Self-Isolation and Taking Care of Yourself

1st February 2021By DZ TeamSelf-Improvement

Self-Isolation and Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Yourself During Self-Isolation

Self-isolation can be daunting, particularly when no one can certainly say things will go back to normal soon.

Taking care of yourself is something that can get you through this tough time. Want to know how to do that? Continue reading.

Self-care includes practices where you take care of your mental, physical, and emotional health.

Plus, by taking care of yourself, you will not only get through this tough phase, but you will also come out on the other side an improved person.

Let’s see how taking care of yourself can make the self-isolation period easier to manage, productive, and even enjoyable.

Eat Healthy Foods

Keeping a healthy diet is crucial whether you are living in a pandemic or not. However, the current scenario calls for a little extra care.

Eat foods that are good for your mental and physical health. Foods that are rich in healthy fat, proteins, and important minerals will keep you active.

Stay Active

As much as it’s tempting to remain in bed, it’s not good for your health. Try to move as much as you can. Go for a walk, play with your pet, have a little exercise in your room.

Anything that keeps you on your feet will help you maintain a good mood by releasing happy hormones called endorphins. It’s great for stress-relief.

Go out for a walk or exercise regularly to keep your immune system strong. Also, don’t sit for long hours even if you are doing something productive; it could be dangerous for your back.

Practice Meditation

Our thoughts tend to speed up when we are anxious; it’s normal when you’re going through a self-isolation period. However, you can calm your mind through proven techniques.

Mindfulness meditation is an effective way to do that. All you need to do is “focus on your breathing”. As simple as that sounds, it may be difficult in the beginning, as your mind will try to drift off.

This is normal though. Just bring the focus back and keep doing it for 10 minutes. Doing this for 10 minutes can have a positive impact on your mental health.

Many apps can help you with it. Insight Timer is a great option if you need a recommendation. Or, you can read about mindful breathing tips here.

Not a fan of meditation? Don’t worry! There is an alternative: Just practice the art of focus in everyday life. Focus on one thing at a time.

For instance, don’t think about the future or the past while you are having a nice cup of relaxing herbal tea. Give your full attention to your lovely beverage; the sense of warmth, the taste, the rising steam. In short, always focus on the present moment.

Connect Yourself Socially

Self-isolation doesn’t mean you socially isolate yourself too. While you can’t meet your mates in person, you can always arrange virtual meetups.

Keep in touch with your family and friends through text, video chat, or the good old phone call. We are all stuck in this calamity; share your feelings with them and ask them about theirs.

Plus, there are many forums where you can find like-minded people to talk to. Explore social media groups to get yourself involved in the communities of your interest.

Limit News Intake

While keeping yourself up to date is important, over-consuming the news can be detrimental to your mental health. This is especially so when it’s about sensitive topics like the coronavirus.

Limit your news intake. Don’t consume more than you need. Social media is awash with coronavirus talk as well; limit social media scrolling in this time of self-isolation and keep yourself busy in productive and fun activities.

Keep Learning

If you have been thinking about learning something new, now is the time. It could be anything; you can learn a new language, stitching, drawing, painting, or a digital skill that you can sell online.

Sometimes, our own goals can be overwhelming. Just make sure you set achievable goals. A sense of achievement is a great way to keep yourself motivated and on track for progress.

Practice Gratitude

According to clinical studies, people who write regularly about the things they are grateful for (gratitude journal) report better overall well-being.

What you focus on grows. So, keep a gratitude journal and write in it every day about the things you are grateful for.

Gratitude will not only improve your mental health, but it’s also great for fighting physical ailments.

Read Your Favorite Book

Have a book on your desk that you’ve been wanting to read but couldn’t? Self-isolation is an ideal time for reading enthusiasts.

Sometimes, distraction can be good for you. It takes your mind off the stuff going on around you for a while.

Watch Your Favorite Movie/TV Show

If you are not into reading, there is a lot of exciting content online. Self-isolation shouldn’t be boring; turn on the TV and stream your favorite movie or TV show.

If you like jokes, you’ll get a long list of comedy TV shows that you can watch with your loved ones and share a laugh.

Play With Your Pet (Or Get One)

Pets are innocent, cute, loving, and playful. While taking care of yourself, let your pet take care of you as well. They can be a great asset in this stressful time.

It’s normal to get anxious, stressed-out, and even depressed during self-isolation. Pets are a great way to alleviate those feelings. So, spend time with your pet or get one if you can.

Final Thoughts

Self-isolation can be tough, but thankfully, small steps in the right direction can make it easier. In fact, you can take it as an opportunity to better yourself.

You don’t have to be socially isolated either. Fortunately, in this digital age, you have everything you need to keep in touch with your loved ones all the time.

Stay active, read your favorite books, watch your favorite content, play with your pet, learn something new, practice meditation and gratitude, and limit your news intake. You’ll see positive changes in your life in no time.

