Hello again! I know it’s been a while since my last post. January to March always seems to be the busiest time of year for me and my studio. In fact, it’s been even busier this year as I completed my advanced nutrition certificate course and started some early morning personal training sessions with clients at a local gym (I’ve usually been a morning person, but getting up at 5 am does take getting used to!).
Aside from that, my studio took part in the annual Music-thon sponsored by the Manitoba Music Teachers’ Association and Variety the Children’s Charity. The funds are in aid of music programs in the inner city. Music education is so important in forming a well-rounded individual and these children in the poorest areas are suffering from the lack of it in their schools and homes. I’m so glad that my students have this opportunity to use their talent to give back to the community. I’m also proud to say that three of my students were among the top 10 to raise the most funds! The Music-thon was held at the lovely Forks Market. This place is a real social hub, especially on weekends, so a great place to get exposure for this charity event.
I have a lot to be grateful for and proud of. The latest most exciting news is about my son, Misha. Misha is an elite fencer on the Canadian team and was asked to represent Canada at the Pan American Junior Fencing Championships in Cancun, Mexico. Alas, I couldn’t go, but my husband went and kept me posted. (In all fairness, I did get to go with Misha to a competition in Cuba last year.) He did well in the individual men’s foil, but it was his work in the team event on Thursday that we are so excited about. The Canadian Junior Men’s Foil team won SILVER!!! It was a really close match again the US who ended up winning 45-41. Congratulations to our American neighbors on a well-fenced match! Still, coming home with a silver is a very proud moment and I am definitely a proud Mama. The next big event will be the World Championships in a month’s time.
Back to my studio, it has been a busy time with winter exam sessions, Music-thon, rehearsals, auditions and the Winnipeg Music Festival. There has been a lot of cold and flus going around. A frequently asked question by my students is “With so much going on, how do I keep from getting sick?” That is an excellent question that every singer needs to ask. Many people practice popping vitamins and staying in seclusion as to avoid getting sick and if they do come into contact engage in excessive hand washing or use of hand sanitizers. These are actually not the best ways to deal with it. We are living in an overly sanitized world and this has actually had a negative influence on our immune systems.
I used to be one that frequently got ill, if not before or during a performance than definitely after. This has a lot to do with stress, levels of stress hormones. Even when I wasn’t performing I would get frequently ill. That all changed when I increased my fitness level and optimized my nutrition. These “discoveries” are what has prompted me to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach and share my knowledge and experience with not just my students, but with other singers.
So here are my top tips for preventing illness. Now getting fit and cleaning up your nutrition are journeys that will take time and will be individual, but here are 5 things you can do now to help reduce the risk of infection.
Here’s a BONUS tip. If you find you are very stressed and need a little extra help, an adaptogen supplement can be helpful. Adaptogens are a unique group of herbs used to improve the health of your adrenal system. By tonifying and rejuvenating the entire adrenal system, adaptogens promote the healthy regulation of cortisol the “stress hormone”. This special class of herbs improves strength, energy, stamina, endurance and mental clarity. Here is a list of a few adaptogens: Maca root, astragalus root, ashwagandha root, maitake mushroom, cordyceps, reishi mushrooms, holy basil, shisandra and ginkgo.
My favorite supplement is vegan Shakeology because it contains many of these adaptogens, as well as probiotics and other helpful ingredients – all whole foods with minimal processing.
Well I'm off next week to adjudicate at two music and arts festivals back to back. That means a lot of rescheduled lessons. Back to the busyness! I don't see any colds or flus in my future!