I will probably get sick tomorrow after posting this but since we have switched over to eating real organic foods we hardly ever get sick. The kids do sometimes but it isn’t for very long and I usually don’t get it, even with kissing them and drinking off the same drink! It’s amazing what our bodies can do. (Of course, I do still get Fibro sick at times but that’s not even very often.) We used to get sick a lot more. We do what we can to prevent getting sick but it’s okay to be sick once in a while. Our bodies need to rest sometimes and this is a way of letting us know to slow down. We just have to listen to our body. Also, I try really hard to not get sick because it will cause my Fibro to flare up and nobody wants that. 😉 I am not a doctor or an expert on this but have done my research and know what works for us and what doesn’t. Use your own personal judgement on what you want to try or eliminate. Talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or adding in supplements. Even all natural supplements could have side effects.
We Don’t Get Flu Shots Now and Here’s Why:
Last year we didn’t get a flu shot for the first time and don’t plan to this year as well. That may sound risky and my former self would have thought I was nuts! In previous years we have gotten terribly sick, several times throughout the year. Last year (with no flu shot), we probably got sick a couple times and it wasn’t too bad and didn’t last long at all. I know this has to do with the way we are eating now too. I think the flu shot does more harm than good. Do you know what is in a flu shot that we were injecting into our bodies every single year??? Aluminum, mercury, MSG, latex, formaldehyde, polysorbate 80, triton X100 (strong detergent), sucrose, resin, gentamycin, egg products (including avian contaminant viruses), chick embryo cells, gelatin. I like Food Babe’s post on the flu shot. And here are 11 reasons why flu shots are more dangerous than the flu itself. This is a decision that you need to make for your family. This is what we are doing and it works for us. Do what you believe is right.
What We Do To Boost Our Immune System:
So to protect ourselves from getting the flu (or other crazy stuff going around), we try to boost our immune system on a daily basis. I do give the kids a multi-vitamin in the Fall/Winter months, since these are the months where people get sick the most and all that cruddy stuff is going around. I make sure the vitamins don’t have any artificial colors in them. And they probably don’t even need the vitamins but I like to give them an extra boost. We incorporate all the healthy good foods we need into our diet like homemade bone broth, raw honey*, leafy greens, grass-fed beef and other organic meats (we should be eating fish but none of us really care for the taste), fresh organic fruits/veggies (we grow some of our own too), and we tried canning for the first time this year! We canned some peaches with a honey/water/lemon juice mixture. We eat cultured yogurt and butter (contains probiotics), organic brown eggs (I try to get pasture-raised when I can), organic cheese and raw cheese sometimes, I put a lot of garlic and onion into our meals, sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, pepper, a variety of herbs, all kinds of nuts/seeds, avocado, smoothies (with hemp milk, chia seed/flax seed, spinach/kale, ginger, turmeric), and many other healthy foods that we eat all the time. I juice sometimes too, and drink ginger tea and green tea on occasion. I try to give my kids raw honey* and cinnamon whenever possible. This will really boost their immune system! I put it on their pancakes, bread/toast, or just eat a spoonful of it. You could give your kids a spoonful before they go to school in the morning or before going to any large events where there are crowds of people. Also, I make “kid’s tea” that has honey/cinnamon (see recipe below). I put a slice of lemon in the kids’ water sometimes and I do with my water every day if I can. *Honey is not recommended for children under one.
Here is some information on the benefits of some of these foods: Lemons are antiseptic and have a powerful cleansing effect on your liver, kidneys and blood, plus they are full of vitamins and minerals. Definitely an immune booster. Cinnamon is a powerful antibacterial and is used in Chinese medicine to treat cold & flu symptoms. It is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting. And it’s one of the top 7 antioxidants in the world. Honey boosts your immune system, reduces the risk of heart disease, soothes indigestion, and bolsters your energy levels. Probiotics aid the immune system from the inside out. Garlic contains powerful antioxidants and fights infection and bacteria. Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier, a potent anti-inflammatory, natural pain killer, immunity booster, and much more. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural pain reliever, it’s great for nausea, motion sickness or upset stomachs. Green Tea is good for depression, contains strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents, improves your immunity, and can help fight allergies.
