I don’t know about you but digesting how the world has been affected by COVID-19 has been a bit mind boggling! This end of the world movie has come to life, literally, right?! I never thought I would see something that could affect the whole world so completely! At first I wanted to pinch myself to see if it was really happening! It’s crazy!
As a health & wellness coach and herbalist, staying healthy is one of the top priorities for me and my family. I have been surprised at a missing piece of information that has not been taught or encouraged about how to protect ourselves and our families during this pandemic. That missing piece of information is that eating a healthy diet, getting good sleep, exercising, reducing stress and boosting your immune system can decrease your risk of getting sick and can lessen symptoms if you get sick with any bacteria, virus or fungi. Germs can only exist in an environment that supports them. So adjusting our internal environment so it is not “germ friendly” can help us prepare for whatever the future holds. When you give your body the nutrition it needs, your body can heal itself.
With the knowledge I have about nutrition and supporting the body, I wanted to share what my family is doing to prepare for exposure to COVID-19. I am NOT saying this will help with COVID-19 specifically, since as you know there is no known cure for COVID-19. But since our bodies will need to fight off the virus once we are exposed, my family has taken the extra time we have had while we practice social distancing to take inventory of where we can improve in our lifestyle to strengthen our bodies and be more prepared for whatever pathogen we are exposed to in the future. Here is a list of 10 things my family is doing to strengthen our bodies:
1. Eating a whole food, plant based diet. We need nutrition for our bodies to work properly. That nutrition is going to come from the foods and herbs we eat. Right now is definitely the time to eliminate refined sugars, inflammatory foods, sodas, fast foods, processed & packaged foods, etc. Instead, we are eating Whole Foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds (sprouted grains, nuts and seeds if possible), including fermented foods (or supplement with probiotics including a good bacteria and a good fungi as well as a prebiotic to feed these good microbes). We are eating grass fed meats, bone broth and quality fats. If we can get organic fruits and vegetables, we do! Most organic produce has a higher nutritional content and lower toxic load than conventional produce because of the soil they’re grown in and lack of harmful chemicals used in the growing process.
2. Taking antioxidant rich herbs and foods to lower inflammation. Our immune system is activated when our body finds a foreign invader, like an invading microbe, plant pollen or chemical; this can trigger inflammation. In this fast food world, full of refined carbohydrates, sugars, flavors, food coloring, unhealthy fats and foreign ingredients, inflammation is very common. Since our diet is not always perfect, in an attempt to reduce inflammation and calm an overworked immune system as much as possible and to have nutrients readily available for our bodies to use as needed if we do get sick, we are eating antioxidant rich herbs and foods daily:· Elderberry Syrup
· Vitamin C Herbal Mix
· Chlorophyll Herbal Mix
· Turmeric and spices like Oregano, Sage, Bay Leaves
· Blueberries, strawberries, broccoli, nuts, beans, garlic, mushrooms, avocado, spinach, citrus fruits, bone broth, salmon, etc…
3. Taking Immune Boosting Herbs. Whenever my family becomes exposed to a germ or shows signs of sickness we add immune boosting herbs to our list of anti-inflammatory herbs (listed above), taken daily in 1-2 hour doses so our body has the nutrition it needs to heal itself.· Infection Herbal Mix (boosts immune system, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal)
· Echinacea Extract or Echinacea Tea (boosts immune system, increases the number of white blood cells, which fights infection)
· Super Garlic Immune Extract (boosts immune system, contains sulfuric compounds and other nutrients which fights infection)
· Lung & Bronchial Mix (strengthens the respiratory tract, lungs and bronchial system)
· Colloidal Silver – used with a nebulizer or diffuser, breathed in deeply through the mouth if exposed to a pathogen or if symptoms of sickness arise, used daily, multiple times a day if sick.
4. Taking Supplements of importance if we are not getting enough from our diet. Nutrients are important especially if we are sick or unwell. I always enourage eating a whole food diet, but if we aren’t getting enough nutrients from the foods we are eating, we still need them, so we supplement as needed.· D3 or 10-20 minutes outside daily without sunscreen.
