the mind, the brain and the body.
Useful herbs include Passionflower, Hops, Lavender and Mexican Valerian.
At Optimum Health Essentials we have many herbal medicines and supplements available to help facilitate your needs right now be it for immunity, lymph, liver, sleep and stress levels, so if you or anyone you know needs extra help right now, call us on 9999 1680.
Naturopath, Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher, Author