The A Word: Lockdown – Week 7

It’s sad that we’ve had to cancel the majority of the VE Day 75 community celebrations due to take place this weekend although it’s the correct decision so people can stay safe.

The VE Celebration organisers are encouraging us to take part in the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm this Friday 8th May, from the safety of our own homes.  Dame Joan Collins will be leading the ‘Toast” from the balcony of her apartment in London.  I certainly agree with Dame Joan when she said: “We must never forget the selflessness of all those who sacrificed so much to keep us free during WW II.   It’s vital we continue to recognise the importance of not only the brave veterans who fought on the front lines but also the courageous women who put their lives in the line for this nation’s struggle.

Jamie and I will be raising our glasses at 3pm and we’ll also be joining in a moment of reflection and remembrance at 11am for a Two Minute Silence

We had planned to spend this Bank Holiday weekend in Cornwall celebrating with our Cornish friends.  I don’t know about you, but I’m so missing our “normal life”, and I’ve definitely suffered from lockdown fatigue these last few days.  I will be ready to hear the announcements about our gradual return to the “new normal”, a life which I image will be quite different from our previous normality.

On a positive note, I am certainly a little fitter than I was before lockdown.  By doing our home workouts and walking 20,000 plus steps a day, I’ve lost 1.7 kilos and our diet has been incredibly healthy which leads me onto the subject of “clean eating”.

Readers of my blog will know that I suffer with 3 autoimmune diseases and I write my blog to help raise awareness of these debilitating conditions. 

Most autoimmune diseases have very long-term effects on health, placing a large burden on the NHS.  Current treatment aims to minimise symptoms but not cure them. It’s imperative that immunological research receives adequate investment in order to better understand these conditions so that we can open up new therapeutic strategies. Currently inflammatory and immune research only makes up a small proportion of publicly funded scientific research in the UK, but we are still making good progress.

Whilst genetic predisposition makes individuals more likely to develop certain autoimmune diseases, there is a lot of theory that the correct diet can reduce inflammation and other symptoms of autoimmune conditions. Because autoimmune disease causes the immune system to attack and damage healthy tissues or organs by mistake, anything that can help reduce this inflammation must be beneficial. 

There seems to me to be two options, the first option I mostly abide by today and I’m studying the second option in order to digest what this would mean to my life.

The one I abide by is to eat a healthy diet to help reduce inflammation.  I eat very little processed food, hardly any sugar, cook all our meals from scratch, I limit alcohol to the recommended units per week, I don’t drink spirits, I limit red meat, and I focus on eating copious amounts of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and fish.  This works well for my fitness, my weight, my mind, and my overall health.

However, the second option is a more extreme version of the first.  An up-and-coming area of human health research focuses on the impact of balancing the gut microbiota. Disruption of the intestinal ecosystem has been linked with many diseases, including autoimmune disorders, thus information is starting to materialise to help us digest what this would mean to our diet.

I am in the process of reading a book by Dr Josh Axe called “Eat Dirt”.  It’s quite complex but basically talks about our gut being the gateway to health. Our gut houses 80% of our immune system and without a healthy gut it is nearly impossible to have a healthy immune system.  Whilst my current diet is good, it still includes alcohol, coffee, and many other add-ons which I didn’t even know were included in the processed foods category like salad dressing and mayonnaise.   A lot of these components make cooking and eating out much easier.  I also adopt an 80/20 rule to my diet and there are times when I enjoy “junk food” and more alcohol than recommended but under the second option that 20% of bad behaviour would have to go.  Those who know me will smile as they’ll  understand how difficult it would be for me to be “good” 100% of the time 😊.

There is, however, another opinion that it’s all hype; that the many books, websites, and blogs offering advice on how to eat to prevent or treat autoimmune conditions is not based on solid scientific evidence.  I don’t have the answer, but I guess if we don’t try new ways to help ourselves, we won’t find out if its beneficial or not.  Watch this space, I’ll keep you updated on my decision.

On a final note I wanted to share a conversation between me and my grandson

Me: how do you tell the time?

Grandson: I look at the clock

Me: When I was your age my Mum used to phone a speaking clock to make sure the time on our clocks was accurate

Grandson: Nana, you’re crazy!

Despite few young people knowing it exists, apparently the speaking clock still gets more than 30 million calls a year.  I had no idea that you could still call it but apparently you can by dialling 123 and it costs about 30p.  I love sharing funny things from my childhood with our grandchildren just like my nana and grandad used to do with me.

Let’s raise our glasses to my Nan and Grandad’s generation and pay tribute to the many millions here in the UK and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today.

Let’s also raise our glasses to those who are helping us fight a very different battle.

Until next time xx

One thought on “The A Word: Lockdown – Week 7

  1. I understand what your saying on being good 100% of the time. Although I think we also need to be naughty. I think you’re less likely to go off the rail if you know that 20% of your diet can be what you want, rather than thinking your cheating. Good blog again. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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