Staying healthy over the winter months
or ALL year round!
Here are 11 tips for staying healthy over the winter. My goal at the end of this is that you have an understanding that health is simple.
Why should you listen to me – after all, I cheat and live in the UK for the Summer then jet off to Australia for the Summer, to escape the winter. I have spent 2 winters here in the UK. The first was a novelty – "ooh it gets dark at 4pm" and "ooh it might snow any minute". During my second winter in the UK the novelty had worn off and I got really sick.
Using what I have learnt during my juice journey, I will share with you some tips.
I have been studying Nutritional Healing for the last four years. My aim is to help people have more energy and create a healthy lifestyle free from pain and disease. I have experienced the first hand benefits of good nutrition such as more energy; increased tolerance of stress; balanced moods; and stable blood sugar. I have also been juicing for 32 years – I guess that makes me a bit of an expert!
So let me share some of the best things I have learnt through my study.
HEALTH IS SIMPLE – DISEASE IS COMPLICATED
In our culture generally we don’t take care of our health, we’re led to believe that whilst we’re busy in our minds, we can ignore our bodies. Then if the body becomes sick there’s a pill, potion or surgical operation, that will cure the symptoms and we can carry on with old habits. However, the body is using these symptoms as a way of communicating its distress; if we ignore them dis-ease will result.
Returning the body to a state of full health can be a long and hard journey depending on how lingering the disease. No chronic disease appears overnight, it’s the end result of many years of ignoring signs and symptoms that the body will have been communicating to signal imbalance. If the body signals pain, it’s not wise to kill that pain, it’s an early warning system that’s alerting you to the fact that something is out of balance in your life.
Listen to your body it has your best interests at heart! Like any good recipe. If you follow these instructions I will guarantee a great result!
The body is 75% water, all the organs and systems run on water, without sufficient water the body is physiologically stressed. That means water, freshly pressed vegetable or fruit juices and herbal teas NOT tea, coffee, green tea, fizzy drinks, concentrated fruit juice or alcohol – these are all caffeinated or acidic, or both, they dehydrate and create stress. The first thing I do with my health clients is start them on hydration therapy. It is very straightforward and I want you to make a note of this and treat it like a prescription from the doctor – just do it!
1 pint of water on rising
1 pint 30 mins before lunch
1 glass mid afternoon
1 pint 30 mins before evening meal
1 glass during the evening
1 glass before bed. If you want to read more and know more here are two fantastic resources. ‘Your body’s many cries for water’ by Dr F Batmanghelidj
And ‘Water – the Elixir of life’ by my tutor Lesley Una Peirce.
Without oxygen the body starts to die after four minutes, so if you’re not breathing effectively your body is physiologically stressed as it thinks it’s going to die! When you’re stressed you shallow breathe in order to conserve energy for ‘fight or flight’. Using a Conscious Gentle Breath will re-connect you to your Self and improve the rhythm of your breathing. Suffering asthma my while life has meant that I am by habit a really shallow breather – I am working on deep diaphragmatic breathing into the belly.
The body needs regular gentle exercise in order to function optimally. There are many advantages to exercise, too many to list here, but be sure that it will prevent the build-up of stress and resulting physical disease as well as depression. It doesn’t need to be formal, overactive or competitive, a daily walk of half an hour is sufficient. It is also important to get at least one hour of exposure to natural daylight every day, no sunscreens, let the sun reach your skin to boost energy. I often get asked what is the best exercise? The best exercise in the one that you enjoy doing. My focus and goal at the moment is to have variety and fun so I am now learning to run. I never thought running could be fun and I also never thought I would feel like going for a run. I figure that is I don’t have asthma anymore then I must be able to run. Well I am trying. I love tai chi and pilates too. But I do tend to mix it up a bit. I love Zumba – it’s like going clubbing without all the drugs and booze. I love the music as it makes me feel really happy.
The human body is designed to go to sleep at 9pm and wake at 5am. It’s only with the advent of electricity and television that we’ve altered our lifestyle and chosen to go to bed later. Physiological functions vital to keeping the body in a healthful, balanced state take place between 9pm and midnight and if you regularly miss that sleep cycle your body is physiologically stressed and will become exhausted. Also this is when your body does its best cleaning and detoxing. It is hard for me in the middle of the season to get to bed early, especially at a festival. But once I am home and the festival madness of over I go to bed early.
