Being in the health and wellness field, I am often asked how it is that I don’t seem to get sick.  Here are a few simple things you can do to avoid getting the flu or a cold in the first place, without chemicals and major expense.

1) Reduce Stress – Stress activates our sympathetic nervous system, our flight or fight response.  This response increases the hormone adrenaline, which then increases our heart rate and blood flow.  Back in the day, we developed this response in order to increase our chances Meditationof survival when chasing down food, or running from becoming food.  The body focuses on protecting all vital organs and functions when under stress, and all non-vital functions go by the wayside.  Examples of non-vital functions are our immune system, reproductive system, etc.

As a result, if we want to stay healthy, we need to find ways to reduce stress…like practicing yoga, getting more sleep, and meditation. 🙂  Most days, I meditate for at least 5 minutes per day, and usually in the morning before I’ve begun my day.  If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate.  Meditation is just focusing on one thing…instead of worry, focus on your breath, your gratitude for something in your life, or your intention for a good day – these are just a few examples.  Check out this Stanford study on stress:  http://killerstress.stanford.edu/

2) Neti Pot 1 -2x per day when you’re not feeling well, use all of the time if you suffer from allergies.  If you don’t know what this is, go to Walgreens or CVS and ask the pharmacist to show you where it is in the store.  Click on the link to learn more about this simple and easy remedy.  This is so effective and simple, everyone should have one in their home!

3) Green Tea – I try to drink as much green tea as I possibly can.  Green Tea is rich with antioxidants in the form of Catechins.  One of the teabagmany benefits of Catechins is that it helps boost the immune system.  Green Tea also has an element that increases the good bacteria in your intestines and stomach, helping you combat future colds.  (I do want to add that it’s been proven that adding milk to your tea changes the chemical composition of the tea and reduces its benefits.)  Read more on the many benefits of Tea:  Dr. Pratt on Tea

4) Avoid Antibiotics, Z pack, etc – I try to stay clear of antibiotics for the common cold or flu. By definition, antibiotics are anything that destroy bacteria or inhibit their growth.  Sounds great, except that this means the antibiotics will kill ALL the bacteria in your body.  Unfortunately, it can’t tell the difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff, and the good stuff residing in our intestines and stomach lining actually help to prevent us from getting colds.  Once you’re on the antibiotic wagon, it’s tough to get off.  Keep the good bacteria up, keep your immune system primed, and the common cold might not be as common in your life!  Bacteria and Colds

5) Lastly, and I know we might not like this one, but eat HEALTHY.  Your car doesn’t run well when you put junk into it, and neither do you.  If it’s impossible for you to eat healthy regularly, then at least try to feed your body with the good stuff when you’re sick.  The good news iveggiess, in the winter months, we need to eat more filling foods to protect our bodies from the cold.  Avoid canned, processed and frozen foods and eat fresh fruits that are in season, vegetables, and root vegetables, (sweet potatoes, radish, beets, carrots,) instead.  If you’re meat eater, try to buy meat that is from grass-fed or free range animals.  Incorporate foods that include live bacteria, such as certain kinds of yogurt, to keep the stomach lining full of good cold-fighting bacteria.  Most of our colds originate in our bellies!  Check out our Recipes, and next time we run our Sugar Challenge or Wellness Challenge, join us!  The quickest way to bust your bad habits is to join an accountability team.  Eating well will change your life, and increase your pocket-book.

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