My Wellness Toolkit: Tosin Sotubo
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It’s been a busy year for GP Tosin Sotubo. A medical doctor working in London as an NHS and private general practitioner, Tosin is also the creator of Mind Body Doctor, an online platform that’s on a mission to educate on health-related matters. Whether it’s debunking vaccine myths, clarifying the laws surrounding organ donation or offering support on issues such as miscarriage and endometriosis, Tosin leaves no stone unturned when it comes to need-to-know health topics. From the supplements she relies on to how she keeps her mental health in check, here she shares with SL what’s in her wellness toolkit.
The supplements market can be overwhelming. With so many products out there, it can be confusing to know where to start. By and large, the majority of today’s supplements have been created to help not hinder, but it’s vital to know what you’re putting inside your body. If in doubt, speak to a healthcare professional and ask yourself whether what you’re taking is really needed. A healthy, balanced diet should provide you with all the nutrients you need – supplements are as the name suggests. They have been designed to ‘supplement’ a well-balanced diet, not replace it. The exception is if you have a medical condition and have been advised by a doctor or you exclude certain food groups from your diet – in these cases, taking the right supplement could be worth exploring.
Vitamin D is essential. Forget a multivitamin – a good-quality vitamin D supplement is something all adults in the UK should take during the autumn and winter months. Vitamin D, for the most part, is hard to find in the diet and is formed in the body by the sun, meaning supplementation is a good idea to keep your levels topped up. Aim for 10 micrograms daily.
Omega-3 is another nutrient to think about. The best way to get omega-3 – which has lots of great health benefits – is from your diet. There are various forms of omega-3 but the most important can be found in oily fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel. Aim to eat two portions of oily fish per week as well as nuts and seeds. If you don’t eat fish, then a supplement is a good idea. If you’re unsure what to take or are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant, ask your GP before taking an omega-based supplement.
A superfood powder ticks all the nutritional boxes. I’ve recently started taking Innermost’s Detox Booster, which contains ten of the most highly regarded health-boosting ingredients in an easy-to-use powder. It contains maca, matcha green tea, camu camu, spirulina, wheatgrass, chlorella and turmeric among others – add it to water, smoothies and juices.
When I’m feeling run down, I turn to old-school methods. A good honey, lemon and ginger is my go-to at the first sign of a sniffle. It warms me up and ginger is packed with antioxidants, which prevent oxidative stress, a process associated with many common diseases.
Make sleep a priority. Studies suggest that every major disease that’s killing us in the developed world is linked to insufficient sleep, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. It’s never been more on-trend to hit snooze, and I make an effort to listen to my body and when I am feeling tired or depleted, I take this as a sign to slow down, rest and look at what I’m eating. Instead of turning to supplements to help me sleep, I make sure my sleep hygiene is on point. Sleep hygiene is essentially creating the optimal sleeping environment – this includes everything from cutting out stimulants before bed (such as caffeine), avoiding artificial light sources and making sure your bedroom is at a good temperature. Remember your bed is for sleeping only – keep the screens outside of the bedroom.
Gut health can sometimes be overlooked. Looking after the health of your gastrointestinal tract is a hugely important aspect of your health. Bio-Kult’s Advanced Multi Strain is the probiotic I take on a daily basis – it contains 14 strains of live bacteria per serving and is backed by clinical research. It’s also a great one to pack in your bag when travelling as it doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge, unlike a lot of other probiotics. The capsules are also free from gluten and are suitable for vegetarians.
A consistent skincare routine is important. I’ve always had sensitive skin so experimenting with different products and ranges isn’t for me – once I’ve found something that works, I stick with it. By Sarah London is my current obsession – I love their Raspberry Seed Cleansing Oil. Blended with five cold-pressed plant oils, it transforms into a cleansing milk on contact with water, all without disrupting your skin’s natural pH balance.
Eco-friendly cleaning products are a staple in my house. KINN is a great range, and their laundry detergent, fabric conditioner and delicate wash are particular favourites – they’re all formulated with natural and plant-based ingredients, effectively cleaning your clothes without the need for harsh chemicals. Plus, the neroli scent is divine. I also recently discovered Neat, which offers refillable products – a great way to cut back on single-use plastic.
Staying active is essential for your mental health. I grew up playing sports and prior to the pandemic was playing netball regularly – I’m a big team sports person. The last year has made this tricky, but I’ve tried to get outdoors for some form of activity every day, whether it’s a walk, bike ride or gentle jog. Even on the days you really don’t feel like it, you always feel better afterwards. It’s a reminder of just how important movement is, not just for your physical health, but just as much for your mental health too.
Being a doctor can take its toll emotionally. Especially in the last year, things have been intense and whilst it can be tricky, separating home and work life is really important to me. Regardless of your line of work, it’s crucial to build boundaries and not let the stresses of your work seep into your personal life. For me, self-care is the simple things – it’s all about taking time to invest in the things that make you happy. Whether it’s something as simple as putting on a face mask, reading a book or spending time with loved ones, this gives me time in the day to focus on myself. Mindfulness is such an important tool when it comes to wellbeing and one I encourage all my friends, family and patients to get involved with.
For more information visit MindBodyDoctor.co.uk and follow Tosin on Instagram @MindBodyDoctor
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