Read: Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon
Went to Target today. Barely got out alive.
People were pushing each other to get in the door, grabbing carts (without even stopping to grab a sanitizer wipe) and literally running to the aisles. While I think it’s important to be prepared—after all, that’s why I was there, too—panic will get us nowhere.
I finally got my cart (after listening to a speech from an employee about toilet paper and hand sanitizer) and headed to the pharmacy to get some children’s Tylenol for my son who is legitimately sick (with not the Coronavirus). All cleaned out.
It’s a sad day when people are stocking up on children’s Tylenol and Lucky Charms, and yet the produce section, which was my main focus, remains fully stocked and even on sale! Whole food nutrition is key right now, friends.
If you want to boost your own immunity without leaving your house, try doing these 10 simple things:
Fasting boosts your immune system by triggering the body to produce new white blood cells, which are a key component of our immune system. Fasting doesn’t need to be extreme—try for a 14-16 hour fast followed by an 8-10 hour feeding window. I personally eat from 11-7 p.m. or 12-8 p.m. I don’t skip breakfast, I simply delay it and get all of my needed calories in within that window.
Sugar attacks the cells in your body that attack bacteria. This is true for several hours after consuming too much of it. Focus instead on fresh fruits and brightly colored vegetables. Remember, whole food nutrition has just one ingredient. If it doesn’t come from the ground or have a mother, don’t eat it.
Focus on Gut Health
The gut houses around 70 percent of the cells that make up our immune system. Taking a probiotic, avoiding inflammatory foods, and increasing foods that are high in fiber and collagen, and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and dairy-free yogurt are a great place to start.
Aim for at least half of your body weight in ounces every day. If you drink coffee, try to get in at least 8-10 ounces before your first sip of coffee!
Get outside each day! Vitamin D is essential to our immune systems, and those who lack it are more susceptible to infection. Take a walk around the block or even just sit near a sunny window.
Even a 20-30 minute walk can do wonders for ridding your body of harmful toxins. Exercising also regularly helps improve your sleep, which leads me to my next point. If you can’t get outside, try at-home workout videos, hop on an exercise bike, or practice yoga in your living room.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body starts to produce more stress hormones. This leads to inflammation in the body and a compromised immune system.
Our meme game has been strong this week. Laughter will save us! Not only will it improve your mood, but it will also boost those white blood cells that fight infection. Research shows that even anticipating a funny event can lower your stress hormones.
On the flip side, go ahead and cry if you want to. Crying not only helps us feel better emotionally, but it is also a physiological response to pain or stress. Crying actually releases toxins from our bodies and helps to boost our immune systems.
Meditate and/or Pray
Meditation improves the immune system. It also enhances our cognitive function, which, judging from my Target trip today, is particularly important. Thinking clearly and rationally will help us make better decisions as a community. I always start my days with meditation and prayer—before coffee, before phone, before anything. I have personally made a prayer list and will continue to add to it as we move through the coming weeks. Try closing your eyes for even three to five minutes in the morning, breathing deeply, and, if you want, repeat a calming affirmation to yourself.
Offense—not defense—will get us through during these uncertain times. Aside from the vitamins I listed above and the food you’re already buying, nothing on this list costs money, asks another person to put themselves at risk, breaks a promise of social distancing, or otherwise disrupts your life.
By taking care of ourselves first, we are better equipped to help others in need.
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