Unfortunately, all too often, we don’t listen to what our bodies are naturally trying to tell us. As we are now immersed in what is considered cold and flu season, we began with the decadent overindulgence of Thanksgiving then added on heaps of Halloween sugar. We’re quickly moving toward a month of Christmas celebrations and New Year’s drinks. This goes on for months on end!
Instead of lightening our load, being in tune with nature, doing a fall cleanse and preparing for the season, we stuff ourselves full of the rich, dense, heavy, sweet food & drinks associated with our string of holidays and occasions. A toxic body in the making!
In addition, as the season changes, we have less light and more darkness. Even on the sunniest days of fall, we don’t receive enough direct sunlight for adequate vitamin D production. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the adult population. Research suggests that low vitamin D levels are associated with higher rates of colds, flus and respiratory infections. It has been said that there wouldn’t be a ‘flu season’ if we all had adequate levels of Vitamin D.
So is it a cold and flu season that we need to fear? Or should we fear our ongoing overconsumption of these tempting foods and drinks and their effects on the body, coupled with the lack of sunlight and vitamin D? And what can we do about it? How can we arm ourselves?
1. First thing is to drink plenty of water. Keep hydrated.
2. Next focus is to clean up the diet. Yes, we want to enjoy the festivities but moderation is key! Try a 90/10 rule. On a regular daily basis, eat nutrient dense meals filled with good quality protein, fresh fruits and vegetables 90% of the time. Limit dairy, sugar, gluten and excess carbs. For those ‘other’ celebratory events, allow yourself to indulge 10%. But only on these days and don’t overindulge. Know when to stop and don’t keep it going day after day. When we overindulge, we end up feeling sluggish, tired, bloated, unwell and leave ourselves suspectible to weakened immunity.
3. Supplement with a good quality Vitamin D3. We are all deficient in the northern hemisphere during the winter months and vitamin D is vital to the function of our immune system. Increased susceptibility to infection in one of the signs of deficiency. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to a higher risk of colds, flu and upper respiratory infections. Vitamin D is also important to support mood balance, bone health, prevent cancer and diabetes. Take a professional brand. For winter maintenance, a dose of 1,000 - 4,000 is sufficient for most. It’s always wise to have your levels checked at your next blood test. Vitamin K2 and magnesium work with vitamin D3 for best absorption. Add vitamin C and zinc which are also important supplements to support strong immunity.
4. Get plenty of sleep, fresh air and exercise.
5. Create a plan and stick to it!
When we follow the above recommendations, we don't fall into the trap of 'cold and flu season.' We are more likely to stay healthy and enjoy holiday celebrations to the fullest in a healthy, energized way!
Hi I'm Lisa... In the search for answers to my own health struggles more than 30 years ago, I discovered the path to true healing through holistic health and wellness. The body has an incredible innate ability to heal itself and nature has some amazing tools. This became my passion and my career. I'm here to share my knowledge of natural health and holistic nutrition to empower you to truly take control of your health!