· Zinc or pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, grassfed beef, chickpeas, lentils, cashews, mushrooms, spinach, avocado
· Magnesium or hemp seeds, spinach, swiss chard, dark chocolate, almonds, black beans, figs, avocado, banana, pumpkin seeds
· Krill Oil (Omega 3) or Salmon, mackerel, cod liver oil, oysters, sardines, flax seeds, chia seeds
· B Complex – eggs, salmon, spinach, broccoli, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, whole grains, beans, legumes, meats
5. Getting hydrated. I haven’t always loved water and sometimes I still don’t get enough. In an attempt to make sure we are hydrated in case we get sick, I am pushing the liquids for all of us. Usually it is water, but we also drink herbal tea, coconut water, bone broth and add collagen to our water for a refreshing “punch” flavored drink, the pink lemonade collagen is my favorite! We aim for at least ½ ounce per pound of body weight. If we get sick with COVID-19 we will get a high fever and we don’t want to already be dehydrated!
6. Exercise. Being cooped up in the house all day can feel miserable, plus it’s not good for our bodies or minds. Getting outside, going on a walk (around the backyard if needed), jumping on the trampoine or doing yoga are a few options my family loves.
7. Getting Sunlight. As we all know, getting some sunlight each day helps increase our D3, boost our immune system, increases serotonin levels that can help with melatonin production and deep sleep, lowers blood pressure as well as decreases the risk of depression. To stay well and whole, 10-20 minutes of sunlight without sunscreen adds greatly to our wellbeing. My family also uses our red light therapy device (joovv.com) for the added benefit of reduced healing times, pain relief, more energy, more restful sleep and reducing inflammation. *Herbal Reboot will be offering red light therapy sessions after social distancing is over, keep an eye out!
8. Sleep. One of the best things we can do to heal and stay well is to get enough good quality sleep. Most of us these days are up until late ours of the night, on devices which further complicates our health and wellness issues. Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Working out a schedule and keeping sleeping times consistent each day including over the weekends is a great way to start to improve our sleep. Using blue light blocking glasses while on devices and especially after dark can greatly improve our quality of sleep. Blue light reduces melatonin production and can cause us to have restless or sleepless nights! My family has been working on a consistent night time routine to improve our quality of sleep so our bodies are well rested, can heal and are able to take on a new day. I personally use an Oura Ring (ouraring.com) to track my sleep stages, heart rate, heart variability, respiratory rate, temperature, activity levels and other stats in order to let me know where I can adjust things to improve my quality of sleep. Oura Ring has just teamed up with the University of California, San Francisco to do a study to see if changes in current oura users (plus 2000 doctors and nurses in the study) body temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate combined with daily symptoms surveys could be used to predict COVID-19 illness symptoms.
9. iTOVi Scans. iTOVi Scans are one of the services I offer with every Herbal Reboot Consultation. It is a quick scan that that uses GSR technology (like Fitbit & Samsung are using) to tell us what vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbs, herbal mixes or other supplements that our body responds best to in order to create a wellness plan. It is handy to own this device because I can use it on myself and my family whenever we feel a little off or unwell to determine which foods, herbs or supplements to take to give our body the nutrtion it needs. This is a valuable tool to have in our home and we use it frequently to keep things in balance when life and our choices have created chaos that is affecting our wellbeing.
10. Fasting and Prayer. From a physical stand point, fasting monthly is a very healthy practice. It gives the body a break from digesting foods. This is great for the elimination channels of the body, which as a health coach I am always talking about! Fasting gives our body a day to cleanse out all the accumulated food, toxins & waste, keeping our elimination channels working properly. Fasting also has a spiritual benefit. Fasting helps us recognize our dependence on God. When we fast and pray, we turn away from the things of the world. We open our hearts to learn and accept God’s will for us and for our families. Fasting, added with prayer can add an emphasise on things we are praying for. My family uses fasting as a tool to keep us healthy and well; physically and spiritually. We will be fasting for 2 meals or 24 hours on April 10th, Good Friday, as part of a world wide fast to ask that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened and life normalized. I invite you to join us if you are interested!
My family is looking forward to returning to life as usual. We are using this time to look at our lives and decide which parts of our normal life are worth rushing back to. I have felt a deep gratitude that we have had warning and time to prepare for these world events, especially when others did not. I am grateful for knowledge on how to care for my body and my family. If any of you are looking for help on your health journey, would like help concerning things in the world right now and how to prepare yourself or have any questions at all, please, let me know! I am currently doing consultations over the phone or in person (for AZ locals as long as there are no signs of sickness) if you need guidance with your health goals, have health or wellness concerns or want to get an iTOVi scan. Herbs, Herbal Mixes and supplements are available on our website if you would like to implement any into your health plan.
Keep safe, sending lots of love and hope for your safety!!