Protecting Our Immune System

Type 1 Diabetes and Immunity:

As someone with type 1 diabetes, I am at risk of swinging blood sugar levels and this is hard on the immune system as it impairs gut health, depletes nutrients and puts added stress on the body. Knowing this, I do the best I can at improving my blood sugar control but also other practical daily habits.

Current Coronavirus Stance:

With the growing cases of the Coronavirus, everyone is on edge. Should we fuel this anxiety? I don’t know if it does any good? And therefore I will reframe from including stats that are being exchanged on the news and between pickups. Yet, do your best to put your energy to good use, verse driving anxiety about how fast it is growing.

Everyone, including Costco, wiping down carts w/ anti-bacteria wipes before people enter the store, is taking precautions. I don’t know about bleaching yoga mats and the likes (in the case there is no exposure to the current virus)?  Our immune system comes from our gut (at least 70% of it) and if we over sanitize we can sterilize our gut and decrease our ability to fight germs.

Food Is Thy Medicine

  • Cut back on treats and reduce sugar in your diet. Some illnesses become more virulent in a high glucose environment.
  • When picking what to eat for your meals, use my 4-Part Meal Formula, which includes: 1) High-quality protein, this includes grass-fed red meat and pasture-raised eggs, 2) Fiber, fill half your plate with unprocessed produce, including fruits, vegetables and legumes, and 3) Healthy fats; none of the man-made fats like canola oil. Here is a printout you can post in your pantry, and 4) Joy Foods, and sometimes this includes greens, for extra credit on fueling your body. In other cases, I do appreciate pleasurable foods, as we need to be satisfied. Use the 80/20 rule , or 90/10 rule when an illness is present. This means eating whole real food 80-90% of the time with the latter as joy foods like chocolate, processed grains, wine or a treat.
  • Pick 1 meal a day to be a well-rounded, nutrient-dense smoothie.  Blood sugar balancing smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get a strong bolus of nutrition into your diet.
  • Bone broth. You can buy the cartons, but making a second meal using bone broth can help nourish the gut and replenish nutrition in the body. I will get creative, tossing in various vegetables and lentils into a slow-cooker with bone broth. The sky is the limit.
  • Pay attention to what foods work for you and which don’t. What is one person’s medicine, is another person’s poison. After doing my MRT LEAP Inflammatory food testing (this goes beyond IgG food sensitivity testing), I identified that celery and spinach both hurt my gut and health, Just because a food is nutritious it doesn’t mean we should all eat it. Email me if you want to ask me questions about getting tested for yourself.

Lifestyle:

  • Drink water. Measure your body weight in pounds and divide that in half. This number will tell you how many ounces of water to drink a day. If you struggle with plain water, try using some lemon or electrolyte powder. Do not drink food-dye infused sports drinks.
  • Continue your workouts. Strengthening our immune system doesn’t come with isolation. Continue the yoga classes and strength workouts (shoutout Orange Theory) and be consistent with them. Keeping to a routine helps us tune into our body and its needs. As well, exercise boosts immunity and can be a stress outlet.
  • Prioritize sleep. I could have put this in all CAPS as it’s the most important element of health, but I don’t want you to think I am yelling at you.

Supplements:

If you have any questions on the below, send me an email. I may not reply immediately, but I read all of my emails and will provide you an answer as soon as possible.

Invest in prevention to save your time, energy, and money on treatment. Below looks like a sales pitch, but consider your needs and which products are most important for you.

Acute:

  • Viranon is an immune-supporting herb, and at the moment on backorder, but should be back in stock 3/12/20. More research on this great product, here. 
  • For acute viral infections, Andrographis Complex (this item has been on backorder, but the smaller quantity is available). For an acute illness like the flu and such, a health professional can recommend 2 tablets 2-3x a day. This tablet has powerful immune-enhancing activity at any stage of illness, targeting viral infections.

Preventive:

  • Echinacea Premium:  Help enhance healthy immune system function and support upper respiratory tract health
  • Astragalus Complex is a great herb for jet leg and to fight off travel infections. A health practitioner would recommend 1 capsule 3x a day.
  • Vitamin D needs go up with sickness, and I like the combination in Standard Process’s product as they combine it with vitamin A to improve functionality.
  • Probiotics nurture gut health and immunity. It’s important to source a high-quality probiotic that has been researched and proven to make it to the gut. Some of the products you’d find at general stores may have dead probiotics in them.
  • A nutrient-rich protein powder (whey) that supports the immune system and gut health.
  • To prevent nutrient gaps, opt for a food-based multi like the product Immunoplex. This is a good product for the flu season in general. Immuplex has iron in it for cycling females, and also minerals to support bouts of exercise. Taken daily, supports a healthy immune system response function.

Self-care:

Good thing self-care is trendy, but conserve your energy, reflect on your needs and take the best care of yourself.

  • One of my favorite practices right now is box breathing. It immediately helps me quiet anxiety and ground myself. You do you, but sort out what that is. Remember, if an ask is not a “Hell yes!” Then turn it down.
  • Step outside every day. Nature is very healing for a reason and go for a hike to reap the benefits of forest bathing.
  • Do some daily oil pulling. Taking care of the oral biome is as important as the gut microbiome.
  • Do some rebound work, let that be jumping on a trampoline for 10 minutes a day or simply doing some jumping jacks.

Take care everyone. We will be okay.

– Kelly