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[Newsletter] I learnt from cancer how to better cope with COVID

Let your partner know how you prefer to manage your energy — because it’s limited

Photo by NATHAN MULLET on Unsplash

My weekly three best insights from me, Medium and the web to help you live longer better.

If you are eating healthily but haven’t yet added some extra virgin olive oil, then it’s a good time to start. It contains lots of antioxidants and significant anti-inflammatory properties — just what we need at the moment. It also slows the aging of our brain — See #3 below from Dr Gary L Wenk.

Japanese dishes have a hidden balance of health benefits which are often discarded as “garnishes”. Here’s why everything comes with ginger, writes Kaki Okumura on Medium — See #2 below.

Cancer and COVID are related by the fear and uncertainty that they arouse. Each of us reacts differently. But however we react, we have to manage our energy for the long haul, and that sometimes has unintended consequences, as I learnt. Read on …

From around Medium…

1. Stress is a black hole for your energy, don’t cut out your partner

Seven months after my first cancer, a five-hour operation, and recovery, my wife left me. The cancer wasn’t the sole reason, but it was a major catalyst.

Over time I found out that this is not uncommon — the stress breaks or makes relationships. We’re seeing the same with COVID.

I thought a lot about what had gone wrong. But I also focused on surviving and directing my energy to get things done. I wasn’t fully recovered, and there were large bills to pay, and I wanted to re-build my fitness and health.

It wasn’t until nearly 12 months after we split that I had a revelation. My focus on managing my energy had kept me sane and able to cope, but it had distanced my wife. I recalled her saying that I had “cut her out”. At the time, I had no energy to even respond.

It’s absolutely vital that you manage your energy, as it is limited. It’s also vital that you communicate with your partner about how this is going to work for your both. For example, she may feel that it would “do you good” to go to friends for dinner. For you, this requires energy that you cannot spare.

My wife and reunited after four years. Hopefully, you won’t need to go through that.

Read my post: What Having Cancer Taught Me About Coping With COVID19

2. Whoa! don’t discard the garnish, it’s part of the meal

From Medium, I always enjoy Kaki Okumura articles about Japanese food and tradition.

My wife is Japanese and Kaki explains things better than I have often tried to explain about Japanese food culture to my friends. Her post “Japanese Food and Why Everything Comes With Ginger” is a typical example.

Part of my challenge is in explaining “food culture”. Having five-star restaurants in Sydney, New York or London doesn’t make Australia, the US, or the UK food cultures. The food cultures of China, Japan, Italy and France are the result of the experience and choices of hundreds of generations of ordinary people.

The food served at home in food cultures not only serves all the senses exceptionally well, but it also keeps people healthy.

Kaki explains the role of ginger in Japanese food: Ginger is so useful because it contains a bioactive compound called gingerol, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance that helps aid digestion, boosts immunity, has antibacterial effects, and fights the common cold. — Kaki Okumura.

The pickled ginger with sashimi, the cabbage with pork — these are not “garnish” to be discarded. They are complementary to the taste and the health benefits of the meal, based on centuries of observation of which villages celebrated food and whose residents had the longest healthiest life.

Enjoy the garnish it is part of the meal >> “Japanese Food and Why Everything Comes With Ginger

Related: How To Cook Antioxidant-rich Foods Without Destroying Their Antioxidants

From the web …

3. For better brain health add some olive oil

In this article in Psychology Today, Gary L. Wenk, Author of Your Brain on Food, outlines the benefits of olive oil for our brain.

This is another example of food culture reigning over science — the “Mediterranean Diet” isn’t a diet but everyday normal eating based on long observation. Science still doesn’t know why it works, but it does.

Your brain benefits a lot from adding olive oil to your diet and these benefits originate in response to the changes that olive oil makes to your gut microbiome. Olive oil should become a big part of the diet for anyone with an aging brain. — Gary Wenk

I’ve added more virgin olive oil to my everyday eating. Gary Wenk doesn’t mention it, but from my reading, it is clear that the benefits are most strongly associated only with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Article: Your Brain On Olive Oil

Here is my collection of posts about food and dieting which will help you.

Related: 7 Ways To Stop Your Brain Aging Prematurely

Wishing you a safe and active week,
Walter Adamson ⭑Medium Top Writer on Food⭑
Get my four best insights on living longer better each week by newsletter here.



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Walter Adamson

Walter Adamson


Optimistically curious, 70+ trail runner; 2X cancer; diabetic; Click “FOLLOW” for living longer better tips | My Newsletter 👉