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Lessons From A Pandemic - Part 1 By Dr. Jason Sonners

Lessons From A Pandemic – Part One

by Dr. Jason Sonners

As we welcome June and hope for some nice weather, we also finally see some of New Jersey’s shelter-in-place restrictions lifting. While the health and economic effects of COVID-19 are far from over, the intensity of the spreading seems to at least be slowing.

I literally have hundreds of thoughts regarding this situation that I hope to share over the next few months, but I’ll begin with this blog post.

There are still so many unanswered questions. Where did this virus come from? Are there things we could have done differently? What can we learn from our national response? Was it appropriate? Not enough? Too aggressive? Why did other countries seem to have better infection and death rates? What did other countries do in terms of sheltering or not, and what were the results of those responses?

These answers are so important because, unfortunately, this is probably not the last time something like this happens. The more we discuss the answers to these questions the more likely we will have improved responses in the future. In the meantime, what can YOU do right NOW to improve your personal possibilities?

While the list of unknowns is very long, the list of knowns is quite short, so let’s begin there. We know this is a virus. We know where in your lungs and epithelium it attacks. We know the stronger our immune system is, the better our response will be; and we know the more “other” conditions we have, the poorer our outcomes will be. Is this a black and white approach? No. Like so many illnesses it is about hedging your bets and doing the best you can to improve your odds and outcomes.

Since the onset of this virus, I have been asked by hundreds of patients what they should or could be doing. My answers today are the same as they were three months ago and focus on two conditions guaranteed to weaken your immune system:

Increased Stress – There is tons of research showing prolonged stress responses weaken our ability to handle infections. While we cannot simply remove our stress, we can work on our responses to stress. Hobbies, meditation, breathing exercises are all great ways to reduce our stress response. We offer guidance at Core Therapies, so please talk with your provider to explore options that may work for you.

Blood Glucose imbalance – This is true at all times, but specifically for COVID-19, which seems to have a much worse response in those with obesity and diabetes. Learning how to balance your blood sugar properly through diet is critical for improving the immune system and helping to improve your body’s response to infection. We offer guidance here too, so again talk with your provider to explore these options as well. We do have a variety of solutions.

In these times, there are also specific supplements to consider that will help BUILD a healthy immune response. These recommendations are very similar to the strategies we use during flu seasons.

For building a strong immune system:

Vitamin D – improves our body’s ability to fight infection (among many other roles)
Vitamin C – plays a huge role in improving our ability to fight infection and balance inflammation
and oxidation
Zinc – another key player in immune function and fighting viral infections

For improving your ability to fight infection:

AHCC – one of our favorite immune system stimulants
Zinca Stop – a specific form of zinc utilized for fighting viral infections
Glutathione – helps keep our inflammatory response more balanced
Quercetin – improves our inflammatory response as well as our ability to move zinc into our cells

Ask us about the types and amounts of supplements that should be used to help ensure a strong immune system.

Watch for Part Two of Lessons From A Pandemic coming soon!

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

When The Goal Outweighs The Craving

When the Goal Outweighs the Craving
by Dr. Meagan McGowan

I have notoriously struggled with goal setting and personal accountability. I believe somewhere in my blueprint, I was cyclically wired to remain personally accountable for only two weeks at a time. Along the journey I figured out that I am an Obliger (thank you The Four Tendencies). One of the greatest characteristics of Obligers is that they prefer to answer to someone, let another person help hold them accountable. When I stopped seeing this as a negative trait and welcomed it as a tool for personal growth, things changed. Reaching out to others, setting vulnerability aside, and working on clear communication has made a world of difference in self-exploration and growth.

Fast-forward to four months ago, one of these conversations needed to happen. Two months earlier, my mind and body were absolutely going through a shift that I could only imagine was hormonal in nature. At just over a year post partum, I lived with this supposed hormonal shift for two months, kept quiet trying to self analyze and figure out what was going on. When I was overcome with negative emotion and a mindset very unlike that of my own, I was scared and I knew it was time to reach out. Thankfully some of my closest friends are also some of my health care providers who I entrust with my health and the health of my family. In conversation, I shared the heaviness I was experiencing both physically and mentally. With open ears and a very open heart my friend suggested several things, including an approach to self-healing I had not yet fully grasped. Knowing that we both have tremendous respect for the body’s ability to heal, we agreed that spending some time really cleaning up some of its systems would benefit my overall state of health.

For the last four months my health conscious lifestyle has shifted a bit. It has taken on new challenges, happily, and a new perspective, a lot of which surrounds the idea of “food as fuel.“ The conversation in our house has changed as we self explore what works for us and what doesn’t. I have been intermittent fasting for three months, consciously shifting from needing food packed in my purse, diaper bag, car’s center console and for breaks between patients. This was a choice I made, with guidance, after my very vulnerable conversation. I read a lot and really wanted to understand why intermittent fasting is encouraged for some people. Above all, this was a chance to shift my body from being on the detrimental glucose roller-coaster, to getting back in touch with mindful eating. To allow my cells to really detox and rid themselves of toxins enough to rebuild stronger and better! I will happily share after only a few weeks of beginning intermittent fasting, closing down my eating window, and upping my fat consumption, I truly felt recharged. There has not been the slightest shift to negative thought in the last several months. My immune system has withstood some serious mommy snuggles of sick and very feverish kiddos. I have not had a single craving for sugar, which is just amazing given my relationship with that drug for all of my years! In the moments where the cookie trays are sitting there on a shiny pedestal, my mindset has again and again proven resilient. I felt confident to dive a little deeper, joining Drs. Sonners’ Stemnotic Solutions Program.

Right before the Program began, my husband and I had our blood drawn to truly measure the potential benefits of our efforts throughout the Program. I am excited to see where this takes us and how it will resonate with us as the weeks build. There has been an overall gratifying feeling with my acts of self-care. Cravings have subsided and goals have remained intact. As a family, our vision of food and its strong presence in our life is shifting. We are not eating any less or depriving ourselves, but we are changing the emotion around it. I think it is so important that we all remain open to changes in approaches to health. Whether initiated from a conversation, an experience, or from an educational platform, we constantly question and re-evaluate, always striving to be our healthiest and happiest.