The previous two Great NEWS posts shared 21 simple steps to Stop That and Start This Part 1 & 2 and this week we focus on staying healthy with the Cold and Flu Prevention Prescription. Fall and winter is the time of year many people catch a cold or flu and feel miserable. As you know many companies make billions as a result of the cold and flu season. This blog is designed to help you avoid wasting your money on expensive treatments that do little to help you recover quickly and actually have many negative side effects. Yes with this Cold and Flu Prevention Prescription you can prevent catching a cold and flu or at least minimize the down time and severity to the least discomfort possible.
Do you feel like you have a cold or flu coming on? With the arrival of fall and winter in the northern hemisphere many people become more susceptible to these health issues. The viruses that cause these conditions exist all year long yet we are more susceptible in the fall and winter. When you use your common sense there are several logical reasons why you are more likely to be affected by these viruses at certain times of the year than other times.
In the fall and winter the amount of daylight is reduced and the temperature becomes colder. As a result people have less exposure to the healing power of sunlight and less skin is exposed to create Vitamin D which is essential for health. Most people spend more time indoors in stale and stagnant air and less time outdoors in the fresh air and nature. Many homes and offices heating systems dry out the air which can affect your sinuses and become more prone to infections.
Many parts of the country also experience excessive rain and flooding in the spring and summer which results in mold growing and then producing spores which affect people in the fall. My wife worked at a school that had a roof leak in the summer that resulted in a major mold outbreak that affected hundreds of people in the fall which weakened their immune system. It took months to resolve and after several months of exposure the harm had been done to their sinus and respiratory system.
People also eat more food and more unhealthy foods during the holidays (from Halloween to Valentines Day). During this time they often consume excess alcohol, sweets and treats with even more refined sugar. In addition they tend to exercise even less. Family and financial stresses tend to show up and his causes the nervous system to short circuit. When people are more stressed it often starts a chain reaction of one thing impacting another and a weakening of the digestion and immune systems. On all inclusive vacations in Mexico you see people drinking excessively and eating plate loads of food until they are too stuffed to do much but lay on a lounge chair all day.
Holidays are now viewed as a time to celebrate, overeat and party rather than give gratitude and thanks for a bountiful fall harvest. During Halloween adults and children consume obscene amounts of sugary sweets. At Thanksgiving dinner most people pig out and then sit around watching football games. Christmas parties and Christmas day plus New Years results in more overeating, drinking alcohol, sugary sweets and late night partying. It should come as no surprise that cold and flu season will spike in December or January after the excesses of the last few months of the year. Refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup have been identified as some of the most addictive substances known to humans and may be the leading cause of disease and long term health issues. Is this topic hitting too close to home?
More fresh fruits and vegetables are available and consumed in the summer whereas many people eat poorly in the fall and winter. Even though there are many great foods available in the fall and winter most of them are ignored. When consumed they are usually overcooked with lots of unhealthy fat, oils, salt and sugar added. Consider pumpkins and sweet potatoes which are great foods yet they are eaten by few and usually over cooked into pumpkin pies with lots of refined sugar added. Our body is not meant to ingest this much cooked sugar so our blood sugar spikes and our insulin spikes to turn the sugar into fat. Both of these reactions are causing the diabetes and obesity epidemics we are seeing in the US.
Some of the healthiest foods for the fall and winter are properly cultured, fermented and pickled foods like kimchi and sauerkraut yet very few people are consuming these foods in the US. Many pickled foods today are prepared with modern pasteurized vinegar which is harmful instead of old fashioned culturing which is beneficial. The traditional culturing process uses pro-biotics which are very helpful to maintain your intestinal health.
People are also more inclined to take a flu vaccination, OTC and prescription drugs in the fall which weaken their immune systems even further which often leads to more health issues. In the summer people tend to go to the pool and take a vacation while in the fall and winter they go to the doctor’s office and take pills and vaccinations.
While the advertisements, commercials and medical profession are promoting pharmaceutical solutions such as flu vaccinations, Over the Counter (OTC) drugs and prescriptions there are less expensive and safer alternatives. The best thing you can do is to focus more on prevention by strengthening your immune system and applying these simple suggestions for natural protection against the virus that exist all year long.
Students are Stressed Out
School is also a major stress factor for students and probably contributes significantly to the health issues in the fall and winter. Students are not allowed to consume enough water and often eat less healthy foods at school than they do at home. Staying up late during the weekdays studying and then partying and staying up late on Friday and Saturday night also takes a heavy toll on their health. Bullying, peer pressures, sitting for long hours and the pressure of grades and testing contributes to emotional, mental and physical stress. Many schools have even abandoned physical education which is essential for mental and physical health and well being.
