You have probably noticed that the world is in complete panic about the Corona Virus….. shops are selling out of food, people are fighting in supermarket aisles over loo roll and understandably anxiety levels have risen. Media coverage, fake news and gossip are in full circulation and not helping anyone or the situation!
To help support you in challenging times I have put together some of my personal protocols, products and tips that I have implementing for my family and myself, I hope they help you too. Any product recommendations or recipes with ** can be found at the bottom of this page.
Please note these suggestions are for information only and are not to be used to self medicate or diagnose or as treatment or cure for the Covid-19. If you have any concerns about your health please contact your doctor. Use the suggestions below wisely, you don’t need to go crazy and buy everything mentioned, instead do your own research and invest in a few that you think you will be able to implement into your diet and lifestyle with ease. Please contact me if you’d like any further advise or have any questions.
Boost your immune system.
Starting with the basics of the immune system – Vitamin C! This is a vital vitamin that strengthens the immune system and helps to fight off infection at a cellular level. Vitamin C can be found in every day foods such as kiwi’s peppers, oranges, goji berries for example but if you want to increase your vitamin C dose then you add in a superfood called Camu Camu which I love ( 1 tsp has 60 x more vitamin C than an orange). You can find it on Superfoodies** which I know is a good brand or in my I AM Beautiful blend** which has camu camu, goji berry, acai and rosehip powder in, all which are rich in vitamin C.
I personally prefer a powdered supplement over capsule supplements as the powders are natural food sources (cold milled whole food ingredients) and the nutrients go straight into your system making the delivery much quicker. But if you do decide to go for a capsule supplement opt for food grown supplements vs synthetic. I like Wild Nutrition** or Garden of Life **
Other vitamin C rich foods / superfoods; Acerola Cherries, Acai, Rosehip, Parsley, Kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lemons…
Cellular Strength with Antioxidants.
Antioxidants are chemical compounds found in natural food sources that fight free radical damage. Free radicals are toxins such as cigarette smoke, fried food/sugar, alcohol, environmental toxins etc… and when they get into our system they cause cellular damage which lead to illness and disease.
Antioxidants are found in a variety of natural foods which is why I always tell my clients to “eat a rainbow” to ensure that a full spectrum of nutrients are eaten. Research shows that polyphenol antioxidants suppress viruses so paying attention to the antioxidants in your diet is essential to keep your body strong, healthy and virus free.
Common antioxidants: All berries, nuts, legumes, dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, artichokes, kiwi, apricots, beetroot, herbs and spices such as cumin, parsley, cinnamon and ginger, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil, green tea.
Superfood & Nutrient Dense Antioxidants are again usually found in super-powders such as: moringa, maca, medicinal mushrooms including reshi, chaga and cordeceps, Astragulas, wild blueberry, Hawaiian spriulina, ashwagandha
I personally drink my blend I AM Energised** on a daily basis which has the majority of the above mentioned superfoods and adaptogens for the antioxidants, immune and hormonal support.
I add the following into the smoothies I make for my family : Wild Blueberry Powder** and Hawaiian Spriulina** plus Barley Grass powder**
Increase or add Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial foods
Foods with Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial properties can promote healing and prevent secondary infections. Coconut oilboosts a weakened immune system by improving white blood cell counts which help the body fight viruses. Opt for cold pressed, raw, organic coconut oil and use in baking, smoothies, coffee, homemade granola, raw treats/ energy balls and you can also use it to cook with as it has a high smoke point.
Another great natural food which is highly beneficial is raw honey**, note that it is important that the honey is raw and unpasturized as processed honey destroys all vital beneficial components of honey.
Manuka Honey is also another highly beneficial healing honey which is sourced from the Manuka plant, if shopping for Manuka honey you will notice it has a UMF rating which increases with quality (and price too) look for 10 UMF and above.
Other anti-viral and anti-bacterial foods to consider… garlic, colloidal silver, Echinacea, green tea, grapefruit seed extract, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, moringa, vitamin C rich foods (as above)
If you aren’t already drinking 2 litres of water then please make sure you increase your water and keep hydrated – super important!! Water is essential for detoxification and elimination of toxins.
Reduce caffeine, alcohol, processed food and processed sugar as these all suppress the immune system. Caffeine can increase anxiety and all of the above deplete the adrenals, the glands that regulate your stress response so if you are feeling stressed and anxious these foods may increase your symptoms.
