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Celebrity Chef Serena Poon Shares Tips on Celebrating Christmas 2020 In A New Way

Serena Poon, CN, CHC, CHN is a leading chef, nutritionist and reiki master to the Hollywood elite. The never-ending passion and career for curating healing and wellness programs using integrative health, holistic nutrition and Culinary Alchemy® began long before she started creating contemporary meals, menus and nutritional goodness for the likes of Jerry Bruckheimer, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and Kerry Washington. Her goal is to optimize and heal the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of her clients. 

Being a certified as a Reiki Master for Usui Shiki Ryoho and posessing advanced knowledge of the symbols in the Usui System of Natural Healing she has tips for staying healthy and strong during the challenging times of pandemic.

Being the founder of Just Add Water®, a wellness line of super nutrient foods and supplements, she answers question on supplements and nutrients to build a strong immunity.  

In a Candid Interview Chef & nutritionist Serena Poon, shares an insight into how she plans to celebrate Chritsmas this year with her family & friends with a Difference to Stay Safe. Catch her in an interview with WF president, Ms. Namita Nayyar.

Namita Nayyar:

You are a talented Celebrity Chef, Nutritionist, and Reiki Master and believe in holistic well-being, which has never been called upon as of now in the challenging times.

How have you personally coped with the pandemic this year. Share the routine you have followed and have served you well.

Serena Poon:

Despite having had COVID at the very beginning of the start of the pandemic, in March and April, I have found the year to be full of abundance in many ways. Initially, there was much confusion and fear that surrounded all the unknowns that the pandemic brought about, but I felt that circumstances actually challenged me to really tap into my internal resources, find ways to stay above the chaos and to create and thrive.

When my sister was sick with COVID (she was sick before me – I actually got it from her), that was when the level of uncertainty in the world was at it highest point, since it was at the very onset of the first shutdown in Los Angeles. However, that was also the catalyst for me to really put all my professional and personal knowledge into high gear and not only did we recover at home, but I was able to translate the experience into a vehicle of information and value to serve our online community.

The routine I followed throughout the course of this entire year, has very much been the routine that I follow on a regular basis, regardless if we are in a pandemic or not. I am a huge advocate of rituals and routine and I strongly believe that having a daily practice or a daily routine really helps to keep you grounded and in alignment.

There are going to be days that you fall off – I feel that you honor those days, allow yourself to be human but you bring yourself back to routine after a day or two.

Full Interview is Continued on Next Page

This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President and should not be reproduced, copied or hosted in part or full anywhere without an express permission.

All Written Content Copyright © 2020 Women Fitness 

Namita Nayyar:

Share your personal diet routine. Also immunity boosters you have relied on?

Serena Poon:

I made sure that I ate TONS of vegetables every day (think “eat a rainbow”). When you eat the rainbow, you are not only taking in all the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, you are also targeting the energy centers (the chakras) of your spiritual or energetic body.

Greens constitute 75% of my plate, and the rest were made up of vegetables of other colors (think carrots, radishes, beets, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, etc) and sometimes I would add some grains. I made sure to have either avocado, nuts or seeds (or a combo of all), every day for the healthy fats, the protein and the vital minerals that they offer. I recommend broths, either vegetable or bone broth (if you are not plant-based), as they are full of rich nutrients, especially good on the days that you don’t feel well.

During our COVID recovery, I used: extra zinc picolinate, liposomal vitamin C 2000mg 3-4x a day, liposomal glutathione, vitamin D, NAD+, NAC, magnesium glycinate, propolis, oil of oregano, astragalus, nettle leaf with quercetin, L-lysine and an ayurvedic immune blend. When respiratory issues were present, I drank a tea made with fresh thyme, citrus (lemon or orange, with the rind) and a bit of manuka honey. This tea was one of the most helpful things we did – when you have a sore throat, breathing/respiratory issues, coughing, chest congestion – drink this tea all day long! I also used a diffuser with a blend of wild oils: wild thyme, wild sage, wild bay leaf, wild oregano, cinnamon and cumin.

Namita Nayyar:

An Exercise routine is essential not only to keep us fit but stay positive & mentally fit. Share the Routine you follow.

Serena Poon:

My routines have changed throughout the years and I believe that you have to listen to what your body needs and responds to, and adjust accordingly.

A few years ago, I used to weight-lift about 6 days a week and do some occasional yoga or Pilates. Now, and especially during the pandemic, I found that stretching, walking, light yoga and floor pilates have been the most supportive for my body and my mind. I love having the rebounder and it’s such a great way to get the energy and the lymphatic system moving in your body and even low it’s low impact – you can make it more challenging by adjusting your movements and adding weights.

Namita Nayyar:

You educate people on how food affects their bodies on a physiological and emotional level. Many find it hard to believe this as true, please throw some light?

Serena Poon:

Yes, in my practice of Culinary Alchemy®, I teach people that the energy and the thoughts you put into your food can directly affect the energetic vibration of the food, as well as how your body receives it.

Food is one of our most important defenses against both disease and anxiety. In times of uncertainty and fear, grounding foods can help you feel safe, calm and connected. Anxiety and stress can also decrease the strength of our immune system, so it’s equally important to eat immunity boosting foods during challenging times.

