Happy Ha-Ha-AHH-AHH-CHOOO - Holidays!
Tis' the season for coughs, sore throats, flu, and fevers.
Fortunately, there are some ways to circumvent Mr. Flu and Ms. Icky Sicky.
Here are ten things our family strives to do during the holidays and all year long.
1. Eat nutrient-rich foods. Some varieties of produce may be harder to come by in the winter, but there still should be plenty of options at your local grocer or farmer's market. Sauté carrots, chomp on celery, peel a clementine, enjoy half of a grapefruit, slice a kiwi, mash some rutabagas, or bake up some squash. All of those items are in-season in winter.
2. Limit sugar consumption. Go ahead and eat that piece of pumpkin pie, but try not to over-do sweets this season. Sugar makes your immune system lethargic and you want it to be as robust as possible as the weather cools off. Choose the desserts you love the most - and skip the others.
3. Take a hike. Regular exercise will stimulate your mind, bring down your blood pressure and cholesterol, relieve stress, and help you sleep better - plus put you in a jollier mood. With parties to attend, side dishes to make, and thank you notes to write, it's easy to let fitness fall off the list. Ultimately, you'll actually have more time if you can stay healthier so plan to meet up with a friend for runs or take a bike ride with your family. It will do your body good.
4. Get your vitamin C. Super C so often saves the day when it comes to keeping colds at bay. One delicious way to get your C is to drink up a glass of Tropicana's Pure Premium OJ. It's 100% pure Florida orange juice, meaning that it's made from fresh oranges right here in the United States. The price is right (typically $2.99/half-gallon in AZ!). The taste is refreshing. I enjoy drinking a glass at breakfast - also after a good run. Stay connected with Tropicana on Facebook for coupons, sweepstakes, and orange juice inspiration.
5. Drink water. Lots of it. When you go to Christmas parties, commit to drink at least one FULL glass of water before sampling the punch or martinis. Or skip the sweet drinks altogether and sip water all night long.
6. Breastfeed your baby. If you're pregnant, read books about breastfeeding, talk to friends who have breastfed, and stock up on breastfeeding products that will help give you a smooth start. If you have a little one and are considering weaning, think about nursing through age 1 or beyond. The immunities that babies get from breastmilk are well-documented and there's truly no better way to safeguard your infant or toddler from sickness.
7. Honey Rx. Head to your local bee farm and pick up a jar of organic honey. If you feel a sore throat or cough coming on, take a spoonful of honey. If you prefer, you can mix it into a hot mug of tea.
8. Roast some garlic. Add some fresh garlic to chicken soup, roast some up on the grill with potatoes, or add to another dish. Garlic has immune-boosting properties that are especially fantastic for the winter months when sickness is at its peak. Plus, it tastes good. The only downside? Garlic breath.
9. Go to sleep early. "Just one more email/tweet/tv show/batch of cookies/facebook like." It's a common phrase across the world. But here's the truth: that ONE THING can wait. Tuck yourself into bed early. Rest is, after all, a cure for a great many ailments.
10. Wash your hands. Do it often. Hot water. Soap. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Repeat frequently at home and - especially - when you're out and about. Here's how to use only one paper towel to reduce waste.
*BONUS* Choose to laugh. When things don't go as planned - the pumpkin pie falls upside down on your tile, the baby spits up on his adorable miniature suit & tie, the cream cheese is sold out when you want to make cheesecake - take a deep breath and gather perspective. Even with all of the chaos, you've got a home, a family, a heater, a bank account, a job, friends to count on, and kids to hug. Just throw back your head and laugh. Turn on the classical music and dance. Say a prayer of thanksgiving. Being grateful and flexible are two of the very best ways to ensure a happy holiday season...and a happy life.
What other natural remedies would you add to this list? How does your family "outsmart" germs?
* I received compensation for this post as part of the Tropicana “TropiMomma” Ambassador program. All opinions expressed are always 100% my own.