This year has seen a disturbing increase in the number of flu-related deaths in California, and it is a cause for concern, but certainly, not panic. The purpose of this article is to educate and arm you with simple, effective, natural and holistic methods to prevent or recover from a cold or flu. With the information presented in this article, you will know what to do for yourself, and your family to prepare for and breeze through the cold and flu season.
Of course, the best answer to cold and flu season is not to come down with one in the first place. So, the first part of this article is on prevention. There are many, many things that you can do to help yourself out; and, I’m not talking about getting a flu vaccine. I’m not a proponent of injecting disease, contaminants, and even heavy metals into my body – in the name of prevention. Medical journals have published thousands of articles revealing that injecting vaccines can actually lead to serious health problems including harmful immunological responses and a host of other infections. This further increases the body’s susceptibility to the diseases that the vaccine was supposed to protect against. For more information on the hazards of flu shots, check out this enlightening article – Flu Shot More Dangerous than Flu. There are much safer, effective, and simple steps that can be taken. In fact, they are so simple that they fall into the Duh Category. But, SOOO FEW of US actually do them. Anyway, here I go…
1] Get enough sleep:
Oh my goodness, if there’s one thing on the list that could wipe out half the colds and flus in the world, it would be everyone getting enough sleep. Our bodies are amazing at fighting off viruses and bacteria, but only if we’re in top physical condition. So, if you feel like something is trying to get you, take heed and hit the sack for some shut eye. During sleep your body can devote all of its resources to fighting off whatever is trying to take hold inside of you.
2] Eat the right foods:
Well, I could go on ad nauseam about getting proper nutrition and all that, but I’ll restrain myself for the moment. Good nutrition is the ammunition your body needs to fight anything, it’s more important than any drugs you can take. If you’re feeling vulnerable to a cold or flu, there are foods that will help you stay strong, and foods that will send out flyers inviting a cold or flu to come and party in your body. Which do you want to eat? So, when you’re feeling vulnerable to getting sick start implementing the tips below until you feel stronger again.
- First, eat warmer foods that are easily digestible. Cold foods are harder to digest and will drain your body’s resources. Things like salads and sandwiches. This also means that you should not drink cold drinks, but have them at room temperature instead.
- One of the biggest no no’s, and a direct invite for a cold or flu is to eat dairy products. Dairy creates mucus, lowers your immune response, and slows your digestion to a crawl. So, NO milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, yada yada…
- The right soups are fabulous. This means thin stock soups, like vegetable, minestrone, and miso soup are wonderful. A little bit of meat in your soup is ok, like fish, chicken or even an egg, but avoid red meat; it’s really hard on you, hard to digest, drains your resources, and lowers your immune response; absolutely, no cheese in your soup, ok? It’s a mucus making machine, all dairy products are.
- Drink tea, not coffee. Coffee depletes your immune system. It’s hard on your adrenals, kidneys, and heart. Green tea however is good. It is fabulous for boosting your immune system, and is full of antioxidants. Now If you really want to strengthen your immune system, one of the best teas to drink is rosehip tea. Not from a teabag though. Go to a health food store and ask for dried rosehip pieces, not whole rosehips. Why not? Because you’d have to take a hammer and smash them up, that’s why. To make the tea, boil water and pour it over about 3 tablespoons of rosehips and let steep for at least ten minutes. You can use RAW, UNHEATED honey as a sweetener which is full of antibacterial and antiviral enzymes. Good stuff.
- It’s so obvious, I shouldn’t have to say it, but oh well. NO fried foods and NO processed sugar! You might as well inject yourself with staphylococcus and save some time.
- Avoid pastries, pastas and any other wheat products, they are cold and flu factories.
- Basically, the rule is to keep your food simple and easy to digest, and for goodness sake, chew before you swallow, that way you actually get some of the nutrition out of it.
3] Drink enough Water:
Water is the most important cleansing medium for your body to eliminate unwanted garbage. A reasonable estimate would be to say that more than 75% of us are chronically dehydrated. That’s fairly astonishing, but not surprising given our busy, lifestyle. Water is life, our bodies need it to for well, everything. Do yourself a favor, and drink more of it.
