It’s a crazy quarantine life right now, right? Wow. What an experience. I decided to launch my first “live” BWTGL Q&A Monday this week, and I’ll be doing an “IG live” on Mondays going forward answering 3-5 questions! Please stay tuned in @beckywiththegoodlife on IG, send me Qs anytime and watch the lives! I’ll be sure to include the Q&As from each Monday in my blog, under the Q&A section so that you can find all the details and links here after each episode.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. My answers are based on my education, my own research AND my own opinion, so please keep this in mind, and always consult your healthcare provider as needed for chronic issues.
Here are the questions from Monday!
- What do you think is a good goal amount of water consumption for someone who is not great at drinking water? I really want to be better about drinking water! Any tips?
How you feel and the color of your urine are two of the best indicators of if you are drinking enough water. 8, 8 ounce glasses of water a day isn’t always the right rule of thumb for all. Some need less, some more. You don’t want to over-hydrate which can cause excretion of too many needed minerals, however staying hydrated is very important for a lot of reasons. Our bodies are comprised of over 60% water, so keeping our bodies hydrated will only enhance ALL the critical functions of our systems. Fatigue, headaches, irritability, dry skin, parched mouth and dark urine are just some of the signs you are likely dehydrated.
Those that consume a lot of caffeine, sugary or alcoholic beverages and/or exercise need to up their consumption of water. The trick is to stay hydrated continuously, rather than trying to “make up” for your dehydration. For instance, have water before your coffee in the morning and slowly drink a cup after you finish. Same for alcohol and sugary beverages or if you are going to work out.
All to say, I do not recommend “chugging” water all day. Consistent consumption is key, otherwise you’ll just keep oversaturating and spend the day in the bathroom! Follow the tips below to ensure you are maintaining a healthy balance in your body.
- Follow your urine color: dark yellow = dehydrated, light/pale yellow = hydrated (this is the goal), clear/nearly clear = overhydrated
- Follow how you feel: feeling tired, headachey, parched, irritable – you may be dehydrated.
- ALWAYS keep a reusable water bottle with you – EVERYwhere you go. You don’t have to chug regularly, just take sips throughout the day and as you feel thirsty – your body will tell you what you need if you listen to it.
- If you are working out often, be sure to drink more water on those days before, during and after the workout – again – no chugging necessary, just extra sips.
- Use an infused water bottle if you don’t like plain water – add in berries, lemons, limes, cucumbers, fresh herbs or whatever your favorite flavor is to make it more appealing.
- Use a water tracking app! Aloe Bud, My Water Balance etc.What is a good activity/mental break when you get stuck in a spiral of anxiety (in particular with the COVID-19 virus right now)? I find for me it comes in waves and there’s times where I feel a little overwhelmed.
- What is a good activity/mental break when you get stuck in a spiral of anxiety (in particular with the COVID-19 virus right now)? I find for me it comes in waves and there’s times where I feel a little overwhelmed.
Here are some suggestions:
- Breathe! You can stop the spiral and refuel the brain with oxygen and endorphins by simply breathing. Use the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Breath in for 4, hold for 7 and out for 8. Start by doing this 3-4 times and work up to where you can do this for several minutes. At first you may feel a little light-headed, so take your time advancing with this and always do when you’re in a safe place (not driving!).
- Add relaxing music (whatever that is to you) to your breathing technique above – you may even want to lie down for a few minutes after finishing the breathing exercise and let your body and mind rest. We all need that right now. If I listen to relaxing music, do a breathing technique and then lie down for 10 minutes I almost always get up feeling very calm and more positive.
- Turn off the media – of all kindsfor pretty much all day. Allow yourself to have 20-30 minutes a day (if you feel it is necessary) to dive into the media and what is happening in the world of COVID right now. Pick one reliable news source, and only go to that one for this short period of time.
- The Fear Spiral, my new FREE eBook is a good resource and in it I teach The AWAKE Process. This is a process that incorporates 5 steps in overcoming fear and finding peace. I will be offering a new online mini-course on this process next week – and it will also be FREE for the first 4 weeks! More to come on this soon so stay tuned.
- What is the best time of day to take your vitamins?
This depends on what kind of vitamins you are taking. Some vitamins (like vitamin B) are stimulating and energizing, so they are best to take in the morning. In general, most “multi-vitamins” are best taken in the morning with a little bit of food. Given that multi-vitamins generally have a blend of a lot of vitamins, there will be some vitamins in the mix that are better absorbed with food/fats/protein. So, I recommend taking your multi with breakfast.
- I’m not really a morning person. Do you have any tips for getting yourself out of bed and going in the morning?
This can be tough for all of us! Especially in the dark winter months. If you’re struggling with it, you’re not alone and there are things that can help make it a bit easier and more pleasant. Here are my tips:
- Make sure you have a good night routine so that you have slept well and are well rested in the morning (aim for minimum of 7 hours, preferably 8 hours of actual sleep – this does not include when you hit the pillow with your book, but when you actually fall asleep).
