Winter Wellness: Be Prepared with Proactive Prevention
Winter Wellness: Be Prepared with Proactive Prevention
When you choose to intentionally live a seasonal life/health style, you support your body’s
natural defenses to be ready for Cold-and-Flu-Season.
Your body’s impressive Immune System protects you in three ways by:
• Creating a protective barrier that prevents disease causing pathogens (bacteria, virus, fungi,
protozoa) from entering your body
• Detecting any pathogen that may enter the body before it settles in and replicates
• Eliminating any pathogen that tries to reproduce and cause symptoms
Each of Nature’s seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter) provide fresh foods with
specific nutritional and healing properties. When we eat a variety of seasonal foods IN their
season, we give our body’s Immune System exactly what it needs to stay strong throughout the
Every Winter, I hear from clients and friends who are down for the count with cold-and-flu
discomforts. Thankfully, I only occasionally experience this, but it is a miserable time!
I’ve listed a few flu-facts to help you better prepare for and prevent this discomfort:
• Anyone can get the flu, but most recover in 1-2 weeks.
• In some rare cases, some people develop more serious/life-threatening complications
(pneumonia, bronchitis, ear/sinus infections).
• The flu virus enters through the mucosal membranes (eyes, nose, throat, lungs).
• The flu virus may spread by touching a contaminated object, then touching your eyes, nose, or
• A cold or the flu should be considered highly contagious! It can spread 1-4 days before
symptoms present themselves and can spread up to a week after symptoms present themselves.
• Some people may be a “carrier” of virus and never get the symptoms themselves.
So, what can you do to strengthen your Immune System to hopefully get you through a Winter
without getting a cold or the flu? Here are a few simple suggestions:
• Stay well hydrated! Most people drink less water in the Winter, so pour a pitcher and be sure to
drink the full amount throughout the day.
• Stay well rested! Post holiday season often leave us weary and weakened and that’s the perfect
time for pathogen attack.
• Eat real food. Get rid of the holiday “goodies” and get on with a balanced, real-food daily
dietary plan to nourish and strengthen all eleven body systems.
• Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, sugar and dairy if you show symptoms of a cold or the flu.
• Manage stressful events/situations . . . prepare to prevent!
• Choose a supplement program that considers seasonal nutritional needs.
There are several natural remedies that work effectively on ridding your body of viral invasion.
You may want to explore these natural options:
• Elderberry: Taken as tea, lozenge, syrup, this antiviral herb not only improves cold and flu
symptoms, it also soothes inflammation, sinus issues, allergies, acts as a natural laxative, and
may improve heart health. Studies have proven Elderberry to be resistant to over 8 strains of
• Cayenne: Sprinkle (just a pinch) of the powder in broths of lemon juice to add Vitamin C and
to stimulate circulation, which stimulates the sweat glands and helps to lower your body
temperature (relieving a fever). This spicy pepper also stimulates the mucous membranes to
help reduce congestion.
• Lemon or Grapefruit: Citrus are naturally high in Vitamin C and helpful in removing mucous
congestion in the body.
• Ginger: This aromatic herb should be a staple in every kitchen. It’s use in treating
gastrointestinal discomfort (gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea) is well known. Its plant
compounds warm the body, soothe a scratchy throat.
• Garlic: Known as Nature’s penicillin, this plant contains compounds that help the immune
system fight germs and viruses. Season your foods with freshly grated garlic for preventive
measures (as well as flavor enhancers).
• Honey: A spoonful of honey may decrease coughing and throat irritation. Be sure to use local
honey, grown near where you live and do not give honey to children under the age of one year.
Please do your research if you are taking medications to avoid any food-drug interactions.
I hope these simple starters will help you build your wellness arsenal so that you may be ready if
you experience a cold-and-flu attack. One of the oldest medical texts in Traditional Chinese
Medicine, known as the Nei Ching, states:
“To cure an illness after it arises is like forging weapons after the battle has started, or
digging a well after you have become thirsty.”
I’ve included the recipe for my favorite Hot Grapefruit Drink for Winter . . . sip and savor . . . and always be
in great health!
1 grapefruit, thoroughly wash the outer peel
1-qt. saucepan filled with 2-cups water, on medium heat
1-2 tsp. local unfiltered honey
• Cut the grapefruit in quarters. Squeeze juice from each quarter into saucepan of warming
• Place 2 of the quarters into saucepan and let simmer in grapefruit juice.
• Simmer until thoroughly heated, but not boiling. Carefully pour hot juice into a hot container
cup or mug. Add honey to taste and stir. Enjoy!
This recipe may be followed using fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”). Add a
pinch of cayenne powder to the hot juice for additional Vitamin C.
*If you are taking prescription medications, be sure to check the food/drug interactions.
Grapefruit does not mix well with some medications.
The grapefruit is a subtropical acid fruit with a highly alkaline reaction in the body. It is
less acidic than lemons and is a good substitute when oranges cannot be tolerated. Grapefruits
also contain less sugar than oranges.
Grapefruit is high in vitamins C and B1 and a good source of B2. It is also very rich in
citric acids and their salts, and in potassium and calcium. The rind is high in Vitamin P (extracted
by simmering) which is beneficial to healthy gums and teeth.
Being low in calories, it is a good drink on a reducing diet and also is an excellent aid to
digestion. Grapefruit taken before bedtime can contribute to sound sleep. However, the overuse
of any citric acid fruits will act as a powerful dissolver of the mucous membranes (accumulated)
of the body. Eliminating toxic material too quickly may cause unpleasant irritation or discomfort.
Grapefruit juice acts as an excellent aid in reducing fevers from colds and flu. It also
helps prevent hardening of body tissue, such as the liver and arteries and stone formations.
(Foods That Heal, Dr. Bernard Jensen, 1988)