Tuesday, January 7, 2020

winter wellness

Now that winter is in full swing, I know many people who are sick: Colds, flu, a lingering virus that produces a chronic cough. My husband and I haven't been sick in years. I attribute a lot of that to our healthy lifestyle and wellness tips, so I thought I'd share some of them with you:

Wash your hands every single time you walk in your house from being out in public. Washing your hands with warm water and soap (skip the antibacterial stuff) is the most important thing you can do to keep germs from spreading. Store cart handles, public bathroom faucets and handrails, keyboards and desks are the worst for germ-laden surfaces. 

Keep your hands away from your face. Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth ~ or else use a disposable tissue.

I can't stress this enough: eat a healthy diet. By that, I mean real food. Stay away from fast food, prepared foods, sugar, and frozen grocery store dinners.  As Robert Lustig, MD, an endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco says, "If I could suggest one change to someone's eating habits for health, it would be to eat real food."

(Organic chicken cooked in the Crockpot with tomatoes, coconut milk, onion, garlic & ginger - topped with cilantro; basmati rice with sauteed barberries, onion and saffron; broccoli sauteed in coconut oil)

 Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits (click here for which produce you should be buying organic), some whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and limited dairy. If you choose to eat meat, try to buy grass-fed, local meat or choose organic at the grocery store. If you eat fish, make sure it's wild-caught, not farmed.

Certain supplements can help boost your immune system, especially in the winter. Most of us in the more northern climates are lacking in vitamin D, due to the lack of sunshine. Elderberry is powerful in preventing colds and flu or lessening symptoms. You can find it in syrup or capsule form. Make sure you're getting enough vitamin C by eating citrus fruits (and they're at their peak in winter!) and if not, take a supplement. You can also look into zinc, echinacea and other immune boosters such as organic mushroom blends. Make sure when you're buying vitamins and supplements, that you get a good brand. Google the company and see where their products are sourced from and manufactured. You want to buy from a reliable company and one that doesn't use unecessary fillers and binders in their products.

Get moving. Bundle up and go outside for a walk ~ it feels good! You not only get the physical benefits from walking outside, but the mental perk, as well. Park far away from stores when you're running errands. If it's simply too cold to walk outside, go to a huge store and walk up and down every aisle and circle the perimeter of the store a few times. If you live near a mall, go indoor mall walking. Use stairs, not the elevator. Practice yoga to improve flexibility, balance, strength and respiration. When you're in your house, maybe even doing some housework, turn on some music that makes you move. 

Practice meditation. It lowers your blood pressure, improves heart rate and breathing, relieves tension and tightness from muscles, reduces stress, improves sleep, and boosts the immune system.

Diffuse essential oils. For winter wellness, try a couple of drops each of cinnamon, clove, orange, eucalyptus and rosemary. For respiratory illness, try a mixture of peppermint, tea tree, lemon and eucalyptus. If you have pets in the house, please check with your veterinarian first about diffusing oils. Some vets say it can be dangerous for them to inhale.

Keep hydrated. Drink a lot of filtered water (I keep sliced lemons in mine for a little bit of flavor) and herbal and green teas (unsweetened, of course). Stay away from sodas, even diet ones which are filled with artificial sweeteners and are linked to numerous health conditions.

To your health! 💓

*Disclaimer: the information in this post and on this blog is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition or treatment.


  1. Wonderful advice and information here, Melanie! And very nice of you to take time to compile it for us. I kind of hate to say it so I'll just whisper it, not to tempt fate: i haven't been sick all fall and winter!

    I think one reason is that I've been drinking Ningxia red that has wolfberry in it. My daughter-in-law convinced me to try it for its antioxidants and I really think it has boosted my immune system. She's the one who got me started on essential oils too. I really need to get out in the fresh air in the winter more though. I'm sure all the walking you do really helps you. It's amazing to think that neither of you has been sick in such a long time. That's proof that what you're doing is working!

  2. Thank God for essential oils, sunshine (or just being outside), and plants. The other stuff is good too but those three things alone....man.

  3. This is good information, thanks for pulling it all together in one place. I think I get a C- these days. We've been lazy about eating -- I just don't know what the day will bring, but that is getting to be an excuse. I haven't been able to go to water aerobics, because it just doesn't work with my schedule, so I've gotta find a substitute. Walking! I'm not big on vitamins because I forget to take them. You've given me a lot to think about. The last thing I need right now is to get sick:(

  4. I'd say it's all good, solid advice. We don't usually get sick either, but when the weather started to change here, my husband did catch a cold that lingered. Thankfully, because I took extra measures, my symptoms only lasted a short time. I think I need to definitely start meditating again. Maybe it will help with the tossing and turning I'm dealing with at the moment.

  5. Great ideas! I read this somewhere and it's what I do the minute I get inside: Wash your hands with soap while you sing Happy Birthday To You. That's the length of time you need to wash to kill germs.

  6. Great advice not just for winter, but for all year long. Thanks for sharing and happy January ~ FlowerLady

  7. Good Tips Melanie especially with all the sickness going around. They said the flu this year is pretty bad. Now that I am eating more clean and off the sugar I have to say I feel so much better and my joints do not hurt and I have not had any flare ups with my fibromyalgia. Happy Wednesday.

  8. All wonderful advice, Melanie! I need to get out and walk more....sitting at my desk all day is awful. I should set a timer to get up every hour and walk the halls!

  9. Great tips. I eat tons of roasted vegetables. Washing your hands is a must. I don't think twice about it.


  10. Excellent and timely advice, Melanie. I especially agree with the eating real food. I am constantly working towards a whole food based diet. About a month ago I became very interested in working on holistic ways to boost my immune system. We are now taking a daily spoonful of elderberry syrup. I'd like to learn more about medicinal herbs. That is one of my goals in the new year. I need to up my efforts on the exercise too. You have inspired me. Wishing you a healthy, happy new year.

  11. Here's to your health, too! These are all great reminders and a few new to me tips, too . . . thanks!
    Also, thank you for the lovely and encouraging comments you leave on my blog. You are a sweetie :)

  12. I need to start eating better...more fruits and veggies, less carbs and sweets...and I need to get moving!! Thanks for the motivational post, Melanie. I need a kick in the tail to get moving.


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