In my neck of the woods, “winter is coming.”

Which means at some point, we’re all going to be exposed to a cold or flu. 

There are a few things I just can’t do without during the cold and flu season. Some are lifestyle habits and some are natural aids to bolster me up. 

Lifestyle is the cheapest and most effective way to stay healthy. It’s also the hardest. 
Why? Because it’s easier to ignore for long periods of time and often doesn’t seem to have a direct correlation to specific health concerns.
Even so, lifestyle is the most effective and inexpensive way to stay healthy. Try doing some (or all) of these healthy habits:
  • Sleep – Plan to sleep from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM for optimal health. Our body heals while we sleep. The more rested we are, the better equipped we’ll be to deal with daily stressors and take things in stride.
  • Hand washing — Most colds are spread by contact. Generally speaking, we touch our face 3.6 times per hour and touch common objects 3.3 times per hour. This means we’re more likely to get germs on our hands which then has the potential to spread. Note: when washing your hands do it long enough to sing the happy birthday song twice.
  • Hydration — I feel like we’re constantly beating this advice with a stick, but it’s critical to staying healthy. The general rule of thumb is 1/2 your weight in ounces. Yes, I know. That’s a lot of water. If you’re not in the habit of drinking H20, start off slowly and build up. Something is always better than nothing. I keep a carafe in the fridge with a cinnamon stick in to to give it a little boost of flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits. BTW, if you drink coffee or soda, that counts as negative ounces (sad emoji).
  • Nutrition — Eat whole foods (fruit, vegetables, grains, fish, grass fed poultry and beef). The better we eat, the better we feel. It’s natural to crave sweet and salty/crunchy foods at this time of year. Often, it’s because we’re tired; so get some rest!

I’ll admin I’m not always at my best when life gets busy. Usually one or more areas gets ignored and I find myself feeling run down. When that happens, these are the things I keep on hand to make sure I stay ahead of any illness:

  • Vitamin C — I keep a supply of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C packs on hand. This formulation is easily absorbed and very effective. They’re great to take daily and especially helpful during cold and flu season. Also helpful for adrenal support.
  • Zinc — Zand Zinc Lozenges with Elderberry are another must have in my medicine cabinet. Zinc boosts immunity and has been known to reduce the duration of a common cold.
  • Homeopathy (pre-cold and flu) — Arsenicum Album is one of the few remedies you can take prophylactically to ward off colds and flu. Dissolve 3 pellets under the tongue once a month. Easy peasy!
  • Homeopathy (during flu) — Oscillococcinum can be taken when flu symptoms set in. It reduces the length of illness and makes symptoms a whole lot more tolerable. 

Wishing you a healthy Fall and Winter season!