How To Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

I knew that the cold and flu season had arrived with a bang when my perennially healthy husband came down with a nasty cold that lasted more than a week. This winter is gearing up to be a snowy or rainy one depending on where you live, so it’s going to be important to really nourish your body this winter with some of my tips so you can stay healthy.

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Boost Your Immune System
It doesn’t surprise me that most of us get sick in January and February. They are usually the coldest and darkest months of the year plus our bodies are still recovering from all of the sweets and heavy foods we consumed during the holidays. To boost your immune system we must first say goodbye to sugar. I know this isn’t the easiest first step, but its such an important one, so toss out any treats left in your cabinets from the holidays. Next step is adding in healthy foods such as dark leafy greens, citrus, fermented foods like Kimchee, Sauerkraut or Kombucha, and bone broth. This broth protects us against colds and helps us recover faster if we get sick. It is the original chicken soup and so much better than anything store bought, it is really easy to make and you can freeze it for any future needs.

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Eat Warmer Foods
If it is cold out and you are eating cold foods, your body is going to retain that cold most of the day. I encourage you to replace the morning green smoothie or fruit with oatmeal, quinoa flakes or sautéed greens with coconut oil and continue to eat warm foods throughout the day. The bone broth can be an afternoon tea drink and this is the best time of the year for chili, stews and soups. You might even notice that your body is craving these warm nourishing foods. If you are finding it hard to keep up with your water intake, switch to warm water with lemon to keep your body hydrated.

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The Magic of Vitamin D
Even those of us that live in a sunnier climate we are probably still not getting enough Vitamin D. Most of us are deficient in this important Vitamin, which is essential for our body to absorb calcium and keeps our mood balanced. I take a Vitamin D supplement daily even though I live in California. I’m still not outside in the sun enough to have optimal levels. Vitamin D really helps to keep our immune system healthy and if you haven’t had your levels checked recently, I really encourage you to do so.

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Holistic Cold Medicine
When I started reading labels on everything that I was putting in my body I noticed that my cough drops and medicines actually had a ton of sugar in them. Sugar really depresses the immune system and we want to avoid it as much as possible. Try some Elderberry Syrup or Elderberry Cough Drops, it will help coat the throat and helps to boost the immune system or raw local honey. If you are blowing your nose a lot this winter try using a Neti Pot to help clear your sinuses.

I also like to use thieves oil as a way to support my immune system and steer clear of winter time sniffles.

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Decrease Stress and Sleep More
I am always sharing the importance of the three S’s; sugar, sleep and stress with my clients. When the three S’s are combined, eating too much sugar, sleeping less and stressing more is when we get sick. I encourage you to reduce the stress in your life, say “No” before you say “Yes” to any invites, and make sure you are taking the time to move your body every single day to keep your immune system healthy. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep, and really look at all of the foods you are eating and make an effort to eat less sugar. The more you can stay relaxed the easier it is for your immune system to keep in balance and keep you healthy this winter.

Do you have your own “Stay Healthy” tips?

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About the Author

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A lover of all things health and wellness, Katie Bressack is a women’s health expert living in Los Angeles. Katie works to help implement simple, healthy choices that make a big impact on women’s health. Katie specializes in healthy weight loss, hormone balancing and body love. With Katie's support, the woman she counsels lose weight, eat healthier, maintain a balanced mood, increase energy levels, and live a healthier and more vibrant life.Katie is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Board Certified by the American Association for Drugless Practitioners (AADP). She also has a certificate from the Institute of The Psychology of Eating, Trained in the Hormone Cure with Dr. Sara Gottfried and is a Registered Yoga Instructor.Katie is a Corporate Wellness Expert and creates Wellness At Work programs for businesses. She has supported Fortune 500 Companies such as Mattel, Digitas and Publics Modem. Katie was also named Today's Innovative Women Start Up Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2013 and She Know's Expert Among Us For Women's Health in 2013. Katie is also the creator of Balance Your Body in 28 days for the busy woman on the go.Visit her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & LinkedIn

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