4] Preventative Herbal Formulas:
There is one gentle herbal formula that I do recommend to my patients if they are motivated to gradually build their immune system over time, or take preventative herbal measures for an upcoming cold and flu season. It’s called Yu Ping Feng Wan or Jade Windscreen. I’ve taken Yu Ping Feng Wan myself for many years, and it’s been many years since I’ve come down with a cold or flu. If you want to do yourself a favor, and prep for the cold and flu season, I recommend taking Yu Ping Feng Wan beginning in August, and continue taking it throughout the season. You can discontinue when you feel the danger is passed. You can also take Yu Ping Feng Wan for a much longer term, years, if desired. It’s a great way to gradually build your immune system up. It’s subtle, but eventually, (especially if you’ve fixed your nutrition and sleeping habits) colds and flus will be a thing of the past. I do have one caveat; stop taking Yu Ping Feng Wan if you do catch a cold or flu for as long as you’re sick and then wait to start up again until after you’re well. Since Yu Ping Feng Wan is tonifying it could strengthen a cold or flu if you continued taking it while you’re not feeling well.
If you’re going to put yourself in harm’s way of a cold or flu – such as, visiting your tiny nieces or nephews or flying on a plane or must be around someone who’s hacking their lungs up – then you can take Gan Mao Ling or Yin Chiao Wan, as extra protection and prevention during your time of exposure. Either one is just as effective.
For convenience, I do have these formulas available through my website at www.inspirewellnesscenter.com
Article by: Holly Reese, MSOM, L.Ac. She is an acupuncturist, herbalist, wellness coach, food-healing expert, founder of the Inspire Wellness Center, which specializes in natural and holistic health alternatives for the recovery of chronic illness. Holly Reese is also author of Rising from the Abyss: My Journey into and out of Chronic Illness a gripping memoir that details Holly’s personal descent into and eventual rise from a nearly fatal auto-immune disorder using all the natural and holistic health methods that she espouses and uses for her wellness practice. Feel free to contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add a Colon Cleanse to your New Years Checklist
Like many people at the New Year, I’ll bet some of your goals include: lose weight, burn fat, get fit, get stronger or any number of things.
Well I would add to that list, Do a Colon Cleanse and here’s why. Since about 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, Taking special care of your gut promotes overall well-being.
Weight gain and over-toxicity is on the rise and so the trend to detoxification is growing in popularity. In our modern times, our body accumulates more toxins than its natural detoxification system (your liver, kidneys and lungs) can eliminate. Chemicals from pesticides on our foods, chlorine in our drinking water, and carbon monoxide from car exhaust build up over time and cause disease.
People are ideally supposed to have one or two bowel movements a day, but many people go two or three days between eliminations. The normal pathway for toxins to move out of the body is through the liver, which converts harmful chemicals into water-soluble molecules that can be flushed out in the urine or feces. If there’s a delay in elimination, however, those toxins remain in your system longer.
Detoxing your gut with a colon cleanse will remove these unwanted toxins from your system. People with excess weight carry tons of impacted fecal matter in their colon. This fecal matter is rotting away and leeching toxins into the blood stream and can become a precursor to illness. Doing a colon cleanse is simple and painless and helps to flush out the waste in a fast and hygienic way.
Oh by the way, like most things Detoxing does have its side effects. A Colon Cleanse will make your skin glow, give you a natural weight loss quickly, make your eyes white, and make you feel young again..need we say more..
Be careful in what kind of cleanse you chose. I have personally started a Colon Cleanse with a company called Blessed Herbs. A friend recommended this cleanse to me after she successfully completed her 9 day detox program. This cleanse removes something called Mucoid Plaque, which builds up after years of eating on the walls of our intestines. This plaque greatly lowers our ability to absorb nutrition and makes our bodies much more toxic.
This cleanse has 3 different levels for you to choose. I chose the Best Option which is a liquids-only five day intensive colon cleanse, intended to remove as much of this plaque as possible.
