During this unprecedented time, I wanted to share some thoughts and resources. First, I want to wish you and your loved ones health and strength. Many of you may be experiencing anxiety or fear, frustration or stress, sadness or a deeper depression. As this experience is unchartered for all of us, there are no guidelines as to the normalcy of what to expect or our responses to the situation.
There are two dichotomous perspectives one can have, with a sliding scale and a lot of gray area, perhaps with regular shifts back and forth between them: a fatalistic, panicked paradigm or an optimistic, make-the-most-of-the-situation, proactive, silver-lining approach.
I want to reassure you that while this, too, shall pass, here are some ideas to consider to hopefully shift more of your thoughts into the latter outlook.
- This is the first time in history that we have faced not only a pandemic, but a situation where we have unprecedented access and communication to one another and the rest of the globe. I have spent hours listening to Scott Adams, who has been inspiring in many ways and shares this idea of a collective mind. All of our minds are connected via social media, and this is boosting aggregate human potential, allowing the best scientists, researchers, technology companies, and healthcare providers around the world to collaborate and solve these complex issues using a pooled “meta brain.” And solutions and innovations are indeed being made and science and healthcare will be better because of it.
2. This access also enables us to stay social while social distancing; to stay up-to-date, minute-by-minute on news, findings, guidelines, changes; and to even stay entertained with myriad podcasts, books, songs, workouts, movies, television shows, videos, education, and more.
3. This is an opportunity for Telehealth and online education options to grow exponentially, which enables so many to increase access to the best healthcare practitioners as well as to build new careers, add knowledge and skills to their repertoire, and so much more that we may not even yet recognize or be able to predict.
4. From a health perspective, we have an unexpected opportunity of involuntarily facing a Metabolic Winter. While we are encouraged to minimize social interactions, avoid travel, and to stay home as much as possible, this is an imposed guideline that may be biologically welcomed. While some may perceive the possibility of reduced food access for the first time in our lives, this may be an ideal time to embrace eating a little bit less, sticking to whole food staples (the vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices we always recommend), and making eating decisions a bit more conscientiously. Less dining out and fewer fast food forces many of us into uncharted territory of having to prepare food at home more than usual (or more than ever for some). This, together with fewer workplace and social obligations means more time in which to do so.
While we may not understand a lot about the coronavirus in terms of virality, lethality, and how it may mutate or evolve in humans, we can apply basic guidelines to optimizing immune function to decrease risk of infection and/or the recovery from infection. In terms of hygiene – and this is something I hope will be enforced more consistently heretofore, there are two main critical habits to implement adamantly: 1) Washing hands is crucial. With soap and friction for a longer-than-seemingly necessary period of time. At least 20 seconds. 2) And practice social distancing. A whole new concept (even a brand new term, if I’m not mistaken). Beyond avoiding crowds and gatherings, social distancing can (and should) also mean finally ending the rather vulgar, yet socially mandatory traditions of shaking hands and wearing shoes indoors (imagine where those shoes and hands have been). Instead, let’s get creative and bump elbows, offer a wai (the very polite Thai bow greeting), wave, or just use language when we meet and part ways, and let’s just throw on some slippers or socks instead of dragging the outside global cesspool inside our clean(ish) homes. (You can probably tell this is not a new passionate plea by me, a long-time, well-seasoned germaphobe.)
- If you are stuck at home, why not experiment with cooking healthful foods…some quarantine cookery? We not only have our books that are filled with delicious options made of everyday staple foods – The Healthspan Solution, Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiot’s Guide), and The Vegiterranean Diet – but I also have extensive recipe round-ups on my website, segmented into types of dishes (soups, salads, comfort foods, 5 ingredients or fewer, 30 minutes or less, bowls, dressings, gluten-free, breakfasts, snacks, desserts, and more. Plus, we have recipes from our new book featured on HealthspanSolution.com as well, where we will be blogging more regularly.
- Ray and I have a new podcast – called Science and Saucery – where we discuss nutrition, diet, fitness, weight loss, health, and much more. We interview people, including Penn Jillette and Drs. David Sinclair and Michael Greger, and have deep dive discussions among ourselves as well.
I also am personally trying to laugh and stay optimistic with my reading and viewing choices as much as possible (stand-up comedy always makes everything better, IMO), all while focusing on clients and developing lots of exciting new content (we have so many exciting projects coming, including automated transformation classes, mini classes, live streams on Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms, and much more). Stay connected via HealthspanSolution.com as well as social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) for regular alerts on all of these projects and let me know what you are looking for more of.
Here are a few funny memes my friends and clients sent me (credit unknown) that made me chuckle. Share your tips, memes, and favorite recipes in the comments below and on social media, too….what are you doing during this unique time?
And one more…
Wishing you the best in health with leafy green love,