By Dietitian Jill
I’m depressed, frustrated, sweltering, and downright defeated. Food-seeking and five pounds up. Yes …. even … me … the one who counsels people otherwise. So before I tell you how to start eating for immunity, I’d like to tell you what I did to get out of this fat and funk.
And lose more than five. First of all, I have to tell you that even dietitians who know how to deal with food lose track from time to time. Especially in these troubled times.
So I had to regroup and figure out what to do first. Even with tons of experience in changing my life (gee … I’ve been here for 75 years) you still have to start somewhere. And start small.
So … here’s what I did. First … I had to figure out my Heart-Reason for change. You can read more about what that is in the article, Setting up YOUR Health Self-Experiment.
In brief, it’s the deep a-ha of why you want to do this in the first place. For me, it’s about wanting to stay healthy and active until I’m 100.
And since I’m 75 and still truckin’ … I guess that might be a possibility. Since I already had my a-ha, I had then to figure out how I was going to do this.
OK … I had done intermittent fasting in the past. It had worked for me. So my first step was to tighten my “eating window” back to six hours.
And return to a stricter Paleo diet. I’d suggest that you make rules for yourself. And begin a Health Self-Experiment … you can set it up by reading and implementing the ideas in the article above and the second in the series, Finishing YOUR Health Self-Experiment.
It’s Not the Food … It’s the Plan
In other words, planning is key. I’d already done this plan. So it was easy to go back to it.
But if you’re just starting out, there are actually two starting places. First, you gotta figure out that a-ha … what will drive you to start and keep going.
Second, if you know what you want to do but you can’t figure out how to do it, Do Your Homework. Let’s now talk about boosting your immunity. The first thing might be to read my IMMUNE BOOST PLAN Ebook.
Read it carefully ,,, focusing on the question “Where do I Start?”. Trust me … something will pop into your imagination as a starting point. For example … going Gluten Free might strike your fancy.
And the resultant Health Self-Experiment might be to replace all your bread, pasta, cereal, and other grain products with Gluten Free ones. Or read more about going Gluten Free … read my book Gluten Free in 5 Days.
Any way you do it … make a plan … define what you will or won’t do … start out very easy by replacing all of your bread with Gluten Free bread. Or jump right in … make a plan to go totally Gluten Free (now that we’re mostly in the house and cookin’ this should be easy) for a trial month and see how that feels.
Set Up Your Own Plan …
I’m CONSTANTLY counseling people on how to change their eating plan (I HATE the word diet … it has the word “die” in it). And what’s the bottom line? Set up your own plan.
Want to set up your OWN Health Self-Experiment? I’d recommend that you read the articles above first. But here’s the link for the worksheet.
One of the great ways to do plans is to do something for a finite period of time. So if you want to go Gluten Free all-in … do it for a month. After that … re-evaluate and see if you want to continue.
And consider this … what benefits do you feel you’ve gotten from the experiment? Was it worthwhile or just a waste of time? Or somewhere in between?
So make it measurable … if you’re going Gluten Free you may or may not feel differently physically. But … having done it … you may feel great about yourself having accomplished a Gluten Free whole month.
You’re the only one who knows how you feel. And if this was worthwhile. Which leads us to …
It’s Not the Food … It’s the ‘Tude!It's not the food ... it's the 'tude!Click To Tweet I ask you … when have any of those eBooks explained that? OK … it’s great to have good info … many haven’t even considered these ideas before.
But I’ve met so many people who are baffled to TEARS about how to do this stuff. I learned that when I was working for Harvey and Marilyn Diamond … the then-couple who wrote the bonanza book, Fit for Life.
This was also a diet … but it became a phenomenon! As a matter of fact … looking back on it … it was the beginning of the healthy eating movement.
I started my counseling career working with people on these lifestyle changes. Some got it, took the bit in their teeth, and ran through center with these then-radical changes. Others hemmed and hawed and drove through McDonald’s rationizing … “I lasted two days”.
