As we look around at the chaos in parts of our health system right now (written as COVID-19 continues to ramp up here in the U.S.) there’s a quote from Tony Robbins that I have been thinking a lot about.
It’s not the conditions that shape your destiny–it’s the DECISIONS.Anthony Robbins
I have been thinking a lot about how this challenge to our health system really clarifies for each of us the need to take personal responsibility for our health, especially the state of our immune system. We all have choices that can significantly impact how we come through this crisis, whether the thing that hits us hardest is health challenges, financial uncertainty, or social stresses.
In looking at how we all have something to offer, I have been thinking about how I could use my experience and knowledge to help people up-level their immune status and lower their risk of disease and death. I have a number of close relatives that have been dealing with the additional challenge of diabetes and I have had pre-diabetes. So I’m sharing the things that have been most helpful to me, hoping that it will be exactly what someone needs to hear to move forward in their journey to a stronger immune system. This is a little GPS to provide direction 🙂
G-Get a baseline.
Do you know what your actual health status is? One of the things that really impacts your overall immune strength is maintaining optimal blood sugars. High sugars make your white blood cells ( the defense team for your body) sluggish and much less effective. Did you know that 50% of Americans are pre-diabetic (abnormally high blood sugars either before or after meals) or diabetic? This is rather simple to address, but if you don’t know your own numbers, you could have a depressed immune system and not even know it! So I highly recommend that you check two things – your fasting blood sugar, and your HemoglobinA1c ( a measure of average blood sugars for last 3 months). Optimal levels (lowest risk) are a fasting blood sugar of 70-84 and Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1c) of less than 5%.
So how do you find out your numbers? You can call your health providers office and see if these tests were included in your last physical. Many providers do and could give you your numbers over the phone. If you don’t have recent records, you can also order both of these tests (in most states) online for a good price without a doctors order right here –
https://www.directlabs.com – I’ve used them repeatedly, no charge for blood draw at a Quest Lab near you. (Services not available in MD, NJ, NY and RI. )
You can google several others, but I haven’t used them, so can’t comment on them. You can also get glucometers at Walmart that let you check your own blood sugars multiple times for a very inexpensive investment.
If your numbers are higher than the optimal scores mentioned above, you can do yourself a favor by learning how to bring these numbers down through simple steps (See #3 below). If you would like a more in-depth assessment, using other easy to get data like your BMI and waist size, just use this link, https://bit.ly/MyInfectionRisk to download a free copy of my baseline assessment guide, complete with instructions and reference values.
P – Pick a Destination.
This means you need to prioritize the areas identified in step G (above) that impact your immune system directly and decide what to focus on changing first. Setting specific goals that are clear, time limited, and achievable are an important step. The scoring system in the baseline assessment guide can help you with that.
S – Select a Support System
It’s not only more fun, but also more effective to search out some support people in your circle that will help you be accountable for the changes you choose to make and will encourage and inspire you. This support can come from family, friends, social media groups, and sometimes workmates. The changes with the biggest impact on lowering blood sugars are these three areas—Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress Control.
Nutrition – The fastest way to lower blood sugars is with a whole food plant-based diet. Emphasizing legumes and veggies helps to make sure you are getting lots of fiber (excellent for keeping blood sugars from spiking after meals) and needed minerals. Avoiding refined oils is also important. Eat a variety of fruits, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Eat well at breakfast and lunch with a light supper and no snacks.
Exercise – Short, high intensity intermittent exercise just before breakfast can decrease insulin resistance, according to several studies. Doing 15-20 minutes of light exercise RIGHT AFTER each meal helps to prevent the post meal spike, bringing down your HgbA1c. A total of 1 hour walking or 10,000 steps a day is a good goal.
Stress Control – last but not least, stress and anxiety have to be managed. Many people see a direct rise in blood sugar when stressed, not associated with eating anything. It has to do with the way our stress hormones affect our body’s metabolism. So what is the best way to manage stress? It all boils down to our choices about what we think. You see, I believe that it’s not the conditions (my environment, situation, what other people do or say) that determine my emotions. It’s HOW I THINK ABOUT what is happening that creates my feelings. It’s my response to my environment, not my situation, that determines my stress and anxiety levels. Sometimes we need to take the time to see how our beliefs are impacting our emotions. If we are hanging onto false beliefs ( I don’t deserve good things, I don’t really have great value, I have no control in my life) we experience increased stress and anxiety with their negative emotions of fear, anger, and sadness. My personal experience is that trusting in an All Powerful God who loves me and cares for me and will never leave me is a HUGE anti-anxiety belief. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the sprit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”.
For more tools and resources to control blood sugars and boost your immunity, just give me a call, I’ll be happy to talk to you! And of course it’s free and no obligation. Just schedule the call when it works best for you right here — https://theharvestcook.as.me/4Lucia
We don’t have to be socially distant, as long as we are distancing physically, right?!