How Moon Juice Founder Amanda Chantal Bacon Is Staying Healthy at Home
How to boost your immune system and stay physically—and mentally—healthy.
The coronavirus pandemic is enough to make a wellness freak out of anyone. For some of us, health and wellness and immune-system boosting has been in the lexicon all along—for me, my training was as a child, alongside my mom at Prana in the East Village, chomping on nori-wrapped rice balls stuffed with umeboshi, taking mouth-puckering gulps of Gary Null’s strawberry-flavored Suprema C when I came down with a cold.
But even if you don’t know an umeboshi from a high dose of vitamin C, there’s a good chance your ears are perking up a bit when the word “immunity” is thrown around right now. So when we had the chance to chat with Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon about how she’s been coping with the coronavirus and the new standard of working, playing, parenting, schooling, exercising, socializing, daydreaming, eating, sleeping, and breathing from home, we were stoked.
We were originally going to discuss a new supplement called SuperBeauty, but since the launch has been pushed back, we scrapped that in favor of more pressing needs: namely, how TF to get through this crisis not just physically, but also mentally healthy.
“In two weeks from now, the real questions are going to be around depression and anxiety,” Bacon tells us, speaking from her newly minted home office, “which is basically a closet.” Yes, we are all concerned about coming down with corona, but as millions of people around the world spend most or all of their time indoors, mental health is on the line. “Especially if we’re not going outside and getting sunshine and exercise,” Bacon says.
The Moon Juice founder says she hasn’t changed much about her routine because she’s already supporting her immune system on a daily basis. “The only thing I’m doing differently now is that I’ve upped my vitamin D levels and have started taking B6 again,” she says. She shared with us exactly what she’s doing each day to keep her immune system working smoothly.
“I take SuperYou in the morning,” Bacon says. “It reduces cortisol by at least 30 percent.” She also takes 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C two to three times a day, every four hours or so. “Vitamin C has a shelf life in the body,” she says. And this isn’t just for her immune system: “I really like the effect of antioxidants on my skin,” she adds. “I’m freckly and melasma-prone, and that helps.”
Next, she takes Spirit Dust, one of Moon Juice’s magic powders. She takes this for two reasons: “The main ingredient in there is reishi, which is incredible for the immune system,” she says. “It’s great for the mood as well.”
Zinc isn’t new to her regimen, but it is good for immunity. “I take zinc every day anyway, especially because I’m breastfeeding,” she says. “And I took B6 when I was pregnant, in my first trimester, when I was really nauseous. It’s meant to have an anti-nausea quality. I’m back on the B6, because it is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and it helps with immunity as well.”
Though there’s reishi mushroom in Spirit Dust, sometimes she adds a double dose. “If I feel like something is coming on, I’ll actually do a teaspoon of reishi,” she says. “I put it in my tonic that I drink in the morning.” If you’re not someone who drinks a tonic in the morning, “you can put it in black coffee,” she says, “or you can shoot it in some water and get it done—it’s not meant to taste like chocolate cake!”
Bacon counts on magnesium for quality sleep, immunity, and a sense of calm. “At the end of the day, I do magnesium,” she says. “It’s really important for your immune system to have your magnesium levels be optimized. There’s not enough magnesium in our diet.”
It’s likely that even the most unflappable among us is feeling at least a teensy bit stressed right now. “One of the things that depletes magnesium is stress,” Bacon adds. Her list of common stressors includes “airplane travel, blue light, shitty sleep, food allergens, and emotional stress.” Magnesium is good for the immune system, Bacon says, but also helps with getting good-quality sleep.
“Melatonin or a sleeping pill will knock you out and get you to have an eyes-closed sleep feeling,” she says. “But quality over quantity is really what you’re after when it comes to sleep, and repairing the body and the brain and the immune system.” Magnesium will “gently relax you” and usher you off to dream land with a gentle kiss. Or something along those lines.
As for Bacon’s added kick of vitamin D: “In a regular day, I take 5,000 units of vitamin D as maintenance,” she says. “If I feel like I’m coming down with something or I have come down with something,” she’ll take 8,000 to 10,000 units per day for a short period of time.
Though we definitely need to be aware of how we’re treating our bodies right now, and being as proactive as possible about our immune systems, Bacon was quick to add how important it is to take care of our mental health right now, too. And she practices what she preaches.
“Spirit Dust and SuperYou are for mood support as well,” she says. Again, Bacon went back to mental health as a vital part of all this. “The quality of your thoughts affects your immune system, your gut, the type of sleep you get, your cortisol levels,” she says. “So how you treat and strengthen them” is key. “Mindfulness practices all [of a] sudden seem less woo-woo.” It’s not just about shoving some vitamins in your mouth and calling it a day.
“When you start looking at the science,” and you realize that your immune system “directly relates to cortisol,” she says, a little daily meditation practice might start to look pretty good. Cortisol is “one of the main things that’s going to dictate your immune system,” she adds.
Lest you begin to feel overwhelmed by all this wellness coming at you, never fear: It doesn’t have to be complicated, and if you try a few of these things at home, you just might find you feel different. “Here’s what I hope,” Bacon says. “You keep it simple; it’s totally doable; we get through this time; you stay healthy; turns out you feel better than usual.” If that’s the case, “Why stop?”
In these strange circumstances, it’s clear we all need to do everything we can to support ourselves and our loved ones. “I am not at all an alarmist,” Bacon says. “If anything, I fall into the category of conspiracy-theory lady. But this is ramping up… and there’s a lot to navigate right now.”
Bacon’s not the only one thinking about the importance of having your favorite supplements on hand. “We’ve had our own toilet paper moment,” she says, adding that sales of her supplements soared as the coronavirus outbreak spread.
We’ve been trying to find silver linings in this upside-down situation we’ve all found ourselves in, and Bacon has, too. “I predict that there’s going to be a new understanding of what immunity means for the regular person,” she says. “Wellness has been pushed into this either woo-woo or one-percenter world.” Or, sometimes, both: See Gwyneth Paltrow.
“We’re going to see a lot of people who didn’t feel called to join wellness as a lifestyle think about it differently” in the coming months, Bacon adds. “We are going to be living in a year of ‘You need to be on your immune system all the time.’ Our understanding of the immune system will become more robust.”
“I have to say—your immune system is not a ginger shot,” she says. Instead of throwing a few ounces of ginger and cayenne at the problem as soon as you start feeling ill, “taking small daily measures that are consistent and keep you strong” is the way to go, Bacon says.
“Interestingly or unsurprisingly, I am not doing much differently than what I’ve been doing for the last 17 years,” Bacon says. “So I’m like, ‘Huh, maybe I’ll seem like much less of a freak by 2021.’ That’s one of my predictions for myself.”
Bacon’s reasons for knowing so much about wellness are personal. “I put an autoimmune condition into remission,” she says. “I’ve become intimately connected with my immune system. It’s not something I can fuck around with. I put something into remission that allopathic doctors said was not possible 15 years ago. I’m not going to totally trust what anyone’s saying. I’m not going to subscribe to anyone’s theory anymore.” Instead, she says, she’s going to do what works for her—and trust her body to guide her.
“There’s a layer of that happening culturally right now,” she says. “It’s time to educate yourself: taking a bit of everyone’s advice, seeing what lands for you, trying it on in your body.” It doesn’t matter so much what exactly you do, as long as you do something. “We’re really responsible for our own health and well-being,” she says. Now more than ever, isolated in ways we’ve never dreamed of, it’s time to get real about our health. If we don’t do it for ourselves, no one will do it for us.
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Photos: Courtesy of Amanda Chantal Bacon
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