Avoid vermin and rodents and hospitals… sorry – bad joke! Seriously though, here are some tips to avoid contracting the flu this season. First! Please oh please bear in mind that I AM NOT A DOCTOR, NOT A DIETITIAN OR NUTRITIONIST, nor am I licensed in any way shape or form to prevent, cure, diagnose or treat any disease (or recommend any treatments, dietary or lifestyle changes) – so please talk to your medical provider before you put any of these suggestions into practice. With that verbal disclaimer out of the way, I maintain a “hobby” of keeping myself healthy and practicing quality self care, so I might have some beneficial suggestions for this topic. Therefore for all extents and purposes, take this as a refreshing piece of fiction, and also know that it is my humble, uninformed opinion.
It is only October, but with the weather and temperature changing, friends and family members are already coming down with the cold or flu-like symptoms. Some of these individuals have also received the flu shot… hmmm… This is a correlation I do not dare dwell on at present. But poke around on your own to get informed on the subject before rushing out to get vaccinated.
Get plenty of rest. Do what it takes to live a lifestyle where you can afford to take one or two extra days off a month. If you are feeling sick, you might want to listen to your body and rest! Seriously. I wonder how many cases of pneumonia could be prevented by people not needing to work that second job (and going into work sick and making a stressful situation much worse!). This also applies to college students – as I attended the competitive environment of the University of Virginia, it was amazing to listen to all the coughing happening between October and March… Go lie down already! Take care of your body.
Second, and probably most important of all, don’t worry so much. Seriously, if reading the rest of this post will cause you to worry about “oh no! Am I eating the right thing? Am I exercising enough?! Am I causing myself more problems…” Then stop reading and do what it takes to relax. Honestly – if you are an anxious, worrying type of person, stop reading now. You will be doing yourself a favor. 🙂
Okay, for all of you brave enough to continue reading.. Eat well. Keep in mind I am not a nutritionist or dietitian, so by all means talk to a professional before putting this advice into practice. One good person I recommend is Wendy Vigdor-Hess – see her link at the right. With that said, I would avoid heavy intakes of fatty foods, greasy foods, food high in dairy content (which can cause congestion) and / or foods high in sugars. But for god’s sake, don’t replace the sugar with chemical artificial sweeteners! Talk about ingesting poison – go look up the dangers of Splenda, Aspartame, Sweet & Low, Equal, etc before using them. If you must sweeten something, either use fruit juices or stevia.
If you start sneezing a lot and feel the symptoms of allergies coming on, you might want to look at the oily / fatty / greasy foods you are eating – can you replace them for a week or two? These foods cause the liver and gall bladder (bile) to work even harder, and the liver is associated with histamine production, meaning it is associated with allergies. Give your liver a break! (At least twice a year.) So watch your diet and / or go to see a Craniosacral Therapist / Osteopathic Physician who knows how to perform Visceral Manipulation and have a session done with your liver – I’d recommend having this done once or twice per year. I realize I just mentioned several topics which may need to be unpacked, but in order to keep this brief, you can either trust me or do some research on your own (recommended). Speaking of research, another good person to talk to Terri Saunders – certified nutritional health practitioner, you can also find her link to the right.
(Visceral Manipulation was “created” by Jean-Pierre Barral, a French Osteopath. See the barralinstitute link at the right for more.)
One piece of advice Wendy gave me – which may or may not be for everyone, is to drink warm water with fresh lemon juice squeezed in it, when one wakes up in the morning (I do this first thing). She mentioned, and I have heard this from other certified health practitioners, that this helps to flush excess bile from the liver and helps to keep one regular (which is a big part of staying well). On that note, ever notice how, if you become constipated or backed up, your throat can become sore? This is due to the creation of excess mucus, which drains down from the sinuses, because the body’s normal drainage system is temporarily stopped up.
Avoid toxic environments if at all possible. Spend time in pleasant, light-filled, beautiful environs. If you are around smokers or really toxic people (that would be people who do not refrain from discharging their negative emotions around you) etc, then there is a good chance your immune system will become run down as your “defenses” wilt. So try to avoid these places / people if possible and if appropriate (if this happens to be your spouse, hopefully it will pass with time, or instead of avoiding them, do something about it). Perhaps you can spend time outdoors, take a walk in the sunshine, spend time around people who make you laugh. A lot. Or if you are up for an intense challenge, do a Ngondro retreat with Tibetan Buddhism – if doing thousands of prostrations doesn’t break you, they will definitely make you stronger! He, he, he…
Juice! Drink some healthy, fresh, organic vegetable juice. If you do not have your own juicer, then maybe once or twice a month you could go by the local health food store and purchase one. My personal favorite for immune boosting traits is carrot, beet and parsley (not sure why).
This is the end of Part One – I will soon add a brief Part Two – How to strengthen system once sick.