It’s getting cold outside here in Michigan. And people are GETTING colds, flu, and other illnesses! I rarely get sick any more, but I did have my first brush with a cold just the other day. Luckily, I was able to use the protocol I am sharing with you today to recover in less than one day. Read on, and tell me what YOUR favorite remedies are…
Winter Wellness & Preventing Illness
- Wash your hands. Use soap & water for 20 seconds, and sing the ABC song, just like you taught your kids! Remind children to keep little fingers out the eyes, ears, and nose.
- Cut the sugar & alcohol. Would you believe that even a teaspoon of sugar can lower white blood cell activity for 6 hours? It can be hard to avoid these at the holidays, but do yourself a favor and limit them.
- Get 8 hours of sleep. Without it, you can’t make enough Secretory IgA, which protects the mucus membrane from invading bacteria. Lack of sleep also causes cravings, and not for veggies either.
- Manage stress. Maybe host or attend just one holiday party instead of three? When we are stressed, the body prioritizes the fight or flight response, NOT digestion and repair which are needed to keep you well.
- Fill up your tank with vitamins A & D all year long. Studies now show that you must have consistently good levels of D3, not just during winter, for immunity. Get your doctor to test your levels and supplement accordingly. Because I get less sun in the winter, I like to increase my vitamin D supplementation by double during the winter months.
- Add probiotics. Eat more fermented foods like sauerkraut & kim chi. Or take a capsule like Bio-Kult or Prescript Assist. One study done in China showed that children who were given probiotics were less sick during the winter months than children who received a placebo. That’s why I add a probiotic to my family’s regimen from December through May!
- Most importantly, strengthen the FOUNDATIONS of health with a properly prepared, nutrient dense diet. Pathogens have a harder time if you have a nice & healthy “terrain.” Eat a clean diet with lots of pure water, non-starchy veggies (50-75% of your plate), moderate amounts of high quality animal protein, small amounts of fruit (1-2 daily), and high quality natural forms of healthy fat. No or low intake of processed food: anything from a box, a bag, a bottle or a window!
When You’re Sick
- Rest! Your body needs to conserve energy to fight infection, and we Americans are known of ignoring our bodies’ need for rest.
- Drink lots of fluids. Have lots of pure, clean water and easily digestible broths & soups. Fluids are great for flushing toxins and getting nutrients into cells.
- Double your normal dose of vitamins A & C. Many studies have shown that these are beneficial in preventing and treating cold, flu, and pneumonia. I use Source Naturals Wellness Formula. If I take it at the first sign of sickness, it usually prevents full-blown illness. There a version for kids as well.
- Take some zinc acetate lozenges. Research has shown that zinc can block cold viruses from attaching inside the nose. One review of clinical trials show that zinc can reduce cold symptoms in adults (by 1-2 days) compared to placebo when taken within 24 hours of symptom onset. Don’t take zinc supplements to prevent cold or flu. Only take when you’re sick. I like Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Acetate lozenges. Again, take at the first sign of illness and let dissolve (do not chew) in your mouth at least every 2 hours.
- Elderberry extract is shown to be effective for reducing severity and duration of colds. Try Gaia brand.
- Try Thieves Essential Oil. The latest in my arsenal for stopping cold & flu in its tracks. First, spray into the air and breathe in the mist. Then, spray into the mouth every hour until your symptoms go away. This is what worked for me last week. My friend Chris says that she has not had colds for years. Until.. she ran out, and could not get the Thieves fast enough!
- Try Mucinex. I usually don’t like to use pharmaceuticals, but taking Mucinex at the first sign of a cold that increases your phlegm will loosen it so that those bugs can be more easily flushed out.
So try these remedies, and let me know what you think. Make sure you stock your medicine cabinet NOW, because you never know when the bugs will invade, and you want to knock them out at the FIRST sign of sickness.