Do you dread cold and flu season as much as I do?!
I always have mixed opinions about this time of year……and the looming cold and flu season. I’m one of those rare few who actually loves winter time. Probably because I grew up in Northern Wisconsin where the winters were brutal. So now that I live somewhere with a more mild winter, I get all kinds of excited when the leaves drop and some snow starts falling!
What I don’t love, especially now that I have kids though, is all the pesky germs that come with that time of year. I’ve been doing a lot of work over the last few years though in changing my habits to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle. I’ve found some really easy and effective ways to boost all of our immune systems, year round, but especially during the winter months. I’m excited to share them with you today as I’ve been using these methods and am happy to report that we’ve gone relatively illness free for the last few years around here!
1- Eat a clean, unprocessed diet.
Now you knew this was going to be one of the tips today right?! I can’t preach on the daily about maintaining a clean diet (mostly Whole30 based for our family) and not remind you of how incredibly important it is for the health of not only you, but your entire family. Especially around the winter months and holidays when our stress levels are generally up and we’re bombarded with less than healthy dietary choices. If you know anything about processed food, you know that it’s filled with a lot of scary preservatives and chemicals that really stress your body out. AND create chemical reactions in your brain that actually makes you addicted to those food items. Its a scary cycle to get into and getting out of that cycle takes work. But, i haven’t ever talked to someone who ditched their old processed food, standard American Diet ways and regretted it. So if you’ve been thinking about changing your relationship with food, I wholeheartedly recommend starting with a Whole30 and continuing to make changes from there. You can heal your gut and build a strong resilient immune system with some small but super effective changes.
2- Bone broth, bone broth, bone broth
I can’t stress enough how amazing the effects of bone broth are for the health of your gut and so many other things like inflammation, sleep habits, and joint health. Did you know that 70% of the cells that make up your immune system live in your gut?! Crazy, right?! There are several ways to incorporate it into your daily health and habits and I’m going to share a few of my favorites with you! Before I share, you might be wondering where to get it! I have a couple suggestions here. You can either make your own (which sounds intimidating, but really isn’t), or you can buy it. If I’m being completely honest, I buy it more than I make it. You can google good recipes or do a quick Pinterest search and there are TONS of recipes out there if you want to make your own. But, if you prefer to buy it, I find the best prices to be at Thrive Market. It’s where I buy mine and with shipping right to your door, I find Thrive Market to be the most convenient way to get it as well as the cheapest!
Easy ways to incorporate bone broth!
- Sip it! Literally warm some up in a mug and sip it like you would coffee! You can do this any time of day, but I prefer to at the end of the day and it helps me settle into restful sleep for the night. Glycine, an amino acid found in bone broth, provides a whole host of benefits including helping with sleep
- Make some soup with it! There are tons of recipes out there now that have bone broth as the base so you can easily incorporate them into your daily meal rotation. Here’s one of my own and my current favorite soup I’ve been eating non-stop!
- Cook with it in other ways. For example- my family eats a lot of basmati rice and I never cook it with water anymore. I always replace the water with bone broth because I know it has so many added benefits for us and our gut health that way!
3- Essential Oils
I use essential oils in my daily routine, specifically Thieves for immune boosting benefits. And I’ve been cleaning my house with thieves like a mad woman lately getting ready for baby soon! I only use Young Living Essential Oils because I find them to be the purest form and of the highest quality. If you don’t know much about thieves, it has some amazing properties for boosting your immune system and can be used in a variety of ways. It’s an essential oil blend of highly antiviral, antiseptic, anti-infectious, and antibacterial oils. It can used a ton of different ways from diffusing in your home, to applying it to the bottoms of you and your family’s feet for added immunity to even ingesting it in capsule form. Plus the blend is made up from clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils, so it smells DIVINE. I honestly wish I would have started using essential oils sooner than I did because the benefits have been an amazing addition to my healthier lifestyle and the overall health of my family. I’ve slowly been building my stock and experimenting with new oils and loving every minute of it. I truly believe its an underutilized option in health and wellness.
Interested in trying some for yourself and your family?
If you want to get started using essential oils, I highly recommend the Premier Starter Kit from Young Living, since you get eleven essential oils (thieves is included in that) plus a diffuser, a sample of the thieves concentrated cleaner (which is amazing), a roller top, product guide, plus more. It’s an over $300 value if you were to price the items out individually at retail prices (but the starter kit won’t cost you even close to that!). Plus once you buy a starter kit, you get wholesale pricing on all other items which is a 24% discount. So you can slowly grow your stock and love for essential oils at your own pace! I’d love to help you in your new essential oil journey. If you work with me to get started, I will offer you money back PLUS send you some freebies as you start your journey. I’ll be your go-to for any questions you have during the process (we’ll basically become best friends….YAY!) If you’re interested, email me firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll chat more about getting you started. But, if you want to dive head first into a new wellness journey, Click Here and purchase your kit! (Just make sure the Sponsor ID and Enroller ID both have the #16374793 in the boxes and keep the “member” option selected. That’s the only way I’ll know you signed up with me so I can get you your goodies!)
Curious, but want to know more?
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4- Good Sleep Habits
This is another one that I can’t stress the importance of enough. I’ve learned over the years how important good sleep habits and rest are. When I’m under-slept, not only do my cravings for sugar and processed foods go up, but my mood shifts downward, my energy levels tank, and I just generally feel crummy, inviting illness to settle in. I make it a priority to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night and my body thanks me for it by staying healthy. Practice going to bed at the same time every night. Don’t use your cell phone or watch tv for at least an hour before going to bed. Try to stop eating at least an hour if not more before bed so that your digestion isn’t ramped up which could keep you awake. Read a book, diffuse some calming essential oils, and allow your body to come down naturally from the day and settle into sleep.
5- If you’re sick, or someone around you is sick, stay home!
This may sound silly as the closing item here, but it really is SO SIMPLE, yet so many people struggle with this idea. If someone in your family is sick, or someone at a gathering you’re supposed to attend, a distant relative at a dinner party, etc is sick, then stay home. It’s not worth the risk of either spreading your germs, or catching whatever buy someone else has. I can guarantee that one dinner party is not worth a week or more of illness for most people. I don’t hesitate to stay home when myself or other people are sick. In fact I see it as self-care. We have created this society where we have to be so busy all the time, constantly going and running ourselves down, and never missing an event. We’re inevitably just spreading germs around everywhere when we’re sick. Stay home, turn on a movie, and cozy up with some bone broth mentioned earlier, your body will thank you.
OK- There you have it, my tips for boosting your immune system and surviving cold and flu season this year. I feel like I could talk about this topic for pages and pages so I’m trying to keep things short and to the point here for your reading purposes. I think any pace you’re moving in the direction of a healthier lifestyle is progress and any movement in the right direction whether or fast or slow is the goal. So start making changes at your own pace! Put in the work, and start building healthier habits for your whole family! Like I said, it’s worth it every time!