Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Many people suffer come winter time when the weather changes and we get holed up in our houses with the windows tightly closed. We avoid the cold harsh outside as much as we can, we stop moving so much and sit on the couch or in front of the computer finding other things to do with our time rather than the more active lifestyles we might have had during nicer months. We tend to eat comforting foods ( many times , not the healthiest versions) rather than raw salads and refreshing drinks.
So our immune systems become more vulnerable and we fall prey to the viruses and bugs hanging out in the corners. Our lymph system , which is meant to "take out the trash", slows down as well. What to do? How do we avoid this pitfall year after year?
Part of being human is to live amongst these bugs. We are hosts to them and we are meant to live in harmony with them. However they were never meant to rule over us or make our lives unbearable. So the balance is to make our selves strong without worrying over how to eliminate them. Allowing them to continue on their paths without us suffering as a result.
What I've figured out, after years of trying, is that a short term protocol isn't the best bet to "get winter-ized". This is something that happens all year long for the best results. Taking herbs, drinking celery juice, herbal teas, outdoor time, lemon water, exercise and eating clean all year is the best way to tackle the "cold season". It takes practice and dedication, but it pays off.
I have a few vlogs and blogs dedicated to which herbs to take and why, so it might help to check those out, but for now I want to concentrate on the "why" so you'll understand how it all works.
Our bodies are truly amazing beings. They run on automatic without us even aware of all they do to protect and care for us. Bacterial, viral and fungal diseases are being neutralized all day every day by our immune defences. Injuries and inflammation are contained to protect an area. Dead cells are carried away, new cells are made, repairs, connections, and toxins are stored away to protect us from further harm. Our liver is constantly filtering, storing, and managing what comes in and what goes where. Our organs are in constant contact with each other so that they can work in perfect harmony, if one is failing another can help out . Our lungs breathe, our heart beats, our kidneys filter, our brain is constantly maneuvering information from the inside and the outside worlds so that we can function , the list is long, but we get the point. Our bodies are amazing, but in order to work properly to keep us healthy now and in the long run, we've got to give them the fuel they need.. It's not only the "what" , but also the "when" and "how" that makes all the difference .
I'm happy to report that my best efforts have produced amazing results. We used to be a family that caught everything during the "cold season" , despite eating a very clean diet. But I figured out the missing part and now it all comes together with great success to keep us really healthy all year long, not only during the winter months. I have written about this before in my blog "My Magical Morning Routine", please check that out, because it really is magical . But the part that I was missing before was the "when" and "how".
The "when" is in the morning and the "how" is what to combine and what to avoid . The morning is the best time to refresh and replenish lost fluids . We sleep at night sometimes 6 or 7 hours at a time. All that time although we are sleeping, our bodily systems continue working: cleaning, flushing and rebuilding. This requires a massive amount of effort and hydration, but we are sleeping, not rehydrating. So the first thing we should be doing in the morning is to get things moving again with a large amount of lemon water (32 oz). This lemon water flushes out the liver and it allows it to empty all the trash it has been filtering all night. It rehydrates the entire body, gets things moving in the colon, and brings life into cells. Most people are constantly dehydrated . Instead of lemon water first thing in the morning, they drink dehydrating coffee, eat toast and complain about constipation. This is a recipe for disaster. Our toxins are food for viruses and bad bacteria. If this is sitting in us, it attracts viruses that want to eat it. But if we flush it out first thing in the am , there isn't anything to fuel the viruses. They will eventually find this clean body inhospitable and die off. This takes a while, but daily dedication brings results .
Now that we've cleaned out and rehydrated. It's time to bring in the medicine. I call this the "Keystone Herb" because it helps all the other herbs do their job even better. The herb is celery, the medicine is celery juice. This medicine can cross the blood brain barrier, which means it can attach to the other herbs and bring them into the brain and deeper into the cells out performing the solo version of themselves. When we drink celery juice, we are working on many levels to clean out , clear up and support all the systems, organs and tissues. It is very important to take the celery juice alone on an empty stomach. This allows it to work at it's fullest potential. Then 30 minutes later is the perfect time for fruit, herbs and greens.
i like to drink this in the form of a smoothie because it's easy to get in a lot without having to eat huge amounts, the kids like it , and it's easy to prepare and drink in the morning before everyone rushes off to school or work. This combination of celery juice then smoothie 20-30 minutes later is where the magic happens. Combine medicinal mushrooms, herbal teas, or supplements, when drinking the smoothie and you'll get the extra push to make those supplements work even better than they were before.
Celery juice has vitamin C among other vitamins, mineral salts and biochemicals that will shoot down the first signs of cold or flu. Zinc and/or Vitamin C every 2 hours will also stop a cold from getting worse. We use echinacea, elderberry, olive leaf, nettle, garlic, pine, ginger, sage and eucalyptus in tea, essentail oil, baths and steaming on the stove in a tea pot. As soon as we close the windows to the cold outside, I cut up onions (replace every few days) and leave them around the house and in bedrooms to clean up the air. These things we do before anyone gets sick, so that we are already prepared. Building our immune systems, killing viruses from the inside and cleaning the air in the house is taking the alternative route to getting sick .
Another also very important tip, is to keep our diet "low fat". This is for a few very good reasons. 1. Fat binds to sugars and coats them so that they can't be absorbed. Our cells require glucose in order to function and fat doesn't allow that to happen. The fat-bound-to-sugar just bounces around in our blood causing havoc (insulin resistance) and leaves our cells starving. So for our morning smoothie , filled with fruit sugar, we never want to add any fat: no avocado, coconut milk, or nuts and seeds. These are wonderful foods to be eaten later in the day and by themselves or in small amounts so that they don't disrupt the insulin conversion .
Fats also disrupt the absorption of nutrients into the cells for the very same reason. They coat the sugars of the fruits and carbohydrates so that the vitamins and minerals can't be used by the cells. Good sugar from fruit helps to bring the nutrients to the cells and make it absorbable and useful . If you take any supplements, herbs etc make sure to do it together with fruit , because of this sugar connection. Otherwise you won't be able to get out of the supplement what you were hoping for and it will seem to you that it doesn't really work. The combination of any vitamin, mineral, mushroom, herbal supplement with a non-fat smoothie is a perfect way to get that boost. You'll feel the difference in how much they effect you in terms of energy and health.
Fat is hard on the liver. It suppresses it and toxins latch on to fat for protection so that becomes hard for the liver to constantly flush them out. Good fats like coconut, avocado, nuts, seeds and olives are very beneficial and and should be our choice of fats, but too much in our diet and too early in the morning are damaging to an already overworked, overloaded liver. Every 4 grams of protein has one gram of fat, so a high protein diet is also a high fat diet. This rule of thumb, not mixing fat and sugar, is beneficial for the liver which is where most disease begins and ends. When we clear this high fat content out and add in celery juice, medicinal mushrooms , herbs and lots of fruits and fresh vegetables, we are helping the liver to flush out the toxins, viruses and harmful bacteria and begin to perform at it's highest vibration. This is when we start feeling really good. Colds, flu, allergies, disorders, digestive complains, skin conditions, etc begin to slide right past us without affecting us. The body begins to function at it's highest healthiest level.
The best advice is to not wait for the cold weather. Prepare all year long. Our immune systems build up over time when we continue to fortify them and support our livers and clean out our colons (celery juice). When we are prepared, our bodies are better able to adjust to the change in weather, activity and diet. This is the way to stay on top of viral or bacterial issues so that we can continue to function, be happy and healthy no matter the season.