In this episode, you will learn how you can use natural techniques to prevent illness and virus proof your whole family, plus you will have the opportunity to download my Natural Remedy Medicine Cabinet.
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Resources mentioned in this episode:
- 7 Day Spark
- Eating with Intention
- Wellness Circle
- Winter Detox
- Submit a Question for the Show
- The Healing Art of Kombucha
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How to Virus Proof Your Family
Virus Proof Your Family Naturally
Did you know that families get an average of 10-12 viral infections per year? Man! You definitely don't want to be average! I can’t imagine having one or all four of our family members sick every. Single. Month. There are so many things that can be done to help prevent this from happening.
I am frequently asked some version of “How can I keep from getting sick this winter?” or “What supplements should I take when I have a virus?” or “What natural remedy can I give my kiddo for their cough/cold?”
I get it. It's a balancing act between convenience and wellness. I feel that each and every family should have a “cough and cold” or overall virus prevention strategy--a wellness strategy if you will--that works for the ENTIRE family.
We are going to talk about 7 simple and sustainable strategies to virus-proof the entire family. Plus you can download my quick guide on what to keep in your medicine cabinet and start using at the first sign of a cold or virus.
Virus Proof Your Nutrition
Hippocrates said, “Make food thy medicine and medicine thy food.” When I am bombarded with the questions about “What can I take for ______?” it always starts with the nutrition that you put in your body on a daily basis--that nearly 2,000 lbs of food (for adults) that you eat every year.
Every illness, whether it is chronic or acute, starts and ends with inflammation. That is why I preach an anti-inflammatory diet, and its one of the reasons I host seasonal online detoxes (for the entire family) because food that is good for you tastes good and doesn’t have to be hard to make or cost prohibitive! Here are a few simple tips to adjust your family’s nutrition towards anti and non-inflammatory:
Eat 5-8 Servings of brightly colored vegetables and fruits a day.
The cool thing is when you eat 5-8 servings of fruits and veggies in a day you crowd out the bad rather than restrict it. Be sure to go organic when possible. Sometimes organic can be cost prohibitive, it’s true, but just as true is that often, it isn’t cost prohibitive and even it can be a savings.
Thanks to the Environmental Working Group’s website for putting out the “Dirty Dozen” list (link https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php) and the “Clean 15” list (https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean-fifteen.php)
These lists detail the 12 produce items you should avoid if they aren’t organic, as well as the 15 items that are a-okay to save money on by buying conventionally. You can print it out from here and use it while shopping.
Reduce and then eliminate processed foods, artificial dyes, and sweeteners.
That may seem like a lot, but you will SAVE money and time doing this. If you can’t eliminate all three, start with one and work your way from less than once per day, to less than once per week, to total elimination. You can simply eliminate sodas/sweet drinks (Gatorade etc) and that can be a huge savings in the artificial junk department.
Solve the sweet tooth with natural sugars like honey, coconut sugars, maple syrup, dark chocolate, and fruit. Encourage desserts from these natural sources. One of our favorites is a banana sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey. Treat desserts as special treats reserved for Sundays, holidays, or birthdays. There is no need to have dessert every day or after every meal. Spend a little time prepping some snacks to avoid the packaged food mayhem that occurs. It will help your family feel better AND help reduce your footprint on Mama Earth.
Limit cow milk and dairy.
These are inflammatory (and remember inflammation is the start and end of every illness) for all bodies, big and small. There are many good seed, nut, and pea milk varieties on the market now to help with the general need for milk/dairy in cooking.
If you don’t have seasonal allergies or an outward dairy sensitivity or allergy, enjoy high-quality cheese on occasion but not regularly.
Eat healthy fats.
Push out the stuffs that are causing inflammation by increasing the stuffs that help with inflammation like good fats. Eat things like fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oils.
Eat Fermented Foods.
I will review more probiotic information in the supplements but you can weave probiotics into your family’s diet more routinely. Consider adding sauerkraut, pickles, (really any pickled vegetables) and kimchi just to name a few.
Additionally, consider replacing the taste for sweetened beverages with some kombucha. You can even learn how to make kombucha yourself here. Our family really enjoys making kombucha as a group project.
Virus Proofing with Supplements
As I mentioned, I'm frequently asked “What can I take to help with _____?” and although there are natural remedies that you can take to help with lots of conditions and even to virus-proof your family...almost every supplement works better with a good nutrition base from which to start. Many traditional Practitioners recommend a daily multivitamin. Most often especially if you're eating Whole Foods, a daily multivitamin is not necessary. You may have even heard me say “It just creates expensive pee.” Remember, supplements do not replace a nourishing food.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for adults and children alike. Depending on the age and size of the child the dose may be as low as 500 mg all the way up to 5000 mg for adults. My kids take around 3000 mg per day and that is both my eight year old and ten year old. Each child is different. Things to look out for include loose stools as a sign that you may have too much omega-3 and need to reduce your supplementation. Liquid supplements are easiest to use for children because you can achieve the recommended dose for less when compared to the gummies.
Most adults will need to take 3 to 5000 mg per day of a good quality omega-3 supplement. You can find these linked here. (wellness tools)
Vitamin D3 is an integral part of protecting your body via the immune system. It is especially important during the fall and winter months when adults and kids don't spend nearly enough time outside in the sun.
