Are you ready to make the best of your 'new norm'?

What a crazy few months it has been. One way or another we have all been affected by COVID and the lockdowns that have had to be put into place. Whilst we all had to adjust to a new way of living, with children out of school, home offices suddenly in permanent use, queues to get into the supermarkets, shortages of some foods, and the strange feel of wearing face masks it is now time to adjust again.

Everyone seems to be talking about the ‘new normal’ but one thing is for sure, much of what we, and our children, are going through is far from normal. From schools that have to operate class ‘bubbles’, to restaurants running at half capacity, to workforces faced with ongoing social distancing protocols, ‘normal’ is not the word I would use.

So, with all this change and no sign of things abating how do we support ourselves, and our children, both physically and mentally? A healthy diet can help to do both of these things. One of the easiest lifestyle changes that we can make to support our overall health is to reduce the amount of processed food and refined sugar that we eat. Excess sugar in the diet is known to put undue pressure on the liver, leave us feeling tired and sluggish and also leaves us prone to mood swings, and whilst processed “fast foods” can be convenient they can be packed with hidden sugars and salts.

Choosing to eat a healthier diet does not have to be hard work or expensive. In fact, we have put together a new eBook specifically designed to help you eat healthy at home but also provide you with simple meal ideas that you can take to work for lunch or send the kids to school with. Making your own meals is a great way for you to know exactly what is in the food you are eating, but we know that with a busy lifestyle it can feel like a challenge. With recipes like grain-based salads, powerballs, flapjacks and banana bread you can quickly whip up a storm in the kitchen and have healthy foods for the whole household to last the week.

We know that kids can be picky eaters, so we have included some lovely refined sugar free treats to tempt their taste buds and get them eating all the good stuff their bodies need to grow and develop. You can also find lots of recipe ideas on our Instagram and Facebook pages where you will also get to meet some of our current and past students and see what they are getting up to.

With physical nourishment taken care of it is also important to look after our mental health. Stress and anxiety can develop at any stage and even if you have never experienced either before there is a good chance that you may – even if only mildly – rather than waiting for that to happen and then trying to fix the problem here are some tips on supporting your mental health:

1. Start a gratitude journal, just something simple that you can write in each day to record anything, no matter how big or small, that you are grateful for will help to keep you focussed on positive things

2. Nourish your body with immune boosting foods and foods that support good mental health – think oily fish, leafy greens, whole grains and fruit. Eat a variety of foods to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

3. Move your body – getting active on a regular basis will help to release your bodies own natural endorphins which can lift your mood and help you to relax.

4. Use essential oils – Using essential oils dates back to the times of the ancient Egyptians. Oils such as Bergamot, Lavender, Jasmine, Ylang ylang and Camomile can have positive effects and relieve symptoms of both stress and anxiety. They are a naturally deprived product and if you purchase in their purest form you can cook with them, diffuse them and use them topically (be sure to read any product labels for the correct guidance and usage).

If you’d love more practical and simple tips for staying well this winter covering nutrition, relaxation/sleep, movement and more then sign up now to our totally free online short course ‘Stay Well This Winter’. This follows on from our incredibly popular ‘Survive and Thrive @Home’ course that helped so many of you during lockdown.
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