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Doctor’s 11 Tips to Boost Your Immune System and Stay Healthy in This COVID-19 World

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

We all know by now that some of the best ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are to focus on things like social isolation, self-quarantining, washing hands and not touching our faces. But what else can you do to boost the immune system, optimize your health and stay safe?

Dr. Alok Trivedi is a human behavior and performance expert who has spent years studying the neurological and psychological connection to physical health. His patients have been asking him how they can stay healthy and protect themselves.

Here are his 11 tips: 

  • Drink a lot of water: Staying hydrated is always good advice. As it relates to COVID-19, water can help washout the body and help rid it of viruses. Coconut water is also a good alternative because it has a lot of potassium. When your sodium and potassium levels are in balance, you’re going to be healthier.
  • Get enough vitamins and minerals: In other words, eat a lot of fruits and veggies, especially green vegetables. It is best to get the nutrients you need through real living food, but during this pandemic you can also supplement with the use of high-quality vitamins and minerals.
  • Boost your immune system with vitamin C, zinc and echinacea. Of course, always talk to your own personal physician first. This can help you avoid the Coronavirus and fight it off if you do get it.
  • Drink apple cider vinegar: Drink one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with water each day. The health benefits are many, but as it relates to Coronavirus, it will detox your body, boost the immune system, clear your sinuses and increase your energy.
  • Avoid sugar and processed foods: This is also good advice in general, but even more so during these times. Sugar will proliferate a virus. It causes inflammation and obesity. If you can’t cut it out altogether, eliminate it as much as you can. Similarly, avoid processed foods and stick to living foods which will aid in digestion.
  • Stay away from acidic foods like meat: Now is a good time to reduce your meat consumption or cut it out all-together. Too much meat brings acidity to the body, or a condition called acidosis. This has a host of side effects that can make it tougher to fight off viruses like COVID such as respiratory issues, kidney problems, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath and more.
  • Avoid dairy: Dairy has casein which some people are allergic to. This can cause havoc on your digestive system and brings all kinds of unpleasant side effects, reactions and lower the immune system. Stick to water when possible.
  • Don’t drink OJ: While Orange Juice may be high in vitamin C which can boost the immune system, it’s also loaded with sugar. opt for eating a real orange instead which is much healthier and has loads of vitamin C.
  • Get a lot of Aerobic exercise. The idea is to get the blood pumping and oxygenate the lungs. One of the simplest ways to do this is to go for a walk every single day. It can help protect you from viruses and is great for your overall health.
  • Avoid family arguments: If you are avoiding crowds and self-quarantining, you are going to be spending a lot of time around family. Tensions can quickly rise and you can become stressed. Too much stress lowers the white blood cell count, and white blood cells are needed to fight off infection. Focus on coming together and appreciating the time together.
  • Do something productive toward combating the virus: Whether it’s social isolation, self-quarantining, washing your hands, wiping down surfaces in your home, doing something that gives you a sense of accomplishment toward beating the virus is a good immune system boost. It also changes your mental attitude for the better knowing you have taken steps to protect yourself and your family.

Five Easy Ways to Lower Your Sodium Intake

 

Nine out of 10 Americans consume nearly double the amount of sodium that is recommended by the American Heart Association. Consuming excess amounts of sodium can cause high blood pressure and put you at risk for stroke and heart failure. Additionally, children are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure if they eat a high-sodium diet. In honor of National Nutrition Month, the health experts at Envolve, an integrated healthcare solutions company, have put together five low-sodium substitutes to keep your food tasting great without the extra salt.

Sub in Soup. 

Avoid canned or pre-packaged soups. Foods containing 140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving are considered low-sodium products, but you need to be mindful of how many servings are actually in your typical meal. If you are looking for a substantial reduction, you should consider making your own soup and using bone, vegetable, or mushroom broth. In some cases, the reduced sodium or low-sodium options end up being significantly better than the traditional broth, but making your own vegetable broth guarantees a low-sodium option allowing you to add salt to your taste. To make your own broth at home, take some veggies or veggie scraps from other meals of the week, put them into a large pot, cover them with water, and simmer for about 45-60 minutes. Then strain out the liquid and use in your favorite soup recipe.

