Earlier this week I did a Facebook Live session from my kitchen showing our Raising Resilience Community what I'm feeding myself and my kids right now. For those not on Facebook, I'll summarize it here.
To be honest, I'm not doing much differently right now - I'm just being more diligent with it.
This particular virus is 'novel' (meaning we haven't seen it before), and it carries with it some characteristics that make it different from Influenza. The specifics evolve daily, but one thing that is not changing is the understanding that we stand our best chance if we keep our immune systems and nervous systems in top form.
So in a time of stress, the likes of which we have not seen in my lifetime, I'm choosing not to turn my back on decades worth of research and hundreds of years worth of traditional knowledge that tells us what the body needs to function its best when faced with a threat.
It's the perfect time to draw on that knowledge.
I'm still turning to the Pillars Of Resilient Health framework - supporting the pillars for a more resilient body that is better able to weather stress and infection.
(NOTE: if you get heart palpitations as you read through this because your child is picky and won't eat any of this, or you don't know how to prepare foods like this, please read through to the end. There are resources for more support listed at the bottom of this post)
This goes for our kids as well as for us. We need to remember what nourishes a body and get back to doing those things.
Nourishment includes good food, play, fresh air, eye contact and connection, hugs, movement, sleep, breathing, thinking positive thoughts.
When it comes to food, I'm looking for foods that pack a nutritional punch and that store well so I don't have to grocery shop.
Some of what's in my fridge and pantry...
It's a great time to reduce the foods that irritate the body - particularly the immune system and nervous system.
Stress hormones do a number on the microbiome and the fact that up to 80% of our immune cells reside in the gut hasn't changed. If we want our immune system at its best, we should feed the microbiome. Here are some ways I'm doing that
Find more about digestive health...
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To paraphrase one of my colleagues, Dr Apigian MD, our resilience lies at the intersection between optimal biology and strong connection. Right now we have an opportunity to work on both. So that's what I'm doing.
If there's a silver lining in all of this, it's that we're being forced to get back to the basics - of healthy eating, healthy connecting, healthy living. Getting there normally requires a real mindset shift for busy parents wrapped up in busy stressful lives. This calm and quiet has helped us all get back to basics as a collective.
If you're reading this and thinking, goodness... this sounds hard! Or, My kids won't eat any of these great foods they're too picky! let me assure you that you can do this. It just involves a learning curve and you might need some support. Most of us never learned how to feed our kids when we became parents!
The process of getting back to basics and supporting The Pillars Of Resilient Health is what the families going through my Resilience Roadmap program are doing right now, even if they don't like to cook or have a picky eater. There's room for you if you want support.
It's never been a better time to learn how to leverage food as your ally. If you're ready, I'm here to help you.
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Jess is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ and Family Health Educator, specializing in brain health & resilience for kids. She is the author of Raising Resilience: Take the stress out of feeding your family & love your life, a mother and an advocate for children’s health. Her book and online resources have helped families all over the world improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, autism and mood disorders by fitting the food and feeding piece into their health puzzles. She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work helping families get healthier, and she continues to work at bringing an understanding of the power of good nutrition to the mainstream conversation about children’s mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses and as a contributor to print and online magazines. You can reach Jess at www.jesssherman.com
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