Everyone wants to know how to keep from getting sick in the winter. In this post, I share my five biggest “health hacks” to help you out!
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Oh, winter. The time of wonderful holidays, tons of amazing food, stuffy noses, and horrible sinus infections. Well, stuffy noses and horrible sinus infections for some people. Have you ever noticed that while some people get sick all the time, others seem to breeze through winter with barely a sniffle?
I am one of those “barely a sniffle” types. Admittedly, I don’t have kids, which I have heard keeps me from coming into contact with a wide variety of yucky bugs, but I do come into contact with plenty of sick people all winter long and never seem to suffer the consequences. I also have a horrible habit of touching my eyes to rub them or swipe away some flaked off mascara, and it seems like the #1 rule of not getting sick is always do not touch your eyes. Rules are meant to be broken, I guess. 🙂
In this post, I’m going to reveal to you my personal health hacks that I use to keep bad bugs at bay all winter long. Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind, and this post is for informational purposes only. (The last thing I need is someone to sue me because they drank apple cider vinegar every day and still got the flu!)
Health Hack #1: Drink raw apple cider vinegar daily in the fall and winter.
Some people consider raw apple cider vinegar a “miracle drink.” It’s rich in potassium and healthy enzymes, and people swear by it for everything from weight loss to immune system benefits to pain relief to mental alertness. Note that I’m saying raw apple cider vinegar. You can’t grab a bottle of processed apple cider vinegar (“ACV” for short) from the oil and vinegar section at the grocery store and expect it to do good things.
High-quality raw ACV comes with the “mother.” (You’ll see what I mean when you buy it, but it’s some brown sediment near the bottom of the bottle. It might look gross, but it’s actually a good thing!) The mother is a grouping of beneficial bacteria that feed the creation of the ACV through fermentation. Pretty cool, huh?
It’s important to dilute ACV when you drink it because it’s really strong and you don’t want to harm your teeth or throat. I drink one to two tablespoons of ACV every day in the fall and winter diluted in 32 ounces of water. Some people add honey or stevia, but I find that I really enjoy the taste of it as is.
I highly recommend that you purchase Bragg’s Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. I’ve used it for many years and the quality is always excellent.
Health Hack #2: Take oil of oregano.
Of all the things I do to keep from getting sick, I feel like oil of oregano is the most effective. The reason I feel this way is because even when I haven’t taken it daily, if I start to feel like something is coming on, I start loading up on oil of oregano and it disappears within 24 hours.
I use a specific brand of oil of oregano, Oreganol P73, by a company called North American Herb & Spice. According to the company, they were the first ones to develop an edible oil of oregano blend. They state that their oregano is crafted from “wild, high mountain Mediterranean oregano.”
Some people take oil of oregano daily during the fall and winter, and some (like me) only take it when they feel something coming on. Read the product reviews (they’re amazing!) and decide what is best for you.
Oil of oregano is very, very strong, so you’ll need to dilute it in water (although it’s still quite strong that way) or take it in capsules. North American Herb & Spice sells it as a liquid or capsules. I personally buy the liquid and drop it into capsules myself because it’s cheaper that way. Here are your options:
(plus empty gelatin capsules) OR
Oh! As I was looking up the links for those, I also discovered that they have nasal spray:
Health Hack #3: Reduce your sugar consumption.
I’ve been sugar-free for over eight years now (that’s actually why I started this site and why I wrote my book!), so this one is kind of a no brainer for me, but I know eating less sugar is easier said than done sometimes. However, I think it’s really important to make an effort to reduce your sugar consumption, especially during the fall and winter.
Scary fact: Consuming a large amount of sugar has been shown to lower the immune system for almost five hours! (source)
That means you should watch it with those delicious pies, cookies, and candies that are sooo easy to overeat during the fall and winter months. You should also make a conscious effort to eat less sugar on a daily basis. If you want to know how much sugar you should consume, check out my post How Much Sugar Should I Eat Per Day?!
Health Hack #4: Practice gratitude.
When was the last time you really sat and thought about how grateful you are for all of the things in your life?
For a lot of us, we’re so out of practice with gratitude that we couldn’t even answer that question.
Believe it or not, practicing gratitude has been shown to help boost the immune system. A recent study found that “stressed out law students who described themselves as optimistic actually had more disease-fighting cells in their bodies.”
How can you practice gratitude? By journaling your gratitude weekly, if not daily. It only takes a few minutes and can greatly improve your attitude (and immune system too, apparently!). Here is a great gratitude journal I found on Amazon:
Health Hack #5: Diffuse essential oils.
In the fall and winter, I really love to diffuse essential oils in my home, especially one I found called “Germ Fighter” by Plant Therapy. It’s a blend of lemon, clove bud, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and rosemary. I love the smell and I like to believe it helps keep the air clean. It can also be mixed with a little bit of carrier oil (I like almond oil) and massaged on the soles of your feet at night.
I diffuse it using this diffuser:
Best of luck to your immune system!
I hope you’ve found the tips in this post to be helpful. I wish you an amazing, sickness-free winter! 🙂