Enjoy this blog from 2020 again or for the very first time.
We are all a bit anxious these days about our health and well-being. Remembering the important recommendations for social distancing, mask wearing and washing your hands A LOT remains super important. But what we choose to eat in our social distanced lives is another important factor in staying healthy. Immunity boosting foods for healthy life is something we should learn to do all the time, not just when the world is fighting a pandemic.
Choosing to add immunity boosting foods to your diet is really easy, without giving up the tasty comfort foods we all are enjoying during these anxious days. Over the past few years I have been working on a diet that is rich in both immunity boosting foods, anti-inflamatory foods and foods that are good for gut health.
I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist, just a lay person who has experimented and found some things that work for me. And maybe they will work for you too!
Last summer we purchased a sauerkraut maker, manufactured by a company called Cultures for Health. Now we eat a few tablespoons of homemade sauerkraut every day. Homemade sauerkraut is full of good bacteria for your gut. Unrefrigerated store-bought sauerkraut has been pasteurized. Pasteurization kills all those good bacteria and so you lose the healthy benefits. You can use this sauerkraut maker for other fermented foods too like pickles, beans, radishes. Eating fermented foods adds good bacteria and enzymes to your gut! And they taste good too.
Here is our fun video on how to make your own!
Now I know you’re gonna want your own fermenter. Here is the one we recommend.
Our daily breakfast nearly every day of the week includes a lot of immunity boosting foods for healthy life. Each morning we eat a bowl full of blueberries (antioxidants, phytoflavinoids & Vitamin C), spinach (fights cardiovascular and chronic disease), almonds or walnuts (packed with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals) and other fruits like apples, bananas, mango. We mix this with homemade yogurt.
The probiotics in yogurt (live cultures) are really good for your health. Yogurt is a great source of low calorie protein, as long as you aren’t eating the sweet and fruity kind. We make our own yogurt very simply in a yogurt maker we bought from a manufacturer called Euro Cuisine, through Cultures for Health. It’s really easy. All you need is a live-culture yogurt starter and milk. We make it once a week at night, and when we wake up in the morning it’s ready to eat.
Eat the Rainbow
The rest of our daily diet includes a variety of immunity boosting foods for healthy life like ginger (free radicals build a defense system), garlic (anti-inflamatory), dark greens and broccoli ( full of good vitamins and anti-oxidant goodness) peppers and citrus (nothing like the Vitamin C in these foods to strengthen your immunity) and apple cider vinegar (used in small quantities is a great anti-oxidant boost).
We eat meat including beef and pork, although most of our meat consumption is chicken and fish. We consume so much fish, mostly cold water fish. We try to have salmon, canned sardines and responsibly fished canned tuna regularly, all foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Although I am a coffee lover, I often take a cup of herbal tea before bed. I love a ginger tea which helps me sleep as does chamomile, and I’m also fond of peppermint tea as a pick me up in the afternoon. I don’t drink green tea very often, but like the teas I mentioned above, these all are high in immunity boosting anti-oxidants. The world of tea is actually very fascinating…there are entire books written about it and tea is definitely a immunity boosting food for healthy life. For me, just an herbal cup each evening is both delicious, healthy and relaxing.
Staying healthy isn’t just about food of course. Finding ways to stay active, get lots of rest, drink lots of water and engage in activities we love during these stressful times are all part of keeping your immunity system thriving despite the stress. It’s okay to have that brownie, or burger too. It’s not about depriving yourself. It’s about making good choices as often as possible, adding immunity boosting foods for healthy life to your diet, the things science knows help our bodies fight back anything from the common cold to an uncontrolled virus. Doing this on a regular basis will make you look and feel better.
Take care of yourself my friends. Choose healthy options and be well.
I am a goals driven woman. I have always been this way. It has both positive and negative effects. When I was a career woman, sometimes my drive was perceived in a negative way by those who don’t work in this same manner. I don’t have those people to worry about anymore, and setting specific goals has been paramount in getting me through lockdown and quarantine. I set a self-care goal and gave it my nearly undivided attention. My self-care journey with Noom diet plan, getting healthy inside and out, has been a success. Here is how I did it.
As we flew in an empty 787 across the planet during the height of the pandemic, I spent my airplane time trying to imagine what it was going to be like back in the USA. We had been gone for seven months, and stuck in Cyprus for two months. Nothing was the same, and my once highly controlled and organized life had fallen into chaos. If the pandemic has taught me anything it’s that I really am not in control. It’s been a silver-lining lesson.
The only thing I knew for sure was I was going to have a lot of free time on my hands. And so my overly active goal-setting brain began to percolate ideas.
Without too much effort, I had laid out a plan for my personal self-care goals that for the next three months would focus on bringing me back to a healthy, active, confident and inspired Fab Fifties Life.
Becoming a Noomer – My Self-Care Journey with Noom Diet Plan
The Noom Weight Loss program is one I had been hearing about, and I knew several people who had been successful on the program. I debated about spending the money (about $260), telling myself I had the knowledge to lose weight, from all those other weight loss programs I had done over the years. But what I knew down deep in my heart, I needed some motivation and something to keep me accountable. So I signed up and began my self-care journey with Noom diet plan.
Best decision ever.
What is Noom? Well, before I explain it from my perspective, please go back and read the very first sentence in this blog. What does it say?
I am a goals driven woman.
I ask you to read it again, BECAUSE my ability to focus on my goals is why I have been successful on Noom. Because Noom is not going to do it for you. Noom is a tool to ASSIST you in personalized healthy eating plan that should help you lose weight. BUT IT’S HARD WORK. Yes, I said it. Losing weight is hard work. And although Noom is designed to be entertaining, educational, and inspiring, you will only be successful if you set goals and and DO THE WORK – EVERY DAY.
