Habits to Help you Reach your Health Goals while Social Distancing – With Holistic Nutritionist, Katie Valley

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien Blog, Health Leave a Comment

This current global pandemic has dramatically altered how we go about living our day-to-day lives.  Although it’s easy to turn on the news and to feel a sense of loss, there is also tremendous opportunity that can be found for greater self care amidst this time.  Are there health goals you’ve long talked about, but have yet to achieve? If time has been one missing piece that’s prevented you from making those goals a reality, now can be a time to start building healthy habits, cooking nutritious meals, and integrating mindfulness and other self-care practices to your day-to-day routine. 

One day (hopefully soon), life will be back to normal.  When you think about how you’ll eventually look back at this time spent at home, with many of your regular day-to-day activities having fallen away, how would you like that time to look?  What do you want to create more space for?

In today’s blog post our holistic nutritionist, Katie Valley, shares 5 healthy habits that will help you to achieve your health goals amidst the challenges and opportunities of this pandemic, and the social isolation it brings.  She also shares an exciting opportunity to work with us both via my Real Food Recharge program this month, which I’m incredibly excited about!  

Now, here’s Katie!

Katie Valley

Healthy Habits and Mindset Shifts to Reach your Health Goals while Social Distancing – with Holistic Nutritionist, Katie Valley


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Now, more than ever, is a unique opportunity for all of us to focus on our health. 

As a Holistic Nutrition Practitioner, mindset and health habits are topics I discuss frequently with my clients. A positive mindset can help us to smooth the internal landscape and cope with the mental and emotional strain that many of us are currently facing. Habits are the small daily actions that create our behaviors, and those actions we do repeatedly ultimately create the person we become.  Do our habits and behavior coincide with the health goals we have set for ourselves?

At this time, our ability to make and maintain lifestyle choices that promote our health and well-being is one of the best things we can do to manage our stress, and to come out of this pandemic happier and healthier.

Some of us may even find that social distancing provides us with the time we’ve been needing for reflection– time we don’t normally give ourselves. We can take advantage of this time away from the normal hustle and bustle of the day to day, by spending time getting clear on our health goals and core values.  

A few questions to ask yourself about your current health goals include:

Why is your health important to you?  In other words, what is the “WHY” that motivates you to make healthy choices?

What can you do right now to make your self-care more of a priority?

Honing in on your health and wellness goals, creating new habits and routines, and utilizing this extra time to prepare healthy meals for you and your family, are all ways to make lemonade out of the lemons of our current situation.

Here is the thing- this is a strange time! This current scenario is something we may never have thought we’d ever experience. Although we may currently be feeling a lack of control over many things in our lives, we do need to recognize the power we DO have over our daily decisions.

If there was ever an opportunity to take stock of your health goals, and to prioritize making more time available for your well-being and self-care, it’s now. 

Here are five ways you can work towards achieving your health goals, despite new obstacles and social isolation:

1. Work on a Positive Mindset to Help Manage Stress: High cortisol and increased stress actually weaken your immune system.  With the uncertainty around what’s going on right now, we find ourselves feeling anxious and stressed.  This means that now, more than ever, it’s important to focus our attention on our own daily actions and decisions that promote our health and well-being. 

Simple self-care practices that can reduce stress include journaling or developing a gratitude practice and beginning each day by reflecting on what you have to be grateful for. Meditation and breathing exercises can also help to lower cortisol levels, and there are free apps you can download to support you with this. One of my favorite apps for this is Insight Timer.

Health Goals: Meditation

2. Create a Routine that includes Healthy Habits: If you think about it- this pandemic has forced the ‘pause’ button on our lives. Take advantage of reduced commitments and create more structure in your day. If you are now working from home, take advantage of this to create your ultimate schedule! 

What time should you wake up to complete a morning routine, before firing up the laptop? 

Can you squeeze in 30 minutes of movement and a nutritious breakfast beforehand? 

