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Cold weather can be hard on body, mind, and spirit. Try these tips for surviving the holidays, weathering the cold, practicing green principles, and staying fit and lean all winter long.
1. CLEAN PARTY DUDS SAFELY Look for a green dry cleaner that avoids toxic chemicals; see www.EPA.gov for a list.
2. GO INTERNATIONAL Serve party guests Indian dahls, Mexican chili or other bean- and grain-based fare for less money, healthier eats.
3. SUPERCHARGE IMMUNITY Studies show NAC (N-acetylcysteine), vitamin C, American ginseng, and selenium work well.
4. HALT PARTY PIG-OUTS Have a cup of miso soup or an apple before heading to holiday events, to curb appetite.
5. SLOUGH IT OFF Scrub skin with almond oil and brown sugar to remove dry skin; or try Alba Sugarcane body polish.
6. BANISH HOLIDAY BLUES B vitamins, omega-3 fats, zinc, and St. John’s wort support mood.
7. BUY BETTERChoose gifts from fair-trade organizations, local artists, or non-profits that embrace a cause you support.
8. FIGHT THE FLU WITH HOMEOPATHY Try Hyland’s Flu Care Complete or King Bio Multi-Strain Flu Med.
9. SKIP THE ANTACIDS If you’ve overindulged, use natural methods: take digestive enzymes, ginger capsules or peppermint tea, or chew on fennel seeds.
10. UPGRADE CANDLES Paraffin/gel candles with metal wicks emit carcinogens and lead; choose beeswax or soy versions scented with essential oils.
11. BE SOCIAL Join or organize groups for skiing, skating, museum trips, plays and music events.
12. WRAP GREEN Most wrapping paper wastes trees, and can’t be recycled. Wrap gifts in reusable items: try a festive scarf or new dish towel.
13. SNEAK IN SUPERFOODS Add spinach and avocados to smoothies, stir puréed cauliflower and pumpkin into tomato sauces.
14. UNPLUG One day a week (or more), banish TV, iPhones and internet, and devote the day to reconnecting with friends, family, or yourself.
15. BAN PLASTIC WRAP It’s laced with cancer-causing toxins. Stash leftovers in glass or metal containers, and wrap sandwiches in wax paper.
16. MOVE MORE Bundle up and head outside for skiing, sledding, ice-skating, or a trek through the woods. You’ll burn calories and soothe the soul.
17. MOISTURIZE Slather your feet with super-rich lotion and wear socks to bed to keep moisture in.
18. GET RUBBED Regular massage boosts blood and lymph circulation, reduces stress, and lowers cortisol; ask for (or give) a certificate for holiday gifts.
19. GET SOME LOVIN’ A healthy sexual relationship decreases stress, and increases well-being. Need inspiration? Maca boosts libido and alleviates erectile dysfunction.
20. BAKE HEALTHY Use gluten-free flours, sweeten with applesauce, bananas or raisins, and sneak in healthy additions like pumpkin and nuts.
21. TAKE LACTOFERRIN Supplementing with this immune-supporting glycoprotein promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria.
22. DINE WITH COMPANY You’ll eat more slowly and consume less food.
23. SOAK IT UP Add four cups of chamomile tea to a warm bath laced with oil (try Hobe Labs Apricot Kernel Oil) to banish dry, itchy skin.
24. BOOST BETA-GLUCAN Studies show that taking beta-glucan, derived from mushrooms, baker’ yeast, and bran, supports immune function by stimulate macrophage activity.
25. 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.
26. WEAR SUNSCREEN Even on chilly days, the sun can cause burns and aging. Try Kiss My Face Sun Screen with Oat Protein Complex SPF 30.
27. FIND A MANTRA A simple phrase can remind you to calm down and center; say “om,” “calm,” “peace,” whatever takes you down a notch.
28. SEE A FUNNY MOVIE A good belly laugh reduces cortisol, linked to inflammation and weight gain.
29. SEASON POPCORN Sprinkle nutritional yeast on popcorn for extra B vitamins; try Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning.
30. RINSE SINUSES Use a Neti pot with warm salt water to keep nasal passages clear, and prevent dryness and infection.
31. SIP TEA In one study, people who drank two to four small cups of green or black tea were better able to fight off infection.