Workers are Stressed Out
Work can also be more stressful in the fall and winter as the year end deadlines, travel and weather causes additional strain and stress. Companies apply extra pressure at the end of the year to achieve sales quotas, make the numbers and push for year end results at all costs. Many organizational changes take place near the end of the year to cut costs and boost earnings and start the New Year with a leaner workforce. Holiday sales require extra work hours and increased stress loads for workers and shopper alike. All this adds up to more pressures and stress.
Many employees use up their vacation and sick leave early in the year and then come to work feeling sick and spreading their germs to the other workers when they should stay home. Many employees’ sanitation habits are atrocious and they forget to wash their hands after sneezing or going to the bathroom and spread germs to other workers.
The usual symptoms include some combination of the following: achy, congestion, coughing, ear ache, fever, runny nose, sinus irritation, sore throat or stuffy head. Are you aware that colds and flu are caused by a virus rather than bacteria? Therefore the use of antibiotics often recommended for a bacterial infection is not effective against a virus. If you want to feel better without using Prescription or Over the Counter products which have side effects there are natural solutions for dealing with these health issues easily and effectively.
People frequently hear me say that “Everything you see, hear, taste, touch, smell and come in contact with affects every cell in your body”. Therefore it is important to be aware of the things that surround you on a consistent basis. Negative energy, experiences, friends, influences, heavy metal music, people and relationships can quickly drain your energy, lead to emotional imbalances and result in health issues.
Now that we have identified the sources of the health problems it is time to focus on simple solutions. An effective natural remedy protocol for both prevention and recovery includes the following suggestions:
Simple Suggestions and Prevention Prescription
During a deluge of pollen, dirty, dry or dusty periods use a neti pot with warm water and a pinch of sea salt to clean out your sinus cavities. Even if you do not have one you can use a coffee mug to accomplish the same thing.
Putting hydrogen peroxide drops in your ear and letting it bubble for several minutes before draining is beneficial. This helpful recommendation from Dr. Mercola has worked wonders for prevention and speedy recovery from colds and flu.
Drinking warm water all day long is extremely beneficial. Even a slight fever indicates you are dehydrated and this often leads to more serious issues. We tend to drink less water when we are cold or the water is colder than body temperature. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj M.D. wrote in his book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” that all disease starts with dehydration. You wake up dehydrated so it is imperative you drink adequate amounts of water all day long. The best way to tell if you are dehydrated is the color of your urine. If it is yellowish and not clear you are dehydrated so monitor yourself with this easy signal.
Even the quality of your water is important so be sure to consume the highest quality water you can source. Spring water is usually the best followed by aquifer or well water as long as they have not been contaminated. Surface water from lakes and rivers are often the most contaminated due to chemical run off. Also sewage treatment plants dump their treated water back into the rivers so people downstream end up with excess chemical and pharmaceutical contamination. Fluoride is particularly harmful to your health. therefore even filtering your water with a basic carbon water filter is better than no filter at all.
During the fall and winter is a great time to drink warm home made herbal chai tea all day long. Make it with warm water and cayenne (pinch), cinnamon, clove, ginger, honey, fresh lemon or lime juice and sea salt (pinch). Ginseng tea is another choice to help boost your immune system.
Spices are great for flavoring foods and providing potent medicinal benefits. Spices are loaded with antioxidants, minerals, phyto nutrients, trace elements and vitamins. Great choices include basil, black pepper, cardamom, cayenne, cilantro, cinnamon, clove, ginger, horseradish, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and turmeric.
Consuming foods with pro-biotics or taking a pro-biotics capsule is essential for your health. Your immune system starts in your digestive tract. Kim Chee and sauerkraut are traditional winter foods in many parts of the world and help build your immune system.
Soak in a warm bath with Epson salts, baking soda or calcium bentonite clay and a few drops of your favorite essential oils to help you sleep better. Top choices are lavender, rosemary and sandalwood.
This Great NEWS post was designed to share some simple suggestions for a Cold and Flu Prevention Prescription. When we are more tuned in to our body, mind and spirit we can adjust our behaviors and habits to be even more happy, healthy and in harmony. With a Cold and Flu Prevention Prescription you have a blueprint to prevent catching a cold or flu or at least minimize the impact to your life.
What is your current Gap?
What areas of your life are pushing you into the red (danger zone)? Awareness of these behaviors is the first step to resolving them.
What are you willing to do to avoid a forced crash or shut down of your body by a cold or flu?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
Create a checklist of the actions and behaviors you know you must implement to create a peak performance body, mind and spirit. You must make regular deposits into your happiness and health account or pay the price when your account is depleted and you are penalized.
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or questions do you have regarding the Cold and Flu Prevention Prescription Part 1?
Next week the Great NEWS blog shares:
Cold and Flu Prevention Prescription Part 2