We’ve heard the stories over and over again in the last week. Even faced with the devastating loss of everything they own, brave Houstonians are grateful for simply surviving the storm of the century.
Staying healthy as we enter recovery mode is every bit as important as surviving the onslaught of Harvey in the first place. Here are some heartfelt tips from Betsy’s to help you stay in the best of health during the weeks ahead.
First, once our grocery stores are fully stocked again, make nutrient-rich choices instead of indulging in traditional comfort foods. The sugar content of sweets and simple carbs like rolls, pasta, bread and alcohol wreak havoc with your body’s inflammation response, blood sugar levels and mood. In addition, the dairy content of many comfort foods can cause digestive issues for those with food allergies. The instant gratification of the comfort food just isn’t worth the toll on your body that can last for days after you indulge.
Whole foods make much healthier substitutes for comfort food. Choose fruits and vegetables and lean meats instead of processed foods. Instead of that candy bar, try a few apple slices with walnuts or your favorite nut butter. A sparkling water with lemon or lime can be a refreshing drink. Consider truly whole-grain breads like Ezekiel breads, which are high in fiber and low in carbs. These are dense breads that fill you up much more quickly than traditional bread. Instead of butter on your bread or in your potatoes, try using coconut oil to add healthy fat and flavor to your foods.
Supplements can play a key role in keeping your nutrition profile balanced so that you handle the stress of storm recovery as well. A good multivitamin fills the nutrient gaps of even the healthiest diet. B vitamins, which help us so much with energy, especially in times of stress, are water-soluble, which means you need to replenish them every day. A B-complex can be a good way to help you balance B vitamins so that your body has its best supply to fight stress. At Betsy’s, we help customers choose the best products for their nutritional needs when it comes to energy and stress every day, including supplements like the herbs you can read more about here.
Take time to nurture your spiritual-side, especially if you think you don’t have time for you. Whether you set aside just five minutes a day to sit in a quiet room and just breathe, or, like me, you take comfort from time spent with Christ, connecting to the higher power in this universe is paramount to finding your spiritual center. As a Christian, my hope is that times like this will draw people closer to Christ, but whatever your religious belief, hopefully you will strengthen your connection to your faith as our recovery progresses. In Christian belief, God tells us that time spent with Him is the most important thing of all. When we bring Him to our mind through prayer and thankfulness, He has a way of calming us and showing us the path through our troubles. If you have never found a spiritual path or have not found time to grow your spiritual muscles in recent years, now is a good time to reach out to a religious community of your choosing to discover the kind of peace belief in our Creator can bring.
Exercise is another important aspect to recovery. Not only will exercise help keep your heart, bones and muscles healthy, it also helps your body push out toxins, promotes feel-good hormones, and helps bring the body out of stress and back into balance. A brisk walk can be as effective for many of these benefits, if not more so, than an all-out run. Don’t have a gym membership? Simple exercises in your home can be just as effective. Stretches, weight-training moves (even without weights), and cardio movements like jumping jacks or using your stairs can help you reach your physical activity goals. And remember that with exercise, a little bit is better than nothing at all.
At Betsy’s, our hearts hurt for our great community. We look forward to helping Houston do what it does best–like a Phoenix from the ashes, we rise.
Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before beginning a supplement or exercise plan, especially if you have a medical condition or take medication.