The Dreaded Winter Cold: How to Avoid Becoming a Sickly Scrooge

You and your children can ride out the end of the holiday season healthy and happy by following these few tips!

You have survived the festivities. You ate until you didn’t think you could fit any more in, and then had another plate. You saw a bunch of family and friends and exchanged hugs, stories and possibly germs. Now is the time of year where we become susceptible to the dreaded post-holiday winter cold – never a fun way to ring in the New Year! Well, it doesn’t have to play out this way!

You and your children can ride out the end of the holiday season healthy and happy by following these few tips!

1. Balance your sugar intake

Chances are your sugar intake has been a bit higher in the last few days (or weeks) than normal. This is one of the main reasons we are so susceptible to sickness at this time of year. Sugar suppresses our immune cells and kills a lot of the beneficial bacteria in our body. It can also rob our bodies of some beneficial minerals and nutrients that we need to stay healthy!

Ensuring you and your family are taking a good quality probiotic to replenish the bacteria is a great start. You can also increase the amount of fermented food in your diet at this time to give yourself an extra boost. Another great option is bone broth. Bone broth is incredibly rich and full of nutrients that provide the immune system what it needs to recuperate from the sugar blast.

Sugar can also tax our liver and put it into overdrive (as can some of the “adult drinks” that may have been consumed more than normal over the holidays). Starting the day with some warm water and lemon is an easy and gentle way to offer your liver some nourishing support to continue fighting the good fight. Add a little bit of raw honey for your children if they find it too sour to consume.

2. Focus on Rainbow Meals

We have indulged and it was glorious. Now is time to get back on the healthy food track. One way to involve your kids in healthy eating again is to challenge them to eat as many colours per meal. This means that you have to ensure you offer a multitude of colours with each meal. This usually increases the vegetable quantity naturally, as meat and starches do not often come in a variety of colors. Ensuring you are eating warm, cooked food also supports your body when it has been overtaxed. Cold, raw food takes more energy from our bodies to digest, so focus on soups, stews, and roasted vegetables. Lastly, having good quality fats and proteins at each meal will also bring blood sugar back into balance and offer continued support to building the strength of your immune system up.

3. Adequate Rest

Sleep is one of our most powerful healers. Ensure that you and your children are getting enough sleep every night to catch up on any sleep deficits from the holiday parties. See if you can include some family rest time together. Do not feel guilty about sitting around – you are about to throw yourself back into your busy routines in a few days. This is the time to really rejuvenate! Play board games, sip tea together, read a book out loud, watch movies, and have reflective conversations about the past year and what you as a family want the next year to be about.

4. Hydrotherapy

As soon as you feel anything coming on, start using simple home hydrotherapy (a fancy term for water healing) techniques to get it out quickly. Steam inhalations and neti pots are great for runny noses and congestion. Warming magic socks are a wonderful tool for an immune boost and to decrease congestion. Drinking warm liquids and staying hydrated go a long way in boosting our immune systems. Ginger, raw honey, thyme, sage, echinacea and garlic all have natural immune-boosting and microbe-fighting properties that can be incredibly helpful in getting those nasty bugs away.

5. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an incredible hormone and nutrient for our immune systems. Due to our northern location, we do not get adequate levels of Vitamin D naturally through sunlight. Consider supplementing with Vitamin D for everyone in the family. Liquid Vitamin D is well absorbed and often only a drop is needed per day, so one bottle will go a long way within a family.

Start the new year feeling happy and healthy! Utilizing these strategies puts you on a great track for a positive year. Happy New Year!