Andrea Rennie is a wellness coach, registered yoga teacher, educator and founder of GROW. She uses yoga, nutrition, meditation and laughter to help people discover freedom from stress and worry, feel good in their bodies, connect with their intuition, and find their spark. She received formal training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (New York, NY), with top nutrition experts Dr. Frank Lipman, Dr. Andrew Weil, Joshua Rosenthal, Dr. David Katz, Walter Willet, MD, DrPH, and mindfulness leaders Deepak Chopra and Gabrielle Bernstein. Interested to learn more? Visit Andrea's website!
The kids in my 2nd-grade class are dropping like flies, there is a chorus of coughing and sneezing around circle time, and I know a few people who’ve had a nasty flu. No thank you. Even if you don’t work in a petri dish of germs like I do, here are 5 simple and effective strategies to boost your immune system. Prevention is always the best bet!
1. DRINK CHICKEN BROTH
The homemade kind from chicken bones, preferably organic and pastured. Not just an old wive’s tale, chicken broth (over other types of bone broth specifically, though those are all good for your too!) is proven to be affective against colds and good for your immune system.
Here’s a simple rundown of how to make homemade broth. And while not nencessary, roasting the bones first (with remaining bits of meat and any skin) adds more flavor and creates a richer stock. Use it to make brothy soups and stews, or even take some to-go in a travel mug like I sometimes do. You can put a thermos in your kids’ lunch boxes too ;)
2. ELDERBERRY SYRUP
I’m taking 1 tsp/daily for prevention. Elderberry syrup tastes delicious, and is proven to be an effective anti-viral (flu, I’m looking at you!), and proven to reduce cold severity and duration. But - best taken before than after! If you do find yourself sick, it’s still not too late. *As always, make sure to check that elderberry is the primary ingredient, and that there’s not a lot of added junk. I’m taking Gaia brand. It’s good for kids too!
3. VITAMIN C
I’m supplementing (it’s also critical for your adrenal function - those stress glands - and iron and collagen absorption!) and eating vitamin-C rich foods, such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage and spinach. (These are also all great for your liver!) Eat them roasted, sauteed, or steamed. Surprising? I know! Citrus isn’t the only Vitamin-C rich kid on the block…but since it is part of the crew, here’s a yummy and simple Orange Julius recipe I made like crazy last winter. Yum, I’m going to have to break this one back out.
Yep. This is always the hardest wellness tip for me, but you and I both know it. Sleep is when our bodies repair. Power down your devices a little earlier. Take a hot shower or bath before bed (it helps your body prepare for sleep). Carve our a little time to wind down. And GO TO SLEEP.
5. MANAGE YOUR STRESS. (YEAH! THAT’S AN EASY ONE…)
Stress puts a toll on your adrenal glands, and tanks your immune system. Meditation is a game-changer in terms of stress management. I love the Grounded Mind program with my good friend and teacher David Gandelman, and there are tons of teachers on the free Insight Timer App. (David’s on there too!) Also, you know I love yoga. Give nervous-system calming diaphragmatic breathing or super powerful 4-7-8 breathing a try, too.
BONUS: GET OUTSIDE!
I know sunshine can be few and far between this time of year, at least in the North East where I live (and yes it’s cold here too) , but our immune systems need both Vitamin D and to be out in nature! Time in nature also reduces our stress response and is soothing to our nervous sytem, all of which help create a happy and humming immune system,
ready to slay all those nasty germs.
Which tips are you going to try? Share with a friend who needs this!
Grow Happy, Grow Healthy