Why not join our community  - “Healing through food” movement. We'd be delighted to have you! 🙂

Foods That Help Depression and Anxiety: Plant-Based

17th January 2021By DZ TeamGoing Vegan, Self-Improvement

Foods That Help Depression and Anxiety - Vegan and Plant-Based

Plant-Based Diet Tips to Combat Depression

In this article we will share some foods that help depression. We also provide some useful general tips to help you improve your overall well-being.

Mental illness is one of the most actively increasing threats to public health, out of which depression and anxiety disorders are rising rapidly. It is proven that diet is correlated with all such diseases. An 18-month study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion stated that a plant-based diet might alleviate depression and anxiety. It also conveyed that specific nutrients help reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being.

To find out more about foods that help depression, please read on! 🙂

Vegan Food Recipes are Super Quick and Delicious

A growing body of research shows that eating whole rich diet, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains may not only help prevent major depression and anxiety, but also treat it once it has started. Striving to eat a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be boring! 🙂

You can get portion of greens daily by adding them to soups, smoothies, juices, curries, pasta dishes or simply a good old-fashioned side of steamed greens to retain content of both magnesium and B vitamins.

Boosts Your Mood

Vegan and plant-based foods are a rich supplier of vitamins and nutrients that helps fight illnesses. For example, Vitamin C stimulates your body to produce antibodies and white blood cells that strengthen the immune system to ward off diseases. At the same time, Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps combat infections. Thus, a healthy body with lower chances of illness puts you in a good mood without making you feel lethargic or miserable any longer.

Better Quality of Sleep and Reduced Stress

Our bodies demand sleep to rest, restore and to reduce the chances of health issues like elevated blood pressure, and Alzheimer's disease. Magnesium and calcium maintain a more regulated sleeping cycle. In addition to this, the release of serotonin calms your brain. Also, antioxidants found in vitamins A, C and E reduce free-radical damage, at the time of stress. A study published in the Nutritional Journal found showed that participants levels of stress decreased after just two weeks.

 

Foods That Help Depression and Anxiety-Plant-Based–Diet Zest Blog

List of The Foods That Help Depression

Leafy green vegetables are the nutrient substations. It also comprises several vitamins and minerals. The rich content of folic acid and iron present in these vegetables protects you against dementia and depression.

All nuts and seeds contain tryptophan that is converted into serotonin inside the body. Although different nuts like cashews, Brazil nuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, and hazelnuts effectively enhance omega-3 fats. Walnuts are the highest plant-based sources of omega-3, takes over as they support the entire brain's health by keeping the blood sugar level stabilized. A 2019 study found that depression scores remained 26% lower among those who consumed nearly 1/4 cup of walnuts every day. Thus, nuts and seeds are also considered one of the best foods that help depression.

Brazil nut- These are the richest source of selenium. People deficient in selenium usually feel depressed and anxious. Thus, two Brazil nuts per day help restore your mental well-being.

Mushrooms are one of the few sources of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D for the vegans with minimal tryptophan levels.

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and calcium, which helps lower blood pressure and maintain a proper sleep cycle.

Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin, which shows many similar properties to pharmaceutical drugs used to handle anxiety disorders.

Bananas contain rich content of serotonin, for mood balancing and daily body functioning. They also contain Vitamin C and potassium, which enhances nerve and muscle health.

Avocados comprises of almost 20 minerals and vitamins. It also contains tryptophan that promotes a good mood.

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, and protein along with folate and polyphenols that help maintain a healthy gut.

Foods to Avoid

Sugar and processed food are great contributors to anxiety and depression, resulting in inflammation throughout the body and brain. The quick pick me ups- a cup of coffee and processed food stands in for a complete breakfast, and healthy fresh fruits and vegetables replaced by high fat and high-calorie fast foods. This cycle needs to be cracked by incorporating healthy and tasty plant-based Foods That Help Depression.

You can check out some of our recipe ideas and our Personalised Grocery List service.

Also, why not consider joining our community  - “Healing through food” movement.

Vegan Foods List for Veganuary

4th January 2021By DZ TeamGoing Vegan

Vegan Foods List for Veganuary

Happy Veganuary!

Start your Veganuary off with this helpful vegan foods list, so you can walk in the grocery store with confidence!

It’s Veganuary again! It’s time to start the year off with wholesome plant-food goodness. Whether you are already vegan, transitioning, or just trying it out, this helpful vegan foods list will give you some great ideas on what to shop for. Our vegan foods list will provide you with a great variety to make your meals amazing, and not miss out on any nutrients. You will feel better and start your year off great, with nutrient rich food to fuel your body.