The herbs is the cleanse include: Digestive Stimulator™: Cape Aloe leaf, Aloe Vera leaf , Cascara Sagrada bark, Triphala† (Amla fruit, Chebulic Myrobalan fruit, Belleric Myrobalan fruit), Chinese Rhubarb root†, Barberry root, Dandelion root†, Fringe Tree root bark, Meadowsweet aerial parts†, English Plantain aerial parts†, Ginger root†, Fennel seed†, Peppermint leaf†, Fenugreek seed† and Licorice root†
Toxin Absorber™: Psyllium seed husks†, Bentonite Clay, Apple pectin, Ginger root† or Peppermint leaf†
Blessed Herbs has been a family owned and operated medicinal herb business in Massachusetts since 1985. They only work with wildcrafters and organic growers who they personally know and who harvest from pollution free areas at the height of their potency and with regards to continuing a sustainable balanced ecology. Their certified organic growers farm without synthetic fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides and take care to cultivate their soil.
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Here is a quote from there website; “Why choose Blessed Herbs detoxification programs? We’ve been a trusted herbal resource for over 25 years. In a world of online hype, anyone can form a company overnight, employ some slick marketing techniques, and masquerade as a legitimate company. Beware the “snake oil” salesmen.” This is so true, be careful what you buy and what you put into your body that might be masquerading as any kind of program.
Healthy living starts with a healthy diet, and exercise and then with consistent action towards total mind-body wellness.
[ As a disclaimer: In regards to Blessed Herbs, I have become an affiliate for them which means, when you click through and buy any of their products, I receive a small percentage of the sale. This payment allows me to keep writing this blog and articles such as these and it also makes us all aware of good independent companies who can give us the wonderful variety of sourced local products that we desire. In addition, I only promote products or companies, that I have personally used. ]
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Detox to Eliminate Belly Fat
In order for your body to BURN FAT, you need to eliminate the toxins first with a Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Detox.
You may be burning fat but if you haven’t done a detox you are not getting rid of the toxins that have built up in your body.
The Secret to Eliminating Toxins
The secret is to make the toxins in your body water soluble so they can be sweated and peed off, so then you’re REALLY BURNING FAT. As long as you are taking in more toxins then you are eliminating your body is not going to let you burn fat, because burning the fat will just put more toxins into your body. You have to address the fact that you are being assaulted by toxins before your body will allow you to let go of any weight.
Doing a Detox is an opportunity to recharge, rebuild, cleanse and heal your body inside and out. This cleanse is meant to be a jump-start to your overall long-term health and fitness plan.
Benefits of Detoxing:
Having done this Detox Plan for the recommended 10 days I can attest to the fact that it helped me to:
1. Sleep and Dream Better
2. Improved my energy levels
3. Better digestion, less stomach issues
4. Gave me a sense of relaxation
5. Felt in control of my sugar cravings
Let the Body Heal Itself
The body only wants to heal, its crying out to heal, the body wants to detoxify, you just have to give it a chance to do the healing. So the best thing to do first in any WEIGHT LOSS Plan is to Detoxify the body. Most people have been overfed and undernourished for years so their digestion is all messed up, but it can heal itself.
The diet we ate over millions of years was predominantly one of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, low-sugar fruits, which was rich in nutrient-rich whole foods and superfoods.
Today’s modern diet including starches, grains, pasta, legumes, and breads has only been consumed for a mere 10,000 years. In the last hundred years the increase in complex sugars and chemical additives in the diet has led to a huge increase in health problems ranging from severe bowel disorders to obesity and brain function disorders. We have not adapted well to eating this modern diet.
The Detox General Guidelines are:
• Eliminate Gluten grains & Flour–wheat, oat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, bulgar as well as corn, (but Continue to eat quinoa, rice, millet, amaranth and buckwheat)
• Eliminate Refine sugars – anything with added sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, or alcohol (cakes, cookies, candies, pastries, beer, wine, liquor, ice-cream)
• No processed, canned, packaged or preserved foods, no artificial sweeteners or flavorings or anything
• No Caffeinated drinks (sodas, coffee, caffeinated teas)
• No Dairy products and eggs, soy
Real food is whole, natural, and nutrient-dense.
