This time of year I get lots of questions about how we keep our immune system strong.
Here are my 7 best tips for staying healthy and building a strong immune system for both you and your growing kids.
The picture to the right is how we start off many mornings.
This morning our trusty Jack LaLanne Juicer
juiced carrots, celery, oranges, apples, parsley, ginger and 2 kinds of lettuce. We drink more veggies for breakfast then most people have in their entire day!! The benefits of juicing are plentiful and perhaps obvious (due to the amount of veggies it takes), but one of the best benefits is that since the fiber is gone, the vitamins go quickly into the blood stream. We always drink our juice on an empty stomach to help the nutrients absorb quickly.
We don’t always juice, sometimes we make smoothies and keep in the fiber. It is always about a balance. Some days you need the boost fast and other days your body doesn’t need it as quickly.
Throughout the day I always make sure we are ingesting some type of probiotic. Here are our two favorite probiotics right now. I just recently found them and everyone in our family LOVES them!
Both are brimming with the good bacteria that will help you digest your foods and build your immune system. In addition, the coconut water (when fermented) is really healing for the gut if you have a leaky gut (which most people have due to their poor eating habits or inability to digest wheat).
Another probiotic that often graces our table is Body Ecology’s CocoBiotic
We do eat yogurt, but yogurt is mucus producing in the body and most brands contain sugar. So I rarely count yogurt as my top source for probiotics.
3. Fish Oil
fish oil will help the body get help essential nutrients to the system and will also provide a huge boost of omega 3’s.
4. Soups and Broths
We are mindful about the types of meals we eat during the winter. Our meals in the winter consist of soups nearly everyday. Chicken or vegetable broths are brimming with nutrients plus the body needs more fluids during the cold winter months. Add in the benefits of starchy root vegetables in the winter for good carbohydrates to burn on colder days and soups become the perfect meal. When serving soups, make sure to add a dollop of sour cream or cheese or something with fat in it. If we neglect to eat fats, we are missing vitamins A,D,E and K which are fat soluble vitamins (meaning they need fat as a partner to be absorbed).
5. Vitamin D – sunshine!!!
We have all heard of the benefits of vitamin D for building immunity so make sure you get a little sunshine during the winter months. Bundle up and go outside in the morning, when the light is best.
Our boys get 10-11 hours of sleep every night (sometime 12-13) and my husband and I try to get 8-9 hours. Our bodies repair while we are sleeping. Sleep less, repair less. Sleep more, build and repair more. Isn’t it ironic that during the winter everyone is super busy and stressing out over the holidays and their schedules? Slow down a bit, say no to a few things. See the difference it makes.
7. Healthy Mindframe – Our Thoughts
This is essential!!!! You know that tape that plays in your head, what you think about yourself, the world, etc. It matters to your health!!! One of the biggest ways people throw themselves out of balance is through their thoughts, because our thoughts not only impact our bodies, but they impact our decisions, our reality.
A few years ago I wrote i love me! with a vision of kids having a very simple and fun way of creating a healthy mindframe. This colorful and engaging book makes it easy for kids (and adults) to start building a healthy mindframe. The phrases are like mantras, short and easy to remember.
Deepak Chopra has been a part of some amazing scientific studies that have found that our cells have receptors for emotions. What that means is, if you think you are strong, you cells will respond that way. If you are worried about getting sick or thinking about it…well…
~Breath~ and let go of toxic emotions.
It takes an incredible amount of energy for your mind and body to hold onto toxic emotions such as anger, bitterness, jealousy. You could eat only the best of the best foods and still get sick if you hold onto toxic emotions.
If you find this fascinating and want to learn more about the brain/body connection, check out Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide, Revised and Updated Edition
The truth is, it is easy to stay healthy, if you make it a conscious priority and define what health means to you as a family. For us it’s not only about what we don’t eat (white sugar, preservatives, colors and dyes, all the things that make your body work really hard), but it is about how we live our lives on a daily basis. It is about the whole picture. It is about keeping the body in balance with foods, exercise, mindframe, spirituality, daily schedules, etc. they all play a huge part of health.
If you want more ideas or support, feel free to contact me. As a health coach I can help you strengthen your goals for health by guiding you to make small changes that will result in huge, positive impacts. When we nourish ourselves at our core, we make better decisions in life which result in more happiness and health! One of my clients recently shared with me how every morning she wakes up excited for the day! Isn’t that awesome?!!!
So now I leave you with a question. What does your picture of optimal health look like?
P.S. If you want to really recharge your body with probiotics, super foods and an alkalizing green, try this 10-day challenge.