…to stay healthy and resilient during the holidays?

Here is the thing – yes people get sick over the holidays! But have you ever wondered why colds and “the Flu” are more common during & around holidays, after Halloween; well besides the obvious that cold and flu viruses come out to play in the winter months.

Drumroll…🥁🥁 please…

the main causes of why you may be more likely to succumb to the virus-of-the-month, and what you can do to shield yourself.

The types of food you consume. Have you noticed what is mostly available this time of year? SWEETS and lots of them. From cookies, pies, sweet drinks to rich and savory dishes heck even vegetables and salad dishes are higher in fat, salt and sugar content. Not to say – to stop eating here, don’t get me wrong. But just be aware of what and how much you eat. Try journaling on myftinesspal a couple of days and tally up that sugar and processed fat. Why is it important? Because our IMMUNITY IS 80% IN OUR GUT! 

Stress. Stress, my friends! It’s right there in front of us. We tend to blame everything on stress, but there’s a physiological reason as to why stress is the main culprit in getting us sick. And there are a few simple ways to defend yourself against stress.

The holidays tend to bring on a lot of emotional and physical stress, along with a feeling of urgency as you rush around doing it all. Your adrenal glands help you cope with stress by secreting cortisol and adrenaline so you can have a burst of mental acuity and strength to meet the challenge at hand.

Unfortunately, what may help us in those moments of short term stress can backfire when we experience chronic stress. If you’re facing stress day in and day out, you are enduring chronically elevated cortisol levels, which suppress the immune system. After a prolonged period of elevated stress, your cortisol levels may dip too low, which allows inflammation to run rampant, eventually leading to that icky seasonal cold.

In order to keep your cortisol levels just right, so you can enjoy healthy holidays, here’s what I suggest:

❇ Breathe. Practice deep breathing for just a few minutes, several times per day if possible. One method that I like is to inhale for 4 counts, hold the breath for 7 counts, and exhale for 8 counts. Repeat this several times. All it takes is 60 seconds to calm your nervous system. Carve out time for this. You deserve it!

❇ Sleep. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night! This is non-negotiable. Make sleep a priority, always.

❇ Move. Move your body in whatever way you can. You can do this by walking, jogging, cycling, strolling, skipping, stretching, weight-lifting, jumping rope, or whatever floats your boat. Do something that makes you happy so you’ll stick with it. And find a realistic, consistent schedule to move your body. Don’t overwhelm yourself with expectations or unrealistic goals. Always start small and build on from there.

❇ Supplement. If you find yourself chronically anxious and unable to relax or sleep, I recommend Liposomal NeuroCalm. Just a few pumps of this liquid, highly absorbable combination of L-theanine and GABA will calm your nervous system within minutes.

If instead you are chronically exhausted, even after a full night of sleep- you need AdrenotoneThese nourishing adaptogenic herbs will give your adrenal glads the boost you need to cope with holiday stress, and stay healthy through the season.

In terms of nutrients – oh Magnesium my fav and can totally feel the difference when I supplement. It is essential for hundreds of processes in the body, including healthy sleep, stress management, and blood sugar balance! Try Magnesium Chelate Powder or Magnesium Buffered Chelate capsules for quick relaxation at bedtime.

Other key nutrients to your healthy holidays hustle and bustle include: 

1. Zinc – found in almonds and cashews;  seeds: hemp, pumpkin, flax, legumes in chickpeas and lentils), dark chocolate, oats & quinoa.

2. Vitamin C – in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, kabocha or butternut squash.

2. Vitamin D – fortified dairy and plant-based milks, egg yokes, fatty fish

3. N-Acetyl-Cysteine -a semi-essential amino acid especially good for lung health found in legumes, bananas, spinach & fish.

Don’t worry if your diet isn’t perfect or you’re experiencing stress here and there. That’s part of life. But, check yourself if stress begins to overwhelm you and don’t forget to arm yourself with some high quality supplements!

This is why I love the Immune Support Packets by Designs for Health. Each single-serving packet contains a therapeutic dose of everything listed above, so they’re great for traveling, and for having extras on hand for the minute you feel you’re coming down with something.
Now is the time to support your adrenals and immune system!

Follow the recommendations above and see how you soar through the holidays feeling healthy, energetic, and most importantly stress-free!

Now I’d like to hear from you! What do you struggle the most during the holidays and what can you implement and share with others from here? Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe so you can get updates and new posts as they come up 😊 

Live, Life, Healthy.

Dietitian Sandy, InVita Wellness
and Jentry Lee, Intern