- Humanely raised (animals on pasture, not in factories)
- Grown locally when possible
- Whole and unrefined (real maple syrup instead of high-fructose corn syrup)
- Processed as little as possible (raw milk instead of pasteurized and homogenized)
- Nutrient-dense (enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics)
- Free of additives and preservatives
- Free of synthetic and chemical ingredients
- Not genetically modified
- Traditionally produced and prepared
For example, use real butter or lard instead of shortening or vegetable oil. Real milk from a cow instead of soy milk. Real sprouted flour instead of refined white flour. Real, natural sweeteners like honey or unrefined cane palm sugar instead of white sugar. Or try a super food variety of sugar like Yacon Sugar.
Live Superfoods Yacon Syrup. If it’s highly processed and doesn’t come from nature, it’s not real food!
Food allergies are very common
Food allergy or intolerance can produce every symptom under the sun, from migraines, fatigue, PMS, painful joints and itchy skin to depression, hyperactivity, hallucinations, obsessions and other psychiatric and neurological manifestations. However, the most immediate and common symptoms in the vast majority of patients are digestive problems: pain, diarrhea or constipation, urgency, bloating and indigestion.
So there is nothing wrong with the food. What is happening is that foods do not get a chance to be digested properly before they are absorbed through the damaged gut wall. Thus, in order to eliminate food allergies, it is not the foods we need to concentrate on, but the gut wall. When the gut wall is healed, many food intolerances disappear.
How To Restore Digestive Health
- Eat the right foods.
- Take the right supplements.
- Remove the wrong toxins
Soups and Stocks
Soups and stocks made from animal bones and cartilage, have been almost eliminated from our diets, this has contributed to digestive problems as well as joint problems. Stock and soups made from the bones of chicken, turkey, duck, beef, lamb and fish are anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and contain nutrients which help build the integrity of the digestive tract. A soup based on bone stock can bring a person is suffering from a digestive disorder fast relief.
The Right Oils
Most individuals with digestive disorders have some inflammation which is exacerbated by an overabundance of omega-6 fatty acids. Avoid all Trans fatty acids & commercial liquid vegetable oils.
At the same time, you will need to increase your consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon and other wild-caught cold water fish, eggs from pastured chickens, walnuts, organ meats and flax seeds and a small amount of flax oil.
Cod liver oil, is high in special anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids but also fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Both of these nutrients help fight inflammation and build the immune system, so critical to restoring digestive health. Icelanders are blessed with great health & longevity and they consume cod liver oil regularly. It is even served at breakfast in their hotels.
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Whole food probiotic
Essential to digestive health is taking a whole food probiotic. Healthy bacteria found in healthy soil and plants are missing from our modern food supply. They protect the plants in the soil, and also protect humans who ingest them. A major discovery in the battle against digestive disorders is how beneficial bacteria can help people with “leaky gut syndrome,” as the use of beneficial bacteria can reduce the hyper-permeability of the gut. Before the days of modern hygiene and chemical farming, these bacteria were in the soil and hence on the surface of our vegetables; they thus helped colonize the gut with beneficial flora whenever people ate raw fruits and vegetables and whenever kids played in the dirt.
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Lacto-fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut also provided healthy bacteria in traditional diets and these should be part of the diet of any person suffering from digestive problems. But probiotic formulations can help “jump start” the system in those with serious digestive problems as they will quickly populate the gut with beneficial organisims.
For thousands of years, indigenous cultures worldwide have understood that cooked & fermented foods are more feeding & nourishing to the body than raw foods.
Raw foods are cleansing and detoxifying to the body because they are harder to digest. Whereas, cooking foods breaks down their cellular structure, making them easier to digest. Our ancestors developed methods to make foods more digestible through cooking and fermentation that have more nutritional value then many modern foods.
