Photo by: Nicole Moore Photographer

Bruidsgids timeline Step 9

Be your healthy self

Written by Herbalife Independent Distributor – Liesbet Nel

The past few months have been a time of change and many “new normals” have suddenly emerged. Many of us have had to make sacrifices due to new health and safety requirements. Wedding dates have had to be changed, birthdays are being celebrated online, hugs and kisses sadly have to be avoided and staying in shape is much more challenging. 

We are so much more focused on health risks and we receive so many conflicting messages in this regard that we are left confused and unsure about the best way forward. In other words, what are we to believe and who do we trust to lead us towards health and happiness?

Health and happiness go hand in hand, as is expressed by the bride and groom walking hand in hand towards their shared future, trusting each other and declaring their commitment to each other. Hands are a powerful symbol of community. We stretch out a helping hand when someone is in need; with our hands we soothe and comfort and express love. All of these promote happiness, but we can also use our hands to safeguard our health as newly-weds by spending time together in the kitchen, creating healthy meals and building memories. How do we do that? Well, we can use our hands for better portion control when we plate our food or choose our snacks. For instance: 

  • A serving of meat should fit into the palm of your hand and be as thick as your little finger. 
  • A serving of fruit should fit into your one hand like a tennis ball. 
  • A serving of good carbohydrates should fit into both hands when being held together.
  • A serving of healthy fats per meal should in volume be similar to the size of your thumb. 

We have been focusing on cleaning our hands, sanitising them frequently to ensure that they are not contaminated. In the same way we should protect our bodies inside by clean eating, which will be beneficial to our health for many years to come. Following a low-fat, plant-based diet will boost the immune system. In fact, good nutrition plus a healthy lifestyle equal immune health. The immune system relies on white blood cells to produce the antibodies needed to combat bacteria, viruses and other invaders. When nurturing our bodies with good food, we also tend to have more control when faced with challenges.

Start every morning eating like a king – not in the volume of food but in the quality of the nutrition it provides. Adding protein to every meal and snack keeps us fuller for longer. Also, our bodies cannot store protein and we therefore need to add a little protein every time we eat to ensure sustained energy. 

Studies have shown that spikes in sugar intake suppress the immune system. When your immune system is compromised, you are more likely to get sick. To avoid compromising your immune system in this way, the following should be avoided:

  • Soda
  • Processed foods
  • Foods and drinks high in sugar
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Alcoholic beverages

The planning of a wedding involves endless hours of talking, making to-do lists and gathering friends and family to witness the start of this amazing journey… in fact, we focus so much on the wedding day itself, that the journey leading up to the wedding day, but most importantly, the one starting ón the wedding day, is often neglected.  Also, you may be kept going by the adrenaline flowing in the excitement of the wedding, but often this period of powerful emotions and stress is followed by a bout of sickness or depression. Avoid this unfortunate result by giving your body a fighting chance: eat well, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. We need to find balance and make responsible choices. We need to take responsibility for protecting our health.

Healthy choices to strengthen your immune system:

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast (smoothie or scrambled eggs).
  2. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight.
  6. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
  7. Get 7 to 8 hours’ sleep.
  8. Stop smoking, if you do!
  9. Take the steps required to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently.
  10. Enjoy the journey!

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Photo by: Anne Grace Photography