Comfort food... there's a reason we call it that. Whether it's based on what we ate to warm up on a cold winter day as kids, or what we ate to celebrate big occasions, or the flavors we are naturally drawn to, there are foods that we tend to reach for automatically in times of stress. Unfortunately, those foods are often heavy processed carbs and often contain a lot of sugar or salt.
We are in an unprecedented time right now. If someone had predicted three months ago that we'd all be home, my son would be doing college online, and my daughter would be finishing her senior year at home with no prom and no graduation, I would have laughed. What a ridiculous idea! Yet here we are.
The urge to soothe ourselves with food and/or alcohol is real. And it's okay. There are going to be days when each of us needs to sit on the couch and eat a snack or have a drink and just chill. There are going to be days when we're overwhelmed and we need to check out for a bit. That's okay.
On most days, however, we can create some healthy habits that are simple and easy. As I work with clients to help them to add protein, probiotics, and healthy energy to their diets, and as I help people make the switch to skin products that use healthy and safe ingredients, I find that the changes that stick are the ones that are simple... easy... even fun.
Taking some small steps in your eating habits and living habits during this time of being at home can create some big health benefits. As we all look for ways to strengthen our immune systems and STAY healthy, it's fabulous news that some simple changes can make a difference.
Here are 5 simple healthy changes that you can make now:
- Add probiotics and fermented foods to your diet. - Gut health is a major key to health and to a healthy immune system. You can add kombucha, plain yogurt, or take a probiotic that has been shown to dissolve in the body. Adding the "good bacteria" to your digestive tract helps the gut to stay in balance, and that can boost our immune systems and even clear our skin.
- Stock your fridge with easy, healthy snacks. My two favorites are hummus and avocados. I love to eat carrots and hummus as a snack or even as a good portion of my lunch. Buy organic, when possible. I also love to cut an avocado, add a little Himalayan Pink Salt, and eat it as a snack. Both options are filling, healthy and easy. Another favorite is green apple slices with almond butter or another all natural nut butter.
- Go outside as often as you can. Sit outside while working on your laptop or taking a call. Walk around the block or along a path nearby. Vitamin D from the sun is not only beneficial for our immune systems, it also can boost mood. Walk barefoot in the grass for some grounding, which has been shown to neutralize free radicals in the body and improve health.
- Pamper yourself with something besides food. Take some time to read a book, walk around the block, enjoy a mud mask, watch a favorite movie, or call a friend. You absolutely deserve to treat yourself and all of these things are fabulous ways to do it.
- Add more fruits and vegetables to snacks and meals. Can you add some fruit at breakfast? Blend berries or spinach into your smoothie? Add carrots at lunch? Roast some veggies in the oven for dinner? Experiment! Vegetables are health powerhouses; the more, the merrier.
Overall, be kind to yourself. We will come out of this. Take this time to make some small healthy changes and to recharge. We're all in this together.
Cheryl Fischer is a DC Fempreneur Advocate Member and an Executive Area Manager and Independent Consultant with Arbonne International. She teaches business partners to create a Plan B income alongside busy lives, and advises clients on ways to make healthy swaps in nutrition and skin care products that add up to a big difference in overall health.