Are you wondering what to purchase when the stores are packed with panicking people but completely devoid of packaged items on the shelves?
During this challenging time when so many are scared and uncertain what to do, we need more voices and thought leaders to help us find our calm amid the chaos.
By no means am I downplaying the magnitude of what we’re facing now during the coronavirus pandemic. But, if we allow what we see in the news and read online to get the better of our imaginations, we could easily find ourselves in fight or flight mode most, or possibly all, of the time.
Ultimately, all we can do is take the proverbial bull by the horns, prepare, and then make a plan.
Which is precisely why it’s important, now more than ever, that we integrate whatever it is that will help each of us to find our calm.
Meditate. Do yoga. Move your body. Go outside and get fresh air. And, importantly, eat real food to boost our immune systems, thereby boosting our body’s natural ability to ward off whatever may come our way.
Foods to Keep Your Immune System Strong
Below is my recommended list of what to stock up on, much of which can be purchased at a local farmer’s market or grocery store.
- WATER: Unless you’ve already gone through the exercise of having a filtration system put into your home, having a stock of clean water in glass bottles is the absolute first necessity.
- BONE BROTH: A properly sourced and prepared bone broth is key to supporting our gut biome and therefore helping our bodies stay strong and fight inflammation. Given the likelihood that the farmer’s markets will close soon, I’ve started serving my customers by delivery in the L.A. area; dig deep in your area if you’re not making your own and are unsure of where to get a good option. The local butcher is the best place to start. Look for organic, 100-percent grass-fed and finished and/or pasture-raised on the labeling; a thick, gelatinous consistency; and a delicious taste in order to ensure you’re getting the best option where you live.
- FATS: Try coconut oil, MCT, avocado oil, and grass-fed tallow. These are shelf stable, and products you’ll use anyway, so it’s not money wasted in any sense of the word. Not only are these items an essential part of an eating plan that is suitable for someone who opts for a low-carbohydrate Paleo Diet approach, they’re delicious and satiating—just what we’d need in the event of an emergency.
- PROTEINS: Think grass-fed and finished ground beef, short ribs and steaks, bison, pasture-raised chicken and ground turkey, pasture-raised pork chops, pork butt or shoulder. These are just a short list of some of the proteins you can purchase at your farmer’s market and then freeze to have on hand, defrosting one-by-one as needed. If you don’t have access to a farmer’s market, check out online sources such as US Wellness Meats.
- FRESH PRODUCE: While plain, organic frozen veggies are an option, you’ll save significantly if you can buy locally, then chop, flash steam or blanche, and freeze them on your own. Some of my favorites include broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, and asparagus. Berries, naturally low in sugar and high in fiber, freeze well. Fresh garlic is a natural antioxidant, and oregano is a natural anti-microbial to boot!
- SEA VEGGIES: These are something important to all of us, not just those dealing with autoimmune disease. (For an autoimmune protocol, eating seaweed and the like is essential as it provides necessary dietary iodine which balances the sulfur we get from crucifers, thereby supporting healthy thyroid function.) Shelf stable, sea veggies will last for long periods of time in our pantries as well.
- NUTS: If you’re not following an autoimmune protocol (AIP), raw, organic, sprouted walnuts, in particular, can be good non-perishables to have on hand.
- PROBIOTICS: A healthy gut biome is always a goal, but especially now when we want to make ourselves as resilient as possible there’s advantages to adding a top-quality probiotic to your routine. I like . Unless you have specific recommendations to avoid probiotics from your doctor (in some instances, those with already compromised immune systems may need to be more cautious before starting probiotics.)Mega Spore. Try some for yourself, unless you have specific recommendations to avoid probiotics from your doctor. (In some instances, those with already compromised immune systems may need to be more cautious before starting probiotics.)
- BPA-FREE CANNED WILD FISH: This is certainly a time where the ‘in a pinch’ category comes into play. Typically, I’m not one to recommend much of anything that comes in a can, but given the times we are in at the moment, having small, freshwater fish in your pantry that are naturally low in mercury is a smart idea. Brands such as Wild Planet offer these options in BPA-free cans.
- DRIED / POWDERED PROTEINS: As with the canned fish, right now, high quality grass-fed and finished jerky, biltong, and even Epic brand bars are good options to have on hand. Be sure to read the ingredients list to ensure the products don’t contain soy. (Soy is often used as a tenderizing agent.) Protein powders may also come in handy; again, read the ingredient list to make sure you know what you’re eating and that nothing you’re about to ingest is going to contribute to inflammation, such as whey, soy, or untoward oils.
To make sure your immune system is running at full speed right now, there is another category to consider: supplements. Vitamin D, zinc, colloidal silver, and glutathione are some of the basics that can further boost all the mega-health benefits you’re getting from unprocessed foods.
Now That You’re Prepared
Once you’ve got all the items on your list ticked off, you’ve done everything you can on when it comes to healthy food to prepare for what may come.
At that point, employ common-sense behaviors—washing hands and keeping our distance to others. Then, if we feel like we’re beginning to fight off a bug, we are truly as armed as we can be.
Finally, find your calm.
It’s worth reiterating: Whether it’s mediating using an app, learning thought meditation, reading up on the work of whichever positive thought leaders with whom you resonate, attending the church you belong to, or simply doing whatever it is that helps you feel connected to something bigger, do it and do it in a big way.
Refuse to let the negative messaging get the better of you; it is a choice well within your control. The more we channel positivity around us, the more we can share it with those around us, be they few or many.
We will get through this.
For more tips on how to prepare and stock up during this time, check out Lauren Fellows recent article on Preparing During Covid-19.