 

How to step up your Veganuary

One of the best ways you can fire up your vegan game is by trying out many different plant-based whole foods. This means food that comes in its natural unprocessed form. Nothing is added or taken away. These can be foods like lentils, fruit, vegetables, oats, nuts, and seeds. Make sure to try out new recipes that look interesting and enjoyable for you.

Of course, if you have favorite meat substitutes like veggie sausages, smoked tofu, veggie burgers, keep them. These foods are still tasty, and if they make your vegan experience enjoyable, all the better. However, it is good to use them moderately as many are quite high in salt, refined fats, and other ingredients. The idea is to make veganism fun and delicious. However, make sure to include whole foods with them. They should be a gateway food to more plant-based foods.

Health perks

Plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants and can reduce inflammation in the body. Why is this important? When our body lacks antioxidants, there is an imbalance of free radicals. These free radicals (while necessary for immune and healing functions) can wreak havoc on the body over time. This leads to inflammation which can damage the DNA in our cells, leading to cancer growth.

Plant-based food also has an abundance of fiber. Fiber is paramount, given the statistic that 97% of Americans are fiber deficient. Moreover, fiber is both great and necessary for human health. It keeps our digestive system running smooth, it keeps our heart working at its best, and it keeps us fuller, which can help metabolism and manage weight.

Eating a plant-based diet can improve our longevity, prevent heart disease, diabetes, promote healthy cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This can prevent many debilitating and costly conditions, as well as many needless deaths.

Benefits for the environment

Veganuary is gaining popularity due to the lockdowns, people trying new things, and increasing concerns for the environment. A record 400 000 people signed up to the Veganuary pledge last year. This is followed by 250,000 in 2019, and 170,000 in 2018. Restaurant closures have also forced people to cook more at home.

Eating a diverse plant-based diet helps the environment by encouraging a more diverse food supply. Much of the agriculture on the planet is dedicated to growing single crops. A lot of it isn't even for us, but instead is for feeding livestock.

By eating a plant-based diet, you skip the middleman. The food comes straight from the ground to the plate. Eating seasonal and local can help by reducing carbon footprints, getting fresher tastier, and nutrient rich food. It can also help your local farmers with much needed revenue to put back into their businesses and into the local economy.

Try to keep in mind when using the vegan foods list to shop in season. Try to buy local produce whenever possible. If you have farmers markets in your town or city, this makes it so easy to do both. The money goes straight to the farmers making it more profitable to have markets like these.

 

Vegan Foods List for Veganuary - Diet Zest Article

Getting the most out of your food

When using your vegan food list, it is good to shop and eat with plenty of colors. Include foods that are green, orange, purple, blue, yellow, and red. Eat lots of whole grains, healthy fats, and plant-based protein. Lots of ingredients can be swapped for different ones. It is like a create-your-own adventure of plant-based goodness! 😊 The vegan foods list will help you check all the boxes with flavors and nutrition.

Vegan Grocery List

Fruits

Fruits are always fun to shop for. There are so many different kinds, and it's exciting to try new ones. You can further diversify your fruit shopping by getting different kinds like berries, citrus fruits, and melons.

Vegetables

Like fruits, it is good to try different kinds and colors. You always want to include dark leafy greens. Also be sure to include tomatoes (even if it is a fruit), starchy root vegetables like yams, and potatoes, and other root vegetables like carrots. Frozen vegetables can be a quick and convenient way to include more veggies in your diet.

Protein

Plant-based protein can be best found from tofu, and legumes like lentils, beans, and chickpeas. However, the vegan diet is great because protein can be found in many other things in the vegan foods list like nuts and seeds, greens vegetables like peas, and grains like quinoa, and oats.

Whole Grains

These are good staples to include in your vegan food list. Grains help to include fiber, protein, and complex carbs. This supports heart health and keeps you feeling full throughout the day! Some good grains to include are brown rice, quinoa, oats and farro.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a good source of healthy fats, and protein. Some good things to include on your vegan foods list are almonds, (and almond butter of course), walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and flax seeds.

Healthy Fats

When eating a plant-based diet it is easy to get too much refined vegetable oils like canola oil, palm oil, and vegan margarine. Instead, try to get fats from avocados, sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, and from the olives themselves of course. You can also include nuts and seeds as a source of fats.

Herbs and Spices

Do not overlook herbs and spices, as these will bring great flavor to your cooking. Fresh herbs are always great to include whenever possible, but the dried varieties are okay too. Some good options to blast flavor into your food are garlic, rosemary, dill, cilantro, and oregano. If you like Indian cuisine, keep a steady supply of turmeric, paprika, cumin and garam masala (or some other curry spice mix). If you are not sure which spices are best, it's always a good idea to read recipes. This will help you to get an idea of which spices go with which foods. Additionally, try to look up recipes for your favorite foods to learn what spices are in them.

You can check out our recipe ideas and our Personalised Grocery List service.

Also, consider joining our community, our “Healing through food” movement is growing daily!