5. AVOID STIMULANTS – TEA, COFFEE, SUGAR.
(Remember carbohydrates are converted to sugar in the body), ALCOHOL, NICOTINE, RECREATIONAL DRUGS. These may keep your body going if you are not paying attention to the above 4 however you are living on borrowed energy. They may provide short term energy but will result in long term exhaustion and dehydration which will put stress on all the organs and systems. All of these stimulants mimic prostaglandins. These are chemical compounds in our body that act like hormones. They do lots of things like help us maintain homeostasis. They also help us sleep, feel good, and help build a stong immune system. They are vital and we make them when we have an adequate amount of antioxidants for the conversion of EFA’s (3,6 and 9 in balance) , vitamins A, C and E, zinc, copper, magnesium, calcium, selenium, iron, beta carotene and biotin. They are our fundamental regulating molecules created in the cells and act as catalysts for the secretion of hormones. We may find ourselves reaching for synthetic prostaglandins like these stimulants when our body has a deficiency in these and is unable to make them ourselves.
6. NATURAL DIET.
Choose natural nutrition and unrefined foods and your body will get all the phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and enzymes that you need for optimum health. You will have stable moods and energy. The naturally occurring properties in plants play a vital role in the preventative treatment of disease and support the intestinal flora, which constitute a major part of your immune system. Juice, smoothies and raw food are the best way to get a massive amount of nutrition into our bodies. Also Komboucha is the best way I have found of improving gut flora.
If you choose refined foods your body will become depleted and lacking in energy and your mental function will also be affected. Why do you choose foods that numb and comfort you rather than choosing foods that will create vibrant health? Is it tiredness, emotional emptiness? I have a bit of an insight to moods and food. After my second 11 pound son was born I was exhausted. I had him on the road and I didn’t really slow down. It had a huge impact. I suffered post natal depression. He wasn’t sleeping very well and as a result, I wasn’t eating very well. I was reaching for quick fixes like chocolate and toast to keep me going. I clearly wasn’t thinking straight – sleep deprivation will do that to you. As soon as I got my eating back on track and increased my nutrition I started to feel happier and more energised. I was so run down I was not making my own prostaglandins and I was reaching for synthetic stimulants. Once I increased my nutritional intake my body began to regain balance and my mood lifted.
7. AVOID MUCOUS FORMING FOODS – GLUTEN/DAIRY
Our culture has become dependent on these two convenient refined foods. They are ‘comfort’ foods and create a ‘numbing’ effect in the body which disconnects you from your feelings. The body creates mucous in response to these foods as it identifies them as ‘indigestible’, this mucous clogs the organs and systems creating ill health.
8. DETOXIFY YOUR BODY.
Our world is full of toxins in the liquids we drink, the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the products we use on our bodies. These are excreted through our kidneys/bladder, lungs/sinuses, liver/colon and skin.
So if it’s likely that you’ve built up a level of toxicity as a result of your lifestyle habits it’s necessary to gently detoxify in order to relieve the body of this build-up of toxins. Also ensure that you take care of your body by not adding any more toxins, choose to drink clean water, breathe clean air, eat natural unrefined foods, and use natural non chemical skin and health care products.
9. IDENTIFY AND RELEASE EMOTIONAL ISSUES.
If we don’t address our E(nergy when it is in) Motion but choose to suppress it, it will be pushed into the body where it will create blockage to the natural flow of energy – this in time will create disease. Anger, Resentment, Rage, Bitterness, Passivity, Frustration, Jealousy and Comparison if not dealt with will result in lack of Self Love and often Self Indulgence and Addictions which will be used to suppress rather than address the issues. In our culture we use alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, comfort foods, pornography, gambling, excessive exercise, religion, busy-ness to avoid ourselves so that we don’t have to face up to what it is we are choosing to avoid.
10. SELF LOVE.
If you are not making healthful choices, ask you Self why? In truth, the key to living in joy is to love your Self and make Self Loving Choices.
