Supercharge your immune system and improve gut health, mood and energy
As the end of the year approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on the year gone by and start planning for the year ahead.
Part of this planning should include health goals so you can live your most vibrant year yet, and to ensure you stay strong, fit and healthy.
How has your health been this year?
What are your health goals for 2022?
To get you inspired and motivated, CNM’s education team, patrons and graduates share their top health tips for 2022.
CNM Education Team
Bobby Qureshi – Education Director
“Look after your emotional health. At a time when so many people are struggling with their emotional health, I suggest avoiding news with the negative, fear-based strategies being employed. It is also important to stay connected with others (family, friends), be part of a community, don’t become isolated and stay focused on positive goals that you want to achieve. For further emotional support, I often recommend that my patients use Bach flower remedies. These are wonderful natural remedies that can provide huge support when feeling anxious, stressed, angry or in fear.”
Learn more about Bach flower remedies
Get access to CNM’s Bach flowers for wellbeing course for free.
Rhian Jones – Naturopathic Nutrition Course Director
“Good diet in the form of plant power is the foundation to everything and finding your happy place to keep your stress hormones down. My happy place is on my bike – where is yours?”
Learn more about Nutrition for Everyday Living
Dee Clough – Naturopathy Course Director
“Walk daily (in nature if possible) – it’s grounding, great for your physical health and it increases feel-good hormones. Remember to smile (especially when feeling stressed) as it lifts your spirits and those of people you come into contact with.”
Rachel de Thample – Natural Chef Course Director
“Add fermented food to your diet: At a time of year when you’re consuming lots of rich foods and maybe indulging more, adding fermented foods to the mix will help your digestive system function more efficiently and also help give your immune system a boost at a time when it needs it most. Try my Christmas Klaut; it’s a brilliant fermented take on braised red cabbage which is the perfect dish to serve with any Christmas feasting. The benefits of having fermented vs braised (or even raw) cabbage at Christmas are:
- It increases the concentration of nutrients in foods i.e., most B vitamins, including folic acid and B12 plus vitamin K.
- The vitamin C content of cabbage doubles when fermented.
- Brassicas have a further benefit – when you cut them, they release sulforaphane which is a potent antioxidant that can protect cells against cancer. Sulforaphane is destroyed by heat but thrives in fermented form.
- It is rich in probiotic bacteria which increases the diversity of your gut microbiome. Fermenting the cabbage breaks down fibre, facilitating improved digestion.”
Victoria Mudie – Health Coach Course Director
“Have goals, practice gratitude, be open to learning, move your body, eat well and get outside daily.”
Listen to Victoria’s podcast episode on how to become a Health Coach.
Linda Vezzoli – Health Coach Lecturer and Nutritional Therapist
“Ensure you spend time outdoors every day. Getting daylight on your retina first thing in the morning will lower stress levels and regulate your circadian rhythm. This will positively impact your sleep later that day. Walking in nature has also shown to have a positive effect on mood and mental wellbeing. If you’re unable to go for a walk, aim to spend some time in the garden or simply stick your head out of the window.”
Listen to Linda’s podcast episode on how health coaching can transform your life.
Jacqui Dougan – Biomedicine Director
“Cut out caffeine. As I increasingly work with chronic stress in clients, one simple rule to follow is to eliminate daily caffeine from the diet. Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant, it disturbs sleep, elevates anxiety whilst increasing cortisol secretion and raises blood pressure. Good caffeine-free alternatives include a maca latte with coconut milk and maca root powder, chamomile flower tea (loose tea) or Holy basil tea. The negative impact of caffeine loaded drinks cannot be underestimated when managing stress.”
Gemma Hurditch – Naturopathy and Nutrition Lecturer
“Take medicinal mushrooms for your immune system and to reduce stress. Try a couple of a shiitake mushrooms per day and invest in a good mixed mushroom with Reishi powder or capsule – capsules often easier to take as the powders don’t always taste great.”
Listen to Gemma’s podcast episode on skin health.
Dr Sarah Myhill
Pioneering GP, ecological medicine doctor and nutritionist
“You are what you eat – the paleo-ketogenic diet is the evolutionary correct diet. Anything less will not do.”
Listen to Dr Myhill’s podcast episode where she discusses the paleo-ketogenic diet.
Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
Naturopathic physician, lecturer, researcher, author and leading authority on integrative medicine
“Have a green drink every week. As I study resistance factors for COVID, I am struck by the importance of flavonoids for protecting us from a wide variety of virial infections. I now recommend people make a flavonoid-rich green drink at least once a week.”
Foods that are rich in flavonoids include leafy green vegetables, beetroot, celery, parsley, oregano, red cabbage, onions, apples, berries, cherries, citrus fruit, green tea and matcha.
Listen to Dr Pizzorno’s podcast episode on how to detox safely and reduce your exposure to harmful toxins.
Clinician, Researcher, Author and Educator
“Get enough sleep. Sleep is by far the most important health resource we have. The duration, quality and consistency are the number one health strategy we can take.”
Dr Jayne Donegan
Medical doctor and Homeopathic Physician
“Have optimal Vitamin D. My top tip for every single one of my patients is to ensure they have optimal Vitamin D. Vitamin D is not only necessary for strong teeth and bones, it is also a powerful immune stimulant which has an effect on every system in the body. It is hard to get enough vitamin D from sunshine alone and vegans are especially at risk of low levels.
You can test your vitamin D levels at https://www.vitamindtest.org.uk/. You need to be in the mid-range which in UK units is 120-150 nmol/l. UK normal range is 50-250 nmol/l. In USA units you need to be 40-60ng/l.
