Simple ways to balance your immune system

Simple ways to balance your immune system

Earlier this week my family and I got news that my second grader would be able to go back to school (almost) full time starting in April (should we choose, which we are). He is super excited for a taste of normalcy and we’re happy to have him go back. While he does go to school a couple hours a day at the moment, these will be longer days and larger class sizes. He may even have to switch teachers, so a whole new group of kids he’ll be interacting with. That got my brain going about what can we start doing now to make sure his immune system is solid and so is the rest of ours in the family. More and more things will be opening up , so now is the time. I did a live on Insta last night on this very topic and would now like to share with you all!

Brief note about your immune system

Before I start off I want to talk quickly about the immune system itself. Now, most people that get sick ASSUME their immune system is not working. That if they had a healthy immune system they would not be getting sick at all, well, that’s not exactly the case. Our immune system needs to be strong to FIGHT whatever foreign comes into our body. If it’s fighting, then it’s working! So those symptoms you are feeling is a sign that your immune system is responding. Having it in balance is what will keep it fighting and could also shorten the length of your illness.

Okay, enough about that – let’s get to the good stuff.

1. Choose the right fruits and veggies

Yes, we all know that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet, but what are the ones that are most beneficial? Below is a list of that will help ensure your cells are functioning properly and protect them. This aids in a balanced immune system. So, add these to your shopping list:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Melon
  • Citrus (careful though of canker sores!)
  • Dark leafy greens (unless your doctor has otherwise advised)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic (anti-viral properties)

2. Do not avoid healthy fats

“Fat” is a scary word. Sometimes we see even the healthy ones as “the devil”, but they really do play an important role for your body. Add these to your list:

  • Fish high in Omegas – think Salmon, tuna and makerol
  • Avocado
  • Raw nuts
  • Raw nut butters

3. Stay hydrated

It has been shown that water helps deliver nutrients to your cells to keep them healthy. Water also has the ability to help remove toxins from your body – keeping your immune system in check. And something new I learned? Being propery hydrated may improve your quality of sleep! Which brings us to number 4.

4. Get those Zzzzzs

Sleep can do so much for us, yet so many of us lack in this area. Our lives are constantly on overdrive, but if we burn ourselves out – it’s not going to help us one little bit. Yeah, maybe we got the bedroom repainted and shower tile installed all by ourselves pulling all – nighters between work, school, kids…..but not that doesn’t necessarily lead to better health. (Although, that could be argued). Do your best to stay with a consistent sleep schedule and if quality is sleep is what getting you down – there are things you can do for that as well. I’ll save that for another day.

5. Say goodbye to refined sugar and processed foods

Now, I’m not saying you have to eliminate because sometimes that’s just not realistic. Hell, it’s not like I do. But I aware of how much my family and i were consuming and cut back. These items do not provide you with the necessary nutrients that you need to fight off all the yucky things floating around in the world. This can also help with the quality sleep I talked about above.

6. Manage your stress BEST YOU CAN

This I know is a given and you’ve heard it a million times over, but what I want you to take away from this is the part where I say “as best you can.” I don’t know about you, but whenever I read about stress they make it sound so darn easy to get a handle on it. Just do this and this and that and voila! No more stress. I’m pretty sure we all know what we need to do, but again – completely reducing stress is not realistic, nor is it easy. That’s why I say do the best you can. And if you find yourself stressed…..don’t stress about being stressed; it’s okay!

7. Get moving

Another given and I know you all know this is important. So be like Nike and “Just Do It.” It doesn’t have to be crazy like running 5 miles a day or grunting and lifting like a mad person. Just do SOMETHING.

8. Add supplements

I recently wrote about why adding supplements into your diet is a good idea. Knowing what your body needs and why and then having an easy , consistent way to get those things in, is crucial. Don’t guess, don’t assume. Want help getting started? Click here.

If you put all these things together you’re likely to have a more balanced immune system. Simple things we can do that we probably already know, but always a nice reminder. Just like this one…. be sure to wash your hands!

Be happy and healthy!😘 April

Why adding quality supplements is a good idea

Why adding quality supplements is a good idea

We all know supplements exist. But why are they a good idea? Do we really need them? What happened to getting our nutrients by eating a balanced diet – isn’t that we learned about in first grade through the food pyramid? I have found that even if we follow “the perfect” balanced diet – we probably still need to supplement some things. Here’s a few reasons why.

Lifestyle Factors

1. Our eating habits suck, leading to poor gut health

Raise your hand if you HAVEN’T heard about how important gut health it is. I mean – it’s everywhere, so I shouldn’t be seeing too many hands. When your gut isn’t in shape – nutrients cannot absorb into your body efficiently and effectively.

2. More stressors out there than ever before

Hello life in a pandemic! See number one. Stress can cause poor gut health. Aside from that – it is possible that stress lessens the amount of vital nutrients in your body such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.

3. Not so great habits

It has been found that smoking and drinking alcohol may reduce the amount of vitamin C that is in your body. Smokers actually need twice as much vitamin C as a non-smoker

4. OTC and Rx drugs

If you take aspirin on a semi-regular basis you’re going to need more vitamin C. If you’re on antibiotics you’ll want to up your B vitamins and get some probiotics in you, if you don’t already. Doing hormone replacement therapy taking birth control pills? Add B6, B12, folic acid and zinc to your routine.

