We are currently living in unique times, and people might be wondering where all this is going and if everything will be OK eventually. Many will be wanting to keep some semblance of normality, and for good reason. Studies have shown that those people who don’t have structure in their lives might feel directionless. They are more likely to suffer from depression and a sense of having “everything to do”, but no motivation to do it. I totally get it. This is the first time in our lifetimes that we are likely to have experienced anything like this.
For those who are working from home, I imagine that life will continue in a similar way for the most part. In this situation, and having spoken to office workers in the USA who are now working remotely, they all reiterate that it’s important to keep a daily routine. So if you normally work an 8 till 5 job, stick to those hours, and the only thing you’ll miss is the travelling time, which can only be a good thing! Get up at the same time of day and go to bed at the normal time. Eliminate screen time at least 1 hour before bed and limit your access to news items and the frenzy of mass media, especially before bed, since this might embed negative thoughts or concerns into your subconscious. Blue light from phones and computers disturbs quality sleep. Unplug and switch off.
Here in the UK we are allowed out to exercise once a day and that includes walking, running and cycling. Make a point of taking advantage of this right now! Exercise is essential for mental and physical wellbeing. So if you aren’t a regular exerciser, start immediately. Get outside for a brisk walk or a slow run. It’s easy and it’s free. There’s never been a better time to start. Because, like all others in the UK, my gym has closed down, I have bought some resistance bands for home-based weight training workouts. I recommend that you do the same. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show you how to use them. There – that’s something that you can do with any extra time you may have, especially if you have been furloughed.
If indeed you have been furloughed, spend your time at home as productively as you can. Have a massive tidy up and clear out. Being surrounded by clutter and things you don’t need dulls your focus and can reduce your enjoyment of your home (and make you grumpy). It might be overwhelming if stuff has been accumulating for years, so start small. Choose one room, or even one cupboard, and work out an action plan. Do you need just a general superficial clearance of clutter or do you want to go really deep and eliminate everything that isn’t absolutely essential in your life? I did this in my bedroom last August (going really deep) and it was cathartic and liberating. I loved the process! Whilst we in the UK can’t go to the tip or take items to the charity shop right now, it’s still an excellent opportunity to get really well sorted out; I’m sure you’ll love your new clear space and wonder why you didn’t do it years ago.
Looking after your health has never been more important. You need excellent immunity and high quality food to recover quickly from any viral attack, or better still, avoid it in the first place. Here are some ideas of foods and supplements that are excellent for your health at this or indeed any other time. More information on immunity and also keeping the respiratory system healthy can be found in my book The Whole Body Solution, available here.
As I understand it, this book was even being used in class by a year 11 vegan student in one school prior to lockdown, so word is getting out.
Moving on to food – eat your sprouts! Lentil sprouts and mung sprouts are an excellent source of protein and healthy carbs. They are cupboard staples that lasts for months and will see you through difficult times. Forget cans of baked beans – all you need is a sprouting jar and you’re good to go. Small green leafy sprouts are also brilliant for health, notably loaded with vitamins and trace minerals. I am growing lots of them in my Freshlife automatic sprouter and I recommend that you do the same. Need a Freshlife sprouter? Buy one online here, and quote RAWFOOD20 at checkout to get a 20% discount. Now’s the time!
Eat your greens. Because salad greens are perishable, they thankfully still seem to be in good supply. Eat salads every day and supercharge them with your sprouts. Add at least 2 cloves of crushed garlic to all your salads. For sure your breath might smell a bit, but who cares – we’re isolating, right? Garlic is antiviral, antibacterial and keeps the circulation healthy. Go on, add it to everything – I dare you.
Stock up on chia seeds. These little black wonders are a nutritional powerhouse and they last for months in the cupboard. You can serve them soaked in your favourite (preferably home-made) nut milk. In addition to my twice daily green juice, chia seeds with hazelnut milk are currently my post-workout meal.
Scared of food shortages? Grab some raw vegan protein powder. This is a great option for anyone who is exercising heavily, and all those with an ectomorphic body type. Ectomorphs are those tall, lean people who have trouble maintaining muscle mass. You know who you are… I have plenty of Sunwarrior and Vivo Sport Perform protein powder stashed away in case things get really tough, or if Waitrose runs out of lentils!
Supplement-wise I am asked all the time which supplements are good for the immune system. Information I have received from the USA indicates that those hospitals which are treating coronavirus patients with vitamin C are getting them better faster and getting them out of hospital more quickly. My favourite supplement, as many of you know, is Juice Plus capsules and one study performed in Germany indicated that taking Juice Plus every day had a protective effect against colds and flu in office workers.
To make it clear, no studies have yet been performed to see if Juice Plus helps people with coronavirus, but since other studies indicate it has benefits for the immune system, I am personally continuing to take all four capsule types every day. If you can afford it, I recommend that you do the same. To save on cost, you can “mix and match” capsule types – check out this webpage for more information and to order yours (scroll down for the various options, including the fully-vegan Omegas – which I also love). Finally, choose the capsules not the soft chewables – the capsules are much better.
A good quality green powder is also useful to get those superfoods on board and keep your resilience high. Add it to your daily green juice if you like – it’s what I do. I am currently using Raw Reserve made by Amazing Grass, mainly because it was the only one I found in the health food store prior to lockdown.
Here’s the USA site for my friends across the pond. For the UK, just Google.
So in summary – keep to a regular routine and avoid negative news. Get good quality sleep, and ensure that you exercise every day, or at least 5 times a week, for at least 30 minutes but preferably an hour. Have a project (something to focus on), and stay positive. Fuel yourself with excellent nutrition and clinically proven supplementation. Breathe and let go. And always remember the phrase: “This, too, shall pass.”