There is no shortage of theories about what it means to be healthy or to take care of your health these days. The fact that the range of novelties and trends is already enormous, and now 2020 added something else to the pile: How to be healthy in the midst of a pandemic? What does it look like to be healthy in our ‘new normal’?
 
Every day, a new trend emerges, and what was once labeled healthy, now science says you can’t be sure. When we ask ourselves what it means to be healthy, the answer is full of paradoxes, making it all too confusing.
 
What food should we eat? But is it really natural? What does “natural” mean, anyway? Why choose organic? Do we pay more if it’s local? Is it salt-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, lactose-free? Have you checked to see if what you consume is not tested on animals? Is it cruelty-free, plastic-free and biodegradable?
 

 
You’ve probably already asked yourself at least some of these questions and that is normal, since we live in a world where we are saturated with “information overload” 24/7.
 
A homeopath once recommended that I take an oatmeal bath to help improve my allergy symptoms. I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t.
 
Just recently green tea was the cure-all, then it was quinoa. Last year, valerian was the solution to sleep, but today, it’s melatonin.
 
Don’t forget about the many miracles of coconut oil, then chia seeds quickly took the stage. Oh – and then there was grapefruit seed extract. 
 
Suddenly, the fountain of youth was found in aloe juice, smoothies, goji berries, matcha tea - and who can live without spirulina? Not to mention the latest healthy trends in the world: intermittent fasting and 3-day liquid detox. You don’t detox? You’re SO out. (JUST KIDDING!).
 
This is all to say that knowing what’s what when it comes to health is not easy. Everything I mentioned above does have its place in the conversation about health, but it’s hard to keep up. Grilled salmon is healthy today, but tomorrow we might find out that it’s toxic and we should avoid it.
 
For this and other reasons, there is no single answer to what it means to be healthy today. There is no recipe.
Surely it is important to keep yourself informed and set out to change habits that do not benefit you. Watching your diet and exercise is part of the “healthy (and happy) life” package. Besides, science has proven that body, mind and spirit play a factor in our health.
 
There is still a whole world to discover, but we don’t want to go crazy, so we’ll share what we believe can guide us in this sea of possibilities:
 

  1. Natural (without going to the extreme)

 
This “trend” is by no means new and continues to be relevant. We recommend that you invite natural foods to take up more space in your kitchen.
 

The journey towards a healthier life starts with vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Like in the old days. So say goodbye to processed foods and additives. Say hello to new sources of energy from nature or even from your own garden, if you can.
 
Remember that we don’t want to let our obsession with diet take over our lives, since the pleasures of life are also related to food. So, natural, but not too extreme.
 

  1. Move (in a way that makes you happy)

 
Everyone has a different lifestyle. You may not be into yoga, but you love to swim. In other words, the task is to find out how you like to move. There are tons of healthy workouts: walking 30 minutes a day or riding a bike are also simple and efficient physical activities.
 

 
It’s not the results that matter, it’s the journey that gets you there. What good is strong and curvy body if you’re not happy moving it?
 
 

  1. Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

 
Feeling at home inside your body is not achieved through regular physical activity alone. Mental health also plays a very important role.
There are many ways to take care of the mind, be it through meditation, therapy, hypnosis, holistic treatments, or something else. Relaxing and focusing completely on yourself is fundamental and works like a charm.
 

 

  1. Skin, hair and clothing

 
We start with diet, body and mind, then we get to our skin, hair and the clothing we wear, which is also part of our day-to-day. What kinds of soaps and cosmetics do you use? Where do you buy them? What are your clothes and accessories made of?
 
 
 
Only by asking these kinds of questions, can we rethink how and where we can improve our habits.
 
It is not an easy task, but we invite you to think about each of these topics, making changes as needed, little by little. Adapt your routine to improve your health through diet, exercise or meditation, we leave it up to you.
 
Challenges can also be our allies. Drink 2 liters of water a day and get your 8 hours at night, that might help you eat a balanced and healthy diet. But we must never lose sight of the fun and pleasure in life, in the end they say that life is too short, and 2020 will be hard to forget, so enjoy life, either with a glass of champagne or a chamomile tea!

