Sunday Thoughts (food as medicine)
As much as we'd like to think that this virus that's upended our lives is going to go away, it's likely to be here for some time in one form or another.
It's scary to think about, but denying reality is no way to stay healthy.
So how we treat our bodies can go a long way towards staying fit and in "fighting shape."
And we have a number of tools to help us tune up, every time we choose to use them. Sleep, exercise, supplements, hygiene and stress reduction among them.
But one of the most important tools is food. It can prime our body to stay healthy, in ways few things can.
You don't have to be Tom Brady with an on-call chef to focus on the right types of food to perform at a high level.
Can we eat to strengthen our immune systems and protect our bodies? Of course we can.
Think about the foods you choose as your first line of defense. Because your diet determines the quality of response your immune system provides, along with adequate rest and lower stress levels.
Your innate immune system is the guard on duty. It looks for intruders and tries to take them out.
But the standard "American" diet has our bodies thinking we're a little bit ill all the time, because we eat so many things that cause inflammation.
Foods that "boost" your immune system aren't magic elixirs. Anything that's helpful takes time and consistency.
Slow and steady wins the race here, so instead of adding ginger or beets or leafy greens to your diet once as a "quick fix," a little every day for a month is much more effective.
All too often when people decide they want to get healthy, it's like they're climbing on top of a pendulum. They swing wildly from one side (no carbs) to the other (all vegetables) to somewhere in between (maybe keto, or paleo).
Soon enough, you're confused, or just dizzy.
We're too concerned with restriction, and not about what to add to your diet for health and balance. You know that berries, leafy greens, hemp seeds and nut butter are "good for you."
And you know what – they make a great base for a smoothie! Now you've added something healthy, your body will like it, and it's not about deprivation.
One way to figure out what's right for you as you start to add new foods is to keep track of how they make you feel. Each week, pick a couple new ones.
For example, you know that kale is good for you. Everyone says that. But why?
One reason is it contains iron, that helps deliver oxygen to the blood, which means more energy. So start eating it and see if that's what it means for you.
I'm currently working on an immune formula, and I hope to have it soon. But this, like anything else, is no magic bullet.
It's part of a strategy, a way of taking the reins of your own health, and steering your way towards strength and energy.
So many things seem out of control right now. Your diet, and how healthy it is, is one thing you can control, if you choose to.
Cook yourself something new today. And stay safe out there.