Imagine this scenario. It’s December. You are at a child’s birthday party. Every kid is running around with a runny nose and hacking cough. You didn’t have to imagine hard, did you? It’s a cringe worthy yet common scene during the winter months. You can’t afford to take another sick day or stay up all night with a sick kid. So what can you do to stay well this winter? Here are 10 things that could help boost your immunity this season.
1. Diet. I know, I know. It’s sooo hard this time of year. Everything is carb loaded and sprinkled with sugar. Holidays equal food. Lots of it. It’s torture, really, for those of us who are trying to be good. Abide by the 80/20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time. Try to eat as many foods as you can without labels. If you do that, you don’t have to worry about counting calories. Just focus on incorporating whole, fresh foods into every meal. Limit the amount of processed foods. Then, when you go to that holiday party and the cookies are calling your name, eat the cookie! Savor the cookie! And I bet if you follow the 80/20 rule, you are less likely to overindulge. Sugar is an addiction. The less you eat it, the less you want it. It’s all about balance.
2. Exercise. I get it. It’s cold out. The sun goes down early. It’s easier to cover up the extra pounds with a poncho than exercise. Try this. Wake up in the morning and rebound. Rebounding in basically jumping on a mini trampoline. It’ll get your lymph system moving. When you get off of work, go home, make dinner and play some music. Dance with the music. Dance with your kids. Just dance! Basically, your body needs to move. Choose what’s fun for you. But you have to move it, move it!
3. Connect with Nature. Stress is a leading cause of illness. When your adrenals are overworked, your body is out of balance. Therefore, you are more prone to illness. A great way to release the stress is to go outside. Go on a short walk around your neighborhood. Bundle up and take a long hike on a trail in the woods. Sit with a cup of tea watching the lake. Nothing quite eases the mind than quiet time with nature.
4. Elderberry Syrup:. Elderberries are antioxidants, immune stimulants, and anti-viral. Here’s an article that teaches you how to make your own. https://theuntamedalchemist.com/2014/12/05/make-your-own-elderberry-syrup/
5. Hot Herbal Tea with Honey- Herbs such as Echinacea or nettles are known to be immune supportive. But be sure to heed the warnings on the herbal tea. It’s important to note that when I say honey, I am speaking of raw, local honey. Not the stuff in the cute little bear bottle at the grocery store.
6. Probiotics- I am a big advocate of probiotics. Gut health is essential to overall health. We need good bacteria to have good health. All five of us are on probiotic supplements. My kids drink Kefir in addition to the supplements. They love it. My husband and I enjoy Kombucha. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, are great sources as well.
7. Vitamin C- Of course, we all know this antioxidant is great for reducing cold symptoms. Great sources include: citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Try to get your vitamin C through natural sources first before one of those fizzy drinks.
8. Garlic- I’ll use any excuse to put extra garlic on my food. Not only does it keep the vampires away, it is full of immune boosting ingredients. Combine it with onions , and you have a powerhouse of antiseptic compounds.
9. Fire Cider- I will admit that I have never tried this. I’m a little scared to. But I know people who rave about it. Rather than try to explain it myself, here’s a good explanation and recipe. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-fire-cider-recipes-from-the-kitchn-199972
10. Essential Oils-Essential oils are not preventatives, in the traditional sense, when it comes to illness. However, they can help to reduce our stress and anxiety levels, which can help keep our adrenals from overloading. That being said, when exposed to viruses, bacteria or other yucky stuff, essential oils can be supportive of your immune system. Some immune stimulating oils are:
· Eucalyptus Globulus
· Sweet Majoram
· Sweet Orange
· Tea Tree
· Thyme ct. linalool
· Thyme ct. thymol
Of course, like I always recommend, be sure to learn how to use these oils safely, from a reliable, non-company-specific source, before trying them. (That sentence had a lot of commas in it. )
So there you have it. 10 easy, natural ways to stay healthy this winter season. Have you tried any of these ideas? Tell me what you think of them!