prevent the flu naturally

8 Tried and True Methods to Prevent the Flu Naturally

Many are skeptical to getting the flu shot (rightfully so) and would rather avoid the flu, or at least lessen the symptoms and longevity of the flu, by boosting their immune system. There are numerous natural ways to do this, but we are going to focus on 8 tried and true methods that you can easily implement into your lives to prevent the flu naturally.

Some of these suggestions might seem like no-brainers, but many of us need to be reminded of what our mothers always said (I know I do). I submit that following these tried and true methods will not only help us prevent the flu naturally, but will build a foundation for overall good health.

  1. Wash your hands regularly
    Hopefully we all do this after using “the facilities”, but how many of us put our hands to our face throughout the day without thinking about it. At the very least, wash your hands before you eat, and for at least 15 seconds. Boring to count seconds? Sing the Alphabet song (preferably in your head) and by the time you get to “…next time won’t you sing with me”, you’ll be done.
  2. Vitamin D
    Not just for bones anymore, Vitamin D has been shown to impact the immune system. I advocate getting this as safe sun exposure when possible, but with today’s indoor lifestyle, especially in the winter season, taking a quality Vitamin D supplement is a must.
  3. Exercise
    I know. I know. It seems like exercise is a component of every healthy to-do list out there, but it’s not without reason. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your health and keep healthy throughout the flu season. If exercise isn’t something you do regularly, start small. Taking a walk in the great outdoors will do wonders for your body and your mood. And you can catch a few Vitamin D rays at the same time!
  4. Sleep
    Surviving on little sleep and trying to catch up with a Sunday nap won’t cut it. You need good quality sleep every night to keep your immune system strong. Have a hard time winding down after a long day? Avoid screen time on the TV, computer, and smartphone a couple of hours before bedtime. The light emitted from these screens prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.
  5. Relax
    How often have we gotten sick right around the time of that big presentation, meeting, or (dare I say it) the holidays? These can all be stressful situations, and stress is a major contributor to our health issues. What is your “chill pill” – taking a hot bath, yoga, reading a good book, knitting, shooting some hoops, lunch with the girls? What ever gives you peace and joy, prioritize it and even mark it in your calendar. Don’t try and “fit” it in your schedule because chances are you will find other things to do.
  6. Eat Food
    And by food, I mean the real stuff, as nature intended (or at least a close resemblance). I strive to eat organic whenever I can and always keep an eye out for special deals (yes, eating right can cost more). Look for foods that are minimally processed and that don’t contain a long list of unpronounceable words. And remember, just because it is advertized with healthy buzz- words, doesn’t necessarily make it is healthy choice, so read those labels.
  7. Avoid sugar
    I know this is a tough one for a lot of people. We love anything sweet. Even our mother’s milk is on the sweet side. But sugar is a culprit in many of our health issues and it also weakens our immune system. Unfortunately, our food is laden with sugars, especially refined white sugar and the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. Try and avoid these sugars at all costs and opt for natural choices (not artificial sugars) like fresh fruit, stevia, raw honey, and even then, in moderation.
  8. Whole food supplements
    It is very difficult to get everything we need from our food. This was the basis for the vitamin revolution. But not all multivitamins are created equal. Some contain synthetics, unrecognizable as food to our bodies and are virtually indigestible.These are often the cheap, over the counter types. Many “super vitamins”, even natural ones, contain too much of a good thing. We don’t necessarily need 200% of a certain nutrient, especially if that nutrient is stored in our organs and not flushed out of our systems. This can actually make us ill. Getting a good whole food supplement that gives you what you need, in the right proportions, that our bodies recognize as food, will not only boost your immune system, but is foundational for your overall health and wellbeing.

Following these 8 methods for boosting our immune system will go a long way in preventing the flu naturally this cold and flu season, but even more than that, it has the added benefit of building a foundation to ward off serious health issues that could creep up in your future.

There are also immune boosting elements in nature that can kick us on the right direction. For instance, check out these two articles:

When to buy organic

How to Decide When to Buy Organic Produce

Do you see the difference between these two strawberry offers at a grocery store in Colorado? If you said one is organic, then you would be spot on!

For years I have indulged in this delectable berry and so it has become a permanent part of what I associate with summer. In fact, I have my very own strawberry patch at home in Utah that I often feed on for breakfast, either straight off the plant or in the form of natural strawberry jam.

However, the day of this photo found me in Colorado. It was early spring, the sun was shining, and I had a hankering for strawberries. Now, I hate to buy fruit and veg from the grocery story when I have them in my garden, especially when organic produce usually costs more. If you are like me, you live on a budget. Many people struggle with the choice of price-over-quality or quality-over-price (by quality I mean organic). In this case, I got the best of both. Score!