For vitamin D supplementation, generally sprays are better than drops, capsules or tablets as any gut issues reduce absorption of fat and vitamin D is fat soluble. Many of my patients eating healthy vitamin D containing foods and taking regular supplements have nonetheless had low vitamin D for this reason. Once you get your levels to 120-150nmol/l – add K2 – it comes in joint preparation
NB always check with your own doctor if a preparation is suitable for you.”
Learn more about the health benefits of Vitamin D.
Izzy Kirkby – Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist
“Dry skin brushing has amazing benefits for the body and is great for self-care. It stimulates the lymphatic system, exfoliates the skin and improves circulation; all of which are key for detoxification and removing toxins from our tissues and protecting the body from illness-causing invaders. With the increase in working from home, people are moving less which means the lymphatic system is less able to do its job. Our lymph moves, when we move! Dry skin brushing is a great way to aid moving any stagnant lymph plus you might find your skin feels smoother and more plumped.
Milk thistle is an ancient, medicinal herb that is a powerful protector of the liver. One of its compounds ‘silymarin’ is even used in hospitals to reverse liver damage from mushroom poisoning. With this amazing ability to repair the liver, milk thistle is also gentle enough that we can use it as a preventative to support liver health. Unfortunately, we are all exposed to environmental toxins that we cannot control so our livers are in overdrive trying to protect us from the damaging effects. Looking after your liver is essential.”
Learn more about the health benefits of Milk Thistle.
Listen to Izzy’s podcast episode on how to detox your home and body from harmful toxins.
Keris Marsden – Personal Trainer and Nutritional Therapist
“Dental and oral health is essential for wellbeing. Having had some tricky wisdom teeth removed this year, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a regular dental hygiene routine. It’s now well established that dental cavities and gum disease are linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Whilst everyone brushes their teeth daily, it’s also important to rinse your mouth out with a chemical-free/alcohol-free mouthwash after meals. A salt water rinse is a simple and effective option.
Visit the dental hygienist every 3 – 6 months and have regular dental assessments as a preventative check-up, rather than just turning up to the dentist when you’re suffering.
Diet is fundamental to maintaining healthy teeth and gums and looking after your oral microbiome. It’s important to limit processed foods and consume or supplement with essential nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, K2, zinc CoQ10 and vitamin D. Oral probiotics like Invivo Clinical Bio.Me.Oral are particularly beneficial if you’re currently struggling with dental complications.”
Listen to Keris Marsden’s podcast episode on how to exercise properly.
Izzy Walton – Health Coach
“Make positive changes that will nourish and restore your whole self. Think about what brings you joy and is closely aligned with your values. Instead of thinking what to give up – think ‘what can I ADD IN’. You are far more likely to stick to your goals if you completely resonate with them. Start small and celebrate every win. Also remember your health and wellness is based upon the whole picture, not just one area in your life. Here are my tips:
Health – prepare overnight oats or a smoothie the night before instead of buying a croissant on the way to work and move your body daily.
Self-growth – journal, undertake a creative project, do gardening or crafting, start a new course or learn a new skill.
Self-care – walk in nature, take an Epsom salt bath, have an early night.
The idea is to add-in some goals which you are going to fall in love with and which will become your non-negotiables. All resulting in a happier, calmer, healthier YOU. Positive changes lead to big results and the beautiful thing is, there are no punishing diets or cleanses involved. The process is intended to bring you balance and well-being – not punishment.”
Read Izzy’s story on becoming a successful Health Coach.
See what areas of your life may be out of balance and start making positive changes using the Wheel of Life exercise.
Mays Al-Ali – Nutritional Therapist
“Take care of your liver as it contains immune support cells and is one of the most metabolically active organs in the body with over 500 functions. Spending time to heal, nourish and detox your liver will not only support your immunity, but also your energy levels, skin and even gut health. You can also support your liver with green veggie juice fasting, coffee colonics and supplements like N Acetyl Cysteine and Milk thistle amongst others. I’m launching a January liver detox online group programme that can help guide you with this.”
Listen to May’s podcast episode on how to deal with sugar cravings.
Dr Joyce Reed – Doctor and Health Coach
“Drink herbal teas. I’ve learnt so many life-giving natural tips and tricks from CNM over the last year, applying them has brought so much healing and health for me, my clients and my family. Top of the list would be swapping my late morning coffee for a lovely warming tea made of freshly grated ginger, turmeric and black pepper – delicious, especially after a snowy run! If you want an extra immune booster in the winter months add a squeeze of lemon and a clove of fresh garlic too – this is sure to keep the winter viruses at bay.
Adopt a digital curfew. Something I’ve put in place over the second half of 2021 and have seen real tangible benefit is adding in an electronic curfew to my phone and computer. It’s made my evenings calmer and my sleep better. Having a curfew prevents me from being tempted to quickly reply hence getting drawn into work once more. For many years I have taken a device free walk in nature at the end of my working day, however, with increasing uncertainty in the world we currently live in, practicing a device curfew has added a feeling a space back into life which had slipped away. I highly recommend giving this a try if you feel that stress levels are high. It has certainly helped me to come back refreshed and with renewed energy to my desk the next day.”
Listen to Dr Joyce Reed’s podcast episode on how to recover from burnout.
Make 2022 your healthiest year yet
A big thank you to CNM’s education team, patrons and graduates for sharing their wealth of knowledge and health tips. Make 2022 your healthiest year yet by making small, positive steps towards improving your health and wellbeing; whether that be supporting your liver, increasing your green vegetable intake or making time for self-care.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!