Asian cultures ferment kimchi (fermented cabbage), kefir, miso, sake, pickled ginger and shubat (fermented camel milk). India and the Middle East have fermented chutneys, various yogurts, and torshi (mixed vegetables). Europeans fermented sauerkraut, kefir, crème fraiche, and rakfisk (salted, fermented trout). In South America, kombucha, and cacao beans which must be fermented first before use. In the Pacific, they have poi (fermented, mashed taro root) and kanga pirau. And in the U.S., we used to ferment sauerkaut & make relish, pickling, & ketchup. My Austrian grandfather kept barrels of fermented pickles, sauerkaut & pigs parts in his cellar in upstate New York.
Today foods such as sauerkraut and pickles, contain no live enzymes and are poor substitutes produced quickly for mass consumption. Commercial sauerkraut and pickles, are preserved in vinegar instead of the traditional and naturally occurring lactic acid forming bacteria.. Unless the producer adds bacteria, store bought sauerkraut is usually pasteurized and void of taste and nutrients. Lactobacilli contribute to the protection of the body against infections and stimulate the immune system. Probiotics have become popular today because they add back into our digestive system those microflora that our gut needs to prevent allergies & infections.
To heal your digestive system, you can Buy Probiotic Enzymes or Make Real Fermented Foods.
The Top 10 Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
1. Fermented foods are instrumental in healing & restoring the balance of gut flora in our bodies. Lacto-fermented foods normalize the acidity of the stomach. In the not too distant past, people who ate traditional, whole foods diets ate this bacteria on a regular basis did not have a severe gut deficit that we do today.
Pickled Red Cabbage
2. The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods are very potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals. Molecules in the bacteria grab hold of mercury, lead, aluminum, arsenic, and other toxins, which are then removed through stool. Fermentation removes phytic acid from grains, nuts and seeds, which otherwise would block mineral
absorption and lead to deficiencies. Eating improperly prepared grains is a major cause of
osteoporosis in our culture.
3. Lactobacilli converts starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits into lactic acid, a natural preservative that inhibits putrefication and also act as anantioxidant, and anti carcinogenic agent, reducing cancer precursors known as free radicals.
4. Sauerkraut contains large quantities of choline, a water soluble nutrient. Choline must be consumed through the diet in order for the body to remain healthy and it may lower the risk for breast cancer in women and also helps to lower blood pressure. Sauerkraut also contain acetylcholine, which reduces blood pressure, slows the rate of the heartbeat and promotes calmness and good sleep.
5. You only need to consume small amounts every day in a greater variety to get the optimum amount of microorganisms possible. Steer clear of pasteurized versions, as pasteurization will destroy many of the naturally occurring probiotics. Most of the “probiotic” yogurts you find in grocery store these days are not recommended. They’re pasteurized and they also typically contain added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and artificial sweeteners.
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6. Consuming traditionally fermented foods will also help you absorb more important nutrients such as vitamin K2, which is important for preventing arterial plaque buildup and heart disease. It also facilitates the synthesis of certain vitamins, such as vitamin C, and B12, which can only be produced in the presence of lactic bacteria.
7. Probiotics have been shown to help optimize your intestine’s immune system. With eighty percent of your immune system located in your digestive system, your gut is a major focal point on your way to maintaining optimal health. Buy Probiotic Enzymes
Pickled Cucumbers – Cultured Vegetables
8. Save money by eating real foods rather then supplements. Fermented foods can contain 100 times more probiotics than a supplement. A cost effective strategy would be to eat a small amount of fermented foods with each meal to replace some of the supplements you are now taking.
9. Aging decreases your body’s supply of enzymes, but fermented foods are rich in enzymes, and so can help offset this shortage. Eating an enzyme-rich diet reduces the stress on your pancreas, and therefore could reduce your risk of many different chronic diseases. Warding off enzyme depletion, can help you live a longer, healthier life.
10. Fermentation preserves food. Fermentation organisms produce alcohol, lactic acid and acetic acid, all “biopreservatives” that retain nutrients and prevent spoilage. Captain Cook conquered scurvy among his sailing crews by bringing large quantities of sauerkraut, which is very high in Vitamin C, on his lengthy voyages. Not a single sailor got scurvy and the last barrel of kraut was still perfectly preserved after 27 months.
More Resources on Fermented Foods:
Places to BUY Fermented Foods:
Buy Probiotic Enzymes