Food choices now more important than ever

By: Sheryl Takayama

 Resilience is a key word right now – and to make yourself stronger involves taking action.

When you take positive action each day it creates hope, confidence and success. Focus on taking positive action and you will stay strong in body and mind.

Good nutrition has never been more important than it is right now – your immune system depends on it. It also plays an important role in mental health. Eating and food choice is one part of the day that most people have complete control over. In a time where there is so much that is not within our control, it is empowering to take ownership of things that are.

To stay on track with good food choices, consider making a food plan each day. Write down what you are going to eat and what time you are going to have your meals. Planning meals gives structure to the day, which is particularly important if you are adjusting to working from home, where you may have a lack of structure combined with access to the kitchen and all the goodies in the cupboards!

On that note, set yourself up for success by limiting the amount of junk food in the house.  Don’t stock up on chips and chocolate – instead make sure you have lots of meat and fresh vegetables instead. If junk food is not an easy option, it won’t be a problem.

Use this time to try new recipes and get creative in the kitchen. Hectic lifestyles are often combined with busyness and rushing, which doesn’t allow a lot of time for meal creation or consumption. Set aside at least 20 minutes to eat and enjoy your meal. Eating slowly and mindfully is great for digestion.

If you want to be strong and resilient, make gut health your top priority. Remember, your immune system is stored within your gut, so a healthy gut is a vital step to a healthy immune system. Nurture your gut by taking a good probiotic daily, minimising alcohol consumption, eating a wide range of foods and getting plenty of sleep – at least 7-8 hours daily.

If you are an emotional eater, the challenges of this year may have led to overeating and weight gain. Instead of eating over your feelings, start acknowledging them and try other strategies to work through them. This could include going for a walk, writing in a journal, phoning a friend or listening to music.

One of my favourite quotes is: “We don’t think our way back into good actions, we act our way back into good thinking.”

Look at other actions you can take instead of eating, and you will soon feel a lot better.

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