‘Healthy Fuel back to school in uncertain times’: A Holistic Nutritionist’s Perspective

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Rhiannon Lytle is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, practising at a naturopathic clinic in Vancouver (Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre). She attended CSNN (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition), where she obtained her certification in the field, and as a holistic chef.

When asked about the role of nutrition in holistic health, she said “Nutrition is a huge piece of someone’s health. Generally, we can mitigate some poor lifestyle habits by utilizing and changing up diet. That said, it’s still only a piece. As an R.H.N. it’s my job to look at someone’s whole health picture: food, family history, lifestyle habits, fitness, stress, sleep… it all plays a role in our long term health and vitality.”

Based on her training and work experience, she believes there is a place for people taking a proactive role in managing their own health.  “Being proactive about your health is key to creating a balanced life and taking control of your long-term health picture. This is especially important for those who know that they may be at risk for disease in the future, either through testing or based on family trends. We know that it is possible, through acting proactively with proper diet and lifestyle habits, that we can lower our risk of actually having these diseases or illnesses.

In the unprecedented times that we live in (with COVID-19 and the evolving repercussions), anxiety and depression seem to be rife. “So many of my clients are experiencing heightened stress and anxiety right now, which is totally natural! I always like to remind clients that it’s a natural response, because sometimes we can get more frustrated/stressed/anxious about the fact that we’re frustrated/stressed/anxious!”

Rhiannon Lytle had the following general tips to manage personal wellness in these times.

  • Breathe! This seems so easy, but we tend to breathe only into our chest when we don’t think about it. Try this: let your belly hang loose, close your eyes and take 4 deep breaths, letting your belly fill up. Breathing in and out through your nose. 
  • Try adaptogens. I love recommending powdered Ashwagandha as it’s so easy to add to your routine. Add it to tea or coffee, smoothies, in oats. With adaptogens like Ashwagandha, it’s important to take them regularly and for an extended period of time to truly feel the benefits. 
  • Focus on sleep! When we’re stressed we tend to put sleep last, however this should be top of the priority list. A goodnight’s rest can do wonders for our stress levels, focus and productivity. 

For young people returning to school amidst dealing with these uncertain times, she had the following tips on managing health and wellness.

  • My biggest tip: skip the sugar and reach for vitamin rich fruits and veggies! I know we gravitate toward sugary treats when we’re tired or stressed, but these don’t do a lot for our overall health.
  • Next: antioxidant-rich supplements are another easy way to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. My simple go-to is a vitamin C, and I love that Organika has a variety of ways to get it in! Whether it’s a bubbly tablet like Instant C Effervescent or a capsule. If you enjoy food-based supplements, try spirulina or a reishi mushroom powder in smoothies!
  • Set yourself up for success each night by setting yourself a bedtime window (ideally before midnight), and a wakeup window (ideally around 8am at the latest). Power down your electronics one hour before bed, avoid emails, scrolling through social media and the news as much as possible, as well as skipping caffeine after 12 p.m. 
  • I love to recommend clients try Magnesium Bisglycinate close to bed to add in a bit of a bedtime ritual, as well as add in some important relaxation support!

All of the products outlined above can be found at organika.com

For those interested in finding more natural ways to handle anxiety and stress, you can connect with Rhiannon via her social media handles:

Twitter: @rhiannonlytle
Instagram: @eatingbetweenlines

Additional resources for health and wellness are available via Organika’s social media handles and links below:

Website: https://organika.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/organikahealth/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/organikahealth 

Rhiannon is also featured on Organika’s podcast, The Enhanced Life, and will be leading an upcoming webinar on behalf of the company as well. Readers can follow along for all updated content!

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-enhanced-life/id1482717780

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