The holidays are a time of travel and busyness. Both of which contribute to stress and sickness. Stress is antagonistic to healthy digestion which is not ideal when we are in the time of year when we are likely eating and drinking more than we ever do during the year. Stress also impacts our immune system’s readiness and robustness which. Also unhelpful given the level sick germs that circulate in the colder months and abound in public places like airports and malls.
If you’re looking to support your immune system and help manage your stress response I have a handful of tips:
- Sleep. A lot. Take naps if you have to and go to bed early.
- Drink some hot lemon water in the morning and some peppermint tea at night to help your digestion before and after a day of eating.
- Partake in sugar only when its really worth it. You don’t need that KIND bar at the airport or the red, silver, and green chocolate kisses in your office break room. However, you will absolutely enjoy Grandma’s pecan pie or that peppermint hot chocolate at the mall’s tree lighting ceremony. Save your sugar intake for the good stuff. Same goes for alcoholic drinks.
- Supplement with zinc, lysine, vitamin C, vitamin D. Add some elderberry, ginger, turmeric, fatty fish or fish oil, collagen, bone broths, and adaptogenic mushroom powder to your routine to help boost immunity and cut down on inflammation.
- Once a sore throat hits, make a tea using an inch of fresh ginger (sliced), 1/2 lemon (squeezed), and one crushed garlic clove. Sounds gross, but you really don’t taste much garlic and it helps stop the cold from starting.
- If you’re in a dry cold environment or have the heater going all day, consider getting a humidifier for when you are sleeping to moisten the nasal and throat passages.
Another practical option is to give your gut a boost with this smoothie. Foods like smoothies, soups, stews, and slow cooked meals are great for digestion because our gut doesn’t have to work so hard to break them down.
I know it’s not really “smoothie” weather, but adding ginger to something automatically makes it festive. True story.
Ginger Blueberry Smoothie
1/2 frozen banana
1 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. almond milk (make it at home here)
2 scoops collagen peptides (optional)
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled
handful of dark greens (kale, spinach…)
1/4 c. raw cashews
pinch of bee pollen (optional)
- Blend it real good.