Even the time we do spend in the sun is not as strong as it is in the spring and summer because of the position of the Earth in relation to the sun during this time of year. The solution is to supplement with Vitamin D3, from kids to adults. You want to be somewhere between 800-2000 IU (International Units)/day, especially during fall and winter months.
Adults, be sure your formula is a Vitamin D3 + K2 formula for cardiac health.
Probiotics are so very important for all ages INCLUDING infants. Recommended daily dosages vary widely, depending on needs, but most agree 1-10 billion CFU (Colony Forming Units) for infants, 10-20 billion CFUs for older children, and 30-50 billion for adults.
Taking probiotics does not replace the need for fermented foods. They are both important aspects of a balanced and nourishing nutrition plan. Our health begins in our gut, and not just our physical health but our mental health as well.
Virus Proofing with Water
Did you know that even becoming mildly dehydrated is stress for both kid and adult bodies and weakens the immune system?
Depending on where you're at in your families nutrition journey it's possible that your child does not have a taste for regular, plain water. It's really really important that children get used to drinking water as their primary beverage. In order to make it more appealing at first try creating “Spa” water.
It’s very easy. You can simply infuse plain old water with some fruits like berries, slices of oranges, or any other fruit. Here is a quick tip: children are more likely to try new things if they're involved in the process of creating it, so let them pick what fruit to put in the water!
This “spa water” trick also works with adults, for those of you who don't like the taste of plain water try adding citrus or berries or cucumbers or even herbs like basil and rosemary and mint.
Over time this will help you develop a taste for plain water. Plain water is the most nourishing thing for the body and we need lots of it to maintain your health. A good way to check if you are getting enough water is by looking at your pee. It should be plentiful, odor free, and pale, pale yellow.
Virus Proofing with Hygiene
I am NOT a fan of sanitizing the world with hand-sanitizer. In fact, I don’t allow my kids to use it. BUT what I do encourage is handwashing. This is especially important after going to the restroom, playing in public places, and before meals. This same hygiene can be applied to adults.
The second part of hygiene is keeping your fingers off your face...it’s much easier said than done but some reminders to keep fingers out of the nose, mouth, and eyes can go a long way in virus protection.
Virus Proofing with Sleep
This is so very important! A solid sleeper team is so important for both children and adults. The entire family should try these guidelines.
No TVs in the bedroom.
It's not a good idea to fall asleep while watching TV. It makes for difficulty falling asleep as well as difficulty staying asleep even if the TV falls off. It interrupts the patterns in your brain that allow you to get a restful night's sleep.
No screens for two hours before bed.
The same goes for screens in general for the same reasons. Studies show that the blue lights in the screens activate chemical cascades that make it more difficult for you to fall and stay asleep. That goes for kids and adults as well. For adults that must work on a screen late in the evening, it is advisable to get blue light blocker glasses. They've come a long way and style you can find some good looking blue light blocker glasses here, and they even have them for kids.
Keep it Cold and Dark.
The bedroom should be kept cool and completely dark. If your child needs a night light to get started, put it on a timer so it turns off eventually or consider a colored light to ease the exposure to the artificial lights.
Stick to a Routine.
Try to get to bed around the same time every night and wake up around the same time every morning, even on the weekends.
Virus Proofing with Movement
Movement is so important! Everyone needs to be moving at least an hour a day. It doesn't have to all be at the same time and it really should be outdoors whenever possible. Bonus points if you can get feet-on-the-ground earthing done during the same time.
There are no guidelines for this needing to be cardiovascular or lifting weights or any such thing like that. Just an hour of play/activity outside each day is all that it takes. And adults, you aren’t getting out of that either, this is especially important for you, too.
Virus Proofing with Stress Management
With all the activities and schoolwork and structure that our children have every single day, stress management is not just for the adults in the house. Increased stress weakens the immune system and can make your family more vulnerable to catching a virus. It's easy to teach kids as young as four or five years old to destress to manage anxiety and even to meditate and practice relaxing breathing techniques. The caveat is the parents have to remind them to do it daily. But it's also a good reminder for adults to be meditating once or twice a day themselves.
What to have on hand in Your Medicine Cabinet
Sometimes viruses get us, we do all the right things and we just have this combination of weak areas where we end up getting sick, or our child ends up getting sick. Don't sweat it. If you catch it early enough you can make the virus less intense and last a shorter duration by simply having a few things on hand. You can download my free guide: Natural Viral Remedy Medicine Cabinet here.
To wrap this up, let’s go over what you can do to virus proof your family:
So let’s do a quick recap.
To wrap this up, here’s a quick list of how to virus proof your family:
1. Nutrition - focus on adding and amping up the good to crowd out the bad. Include things like 5-8 servings of fruits and veggies.
2. Supplements - start with a good base and then download my Natural Viral Remedy Medicine Cabinet (https://pages.convertkit.com/f518ec67f1/6f9fffb53a) for uh-ohs
3. Water - drink it all! Honestly for most adults 80-120 ounces and for kids at least ½ their body weight in ounces
4. Hygiene - get back to hand washing basics and get rid of the hand sanitizer.
5. Sleep - make sure the whole family has good sleep habits.
6. Movement - an hour a day of play (bonus if its outside and barefoot.)
7. Manage Stress - there are many ways to do this, family or individual meditations are amazing.
Avoid the average 10-12 viruses a year and virus proof your family!
Remember to download this quick guide for uh-ohs here.
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