Hopeful 2021

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The best advice I’ve gotten on COVID. The most hopeful and helpful thing I’ve read so far on the virus came from my naturopathic doctor in Chicago, Dr. Terese. I miss her. She’s a brilliant woman. Good thing I am still on her mailing list. I am revisiting what she sent to me one year into this saga because I still feel this is the best advice.

My feeling is the most important thing we can do is not get COVID-19. Do everything you can to not contract the virus. Yes, do all the things the experts are saying. Keep washing hands regularly. Social distancing. And all the rest. But there are other things you can do that will help strengthen your immune system and (hopefully) make you less likely to get it. Here’s what my doctor sent with my comments thrown in.

From Dr. T:

Recommendations for staying healthy and overall flu/viral prevention strategies. Diet/Lifestyle Recommendations for good health and a strong immune system:

  1. Diet – Remove all added sugars, white flours, pastas and foods that are higher glycemic foods. High levels of glucose in your bloodstream can decrease the effectiveness of your immune system in fighting off illness. Focus on eating a clean diet with lots of vegetables, lower sugar fruits (like berries), grass-fed meat, eggs, wild-caught fish, and legumes. Adding raw garlic to your diet can boost your immune system’s natural killer cells.

From Zola: This looks like Plan Z in one paragraph! If you’re currently on the Plan Z diet, this list will look familiar. If you are not yet a Plan Z client this can give you extra motivation to get started. Of course, there are lots more details as part of Plan Z and you need the all-important ZR50 Crave Control spray to keep you comfortable.

  1. (From Dr. T.) Sleep – Sleep deprivation can suppress your immune system. Be sure to get sufficient sleep every night, at least 7 hours/night.

From Zola: There is an element in the ZR50 Crave Control spray that helps you relax so you sleep better. You’re taking magnesium citrate while you do Plan Z too…which helps with sleep.

  1. (From Dr. T.) Stress – In spite of the never-ending news cycle, try to keep stress levels to a minimum as stress hormones can suppress your immune system. Try implementing stress reducers – exercise, meditation, yoga, laughter – into your daily routine.

From Zola: I have to work on this one. I am currently doing yoga, lifting weights and getting on the treadmill. I still feel the stress though. I spend way too much time watching the news.

  1. (From Dr. T.) Hydration – Hydrated cells function more optimally. Water helps to flush out metabolic waste and flushing out this waste will help our immune system function more optimally. Rule of thumb to determine how many ounces of water you need to drink is to divide your weight, in lbs, by half. That number is the number of ounces you should be drinking, at minimum, in water per day.

From Zola: With Plan Z we recommend you get at least 100 oz of water per day. For some it takes time to get used to it but then your body will crave it.

  1. (From Dr. T.) Exercise – exercise gets your lymphatic system flowing, which helps your immune system work more efficiently at fighting infections. Exercise improves circulation, including circulation of antibodies and white blood cells which fight off infections. Even walking can give you these benefits. Moderate exercise is the key as there is evidence that over-training can suppress your immune system.

From Zola: Don’t sit around waiting for this to end.

  1. (From Dr. T.) Hand washing/hand shaking, etc. – wash your hands!! This is one of the most useful strategies we can all employ to prevent the transmission of viruses. Even hand sanitizer is not as effective, although that is an alternative if soap and water is not available. Do not shake hands, use an elbow bump or jazz hands for a greeting. Avoid touching your face – eyes, nose and mouth!

From Zola: I have hand sanitizer in my car, in my bathroom, in my garage, in my office. Need I continue?

  1. (From Dr. T.) Sinus rinse/Neti pot – cleaning your nasal tissue may decrease a virus’s ability to take hold. This is theoretical and there is no evidence on this with the COVID-19 virus. Xlear is a nasal spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, which have antimicrobial properties.

From Zola: I’m not a fan of neti pots but I’m glad people are trying to get creative to get us all the help we can get.

Consider applying these ideas to your daily life. Most of them are helpful ideas for overall health/immunity and not just a plan to try to keep from getting COVID-19.

Stay well.

Hang in.

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