Is it possible to stay well all winter?
by Elaine Haynik —
It is that time of year again — winter is here. Does that mean you must suffer a bout with the flu, a cold or sinus infection? Realize first that you can do something to prevent getting sick. So let us proactively start today to do things to avoid illness. The best place to start is by keeping your immune system strong.
Be sure to get enough sleep — Watch your thoughts; mind your mindset. Recognize stress and deal with it. Reframe your thoughts. Learn to quiet yourself down. Meditate. Do not dwell on fear or negativity. No discouraging words. Forgive and forget. Get off the pity pot. Train yourself to be optimistic, positive and grateful. Perform frequent acts of kindness. Smile more and spread sunshine.
Watch your activity level — If you are sedentary at your job, make an extra effort to incorporate some physical exercise. Keep your circulation moving. Stimulate your mind and body through deep breathing, walking, biking, running, swimming, hot tubs, saunas or gym workouts.
Watch your diet — Try not to eat heavy meals. Eat less meat, fewer or no junk foods, more fresh and raw fruits and vegetables. Eat more greens, even seaweed. Eat whole grains; however, go light on whole wheat. Add one tablespoon daily of ground flax seed to cooked foods, like hot cereal or muffins.
Add lemon to your water, or have a hot lemon drink first thing in the morning with added molasses or honey. Lemon turns alkaline in the body. Add a cup of any kind of tea — herbal, green or black — to your afternoon routine.
Cut out sugar — It is the worst. Why do you think you get sick after overeating at the family Thanksgiving feast or at the company Christmas party? Why do you indulge in that daily soda or one of those coffee drinks with syrup that can add up to 400 to 600 calories void of nutrition?
Sugar in any form paralyzes the white blood cells. They go into a coma for six or more hours. The white blood cells are the Pac-Men of the immune system. When they detect the enemy, they dispose of the germs by eating/ingesting them. When they are asleep on the job, the enemy cells get a head start. In essence, by eating sugar, you have disabled your own immune system. You have sabotaged the work your cells are trying to do to keep you healthy by what you choose to put in your mouth. Think about that.
Oh no, the dreaded cold
When it is too late and you feel a cold coming on, immediately alkalize and hydrate. Alkalize means to help the body become more alkaline. Often your diet and water are too acidic, so use emergency measures to raise pH to an alkaline level. Take an Alka-Seltzer®, Airborne®, Emergen-C® or mix yourself a drink of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic or pink Himalayan salt in a glass of water. These specialty salts help balance electrolytes. Repeat later.
Stop ingesting sugar, dairy and meat. Go for a brisk short walk. You can flush out toxins by stimulating your circulation. Go home and heat up some chicken soup (Jewish penicillin). You can use a can of chicken and rice soup with added water. Add into the bowl (do not cook) 1 or 2 cut cloves of raw garlic (Russian penicillin) and one teaspoon of miso, a probiotic. You can add some green herbs, such as Italian seasoning, parsley, oregano or thyme, and shake some cayenne or hot pepper into the soup, which will bring out a bit of sweat. The idea is to get the lymph system flowing as fast as possible.
Next, make yourself a pot of ginger tea. Use a piece of fresh ginger root about 1-1/2 inches long, cut into thin coins. Bring one quart of water to a boil with the ginger pieces. Keep covered and simmer slowly one half hour. Remove from the heat. Add a big glob of honey and the juice of one or two lemons to the pot. No need to remove the ginger. Leave the tea in the pot and reheat as necessary. Try to drink two to three cups daily, or sip it often. It tastes spicy and warming and works amazingly well. You can add extra water to replace the water that evaporated.
While the ginger tea is brewing, take a hot bath. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salts to the bath water. This will detoxify, yet add magnesium to your system to prevent muscle aches.
After the bath, dress warmly. Apply Vicks® or an essential oil to your nostrils and on your throat and chest. Breathe in aromatherapy. Check on your ginger tea and have a cup. Go to bed early.
More healthy tips
Wash and disinfect all doorknobs, light switches, phones, computer keyboards, and faucet and toilet handles often.
When fighting a cold, change your pillowcase daily. Remember that as your face is smooshed into your pillow, the germs take up residence there and at night you re-breathe them.
Go out in the sun for 10 minutes or so. The sun is a potent disinfector and stimulates the immune system.
This may sound weird, but wash the soles of your feet before bedtime daily. Medicine and toxins can be absorbed through them. You can also add a therapeutic oil to the soles of your feet at bedtime.
Other helpful items are zinc lozenges, bee pollen, honeycomb, vitamins A and D, acidophilus and echinachea. Think ahead. Be watchful over your body and thoughts. Stay prepared, balanced, happy and active. You can do it.
Elaine Haynik, a Scottsdale resident and R.N., retired after 40 years of work in both hospital and alternative medicine.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 1, February/March 2015.