Things to Try:
Every morning start the day with ½ a sliced lemon in hot water. Lemons have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers.
Or freshly cut ginger in hot water
Or my beauty tonic recipe** which is what I drink every morning and is also great for skin!
Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to a glass of water and drink before a meal as its a good probiotic for gut health, which will also support your immunity. When shopping for ACV look for unfiltered, unrefined, unpasteurized and known as the “Mother” (it will look murky and might have a strange floating blob – this is the “Mother”and is extremely beneficial!
Drink a smoothie for breakfast to incorporate a good variety of wholefoods, superfoods and adpatogens – starting your day with a smoothie sets you up for the day ahead and influences what you will eat throughout the day ahead.
PANIC isolation cooking ideas..
If you find you and your family in isolation here are some ideas for keeping healthy and your immune system strong…
If you can’t get fresh fruit and vegetables then use frozen, these are great for smoothies and soups
Hummus is a good source of protein that can be made quickly from a handful of ingredients, which have a long(ish) shelf life (keep lemons and garlic in the fridge). Both lemon and garlic are hugely beneficial as mentioned above.
Opt for brown pasta, and rice to keep fibre levels up. Also quinoa and cous cous are great cupboard staples. Other long life ingredients which will make a good meal include jars of olives, sundried tomatoes and artichokes.
Batch make pesto and freeze which is great in pasta and risotto with frozen peas
When bananas are ripe peel and freeze in a freezer bag – great for smoothies too.
Frozen spinach is also great for smoothies too.
Move. Ok, so you are eating well now but you need to keep your body moving for both mental and physical health. A lot of exercise classes have been cancelled but teachers are posting online classes, which keep a community atmosphere and offer much needed accountability. If you are isolating then do you have access to any walks? Connecting with nature is great way to calm the mind and body whilst also being a good form of movement so get out in fresh air and move your body daily if that is available to you.
Sleep. A lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can affect your immune system and studies have shown that those who don’t get enough good quality sleep are more likely to get sick and are more susceptible to colds and viruses and recovery.
Breathe. You know you are breathing as you are alive and reading this, but take a moment to notice your breath, is it short and sharp in your chest or is it long and slow into your belly?
Take some time every day to notice your breathing and slow it down for 10 or so minutes a day. Deep belly breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system promoting calmness. There are various types of breathing that improve the immune system and general health and wellbeing such as pranayama and The Wim Hof method.
The corona virus is challenging many people pushing them into unhealthy spirals of anxiety and depression. Please pay extra attention to your mental health and mental energy as fear will deplete your immune system so even if you are doing all of the above then this will be counter productive if you are living in fear.
Disconnect from social media. Social Media can be great to keep up to date on what going on in the world but it can also be really damaging to watch panic and rumours spread on social platforms and in the media.
If you are feeling anxious about the corona virus take all social media apps off your phone and turn off news notifications. I have done both of these and access from my laptop when I choose to. This stops the constant pop ups and updates which can keep you on high alert and in the fight or flight response.
You may also benefit from turning off your facebook and/or whatsapp group notifications that increase anxiety, worry or fear. Please note this is only a temporary measure until things settle down.
Limit you connection with negative people who are increasing anxiety. I realise this might not be easy if these people happen to be close family but can you set sensible boundaries? Also look outside of your family unit to see if there are any in your friendship circles that are increasing anxiety, if so then slowly and kindly distance yourself for a short time.
Avoid hysteria and check your facts. I am sure a lot of us are guilty of getting sucked up into fake news or some kind, so take a moment to breathe and check facts before getting swept up in more anxiety driven news. The World Health Organisation has up to date information which as far as I am aware is a reliable source. If you are travelling then check restrictions with your travel agent or company.
Meditation. I personally am a big fan of mediation and have noticed huge shifts in my life since I introduced a daily practice many years ago, I am currently meditating 45 minutes in the mornings and up to 20 minutes at night and have found so much more peace and calm in my life, the stress is still present but how I deal with it has changed.
Meditation increases relaxation and brings your body back into its natural state of rest and digest. It can decrease anxiety and depression and help to improve sleep. Meditation can also help improve the immune system, reduce the blood pressure and improve focus and concentration.
