Winter is a wonderful time of year where colds and the flu are prevalent. After having children, I began researching healthier alternatives to many things including immunity. I would love to share with you some tips that have worked for my family for keeping healthy this winter. Let’s begin with some healthy living strategies that should be your goal year round. By doing so, when sickness strikes, your body is strong and ready to fight it!
- Frequently wash (and dry) your hands. This is especially important after coming home from an activity (i.e. school or shopping) and before eating.
- Eat healthy. Reduce (or better yet, eliminate) sugar and processed foods. Also add lots of fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks.
- Stop touching your face. Touching your mouth, nose or eyes with germ filled hands is a great way to get bacteria into your body.
- Take a daily vitamin. Studies show that most individuals are not getting the necessary nutrients from diet alone. You can read more about this here.
- Get enough sleep. We all know sleep is good for us. Please make it a priority, especially if you are starting to feel run-down.
- Drink water. Drinking at least eight glasses of water can do wonders for your body.
- Exercise. I know this can be difficult to fit into your day, but it is important to schedule regular exercise. It can help your body, your mood and much more.
- Manage stress. Many of us need to allow time for relaxation. Some ways to relax can include: meditation, praying, yoga, reading, reflecting or just focusing on your breath.
- Reduce your exposure of toxins. Toxins can tax our bodies and weaken our immune systems. However, there are many ways you can help to reduce toxins in your home. For example, taking off your shoes when entering a home, helps to keep all of the germs on your shoes off your floors and carpets. You can also choose more natural products. To read more about how you can reduce toxins in your home, please click here.
The items listed above are some building blocks to a healthy body and mind. When we start to get run down or if a virus is going around, I add a few extra precautionary steps:
- Make some chicken soup. This has been my family’s go-to recipe for generations.
- Add garlic to your diet. It is said to have anti-bacterial properties and is great for your immune system. Add it to your cooking or in a pinch, add it to some all natural toast.
- Include ginger. For me, it is easy to add it in my morning smoothie or cup of tea.
- Take some zinc, Echinacea and vitamin C. Many believe they can build your immune system and help fight a cold.
- Take a probiotic. You can eat yogurt or take a probiotic (if you daily vitamins don’t include one.) To learn more about my favorite probiotic and vitamins, please click here.
- Start deep cleaning high traffic surfaces. Focus on all of the germ covered surfaces: door handles, faucets, phones and light switches. My favorite germ killer is Basic G.
- Got honey? I have used honey to help with sore throats. It contains antioxidants and is something my children will happily eat. (Please do not give honey to children under 1-year-old).
- Get oily. I am just starting to use essential oils, but have had success with oil of oregano and oils to help you breathe with a stuffy nose.