Ditch the Bread.

Even though it may not taste salty, bread is actually a large contributor to your daily salt intake. A slice of bread can contain anywhere from 200 to 400 milligrams of sodium per slice, even whole grain options. Comparatively, corn tortillas may have only five milligrams of sodium (depending on the brand). Or consider cutting the bread all together and get creative with lettuce wraps or an eggplant “bun!”

Revisit Veggies. 

Not all vegetables are created equal! Even in their fresh state, some vegetables such as beets, carrots, and spinach are higher in sodium than others. Some naturally low or no sodium options are broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers. While canned vegetables are very convenient, you have to be aware of the amount of salt per can. Look for the no salt or canned in water options. Fresh is best, but if you are looking for something out of season head to the frozen section. Frozen vegetables typically have no salt added as long as they do not have any added sauce or butter.

Pick Protein. 

Meat on its own has a higher, natural sodium content. But you can save on sodium with the type of meat and how you prepare it. Chicken and turkey without the skin are your best bet for lower sodium meats. For beef and pork, leaner cuts are best. When preparing, use low-sodium/no salt seasonings and try to avoid adding iodized salt (also called table salt). Repurpose your freshly cooked meat by slicing it thin to use in place of deli meat. Avoid prepackaged lunchmeat, which contains a significant amount of salt to keep it fresh. Instead, go to your deli counter and get baked, low-sodium chicken and turkey breast for a reduced-sodium option.

Sub the Sauce. 

Bottled and prepared sauces are typically higher in sodium. Preparing your own substitute is your best bet for ensuring lower salt per serving. Try replacing Alfredo sauce with a simple creamy cauliflower sauce created by steaming cauliflower then pureeing it with a bit of skim milk. For red sauce, go with just the tomatoes or pureed steamed tomatoes. Use these sauces on pasta or prepared meats to keep sodium intake down and flavor up. Bottled salad dressing averages 300 mg of sodium per two tablespoons! Sub it out using extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or try a vinaigrette or balsamic, which are typically lower in sodium than creamy dressings.

About the author:

Envolve, Inc.® is a family of health solutions, working together to make healthcare simpler, more effective and more accessible for everyone. As an agent for change in healthcare, Envolve is committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. For more information, please visit our website www.envolvehealth.com.

Psychiatrist’s 7 Tips for Staying Calm During Coronavirus Coverage

**This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

With so much talk about the Coronavirus, mental health experts warn it can take a toll on our mental health and well-being, and really bother young children that don’t fully understand what is going on. How can you best deal with all the attention around the Coronavirus and not let it impact you emotionally?

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a child and adult psychiatrist who is founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry (www.sarangapsychiatry.com) offers offers these seven tips to keep in mind:

  • Get your information from reliable sources: The Coronavirus is definitely something to stay informed about, but make sure you are getting accurate information from trusted sources. What your neighbors and social media are saying, while perhaps well-intentioned, may not always be correct. Follow the advice and listen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your own personal physician.
  • Put it in perspective: Not to minimize the Coronavirus in anyway, but putting things in perspective is a great way to reduce anxiety. For example, you have a much greater chance of catching the Flu right now or being injured in a car accident than you do of contracting the Coronavirus. Familiarizing yourself with facts and statistics can help you better understand your risks and the bigger picture.
  • Being prepared minimizes worry: Just like with the Flu or common cold, there’s nothing you can do to 100 percent guarantee you won’t become sick, but you can take steps to stay healthy, protect yourself and minimize worry. Wash your hands with soap and hot water throughout the day. Limit contact with anyone who is currently sick. Avoid putting your hands in your mouth and touching your face. Get plenty of rest. Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
  • Focus more on the things around you: Everyone should stay informed and know the latest with the Coronavirus, but perhaps one of the best things you can do for your own mental health and well-being is stay even more focused on your own little world around you. Sitting in front of the TV all day to track where the virus is and how many people are currently infected isn’t doing you any good and will lead to excess worry. Stay involved in your work, your family and friends, your personal hobbies and interests.
  • Keep young children calm: It’s easy for young kids to get easily frightened if they catch news about the Coronavirus. Don’t lie about it and say that it’s nothing because 1. You want to maintain their trust and 2. They will more than likely continuing to hear about it at school or from friends. Let them know it is a real thing, but always keep the conversation positive in tone and reinforce that they are generally very safe.
  • Reduce your anxiety: Lowering your anxiety levels is always important. If you find yourself feeling more stressed or anxious than usual, and suspect this is due to worry over the Coronavirus, it’s even more important that you take steps to relax and calm down. Take some deep breaths in through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and slowly breathe out through your mouth. Try some muscle relaxation exercises where you tense each muscle group for a few seconds and then release. Finally, focus on your internal dialog and remind yourself while it’s important to stay informed, there’s no need to cross the line to constant worry and panic.
  • Get professional help if you need it: If you are always thinking about the Coronavirus lately; if you are having a difficult time with everyday tasks like eating, sleeping and working; or if you are withdrawing from situations and isolating yourself, please get professional help. A mental health professional can help you take control of your anxiety. There is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Diet Tips to Improve Your Health

