About 15 years ago my family and I decided to make a huge turnaround in our lifestyle habits. Our decision included less: sugar; processed simple carbs; video games, TV and sunscreen. And more Whole grains, real milk, nutrient dense veggies, low sugar fruits, sunshine and more moving our bodies, aka exercise. This was one of the best decisions we ever made. We have definitely seen huge reduction in colds, flus and infections. In fact, we go to the doctor so seldom that when I had to take my youngest (he was 12 at the time) to see the doctor for a check-up, he was taken back by the doctor's invasion of his personal space. I hadn't even thought to prepare him. He had no recollection of ever seeing a doctor before, which made the normality's of an average doctor visit completely foreign, and “too close for comfort,” to him. Haha... What a great problem to have! My older children, however, have plenty of memories, so I can't help but draw the connection. Healthy cells = healthy bodies.
I'm thankful that this “lifestyle” of health and fitness is becoming more widely accepted as a major key to maintaining health and longevity. Surprisingly, most medical doctors study very little Nutrition while obtaining their medical degree. I have yet to understand why, since even just a simple understanding of the human body clearly links the role of nutrition to our overall health. It begins at the cellular level.
I think, that if more people understood the very important roles, that our cells play in our health and how they cannot function properly when they are not supplied their basic nutrients, more people would think twice about consuming foods that only bring havoc and death to their cells, thus their body. If you want to read a great article that very clearly explains the importance of taking care of our cells, I highly recommend this article on the WHFOODS.ORG website: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=19&tname=faq It's so great I think I'll have my kids read it too! Few things matter in life if you can't be well enough to live it!
So how do we take care of our cells and kick up our immune system? Let's look at 5 simple things that you can do to strengthen your families from the inside out and hopefully avoid the wintertime “nasties” altogether.
1. Increase your antioxidants. Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in food. The highest source of antioxidants discovered in a food source, have been measured in the Ningxia wolfberry. (http://www.wolfberryjuice.com/antioxidants-orac-list.htm) Here's a few foods and their ORAC values for big immune boosting, cell protecting capabilities:
Spinach – 1,200
Apple – 1,400
Raspberry – 1,600
Garlic – 1,900
Strawberries – 2,600
Plum - Blueberries – 3,200
Blackberries – 5,100
Ningxia wolfberry 30,300 (WOW!)
2. Kick the sugars to the curb. The amount of havoc that sugar overload does in our bodies (especially HFCS) is like a 911 call all throughout the day on the inside of your body. In order to prevent a seizure, your body sounds the alarm, calls out the emergency crews, and begins shouting at your organs to begin their emergency response protocol. Now, our bodies were designed to protect us in this way but not to the extent that we are demanding being rescued. Americans consume on average 150 pounds per year. Compare that to 7.5# per year in the 1700's and that pretty much explains why type 2 diabetes is still increasing at alarming rates. But don't swap one problem for another. Steer clear from sucralose and aspartame, which are linked to things such as cancer, MS, depression and Alzheimer’s. Stick with small amounts of honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, sucanat, or for a zero calorie sweetner, stevia. While some of these aren't low sugar, at least they aren't toxic to your body.
3. Drink filtered water from a glass whenever possible. Very few people are getting enough quality water. We should be consuming ½ our bodyweight in ounces daily. ie. If you weigh 150#, you should be drinking 75 ounces per day. By all means, try to avoid water that's been chlorinated and fluoridated. We have been severely misled into believing that small trace amounts are “okay.” No matter how much you water it down, these are harmful toxins. I recommend drinking your filtered water in glass due to the concern that plastic water bottles may still be leaching some toxins in your water. My family likes to put in a few drops of Young Living's essential oils like lemon oil which is very alkalizing and helps your body to flush toxins, including petrochemicals, but it must be in glass, and it just makes your water taste delicious!
4. Use regular old soap and wash often. I did not realize, until this year, how bad for us the hand sanitizers are! I knew they were being blamed for creating “superbugs,” but I didn't know how many harmful toxins were in them. If they stayed in the bottles it would be fine, but we are slathering it on our largest organ, the skin, MULTIPLE times per day. They are created in a way to be extra absorbent, which means the toxins in them are too. Hmmm, that's not good! Here's a little list of what I didn't know about this little liquid that I used to carry and slather everywhere. It contains petrochemicals, neurotoxins, petroleum, endocrine disruptors, pthalates and very toxic fragrances. Um, no thanks, I think I'll keep my natural dirt, or better yet, make my own with essential oils. Did you know that bacteria cannot grow resistant to essential oils? The powerful antibacterial, antiviral (*eh hem* Yes, I said anti-viral) properties of essential oils create a wonderful option for sanitizing your hands in a completely healthful way. You actually add power-packed nutrients to your system while you kill only the bad bacteria. If you'd like to make your own, see the recipe below. I cover all this more in-depth in my classes. See the section at the beginning of this magazine for some of my upcoming class dates.
5. Get that body moving. Working out regularly with moderate exercise for 30 minutes, can mobilize your T cells, a type of white blood cell known to guard the body against infection. It'll also increase your serotonin levels, which is a natural antidepressant, the "Happy Hormone."
Here's to a wonderful Fall, spent “well,” with those you love.
Happy, Healthy and Whole. Live Radiantly!
Skip the TOXINS and the GERMS! Make your own hand sanitizer & Viola, germs be gone!