No drug company has been able to figure out a cure for the common cold!
Soon the government sponsored marketing machine will be promoting a useless (and dangerous in my opinion) flu vaccine shot.
I’ve said it countless times – there is no magic bullet to beat disease. It takes a total program to restore balance to your body. Then and only then, will you be able to build an immune system response so strong that illness cannot come your way!
A few years ago, we published our 12-Step Winter Wellness Program. Connie on our team has 4 teen daughters and wanted to share her take on the program and how she modified it to avoid colds and flu last year for her entire family! We hope you like it.
Last winter, I followed the advice I’m sharing with you today, and not even to a tee, and didn’t get sick one single day! Neither did my girls. We were 100% healthy and happy and had so much FUN doing all the winter activities Colorado is famous for.
We didn’t get a flu shot either! They don’t work and they seriously affect the immune system – why would I want to do that to myself or my precious children? So, I followed Wayne’s advice and share with you how I tweaked it slightly to fit mine and children's lifestyle.
1. DRINK MORE WATER - this is the #1 most important thing to do.
Our bodies are composed of 66% water, so our fluid and electrolyte balance is a major factor in keeping our bodies in balance. When our body has the ability to maintain it's internal environment as it adjusts to challenges and stress, we stay healthy.
Blood flow depends on hydration and in the winter it's challenging to keep up with it, especially since you aren't sweating and not feeling thirsty! The cold weather and furnace air is very dehydrating. Water keeps mucus thinned out so there is less for bacteria to collect in - this alone will cut down on illness during the winter!
Here are signs of dehydration to watch out for:
- Muscle cramping
- Dry mouth
- Unclear thinking
- Dark yellow urine
- Significant weight loss during exercise
- Decrease of sweat during exercise
First thing I do when I wake up is drink a big glass of water with some lemon juice in it. It starts my day off in the right direction and gets the gastric juices flowing. Instead of coffee, I drink hot water or tea. Coffee is okay in moderation, but it is very dehydrating. Also, NEVER drink soda! It's the worst thing you can put in your body for your kidneys.
The last thing I do before I go to bed is drink a glass of water. I even keep water next to my bed. I don't like getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but I'm thankful when I do! It means I'm hydrated.
2. Cook More at Home!
Winter weather is the perfect time to cook heavy soup and stew with seasonal root vegetables. If you do choose to eat out, find a good restaurant that carries quality, organic - My family favorite is Chipotle! They have awesome, organic, fresh vegetables and one of my favorite salsas around. Plus, they recently added Tofu to the menu! Gotta love that!
3. Get More Vitamin D
I put this one high on my list because I think it's made the most difference in my life. I feel better every time I take it and my kids all take it too. We have the most extraordinary vitamin D formula on the market called Ultra D3. For small children, get our Vitamin D3 gelcaps, which children can bite and release the oil in their mouth, then spit out the gelcap.
Last winter, my oldest daughter started taking extra vitamin D at the very beginning of a cold. Within 24 hours she was feeling better, and didn't get sick the rest of the winter. THAT is quite a testimonial for it's effectiveness. Vitamin C is great, but our Ultra D3, is the BOMB against sickness.
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin for a reason. Vitamin D actually kills viruses. So if you take it every day, they can't even find a place to live in the body.
4. Increase whole grain intake, such as steel cut oats and quinoa.
These are very high protein grains, and if you are trying to lose weight, they are the best! I have steel cut oatmeal ready for my girls before school and they are energized and ready for their day.
Personally, I love this stuff. Try it in an oatmeal cookie recipe - it's a healthy choice for an after school snack - YUM!
5. Get More Plant Protein and Veggies in Your Diet
One of my favorite foods in the world are sweet potatoes! Try mashed sweet potatoes instead traditional style this Thanksgiving. They are so yummy, and in my opinion, way better. While you're at it, increase all your sweet and leafy green veggies too. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods available.
The easiest and tastiest ways that I increase my protein and plant intake is by having a Protein Plus Superfood smoothie every single day! Whether your are sick or not, protein is essential for building and maintain strength. My top reasons for including Protein Plus Superfood this winter:
- One-half of the daily RDA of vitamins and minerals
- Vegetable blend of 12 different vegetables
- Antioxidants from Goji, Chokeberry and Acai
- Superfoods Green Tea, Maca and Cordyceps Mushrooms for enhanced immunity
- Digestive enzymes for gut health
6. Replace Dairy with nut milks and nut butters
Seriously, if you haven't figured out how bad dairy is for you, this is the winter to stop it completely. You won't believe how much better you will feel. Dairy is toxic pus from cows and it's nothing but bad news for your body. It causes a tremendous increase in mucus in the body and that's the LAST thing you need right now.
Try almond, flax, coconut or cashew milks. Silk brand has a new, non-GMO cashew milk in my grocery store that is delicious and affordable. Most stores carry non-GMO soy milk. Butter alternatives are easy to find too, like Earth Balance or olive oil and flax oil spreads.
7. Stop Eating Sugar
Sugar is addictive and believe it or not, an enemy of our bodies. Sugar causes inflammation and needs to be eliminated. Start now so when the worst of flu season hits, you can be ahead of the game in boosting your immune system. While you're at it, go ahead and stop going to fast food restaurants and stop buying artificial junk foods.
8. Boost Your Immune System
It's a great idea to go the extra mile before it's too late. We have the perfect alternative to a flu shot called the Winter Wellness Kit with everything you need to boost your immune system and increase your energy and stamina.
9. Practice Self-Care
I am a busy single mom with 4 kids, a job, attending grad school, and doing an internship. I KNOW how hard it is to take time for yourself. Think of things you love to do and make a plan to do them.
- The thing that keeps me grounded more than anything other thing is laughter! Laughing is definitely the BEST medicine for me and my girls.
- Get enough sleep - it is VITAL for your overall health.
- I also have several very close friends who are supportive and loving. I make time to develop these relationships. Relationships are so important to well-being. Nurture them and they will nurture YOU!
10. Eat Fermented Foods with Live Probiotics
I didn't know that about 70% of immunity lies in the intestinal tract. Our immune systems are helped enormously by the presence of an army of trillions of friendly bacteria that line the mucus layer of a healthy intestine.
These bacteria provide immunity we don't have to work for - they work for you. We just need to provide them with the right environment to keep them nourished. We commonly think of yogurt for probiotics, but sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, pickles and miso are all good sources of probiotics.
Our Pro-Biotic Max formula is a convenient way to rapidly boost friendly bacteria in your intestines. Each serving contains 10 different strains and 25 Billion live organisms, blended with herbs specifically for aiding digesting and elimination of toxins.
11. Find Work You Love - or A Way to Love the Work You Have
Stress is enemy #1 of the immune system! If you are stressed at work, figure out how to lower your stress. Do you need a different job? Or do you just need to change your attitude about the job you have? How can you make your job more fun?
12. Develop a spiritual practice
Whether meditation, prayer, or worship, developing your inner, spiritual self, can bring a great sense of well-being. If you don't have a spiritual practice, think about developing one this winter. Winter is a time of inward reflection. Less sunshine and more darkness, allows for this season to be a very introverted time of the year. Take advantage of that!
Do you have a journal? Write down your thoughts and feelings as you go through this winter.