- Use a wake-up light and a gentle/soothing alarm. I recently bought this oneon Amazon and I love it! I usually wake up before the alarm even goes off because the slow emitting, warm light triggers my system as though the sun is peaking in through my windows. Then my alarm is the sound of birds, which is not a jarring alarm sound, but something I don’t mind waking up to.
- Create a morning routine:
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier than normal, read a motivating/engaging book in bed for 15 minutes before getting up.
- Consider a 5 minute breathing meditation
- Lemon water! It’s energizing and cleansing first thing. (8-12 ozs of warm water with half a lemon squeezed in it)
- Shower at night if a morning shower isn’t your thing
- Have clothes/outfit ready night before
- Have breakfast/snacks/lunch packed and ready night before so you have less to do in the AM
- Turn on feel-good music (whatever that is for you) while you get ready in the morning – something you can sign along to and makes you happy.
- Create a morning beverage that gets you excited and nourishes you – like a low sugar match latté, or a maca infused low sugar latté you make for yourself, fresh pressed juice, green smoothie or whatever is nourishing and pleasant for you.
- Start listening to a podcast on your drive in – find something that is exciting and motivating to you so you have it to look forward to each day on your commute.
- After this new way of life is back to normal…isn’t that going to be stressful for people? What suggestions do you have for combating stress?
Yes – it will be a challenging time for all to get back to “normal” without angst. We’ll have to be very patient, kind and forgiving of ourselves and others as we navigate this “new”, post-COVID-19 pandemic world. Fear will be at the forefront for many as we re-assimilate into group settings and feel comfortable sharing space with others. Here are some recommendations I have to make this transition a bit more intentional and thoughtful.
- Create healthy habits and routines nowduring this “down time” that most (not all of us) have so that we have them established as we come out the other side:
- Daily exercise: shoot for a minimum of 20-40 minutes a day, this can be anything from a brisk walk, to a run, to using home exercise equipment, using a fitness app at home for cardio/strength training, yoga
- Meditation/mindfulness practices: 5-20 minutes/day – use a meditation app, go for a walk by yourself and just focus on what you see and your breath, read a mindset book – whatever this “quiet time” is for you, establish a daily habit
- Healthy eating: if you were usually a grab-n-go, take-out or fast food person, this is a great time to teach yourself some basic, healthy recipes, and to begin focusing on “what” is on your plate. Is it balanced with lots of veggies, whole grains and lean proteins? It’s a good time to ditch the processed food and snacks, and bring whole foods into your diet for all meals. Choose organic wherever possible – snack on raw nuts and seeds, fruits and veggies.
- Gratitude journal: grab a notebook, any will do. Spend a few minutes after you wake up in the morning and list things that bring you joy and that you can express gratitude toward. Some days you may just have a few – others you’ll have more, but there’s always something to be grateful for. It could be as simple as you baby’s laugh or your husband’s smile or your best friend’s call to check in.
- Create healthy habits and routines nowduring this “down time” that most (not all of us) have so that we have them established as we come out the other side:
- I’m finding sleep more difficult. Actually staying asleep. What can I do to calm my mind when I do wake up in the middle of the night?
- I think it will be important for people to realize they will have residual fear and anxiety from this experience – especially as we reacclimate with others in groups, on airplanes, movie theaters etc. Don’t dismiss it – but work through it. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings – let them move completely through you, don’t dismiss or discredit them, and certainly don’t feel ashamed of them. We will all be dealing with this in different ways.
- Use the AWAKE Process from the fear spiral!
- How often should I eat? 3 meals? 2-3 snacks? What is best?
This is going to be different for everyone. Bio-individuality is key – meaning we all have unique systems that will respond differently. It is important to test different theories and see what works best for you. That being said, generally speaking, if you are eating three healthy and well-balanced meals (lots of veggies, lean proteins, legumes and whole grains) then three meals should be sufficient with a healthy snack or two as needed. Snacks should be low-glycemic and contain things like nuts, seeds, veggies, fruits. Stay away from processed foods in general, but especially the easy to grab processed snack food. These foods will keep you in a vicious cycle of hunger and you will often over-consume.
I recommend following the Institute for Integrative Nutrition plateNOT the FDA Food pyramid. If you stick to this, 3 balanced meal and a healthy snack or two should get you all you need.
- Is detoxing good for you?
Ok, this is a doozy and I’m going to get on my soapbox here. So get ready! I, personally am not a big fan of “detoxing” if that involves special supplements and a stringent process. I have seen these go badly for a lot of people, and you need to be very careful when you are depleting/altering the chemistry of your body. Extreme detoxing can be very hard on our bodies and in my opinion do more harm than good.
