Saturday, September 17, 2011

Are You Ready for Winter?

Winter, winter, winter. I don't know about you, but this word leaves me, no pun intended, cold. I love the warm weather. And if you are like most people who live in a climate where snow can arrive at your door overnight, chances are you have already taken out your heavy coat and other winter gear from the basement. But are you also preparing other things for winter such as, soup recipes, a dry brush, the phone number to a good acupunturist and other immune supporters?

Physically, you wouldn't think of going out in the snow in your shorts and tank top would you?  Why let your diet and other health habits be inappropriate for the weather too?

So here are some preventative tips for the oncoming cold weather. Go ahead and get your warm clothing ready. But...also get soup recipes and other immune boosters ready too.

As soon as the weather starts to change buy some root vegetables like turnips, potatoes, carrots the next time you go shopping. Get garlic, ginger and parsley too. If parsley seems like a waste of money because it spoils too quickly, do this. Wash it well, stick it in a paper bag and toss it in the freezer. When you need some, just tear off what you need and put it in soups or a cup of hot water for a soothing beverage of pure Vitamin C . It tastes mild and pleasant. I've found parsley tea bags to be bitter and unpleasant.

If you aren't into soups consider stir frying the root vegetables into a little coconut oil, nutritious and maintains high heat, or steam them with rice or noodles. Also, take garlic several times a week or add a clove or two to all soups. Don't forget a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot peppers of some sort. They stimulate the immune system.

Here are two of my favorites:
1. I have a netty pot that you can buy at any health food store for under $10. Warm to the touch, one and a half cups of filtered water and 1/2 tsp. of sea salt. Put the water into the netty pot and put the end of it into one nostril. Lean over the sink and let the water flow through the other nostril tilting your head slightly. No, you won't suffocate. I've performed this ritual for friends while talking. Then do the other nostril. The salt water cleans and sterilizes your nose removing allergins, viruses and whatever else is up there you don't want to breathe into your bloodstream. When you finish using the salted water blow your nose very lightly. You don't want to pop your ears. If you feel a sting in your ears that means you are tilting your head too much. This is a safe ritual and effective.

2. Dry brush before you shower. A dry brush can also be bought at a health food store but I've seen them in Walgreens too. They cost about $7. In small circles, before showering, rub the brush up the body towards the heart. Rub your arms, legs, back, buttocks, belly. Do not do your face or tender areas. Then hop in a hot shower. The delight comes when you exit the shower. You will feel as if you've just unloaded a heavy weight. This handy brush detoxes the lymphatic system. You know those glands that swell when you are sick? You know the sweat under your arms? This is your lymphatic system showing you that it exists. Eat well. Eat as cleanly as you can. Stay away from preservatives and fast foods filled with pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

So getting ready for winter is more than just clothing. Going out in the snow in your bathing suit won't make you sick. But a weakened immune system, germs in your nose, chemicals clogging up your lymphatic system can lay you out flat from a cold or flu.

Until next time stay healthy,
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