5 Tips to Survive Winter + Winter Recipes!
Well I think it is safe to say the cooler months are definitely now upon us... with Ipswich hitting 0 degrees this week. Not only that but I feel like the "flu" word seems to come up in conversation constantly in Winter whether you have the flu, are getting the flu shot or are committing your life to avoiding the flu - you'll be talking or hearing about it.
Well this is where I have come in... to provide you with 5 out of the ordinary tips to help support your bodies immune system the most natural ways I know how which are a little different to the 'usual.' Which are of course just as important and mentioned below but most often than not we need some powerful extras to throw into our everyday lives at this time of year:
1. Herbs, Spices & Tonics
All spices and herbs posses active ingredients and have unique medicinal properties. Add plenty of fresh herbs and spices to your cooking, brewed teas or juices/smoothies to assist in boosting your immune system. Turmeric for inflammation (be sure to add some natural fat & cracked pepper also to assist in absorption), Coriander is a great liver detoxifier and anti fungal herb to garnish your meals or make a coriander pesto (I have a great pumpkin soup recipe utilising it with turmeric & lime). Ginger contains natural oils which give it a pungent, spicy heat - fun fact: when my gut was seriously bad I use to do ginger wraps around my belly to naturally heat my digestive tract would seriously help to reduce swelling. It is very effective at providing extra support when warding off cold and flus whether you make ginger tea, ginger smoothie (I have a recipe on my website) or grate it into your soups. Rosemary is also a great anti bacterial gargle - pick some fresh rosemary brew it like you would tea but highly concentrated and gargle it.
Whenever I feel the slightest throat tingle, ear ache or chesty cough coming on I always seek out some naturopath tonics which incorporate thyme & oregano oil. These oils are traditionally used for internal bacterial infections, fungus and viral infections. They are naturally strong anti bacterial, antiviral and anti fungal oils assisting you in fighting off pathogens with a really horrid after taste (yet, totally worth it).
2. Vitamin C overload
I haven't met a doctor or health professional that would deny the importance of increasing your vitamin C supplement intake over the colder months to fight off any colds or flus that may be lurking around. You know how sometimes more is just more and not necessarily good well that is NOT the case for Vitamin C. Increasing your dose daily on top of your natural intake through diet to assist in strengthening your immune system is a great idea and is usually recommended once we do come down with a cold or flu so make sure you get on top of that sooner than later.
I like the Bioceutical vitamin C powder (not sponsored) just a good quality product.
3. Gut Health - Bacteria!
70% of our immune system cells reside in our gut wall so it is most essential for your gut bacteria to be healthy and thriving to support the immune cells to function optimally. Keep up your cruciferous vegetable intake (you know all those GASSY veggies - cauliflower, kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussels and so on), add in an immune tonic based on apple cider vinegar into your daily routine to assist with digestive enzymes and acids to help detoxification and remove bad bacteria through binding with toxins. Increase your probiotic in take through fermented foods such as coconut yoghurt, greek yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, milk kefir and water kefir. Bone broth is also a great staple to add into your diet as the two main amino acids glycine and proline found in good quality bone broth assist in repairing and rebuilding your digestive tract as well as reducing inflammation for not only your digestive tract but for your joints also.
4. Neti Pot
If you don't have one... well then I am about to change your life.
The Neti Pot is designed to flush out your nasal cavity with salt water to remove mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. Typically used to treat symptoms of nasal allergies, sinus problems or cold & flus. If you are making your own salt water solution using sea salt like we do at home here it is highly recommended to use boiled water in order to sterilise it. Otherwise you can buy a saline solution to use.
Another option is steam inhalation or a big steam diffuser in your bedroom while you sleep with essential oils added to it. To do a steam inhalation you would add several drops of essential oils to a bowl of hot, steaming water. Place a towel over your head, lean over the bowl and inhale the steam until all the oils have dissipated. Repeat several times a day or as needed for relief of congestion/headaches.
5. Essential Oils
Tying into the old Thyme & Oregano oil which can come in a form of a tonic or 'safe to consume' essential oils which you can drop into your water to drink. It is a great to also add in a few other oils such as lavender into your baths with epsom salts, tea tree and/or eucalyptus in your diffuser, frankincense on your temple and throat glands for its healing properties or drop lemongrass on your pillow. You can also add the oils to your food like adding lemon essential oil to my lemon & coconut bliss ball recipe - how easy and it tastes great!
Really there are no ends with what you can do with essential oils.
Some of my Winter Recipes below
AND OF COURSE all of the usual everyday things we should be doing:
- Sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night (rest is essential for our body to repair itself)
- Staying hydrated (drinking plenty of 'filtered' water daily to flush out our endocrine system)
- Eating a healthy balanced diet (it is easy to stray to more 'comfort' food in the colder months)
- Spend time in the sun (get outdoors instead of staying cooped up inside within all your own germs and bacteria)
I hope these tips help you all to get on top of your immune system this Winter. Remember this is not to be mistaken as medical advice this is what assists Tom and I over this time of year. If you are going to be making any changes to your lifestyle please consult your regular gp or health professional.
In health, Sofie x