32. BREATHE DEEPLY To stay centered during the hectic holidays, inhale slowly to the count of 7, hold for 3, exhale for 7. Instant calm.
33. SPRINT, THEN SAUNTER Interval training sheds fat and supercharges energy. See intervaltraining.net for more info.
34. MUNCH ON CABBAGE It’s rich in cancer-preventive compounds; shred it for coleslaw, add it to bean soup, or make cabbage rolls.
35. BE LIKE A CAT Stretch before you get out of bed to relax muscles and get circulation going.
36. 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.
37. HELP YOUR LIVER DELIVER Support detox with milk thistle supplements; try Rainbow Light Milk Thistle Plus.
38. EAT EARLY Late-night meals interfere with digestion and sleep; dine at 6:00,
and take a brisk evening walk afterwards.
39. HANG UP Limit cell phone use, always use a headset, and text whenever possible.
40. BAG SUGAR It causes blood sugar swings, cravings and fatigue; snack on fruit, and sweeten beverages with stevia.
41. HOOF IT FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPING Park far from your destination, get off the bus several stops earlier, and ride your bike on milder days.
42. GO FLAT Carbonated sodas contain phosphorus, damaging to bones and teeth.
43. SOW YOUR OATS Eat more oats to protect your heart; a six-ounce bowl every morning with half a cup of fruit lowers LDL and total cholesterol levels.
44. BALANCE YOUR PLATE Even at a self-serve buffet, choose a protein, three vegetables,
and a whole grain.
45. TAKE NIACIN Studies show that it inhibits inflammation and protects against coronary artery disease.
46. SPICE UP MEALS Use fresh ginger, garlic, chili peppers, curry powder or turmeric, to boost immunity and enhance circulation.
47. MUNCH HEALTHY Fill glass containers with baby carrots, celery sticks, chopped spinach, and cherry tomatoes for between-meal nibbles.
48. BREAK A SWEAT Cold weather means less perspiration; head to a sauna to induce body-cleansing sweat.
49. SIP FIRST Drinking with meals hampers digestion; have beverages 30 minutes before you begin eating.
50. EAT OYSTERS They’re the richest source of immune-enhancing zinc.
Two Immune-Boosting Stars
Wellmune MGP Also listed on labels as WGP Beta Glucan, Wellmune WGP is derived from the cell wall of a proprietary strain of baker’s yeast. Numerous studies have shown that it makes the immune system work more efficiently, including six clinical trials that tested the supplement during cold and flu season. Studies published in The Journal of Applied Research found that 250 or 500 mg daily of Wellmune WGP prevented or reduced the duration of colds and flu to significant degrees.
Medicinal Mushrooms Certain fungi have proven to be a true ally in bolstering defenses against cold and flu bugs. Medicinal mushrooms can stimulate an immediate effect on the immune system. This is why they have such powerful anticancer abilities as demonstrated in scientific literature. The leading variety is Coriolus versicolor—specifically its active ingredients PSP and PSK, two anticancer compounds often used as natural chemotherapeutic agents. Beta-glucans found in mushrooms can also stimulate an immediate effect on the immune system.
By improving the profiles of T lymphocyte immune cells, medicinal mushrooms enhance the frontline responses of the immune system, providing powerful protection against infections, cancer, and harmful invaders. In addition, they have also been shown to enhance the effects of other compounds, such as different chemotherapy agents, other medicinal mushrooms, and herbs, while also protecting multiple organs from the damaging effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
YOUR WINTER WELLNESS ARSENAL
IMMUNE HEALTH BASICS contains Wellmune WGP, a patented ingredient derived from the cell wall of a proprietary strain of yeast that has been shown in studies to activate key immune cells that maintain health and wellness.
NORTH AMERICAN HERB AND SPICE SINU OREGA nasal spray is handy during cold season to fight sinus infections and soothe irritated tissues with extracts of wild oregano, bay leaf, sage, and clove in a sea salt base.
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.
AMERICAN BIOSCIENCES IMMPOWER hybridizes several mushrooms used in traditional healing to create a natural compound (known as AHCC) that gives the body what it needs to maintain peak immunity.
XIGO HEALTH MAXIMUM IMMUNE DEFENSE includes beta glucans and lactoferrin to support increased immune cell activation and immune memory that enables the immune system to better “remember” previous threats.