First of all: a big massive THANK YOU for the absolutely gorgeous flowers I was received on Thursday last week from M&S. Although there was a lovely card inside, there wasn’t a note to say who’d ordered and sent them. I know they are from someone who said they appreciate the videos and I’m really touched with gratitude and appreciation for your kindness. If you can let me and I’ll message you personally to thank you x
Did you know that there’s lots of overwhelming evidence from a vast number of studies that people who eat a whole foods, plant-strong diet with lots of vegetables and fruits, little sugar or processed foods and who practice a few other healthy lifestyle measures, (ie exercising and not smoking) are far less likely to have the conditions that are serious risk factors for COVID-19. I’m sure that you’ve read or heard that a lot of people who have unfortunately died from coronavirus, had underlying chronic conditions ie diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease or obesity.
Let’s optimise our health through nutrition and get more phytonutrients in our diet by eating lots of legumes, nuts, seeds, and a colourful variety of fruits & vegetables. Whole grains and root vegetables, legumes, pumpkin and sesame seeds also provide us with zinc which has been shown to be great for our immune systems to fight infection.
Did you know that it’s National Vegetarian Week 11-17 May? get info, recipes at
nationalvegetarianweek.org/ or their Facebook page.
I also downloaded the 21 day Vegan app which has lots of recipes and lots of cooking and nutrition videos to watch too for inspiration.
As I mentioned last week, we’ve been trying new recipes. One that we really loved was spicy roasted cauliflower with a mixed salad. I cut an organic cauliflower into florets, spooned some spicy tomato paste and spices and roasted the cauli in the oven for 30-35 mins till cooked. To accompany, I made a big salad of grated carrot and red pepper, added some sprouted mung beans (that I’d soaked overnight, rinsed and sprouted for a few days), pomegranate seeds, a few (organic) cooked soy beans, spinach and added fresh lemon juice and oil. Must say: delicious, tasty and the salad was refreshing and easy to make.
Vitamin D is also great or our immune system so getting out into the sunshine whether we’re in the garden or get out for a walk, really helps to keep those Vit D levels up.
I did a couple more fitness videos last Thursday and if you haven’t seen them on my Youtube channel yet (depending if you’ve subscribed and clicked the bell for notification); the first is a general warm up that we’d normally do on a Wednesday morning in our classes so we’re moving around a wee bit. Then using a kettlebell or weight – if you want to use one, have it ready first. You can still do the same exercises without any weight too. Then a bit of combat, then a tiny bit of high intensity jumping jacks etc then low kicks forward and side to finish, enjoy and let me know how you get on.
A few weeks ago, I decided to order a fitness trampoline to use in the garden over the summer and especially in this lockdown to mix things up a bit and add a bit of variety when exercising. I also thought that it’d be great when our grandkids visit (although it might be another 2 or 3 years until Theo is big enough. Layla will love it though as she’s nearly 3.
I’ve done 2 or 3 fitness trampoline classes when we’ve been training/on holiday at Club La Santa which was fun. When I ordered the trampoline (through that well-known ordering delivery service that’s just over ‘the bridge’), it came in a couple of days and it was really easy to set up. Just a thought if you want to order one and use in your garden and get more vitamin D that we talked about above (or use indoors if you’ve got space).
So here’s the 2nd fitness video:
Thanks to KF for a recent Times article about happiness that you may have seen. Even though we’re all keeping our distance from each other, we’re adapting quickly to this situation and way of life, we’re still finding happiness As the politicians are saying we’re ‘finding the new normal’.
Turns out that gratitude has a lot to do with happiness.
We’re grateful that we’ve got enough food, a roof over our heads, nice homes, a garden or at least, access to green open spaces. We’ve got our health, we’re fit and active and can go outdoors and go for a walk, run or cycle. We have our friends and families and even though we’re not seeing them as we did a few weeks ago, we can phone, use social media, use Zoom, FaceTime or other platforms to keep in touch. A lot of us have found time to garden, knit, meditate, cook, bake and read and having the time to do those things has been beneficial to us in lots of ways. There are apps to help us meditate (eg Calm or Headspace), to relax and to help you find happiness – one app is The Happiness Lab. Research found that 10% of happiness is determined by circumstance while 40% is determined by our thoughts, actions and attitudes (the other 50% by our genes). Being happy improves our immune system and wellbeing. The report said that happy people tend to have a mindset of gratitude and self compassion and that they also lead healthy lifestyles which include daily exercise, meditation and sleep. The article also gave 9 secrets to happiness – things that you might want to try that will improve mood, they are:
1) A 20 second hug releases oxytocin; the bonding hormone
2) a 3 minute meditation boosts mood, positive emotions and thoughts
3) joining a choir releases feel-good hormones – you could sign up to a lockdown singalong eg Song Tribe’s sing-in-scotland.com or thevoiceprojectsscotland.co.uk
4) a kitchen disco (one of my faves) – it gets us moving, de-stresses and releases endorphins
5) drawing can boost happiness by distracting the mind from worries and reducing stress.
6) having a bath to help you relax and improve mood. Having a bath before bed, can improve sleep quality and increase the sleep hormone serotonin.
7) gardening gets us exercising, reduces stress and boosts cognitive function. We also get to boost our vitamin D levels which is great for our immune systems.
8) deep restorative sleep helps us to rest and recover and has a beneficial affect on our mood. Conversely, when we don’t sleep, are restless during the night or suffer from insomnia, we can find it hard to focus during the day, we’re stressed and we have lowered immunity to fight off infections and viruses. To alleviate this and sleep better, avoid caffeine, alcohol and limit, or avoid, screen time before bed.
9) Communication – social interaction is so important for our wellbeing and mental health. Instead of endlessly scrolling through social media, pick up the phone and call or use FaceTime or chat to neighbours – at a safe distance obvs.
I hope that you remain fit and well and I hope that it won’t be too long until we can be together and exercise again.
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Have a great week and take care