Improving Your Health and Well-Being
“Step UP to become proactive in your own health.”-
Patricia Stephens, Certified Nutritional Consultant and author of
Reversing Chronic Disease: A Journey Back to Health
Work on consuming a healthy diet- “There is power at the end of your fork.” Include more lean and healthy meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and moderate amounts of healthy fats. Consider consuming less sugar, processed food, alcohol, white breads, or junk foods. If you choose wisely, your body will thank you with a stronger immune system, better focus, energy, and the like.
Exercise- It improves almost everything. Mild to moderate exercise preferably daily, but at least 3 times a week. Make it as much fun as possible so you will stay with it.
Increase fiber in your diet. Fiber is the “broom” that helps to sweep away toxins. Fiber supports normal cholesterol levels and weight loss. It also helps balance your colon.
Eat yogurt, or take probiotics. This provides good bacteria to support immune function and gut health. A client said recently, “Probiotics have changed my world!”
Get some sunshine to optimize vitamin D. Get your levels checked because so many are low. Deficiencies are related to a host of chronic illnesses and health problems. Many doctors are recommending taking supplemental D because 75% of us are low.
Learn to relax. Stress contributes to a host of chronic illnesses. We all need more margin in our lives.
Listen to good music.
Find things to laugh about like comedies, or spend time with funny people.
Limit time with toxic people.
Plan things in your schedule just for fun.
Include a high quality multi-vitamin. As we age, we are not breaking our foods down into nutrients as easily. Stress requires more nutrients.
Include high-quality fish oil. Most are low in the omega 3 oils, which are structural fats that improve brain health, mood, heart health, including cholesterol, skin health, etc. Fish oil should be purified for best quality and no mercury contamination. Cheap fish oil is not recommended.
Vitamin C is not only good to support the immune system, but also supports your adrenal gland, which is your stress handling gland. 500 to 1,000 mg. twice a day is usually recommended. Be sure it has rose hips or bioflavonoids in it.
B Complex can help improve energy and well-being.
St. John’s Wort, 5 HTP, and SAM-e are all very effective to improve mood, memory, and energy. They are not to be combined with conventional antidepressants. Typically, one might work better than another.
If you are sensitive to supplements or medications, always start with ¼ to ½ the recommendations. Often when people have a problem, the dosage is too high.
How to Fight the Common Cold
(The earlier you begin the following after first signs of a cold, the better these remedies work.)
Gargle with salt water
To combat a scratchy throat, add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. "The salt draws out excess water in your throat’s tissues, reducing the inflammation, and clears mucous and irritants from the back of the throat," notes Philip Hagen, MD, medical editor in chief of Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies. The rinse also flushes out bacteria and viruses, which may help whether you’re getting a cold or want to prevent one in the first place.
Start drinking water or juice
Staying hydrated cuts down on symptoms like a sore throat and stuffy nose, says William Schaffner, MD, professor and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Keep your nose clean
Using a saline nasal spray right after cold symptoms first appear may reduce their impact, studies suggest. And take a hot shower: Dr. Schaffner says, "Warm moisture helps clear nasal passages."
Head to the drugstore
Grab a pain reliever like acetaminophen to fight off achiness. Over-the-counter allergy meds, like Zyrtec and Benadryl, help with symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes; allergy meds that contain decongestants, like Claritin D or Alavert D, will help clear your sinuses and keep you alert, if you need to be, says Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, Jenkins/Pokempner director of preventive and alternative medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Skip the OTC cough medicine
Good old honey works just as well (and tastes better!), says Harley Rotbart, MD, professor and vice chairman of pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Have one to two tablespoons straight from the jar or stirred into tea. And forget zinc lozenges and sprays: There’s just not conclusive proof that they work, Dr. Rotbart notes. Within the first 2 hours
Skip work if you can
Your body can fight off the virus better if you’re well-rested. But if you have to go in, it’s not the end of the world, says Janet O’Mahony, MD, an internal medicine physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Just steer clear of co-workers as best you can—the first few days of a cold is when you’re most contagious. To keep from sharing your germs, wash your hands regularly or use an alcohol-based disinfectant gel. Within the first 6 hours.
Don’t forget the fluids
Keep drinking plenty of water, juice, or tea—and have some chicken soup for lunch. Grandma’s favorite cure-all really does ease cold symptoms, research suggests. Do this within the first 2 hours.
Shake it off
If you’re up for a little activity, "light exercise can actually boost the immune system," Dr. Sadler says. But we mean light: Keep your heart rate just under 100.
Last chance for germ-fighting!
A healthy diet can help fuel the immune system, so choose a dinner that includes protein-packed foods like lean meat, fish, or beans, with a whole-grain side like brown rice and plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables. Take a hot shower before bed if you’re still feeling stuffy. Then get a good night’s sleep.
The next day, if you feel worse or have a fever, start vomiting, or develop an increasingly bad headache, call your doctor—these are signs you've got something other than the common cold (such as flu or an infection), and you may need antiviral medication, antibiotics, or other treatment. Otherwise, keep up the routine for the next few days, just to be sure you kick that cold for good.