Thursday, January 17, 2013

Beating this Flu/Cold Season, flu shot or not!

So, here in Boston, the flu has been a huge epidemic compared to previous seasons.  I'm reading that it's like this in many places throughout the country now, too.  It's definitely important to stay aware and mindful in your public interactions since there is such an outbreak and the flu can be serious.  I went through a period years ago where I felt like I'd get sick more often that I should, and I truly believe that stress and not having days off contribute to that (I used to work 2 sides jobs in addition to teach 10+ yoga classes a week, back in the day).  And now that I'm a mama, again I find myself not having "days off."  And add in sleep deprivation that's built up over the last 2 years.  So I'm trying to be extra careful.  That being said, I did just spend about a week battling something that got into my system.  I started feeling body aches and a headache with a slight scratchy/dry throat.  I fought that off for days and tailored my daily activity, upped my teas and immune-fighting foods.  Then 4 days into that, I had to teach my yoga workshop (about this very topic, which was so great and fun) and then teach 3 more classes over the next 2 following days.  Well, by the end of those classes, I had lost my voice!  And felt a few more aches...but never got full-on stuck in bed sick-sick.  With symptoms that were eerily flu-like, I'd call that a win!
No, but really, I am passionate that it's so important to build a healthy relationship to your stress and to create as healthy an immune system for your body that you can!  It's the best way to stay vibrant and healthy all year long, even in the winter.
That's why I've created my Body/Soul Recharge Yoga Workshops at the change of the seasons.  Next one will be in early April...stay tuned!
And of course, there are times when it just doesn't matter how healthy you are.  The germs will invade and there will be nothing more you can do than let it run it's course.  I have a variety of tips and things to say on this topic, but if you want the full bit...come to my workshops!  In the meantime, I do think these tips can help.  Cheers to everyone's health!

#1: Check the stress level in your environment.  Take time each day, at least 5-10 minutes to sit still and breathe/meditate, or do some yoga, or breathe deep in the shower.  The best thing is if you can fit an hour or so 4-5 days a week to do this.
With that, maybe massage your body with a foam roller or other self-held tool...or have your partner give you a quick rub.  Yoga and self-massage (or other bodywork) can help get your lymphatic system moving.
Also, be sure to do a style of yoga that keeps your anxiety level in check.  If hot power yoga amps you up and you're feeling run-down, then you might want to choose something a little more low-key for those moments or even for a whole season if you're prone to stress.

#2: Water, water, water.  It's true what you hear.  Really.  Water helps flush your lymph and keeps everything moving.  Your poop will be more regular, meaning you're eliminating toxins from your body= immune system win.  Another way to get water= herbal teas!  The best for immune boosts are elderberry, echinacea, tulsi, name a few.  And what else to hydrate?  Smoothies!  

My Favorite Smoothie=Immune Zoom
-I took a base idea from the amazing Meghan Telpner, but have played around with my own concoctions.  I'm definitely not too strict about following recipes and often play with them.
Recipe to throw in your blender:
(Organic is best, but go with what you can.  Makes 3 cups give or take.)
-4-5 ice cubes
-1/2-1 cup of frozen blueberries (or you can try goji berries)
-1 banana
-1 tsp-1 tbsp (you can decide) of each of these: flaxseed, chia seed, hemp seed or powder, cacao powder, cinnamon
-1-2 tbsp plain greek yogurt (optional)
-1 1/2 tsp of spirulina or other green powder
-1 tbsp raw creamy almond butter
-raw honey to taste
-1 1/2-2 cups of coconut water, fill the rest of liquid with unsweetened almond or other milk of choice
-Finally, throw in a few droppers of an immunity herbal tincture or of something like the Fire Cider (pictured below, which is an intense apple cider vinegar, garlic, cayenne, lemon, ginger explosion)

My son sipping on my immune zoom smoothie.  

Family smoothie time.  I love the color, too!

This stuff is potent and amazing to add to smoothies, soups, salads.  In my area, you can find it at Sherman Market in Union Square.  

Yay! This was the day my voice was gone.  But the smoothie saved the day.  

#3: Eat nourishing whole foods as often as you can, and keep foods that stress your system in check. This means limiting your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar when you're feeling run-down.  A good tip, again, for this whole season, while your immune system is working hard to keep you healthy.    

*Check out my friends, Meghan Telpner, and Michelle Pfennighaus for recipes and tips on the best whole food topics.  And Steph Zabel for the best herbal advice!  I learn so much from all these ladies.  

*Also, big shout out and thanks to my dear friend, Jenny Schneider, who juiced me an amazing ginger/fruit blend and dropped it at my house this week.  She's also a healthy, amazing mama who illustrates and creates lovely art in Wellesley, MA.  

No comments: