Cold weather can be hard on body, mind, and spirit. Try these tips for surviving the holidays, avoiding colds and flu, practicing green principles, and staying fit and lean.
1 GO INTERNATIONAL Serve guests Indian dahls, Mexican chili, or other bean- and grain-based fare for less expensive, healthier eats.
2 SUPERCHARGE IMMUNITY Studies show NAC (N-acetylcysteine), vitamin C, American ginseng, and selenium work well.
3 HALT PARTY PIG-OUTS To curb your appetite, have a cup of miso soup or an apple before heading to holiday events.
4 EAT OYSTERS They're the richest source of immune-boosting zinc.
5 BUY BETTER Choose holiday gifts from fair-trade organizations, local artists, or non- profits that embrace a cause you support.
6 FIGHT THE FLU WITH HOMEOPATHY Try Hyland's Complete Flu Care or King Bio Multi-Strain Flu Relief.
7 SKIP THE ANTACIDS If you do overindulge, use natural methods for relief: take digestive enzymes, ginger capsules, or peppermint tea; or chew on fennel seeds.
8 UPGRADE CANDLES Conventional paraffin/gel candles with metal wicks emit carcinogens and lead; choose beeswax or soy versions scented with essential oils.
9 SNEAK IN SUPERFOODS Try adding spinach and avocados to smoothies, or stirring puréed cauliflower and pumpkin into tomato sauces.
10 UNPLUG One day a week (or more), banish TV, iPhones, and the Internet, and devote the day to reconnecting with friends, family, or yourself.
11 BAN PLASTIC WRAP It's laced with cancer-causing toxins. Stash leftovers in glass or metal containers, and wrap sandwiches in wax paper.
12 GET RUBBED Regular massage boosts blood and lymph circulation, reduces stress, and lowers cortisol; ask for (or give) a holiday gift certificate.
13 GET SOME LOVIN' A healthy sexual relationship can decrease stress, and increase well-being. Looking for some inspiration? Maca can boost libido and help alleviate erectile dysfunction.
14 LATCH ONTOLACTOFERRIN This immune-supporting glycoprotein promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the body and may help stave off infections.
15 SOAK IT UP Add four cups of chamomile tea to a warm bath laced with oil (try Hobé Naturals Apricot Kernel Oil) to banish dry, itchy skin.
16 FIND YOUR BALANCE Plant sterols and plant sterolins have been shown in studies to help naturally balance and strengthen the immune system.
17 COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS Every night, make a list of 10 things in your life that you're grateful for, and read it just before bed.
18 WEAR SUNSCREEN Even on cloudy days, the sun can cause burns and aging. Try Kiss My Face Oat Protein Complex Sun Screen SPF 30.
19 IMPROVE POPCORN Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on popcorn for a dose of B vitamins; try Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning.
20 RINSE SINUSES Use a Neti pot with warm salt water to keep your nasal passages clear while preventing dryness and infection.
21 TAKE TEA In one study, people who drank two to four cups of green or black tea were better able to fight off infection.
22 BREATHE DEEPLY To stay centered during the hectic holidays, inhale slowly to the count of 7, hold for 3, and exhale for 7. Instant calm.
23 MUNCH ON CABBAGE It's rich in cancer-preventive compounds. Shred it for coleslaw, add it to bean soup, or make cabbage rolls.
24 GET SEEDY Sprinkle pumpkin, chia (try Salba, rich in omega-3s and fiber), sunflower, hemp, and flax seeds on cereals, in grains, and over cooked vegetables.
25 HELP YOUR LIVER DELIVER Support detox with milk thistle supplements; try Rainbow Light Milk Thistle Plus.
26 TAKE NIACIN Studies show that it inhibits inflammation and protects against coronary artery disease.
27 SPICE UP MEALS with fresh ginger, garlic, chili peppers, curry powder, or turmeric to boost immunity and enhance circulation.
28 FIGHT A COLD OR FLU WITH HERBAL REMEDIES The Chinese herb Andrographis paniculata, astragalus pelargonium, and elderberry are a few standouts to look for in formulas.
29 BREAK A SWEAT Cold weather means less perspiration; head to a sauna to induce body-cleansing sweat.
30 SIP FIRST Drinking with meals hampers digestion; have beverages 30 minutes before you begin eating.
Your Winter Wellness Arsenal
BEVERI IMMUNITY BOOST stick packs fortify immunity with 1,000 mg of vitamin C, plus B vitamins, zinc, and lactoferrin. It's an ideal way to fight colds and flu during the winter, or before flying or traveling. Mix with water and enjoy.
Shorten the duration and severity of a cold with Nature's way umcka coldCare drops featuring the African herb pelargonium. Great for easing coughs, sore throat, hoarseness, congestion, and muscle aches.
Nutrition NOW elderberry gummy Vitamins are tasty little gummy candies with a powerful punch of antiviral elderberry, which has been shown to help reduce flu duration and boost immunity when taken daily.
Going on a trip or surrounded by sick people at work? rainbow light deep defense mini-tabs can help shield you from all types of viral infections by promoting immune strength. Contains herbs such as astragalus.
Wakunaga moducare includes both sterols and sterolins (from Maritime pine) and comes in a veggie capsule. Designed as a daily immune formula, Moducare can be taken to prevent colds and flu, as well as combat seasonal allergies.