How about a 10 minute meditation to help manage your stress and set your intention for the day? 

What time will you stop working to spend time with family? 

When do you need to be in bed, in order to get 7-9 hours of sleep? 

These are many of the habits necessary to promote good health, and now more than ever we are presented with an opportunity to build habits that support our health goals and prioritize our self care.

Health Goals: Morning Routine

3. Get Social (Distancing) Support: As humans, we need social support for any changes we are wanting to make. Although the current situation isn’t conducive for many social interactions- this is where technology comes in! Luckily, there are many options for virtual meetings, phone calls and social media interaction that helps to provide some emotional, logistical and informational support. 

Our upcoming Real Food Recharge group program is one amazing way to prioritize your health.  Through the program, you’ll learn to cook delicious meals for your family, while also benefiting from community and group support.  You can also join us in our free Healthy Life Redesign with Dr. Kimberley Facebook group, where you’ll find a warm and welcoming community sharing recipes and inspiration.

Health Goals: Social Support

4. Learn Something New: When life returns to normal, would you be grateful to have taken this opportunity to grow, develop new habits or learn a new skill? Take a moment to think of an area of your life you’ve long been wanting to improve, or a skill or hobby you’ve been hoping to learn.  Could this time be an opportunity for you to create space for this learning?  

 I personally plan to take those online courses I’ve been meaning to get through, to make the healthy recipes I have been eyeing from the Real Food Recharge program, and to spend quality time with my husband.  Of course, give yourself permission to REST if you need that too!

Health Goals: Learn Something New

5. Plan Ahead to Eat Well and Fuel Your Body With Healthy Foods: During a time when visits to the grocery store are limited, and dining-out isn’t possible, planning ahead will help you to make sure your food choices are as nutrient dense as possible! Great options for non-perishable ingredients include canned or dried beans, lentils, frozen vegetables, frozen meats and fish, and gluten-free whole grains including oats, rice and quinoa. Whenever possible, avoid processed and packaged food and do your best to minimize your sugar intake. Purchase fresh produce weekly, and make sure to include as many immune boosting ingredients to your cart as possible!


Join us for the Real Food Recharge!

For a comprehensive plan providing you with over 80 delicious recipes, 5 weeks of healthy meal plans, one-stop weekly grocery lists, live educational videos, and community support, join us for our upcoming Real Food Recharge Program!  We are starting the program TOGETHER on April 20th, so make sure to register now so you don’t miss it! By selecting the option for group-coaching, you’ll have the opportunity to be supported by Katie Valley via weekly group coaching sessions throughout the five-week plan. 

The Real Food Recharge helps you to take the guesswork out of what to cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  You’ll receive detailed weekly grocery lists, so that you can one-stop shop and know EXACTLY what to pick up each week at the store.  You’ll learn to create delicious, nutritious meals for your family with simple to follow recipes. As an additional highlight, especially while we are all socially isolated, you’ll be learning and growing TOGETHER with other members of the Healthy Life Redesign community through a private Real Food Recharge Facebook group, as well as optionally through group-coaching sessions.  

You can get a taste of the program and receive 10 free Real Food Recharge recipes by selecting the FREE “Taste of the Real Food Recharge” program option here, and don’t forget to join us in the Healthy Life Redesign with Dr. Kimberley Facebook group!


Real Food Recharge

Our mental, emotional and physical resilience will grow as we discover new healthy habits, tools and the power of community to support our well-being.  Together, let’s use this time ahead to prioritize our health goals and to create lasting change in our own health, and that of our family’s. We’re in this together!


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About the Author

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien

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Dr. Kimberley O'Brien is a Naturopathic Doctor in  Nelson, BC with expertise in the treatment of digestive disorders, fatigue and hormone imbalances.  She is the founder of Healthy Life Redesign and creator of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan and the Real Food Recharge online programs.  Her mission is to help you own your health and live a life you love!


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