Finding your new normal health routine
You spent years perfecting your wellness routine, but the last few months have upended your lifestyle and many of the healthy habits that took years to hone may have fallen by the wayside. Now what?
We asked nutritional scientist and educator (& Genuine Health team member!) Mika Harada to troubleshoot some of your common health questions and put you on a path to the new normal health routine.
“My digestion is out of whack.”
Spending more time at home could mean that you’re sitting more, and potentially grazing on snack foods outside of your regular mealtimes. Many people are making grocery store trips quicker, which means that you could be forgetting some of the usual healthy foods like fresh veggies and fruits on your list. “Make a detailed shopping list of the healthy foods you love, and have a game plan for using them,” says Harada. “If you’re still feeling ‘off,’ reach for a probiotic like advanced gut health probiotic, which can help to regulate digestion and get rid of that bloated feeling,” adds Harada.
“I’m sick of cooking.”
With restaurants just starting to open back up, many of us have been cooking more meals than normal. Plus, limiting time spent at grocery stores can mean that we’re eating the same foods over and over (and over!) again. “Time for a refresh!” says Harada. “Meal planning sounds boring, but it’s amazing because it helps you plan out your meals and your grocery store trips. Find some new healthy recipes that you want to cook, and plan to try at least one per week!”
Protein bars like fermented organic vegan proteins+ bars can be a savior for those days when you don’t want to whip up a snack or a picnic.
“I’m not drinking enough water.”
Going to get a glass of water or beverage while in the office is a big part of office culture and habits. “To stay hydrated in this new normal routine, you’ll need to find some exciting ways to spice up your H2O,” says Harada. You can make iced herbal tea or infuse your water with fresh fruit, which can be more fun to drink than plain water. Harada also likes to add a scoop of lightly flavoured collagen to water for additional skin, hair and nail benefits. “collagen+ comes lightly flavored pineapple berry to really make your water fun to drink. I shake up a scoop in a big jar of water, add ice and sip all afternoon.”
“I’m tired all the time.”
“Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping, which could be due to a lack of movement in the day or spending too much time on screens close to bedtime,” says Harada. Power off your devices 2 hours before bed and try to find more ways to fit movement into your day. Maybe it’s standing up every hour for a stretch, taking some time at lunch to go for a walk outside, or carving out time to do an online workout class that you love.
If video meetings are taking up a big chunk of your day, whether WFH or for fun, ‘Zoom fatigue’ may be at play. “It’s a real thing,” says Harada. “People are feeling much more exhausted from video conferencing because it can take more effort than face-to-face interaction.” Yes, this means that even your video catch ups with friends could be draining you. Keep this in mind as you make your schedule and remember that it’s ok to space out your video calls.
“I’m not motivated to work out.”
Most of us have seen a shakeup to our workout routine during the last few months. “Let’s be honest, it can be hard to be motivated to do at-home workouts every day,” says Harada. Maybe it’s due to fatigue and stress, maybe it’s joint pain due to a less than ergonomic working from home setup, maybe an injury has flared up because you haven’t been able to see your physiotherapist, or maybe you’re just bored with your current workout!
“It’s important to dig into why you aren’t motivated to work out and then troubleshoot to find the solution,” adds Harada. “If you’re too tired or not motivated to do your usual workouts, try to find something lower impact instead—just try to fit some movement into your routine every day! You’ll probably find that addressing your low energy will help to improve your workouts.”
If it’s joint pain that’s bothering you, consider adding natural supplements that help to relieve pain quickly like fast joint care+ with fermented turmeric. “Yes, it works!” says Harada. “If you have any kind of joint pain, I recommend adding it to your daily routine.”
“How can I continue to support my immune system every day without taking handfuls of vitamin C?”
Look for supplements that do double duty. “Start with a quality probiotic,” says Harada. Not only will a probiotic help reduce bloating, but it also supports a healthy immune system (this is because up to 80% of your immune cells and tissues can be found in your gut). “Plus, probiotics have been shown to reduce the severity and duration of respiratory tract infections,” she says. Look for a multi-strain probiotic like advanced gut health probiotic because formulas containing multiple strains have been shown to have beneficial effects on many health outcomes, including immune function.
“Next, look for a superfood that helps to fill in nutrient gaps, improve energy and support your immune system,” adds Harada. “One thing people don’t realize is that it’s really hard to get a concentrated variety of phytonutrients! These can fill in nutrient gaps, act as antioxidants, and even help to feed our gut bacteria.” Every day, shake up a glass of fermented organic gut superfoods+, which packs in 22 prebiotics and fermented superfood fruits, veggies and herbs to nourish your body and gut ecology.
“I keep forgetting to take my supplements.”
A shakeup to your routine often means you forget to take your supplements. “If you used to take your supplements with breakfast before heading out the door in the morning, but now you’re working from home, you’ll want to start to think of new strategies to help you remember,” says Harada. Look at where you keep your supplements, and find new places where they’ll be in view. Try putting supplements that don’t need to be refrigerated in a place where you’ll see them—like your desk or beside your bed.
For refrigerated supplements, try to group them together in the fridge, and try to find a new time of day that makes sense to take them based on your needs. If you’re adding greens+ to a smoothie for breakfast, or mixing it up with water in the afternoon when you need an energy boost, remember to take your probiotic and/or fish oil at the same time.