Price-Over-Quality or Quality-Over-Price

But, if the price would not be the same, how do I choose when to buy organic? Would it be quality or price? Well, that depends. For strawberries, I would choose organic. In the US, strawberries grown by conventional means are loaded with pesticides. Growers even use poisonous gases (banned by the Geneva Conventions, by the way) to kill insects and weeds before planting the fields. The residue of these chemicals remain even after several washings. This is not only true for strawberries, but include several fruits and veg. Apples, are among the worst when it comes to pesticide levels, followed by produce such as peaches, nectarines, grapes, spinach, cherries, tomatoes, and bell peppers. And it often doesn’t help to peel them as many chemicals soak through the vulnerable skin. Strawberries are definitely be on my “A” list for buying organic. On the other hand, there are produce that are not as bad and can go on my “B” list or even no-list. These include avocado, sweet corn, cabbage, and pineapple. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s list of “Dirty 12” and “Clean 15” produce for tips.

when buy organic dirty 12 clean 15

Where to buy organic

Try your best to buy the worst of chemical laden fruits and veg, organic. And by all means shop around. Farmer’s markets are often great places for local, organic fare. There are also grocers that specialize in healthy alternatives that have great offers from time to time. I have found great organic frozen produce at Costco. And don’t forget your local grocery store, like where these strawberries came from. Of course, you can always try and grow some of your own favorites. I can vouch for the strawberries!

Photo credit – “Dirty 12 Clean 15” ewg.org

eat late lose weight

Eat Late and Lose Weight

4 foods for late-night eating that can help you lose fat

Quick question for those of you who work out, but still can’t seem to drop a few pounds: Do you ever eat late at night?

It is pretty widely accepted that this is a no-no for weight loss, but if you answered yes, don’t worry. I may have a solution for all that night-time eating.

Although it is generally accepted, is eating right before bed a bad thing if you want to lose weight? Well, yes and no. Why it is generally not a good idea to eat certain foods before hitting the pillow, there are foods that are not only OK, but they can actually help you lose fat!

What foods should you steer away from if you want to lose weight? The answer is foods laden with bad carbs. The main reason for this is that fast burning carbohydrates increase your insulin. Too much blood sugar and insulin can lead to more fat storage and less fat burning.

So, what’s the alternative? Good quality, slow digesting proteins. In a nutshell, they provide your body with amino acids that help you recover from that exercise class you took after work and maintain lean muscle as you lose fat in addition to boost your body’s metabolism (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008)

According a study published in “The British Journal of Nutrition” in 2014 eating 30 grams of whey or casein protein 30 minutes before sleep causes a higher resting energy expenditure the next morning.

eat late and loose weight

Eating protein before bed not only boosts your body’s metabolism while you sleep, it may also increase your metabolism into the next morning.

Try these alternatives:

  1. White Animal Meat (not fish) – White meat protein sources such as chicken and turkey digest slowly and have a very low insulin release. They also promote the release of glucagon, a hormone that helps the body break down stored carbs and fat.
  2. Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese is very slow digesting and also stimulates glucagon release. Just make sure you steer away from the flavored varieties that contain added sugars.
  3. Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake – In addition to the above benefits, this alternative can certainly satisfy any sweet craving you may have.
  4. Green Veggies – Ok, these are not on the high protein list, but they are very low in calories and high in fiber. You can eat these until the cows come home (or until you are comfortably full).

Next time you are feeling peckish at night, you can try these alternative late night foods to both satisfy your hunger and lose weight.

Sugar is Killing Us: a simple video for kids (and adults)

Many have seen, read, or heard about Dr. Robert Lustig’s “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. It has a no nonsense look at how sugar really affects the body. I remember watching the YouTube video and thinking – Wow! We really need to focus on this in our family!

Of course, when I tried to reiterate what I had learned to my kids, my explanations were sorely lacking. Not being able to remember how Dr. Lustig put things, it came out as – listen up kiddos,  uh…pancreas…HFCS…toxic…diabetes…sugar…BAD!

For all you parents and laymen like me, there is a video that gives us the basics of how sugar affects our bodies, with simple words and cartoons to boot. Enjoy and be well!

P.S. Looking to better your health? Check out our Free Webinar on how you can replace everyday medicines with natural alternatives.

Chai-like Immune Booster Latte Recipe with Essential Oils

Delicious and good for you. This recipe is sure to boost your immune system and indulge your senses at the same time.

Baby it’s cold outside! …But I feel warm and cozy on the inside, thanks to a cup of Chai-like Immune Booster latte. I say chai-like because there isn’t actually any chai in it. This concoction is made of essential oils and as such, you get the added benefit of boosting your immune system while savoring the sweet, spicy chai-like flavors.

This recipe* makes one small cup, but double or triple it to fit your favorite tea cup!

  • ¾  Cup Very warm milk (not boiling)
  • 1 T Honey (or sweetener of choice, but I prefer the flavor of honey)
  • 1 drop Protective** Essential Oil blend
  • 1 drop Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 Good book (optional) 🙂

New to Essential Oils? Check out our FREE Webinar and learn more.

 

*This EO immune recipe is adapted from lexysauve.wordpress.com
** This blend contains wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils. To find out how to get this protective blend, contact us.