Try to meditate for 10 minutes a day to start with, the important thing is to show up for yourself daily as a non-negotiable commitment. It can be challenging to just sit there for 10 minutes unaided therefore I would recommend using an app for guidance (I’ve attached 2 I have recorded below).
Meditation apps – Headspace, Deepak Chopra 21 day meditation, calm and Silatha
Reduce Stress. Easier said than done I know and especially at the moment, but see if you can look at the other the stresses in your life and let anything go? Also by making adjustments to your diet and lifestyle such as meditation this can help your body adapt to stress too.
Another thing that can help you manage stress are by introducing adaptogens – these are herbs that help to rebalance the body and bring it back to homeostasis (they can help to reduce cortisol and blood pressure or lift depression for example)
I collapsed twice in my 30’s as a result of Chronic Fatigue which was devastating in many ways so these days I am a bit of an expert in this field! I healed myself naturally through many of the steps I have explained above and included a number of adaptogenic herbs in my healing plan to nourish my adrenals, in particular my I AM Energised blend (which is why I had this one formulated). Ashwaghandha and Maca are both in my Energised blend but I also have them as powders that I add in smoothies and porridge to help with stress management.
It goes without saying that we are living in uncertain and unknown times, which are changing daily and are completely out of our control.
We can’t control this situation but we can take daily measures to nurture and nourish our mental, physical and emotional health. These steps are well within your capabilities and your control so if everything else feels chaotic try to focus on you, your family and keeping everyone around you strong in mind, body and soul.
Also, remember kindness and compassion to others in challenging times, supermarket sweeps are leaving empty shelves and potentially the elderly and vulnerable without food. We are all very fortunate, much more than many others so please give a second thought to panic buying and think about other around you that might need help or support, for example, do you have an elderly neighbour who can’t get out and needs help with shopping?
And lastly an attitude of gratitude is also key for optimum health in my opinion, when we look at what we do have with a grateful and loving heart the space lack fills becomes smaller and smaller before disappearing and we come to the realisation that we are abundant in so many ways.
Stay healthy and if you have any questions please get in touch with me via email Naomi@nourishbynaomi.com
Here are some of the brands and products I use daily and have in my kitchen at the moment. These are part of my every day maintenance
I AM Beautiful – https://www.nourishbynaomi.com/i-am-beautiful/
I AM Energised – https://www.nourishbynaomi.com/i-am-energised/
Ashwagandha & Maca – https://www.nourishbynaomi.com/functional-adaptogens/
Wild Nutrition – https://www.wildnutrition.com
Garden of Life – https://www.gardenoflife.co.uk
Camu Camu – https://superfoodies.com/products/camu-camu-powder?_pos=1&_sid=f2b8aa16e&_ss=r
Hawaiian Spirulina https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spirulina-Powder-250g-Hawaiian-Pacifica/dp/B004G7QO2Q/ref=sr_1_8?crid=VTB64O3ZGT7K&keywords=hawaiian+spirulina&qid=1583583504&sprefix=hawaiian+spir%2Caps%2C141&sr=8-8
Wild Blueberry powder – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blueberry-Wild-Crafted-Antioxidants-Additives-Superfood/dp/B00IG7SVUU/ref=sr_1_5?crid=PIBPB43AET02&keywords=wild+blueberry+powder+organic&qid=1583583649&sprefix=wild+blue%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-5
Barley Grass Juice Powder – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Synergy-Natural-Organic-Barley-Powder/dp/B004JBPEIY/ref=sr_1_14?crid=3L9PFBJFVR7NQ&keywords=barley+grass+juice+powder&qid=1584365829&sprefix=barley+g%2Caps%2C141&sr=8-14
Raw honey – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raw-Health-Organic-Blossom-Honey/dp/B00F0G56OY/ref=sr_1_23?keywords=raw+honey&qid=1584367074&sr=8-23
|BEAUTY TONIC RECIPE|
|Add one ice cube to 1 cup of hot (not boiling water) followed by 2 tsp of I AM Beautiful and stir well.|
Naomi’s TIP: please note the powder might settle so it’s worth keeping a spoon in your mug and stirring before you sip to avoid too much settling on the bottom.
This recipe has been loved by ladies who attended The SKIN workshop and I personally drink it every day and love it.
Note: Turmeric can stain so be careful (this is why I don’t peel my turmeric but make sure I always buy organic). If you have got a white work surface in your kitchen – please take extra care!!