Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Arming the Immune System

'Tis the season around here for illness! Last week I spent 7 days straight dealing with at least one vomiting child. We've NEVER had a flu issue before but right now it's spreading like wildfire. My youngest goes to Nursery School (he's the one who brought it home) and they ended up shutting down his entire school one day because everyone was sick with it.

In knowing this, I ramped up my self-care and spent extra time and energy nurturing my immune system (or as my kids would say - loading up the army!)In the end, all I came down with was a couple dizzy of feeling under the weather (bit of nausea, dizziness and fatigue). Considering I had been basically swimming in vomit, I consider this a win!

I posted a YouTube video outlining the ways I boost my immune system when I am surrounded by extra germs (typically in September and January) or when I start to feel something coming. When I follow these practices, I RARELY end up with anything, and if I do, it's a very mild form from what others around me were dealing with. The times I am actually sick are reflective of the neglect I've put into myself and my immune system.

I wanted to share these tips with you as I've had inquiries lately on how to boost the immune system naturally. Keep in mind, I have daily practices and habits that keep my immune system quite strong all the time, these are just my top 11 extras.

1) Take a Quality Probiotic
Approximately 80% of your immune system is found in your gut, and a greater percentage of my clients show imbalances with their gut flora. My kids and I take probiotics every single day, non-negotiable.

2) Zinc Lozenges
Zinc is wonderful for the immune system. Go with the lozenges as they will dissolve close to the nasal passages and fight right there!

3) Echinacea Tea
Echinacea is an herbal remedy great for preventing and treating colds and other viral illnesses

4) Essential Oils
When you use a QUALITY essential oil (not the ones you can buy in most stores), you have a huge advantage health-wise. Essential oils are pure extracts from plants, and as we all know, nature is FULL of therapeutic properties. There is a blend I use from doTerra that I adore when we aren't feeling amazing, called onGuard. There is also a blend I take in an empty capsule (oregano, lemon, tea tree, OnGuard and Frankincense). If you aren't using DoTerra brand you likely shouldn't be ingesting essential oils as they tend to be filled with synthetics, so please do your research.

5) Make a Germ Busting Tea
Mix hot water in a mug with 1T raw honey, 1T apple cider vinegar, dash of cayenne, 1T turmeric, 1/4 tsp ginger, juice of a half a lemon and stir well. This tea you can drink a few times a day and is FULL of bacteria fighting properties

6) Manage Your Stress
Long term, chronic stress suppresses the immune system. Manage your stress daily and you will notice a big difference in your health and well-being. I will write a post about specific ways to arm your stress response in a future post, stay tuned.

7) Drink Lots of Water
Drinking lots of water helps flush toxins from the water and helps the body function at it's best

8) Lighten Your Digestive Load
Your digestive system uses up a TON of energy. In order to reserve energy for repair and fighting, it's a good idea to lean toward foods that are easier to digest, such as smoothies and soups. You still want to load your body with nutrients to equip your immune system but you also don't want loads of solid foods that take away time and energy.

9) Stay Away From Dairy
Dairy is very mucous forming in the body and tends to clog up all the channels needed for clearing out toxins. Especially avoid dairy if there is a tendency toward ear infections or pain, stuffy noses or constipation

10) Stay Away From Sugar
I've mentioned this many times before but 1 teaspoon of sugar can paralyze immune functioning for up to 6 hours. Stay far, far away from processed foods full of sugar when you are trying to arm your immune system

11) Get Lots of Rest
Your body needs to REST to repair. Set your to-do list aside, gather your tribe to help with your kids and REST. I know it isn't easy to do but it's so important for your body to spend its energy fighting rather than working out, stressing out and DOING

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