 

What you eat and drink has a significant impact on your physical and mental health. Eat too many unhealthy, fatty, greasy, or sweet foods, and you don’t just gain weight. You risk long-term conditions like heart disease. You compromise your immune system, leaving yourself prone to more coughs and colds throughout the year. You start to feel sluggish, tired, and lethargic, and your mood suffers. 

Conversely, when you eat a healthy and balanced diet, with a few mood-boosting treats here and there, you maintain a healthy weight. Your mental health improves, your confidence increases, and your immune system gets stronger. When you eat well and limit unhealthy foods, you significantly reduce the risk of many severe health conditions, both now and in the future. 

But, knowing what you should and shouldn’t be eating can be complicated. Advice and recommendations change all of the time, and it can be hard to know what to do for the best. Here are some tips to help you keep it simple. 

Add a Supplement

If your diet is particularly low in vitamins and healthy nutrients, a vitamin supplement can help to keep things balanced. This can be especially useful if you follow a meat-free diet or another strict eating plan. If you suffer from aches, pains, or stress, edibles canada can be an effective addition to your diet. 

Increase Your Vitamin C

Vitamin C is exceptionally important, especially when it’s cold and we’re all fighting off winter colds and bugs, or thinking about more serious conditions that might be out there. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and can keep you fit and well, or give you a boost when you need it. Vitamin C supplements are great, but with small changes to your diet, you might not need them. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges and other citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, melons, kiwi, and cauliflower, among others. 

Enjoy Some Oatmeal

Oatmeal has many health benefits. It is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. It can reduce inflammation and improve digestion, and even reduce your risk of heart disease. Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast to start your day right.

Drink More Water

Your body is made up of huge amounts of water. But, throughout an average day, you lose tons of it. When you sweat more, perhaps because of exercise or when it is hot outside, you lose even more. This can lead to dehydration, and stop all of your bodies functions working at their best. Try to drink more water every day to reduce the risk of dehydration and keep your body working at its best all of the time. 

Reduce Alcohol

On the other hand, drinking alcohol limits your body’s ability to work at its best. Your heart rate rises; your blood pressure increases, and you have a harder time getting to sleep. Decreasing your alcohol intake even slightly can boost your short and long term health. 

Eat a Wider Variety Of Foods

A balanced and varied diet, with a big focus on fresh food, fruit, and veg, is the best way to get all of the nutrients that you need to improve your health. Try to eat a varied diet, with different meals and ingredients, instead of rotating the same easy meals all of the time.

Have your own personal masseuse with Ryker Roll

 

What were you resolutions/goals for the New Year? Was eating better, drinking more water and working out one of them?

I’ve been trying to make more conscious decisions and better choices when it comes to eating (I haven’t lost any weight as of yet). As for exercising, I can honestly say that I have made zero attempt at that. Maybe when the weather gets warmer I’ll go for walks.

We have a gym here in our condo complex. It’s not that big, but it has a treadmill and exercise bike, to name a few.

I’ve always told myself that if/when I can lose some weight and feel less subconscious about myself and my weight, that I would go to our gym and work out. So far, that has not happened. But it is a goal of mine.

