Monday, December 5, 2011

Optimal Winter Wellness

I have a confession. I have been sick. Recently. In fact, the whole thing just wrapped up on Thursday. I’m a health coach; I’m not supposed to get sick. How embarrassing.  I was so hoping to get through the winter without getting sick. Bummer. How did this happen? Here’s how. The way it happens to everybody!

Before I left for Oregon to visit family for the holiday I had some deadlines so I was stressed and worked extra hours, not getting enough rest. Then, while I was there, instead of eating the nutrient-dense food that I am used to, I ate more meat and carbs than I usually do. On Thanksgiving, because the hors de oeuvres were so good, I was already full by the time the dinner was served, so, even though I took tiny portions, I overate.

Add to that a long walk on the cold windy beach with no hat on Friday and – bang – I woke up on Saturday with a cold.


I do know how to stay well during flu season, and I got into action to make myself better the second I got home. I’m feeling great now and my cold only lasted FIVE DAYS!

Here are the three most important things I did – that you can easily do, also - that fixed my cold FAST. And, the best part is, done consistently, these things will keep you well ALL WINTER. . .

I got right back to eating nutrient-dense food.
Vegetables and fruit that are all the colors of the rainbow, with a focus on dark green, keep you well. There are now studies that prove it. I eat at least four or five servings of vegetables each day. I eat primarily onions, carrots, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, lettuce and kale. Because of my level of busi-ness, I keep it simple, except on Sundays when I take time to cook, but that's a different blog post. 

Preparing food doesn’t have to be complicated. You, too, can keep it simple if you like.

Here’s an easy recipe:
1 or 2 carrots
1 onion
6 or 8 mushrooms
1 small head of broccoli
- all organic if possible –
1 container of no-chicken chicken broth

Put ¾ of the container of broth in a pan, cut up the veggies. Throw it all in the broth except the broccoli. Let it boil for 15 or 20 minutes. While it’s boiling, eat the broccoli as a snack.

Voila! 3 large portions of soup in less than 30 minutes! Eat as much as you like. Eat the rest the next day.

I took a natural remedy that WORKS.
When I got home I immediately took a tablespoon of elderberry syrup. Scientists are now studying the stuff and preliminary studies show that elderberry concentrate enhances the body’s defense against viral infections, particularly influenza. It also helps shorten the duration of symptoms once you are already ill. It does this by inhibiting the adhesion of the invading virus to cell receptors, which keeps it from replicating, which lessens both the length and intensity of the illness. Plus elderberry syrup is high in antioxidants. 

I rested and took good care of myself.
I also made sure that I got an extra hour of rest each night until I was better. Our bodies work hard all day to keep us well and when we have a virus, they have to work even harder. An hour or two of extra rest, and I do mean sleep, helps us recover from illness faster.

Each evening before bed I took a warm bath. I am a big fan of warm baths. They just make me feel better no matter what. I usually use some sort of calming or relaxing aromatherapy oil. Just laying back in the warm water, breathing the moist air and allowing my body to totally relax feel so good - a boost for both my body and sprit. 

So there you have it! The three things I did to get better fast. You can do them, too. Take good care of yourself this winter. I don’t have time to be super-sick and I’m sure you don’t either!

Happy Winter!