These last few months has been a time of fear for many. Fear of a great deadly virus. In reality, statistics have shown that this virus is no more deadly than the usual flus that circulate each fall and winter. I won’t elaborate on my views of what has transpired over the last few months, but I will say my fear, or lack thereof, comes down to my immune system. I rarely get sick.
Looking back, I am trying to think of when I was so sick I could not function and the last time I remember is around 2003 or 4. I literally had to have someone put food out for my dog because I couldn’t get out of bed. At the time I only had a farm dog and a couple inside cats. This was not even the flu but a stomach bug my daughters and I got after visiting family over Thanksgiving.
So what is an immune system, basically it it the body’s ability to fight off infection. (Here is where the disclaimer comes in. I am not a doctor, nor do I offer medical advice. Everything I discuss is based on personal experience) So how do you build up your immune system? (Again not medical advice, just my personal experience) In my opinion, the number 1 influence on how sick you will get is mindset. For me, I CANNOT get sick. I have 7 dogs, and numerous chickens and goats that need to be fed and cared for each day. I have no caretaker and no help from family, so 100% of their care depends on me. They all require feeding twice a day, one of the goats needs to be milked twice a day and during kidding season I ended up with baby goats in my living room that needed to be bottle fed. Do you get the picture? I can’t be laying in bed feeling sorry for myself expecting someone to take care of me. The animals don’t care how I feel, they want to be fed. What is your motivation/mindset for not getting sick?
In my opinion, the second factor in building your immune system is the food you eat. What is your diet like? Does it include fast food and processed food? Almost everything Americans eat is genetically modified, laden with glyphosate, and processed so much that it contains few nutrients. If you think the FDA is protecting what you eat, think again. We need to be mindful and educated on what we eat. One of the best books I have read recently is Hands Off My Food by Dr. Sina McCullough, she exposes the FDA as having fundamentally transformed our food supply which is in turn making us sick. While processed and pesticide laced foods deplete our immune system, organically grown and sustainably raised foods improve it. The closer you are to the original food chain the better. Organically home grown is the best food you can get.
Another factor to improving immunity is a connection to our soil. There has been a lot of research out recently as well as anecdotal evidence about the benefits of getting into the dirt. Plant flowers or a vegetable garden, touch the soil, feel it in your hands. Play with your dog outside, roll in the grass with the kids. One of the only forms of entertainment for most adults and children in this country are television and video games. In my opinion both hold little value. I hear people saying video games are so good for hand eye coordination. I say go out and pound a few nails in some wood and after smashing your fingers a few times you will learn hand eye coordination….and you will actually accomplish something tangible. Probably 90% of my waking hours during this lock down have been spent outside mostly in my garden. I have been happy to see so many families out walking and with their dogs over the last couple of months. I truly hope the trend remains.
The fourth factor in building immunity I have mixed feelings about, supplements. They can be a help but also a crutch if you do not have a good diet. For example, elderberry has been shown to improve immunity but while I wait for my trees to grow and bear fruit, I take elderberry supplements. While many supplements are good, there is little quality control and one should not substitute a pill for good nutrition. My belief is that the further away we get from food the way God gave it to us, the closer we get to sickness and chronic illness.
I have always been conscious of good health and nutrition, however, I regret the way I cooked for my family for many years. We ate a lot of processed foods and some fast food but it was more out of ignorance of what is actually in those food as well as not knowing how deficient of nutrients they were. Like many people I believed as long as it has approval of the FDA, and a nutrition label, it was safe for my family. And yes we were often sick.
My wish is for anyone who reads this to do your own research and to look into buying your foods as close to the source as you can. Grow your own food, buy at the local farmers market, support small organic producers. Look into sustainable agriculture. Just because food is on the grocery store shelves, does not mean it is safe to eat. A positive attitude goes a long way to keeping yourself healthy. Get off the sofa and out from in front of the television and outside. Get your hands in the dirt and revel in the sunshine on your face. Once you take control of your immune system, your fear of the virus will fade.
Peace and good health!
Genesis 1:11-12, 14-18