Renowned nutritional therapist Gabriela Peacock lets us into all the need-to-know secrets...

This past year has been extremely challenging, we have often found ourselves stuck at home with necessary but challenging restrictions and suddenly not living our lives in the way we are used to. With less movement, less walks, not seeing friends and family, our lives have changed dramatically. It is unsurprising that these sort of restrictions have the ability to negatively impact what you eat and consequently how you feel too.

Embracing a life spent working from home involved relinquishing the day-to-day routines we'd become so comfortable. For many this meant that we found ourselves constantly snacking, and often not making particularly healthy snack choices. In stressful and uncertain situations we tend to opt for sugary snacks and snack more often as well. Some of us also consume more alcohol. This is very normal.

Now we are - hopefully! - on the way out of lockdown and the restrictions we've become so used and it's time to dig ourselves out of that lockdown run. Summer's arrival is the perfect excuse to hit the reset button and help our body to recover and start feeling great again. These are my tips to doing just that and feeling great again in just two weeks. It's all about making small changes. I truly believe that life is for living!


Healthy Eating Tips

Living by a handful of simple and achievable healthy eating tips pays dividends, they're what make up my GP Principles. I recommend eating a portion of protein with every meal, including snacks. When eating carbohydrates choose ones that are high in fibre and boast a lower GI, like porridge oats, lentils and beans. Include a variety of healthy fats in your diet, with a focus on essential fatty acids, avocados for example, fish like salmon and mackerel as well as nuts and seeds. Keep your fluid levels topped up throughout the day and try to avoid drinking caffeinated fluids on an empty stomach. Increase the diversity of phytonutrients with a rainbow diet, which means eating fruits and vegetables of different colours every day. Maintain good and balanced blood sugar levels by eating when you are peckish, not very very hungry and finally avoid skipping meals.



Support Your Immune System

Lockdown has shown us just how important it is that our immune system is able to function efficiently. We can use antioxidants to help support it. For an antioxidant-rich diet try your hand at a rainbow diet. This means increasing the diversity of the phytochemicals that you're eating each day, ie. eating fruit and vegetables in a wide variety of colours. All the different colours in your fruit and vegetables have very beneficial health properties, they're fantastic for us. Some of my favourite fruits are pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, anything with dark pigments. I also love and would recommend blackberries, red peppers, cherries and blueberries. Those are my favourites.

If you have been unwell recently it's also important to up your vitamin D intake. You can find vitamin D in oily fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring as well as egg yolks and whole milk.


Sleep Well

Easier said than done, I know, nevertheless sleep is incredibly important. Sleep is your body's opportunity to completely switch off and rejuvenate. If your stress levels increase and you're finding sleep difficult follow my tips below:

Keep A Notebook Handy

Having a notebook by your bed can help when you are struggling to switch off. Jotting down your to-do list, even if it's 3AM, can help stop that same list racing through your mind as you try to sleep.

Cool Down

Your body's core temperature needs to drop off before you can fall asleep and stay asleep. Find away to keep your room cool if possible.

Embrace A Routine

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends, really helps to get your body into a rhythm.

Any kind of repeated evening ritual like having a bath, listening to soothing music or reading reinforces this.


As little as 10 minutes worth of exercise a day - anything from walking to cycling or taking a HIIT class - can radically improve sleep quality. Some gentle forms of yoga or Pilates can actually encourage relaxation too. Avoid anything too energetic just before bed.

Limit Screen Time

Avoid screens at bed time. The blue light that smartphones, computers and tablets emit can cause havoc with your sleep patterns, tricking our brains into thinking that it's daytime. As a result the melatonin we need for sleep doesn't get released and our circadian rhythm gets knocked off track. Ideally stop using any devices at least one hour before bed. Put them onto night mode or buy blue-light-blocking glasses.

Make A Play For Magnesium

Lastly magnesium is also fantastic for sleep. Foods like dark leafy greens, kale, cavolo nero, chard and seeds like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts, beans, chickpeas, lentils and grains like buckwheat and quinoa and lastly dark chocolate are all great sources of magnesium.


Boost Your Energy Levels

Our energy levels have a lot to do with how we feel day-to-day. It's important to feel energised, we should not be tired or experiencing energy dips. The best way to keep our energy levels up is to balance our blood sugar levels. I always advise having some form of protein with every meal, eating healthy snacks when you feel hungry and not skipping meals.

When it comes to energy levels I also love foods that are high in B vitamins like eggs, fish, shellfish, leafy green vegetables, and wholegrains. One of my favourite tips involves eating every 3-4 hours. Never wait until you are feeling very, very hungry as that is an indicator that your blood sugar levels have dropped too low. Instead make a grab for healthy snacks when you are feeling slightly hungry or peckish.

As for supplements, try a vitamin B complex, red, purple or blue superfood powders, iron supplements, magnesium supplements, green tea extract, adaptogens - ashwagandha, maca, rhodiola, moringa, reishi, CoQ10.