I get sick every Christmas, like clockwork. It has been happening since I was a toddler. I’d put my cookies out for Santa and promptly take my pink, bubble-gum-tasting Amoxicillin before heading to bed, hoping to hear sleigh bells through my double ear infections. My holiday illnesses have ranged from strep throat to ear infections to common colds to stomach viruses. Merry Christmas to me!
For those of you who know me personally, you may also know that I’m the lucky owner of a bum immune system. I used to go through monthly infusion treatments to strengthen my immune system. Treatments helped, but they were time consuming, expensive, and the side effects were becoming increasingly negative for me. Since ending my treatments, I’ve been a huge proponent of trying to boost my immune system any other way I can. In addition to changing jobs in order to travel less, trying to get plenty of sleep and exercise (still working on improving both of those), and getting chiropractic adjustments regularly, I use a variety of vitamins and supplements. Do they work? I believe so. I was once the girl who was suffering from a sinus infection every four to six weeks. I’ve only had two in the last three years! That’s a vast improvement. In the last three years, I’ve also only had a set of ear infections and one 48-hour flu. So, can I prove these products are what’s reducing my frequency and severity of illness? Well, no. Am I willing to stop using them to see what happens? HECK NO.
My recommended products for helping to support my immune health include the following:
EmergenC: I take EmergenC at least 2-3 times per week, but more often if I’m feeling run down or my husband is seeing a lot of sick patients. While we don’t have any kiddos bringing home germs from daycare or school, I’m sure he brings home plenty from work. Ewww. EmergenC contains 1,000mg of Vitamin C, as well as Zinc, Manganese, and a variety of B vitamins. It’s easy to use – just dump the contents of the packet into a glass of water and drink up!
Ultimate Flora Probiotics: Most people associate probiotics with digestive health benefits. While that is absolutely true and the main reason I started taking them, Ultimate Flora Probiotics also help support immune health. There are lots of new studies and developments linking gut health to proper immune system function. Oh, how I wish I would have discovered probiotics so much earlier in life!
I take Ultimate Flora Extra Care 30 Billion (one capsule) at least once a day, usually around lunch time. Again, if I’m feeling run down or know I’m lacking sleep, I often take more than one capsule in a day, add an Ultimate Flora Probiotic Fizzy Drink packet to the regimen, or even step up the potency by taking the Ultimate Flora Extra Care 100 Billion.
Amazing Grass Green Superfood: So what is it and what makes it so “amazing”? Well, it’s a blend of various nutritious greens and grasses, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. These promote detoxification, increase energy, and boost your immune system. In addition, one scoop contains all the vitamins and minerals you need throughout the day.
I typically take Amazing Grass Green Superfood three times per week, but really should move this into the everyday category. The taste is a little overwhelming at first, but it gets easier over time, I promise. Sometimes I take it with part water, part juice to try to make it more pleasant. I’ve also noticed that there’s now a berry flavor as well as a chocolate version. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but perhaps they’re a better starting point for a newbie (?) While I cannot promise you a delightful experience for your taste buds, I can assure you that consuming this product is well worth it!
Young Living ImmuPower Essential Oil: I’m not going to lie – unlike most other Young Living Essential Oils, I do not find the smell of this particular oil appealing. My husband has decided it smells like pencil erasers, but I don’t remember those being this potent (though, admittedly, it has been awhile!) Regardless, I inhale this oil every morning and every evening. (You can also diffuse it, but I’m afraid my husband may serve me with divorce papers if I did that daily.)
Young Living ImmuPower Essential Oil is a 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil. It’s a blend of the following ingredients: Hyssop, Mountain savory, Cistus, Camphor, Frankincense, Oregano, Clove, Cumin, and Dorado azul. To learn how to purchase ImmuPower or other fantastic essential oils, click here.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Alright, so EmergenC tastes fine, Ultimate Flora capsules have no taste (and the Fizzy Drinks are quite delicious!), Amazing Grass Green Super Food is an acquired taste, and Young Living ImmuPower is a bit stinky. But guess what? You’ll get used to them all!
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), on the other hand, is something for which I will probably NEVER develop a tolerance. Ugh. I don’t even want to try to sugar coat it. It’s bad. It’s so bitter that it gives me goosebumps and makes me shudder…but that’s not all! Once you get past that, you realize it’s sort of burning your throat and esophagus. It actually hurts! BUT, there are so many benefits to apple cider vinegar (weight loss, immunity, lowers cholesterol, etc) that I actually wish I could talk myself into consuming it daily. For now, it’s a last-ditch effort when I’m feeling stuffy or my throat is hurting. Be sure to dilute this with plenty of water, especially the first few times you try it. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it will help you, so…CHEERS!
Alright, so those are my go-to items for trying to stay healthy during the winter months. What do you all do to ward of communicable illnesses? I’m always looking for new suggestions…