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Tuesday’s with Jerry

Control

Well that’s a loaded term.

You want it. In many regards you can’t have it. If having control is on one end of the spectrum, then having zero control, living in chaos, is on the other. How often are we leaning towards chaos?

So much of our current living situations are anything but in our control. I want to work but I can’t. I want to see my parents but I should probably wait. My nephew wants to ride the escalators up and down at Barnes and Noble, but we have to keep telling him the stores are closed right now. Jerry might throw up today he might not.

Anyway. It’s becoming part of that daily routine we are all doing our best to hold on to for dear life so we can keep our cool and control what we can.

It’s when we let our minds focus on all the things, and there are a lot of them, that are outside our control, that we find ourselves having one of those unprecedented quarantine freak outs, break downs, panic attacks.

And what are the experts saying? And by experts I mean every single meme and lame quote that is littering our social media feeds.

Breath.

Pause.

Find a routine.

Be present.

It’s okay to not be okay right now.

Focus on what you can control. Even if the only thing you can control is taking another step, opening your eyes, moving your body, putting down the ice cream, etc. You can’t control when you’ll be back to work, but you can control the amount of water you drink, the steps you take, the people you call and connect with, the snacking you do.

One of the biggest areas of this whole virus is how it affects different people in different ways. It’s been well established by now that those with pre existing conditions, whether asthma, lung disease, obesity, or age, seem to be hit harder. While others show zero symptoms. There is also growing noise around those that may have already had it and could now be “immune”.

Immunity is becoming a bigger topic right now as countries like Chile are implementing the first “immunity passports” to those that have recovered from the virus.

The CDC stated that chronic lung disease, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, are the top three underlying diseases for those that have been affected by the virus. There was a doctor on NPR not long ago that was talking about how these underlying issues will vary from country to country. Smoking is extremely common in Italy and China. Italians also tend to live with each other and are therefore in close proximity. And in America, obesity affects about 42% of the adult population.

Going back to the idea of immunity and how to be in control of our own immune systems, why not do what we can to be the strongest we can be to either prevent or fight off some of these chronic underlying issues?

I realize genes and environment will play a role, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our part by trying. Succumb to the is what it is mentality or do something about it. Heart disease, cancer, and a whole mess of issues run in my family just like any other. All the more reason I live the way I live and drink down that bone broth every damn day.

It’s my hope that when this massive, uncertain, chaotic wave calms down, people will take their health, wellness, and mental and physical strength more seriously. It’s my hope that access to education, better food, and a better understanding of what keeps our bodies the well oiled machines they were meant to be, becomes more readily available.

Right now we can’t necessarily control where we live, what we have access to, or who in our lives might get sick. But we can take steps to build the strongest immune systems, hearts, minds, and bodies to the best of our abilities.

What’s the harm in trying?

When you get hit with that common cold that we all know and hate, what if you could fight it off in three days rather than a week?

Listen, I’m not the expert here. But I do pay attention to those that are and do what I can to distill it down and implement it in my own life. And hopefully, some of that rubs off on those around me. Mom, how’s that bone broth tasting? 😉

I’ve said it many times before how helpless I have been feeling. And therefore guilty that in a world that is in chaos, I’m here at home with Jerry.

But I guess this is how I can help. I firmly believe in using food and our own lifestyle behavior as medicine first to allow our bodies to do what they were meant to do. I’m not saying medications and doctor visits aren’t necessary, they totally are and we’d be stupid if we thought otherwise. But we live in a world that is very reactive. We go to the doctor when we’re sick. We go on a diet once we’re overweight. We start exercising when we realize going up a flight of stairs leaves us winded.

Proactive health, not reactive.

Preventative healthcare. Behavior changes. Before being prescribed a pill to help you sleep, how about looking first at your behaviors and what you and you alone can control to set you up for better sleeping patterns.

Before crash dieting, look at your current diet and see what low hanging fruit (literally) exists that you can start eliminating and start swapping for something else.

For the love of God drink water.

Before giving in to depression or anxiety entirely have you connected with a family member or close friend lately? Have you laughed?

Get out of the if I just do this, or but I need that, or I wish this didn’t exist mentality and get into your own head.

Dr. Rhonda Patrick is a researcher and scientist focused on immunity and longevity. In addition the all the lifestyle behaviors I’ve already mentioned, she gets deep in the weeds of things like heat, Vitamin D, fasting, etc that can help build the immune system we want that is better equipped to fight off a virus. I’ll sum it up one actionable piece for you: Vitamin D is good.

The end.

When the sun is shining, get out there. Drink it in. I’m talking to you, Ohio. Any sun you can get. (Florida, go away, we get it and you’re drunk).

Sun isn’t shining? Fatty fish and seafood, whole eggs, particularly the yolk, dairy (not the fat free garbage), and mushrooms are all good ways to get more Vitamin D.

Eat when you’re hungry. And when you think you’re hungry, drink water. Set a step goal for yourself. Who cares about tracking just find a block to walk around and tell yourself, better yet write it down, that you will walk it daily. Be mindful of what you’re putting in your body.

Because right now, it could be what helps you fight off a disease, or what gives you over to it.

I’m here to help. And learning alongside you.

 


For those that further want to geek out. Here are some articles I’ve been noodling over:

Why Obesity is a Risk Factor for Severe Covid 19 symptoms

Corona Virus and the Heart

More Rhonda Patrick

Obesity linked to severe coronavirus disease, especially the younger

Dr. Matthew Walker on Sleep that might scare the s*** outta you

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