By Danielle Goward, R.H.N & C.P.T & P.P.N.S —

During this global pandemic, our health has become a huge concern and a hot topic. This has led to some people panic-buying natural health products and supplements and home gym equipment, creating a record-breaking boom in the health and fitness industry.

As a registered holistic nutritionist and certified personal trainer, I have been advising my clients to keep it simple and get creative with their food and activity. Eating a rainbow every day is one way to ensure that your body is receiving immune boosting antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Here in the Cariboo, our growing season and climate provide a beautiful palette of vibrant fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods aren’t coloured just to be aesthetically pleasing; they also represent their nutrient profiles.

Red: tomatoes, bell peppers, red grapes, strawberries, rhubarb—high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant for heart health, cancer prevention, and men’s health.

Yellow and Orange: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, corn, squash, apricots, peaches—high in carotenoids. You may have heard of beta-carotene. It is converted to vitamin A and is responsible for maintaining healthy eyesight and mucous membranes. Lutein is also type of carotenoid, which prevents cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Green: spinach, broccoli, kale, asparagus, arugula, green grapes, green beans, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, celery, herbs—vibrantly packed with chlorophyll, a phytonutrient that is essentially plant blood and carries all the necessary nutrients for plants to grow and survive. For humans, it helps purify our blood and detoxify our body. Phytonutrients/phytochemicals contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, just like a multi-vitamin.

Blue and Violet: beets, blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes, purple cabbage, red onion, plums, purple asparagus—super packed with antioxidants, particularly anthocyanin, responsible for protecting cells from oxidation (damage) and reducing risk for heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

A fun family activity that both adults and children will enjoy is to make a colourful rainbow chart and post it on the fridge. This activity naturally introduces new foods, recipes, and creativity to your meals and snacks.

Head over to www.lahealthboutique.com/shop to download a free Rainbow Chart.

Health Canada recommends getting at least 30 minutes of activity every day. What does that look like? It means family walks or hikes, bike riding, swimming in local lakes, yard work, gardening, home workouts, and any other movement that gets your heart rate up.

I suggest getting 30 minutes of activity and at least 30 minutes of being outside. Vitamin D plays a vital role for our immune system. It is known as the “sunshine” vitamin because our skin synthesizes vitamin D from sunlight. Research has also shown that it may play a role regulating mood and warding off depression. During this pandemic we need to take care of ourselves through a holistic approach that includes our mental and emotional health.

Here is an example of an isolation workout that you can do outside with a set of stairs. Repeat 3–5 times.

Stair “ISO” Workout

Jog up the stairs
 20 Jumping Jacks  Jog/Walk back down
Jog up the stairs
 20 Reverse Lunges (10 each leg)  Jog/Walk back down
Jog up the stairs
 20 Squats  Jog/Walk back down
Jog up the stairs
 20 Push Ups  Jog/Walk back down
Jog up the stairs
 20 Bicycle Crunches  Jog/Walk back down

Danielle Goward is a registered holistic nutritionist, certified personal trainer, and a pre- and postnatal fitness specialist. She specializes in women’s health and hormones, sports nutrition, and digestive health, and operates La Health Boutique in Williams Lake. Contact her at danielle@lahealthboutique.com for more info.

 

 

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