Winter is almost here. I have a love-hate relationship with the season. Snow is beautiful, the holidays are lovely (despite the pandemic), and I love snuggling up in comfy clothing in front of the television. Colder weather, however, is not good for preventing colds, viruses and the flu which is why health management is even more critical. These illnesses also love the cold weather and thrive in it. If you’re anything like me and can’t have a social life because of this Coronavirus pandemic, staying home and staying healthy is a must. Health is another full-time job of mine and it comes first before any other obligations.

Managing your health takes work: diet, exercise, and sticking to a daily fitness routine that maximizes your physical and mental wellbeing are essential to implement. Lately, I’ve been juggling quite a bit health and career-wise and I make a conscious effort to avoid burnout by keeping work-life balance in check. Not being able to leave my house has impacted my ability to practice discipline, meaning I’ve had to focus extra hard on sustaining discipline to turnout and complete projects. Once I start something, whatever it is, I make sure that I finish everything.

Now that my life is very digital, I must balance out how often I tune in and unplug and focus on other tasks. Time-blocking has been sufficiently helpful in ensuring that I don’t miss a beat with anything. Being a business owner has taught me that time is money. Whether it’s a drawing, a painting, an article of clothing or another kind of art project, I follow through until I reach 100% completion. That’s who I’ve always been: utterly dedicated to my work but now more than ever, I must be equally dedicated to my health.

When the fall season approached, I began following and subscribing to health and wellness channels on YouTube with the goal of optimizing my own health. These wellness channels are trusted experts in their respective fields; some are dietitians while others are professional cooks. During quarantine, not only have I been honing in on my arts and crafts, I’ve also learned some new skills in meal preparation, cooking, baking and edible art. I didn’t always love baking, but after following these channels for a while and learning some cool hacks, I’ve grown to thoroughly enjoy the process while making it fun. In addition, these wellness channels inspire me to eat healthy and follow a low-histamine diet. So, here are the six ultimate health and wellness based YouTube channels you’ll want to follow for optimal health:

PICK UP LIMES: Pick Up Limes has a blog and YouTube channel run by a young woman named Sadia from the Netherlands, originally from Canada. Even though I am not vegan (and it is a vegan based channel), I’ve made dozens of her recipes, soups, breakfasts, and so much more. Not only are her videos very informative about food, she also posts a lot of lifestyle topics including productivity, stress management, and just about being an authentic human. She’s one of my favorite females rocking it on the Internet and her videos keep me well-informed, satisfied and entertained.

DOWNSHIFTOLOGY: Downshiftology is a YouTube channel for those who are gluten-free but still want to maintain a vegetarian diet and limit dairy intake. Though I’m not gluten-free, I do limit myself on it and have gone several weeks at a time not consuming foods high in gluten. I’ve thought about going gluten-free forever but the reality for me is, I can’t. I need the real stuff. Once, I went gluten-free for four weeks straight and was eating plenty of proteins and nutrient packed meals, but my weight dropped down to ninety-eight and looked anorexic. My doctors were then like, “Yeah, sorry but you can’t be gluten-free in the long term.” The days when I do cut it out, I feel better. I do make sure to consume enough fats to sustain my weight and energy when I don’t want to stuff myself with grains. When I first discovered her channel, I stumbled upon her meal prep videos–what she is known for and has mastered, obviously! Her meal preparation videos I especially follow and have learned some interesting kitchen and ingredient preparation hacks as well.

HEALTHNUT NUTRITION: I’ve been following HealthNut Nutrition on YouTube for a few years now. From her What I Eat in a Day videos to her uber quick recipes, she is definitely a YouTuber to watch! Channels that are all about balance and eating whole foods, I am behind 100 percent. I still make her mouth-watering green and fruit smoothies and my skin just glows. I’ve been off the smoothie-making train for a while but am back on it now!

MINIMALIST BAKER: You probably didn’t know this or maybe you do; consuming less ingredients has even more health benefits! If you’re one of those who hates or doesn’t cook at all, this YouTube channel will provide you with quick and healthy recipes you’ll actually have fun learning how to make. And, they are soooo easy to prepare and cook. You can also swap ingredients in her recipes if there is something you don’t like. For instance, I can’t stand the flavor of coconut. She made a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and I swapped the light coconut milk with almond milk and it was still so yummy and creamy. I made the croutons out of sourdough bread because I am trying not to stuff myself with white bread anymore and can’t eat gluten-free bread. The Minimalist Baker reminds me to eat balanced but minimally to keep up my energy and alertness throughout the day. Her recipes contain all the necessary nutrients needed to keep your weight up but ensuring satisfaction.

FABLUNCH: Run by a young woman named Olga, I’ve been a follower of her delicious and healthy recipes for ages now. I’ve made her scrumptious vegan bowls, smoothies and What I Eat in a Day videos. Sometimes, my body needs a rest from the crappy all-American diet. Several times, I’ve tried eating all her recipes in a day and continued this for a while. I felt amazingly great eating this way. Though it’s difficult for me to sustain, especially around the holidays, I still try to make an effort to eat balanced meals with a dessert after.

NATASHA’S KITCHEN: I have tried almost every recipe on this YouTube Channel. This chipper woman can cook anything and she makes the meal preparation and cooking a piece of cake! Some of her recipes I have even veganized just to beef up the healthiness of them. You’ll find yourself wanting to camp out on her YouTube channel and planning your meals for the next week. Though I do Sunbasket and meal prep every Sunday, I comb through her videos every weekend and select meals to prep in advance. This channel has saved my life on so many occasions. I made her apple pie recipe and made some of my own modifications which is coming in my next post. This apple pie is to die for; it’s so delicious you’ll feel like eating it is a crime you’re committing.

Cooking is certainly another kind of art. My Sunbasket meals and meals I’ve cooked from these YouTube channels don’t take more than twenty minutes to prepare and cook. For me, baking, cooking and cleaning are meditations and slow my life down. They allow me to be in the present moment simply enjoying the process of preparing my food. Being home all the time has forced me to also cook several times a day, and doing so has radically improved my health.Image Courtesy of Unsplash

A few changes I’ve noticed are hardly any brain fog, a clearer and quieter mind, and I’ve actually been craving vegetables and healthier foods. Diet is something I’m constantly mindful of and aware of. A balanced is essential, especially if you’re like me and have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Like I said, managing my health can be a lot of work but these YouTube channels have saved me so much time and unnecessary frustration in the kitchen. Those channels are my top six on YouTube so definitely check them out. Your body and mind will thank you.

How do you plan on staying healthy in these crazy times? Are there other channels you follow or ways you manage your health and lifestyle? Feel free to let me know in the comments or just drop me a line to say hi. I’ve got a lot more coming including an apple pie recipe you’ll love, a very intricate gingerbread house design that will include everything you need to know about making gingerbread houses in one post, and a homemade beverage that will give you the right amount of electrolytes and make you feel like a million bucks! Now, you can subscribe to this blog and get every blog post delivered to your email so you don’t miss a post!
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