We want to share with you this article that seems fundamental to understand why maintaining good hygiene is so important, but not just in these turbulent times... always. As we understand that not everyone understands English, and in case the automatic translator of your search engine fails you, we would like to summarize here the most important points highlighted by the Professor of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales, Palli Thordarson.

 
lavarse las manos COVID
 

To better understand why soap is the best way to prevent or get rid of the virus, we must first understand how a virus works. The professor emphasizes then that there are three fundamental elements by which a virus is composed:

  1. RNA = A nucleic acid genome (like the DNA of the virus)

  2. Protein. Which generates a barrier around the virus and helps its development and multiplication within the host's body.

  3. An outer layer of fatty lipids.

The connection between these three components is what provides the virus structure, however Professor Thordarson points out that this structure is “weak”. Although we cannot understand the survival of the virus in this regard, we must know that the so-called viral self-assembly is based precisely on these weak interactions between proteins, RNA and lipids. These commonly called weak interactions form a virtually unbreakable barrier.

 

 

This assembly, which we will call the “viral particle”, can be broken with soap because it contains fatty substances similar to the lipids of the virus.

Here Professor Thordarson explains how soap, in contact with lipids, makes them disconnect from the virus and from the skin; As lipids are removed, so are other weak links that make up the virus. Then, the virus, without connecting these links, crumbles.

However, we have to be very thorough with the correct soaping. Although soap helps to destroy the virus membrane, we must be aware at all times of the adhesion force of the virus. With its irregular shapes and nano-size it can attach itself within any of the small wrinkles of our hands. For this reason it is important not to leave any area without soaping and to maintain the process for a minimum of 20 seconds so that the soap can perform its function.

Matcha, “the king of teas” is a high-quality Japanese tea. It was discovered over 800 years ago by Buddhist monks and is used in Japanese tea ceremonies to this day. It is made with the plant’s youngest, most tender leaves.
The food industry is becoming more and more familiar with Matcha – the ideal ingredient to prepare green-tea flavored dishes. A lot of bakeries, chocolate shops, ice cream shops and renowned chefs include green tea flavored desserts among their offerings. They also make Matcha lattes and smoothies.

Photo: Recipe with Matcha Tea


The leaves are ground with artisanal stone grinders in order to produce a very fine, bright green powder.
Today we would like to talk about Matcha tea, because besides loving the amazing pure tea flavor and its culinary use (which is not for everyone), it has numerous benefits for your health and your skin.

Photo: Recipe with Matcha Tea


Matcha has both a stimulating effect from the caffeine and a calming effect, due to the L-theanine. Your body absorbs the tea, along with its amino acids, antioxidants (approximately 5 times more than Goji berries), vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, potassium and iron in much larger quantities than roasted green tea.
Here are two recipes: one to drink and another for a topical skin treatment.

Photo: Recipe with Matcha Tea


MATCHA LATTE
– Sugar, honey or agave.
– 1/2 teaspoon of Matcha
– 50 ml boiling water
– 300 ml stirred milk (could be soy, oat or almond if you don’t drink cow’s milk)
Dilute the Matcha powder in hot water, stir well until it dissolves completely and a layer of foam appears. Add hot milk and continue stirring. Sweeten to taste. It’s delicious and a great way to start your day. It’s a perfect substitute for coffee; it contains 5 times as much caffeine.
 
MATCHA FACE MASK
– 1 tablespoon of Matcha powder
– 2 tablespoons of mineral water
Mix the water and Matcha together to form a consistent paste. Apply to your face for 30 minutes. It will leave your skin feeling incredible!
 
Here in Spain, Matcha can be found in health food stores and some cafes such as Le Pain Quotidien and even Starbucks. If you want to try green tea sorbet, you can find it at Asian restaurants. In Japan, they even have Matcha flavored chocolate!
Who ever said green tea isn’t a treat?

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