If wearing masks is meant to keep us all healthy, what about aspiring for true health and wellness as well? In addition to staying 6 feet apart, frequent hand washings, and wearing masks in public spaces, step it up to achieve a healthy body and mind. If you are exposed to the common cold, the flu, or COVID 19, the healthier you are, the better your chances are at fighting these illnesses for reduced symptoms and shorter recovery times.
“The Doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”Thomas Edison
There is much debate about which foods to consume for optimal health. Low-fat and sugar-free drinks like Tab were considered healthy 35-40 years ago. We switched our beliefs to include eating low carbs and increased our intake of fatty meats. Counting calories used to be the way. There have always been health shakes and powdered “foods” to consume instead of whole foods. Pills and supplements have been used to lower appetites. It’s no wonder most of us are confused.
“Let your food be your medicine.”Hippocrates
Eating for Health, instead of Weight Loss
When you eat healthily, you are gaining much more than you lose. Having more energy, a clearer mind, and less physical pain are all wonderful side effects of eating clean. If weight loss is your goal, that will be achieved organically, if your body has extra weight to shed.
Whole foods are real foods that were alive. Whether you are a meat-eater, a vegetarian, a pescatarian, or are living gluten and dairy-free, choose whole foods for the highest levels of vitamins and minerals. Healthy foods are not healthy for everyone. We all have foods that do not agree with us and if we pay attention, this will become clear. Some of us can eat carbohydrates all day long, while others bloat and become gassy with each carb. Learn about your body by keeping a food journal when trying new foods or illuminating foods from your daily diet.
“Health is not about the weight you lose, but about the life, you gain.”Dr. Josh Axe
Water and Tea
When trying to figure out how much water you should drink, experts say to drink half of your body weight in ounces. I don’t need to measure my water intake because I love and crave water. But I know some people struggle with getting the minimum amounts in each day. I used to counsel my midwifery clients to add ice, slices of lemon, limes, or oranges to their water to make it more enticing to drink. Adding cucumbers and lemon wedges to a big mason jar of water and keeping it in the fridge makes water an experience. Whatever helps you to drink more water, your health will thank you.
Signs of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Urinating and perspiring less than usual
- Dry skin
- Dark urine
- Low blood pressure
- Fast heart rate
Tea can be considered a supplement and used to boost your health and to decrease symptoms of illness. Or it can be a stimulant with caffeine, fulfilling pleasure, and providing a quick burst of energy. Preparing and holding a cup of tea can transport me to a calmer state, instantly. Meditative State of Mind is a tea I turn to when I’ve had too much caffeine or sugar, to bring me down from those highs. It has a light floral scent that pairs well with fresh, local honey. Decaf tea will hydrate you, whereas caffeinated tea can dehydrate you if you drink it instead of the recommended amounts of water.
“Drink tea. Evidence shows that polyphenols increase healthy microbes (probiotics) and reduce harmful pathogens in your gut, which helps to keep your microbiome in optimal balance. Tea is one of the richest sources of polyphenols – healthy probiotics that feeds the healthy bugs in your gut. Tea polyphenols also have anti-viral properties that reduce harmful pathogens. The polyphenols in tea help you digest your food faster while suppressing hunger cravings and allowing you to poop more. Research shows that the polyphenols in black tea decrease your gut’s ability to absorb fats and sugars. And studies show that green tea catechins prevent the absorption of triglycerides and cholesterol, which increases your body’s ability to excrete fat.” Dr. Northrup: How to Improve your Gut Microbiome in a Day –How a Healthy Gut Microbiome can prevent COVID 19 Infection.Dr. Christiane Northrup
Supplements and Herbs
“Plants have long been recognized for their therapeutic properties. For centuries, indigenous cultures around the world have used traditional herbal medicine to treat a myriad of maladies.”www.nature.com
Many people use echinacea to boost their immune system and to heal quicker from the common cold and the seasonal flu. Ginger root is considered an herb (while some call it a spice) and when powdered or made into a tea, ginger can have powerful benefits to your health. If you are not familiar with herbs, there are hundreds to choose from, to benefit your health.
There are precautions to take with some herbs. Depending on drugs you may take, certain medical conditions, or pregnancy, and lactation, use caution with herbal remedies. Do your research. Join an online herbal discussion group. If you don’t know where to start and want individual help to learn more about using herbs to treat your signs and symptoms, consider contacting the master herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht.
A Master Herbalist may make her/his unique herbal blends or teach you how to make them yourself. Some teas are best made with the fresh or dried leaves and some with the root. Some are the most potent by steeping and others need to be boiled. I have made tinctures and herbal salves and I have mixed dried herbs for unique blends of tea. I find that when I take part in the creation of herbal remedies, they are more potent.
Refer to You, Me, and Uni for past articles with more information on herbal teas and how herbs can improve your health.
- Wise Herbal Ways
- Calming Herbal Tea
- The Healing Ritual of Tea
- Building & Maintaining a Strong Immune System with Echinacea
- The Healing Powers of Ginger
- Natural Remedies for Cold & Flu Season
- 9 Effective Ways to Use Herbs as Medicine
“When you start a new health plan for yourself, aim to keep your commitments for continued success. Sometimes the changes within are small and it takes time to notice all of the effects. One thing is for sure, you will feel empowered by putting your health first and honoring your body, mind, and spirit.”Anastacia Elizabeth Walden
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden
Freelance writer and editor at Walden Writes For Women, in Gainesville, Florida