KBZ COVID wellness basics
The terms health and wellness have become terribly overused. I hate to say it, but even I start to feel a strong sense of "woo" these days when I hear "wellness".
It's a bummer because we ALL want health and we all want to feel "well" especially in times such as we'e experiencing now. And, while there is a lot that is out of our hands, there really are many actionables available to us.
I could wax for DAYS on how to capture and maintain health, but I thought sharing a quick list of what my go-to's for myself and my loved ones are would be far more appreciated and to the point. So, here you go:
Focus on staying emotionally balanced.
Stay physically active.
Know your HRV and work on keeping stress low.
Avoid sugar and stay KETO!
Mind your mitochondria! CoQ10 & PQQ are my favorite mitochondrial helpers!
As needed for enhanced immunity, supplement with Zinc, Vitamin A, Cordyceps, Beta Glucans and NAC.
And for those of who you who want a bit more substance, read below:
"Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." -Viktor Frankl
Emotional Hygiene - This is a BIGGIE. Sorry folks, I do not have one solid answer for you on this one. What emotional hygiene means to me is learning to respond rather than to react to all emotion (essentially uninvited neurochemicals) whether it's coming from the outside or originating internally. It's a very traditionally stoic perspective but it saves me & my nervous system from exhausting emotional excursions on the regular. There's a great book by Gabor Mate called When The Body Says No that takes a deep and heartfelt dive into the connection between emotional hygiene and disease states. I highly recommend it!
Physical Activity - This community does not need to be reminded of just how critical to emotional and physical wellness staying active is. Exercise has been shown to cause a change in white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly when we have been active, so they can better detect illnesses earlier than they might have in absence of exercise. The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. This is similar to what happens when you have a fever. Exercise also slows down the release of stress hormones. Too much stress increases the chance of illness (some stress though via hormesis is good!).
Knowing your HRV - We are LOVING having knowledge of this metric. Your HRV gives you invaluable insight into the state of your nervous system each day. Your HRV reading essentially tells you just how much stress you (your nervous system) can safely take on any given day. Low HRV likely means your immune system is suppressed, inflammation is increased and your risk of injury heightened. On a low HRV day, you need to take it easy. High HRV? Awesome. Train hard! Your nervous system is ready! We use both Whoop and Oura. For the moment, Whoop is our favorite. We get more data throughout the day and we don't have to remove it every time we pick up a dumbbell or kettlebell.
Keto or LCHF diet - Those in this community are crystal clear on the anti-inflammatory, mood regulating and vitality increasing benefits of the Keto lifestyle. Basically, for immunity & optimal health, keto on friends!
Mitochondrial Health - Mind thy mitochondria! has been a silent battle cry for me for many years now. We are composed of 65 to 90 trillion cells and within each is one or more hard working mitochondria. We want healthy vigorous mitochondria! I call them my "little molecular geniuses" and I like to do all I can for them. Endurance exercise and a supplement called PQQ (pyroquinolinequinone) both stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis (creation of new mitochondria). I take PQQ and participate in endurance exercise as often as I am able. I've also taken CoQ10 daily for 18 years and do not like to go a day without it. CoQ10's chemical name is ubiquinone coming from the word ubiquitous. CoQ10 is crucial in the production of energy at the level of the mitochondria. Every single one of your cells need CoQ10 and your organs being mitochondrially dense, have even greater need of it. If you like organ meats, eat them! They are the best natural source of CoQ10.
Zinc - Many years ago when I first started in the wellness industry I learned that an "old school" remedy for colds and flu was a heavy therapeutic dose of Zinc and Vitamin A for just 7-10 days. After those 7-10 days you revert to a low daily dose. This has never failed me. WHAT dose? 50 mg to 100mg Zinc (in divided doses) and 25K to 50KIU Vitamin A taken in two to 4 divided doses through the day. SHORT TERM therapeutic doses of the natural forms of these vitamins folks! And if fear of vitamin A is still instilled deeply in your brain AND you have some time, THIS is a very thorough and perspective shifting read on the topic.
Beta Glucans - Beta Glucans are special polysaccharides found in many medical mushrooms. They increase the number of NK cells (natural killer cells) you have. NK cells are a type of white blood cell. You want many of these buggers on alert when there are nasty viruses going around. I take pop 6 of these a day (two 3X a day) as soon as I feel like I might be coming down with something. I take two a day whenever i'm around folks who appear to already be ill.
Cordyceps - We LOVE this mushroom! In the wild it's this epic little "zombie fungus" that basically hijacks the brain of its unfortunate carrier in order to get as high up into the tree canopy as possible before it releases its spores. Sorry! That has nothing to do with why you want to take it as a supplement... just a geeky fun fact! Cordyceps has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of various respiratory illnesses including chronic bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, and phlegm. This is largely due to its anti-inflammatory properties its tendency to relax the bronchial walls and promote enhanced oxygen utilization and efficacy. Studies have shown that the Cordyceps can dilate bronchia, inhibit tracheal contractions and allows for increased airflow to the lungs. There have also been trials in humans that demonstrated Cordyceps to be effective in treatment of various respiratory illness, including asthma, COPD, and bronchitis. This is largely due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its tendency to relax the bronchial walls and promote enhanced oxygen utilization and efficacy. Additionally, mice fed Cordyceps while subjected to an extremely low oxygen environment were able to utilize oxygen more efficiently (30–50% increase), better tolerate acidosis and hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and live 2–3 times longer than a control group.
NAC - NAC is fantastic as an inexpensive pre-cursor to one of our bodies most important antioxidants: Glutathione. Additionally, it can relieve symptoms of respiratory conditions by acting as an antioxidant and expectorant, loosening mucus in your air passageways. NAC also helps replenish glutathione levels in your lungs and reduces inflammation in your bronchial tubes and lung tissue. It's a go to for me whenever any bronchial bug is going around.
Stay safe out there friends! Wear your masks, wash your paws and maintain some distance. Hugs and handshakes will still exist when we come out of this and after a brief period of awkwardness, we'll all remember how to hug freely. Much LOVE to you friends!
Thank you for being a part of this community of people working hard to build strong personal health foundations. Keto on and keep those brains sharp and those bodies strong!