You know that time of year when the sun goes down before you even leave work? You know, when it dips down into the freezing temperatures at night, and even during the day. It is also the time of year when it seems like everyone is getting sick.... and then one day, you wake up feeling not quite right, or even worse, you feel like a bulldozer backed over you while you were sleeping. I’m talking about cold and flu season. And in case you haven’t noticed, it is upon us yet again.
Unfortunately, cold and flu season coincides with the holiday season. Holidays are the time for getting together with family and friends. Nothing can ruin a holiday celebration faster than a runny nose. Rudolph the famous reindeer knows how to don a red nose with flare and style, but people just don’t wear that look very well. There is nothing quite as uncomfortable as showing up to a party with a bright red nose and pockets stuffed with used kleenex.
Holiday dinners should be about passing the potatoes….not about passing the germs. But that is what happens when we attend parties and dinners with loved ones. The more people we are exposed to, the more germs we encounter.
What are these evil germs that infect us with symptoms that leave us bed-bound and crabby for days on end? Germs are microbes. Microbes are so small they can only be seen by microscopes. Microbes can be bacteria---which causes colds, or a virus---which then causes the flu. Germs are around us all the time, but for some reason we end up with more colds and the flu during the winter months.
There are many theories as to why colds and flus are so prevalent in the winter.
One theory is that the flu virus is spread by little droplets of infected saliva. When the person across the room sneezes, or coughs, or even talks, those germ-laden droplets enter the air and can be carried to your body, or rest on something that you may touch. So if you get sick after visiting Aunt Sally’s house, you could have picked up a germ from her 1970’s retro couch or from her neighbor who coughed while he was telling a story.
Another likely theory has to do with Vitamin D levels. When you expose your skin to the sun, your body makes Vitamin D. This vitamin acts more like a hormone. It allows immune cells to communicate correctly. During the winter months, there aren’t as many opportunities for your skin to get that sunshine. Because of the lack of sun rays, your body doesn’t make as much Vitamin D, and immune cells can’t communicate properly. There's an optimal range for Vitamin D we should all reach according to Dr. Mark Hyman:
"The range should be 100 to 160 nmol/L or 40 to 65 ng/ml. In the future, we may raise this 'optimal' level even higher."
Having a hard time understanding where your own levels of Vitamin D are? Click here to order a home kit for testing your Vitamin D levels and here to get a great resource explaining how to interpret your Vitamin D blood test results. For an even easier way to get your results interpreted, just set up a free 15 minute consultation with me so we can discuss them!
Another theory relies on the law of thermodynamics. Basically, when it is cold outside, the air is usually quite dry. Cold temperatures and dry air turn out to be the best condition for the flu virus to flourish. A study concluded that flu epidimics could be expected following a drop in air moisture or humidity.
Whatever the cause may be, the cold and flu season is here to stay. But there are some many ways we can safeguard ourselves and those we love. When I start to feel a tickle in my throat or pressure in my sinuses I don’t wait for the worst to hit. I have learned to take action to protect myself from colds and flus. If I do end up getting infected with something, I have my proven strategies to shorten the time and the severity of my symptoms.
Here's what it includes:
Beta Glucan is the premiere immune system product. It is, by far, the most potent immune strengthener I know of. It has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and has hundreds or studies to back it up. It works so well, it is like a well-kept secret; but I don’t mind sharing it with you! I take 1-3 capsules per day if I feel any symptoms or if I have been around anyone who has a cold or flu.
Muco Coccinum is a homeopathic remedy that stimulates your immune cells to be on guard for germ invaders. Dissolve one tablet under your tongue. Repeat up to 3 times per day.
MycoPhyto is much more than an instant soup. It is a blend of immune-boosting mushrooms that have been grown alongside powerful healing herbs. Nothing soothes a tickling or rough throat better than a warm liquids. I often add a package to my morning bone broth. Learn more about the MycoPhyto soup mix by reading How To Deal With The Dreaded Sore Throat.
Sleep will always be essential to keeping your immune system strong during the holidays. Skip out early on a late party, or plan to sleep in if you have a late night.
Also, Water keeps the immune system and mucous membranes strong and healthy. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, make sure you get 64 ounces of water per day.
By using these remedies and always remembering to get a good amount of sleep and water, you're sure to survive this cold winter season without getting hit by those pesky germs! Follow my action plan to keep your holidays merry and jolly, because that's what we all really want right!?
For additional recipes, biohacking tips and lifestyle hacks -- check out my other blog on my coaching site www.cleancoachcarly.com! I post weekly about nutrition and lifestyle topics, all backed by science. Happy Reading!
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