Our bodies are made to naturally detox, so you shouldn’tneedto spend a bunch of money and buy products that have a lot of untested substances in them to detox your system. There ARE NO QUICK FIXES people. That is what we all need understand. We cannot continue punishing our bodies with the crap food we are marketed and then consume, the sugar we eat the alcohol we consume. WE must make the right choices for our bodies on a dailybasis and maintainhealth. We shouldn’t need to “detox” if we care for our bodies like we would a vulnerable newborn baby. We only get one body – feed it what it needs and deserves. Nourish it, and it will not fail you. No detox needed!
Chronic illness is at an all-time high and we are dying as a people unnecessarily because of our food choices. Choose organic, eat a lot of vegetables, drink a lot of (filtered) water, reduce your meat and animal product consumption as much as humanly possible and your body can do the rest for you!
If you want a “jumpstart” to lose weight or clean your system after eating poorly, rather than an intense detox, I recommend juicing (whether you make it or buy it) for a few days. You can find juicing protocols to follow online or at your local juicing café. Juice for a few days (I always say you can have some raw nuts and greens while juice detoxing) and lots of filtered water. Then, after a few days, add in one meal a day for the next three days until you’re back to three meals a day, now just keep those meals whole and healthy and you should be golden. Repeat this every few months if you feel you need it and it helps.
A few things I do on the regular to keep my system moving and performing well:
- Warm lemon water every morning (8-12 ozs warm water, half lemon squeezed)
- Celery juice (12-16 ozs fresh juiced organic celery) – I do this every other day, but you can do it every day. A juice is needed.
- Intermittent Fasting – I intermittent fast every day to give my gut a break to heal and rest. I try not to eat after 8/8:30 at night and don’t eat again for 12-14 hours (preferably 14), so generally at 10:30am I have my first meal. I usually make it light and easy to digest like whole oats with almond milk, organic berries, almond butter, hemp/chia and a little coconut sugar or a green smoothie.
- Detox tea – I do enjoy a detox tea several days a week. These have natural herbal remedies like dandelion greens to help pull toxins out of our system. These are not good to do every day. It is usually recommended to do one every day for a week or two and then take a few weeks off. For me, I just do a few detox teas a week. Just look in your tea aisle at your grocery store for one that says “detox” on the box.
- How do you feel about soy?
I love soy! Soy has gotten a bad rap for a few decades because a bunch of press came out about it in the early 2000s about cancer risks and boys growing boobs and all sorts of things. There is A LOT of research out there about soy, but none of it very conclusive, so you have to make your own decision around this, but for me, there is enough sound research pointing to the benefits of healthy (unprocessed/low-processed, fermented, organic) soy for overall health including cancer-fighting benefits, that I choose to keep it in my diet. I generally have 2-3 servings a week of fermented tofu or seitan.
Here is a quote from the Harvard School of Public Health: “Soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week, and is likely to provide health benefits – especially when eaten as an alternative to red and processed meat.”
Things to know about soy:
- Considered a “complete protein” unlike many plant proteins, which is why it is so widely used by vegan/plant-based individuals.
- Fermented soy tends to digest and absorb better in the body and has beneficial bacteria.
- Soy contains Isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen that is similar to human estrogen which is what caused all of the concern, however studies that observe people consuming soy foods over time show either a protective or neutral effect from cancer/breast cancer.
- Stay away from processed soy – the kind you find as an ingredient in processed food. Stay far away from GMO soy (look for “non-GMO” labeled soy products).
- How are you feeling about COVID-19, what are you doing to keep yourself physically and mentally well and what is your biggest concern about it?
Feeling: scared, a bit anxious, but also trusting and confident in a resolution to all of this – we must have hope.
What am I doing: morning routine/daily routine every day, nutritious foods and beverages all day. Daily intense workouts, daily meditation, multiple walks a day, talking to family and friends, keeping alcohol intake low, napping, not putting too much pressure on myself to “do” too much, but staying busy enough to feel good and a bit distracted. Getting enough sleep. Giving myself grace.
My biggest concern: chronic illness. Most people that are dying have underlying health conditions. Most of those are preventable. Our world, especially our country is sick and dying unnecessarily. This outbreak has highlighted the vulnerability of those with underlying conditions – chronic health conditions like HBP, Heart disease, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes and more. We can actually do something about these. They don’t have to exist. We desperately need a shift – from the FDA, from the big brands, from how we market food, to dietary theories to our food pyramid. This scares me the most – the poor diets, and sedentary lifestyle that is leading to these chronic diseases and making people vulnerable to secondary infections. I worry for my boys and their future and their health. This is why I am doing what I am doing. I want to be part of the change.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you found this resourceful! I will be doing a mini version of this every Monday, so DM or email me your questions anytime so you can get them answered.
Don’t forget to check out my new Live Fearless coaching program and my new FREE eBook, The Fear Spiral! Schedule a free consult with my any time to learn more about all of my coaching offerings. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram – @beckywiththegoodlife. I appreciate you and your support, especially during this crazy time! Please share this and any of my work with anyone you feel would benefit. That is my goal – to create content people can use and that will help people live a better life. Thank you for being part of this BWTGL community! Sending you so much love and health to you and your families!
Love. ALWAYS. Wins.