Power to the people! Power to those who want to stay healthy and avoid getting sick this fall and winter!
This blog post features some powerful remedies to ramp up your immune system this fall. So whether you are sick, or you want to keep from getting sick, here is the ammo you need to fight off colds and flu the natural way.
We talked with two special guests for this post: Integrative Health Coach and Yogi, Katarina Arneric; and Sinisa Rasberger, owner of Chicago Health Foods, a Gold Coast staple on Maple, selling the best natural foods and supplements.
Katarina has loads of natural, homeopathic remedies for all sorts of ailments, but for cold and flu season, here are her top 5 things to do if you think you are getting sick or are sick and want to shorten the duration of your illness:
1. Loads of water! We hear this all the time right…but our bodies are mostly comprised of water, and to prevent dehydration, and to keep the metabolic and lymphatic systems moving hydrate early and often. Start the day with a glass of warm or hot water with honey and lemon for a morning metabolism jumpstart.
2. Sleep, rest, relax, repeat. Physical rest allows the body to focus on fighting off all sorts of invaders. Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system. Try not to tax your immune system with workouts—you want all energy systems completely devoted to warding off invading bacteria or virus. Or try Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep) for conscious sleep and deep relaxation. There are several guided classes on Youtube.
3. Move your lymphatic system. Steam and hot showers are a great way to stimulate the lymph. Katarina recommends the following routine to really get the blood flowing:
Submerge yourself in a hot bath, at least up to your ears or jawline. While in the bath, practice what is known as yogic fire breathing:
Inhale through your nose, exhale through your nose, as you exhale, contract your stomach muscles and pull your belly button tight--like a full deep-abdominal contraction. Your subsequent inhales will just come naturally. Each breath in and out is short and quick. Do your fire breathing at a quick pace for about 1-5 minutes. WARNING!! This will heat up your entire body…you will sweat, but this is the point. Sweat is your body’s natural way of eliminating toxins, without the physically exhaustion that comes with a workout sweat.
After the bath, take a cold shower, then a hot shower--for about 3 deep breaths each. Keep alternating between these two temperatures in the shower 3 more times.
4. Keep your nutrition healthy and especially load up on antioxidant, anti inflammatory and Omega 3 foods.
Garlic, onions, mushrooms and spices like turmeric all have anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, anti viral AND anti fungal properties.
Load up on vitamins D and C (5 brussel sprouts have more vitamin C than an orange).
Antioxidants like zinc, iron, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids help immune function. FYI: Zinc is considered a micro-nutrient to antioxidants.
Cut the sugar…eating 100g of sugar significantly hampers the ability of white blood cells to rev up to attack bacteria for at least 5 hours! (A sweetened yogurt can have from 12-22g of sugar)! Sugar intake should be lower than 49g per day.
Indulge in the flavor of the season: pumpkin! 1/2c. of pumpkin provides a daily dose of vitamin A…see our Powerful Pumpkin smoothie recipe below!
For an added bonus dose of nutrients, grab a wheat grass shot—1 per day will do. Because it contains all known minerals, is rich in protein, vitamins A, B, C, E and K--basically the nutritional equivalent of 5 pounds of raw organic veg! It also contains blood-boosting chlorophyll.
5. Last but not least, mentally slow down…meditate, journal, or clear your mind and your brain another way. Get that albatross off your back; breathe deeply, and be in your world as effortless and weightless as possible.
Note: Consult your physician before trying any of these remedies; if you are sick for more than 3-5 days, a visit to your physician will definitely be in order.
POWERFUL PUMPKIN SPICE SMOOTHIE*
½ c. canned pumpkin
½ c. unsweetened almond or rice milk
crushed ice (to taste)
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice or cinnamon
1 TBL ground flax seeds
1 scoop vanilla or plain protein powder, or 1 TBL any nut butter
1 TBL honey or ½ banana or 2 dates
blend and enjoy!
*recipe inspired by NASM's pumpkin smoothie
We also talked to Sinisa Rasberger, owner of Chicago Health Foods. Sinisa said he has been making this handy "COLD AND FLU" kit for over 15 years...and it really works! Follow the protocol in the kit and you will feel better in 48 hours. Here a description of the kit:
"COLD & FLU KIT"
Eldelberry: Eldelberry contains antioxidant flavonoids that protect cell walls against foreign substances.
Take 1 tablespoon every 3 hours. This interval is critical for quick recovery.
Pelargonium Sidoides: Clinically proven to relieve the cold symptoms and speed up recovery time.
Take 3 chewable tablets every 3 hours. This interval is critical for quick recovery.
Vitamin C with Rose Hips: Clinical studies show that intake greater than 200 mg. vitamin C per day reduced the duration and severity of common cold symptoms. Furthermore, separate clinical studies show that taking 500 mg. vitamin C per day reduces chances of getting a common cold by 50%.
Take 3 tablets per day during the cold and 1 per day as prevention
Also, Sinisa mentioned a critical item not in the kit...a 35 billion shelf stable probiotic with 8 critical strains and a prebiotic blend. "Probiotics - good bacteria are our first line of defense against cold and flu virus. The good bacteria lives in our mucus membrane and our digestive tract. Once someone sneezes near us, airborne virus lands in our mucus membrane and if we have a healthy probiotic flora, virus gets killed. If not, it multiplies inside our cells and our bodies get the high fever to combat the viral infection." Gross, but true!
I am heading over to Chicago Health Foods to buy a kit this weekend... just in case. Right now, Sinisa is offering a special to our blog readers: Simply print this post, or show him the post on your phone to receive the kit at only $34.99 (Regular price for the kit is $42.29). Enjoy...and stay well!