There is a lot of information out there about how to supplement your daily diet to “improve” or “boost” your immune system and fight COVID. From taking Vitamins C & D, and zinc, to increasing your intake of fermented products, it can seem overwhelming and even scary to think you are not healthy enough.
Here are the facts: no one vitamin, mineral, food, or supplement can “improve” or “boost” your immune system. Science tells us that we can only support our immune system by including fruits, veggies, whole grains, and even probiotics found in fermented foods, into our daily eating habits.
This tells me, that, focusing on how to fight COVID, or any virus for that matter, may not be the most well-rounded approach to improving our overall health.
Instead of being swayed by those just trying to make a buck, and constantly worrying about the next best supplement, or quick fix (kind of sounds like another diet to me), what if we began thinking about HOW COVID is affecting us, our bodies’ responses to the increase in stress, and the journey we can choose to positively move through this to better our health and nutrition.
Let’s face it, we are all dealing with a different level of stress right now. We are not in our normal routine and we have to constantly juggle how we are living our daily and weekly lives. From transitioning from virtual work to in-office, virtual school to in-school, changing plans at the last moment because of quarantine, and not being able to see family or friends; this constant upheaval takes its toll.
I would like to pass these questions onto you. Really look deep into yourself and not just face the surface tensions. The answers to these questions open the door to permanent and positive changes in health and nutrition. If you cannot face your own self, your path, or your environment, then your drastic, immediate food choices will not lead you to overall improvement.
Take a moment and let these questions sit with you. Then, ask yourself how you can make just one small change to begin a new journey towards your health and nutrition.
~ How is the constant juggling of these daily activities affecting your mood, patience, motivation, work, sleep, food choices, and activity?
~ Why are you only focused on the number of pounds you gained and blaming yourself on “bad” food choices?
~ How does the continued negative self-talk about your body and how you feel make you healthier?
~ When you finally receive the vaccine, would you rather be on a healthier path now or feel like you need to do a complete 180 (that you know will not last) on your eating and physical activity?
~ What is the main reason you want to eat at this moment? (whatever your answer is, be it hunger, boredom, saddens, it is the right choice)
~ How are the foods that you are eating making you feel? (extra energy or tired; happy, uncomfortable, etc.)
~ What are you doing when you are eating? Is taking the time to experience the full meal (including prep, cooking, and eating) a priority for you or just a means to an end so you can continue what you were doing?
~ Are you taking the time to eat when you are hungry or are you ignoring this very important cue?
~ What can you do today to move just a little bit more than yesterday? (Instead of going straight to specific minutes or hours of exercise and 100% all out, what about looking at it as just a slight increase; two trips up the stairs instead of one; vacuuming the house 2 times a week instead of once; making bread from scratch, using your arms and core instead of throwing the ingredients into a bread machine; making the pie crust and rolling it out instead of buying it, walking around your house and enjoy the smell of the Autumn air, changed leaves, birds singing, and the wind whistling instead of plugging in some headphones and walking on the road for 1 mile; finding dead wood around the yard and snapping up branches to make a fire instead of buying precut wood.)
I encourage you to look inside yourself, and then reach out and ask for help. There are many hands already reaching out to you, telling you they are here for you, and you are not alone. Nutrition professionals, especially, can help you identify where you want to go with your nutrition and health and what the best steps are for YOU to long-lasting, positive change.