How to Maintain Positive Wellness During a Pandemic

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Aussie Nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge shares her professional advice on ways we can all maintain our wellness during the COVID-19 crisis.

Admit it, we are all guilty of feeling tired and frustrated at social distancing and self-isolation. Yet despite our initial feelings about the whole process which took effect several weeks ago, we followed the rules, kept our distance and stayed at home isolating ourselves. And not just to prevent the spread, but to protect our loved ones as well.

Of course, as we now pass week five of self-isolation one thing is certainly clear, when will it end. Instead of looking at the negative side of the whole COVID-19 crisis, let;’s look at the positives and what can be gained from such a life altering experience.

Michele is often referred to as the ‘modern day nutritional medicine practitioner’ who loves to eat and cook and instills in her clients that ‘extremes’ do not work – real food does. Writer and publisher of successful blog ‘A Healthy View she shares her insights and professional advice on the positives which can be gained whilst living through, what some have considered to be a total nightmare.

“Let’s start with the positives. What we can control and what can we change?  Right now, there is so much we cannot control – the invisible virus, the financial markets and the curious behaviour of people around us.

But we can control a few things starting with what we eat, how that affects our sleep and the knock-on effect on our minds.  If the brain is well nourished, our thoughts are clearer and calmer, and we push into a pro-active, positive mind-set.” She says.

Michele Chevalley Hedge hs prepared a meal for the family at home
Michele Chevalley Hedge with a delicious healthy homemade meal for the family.

Here are some of Michele’s most important wellness habits to embrace for true wellbeing throughout the COVID-19 crisis. 

  1. Keep it Clean

Firstly, make sure anyone who has any symptoms which may be related to the coronavirus keeps out of the kitchen and even away from family dinners. This is a time where sitting down together at the table is not ideal.

Even without symptoms, everyone needs to practise good hygiene for food safety in the kitchen. That means frequent and thorough hand washing, not touching faces, proper cough etiquette

It’s also important to avoid sharing eating and drinking utensils. Assign everyone their own cup, plate, bowl, and cutlery, and make sure each set is washed with detergent and water, then put in the dishwasher. Use disposable paper towels to wipe down surfaces frequently with disinfectant cleaning products.

  1. Social Eating

 Just because you and your family are isolated doesn’t mean you should eat tasteless, boring or low nutrient food.  And the food doesn’t need to be expensive either.  Getting innovative in the kitchen can be a good distraction if you are cooped up. Share recipes with friends and cook for one another.  

  1. Pantry Essentials  – that are affordable!
  • Eggs: As well as containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals, eggs are among the richest sources of choline, a nutrient that makes acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain involved in nerve and brain functioning and memory. Many of the B vitamins found in eggs are important for mental wellbeing. Vitamin D – Eggs are among the few food sources of vitamin D, needed for bones, teeth, muscles and a strong immune system. 
  • Milk is a versatile and budget-friendly way to pack a variety of nutrients into your diet, including B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and iodine. 
  • Almonds and nuts generally are powerhouses. I know they do not appear to be economical, but they are when you consider the nutritional density. Nuts are a heart-friendly and provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals. There’s evidence that, almonds may help us better regulate our weight and reduce belly fat, possibly because they help fill us up and replace other snacks in our diet that is higher in calories and lower in nutrients. Seven nuts and cup of herbal tea is the perfect snack, so we boost our brain and not our waistline.
  • Canned and frozen veggies are antioxidants that come in packages. Fresh is best but not so accessible or affordable for many. Pick up frozen broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, broad beans, green beans which have long freezer life. 
  • Sweet potatoes/kumara are the “super taters”.  Better than white potatoes as they contain a wider range of nutrients and are especially rich in beta-carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A, a nutrient that’s vital for our immune system and healthy skin. 
  • Legumes are the power duo as they are both carb and protein. Beans and pulses are a source of probiotics for friendly bacteria in the gut. We need a healthy gut for a strong immune system.  

4. Freezing Foods

Cool your food before freezing it. If it’s still hot it will heat up your freezer and could cause other foods to defrost. Never refreeze anything that has been defrosted. Ensure you seal or wrap your food thoroughly and remove all air as you are wrapping. Label foods and make sure you include the date. 

  1. Meditation, Yoga, and Mindfulness
  2. Chelsea Pottenger Monday Mindfulness
  3. Oprah & Deepak Free 28 Day App
  4. Calm App
  5. Smiling Minds App
  6. Yogaholics
  7. Yogaglo
  8. Aroha facebook recorded classes
  9. Making Sense – Sam Harris
  10. Damian’s Yoga Class from Aro Ha
  11. 10-minute Intro to Mindfulness Aro Ha
  12. 20-minute Essentials of Stillness
  13. Media and Entertainment
a woman at home watching too much news on the pandemic
Limit your media consumption to once or twice per day. The news is not pretty at the moment. You do not need to fill your brain with anxiety right now… conserve your cortisol.

This is the time to catch up on movies and podcasts that make you smile. Here are a few of my recommendations:

  • Chris Kressler
  • Chelsea Pottenger
  • Jay Shetty
  1. Supplements

My clients know I prefer food over supplements.  However, there is a time and a place for quality, reputable supplements. Metagenics are my preferred brand and they will deliver to your door. 

  • Zinc10-30mg per day. Selenium: not more than 200mcg per day. (Metagenics Selenium Drink has zinc & selenium) 
  • Vit-C:  up to 1000mg Vit C You will know if you take too much because you will get diarrhea   (Metagenics- Methoxyflavone 90 tablets)
  • Sunshine or Vit-DD3 or cholecalciferol. 500-1000 IU/day (ideally based on your blood pathology- do not take if you do not know your levels) 
  • Sleep7-9 hours a day is ideal for mental wellbeing, hormone balancing, weight, and energy.  Metagenics Neurocalm Sleep for sleep or mild anxiety.  
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Rebecca Wilkinson

CONTRIBUTOR

Say hello to Bondi Beauty's Beauty Columnist. Rebecca is a pescatarian, who may yet become vegan. She loves all things beauty, health & travel with a weakness for coffee. If she's not answering her mobile - it's probably because she's trying out the latest beauty craze like ice baths or rubbing smashed avo on her face. We know, what a waste of smashed avo. Reach out to her with your beauty questions.

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