With working out comes aches and pains (sometimes, but especially for “newbies”). Actually, getting older comes with it’s own sets of aches and pains. I swear I sound like a breakfast cereal when I get out of bed in the morning – snack, crackle and pop!

My husband often gets a pain in his lower back when he shovels snow. Thankfully we haven’t had much snow this winter.

When one of us needs a massage, we rely on the other to help us out. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible since we both work outside of the home.

We do have some massager, such as one you lean up on with your back while sitting in a chair. That massager is only good for your back. It doesn’t help other parts of your body. It’s also very big and bulky and requires  an outlet to plug it into.

Let me introduce you to a handy little massage tool that you can take anywhere (even when you travel). It also does not require electricty and you can use it on your own. It’s called Rykr Roll.

Rykr Roll features both function and innovation, with a stylish on-the-go approach, Rykr Roll’s handheld self-massage product is designed for people to pinpoint pain, and easily apply acupressure and massage to the muscles, promoting better oxygen flow and blood circulation to achieve optimal pain and tension relief – even alleviating myofascial tenderness.

Rykr Roll can also be warmed or cooled depending on what your body needs.

I was sent a Rykr Roll to review.

Like I said, I don’t work out, but I do have aches and pains. My husband and I have slept on a sofa bed for the past 19 years… need I say more? If you’ve ever slept on a sofa bed for even one night, you know how horribly uncomfortable they are.

Rykr Roll is available in different product designs and colors. The one I receive to review is the Myro Rykr Roll.

This brief video shows the Rykr Roll in action.

 

I am currently suffering with tendinitis in my shoulder. The Rykr Roll can’t “fix it” (I needed a cortisone injection into the shoulder joint – OUCH!), but using the product chilled does make my arm feel better when it’s hurting, especially on my bicep muscle. I just pop the Rykr Roll into the freezer for 10+ minutes, then I use the “ball” end to roll it up and down my shoulder and bicep. It’s something I do for myself. I don’t need anyone to do it for me. That means, when my arm hurts and I’m home (while hubby is at work), I can use the Rykr Roll without assistance.

As you can see in the video, Rykr Roll can be used on just about any part of your body. It can be used to ease muscle pain, or to help increase blood circulation.

Dare I say it also just feels good, especially after a long day at work. You don’t need to be in pain or recover from a work out. It simply feels good.

I like to use it on the bottom of my feet. My husband can’t stand the bottom of his feet touched, but I love to roll the Rykr Roll back and forth on my sore feet. It feels really good (especially when it’s cooled).

I have not tried the Rykr Roll warm yet. Its made of metal (ball ), so it cannot be put into the microwave.

Rykr Roll carries other products and colors.

The Ryker Roll I received came in a velvet bag for storage.

You can take the Ryker Roll with you to the gym, work, or when traveling. It’s small in size (about as big as your hand) and lightweight.

No batteries or electricity is required to utilize the Rykr Roll.

I keep the Rykr Roll in the bathroom closet, because you never know when you or someone in your household might need it.

If you are interested in learning more about this or other Rykr Roll products, visit RykrRoll.com.  The products can be purchased on Amazon and range in price from about $20-$30.

The brand can also be found on social media. Their links are found on the bottom of their website.

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinion expressed is my own and not influenced in any way. 

Give yourself a “boost” with Boost Oxygen

 

Do you watch Shark Tank? That is one of my “guilty pleasure” television shows. My husband thinks it’s boring, but he’ll watch it because he knows I find it entertaining. Some of the products are so off-beat whereas others are truly genius. You just never know what the next big thing will be.

I’ve also reviewed a few products over the years that were featured on Shark Tank. One of which was Tipsy Elves.

Not too long ago I saw the episode where Boost Oxygen appeared. The brand worked out a million dollar deal with Mr. Wonderful himself, Kevin O’Leary. I was very impressed by not only the huge deal, but also by the product. It seemed very interesting to me.

Boost Oxygen is 95% pure Aviators Breathing Oxygen, in a lightweight, portable, easy to use can.