I started out my self-care journey with Noom diet plan using the Noom app to determine my weight-loss goals and how fast I thought I could accomplish it. I was very realistic in my goal setting, choosing both specific and achievable goals that included a target weight and work out plans. Knowing how much harder it is to lose weight at sixty than it was twenty years ago, I considered all the factors in my day to day life in search of realistic goals I could set for myself.
The next thing I did was create an action plan. For me this was just in my head but some people might want to write it down. It took me about two weeks to feel I was following my action plan effectively with daily workouts, nutrition study and focusing on well-being and mindfulness through both Noom and other online programs, lessons and videos.
I dropped 12 pounds before I began to share online that I was on Noom. I needed that time to find my rhythm and feel confident. Sharing your goals helps keep you accountable and also helps you find like-minded goal setters who can be part of your support system.
Today, my sharing continues and I am thrilled to have inspired several friends to join Noom and give it a try.
Let me compare Noom to Weight Watchers. Now to be fair, I have not done online Weight Watchers but I did successfully lose weight on Weight Watchers many moons ago. I know a lot of people have used Weight Watchers in the past, so I’ll use it here as comparative. Noom is designed very close to how Weight Watchers is laid out. On Noom you are tracking your intake of food every day. On the app the foods will be designated a caloric number (instead of points) and will be put into one of three categories; green, yellow and red. I liked this part very much and here is why;
Watching what I ate each day and learning the caloric count was such an eye opener to me. I was fascinated to learn if I need a little snack I can eat a whole dill pickle for 4 calories, or a granola bar for 180 calories. That’s a no brainer. I also liked seeing the green, yellow, red foods at the end of the day. It helped me to recognize that some red foods (cheese, meat, hummus,nuts, oils) I have been eating more of, so I should cut back on and add more green foods (vegetables, fruit, fish, yogurt). Noom also has a library of recipes on the app, easy and at your fingertips.
Like Weight Watchers, Noom has a community you can get involved in, or if you don’t want to you can blow that part off. There is an online coach who checks in with you and you can ask your coach specific questions. The coach puts out daily challenges and there are daily “stories” to read that cover a wide variety of psychological, physical and science-based information about our bodies, our brains and weight loss. I thought it was well presented.
One major difference between Noom and Weight Watchers is that on Noom they want you to step on the scale EVERY DAY! What? At first I thought that was ridiculous. Back in my Weight Watcher days you weighed in once a week (it was always kinda scary). But on Noom I weigh each morning and log the results on the app along with my food intake and also exercise. And I really learned to LIKE weighing everyday, and watching my body slim down oz by oz. I found it exciting and motivating.
Now for exercise. You aren’t required to exercise, but if you do you can add that to your daily log and then your daily calorie goal will automatically be adjusted. This I think is one of the reasons I was able to lose more than twenty pounds in two months…I was working out a lot. But like I said, you can work out a little or not at all, but your weight loss will be slower and calorie intake more restricted.
Day In The Life
Let me share my day in the life on Noom. Wake up usually around 6am. I always go pee before I step on the scale. Then I make coffee and take it back to bed, where I open the app, record my weight and read the challenges and stories and teachings for the day. As you progress through Noom the daily lessons become more interesting and are filled with science and psychology.
Next I go for my run and then come back for breakfast. Almost every morning I have a bowl filled with fruits, spinach, carrots, nuts, rice or grains and yogurt. I also have a hard boiled egg. It totals about 350 calories.
Then I go about my day. I rarely eat lunch but I’ll have a piece of fruit, or maybe a slice of lunch meat as a snack. Sometimes I might have a pickle, or some carrots. Occasionally if I am really hungry I’ll have some soup. I record this all on the app. I drink water throughout the day and I almost always have a cup of herbal tea in the afternoon. It fills me up and warms me up. Sometimes I have another cup in the evening. Zero calories.
Since we don’t eat lunch, we usually have dinner early around 4-5pm. Dinner is often fish, veg, grains. Sometimes chicken or pork. We eat several different kinds of veg at dinner. I will occasionally have a gin and tonic or a beer but not too often. I record all this on the app. We have eaten out a few times, but with the lockdown I was on Noom for many weeks before eating out was even an option. But when we have eaten out I record it and adjust my exercise or my calorie intake.
After dinner I don’t eat again until about 9am the next morning.
I have stopped eating most dairy and have limited my bread. The most surprising thing of all is I have stopped having heartburn. So, I’ve been able to get off the omeprazole heartburn medicine I have been taking every day for YEARS! Because of my heartburn I also used to drink a Coke often when I had indigestion or heartburn. I haven’t had a Coke in three months. Boom.
So let’s recap. My Lockdown Self-Care Journey has focused on skin care, running, healthy eating and weight loss. I am going to need to stay focused on each of these goals, or lose traction and end up back where I started.
One of Noom’s goal setting tools
I acknowledge that the fact I am retired, I have a lot more free time than many people. But, if you are serious about getting healthy and making yourself your number one priority, then you might choose one or all of these goals I am working on and begin your own Self Care Journey. Your goals will look different than mine. You know what you want. But Noom will only work if you make it a priority. It’s not magic.
I’ve had a few people say to me they don’t have time because of their job. Yes your job takes a lot of time. But what are the other excuses you are using? Boards and committees? Watching television? Projects around the house? There is ALWAYS something…in your goal setting you need to prioritize what it important and maybe weight loss just isn’t important to you. And that’s okay. Just don’t sign up for Noom or any other program and say it didn’t work for you, when the reality is you didn’t make it a priority. Wait until you are ready.
I’m here to help. Ask me questions in the comments or message me privately. Join me on this healthy journey while we wait to find out how our life in post-Covid is going to look. Let’s do all we can to take care of our physical, emotional and mental health as we live through this stressful time.
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