Tag Archives: Coronavirus

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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.

 

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Have you been to the grocery store lately? Trying to find food for the week when the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has cleared the shelves of produce, canned foods, meat, and frozen meals (and forget even looking for toilet paper) has upended the prospect of finding most of the healthy foods we naturally reach for.

While it’s important to prepare for a two-week quarantine, it’s equally imperative to stay calm and find ways to get your nutrients and support your health while you hunker down.

 

The Best Foods to Buy Right Now (If You Can Find Them)

Now might not be the best time to grab that bag of spinach that goes bad before you have the chance to make a salad. What you want is non-perishable food that lasts at least a few weeks, and will help support a healthy immune system. Typically, the heartiest options have a strong peel to protect them, like root veggies.

Here are some of the best Paleo-friendly fresh foods to stock up on, and how to store them for the longest shelf live:

  • Garlic (6 months, whole and in a paper bag)
  • Winter squash (4 months, in a dark pantry)
  • Apples (2 months, in the fridge)
  • Beets (2 months, in the fridge)
  • Lemons, limes, and oranges (2 months, in the produce drawer of the fridge)
  • Onions (6 weeks, in a paper bag)
  • Sweet potatoes (5 weeks, in the pantry)
  • Carrots (5 weeks, in the produce drawer of the fridge)
  • Pomegranates (3 weeks, in the fridge)

 

What You Need

Packaged, canned food, and frozen foods are also great to grab right now. (They’re selling out fast too, but grocery stores should keep restocking.) Here are some great ones to look for:

  • Almond flour or coconut flour. People normally grab a sack of white flour and run for the checkout. But these Paleo staples have staying power—and they’re great for a variety of cooking needs while you’re stuck inside!
  • Nutritional yeast and other spices. They keep forever, so you might as well.
  • Dried mushrooms. What better time to buy dehydrated fungi? Just add water to as many as you need when you’re ready to cook, and watch them come back to life.
  • Frozen veggies. Granted, they might be hard to find right now. But if you grab whatever’s still available (aside from corn, of course), you’ll certainly find uses for them later.
  • Frozen fruit. Good frozen fruit can be healthier and more nutrient rich than the artificially ripened fruits found in the produce section of some grocery stores. Plus, they last a long time. A morning smoothie of frozen fruit, vegetables, and collagen is a healthy way to get through 14 days at home.
  • Stock and bone broth. They have a great shelf life, but once they’re opened, the clock starts ticking. Make a big batch of soup or stew—you can even freeze half of it if you can’t get through it all.
  • Collagen powder. A good way to get amino acids that doesn’t go bad.
  • Coconut milk. Trust me: You’ll need at least three cans to get through a good quarantine!
  • Meat. Did you know that some grocery stores are pulling out whole turkeys and hundred dollar free-range roasts from the depths of their back freezer? Don’t get caught up in the siren-call of overpriced and freezer burnt meat—instead, go the other way here. Grab whatever normal chicken, ribs, or beef you normally do, and then you can freeze what you don’t use yourself.
  • Eggs. These are hard to find right now, but guess what? The expensive, free-range eggs are usually still on the shelves. What better time to justify the splurge?

 

What Will Help You Get By

As the shelves get thinned out and many of us start facing a 14-day voluntary quarantine, we’ll have to start making sacrifices. The following are solutions that we wouldn’t recommend in good times, but will help you get through the worst of this virus:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables. They don’t compare to the fresh or frozen versions, but they last forever and don’t seem to be disappearing from the shelves as quickly.
  • Trail Mix. There’s a reason they call it trail mix. When hikers are facing days in the woods with no other potential sources of food, it will last them a long time. Mixes that use nuts and seeds last weeks and can still pack good nutrients.
  • Dried Fruit. No, it’s not much better than candy, but it is better. It also lasts. It’s not a bad idea to have some in stock, just in case.
  • Canned tuna, salmon and sardines. While canned fish often contains added salt and has other health concerns, it might be a good choice right now. If you select the right brands (read: sustainably sourced and responsibly packaged), you’ll get lots of good nutrients, healthy fats, and protein.

 

What You Don’t Need

Some people are going crazy for things you can live without (so don’t feel sad if they’re sold out.) Here are the things that are going fast, but you can pass up right now:

  • Bananas. Unless you’re planning on freezing them for smoothies or other things, they aren’t a reliable snack for long. They go brown way too quickly.
  • Avocados. What goes bad faster than a banana? An avocado. Unless you’re able to find super unripe varieties or plan on eating them the next day, you can go without.
  • Beans. Grocery stores are running out of beans fast, but since they aren’t Paleo and there are so many other, better options, you can skip the beans for now.
  • Pasta. Same here. I saw one grocery store the other day was completely sold out of every single pasta style! You don’t need to break your Paleo lifestyle for any linguine, even if you do happen to see some on the shelves.

 

What to Make With Your Haul

So you’ve got all (or most) of the food staples for your quarantine. Now what?

We’ve got lots of great, easy recipes that don’t require too many ingredients. Need some inspiration to get started? Here are some great recipes that stick with the easy-to-find basics. No eggs, fish, or avocado required!

