By: Holistic Health Coach and Digestion Specialist Jaclyn Renee 

Clearly there is a lot of uncertainty in life right now. However, I believe that this epidemic is happening for a very specific reason. As a whole society, we need to collectively slow down. We’ve been consuming more, going faster and not stopping for far too long; and this is the result. Our systems are shot, our hormones are unbalanced and we can’t ever seem to “catch up.” Sometimes it takes a national crisis to throw a wrench in the rolling wheel. Keeping that in mind during this time, is imperative to come on out on the bright side. 

You have an opportunity to make this what you want. You can choose how to handle this situation. Here’s a couple quick pointers on how to manage the stillness in this time.

  1. Embrace it – and all its glory. The stillness is incredibly uncomfortable. Why? Because we have to deal with what’s going on in our heads without avoiding it! Take this as an opportunity to finally connect with yourself. Journaling during this time will be incredibly healing for your stress and anxiety. 
  2. Keep a schedule of sorts. Every week I do the same classes at the same times, so even though I am glued to my house, I’m still doing something similar- streaming yoga, or doing body weight workouts where I might have gone to the gym. I still do all the things I’m used to doing- walking the dog at the same time, eating at the same time, writing at the same time one, etc. You get it, right? 
  3. Have some fun! When was the last time you had fun? Between kids, work, life, stress, family, and obligations, life is passing us by. At the risk of using a very old cliche, take time to stop and smell the roses! What makes you feel alive? Dance? Drawing? Art? Board games? Rom coms? Live a little (inside) and have some fun!
  4. Phone a friend. No matter what you are going through, remember, that everyone else has their capacity for this situation too. Call a friend or family member (not text) to check up on them and connect. You never know who you are inspiring. 

All that being said, there are some action steps you can take to boost your immune system during this time. When working to keep your immune system up, everything comes down to the health of your gut. When the gut is distressed, all other systems are out of place- especially the immune system. I’ve created a system of foundation to get you started in a gut healing journey, which will help you immune system. It all stems from 3 pillars (these can either hurt or heal your gut.). 

  1. Stress 
  2. Lifestyle (nutrition and exercise) 
  3. Environmental toxins

Stress 

  • Find your “why”
    • Intrinsic motivation isn’t always available so using “something” or “someone” as your “why is important – Example: my “why” is because I used to be very sick with crippling anxiety and IBS. When my motivation is off, those symptoms and feelings creep back in and I remember my “why” I’m doing it because I was miserable then and I want to continue to prevent disease.
    • When you are clear about “why” you want to do something, it provides you with a sense of purpose – a foundation for building a house of long-term health. 
  • Get outside in nature 
    • Yes, we are stuck in our homes now but aren’t we often just stuck in our offices too? Nature is the best medicine. It relieves stress and calms the betrayed nervous system. Fresh air is healing. It’s also very strong for connecting with your feminine energy is you feel stuck in your masculine energy and not creative or alive.
    • Try for a 20-minute brisk walk in the am to boost mood and metabolism.
  • Meditate or do breathwork everyday
    • Disclaimer: you cannot do it wrong! 
    • Start with 5 minutes and work your way up.
    • Invest in a coach – these help with getting started and get you an action plan to keep going.

 

Lifestyle and Nutrition 

  • Eat a 70% plant-based diet
    • Choose organic
    • Get at least 40g of fiber a day 
      • Fruits
      • Vegetables 
      • Flax seeds 
      • Legumes
      • Oats
    •  5-7 servings of vegetables including lots of leafy greens
    • Eat the rainbow of colors 
    • Don’t get stuck on the same fruits and veggies – we need all the colors of phytonutrients to boost immune system 
  • Cook from scratch more
    • Eating out is fun (not an option right now), but cooking your own food ensures that you know exactly what’s going into it. Many restaurants add sugar or extra salt to food which can be bad for your blood sugar and blood pressure levels 
    • Cooking reduces stress 
    • Include the whole family in on the fun so it doesn’t feel like a task but more of an event that joins you together 
  • Eat undistracted and slow down 
    • Chew your food 
    • Chew your food 
    • Chew your food
    • Undigested food particles create inflammation in the gut causing problems like bloating, has, constipation, etc. This is a good time to create healthy habits around meal time. 
    • Multitasking and eating fast triggers your fight or flight response which shuts down digestion. This prevents your body from absorbing nutrients and most often dumps the food into fat.

