I really did not want to write an article about covid.
The simple act of reading the word for a lot of people piles on anxiety and contributes to a disruption in mental health. The media has never talked about another issue as much as it has with this one; it is ultra-saturation overboard and I did not want to contribute to any of that. Most of the articles that are scrolled across are full of panic, fear, death, OCD-handwashing, isolationism, potential poverty, job loss, economic collapse, and political fights. It is no wonder that people are stressed out and on high alert, living around the clock in fight-or-flight mode. Something as simple and seemingly benign as a trip to the grocery store has people behaving as if every other human being is a threat to their life - strangers hiding behind masks, gloved up, and eyeing each other suspiciously or not at all.
As the weeks and months have crawled on at a snail's pace, we have thankfully been able to gather quite a bit of data regarding many things surrounding this issue to understand it a bit better.
I have recently come across some information that may be initially a little scary for some of you, but I intend to give you a workaround and provide you with some hope.
Here's the thing, lovelies - we're not afraid of a regular virus. We're not afraid of the flu, we're not afraid of a cold.
We are, however, afraid of a virus that we think is going to kill us haphazardly. We don't want to die. We don't want our loved ones to die. We don't want to be a statistic. We don't like the thought that just going to the grocery store could end our lives. Many are paralyzed with fear that they could be carriers and kill of their parents, their children, and all the old people in the grocery store, out on the streets going for a walk, and all of our neighbors. What seems like a random chance of a very unpleasant death alone in a hospital bed is a nightmare that none of us want to participate in. Nobody wants to play Russian roulette with this.
This is understandable.
But what if it's not exactly that way?
We have read the numbers about how it significantly affects the elderly population more strongly than the youth. This is still not a relief, of course, but with this we are able to see a pattern.
New information is coming out that is showing an overwhelming and shocking link to the severity of covid with several underlying comorbidities.
Data from the first 2204 patients admitted to the National Health Service in Europe revealed that 72.7% were overweight or obese. That is an incredible number! This number speaks only of obesity, and not even of age. (Please note that this number is the percentage of those who were admitted to the hospital, and not of those who died.)
Those with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome have a ten times greater risk of death than those who are metabolically healthy.
Because this virus strongly affects lung function, it is no surprise that a study from China found that smokers were fourteen times more likely to get severe disease than non-smokers.
Other staggering comorbidities reflected that hypertension (high blood pressure) was a prevalent partner in those who were dying from the novel coronavirus.
With only 12.2% of Americans metabolically healthy, how could this ever be hopeful?
It is hopeful because of something called nutrigenomics.
Nutrigenomics is the study of how our genetic expression is affected by the food we eat and how the food we eat affects our genetic expression. This branch of science, biology, and medicine offers a tremendous amount of hope to all of us, but especially to those who are living in fear of death by "the rona".
Here's the deal. Food is the language of our cells. Every single bite is information to our bodies. Every single bite delivers information that turns on or turns off genetic expression. Maybe you are among those who are suffering from type 2 diabetes or obesity - right now, your body has those switches flipped on. But it doesn't have to stay that way!
When we think of making a difference in our bodies by changing our diets, many of us think that it takes months or years of nonstop suffering and kale to see effects. We think with targets out that far away, it's not even worth it - there's no hope. It will take too long and it will cost us too much joy. Weight loss may be something that does take a while, especially if you don't have a lot of testosterone and if you are over 40. But weight loss is not the same as genetic expression.
All of this means that you can do something about it. It means that you can drastically cut (or increase) your risk of death by the novel coronavirus. It is not an unknown monster hiding in the closet. It is not Russian roulette. You have access to actions that can decrease or increase your risk of death.
Every single bite you take makes a difference. Every. Single. Bite. Within two weeks, your body will begin reflecting significant change in genetic expression. You may not see that in weight loss and you may not see instant toned abs and a six-pack, but at a level that you cannot see, change is happening and it is drastic.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity can be changed drastically with diet. It is a wonderful, glorious, and hopeful fact! It is not easy and there is no magic pill to take, but it will bring results that you will be thankful for.
If you find yourself in this position and you want to make change, I urge you to do a few things that will significantly affect your genetic expression, pushing you farther and farther away from risk in each bite that you take.
1. Only eat real food.
This sounds dumb, but most food in the grocery store isn't real food. I mean that you should be eating only fruits, vegetables, meats/fish/poultry, and very minimally processed dairy. You should not be eating food that comes out of a box. You should not eat foods that have bright colors. Eat food that grew on trees, grew out of the ground, walked on the ground, swam in the water, and is recognized in nature.
Cereal is not real food. Tortilla chips are not real food. Granola bars are not real food. At least, none of those are real food for this purpose. Eat only real food that you put together to make other food, not food that a factory made for you.
Yeah, I know. I lost you when I spoke disparagingly about tortilla chips, but since this is a life or death kind of thing, I'm going to tell it to you straight because you need to hear it and because you really can change your life.
2. Avoid sugar and carbs like the plague.
You already know this, especially if you have diabetes - sugar cranks up your levels like crazy and makes you get into a downward spiral for insulin sensitivity. That's the problem and that pushes you deeper into metabolic syndrome, type two diabetes, and obesity.
The other thing is that sugar destroys the good guys in your immune system and paralyzes them. That's the last thing you need when there is a psycho virus on the loose.
This includes liquid sugar (which is the absolute worst of all) - soda, juice, energy drinks, and coffee drinks that pretend to be coffee but are actually just dessert. It includes cookies, cakes, pies, candy, ice cream, and every single thing that you love. (I know. I'm just going for it all today, aren't I? Sorry, not sorry. I will risk hurting your feelings if it will save your life.)
Bread? Nope. Not right now. Not for you. Pasta? Sorry, it's not on your team, either. I wish they were. I get it, I really do.
If you don't hate me yet, I'll get you with this - alcohol. You probably should significantly limit that, also.
3. If you have type 2 diabetes, you should consider looking into intermittent fasting.
That looks like eating within an 8 hour window in a day. This helps regulate insulin levels significantly.
Here are some things that you should be doing:
1. If you're not taking zinc, you're out of your mind and you need to get on that immediately. Research is coming out solidly showing how zinc works with your immune system to fight covid before it can even get in and cause damage.
2. Drink your water. Hydration is huge for helping your body work optimally.
3. Get outside and get vitamin D on your skin. This is huge for fighting this virus.
4. Exercise at least 150 minutes a week. Go. This is not for vanity anymore. This is to save your life.
5. Take and eat probiotics. This includes naturally fermented foods like brined sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, tempeh. You can also take it in supplement form. These not only help digestion and weight loss, they boost your immune system.
I know that many of these things are hard. I know that reading through this might feel like I am a huge jerk who is raining on every fun party that ever existed in the history of the world. I understand why you would think that - these changes are difficult! Not drinking wine and whiskey while simultaneously having to suddenly homeschool your children is for some a rather monumental task.
But lovelies, difficult is not impossible. You can do this. And with the risk that is out there, you owe it to yourself and to your family to have a fighting chance and to get yourself out of those categories that push you much closer to death.
Feeling out of control and hopeless is a very disturbing place to be. Certainly life comes with wild things and we cannot control everything, but with what we know and understand of this virus, there are some helpful things that can be done to mitigate significant risk.
Let us not panic. Take charge and do something about it. If you are concerned with the death rate, begin taking action that will separate you from being a person of high risk.
Do hard things. We're in this together and I'm cheering for your success.
You've got this,