Even though I was fresh from my acting career and fascinated with human behavior (oh … and still struggled with an eating disorder which should have tipped me off), this type of ambivalence confused me.
Human beings are very complex. And the reality is that ANY change of ANY kind really entails a really committed (yes, I intentionally put both “reallys” in) mindset. But how do you make that happen?
To me, a basic committed mindset has four elements:
- a deep a-ha for doing it
- a good plan for accomplishing it
- a measurable outcome … and finally …
- a cumulative group of successes that allows for other confident next moves
It Ain’t That Simple …
Wouldn’t it be great if that’s all we had to do. But … again … human beings are very complex.
Lots of us have so much baggage that we’re enmired in failure and scared of success. Psychologists call it “learned helplessness” … which pretty much describes it. But just as you learn helplessness you CAN learn success.
It’s harder however. Because we seem to be hardwired to easily retain negative experiences. And have to work like H- to form positive ones. For that reason, it’s so much easier and faster if you work with a professional (hint … hint … but it’s true).
And realize that the bottom line is that you may have to change whole health lifestyle. Which is scary but doable. And it may have to start with the food you eat.
It IS the Food … But it’s SOOO Much More
Hey … I wouldn’t have put the IMMUNE BOOST PLAN together if I didn’t think talking about eating for immunity was important. On the surface, my eBook seems to much like the information-rich ones of my colleagues.
You can actually, though, use this information overload as a vehicle to figure out where to start. By reading it with an eye for … where do I start? What sparks me with curiosity and action? How can I take action on this?
If you really want to know where I’D start this journey … here’s my take. Put more fermented foods into your life. Because … for various reasons … we’re lacking different types and generally enough of good gut bacteria these days.
Instead of nurturing a teeming microbiome, we slaughter it with traditional sanitizer (which kills off our outer skin microbiome), antibiotics (which do in inner bacteria), and masks (where we’re rebreathing in more Bad Gut Guys … bad bacteria). So putting some good stuff back is a great thing.
I make it the first step of my plan as it’s the easiest … and possibly most profound … way to support your immune system. Grow many different kinds of Good Gut Guys in your gut and you boost your immunity at the same time.
Here’s the info directly from the plan …
- THROW IN SOME FERMENTED FOODS, like coconut or cashew yogurt with active cultures, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, coconut water kefir, or pickled vegetables. These are rich in probiotics. Just a fork- or spoon-ful is often enough.
- THROW IN SOME PREBIOTIC FOODS to feed the probiotics in the fermented foods, like bananas, sweet potatoes, apples, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and asparagus.
A great place to start. Because you’ll have to go there eventually if you’d like to do this fully. Also … back to motivational stuff … once you make a successful start with something (and this is an easy something) you’re more likely to make others.
You Need Supplements …
Another thing … I’m a HUGE advocate of doing health with food. But … these days … with toxic environments and leaky guts (80% of us have them) … you need supplements.
I’ve put together some great ones for you in the plan with explanations of why I chose them. But … to start … I’d suggest my Dietitian Jill’s Immune Tonic.
I take this every day and it’s kept me healthy all through this pandemic. Working in the trenches at health care facilities. There are other supplements I recommend in the plan, but this is my go-to.
And I’m so glad that I can now put a collection of supplements into my Fullscript Supplement Dispensary as a protocol. And you can join (or log in if you’re already a member of our community) and go directly to it with one click of a link.
I’ve done this with the tonic … here’s the link. More collections to come in future articles.
A Final Word …
This is tons of information. But … as I’ve explained before … figure out what you want to do, pick a starting point, make a plan, and go for it! And don’t forget to evaluate after a certain period of time if this meets your a-ha and is successful.
Got some baggage … get some help. Oy vey … a lot to think about … but ultimately doable. Stay safe and healthy! Oh … and again here’s the link for the plan …