 

Environmental toxins

    • Yes, it is very important to wash your hands and sanitize however, using chemical filled products with parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrance will inevitably break down your immune system more. Choosing the right body and cleansing products are crucial. I use BEAUTYCOUNTER products for hair and body.  I also use BLUELAND reusable hand soap dispensers with non-toxic pods, DoTERRA on guard house cleaner with amber glass refillable bottles from Amazon, and W3ll people makeup to start. 
    • Since hydration is key to a properly run gig and immune system, then clean water is mandatory. I use a Berkey filter still home to purify my water of chlorine and fluoride. Both are very harmful to the gut and immune system and toxic to your brain health too.
    • Clean air is all the rage this year and since you’ll be at home, it’s even more important. I use Air doctor filters (one in the living room and one in my room) to neutralize environmental toxins and improve air quality. Very helpful for those with allergies too. 

 

Supplementation

      

For what we can’t do ourselves, we can do with supplementation. We can’t rely on them but they are very helpful when needed to heal, boost or fix a problem faster than food can work. I trust Thorne supplements as my go-to. The company has been around for decades and their supplements are clean, gluten-free, non-gmo and 100% pure. I have created a dispensary of my top products for gut, hormone and immune health. You can access that HERE 

Supplements to boost the immune system: 

  1. High dose Vitamin CVitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a key antioxidant, protecting cells throughout the body from free radical damage.* It also plays an integral role in the production of cellular energy, in addition to helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, preventing LDL oxidation, promoting wound healing, and maintaining healthy immune function.* Taking a high amount of vitamin C – several grams daily – has been advocated for optimizing both immune function and antioxidant support.
  2. L-Glutamine L-glutamine is an amino acid that supports a healthy intestinal lining and immune function, and assists in healing after injury or surgery and in muscle cell repair. Evidence suggests supplemental L-glutamine benefits gastrointestinal health, supports wound healing, maintains immune health, and helps restore plasma glutamine levels depleted after periods of physical stress, such as prolonged exhaustive exercise. 
  3. Pharma-GABA Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major calming brain chemical or neurotransmitter derived from fermented cabbage. Clinical studies show that the natural form of GABA can decrease the brain’s stress-related beta waves and increase the production of its alpha-waves, creating a profound sense of physical relaxation while maintaining mental focus. GABA supports restful sleep, acts like a “brake” on stress, and provides a focused state of mind. (Perfect timing.)

As a precautionary, I highly recommend avoiding the top 3 toxic triggers during this time.

  • Caffeine
  • Sugar 
  • Alcohol 

Not only do these 3 lower your immune system strength but they also trigger anxiety. Yes, all three. Consider this a good time to work on eliminating or significantly cutting back to reduce any risk and balance out your body. It is not recommended to quit these cold turkey as many people struggle with withdrawal symptoms. Try to take steps to cut back such as switching to green tea versus coffee, and eating fruits and natural sugars to curb sugar cravings or drinking a little less per week. I have a 4-week sugar detox that has been very helpful to clients for boosting their immune system, feeling less bloated and helping them break their sugar addictions. Check out the details here.   

Bottom line, life is what you make of it. You can choose to take action or not, but it does all begin in your house. Might as well get started since you’ll most likely be there for a while.

 

Jaclyn is currently treating clients virtually, and can create personalized programs based on your needs. She leads virtual courses and classes online. You can find out more HERE. She is a part of The Classroom Berkley, a wonderful resource that has courses on all topics health and wellness.

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