Whole foods that are rich in antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, probiotics/prebiotics, nutrient-dense in C, D, E & B vitamins and minerals magnesium, zinc and potassium all support the body in ways that help to lower stress, anxiety and other depressive symptoms. Foods high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory levels help to protect our whole body and especially our brains, from oxidative stress and inflammation.

Omega-3 rich foods are great for lowering stress and anxiety because they contain alpha lipoic acids (EPA & DHA), which help to reduce inflammation, regulate our neurotransmitters and promote healthy brain function.

Foods that have high levels of Vitamin D, magnesium can help calm neurotransmitters and helps with symptoms of depression.

Zinc, which is essential for brain and nerve development, has also been linked to lowering anxiety.

Foods rich in different B vitamins (folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine) and certain amino acids, can support our nervous systems and help with lowering stress because they help our body to make neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that helps us regulate our mood, memory, sleep, brain function, behavior and anxiety. The amino acid tryptophan, which is responsible for creating niacin, that also helps the body produce serotonin.

Foods with probiotic and prebiotic bacteria help to support our gut, which is like our second brain! A good 95% of serotonin is produced in our gut, so foods that support a healthy gut microbiome and digestive system is equally important for managing stress and anxiety.

Namita Nayyar:

Your advice regarding how people should cope with the upcoming Christmas and winter season to stay fit and healthy.

Can reiki play a role in healing under these circumstances. How far has it helped your clients, please share some feedback?

Serena Poon:

I believe in faith over fear. I believe in the power of our thoughts, the energy of love and that our bodies are incredible self-healing machines. I believe that we are powerful souls and that sometimes we need a little bit of help, but that the power to heal is within us.

When it comes to balancing self-care from the emotional, mental and spiritual angles, I would say that having a grounding practice and daily (sometimes all day, throughout the day!) affirmation practice is key. Grounding can come in the form of breathwork, meditation, prayer, gratitude lists, journaling, walking or even during the methodical nature of food preparation.

Grounding keeps you centered, aligned in your own energy, even while there is chaos around you, and focuses your attention on one thing at a time, as opposed to scattered thoughts everywhere. The affirmations for me, were powerful and empowering. I would repeat to myself, from the start of the day in the shower, and throughout the day.

I am also very mindful of eating to support my spiritual nutrition, the essentials of Culinary Alchemy®. So, for the days that I felt that my root chakra needed more support, I reached for those foods. The same for my heart chakra, my solar plexus, as well as all the other chakras.

In terms of reiki, as a core component of my practice, it has also been one of the most supportive modalities that have helped my clients and my community all year. In the beginning of the pandemic and throughout heightened times this year, I practiced distal reiki sessions several nights a week before bed, sending healing energy out to clients, people in need and to our world as a whole. When you send out loving, healing energy out like that, you also receive energy, so that is also helpful. One of the most important things I did for my community, which actually ended up supporting my own emotional care as well, was starting the #LOVENOTE hashtag trend in March. Encouraging people to leave a love note (text message, voice note, post-it note, signs, etc) for their friends, loved ones, healthcare workers, delivery persons, etc, was so positive and healing for everyone.

Staying focused on positive news of kindness and humanity from around the world is healing for the mind and for the heart. The collective conscious energy of love, kindness and unity is healing, strengthening and powerful.

Namita Nayyar:

How do you plan to celebrate Christmas 2020 with your family & friends. Top 5 to make it a memorable event to last a lifetime.

Serena Poon:

I believe that one of the most important lessons from 2020 is that we as a global community are all connected and that we can all stay connected, even when we can’t be together physically.

The power of human touch and the energy of being together cannot be replaced, but I love that we, our collective humanity, have found a way to nourish our relationships, create new ones and support each other, even virtually and distally. So that being said, I am excited just to disconnect from my devices, spend quality time with my family and our fur babies, watching movies, indulging in healthy comfort foods and just enjoying each other’s company.

This year, I think we will redo some family albums, which is always fun and create some new ones from all the pictures in our phones that we have yet to print out.

Namita Nayyar:

5 herbs people must incorporate in cooking this season & Christmas?

Serena Poon:

Thyme is an herb that is native to the Mediterranean region that elicits wonderful health benefits.

Sage is a member of the mint family that has been used therapeutically around the world for a very long time. Sage has been used for digestive problems, respiratory issues, and many other diseases.

Peppermint helps to support digestive function in both its oil and whole leaf form.

Basil is a beautiful herb that originates from India and has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Oregano delivers many therapeutic benefits including antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and cancer suppressing properties.

Namita Nayyar:

Christmas & New Year message for your fans and followers.

Serena Poon:

I wish all of you so much love and light for a beautiful and nourishing holiday season. With 2020, we have been shown how strong and resilient we are together, as a collective. We have also been shown how powerfully important and how healing the slightest connection can be for ourselves and our communities.

As we go into the New Year, let’s remember that we are powerful individuals with the ability to change lives, to heal our world and to create a thriving future filled with abundance and love.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

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This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President and should not be reproduced, copied or hosted in part or full anywhere without an express permission.

All Written Content Copyright © 2020 Women Fitness 

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