Environmental Factors

1. Not all soil is created equal

If foods grow “just okay” in a type of soil or if they’re grown in land that has been farmed a million times over, they may have a reduction in nutrients.

2. Hybrid crops

You can find hybrid crops in many places including organic farms. Hybrid crops are great because they provide more food per acre – more food to feed the world, which is NEVER an issue. But it has been found that these type of crops have a lower volume of nutrients.

3. Fertilizer has changed

The fact is natural fertilizer has been replaced greatly by man-made fertilizers. Again , this is great because they include the right elements to grow a healthy plant; however, they do lack other nutrients that are found in things like manure that transfer to the foods we eat. Now – had I not read this I would never have known. Growing up and living in Wisconsin – manure is quite the staple. I have a farm directly behind me and I am here to tell you – my windows are NOT open a whole lot. Especially when it starts to warm up…fresh baked cow pie is not exactly what I want my kitchen to smell like!

Importance of Quality Supplements

Now we know that our body is missing out on essentials; this is where we make a change and support our body with the nutrition it needs through quality supplements. I will repeat that again because it’s SO important….take QUALITY supplements; not just anything you find on the shelf. Think about it…garbage in garbage out PLUS now you’ve spent money on something that’s done nothing or very little for you, then you get frustrated and try the next and the next…now you’ve just TRIPLED what you would’ve spent on something quality in the first place. (We are currently living this experience in the form of counter stools for our kitchen).

I hope this helped shed some light on why we should look at introducing supplements into our diet.

That being said there’s about 5 gazillion types and brands out there… it’s overwhelming. Because I have dug into this world already , I’d love to save you some time and money .

Allow me to help you understand which specific ones are right for you and why. I’m only an email or comment away!

with health and happiness … April 😘

Helpful tips to start working out

Helpful tips to start working out

I hear this very often from friends, family, co-workers and clients….April, how in the world do I get started working out? Here’s a quick bit of advice that I like to give to get them going.

Baby Steps

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This is listed first because it’s VERY important. At the beginning of anything new we, as people, like to jump right in. We get excited with a very high level of commitment, but a low level of competence which only means that we just don’t know HOW to do what we want to do. If we let the excited overshadow the competence that we may be setting ourselves up for failure. We will do too much, too fast and burn out not only our bodies, but our minds too. So start slow with length and frequency. Example: when I first got into working out (no I haven’t been like this my whole life!) I started with 20 minutes of cardio two days per week, whether that was a fast walk, slow jog or hopping on an elliptical. From there I continued to build with the help of a co-worker who I would call an expert in health and fitness. Having him there was really how I got myself to where I am today – learning from him was uber important. Fast forward 25 years and I’m where I’m at today. Not a terribly smooth ride, but I’m here!

Get out your calendar

I cannot stress this enough….BLOCK TIME OUT on your calendar for your workouts. We are all crazy busy with life – work, school, taking care of family and households; the list goes on. If we do not do the physical act of blocking time on our calendar – it’s going to be difficult to get going. When I was first getting started I would block out my lunch hour. I was fortunate enough to have a facility on site of where I worked out. I had a chunk of time scheduled certain days of the week, for a certain amount of time, on my work Outlook calendar with reminders. This does two things 1. makes sure no one schedules a meeting over when you planned on working out 2. Gives you that visible reminder that this is now part of your day. Everyone is different so choose the time/day that works best for you. Over the last few years I’ve come into the habit of working out first thing in the morning to get my day started; mostly because my days often look like this…

Find something you enjoy

Again, cannot stress this one enough either. If you are not doing something you enjoy then it makes it that much harder. There are so many options out there! Let’s say you hate running, but you think that’s the best way to burn calories and meet your goals….ERRRR WRONG-O! If you hate something why in the world would you stick with it? I mean do you continue to talk to and date that girl or guy that cheated on you five times over ? NO you don’t. At least you shouldn’t be – and if you are then we need to talk as that is very definition of insanity. Cardio doesn’t have to be running, maybe biking is more your thing or playing basketball with a club group (yes, we’re in a pandemic, but you know – eventually that is going to be an option). Or maybe it’s dance? Hell – doesn’t even need to be structured, it could be putting on some of your fave music to wild ‘n out in your kitchen, living room or basement. As long as you’re moving and getting your heart rate up – you’re golden!

Write down your why

This is easy. Do exactly as it says, write down your why in a place you can frequently refer back to. And this can be fluid – it may change as you change so don’t forget to update it. Refer back to remind yourself why in the world you wanted to do this in the first place. Especially on those days you “just don’t feel like it.” Because they will come , but they will also pass.

My journal sits on my nightstand – always within arms reach

I hope you’ve found this helpful in getting started! It’s never easy to start or re-start something new.

If you need help getting going I’d love to talk with you; not only to get you going, but to also be your accountability partner. I’m only an email away!

with Health and Happiness 😘