Monday, January 8, 2018

nine practices we use to stay healthy during cold and flu season (without medicine!)

[ special note: This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions and thoughts are my own, all of the time. By purchasing products through these links, I may receive a small commission, however, your cost for the item does not change. I hope you'll continue to visit Littles and Life! ] 

Before I start this post, let me get the fine print out of the way. None of my suggestions are to replace the advice of a medical professional. Always ask your doctor before starting anything new. I am not responsible for any adverse reactions you may experience. Always consult a pediatrician before giving your child anything new. I'm more than happy to share what works for our family but that's as far as my advice goes.

Now that that's out of the way...

Hi, my name is Brandi Little, and germs really, really freak me out.

I don't think I'm as bad as Howie Mandel, but I'm pretty bad.

I’ve always been weird when it comes to germs, but my phobia exploded when I became a mom. It's almost embarrassing how much I sanitize everything around me. Literally everything.

While we are mindful of our immunity-boosting practices throughout the year, we concentrate daily on practicing them during 'cold and flu season'.
I put quotations around 'cold and flu season' because as I've said before here on my blog, our family doesn't particularly believe in 'cold and flu' season, rather it's a season where people are around each other more often and illness spreads more quickly due to lack of efficient immunity care.

I'm knocking on wood with all of our immunity-boosting practices, but so far, since the last 'cold and flu season', we've only been sick once. ONCE. And it was with a cold that ended within one week.
I'm not playing when I say these work!!

Ready to hear what they are? Here are nine practices (that aren't medicine) in addition to washing our hands frequently that we use to stay healthy not only during this season but on a daily basis:

→ essential oils

I seriously don't know how we lived before we started using essential oils. That's probably being a tad dramatic but I can't say enough positive things about essential oils. We use them for so, so, so many things (future blog post? 😉) but immunity-boosting is one of the top things. Our go-to oil for our immune system is Thieves. Young Living is the only brand of essential oils we trust and Thieves is their version of an immunity blend. To boost immunity, we use 10 drops of Thieves in a 10 ml roller bottle, then fill the rest with a carrier oil (we use either coconut oil or olive oil). We roll this blend on the bottoms of our feet and along our spine once a day. If we find ourselves not feeling well, we use as frequently as we remember.

Read more about essential oils on my blog HERE. Sign up to buy Young Living essential oils HERE (create a free account and buy to your heart's desire!). Buy roller bottles HERE. Buy coconut oil HERE

→ elderberry syrup

I talk extensively about elderberry syrup HERE (along with providing an easy recipe!), but basically, elderberries are a powerhouse when it comes to your immune system. Filled with Vitamins A and C and bioflavonoids, elderberries aid in boosting the immune system by increasing antioxidant levels and combating viruses that damage cell walls.

Side note - do not give elderberry syrup to children under 1, as they cannot have honey.

→ apple cider vinegar

I'm going to have to create another blog post about Apple Cider Vinegar because we use ACV on the daily. It has so many benefits, both for your internal and external being, but one of its amazing benefits is its aid in boosting your immune system. We make ACV tea by mixing one tablespoon of ACV with one-two tablespoons of raw honey. It does take a bit getting used to, but now that we've been drinking it almost daily for months, I actually crave the taste of it!

Side note, ACV is most effective when it's made with 'the mother'. We buy THIS KIND. We buy THIS KIND of raw honey.

→ vitamins (the good kind)

I've always struggled with vitamins. With my stomach issues, I had a very difficult time finding vitamins that agreed with my highly sensitive stomach. It wasn't until I was talking to a friend that she mentioned how important buying the good vitamins are. Vitamins are meant to aid your body in what it lacks, so doesn't it make sense to buy the best kind for your body? There are so many wonderful kinds of vitamins that qualify as "good", but our current favorite is the brand "Garden of Life". These vitamins are void of most major food allergies (which is a huge thing for us and surprisingly hard to find) and are made with all-natural ingredients. The multi-vitamin that I take, for example, is made only with organic food products, making it easier for the body to digest. If your body is properly aided, it's more effective at aiding your immune system!

Shop Garden of Life HERE.

→ echinacea

Speaking of vitamins, have you ever heard of Echinacea? It's sold in both vitamin and tea form (we take the vitamins) but it's our go-to vitamin when we've been around someone that is sick or we're sick. I recommend only taking it in these two circumstances so that your body doesn't become immune; however, when you find yourself in one (or both) of these situations, grab some Echinacea. It has saved our immune system countless times from illness and cut our colds in half.

Read more about Echinacea HERE. Buy Echinacea supplements HERE. Buy Echinacea tea HERE.

Side note - we do not give Lilli Echinacea. We haven't done research as to whether she can take it, so we stick to elderberry syrup as an extra defense when she's sick. 

→ probiotics

These coincide with proper vitamin intake but probiotics are so important for your body, both for your gut health and your immune health! We use the Garden of Life brand but probiotics are not one size fits all. Finding what brand works for you may take some trial and error, just make sure to keep an eye on the ingredients.

→ water

This is the cheapest and easiest way to boost your immune system! Water aids in carrying oxygen throughout your body, allowing for the proper functioning of all body systems. Water also helps remove toxins from the body and help prevent buildup, lessening the load on your immune system. (source) Bottles up!

Are these practices fool-proof? No. Are they really freaking awesome for your immune system and overall health? YES. 

Here's a quick look at our timeline to give you some evidence:

2015: We had just started to hear about "clean living" and natural health care but we weren't too sure about it and didn't change much in our lifestyle. That year, we got the flu three times and so many colds I can't even count them all.

2016: We really jumped into clean leaving by beginning to eliminate toxins and learning more about how to protect our health naturally. That year we got the flu once plus a couple of colds.
2017 to 2018: We now practice a clean living lifestyle on a daily basis and whole-heartedly believe in the power of God-given natural medicine to both enhance and protect our bodies. So far, fingers crossed, we have not gotten the horrible flu going around and we have gotten one cold, one that lasted four days in its entirety. 

pin for later!

What are some ways that you stay healthy? I'd love to hear them in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Girl, I'm a HUGE germaphob. It's really, really bad. I am obsessed with antibaterial hand wipes and I won't touch my face or get my hands anywhere near my face unless they've been washed.