Flu Season is Coming: My Top Tips for Super Immunity.
Flu season is right around the corner and if you are anything like me you tend to stay clear of flu shots and go more towards precautionary holistic health measures. This post came to me as I was getting ready for our trip to Montana and Wyoming. I seem to always perform poorly on airplanes, arriving at my destination with a sore, itchy throat and fatigue. Doubled with changing time zones and temperatures I knew I needed to start preparing my body for the worst case scenario. I began about one week prior to my trip with this protocol and I plan on sticking with it all through the winter. Not only are these tips awesome to help keep your immunity in tip top shape throughout flu season, it can also be an extremely anti inflammatory way to live your life, resulting in decreased risk of disease and a lifetime of feeling fabulous!
Drink a TON of liquids! Do not even give your body a chance to muster over a virus, flush it right out! Drinking a lot of liquids will also help your body heal faster if you already did catch a cold or flu. Avoid sugary juices and sodas as the sugars in them will negatively impact your progress (unless you are not getting enough calories from food). Instead reach for water, herbal teas, and homemade broths!
Keep your diet simple. Did you know your immunity stems from your gut? While your body is trying to heal it is important to avoid foods that are complex, irritating, and cause inflammation. These foods include fried foods, restaurant food and fast food, all dairy, alcohol, rancid oils, candy and sugar, breads, and heavily processed foods (pop-tarts, chips, frozen dinners, etc). Instead eat a lot of immune supporting and nutrient dense foods like vegetables, homemade soups, and organ meats. Additionally, eat a lot of garlic, onion, ginger, and turmeric as these foods are excellent for their immune boosting and anti inflammatory properties.
Sweat it out. Having an exercise routine will reduce inflammation in your body all year long. You will notice you start to get less colds, you have more energy, better mood, sleep, and you look better! But in the case that you do get sick, if you are feeling up to it, and your symptoms range from the neck up only (if your symptoms go below the neck avoid exercise) getting in a good workout could be the difference between a 4 day cold and a 1 day cold. When we exercise, we not only sweat out toxins, we also reduce inflammation in our bodies therefor reducing the duration and intensity of our cold or flu. If you have access to a steam room this is a fabulous tool for breaking up mucus and ridding our bodies of toxins. Remember, water water water! Another tool you can use is a facial steamer, or simple put your face over a bowl of hot water and cover you head with a towel to lock in the steam.
Go to bed early. Getting a good nights sleep will boost our immunity and set us up for a fantastic day. Have you ever got sick because of a bad nights sleep? Getting too little sleep or having horrible sleep quality will make us so much more susceptible to catching a cold or flu. Days after our bad sleep our immunity is low and our inflammation is up. Not to mention high blood pressure, mood swings and irritability, and sugar cravings galore! You can read more about my top tips for optimal sleep here.
To help get you started, here are some recipes that include some of the foods we listed above.. homemade broth, garlic, ginger, onion, and turmeric!
Instant Pot Cold Remedy Soup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
2qts homemade bone broth (chicken, turkey, pork, beef)
3 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 large onion, diced
2c shiitake mushrooms, chopped
2tbsp fresh ginger, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Optional: 2tbsp sea salt (add only if your broth is unsalted)
1. Set InstantPot to Sauté function.
2. Sauté onion, for roughly 2 minutes, then garlic and ginger for another 2 minutes.
3. Add all remaining ingredients to the pot except for the lemon juice.
4. Set InstantPot to Manual - High Pressure - for 6 minutes.
5. Gradually allow pressure to release if you have the time or quick release to enjoy right away.
7. Add lemon juice last, stir, an enjoy!
8oz homemade bone broth
1tbsp fresh ginger
1 lemon slice (remove seeds, keep rind)
1/8tsp cayenne pepper
1. Heat bone broth.
2. Add ingredients to a blender and blend well.
3. Pour and enjoy!