Is COVID a Canary in the Coalmine for Our Health?

5 Tips for Moving our health not to a "new normal," but a "new phenomonal."

In the early 1900s, before technology to detect carbon monoxide existed, the coal miners would carry canaries down into the mines to detect carbon monoxide. Canaries are very sensitive to carbon monoxide, and served as a warning signal to miners when levels were unsafe. Because of this, canaries have become a metaphor for warning signs.

Is COVID the canary in the coal mine for our health?

I think many of us take our health for granted, we don't really think much about it, until a health issue crops up. I always say, if we don't prioritize our health, it will jump up there on it's own.

One lesson that I think COVID has made very clear, is that our health needs to be at the top of our priority list. I would argue that never before in history has it been so clear that our health is so important. A recent study that looked at 5700 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City area, found that the most common co-morbidities for COVID were hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Having these conditions led to more severe cases and poorer COVID outcomes. So while COVID- 19 does strike some young healthy people, and some may even have severe cases – we know that the majority of devastating outcomes are happening to those with underlying health conditions – some of which are out of our control (age), but many of which a linked to lifestyle choices.

This virus is teaching us the importance of taking care of ourselves goes far beyond our weight or how we look.

Unfortunately, I am hearing over and over that many of us have seen our health not improve over the COVID quarantine, but decline.

Our gyms have been closed, many of us have been shut in our homes and isolated for extended periods, we may be dealing with increased stress levels, financial issues, and unfortunately - many of us have sought comfort in sugary or processed foods and alcohol - all of which can add up to weight gain and health issues - some are calling this "the COVID 19" because people have gained as much as 19 pounds during the quarantine.

If you are feeling like your health has declined, just know - you are not alone, and you do not have to continue on that path.

I always say health is a journey, not a destination. If you get off track, just get back on track when you can.

Each and every day - we make a choice about what we put into our mouths, and how we take care of ourselves. We can all make the decision TODAY to choose health - so we can look & feel our best, but more importantly - so we can improve your immune system and overall health.

So as things are opening up again, and we will be getting out and about more - the time is NOW to make positive changes to our health. If we have seen our health decline, we can make that decision to not let it decline further.

I keep hearing about the "New Normal" that we are all moving into. But how well was the old normal working for us? I say, instead of a new "normal," why not move to new phenomenal?

Below are 5 tips that can help you get back on the right path to your health goals:

5 Tips for Moving our health to a "new phenomonal:"

  1. Consume a Low Sugar Diet

  2. Exercise Daily

  3. Anti-inflammatory Diet

  4. Reduce stress levels

  5. Optimize Vitamin D & other key nutrients


If you have ever considered taking a break from sugar -- now is the time to do it! IN addition to being the #1 reason for weight gain and a sluggish metabolism, eating sugar is one of the worst things we can do for our immune system, because sugar lowers our white blood cell effectiveness, which makes us more vulnerable to viruses and bacterial infections.

Chapter one of my book 'The Perfect Metabolism Plan' is titled "break up with sugar" because the #1 step to reach a healthy weight, and keep your metabolism humming, is to eat for blood sugar stability. If you need more support in breaking up with your sugar habit, consider taking my course The Break up with Sugar Program.

Getting control of your blood sugar is the #1 thing to do to lose weight and reduce your risk of diseases. Stop all sweetened beverages, skip the desserts, and limit refined carbs (which are converted to sugars rapidly). Not only will you see the excess weight start to release, you will be reducing your risk of every major non-communicable disease. To learn more and boost your motivation - read 20 Reasons to Break up with Sugar.

To learn more, read: Reboot Your Metabolism at Any Age (part 1: Get Out of Sugar Burning Mode and into Fat Burning Mode).


Many of us have been shut out of the gyms and swimming pools, and have not been getting the regular exercise necessary. I've noticed that my exercise routine has declined a little bit during the COVID quarantines as well. But I do try to make an effort to at least get out for a nice walk every day.

Exercise is important for metabolism, but also for reducing inflammation, controlling stress, and boosting the immune system. So if you are not able to get back into a gym - just get outside for regular walks, buy a few weights for your house, or find an online workout program. If it has been a long time since you have exercised regularly - start small with short walks, and just improving your range of motion with some light stretching and body weight exercises. A little goes a long way.

Exercise is a powerful mood booster, as well as important for our metabolism. Exercising outdoors will also give us exposure to vitamin D, so that doubles the benefit.