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Post Viral Fatigue and ‘Long Covid’

by | Oct 21, 2020 | Functional Medicine, Home/Blog

How are you doing? It seems impossible to write anything without including something about how strange this year is. Everything still feels very up in the air every day, which is so awful for the body. Being is a constant state of uncertainty maintains a higher level of stress hormones and after a while, that really takes it’s toll on our health. 

I read this article with a great deal of interest, it really helped to put how the end of the summer and early autumn feels. 

Your surge capacity is depleted. It’s why you feel so awful. 

I also listened to a great podcast with Brene Brown, where she talks about this same article and that her theory is that to replenish our energy when we have depleted our surge capacity – the answer is PLAY and joy. 

Well this interested me because there is actually not a lot of play in my life. I’m on such a treadmill of working and cooking and managing the family and the home, and physical movement and downtime that I don’t actually play. So I have been making a concerted effort to do small things with my kids (e.g. I skip with them down the street instead of just holding their hand while they skip). You know what? They LOVE it, and it’s actually very joyful. Do I feel ridiculous? Absolutely. But does it work? Yes, yes it does. 

So I this is my new area for growth for the autumn and winter – PLAY and how to bring that back in to my life. 

Listen to the podcast episode here.

Do you have a cosy autumn feeling yet? We had a gloriously sunny couple of weeks at the end of August and start of September and now it’s storm city. Colder than I expect for this time of year and raining like crazy.

I’m having a weird sense of collision between the end of the year and the start of this year. I feel largely like the year just started in September…

We seemed to go January, February………September. Or is that just me? 

And so for the beginning of October, the lead up to Christmas to have started is creating a ton of cognitive dissonance for me. But as you would expect, I am diving right into soups, casseroles and pumpkin and butternut squash everything. 

Sharing some Recipes: 

I have the BEST recipe for chicken soup. It’s super simple and healthy but it’s such a crowd pleaser. Everyone loves it, even people who don’t usually eat healthy food. It’s also our family’s go-to for whenever we are ill, rundown or under the weather. I’ll be posting that on the website this month so stay tuned for that. 

I am excited to share my banana waffle recipe with you all. Access it here. They are really simple and really good! Not very sweet – just sweet enough, and very satisfying! 

The Immunity Community: 

I had a great time running the immunity community. I had such a great group of people join in and we got some great results outside of generally improved resilience! 

Weight loss, improved sleep, more energy levels, better skin. It amazing how making a series of simple changes can have such a profound impact on many aspects of health. And now I feel confident that whatever comes this winter, everyone who did that work will be better off because of it. 

It’s still available, so if you are worried about your health or your family’s health this winter as we go into the usual food and flu season and navigate whatever this second wave is bringing us, all that info is still there. Check it out here.

The Foundations of Health – LIVE. 

I have decided that I’d like to run The Foundations of Health live again in 2021, starting in January and working through all 16 webinars live with the group over 9 months. The last 2 years I’ve been supporting people through the program at their own pace. This has been great as people can start any time they are ready instead of everyone starting together and take as much time as they need between webinars without feeling like they are behind the rest of the group. 

But, I have to say that I really love the face to face contact of running a group all together, and the camaraderie that develops within the group themselves. So I will continue to offer the program self-paced for those that want to do that, but I’ll also be running it live and I’m excited. It’s still possibly the best thing I have done professionally. I am proud of the program and will be re-writing and updating all the content for the FOURTH year of running it.  Learn more about the program here.

UltraViolet is five. 

My oldest baby just turned 5 so we had a little family party for her. I made a raw cake, a version of one that I have made multiple times for birthday cake. It’s a family favourite. One of two that I use for birthday cakes. I make a raw cake if I am time poor, and since her birthday fell on a Friday this year it was perfect. I made it the day before and just popped it in the freezer until an hour before we ate it, then just decorated it and voila. It’s honestly made in minutes. I throw the ingredients into the blender, press into a cake tin and put it in the freezer. SO EASY. 

The ingredients are:

  • 1 cup of sunflower and pumpkin seeds (you can use almond meal for ease if you like)
  • 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 400g of medjool dates, pits removed and soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes. 
  • Zest of 1 lemons and juice of half of it
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence 
  • 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup (I didn’t use that this time and it was good without) and much less rich. 
  • 1/3 cup of cacao powder

I got the recipe originally from my friend Sandra Greenbank who is a fertility nutritionist. She posted it on her Instagram page a few years ago and I’ve been using it ever since. 

Post Viral Fatigue and ‘Long Covid’. 

Way back in February / March when the viral pandemic first started in earnest. I had a lot of people ask me if I was worried about contracting it or about my family. And while it depends a little on the day and how much news I have been watching, most of the time I am not concerned about our immediate health. 

I have read so much now about the underlying mechanisms involved and how complications occur, I am not really worried about my personal health or my immediate family. We eat a lot of veggies, are not overweight or obese, get out in the sun, are physically active and sleep pretty well for a young family.

We have, and continue to follow all of the guidelines around distancing, hygiene, etc. because I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of themselves in order to protect the vulnerable in the community. 

What I was worried about, from the beginning though was the potential for a wave of post viral fatigue syndrome and viral-induced autoimmunity. 

And so now, as we head into the depths of autumn / fall, I am starting to see the beginnings of that wave now with people seeking me out due to not recovering from the ‘long tail’ of COVID19. I have been working with post-viral fatigue for many years, and it’s honestly not so simple as just addressing the virus. Most people with post viral fatigue have it because their body was already stretched to capacity with a constellation of other issues – e.g. mould exposure, gut problems, stress or trauma or undiagnosed food reactions. When you add the virus on top of that, the body just cant climb out from underneath the load. 

It’s complicated, but it’s exactly the kind of jigsaw puzzle I love in clinical practice and I am very proud of my success rate with post-viral fatigue.

So if you or someone you love are affected by Long Covid or post-viral issues, do send them my way. 

Also head over to my Instagram. I have posted a series on PVF on there and have some more posts on the subject coming this week. 

If you are a practitioner, I did a webinar on Post-Viral Fatigue for Pure Encapsulations, which you can view in their library here.

Wishing you the very best of health. 

Robyn is a Clinical Nutritionist with a specialised interest in the Functional Medicine approach to health. Robyn is very involved with the field of Coeliac Disease, Gluten-Reactive Disorders and Autoimmune Disease. Her passion for the healing power of food, has led her to work with complex cases, involving multiple diagnoses, and chronic health issues such as ME, auto-immune diseases and fibromyalgia. She also has a passion for working with the growing tide of chronic, lifestyle mediated illness; diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, and runs a lifestyle intervention clinic for these issues. Robyn works with patients to nutritionally support their bodies, so that they can heal. She has successfully helped many people around the world improve their health and increase their quality of life. Robyn sees clients in London, Tokyo and New York, and has a virtual practice that allows her to work with people all over the world.

Robyn Puglia

My mission in life is to share my knowledge in order to help people heal. I love to unravel the health stories and the biochemistry to get to the heart of the problem, and to help support nutritional and lifestyle changes that have the ability to transform people’s health. I have seen incredible changes in the health of my clients, and I hope to do the same for you.

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