Other Ways to Boost Your Immune System:
- Vitamin D – easier to get in the summer but you might consider taking a supplement other times of the year;
- Sleep – try to get to bed at a decent time so you can at least get 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is just as important as diet for boosting immunity and energy levels;
- Stress Less – yea, easier said than done right? But we really do have to try to manage our stress as best as we can or it will wreak havoc on our health and effect everything we do;
- Exercise – releases tension and stress and enhances immune function;
- Stay Hydrated – drink plenty of water throughout the day and don’t drink anything that dehydrates;
- Avoid Anything that Depletes your Immune System – smoking; drinking alcohol; exposure to chemicals which are in so many things we might not even think about like personal care products, soaps, cleaners, candles, perfume, make-up products, hair dye, and obviously non-organic foods.
Treating Our Ailments:
If we do get sick, ginger and peppermint are great for tummy problems (make sure it’s actually real peppermint and not a substitute). I buy Trader Joe’s organic ginger & pear tea and add honey and sometimes a slice of lemon. There are also these Ice Chips available in our area and I keep a couple different ones on hand – ginger and menthol eucalyptus (in the picture above). They are made with natural ingredients and sweetened with birchwood xylitol. There are many different flavors. (Here’s the story on the Ice Chips, and where to order some if you aren’t in our area. They were on Shark Tank too.) We make homemade bone broth now and use it to make chicken noodle soup. Bone broth is very healing for the body. You can learn more about that in my Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot & Homemade Broth post. If it’s a simple cold they will get over it pretty quick. Our “kid’s tea” (see below) is great for soar throats or other common cold symptoms. Sometimes kids just need to be sick, rest, eat healthy foods and recharge themselves to move on with their daily lives. Apple Cider Vinegar is good for clearing sinuses (mix 2 tsp with 6 oz of lukewarm water, stir and drink). Another soar throat remedy (besides the kid’s tea) is to gargle salt water. Just add 1/2 tsp salt to a cup of lukewarm water, stir, then gargle. If my kids get a fever (which is rare nowadays), I don’t rush to give them Tylenol. A fever is our body’s way of fighting infection or whatever is causing them to be sick. I just give them plenty of fluids and rest. If they have a high fever that just won’t break, then maybe I would give them Tylenol (or a similar fever reducing medicine).
- 1 mug of really warm water (you want it pretty warm or hot to start with so the honey mixes up well)
- 1 TB Raw Honey*
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 small slice of lemon (optional)
Just heat up the water, add the honey* & cinnamon and stir it up. Add a slice of lemon if you prefer, and serve. Make sure it isn’t too hot to drink or let the kids stir & blow until it’s cool enough to drink. Both of my kids (5 and 8) like to have this when they are sick, and have had it for over a year now. (Another option is to add 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar for an extra boost.) *Honey is not recommended for children under one.
Other Options for Healing (that I still want to try, or am thinking of trying):
- Essential Oils – Thieves Oil is great for boosting immunity. It is made up of essential oils specifically designed to boost immunity and support the body’s natural defenses when combating infection.
- Elderberry Syrup (here’s a recipe to make it, by Mommypotamus) – Elderberries offer great immune support, reduce cold & flu symptoms, and provide nasal/sinus congestion relief. For more information on the benefits of elderberries, click on the link above for the Mommypotamus recipe. It also includes a video on making the syrup.
- Neti Pot – This is used to wash out the nasal cavity and get rid of the mucus and debris. Sounds like a good idea and probably works great but this has always scared me so I haven’t tried it. I’m afraid of what it would feel like.
- Homemade Herbal Teas – There are so many different types of herbal teas out there and I can’t even pronounce most of them. Here are a couple (that I can pronounce): Dandelion Root Tea–rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Good for B complex vitamins, trace minerals, organic sodium, and even vitamin D. Even contains protein too, more than spinach. It’s a digestive aid, removes toxins from the liver, rich in antioxidants, reduces inflammation and boosts immune function; Rosemary Tea–improves circulation while easing joint pain and headaches – also good for memory.
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