As I write this, Covid-19 is about to officially reach 1 million infected and 50,000 deaths worldwide. Situation is unprecedented and it is not over yet. And numbers are telling us that it is going to get much worse before it gets better.
As we are all adjusting to our new way of life for now, resilience and hope implanted in us all is telling us that “this too shall pass” and that most of us will see this through and come at the other end.
Saying that, life may never be the same again and it will be a long road to recovery for most of us – not only financially, but emotionally too because Corona is leaving trauma in its tracks.
Whilst most are recovering from the virus, way too many are not. They are taken into hospitals and some never to be seen again. In lock down, there is no such thing as locking arms and hearts together to grieve. So many families are left behind to grieve on their own and not even able to attend a funeral. This is trauma.
Whoever is lucky enough not to have this experience by now, or yet, is taking it seriously and taking precautions.
We all know by now that social distancing, staying at home and personal hygiene are essential to stop the virus from spreading.
However, what will save us is not just avoiding the virus, but beating it by strengthening our body’s chances to beat it!
Because, it is now a known fact that this virus is here to stay.
And we can not all hide forever.
Statistics show that most vulnerable are those with existing health conditions, especially those with respiratory conditions, then those who are obese and/ or already have compromised immunity due to conditions such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular illness.
Dr David Heber from the UCLA released his own series of online videos about Covid-19 and his message that stuck with me was the one regarding Obesity and Diabetes being identified as risk factors for COVID-19 infection by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This is a problem for most of the Western countries. 65% of adults in the UK alone are overweight or obese and it is hitting them the most.
Here is a great explanation by Dr David Heber, world renowned expert in cardiovascular health and obesity, why this is a challenge in relation to Covid-19 that specifically attack the respiratory tract in the critically ill:
“Upper body and abdominal fat restricts the inflation of the lungs through mechanical pressure both on the sides of the lungs and below the diaphragm which moves down when you breathe in opening the lung passages and allowing air into the lungs as they expand.
Abdominal obesity also reduces lung function through inflammation from substances released by fat cells and the actions of the Microbiome causing narrowing of small airways in the lungs. There is an association of obesity and asthma especially in obese children where spasm of airways due to increased smooth muscle cells in airway walls makes them react to airways.
With so many people around the world overweight or obese, we can all do something to fight COVID-19 through Balanced Nutrition and a Healthy Active Lifestyle which will reduce the effects of excess abdominal and body fat on lung function!”
So, what we should NOT be doing right now is eating through our emergency reserves of high in sugar and salt canned foods, increasing alcohol consumption (because it is all too depressing) and worry-eating through stacks of biscuits and other unhealthy snacks…
Well, I can not tell anyone what one should or should not be doing, however, I hope anyone who falls into the higher risk category recognises by now that this is not only an opportunity, but a necessity to take care of their health.
I have been so inspired by so many people taking this time to re-invent themselves, learn new skills or to find the creative streak in them they never thought they had. Social media is full of them and they are brightening our day each day!
Same with our health – we may never have a better opportunity to truly focus on building some healthy habits, strengthening our immunity and even losing some weight whilst in the lock down.
Because it really is a question of necessity and survival for many and an opportunity many have been waiting for, if you can see it like that.
So, let’s not waste time!
I have been so impressed by many of my clients who are sticking even more firmly to their habits, and some old clients I have not heard from in years that contacted me, wanting to stock up on our nutritional products.
Penny has already dropped for many – health is the only thing within their control.
And the only thing that matters right now.
No money in the world can save us if our health is poor!
An interesting study has just come out from Italy where a hospital in Italy has added “10 grams of vitamin C intravenously in addition to conventional therapy” to be given to “patients with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted to ARNAS Civico-Di Cristina-Benfratelli, Palermo” hospital. (This is a registered trial of 500: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04323514.)
A meta-analysis of five trials just got published in the Journal of Intensive care showing that oral Vitamin C shortens time needing a ventilator by 25%:
“471 patients requiring ventilation for over 10 h, receiving an oral dosage of 1–6 g/day of vitamin C shortened ventilation time on average by 25% (P < 0.0001).” (https://jintensivecare.biomedcentral.com/…/s40560-020-0432-y)
But also, let’s be clear – this is not a new science! Nevertheless, a welcomed one.
Because, the truth is, our body is a miracle and when we give it what it needs, it knows what to do! And benefit of nutrition for that very purpose should not be ignored.
Strengthening our immunity has always been about reduction in recovery, not necessarily being totally immune to all the viruses that come our way.
Weight loss has always been about developing healthy habits that not just help reduce number on the scales, but nourish the body rather than deprive it further as many “diets” tent to do. Which leads us back to Immune Health.
If the Covid-19 vaccine does not materialise very soon, and even after it does, these two areas – weight management & immune health – will become even more important as a way forward for all of us, whether we are within risk category or not.
So, what does it look like taking care of ourselves right now.
Firstly, try not to panic as our emotions play a huge role in food choices we make. Meditate, learn breathing techniques, do not feed yourself with Covid-19 news all day long, instead – read a book, watch inspiring videos, anything to stay calm and positive.
Increase fruits and vegetables in diet and use this time to cook. We all know by now, once the initial supermarket panic was over, that there is enough produce in the stores.
If you are not great at cooking – use this time to learn to cook some simple meals.
Plan your meals. Small portions spread over 5-6 meals a day will be perfect to sustain your energy levels. Focusing on combination of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats to get the balance on your plate will ensure your blood sugars are stable, so are your hormones and hunger and cravings are kept at bay.
Instead of sugary cereals for breakfast, have a yoghurt with some fruit and seeds, or stock up on our vegan Formula 1 Healthy Breakfast that is loved by adults and children alike and will give the body the start it needs while nourishing the body.
You can even use our Formula 1 to make a porridge based breakfast that is more balanced and nutritious, if porridge is your thing!
For supplements, check out our Vitamins, Minerals & Phytonutrient supplements that will help give body nutrients it may not be currently getting. Formula 2 Multivitamin & Mineral complex for Men/ Women is a great place to start.
Feel free to stock up on some pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C and take 1000mg per day.
Stock up on your Vitamin D stores too as we will all be lacking some sunshine.
Above all that, use your allowance to go outside for a walk or a run, catch up on sleep, hydrate well, introduce more fruits, vegetables and lean meats into your diet…
However, remember that all the above is futile if you do not drop added sugar and other sweets in your diet, eliminate juices from carton, fizzy drinks and processed foods especially processed meats, cut out alcohol, reduce smoking (here is your chance to cut it out completely!).
Above all, stay positive, hopeful, solution oriented.
We can not control what will happen, but we can control what we each do in our own little worlds.
There has never been a better time to honour our bodies as that may just be the one thing in our control right now, which is a blessing.
Whatever happens, we can, at least, say we are doing our best!
Stay safe and healthy!