I tried my best to avoid writing this because I know what people do with their bodies is their own business, but I am becoming frustrated by the lack of advice regarding strengthening your immune system at this time. Considering all that’s going on, it just seems to be the blind leading the blind.
I don’t care what your diet is, whether you’re a meat-eater, keto, vegan, or whatever group you want to identify with. This isn’t about weight loss, this is about health. Let’s just keep it simple.
Sugar: You already know this, but it pays to cut it down as much as you can. It’s an immune-suppressing, cancer-inducing, killer. It’s commonly known as sucrose, fructose, and lactose and I don’t mean to scare you, and in all fairness, it is in everything, but processed food is what will hit you the worst. If you want to know more I suggest watching That Sugar Film.
Dairy: if COVID is killing people by filling the lungs with mucus, the last thing you need is a product that does the same. Not only that, but it’s also full of sugar (lactose), linked to cancer, causes abnormal cell growth, inflammation and generally just really horrible for us. If you don’t believe me, try taking a month of it then reintroducing it and see how your body copes. Skim or skinny won’t help, it’s arguably worse as contains the same, if not more sugar, and doesn’t have the fat to bind it, and help your body deal with it.
Bread: Gluten is an inflammatory, meaning not only will it make your belly swell, but it’ll also increase any aches, pains, and create/add to any inflammation that you already have. If you really can’t live without it (like me), I recommend sourdough, the souring is from the bacteria its made from having fed on the gluten, meaning it has a lower concentration of gluten.
Vitamin D: A proven ingredient for a strong immune system. COVID patients are twice as likely to experience complications when they are deficient. Our bodies store this and it’s best source is that big bright orb in the sky. Somehow, even with a free, and almost endless supply, almost 80% of the population are deficient, mainly because they lather themselves in sunscreen. If you burn easily, just don’t go out in the sun for so long? Wear a hat, or sit under a tree, or if possible, use less suncream, or maybe try get a little sun first. Not only does suncream reduce the amount of vitamin D your body can absorb, but your skin is also your biggest organ and you are basting it in a plethora of chemicals like a giant GMO turkey. Read more here.
Water: You’re basically a houseplant with more complex emotions. Water yourself regularly. Another benefit is you’ll crave sugar less.
Coffee: We all know it’s bad for us, hell there are memes about the anxiety it creates. Anxiety, which is proven to lower your immune system. Just try to limit yourself to three cups a day, as science seems to suggest that’s the tipping point. Also, please eat something before your morning cup, it’ll help your stomach out.
Alcohol: I don’t think I need to elaborate on this.
I think that’ll do for now. Don’t get me wrong, I still do half this stuff, even though I know better, after all, we’re all just doing the best we can, working through our own shit, in our own way.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another” – William James
I’ll leave you with a few techniques I use to try stay healthy:
- Before anything else, have a glass of water: We haven’t had any in at least 8 hours and we will need it for digestion for breakfast.
- Meditation: Helps you stay healthy and become an all-round better person. Message me if you’d like recommendations.
- Vitamins: Supplementing Vitamin C (our bodies don’t store this), Vitamin D (if you can’t get in the sun), Omega 3 (reduces stress and inflammation) and Zinc (helps with mineral absorption) goes a long way.
- Cold shower in the morning: The research is astronomically in favour, plus it’s a great way to improve mental toughness. Read more here.
- Try to avoid your phone for at least the first 60min from when you wake up: Your brain is still waking up, give it time. I go one step further and leave mine of flight mode from about 10 pm the night before. There is literally nothing that can’t wait till the morning.
- Gratitude journaling: I know it sounds super lame, but the benefit I get from spending time writing down 10 things I’m grateful for and why each morning really helps me recenter (and keeps me off my phone).
- Hugs: Scientifically proven to improve reduce stress, and lower blood pressure.
- Go barefoot in the grass: Not just for hippies, amongst other benefits, it reduces stress, inflammation, improves sleep. Read more here.
- Exercise: I love to just mess about in the park, maybe do some yoga or try to handstands, often fail, and laugh about it. Exercise doesn’t need to be serious.
- Walking: I know its exercise but its so much more. A great podcast explaining it all here.
- Wash your hands, but not too much, our immune system depends on being tested. Read more here.
- Fasting (Water/herbal tea only. The rest is just good marketing): The benefits are endless/ I’ve fasted for extended periods and seen the results first hand. Again, it’s great for boosting immunity and resetting our gut biome. You’ll soon realise how much you overeat/stress eat. Read more here.
- Get to sleep before 11 pm. Ideally earlier, but I’m being realistic.
“When I was sixteen, I had just two things on my mind – girls and cars. I wasn’t very good with girls. So I thought about cars. Let’s say that when I turned sixteen, a genie had appeared to me. And that genie said, ‘Warren, I’m going to give you the car of your choice. It’ll be here tomorrow morning with a big bow tied on it. Brand-new. And it’s all yours.’ Having heard all the genie stories, I would say, ‘What’s the catch?’ And the genie would answer, ‘There’s only one catch. This is the last car you’re ever going to get in your life. So it’s got to last a lifetime.’ If that had happened, I would have picked out that car. But, can you imagine, knowing it had to last a lifetime, what I would do with it? I would read the manual about five times. I would always keep it garaged. If there was the least little dent or scratch, I’d have it fixed right away because I wouldn’t want it rusting. I would baby that car, because it would have to last a lifetime. That’s exactly the position you are in concerning your mind and body. You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be. It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now” – Warren Buffett