7 ways to boost your immune system in the midst of a pandemic

Coronavirus, COVID-19, or as my family has been referring to it the “Rona”

Not much left except some sad looking avocados

For most of us, never in our lifetime have we experienced an outbreak like this.

Can anyone guess what section this is??? #spareasquare

It’s scary.

It’s stressful.

People have been hoarding food and supplies like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Trying to minimize the necessity of having to leave your house makes sense to minimize exposure, but what can one do to help themselves in the event that they are exposed?

I am not a trained medical professional, but for over three years, my life has been focused on boosting my immune system to beat disease… specifically cancer. After my clinical trial, which was designed to specifically target one protein expressed on cancer cells, I realized that this treatment was effective on the “known” variable. But what we know is that germs 🦠 mutate. They follow Darwin’s theory of Evolution…”Survival Of the Fittest”. Where medicine, wet wipes, or N95 face masks may take care of 99% of those nasty germs… what about that 1%?

That’s where having a strong immune system is going to be your safety net. I want to share with you 7 things to boost your immune system. I sort of consider myself an expert on this now because I have fought cancer back by boosting my immune system for over 2 years.

Here are my 7 things you can do to boost your immune system:

1. Overload your body with nutrition. You are probably tired of hearing me talk about eating more vegetables, but the daily recommendation for vegetables is about 3 cups and for fruits is two cups a day. So if you’re not getting that yet, now would be a great time to start (fresh or frozen is best). The darker the color, the better. Other specifically immune boosting foods are mushrooms (including the stems) and nutritional yeast which is a flaky powder that tastes like cheese that vegans use to get their “cheese fix”. Both include beta-glucan which boosts the immune system, heart health, and improve cholesterol levels.

2. Reduce or Eliminate sugar and processed foods. ‘Nuf said.

3. Rest/sleep. Sleeping a minimum of 7 hrs at night. Taking 20 min a day to meditate. I use this to measure my sleep. I certainly need to work on building some better habits about getting to sleep earlier, but I generally set my alarm to make sure that I am getting 7 hrs minimum at night.

4. Exercise. Minimum of 120 min a week. But if you’re not already there, doing small things that get you going is fantastic. Lay out your exercise clothes at night for the next morning, put your exercise shoes on and tell yourself to go walking for just 10 minutes, get out as a family, do squats while you brush your teeth, do push ups while your coffee brews, etc. just find ways to integrate moving your body throughout your day. I have the beach body app that has tons of exercises that I can do from my home. Hiking outdoors, snowshoeing, or just walking the neighborhood are great ways to not get stir crazy and still practice social distancing.

We recently went snowshoeing … it was beautiful!

5. Integrate stress-reducing activities like laughing, watching funny videos or movies and make time to be quiet, pray, and try to look at the positive in these challenging times. I love seeing the funny videos that people are posting on social media and using the hashtag #wereinthistogether. If you’re a mom, you absolutely have to watch this… I was in tears… laughing so hard:

Every Mom in American Right Now

6. Physically distance, but don’t emotionally distance yourself from others. Using FaceTime and Skype to talk to family and friends. My sister just got a puppy and I just couldn’t help but smile when I was FaceTiming with her last week.

This is Halo. My sister Karin’s new puppy. You can follow her on IG @halo_mc2020. I think she looks like Bolt.

In fact, watching cute animal videos can be very therapeutic! My friend has a great YouTube channel of her Lab Puppies, check them out here:

High Desert Labradors

7. Supplements – Beta Glucan, Zinc (see chart below), Vitamin A, Vitamin D (you want levels between 30-50 for the average person, around 70 for people with cancer). I supplement with about 5000 IUs a day, but you should check with your doctor about the right dosage for yourself. Vitamin C (1000 mg a day minimum) Juice Plus, Curcumin (to fight inflammation) and B-complex (bc I don’t eat meat) are some that I supplement with every day. These are all particularly good for your immune system.

Zinc rec daily intake from the NIH website.
These have been a great substitute for juicing!! Right now I have everyone in the family taking it!
For Vitamin A…Carrots… I eat a lot of carrots 🥕
Every morning on an empty stomach,
1 pill per 50lbs of body weight.
Beta Glucan, Vitamin C, & Juice Plus

This is just a quick list I put together as we have cut our spring break short and driving back to Arizona from Idaho. I hope it helps you. Be well, socially distance, don’t stress , and stay positive!

On a final note, like the Surgeon General said… we should all act like we have it, being careful to minimize touching things with our hands (elevator buttons, door handles, etc.). Don’t, don’t, don’t, touch your face, nose, eyes, without washing your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds (like your a surgeon). And please when at the grocery store, when you’re struggling to get those plastic produce bags open, DO NOT… I repeat… DO NOT wet your fingers with your tongue to open that bag! There is plenty of moisture around the produce area, I usually will try to get some moisture on my fingers from somewhere around the leafy vegetables that they are constantly misting.

This was me in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit during my clinical trial in Sep 2017. I guess I am pretty lucky that I had cancer after all, because I got this mask! 😷😉

Don’t stress and please be safe!

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

-2 Timothy 1:7

Onward and Upward,

– Kay

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