  • Paleo Irish Stew: Here’s a great way to use some cheap stew meat, root veggies, and seasonings. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!
  • Paleo Chicken and Leek Soup: You can skip the zucchini here and add a few more carrots or other root vegetables instead.
  • Creamy Roasted Asparagus and Leek Soup: You can skip the spinach in this recipe—it’s more for color than anything else.
  • Paleo Bring-It-On Beef Stew: What better time to bring it on than the present? Again, skip the hard-to-find, quick-to-rot zucchini for now and use those dried mushrooms in place of the fresh creminis.
  • Paleo Fall Vegetable Salad: This recipe is forgiving for whatever you’ve got on hand, so no worries if you didn’t snag any Brussels sprouts. Now’s a great time to use that orange for a fresh vinaigrette!
  • Vegetable Coconut Curry: Here’s another easily customizable recipe. Just use whatever veggies and seasonings you have on hand, and let the coconut milk bring it all together.
  • Sheet Pan Pork and Asian Veggies: You don’t have to use ground pork here—ground chicken or even beef could work just as well.
  • Paleo Apple and Pomegranate Lemonade: If you’re tired of drinking plain water, blend up this easy lemonade with just four non-water staple ingredients.

 

Stay Safe. Get Food Delivery Services

If you don’t want to go to the grocery store (which is understandable for a number of reasons right now), you can still get meals delivered right to your doorstep. And you don’t have to interact with anyone!

It was recently reported that food delivery services like UberEats, Postmates, and GrubHub will offer contactless delivery. In other words, you just tell them where to leave the food (right on your welcome mat, perhaps) before you sneak a gloved hand around the door to snatch it up. Hey, you’re tipping online anyway, so why not?

Even if your food delivery service doesn’t offer the “contactless” option outright, you can always just instruct them in the notes section of your order.

It may or may not be difficult to find Paleo options nearby, depending on where you live. If you’re in SoCal like me, you know that there are healthy acai bowls and smoothies on every corner. If you’re in the Midwest or somewhere rural, it might be a bit trickier.

If you’re stuck in the land of chain restaurants, here are a few tips for what you can order that will keep you mostly Paleo. Many of these options are high in salt, but making sacrifices right now is in order:

  • Chipotle or Moe’s: Get a burrito bowl or salad with meat and guacamole, and skip the rice and beans.
  • Shake Shack or In-N-Out Burger: Get a burger with onions, skip the bun and cheese. And treat yourself to those sweet potato fries if they have them.
  • Panera: Get one of their signature salads, and add your own olive oil dressing at home.

 

The Bottom Line

If you’re normally the type to have your fridge filled to the brim with fresh leafy vegetables, it might be time to remind yourself that it’s okay to buy the canned stuff instead this time. If you have to get by for a time on pasta and beans, then that’s what you have to do, but hopefully with the suggestions above, that never becomes necessary. Plus, it’s totally acceptable to skip the hassle of cooking and just order contactless food delivery from your favorite restaurant.

The best lesson to remember from our Paleo ancestors is that they were adaptable. They often faced times of food scarcity and they ate what they could find. Let’s be calm and flexible in the face of panic right now. And if you need to take solace in an extra scoop of guac’ on your burrito bowl, well, who’s around to judge you right now anyway?

In Health,
Lauren

For more thoughts on how to prepare and keep your immune system strong with diet, check out this recent post by Nell Stephenson. 

 

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As the world comes to terms with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, a great deal of misinformation is appearing on the Internet that both over-hypes, in some cases, and under-emphasizes, in others, the impact of the virus. So, we at The Paleo Diet® want to address our readers’ concerns in the best way we know how: through a sound understanding of the science.

There are no physicians or experts of virology, epidemiology, or public health on our staff; therefore, we do not feel it is our place to try and educate you on these topics. However, we are scientists, and as we do with any issue that we are not experts in, we turn to other more informed researchers and practitioners to help us better comprehend an issue.

In that light, we want to direct you to other sources, both scientists and journalists, whom we trust, for more information on the coronavirus, generally, and on the proper response and the appropriate precautions to take.

We will add to this list as more information becomes available. And stay tuned for more from The Paleo Diet in the coming days on how you can continue to eat healthy even if food supplies are low in your area. We’ll also write about the best lifestyle choices to optimize your immune system in these challenging times.

Be well.

For reliable basic information on COVID-19, we recommend:


For a list of the things you should and should not do, see WebMD’s page.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the latest information here.

Johns Hopkins has provided a sophisticated global tracker. Just remember, testing is ramping up to effectively fight the disease. That’s going to rapidly increase confirmed cases as well.

For issues specific to children and mothers.

The New York Times has an overview of the disease and its potential to spread.

The New York Times has also created an interactive graphic that helps explain why slowing the spread of the infection is nearly as important as stopping it.

 

If you want to stay informed on the deeper science of COVID-19, we recommend:

For the latest research news, visit the Science Daily virus portal

For news from one of the most well-respected peer-reviewed journals, check out the coverage provided by Nature. 

Another trusted source for peer-reviewed information, Elsevier, has created a comprehensive coronavirus information center. 

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