Did you know that every cell in your body is designed to burn oxygen–it’s the basic fuel for cell metabolism. Cut back on oxygen and all of those cellular processes become sluggish… you start to feel fatigued or short of breath. If you are a jogger/runner, I’m sure you know what I mean. You can also experience shortness of breath hiking to high elevations.

Less oxygen equates to cells losing the energy they need to repair DNA. Your immune system begins to weaken. Your risk of becoming sick or contracting disease escalates. We NEED oxygen. There is no doubt about that.

I was sent some Boost Oxygen cans to review.

I am not a runner and I don’t hike up high elevations, but I was curious about Boost. Pure Oxygen in a can? Come one… you know you are just as intrigued as I was.

As per the brand;

Boost Oxygen manufactures portable, light-weight, oxygen canisters for use in sports, fitness, health and wellness, high altitude, hangovers and fatigue.

Boost Oxygen is 95% Pure Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen compressed into 3 convenient size aluminum canisters for any non-Medical use.  Our supplemental Oxygen is available in aroma-less Natural (no aromatherapy added), Peppermint, Menthol-Eucalyptus, Pink Grapefruit and our new Organic Rosemary ‘Think Tank’ product.

For Pocket Size canisters, remove tamper-evident plastic and remove cap. Place up to mouth, press button firmly and inhale. For Large and Medium size canisters, place mask under nose and over mouth. Press trigger down to activate flow. Breath in through the mouth.

Boost Oxygen is pressure filled only into the can (sort of like a tire). No aerosols or propellants are used. As the can depletes, the pressure of the oxygen flow from the can will also deplete until finally empty. When the oxygen no longer flows, the can is empty.

Interestingly enough, Boost Oxygen is also offered in different scents; Peppermint, Pink Grapefruit, Menthol-Eucalyptus and Natural (no scent).

I received three cans of Boost Oxygen – Small, Medium and Large.

The small bottle features a inhaler piece that you put in your mouth to inhale the oxygen. It looks a lot like an inhaler that people with asthma use.

The medium and large cans feature small mouth pieces that you place over your mouth to inhale the oxygen.

Boost Oxygen is not intended to treat medical conditions. It’s meant for recreational use.

This video by Boost Oxygen explains the product in more detail, as well as how to use it.

 

I’m not an athlete, and I don’t visit high elevations. But I was still curious about Boost Oxygen.

Honestly, you don’t really taste or notice anything weird when you use the product.

Boost Oxygen is easy enough to use. Initially my kids thought it was very funny when I placed the Boost Oxygen mask on my mouth take a few breaths. It does look strange.

I haven’t really noticed too much of a difference, but I will say that the Menthol-Eucalyptus scent does perk me up when I use it. I keep Boost Oxygen on my desk and for those occasions when I am feeling sluggish, I’ll grab the can, take a few breaths and it does seem to perk me up. I think the scent might have a lot to do with that. You can smell it, but you don’t really taste it.

I was also sent a can called Think Tank. It’s scented with Rosemary. As per the brand;

Rosemary oil has been used for centuries as aromatherapy for cognitive support. From the scholars of ancient Greece to the plays of Shakespeare to current aromatherapy infusers, Rosemary appears time and again. Modern studies have found that Rosemary aroma can increase short term memory up to 75%. We combined this traditional herb with 95% pure oxygen for the good of your brain. Other independent studies have shown that improved oxygen intake can have incredible benefits such as enhanced mood, memory, energy levels, and reaction time. Combining the Rosemary aroma and Pure Oxygen combines the two most effective, all natural inhalable cognitive supporters.

Just like with the Menthol-Eucalyptus, the Rosemary also perks me up. I’m not really sure if it effects my short term memory. What it does it perk me up and helps me feel less sluggish and able to get blog work done (which is why I keep it on my desk).

I think it’s also important that we stop and take some deep breaths from time to time. Breathing (deep breaths) can help you to release stress, regain calmness and peacefulness. I try to practice deep breathing from time to time (when I stop and think about it).

I’m not really sure if this product helps out athletes and people who are in high elevations, but for me, the scented products do seem to be helping me.

If you are interested in learning more about Boost Oxygen, visit BoostOxygen.com. The brand can also be found on social media. Their links on found on the bottom of their website.

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.