Your thyroid – a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck – not only helps regulate metabolism, but it’s also involved in the delivery and use of energy, body temperature regulation, mood and thinking, and even digestion. Thyroid hormone is essential; all our cells, tissues, organs, and glands require sufficient thyroid hormone to fully function.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on lives and economies around the world. As countries continue to work to turn the tide of the pandemic, plans and measures are being put in place to set us on the path to a green recovery. Forests have a key role to play in these efforts.
Strengthening your immune system is essential in weathering the winter and is an even bigger priority now, as we’re facing the triple threat of colds, flu, and other viruses. As if this year needed any more drama, contracting one illness could potentially leave us vulnerable to catching others.
We’re in the middle of an invisible battle and it’s critical to level-up a defensive strategy. By being proactive and following a consistent plan we can ensure our front-line soldiers (our immune cells) are well-nourished and can go the distance.
While hot soups, citrus fruits, or synthetic Vitamin C are some of the most common go-to’s, there is a holistic, formidable ally you may not be aware of Camu Camu.
Although most of us will have a small Thanksgiving dinner this year, we are still likely to overeat. That’s part of feasting! I don’t know about you, but by the time dessert arrives I’m full! I feel stuffed — a little to a lot uncomfortable, depending on how much I overate. Although I love pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie, even better with whipped cream, my stomach is just not ready for it. But for a number of years now, I have solved that dilemma!
Oxfam is one of my favorite international charities. They have a very low administrative overhead and do very effective work around the world, much of it famine relief. Their suggestions for how we can all help during this novel coronavirus pandemic are simple, yet impactful. I pass it on to you, as I think you will also be moved by it.
Of course, it is important to take the social distancing, hand washing, and immune system strengthening seriously, but to help maintain our sanity, it can be helpful – and even uplifting – to take a larger perspective on COVID-19. Oxfam’s “5 Things You Can do to Help” illustrates how we can support one another and focus on the amazing people who are coming together as a global community to fight this disease.
As COVID-19 continues to spread in communities near and far, it can feel overwhelming and scary. But there are ways we can cope with this health crisis together. No one individual, community, or country can deal with this challenge alone. We must work together, in our communities and across borders, with dignity and compassion.
Here are five ways you can help:
- Take care of yourself: Stay healthy, stay active, stay calm, and wash your hands.
- Take care of others: Stay home to help flatten the curve and give our healthcare workers the best chance to handle this. Check in on neighbors, friends, and family. Make video calls. Ask how you can help.
- Support small businesses, responsibly: Get takeout or delivery directly from your favorite local restaurants. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can buy gift cards from them or other local shops.
- Donate to organizations helping people most affected by COVID-19: Support your local food bank, check Charity Navigator for a list of highly-rated charities supporting communities around the world, or support Oxfam’s relief efforts, including our work to deliver clean water, soap, and sanitation services to refugees and people living in high-risk environments.
- Push for policies that will help all of us succeed together: We are calling on federal and state legislators to urgently provide for paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing, and food assistance for low-income families and children. As the economy takes a staggering blow, we need to make immediate, large-scale investments that benefit working families and provide sensible, sustainable economic stimulus.
In these challenging times, we at Oxfam hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy, active, and safe. We are thankful for the strong reaction shown by the Oxfam community in support of our efforts to respond to this public health crisis – we couldn’t do any of our work without you.
The 2019 – 2020 film awards season has been a busy one for Joaquin Phoenix, culminating with a win for Best Actor at Sunday’s Academy Awards for his titular role in the film Joker. The 45-year old actor has been using his stage time at these awards ceremonies to urge viewers and fellow actors alike to take action and do their part to combat the effects of climate change which are ravaging our planet.
During his Oscar acceptance speech, Phoenix spoke about mankind’s separation from nature and how that detachment results in a false sense of entitlement to abuse the abundance it offers:
“I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the center of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources.”
“We fear the idea of personal change because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up. But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.”
The race to save the “Heart of the World”
Phoenix’s newest labor of love, a short film called “Guardians of Life”, debuted just days before the actor’s big win at the Academy Awards and calls attention to the “near-critical stage of the climate crisis the planet is facing.”
The film is the result of a collaboration between environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion and non-profit organization Amazon Watch and also stars Rosario Dawson, Matthew Modine, Q’orianka Kilcher, Oona Chaplin, Adria Arjona, and Albert Hammond, Jr.
“Guardians of Life” is just two minutes long but it is a powerful statement about how precarious our global ecosystem is and how devastating the effects of climate change and the deforestation of the Amazon are to our planet.
You can watch the video below:
Speaking about his participation in the film, Phoenix said:
“I did it to raise awareness about the meat and dairy industry’s effect on climate change. The fact is we are clear cutting and burning rainforests and seeing the negative effects of those actions worldwide.”
“People don’t realize there’s still time, but only if we act now and make sweeping changes to our consumption. We can’t wait for governments to solve these problems for us. We can’t wait until the election to try to make these changes. We have a personal responsibility to make changes in our own lives and act now.”
The film depicts an emergency room setting with doctors frantically trying to save an unseen patient in the throes of cardiac arrest.
Director Shaun Monson explained:
“The Amazon has been called the lungs of the world, or the heart of the world, but instead of documentary footage we proposed an ER setting with doctors and nurses trying to save an unseen patient with systemic heart failure. The twist is not only who one of the paramedics is, but what they were really fighting to save all along.”
This “twist” highlights the crucial role that indigenous people inhabit as the “best protectors and stewards of the Amazon rainforest.”
Whole World Botanicals depends on the Amazon rainforest
Calling the Amazon rainforest the “heart and lungs of the Earth” is no exaggeration. It is second only to the world’s oceans in providing oxygen for the air we breathe and is home to more than half of the world’s animal and plant species. But beyond that, it is the home of invaluable natural medicines which the Amazon River Basin provides.
At Whole World Botanicals, we source most of our health-supporting botanicals from indigenous peoples whose home for millennia has been the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Their livelihood has always depended on the sustainable use of the plants and animals which the rainforest provides.
The native communities have been an integral part of their natural habitat for millennia, but these communities are endangered as loggers clear cut the forest to sell wood products in a global economy and as these clear cut fields are then turned into pasture land for cattle, providing meat products for an ever-increasing worldwide population.
By educating the population in the United States to the benefits of the amazing Amazon River Basin medicinal plants, we are providing both affordable, healthy remedies for urban populations and a market for these natural remedies, helping native populations to make a sustainable living and to continue in their role as protectors of their rainforest environment.