Disease it can become very complicated. The body will signal its distress, and science has given these symptoms many names. There are a multitude of pharmaceutical drugs and procedures including radiation, surgery and organ replacement to suppress or remove these symptoms. But these symptoms are the way the body tries to draw your attention to the imbalance in your life. Ignoring the body’s early warning systems and suppressing acute symptoms has created chronic diseases – in this day and age it appears we no longer present with just one dis-ease but a collection of them.
11. Live your passion! Life is too short to be dissatisfied!
It is up to each of us to take responsibility for our choices. The healthier you feel on the inside the more joyful your life feels on the outside.
Will you choose to follow these simple rules and create a healthier you?
If not, why not?
The philosophy of nutritional healing involves the use of natural remedies, a range of techniques and diet to support the body and its natural ability to heal. Many of these techniques work well for individuals, supporting the main routes of elimination of toxins from the body. They are designed to support the main organs involved in detoxification including the skin, liver, kidneys, small and large intestine and the bowels. I want to talk briefly about some of the techniques that I use personally and with my clients. And these include castor oil packing, enemas, and skin brushing.
Some techniques work well for certain conditions and results may vary from person to person. Many techniques can be used in combination with each other. However without these techniques, detoxing can be uncomfortable for the individual. These techniques are designed to support the movement of toxins out of the cell and continue the journey out of the body. The exiting from the body is important otherwise toxins can be reabsorbed into the blood and into the cells and the person will remain unwell. With the support of these techniques the process of elimination can be manageable, comforting, empowering and energizing.
Before examining how the healing techniques are supportive, it is important to consider the route of elimination toxins follow from the cell via the liver and hopefully exiting the body via the bowel. When the liver, kidneys and skin are functioning well toxins will be flushed out of the cell via the lymph and into the blood. The blood is the carrier to the liver where the blood is cleaned. The liver produces bile and the extracted toxins will travel in bile to the small intestines, then to the large intestines and will exit the body via the bowel. Toxins will also be eliminated via the skin in sweat and also via the kidneys in urine. If these organs are not functioning well then toxins can build up in the cells, get recirculated in the blood or lymph and cause swollen glands, headaches, pain, inflammation, irritability and fatigue. Therefore it is important to support the body’s main routes of elimination to prevent the reabsorption of toxins and further stress on vital organs.
Each technique has a purpose and techniques can be used in conjunction with each other to achieve better results. While the overall purpose is to support the main route of elimination, they can also provide emotional reassurance, rehydrate the body, thin the lymph and create a feeling of freedom and movement so that nutrient absorption and detoxification can occur with more ease. Once patients have an understanding of the naturopathic philosophy and how these techniques support elimination they are often more open to embracing them.
Oil packing can be used to decongest the liver and improve the liver function as the main cleansing organ. The castor oil is placed on a wool flannel or cloth and placed over the liver. Castor oil is known as Palma Christi or the healing palm of Christ and is renowned as a vibrational healer offering light and colour to the body. It is cleansing to the entire intestines as it purges toxins and stimulates the liver and gall bladder. It is also excellent for relieving pain, reducing inflammation, aiding relaxation and improves assimilation. The liver is also where anger is stored so this technique can be used when a patient is feeling angry and resentful. Packing can also be excellent for sore or inflamed joints, treating depression and colds. It is important to pack the affected area as well as the liver. This works by being absorbed into the liver area, stimulating the liver and gall bladder and bile production. It can also release colon impaction and increase circulation within the organs and glands. So with increased flow from liver via bile to the small and large intestines, toxin movement is enhanced. This is brilliant when combined with a water flush enema to continue the movement of toxins out via the colon. Castor oil can also thin the lymph when used as an all over body massage followed by a warm bath. It stimulates lymphocytes and is also very relaxing.
Skin brushing can aid elimination via the bodies largest organ – the skin. The acid mantle on the skins surface becomes stale due to sweat and sebum. Skin brushing clears the skins surface, allowing fresh elimination and cleaning of pores. It also stimulates the lymph and encourages cell renewal. As 10% of our metabolic waste is eliminated via the skin, regular brushing supports elimination of toxins and if done daily it is manageable and effective. This gentle technique can be combined with hot/cold shower hydrotherapy which also stimulates movement of blood and the lymph.
Komboucha is a fantastic colony of good bacteria for your gut. 80% of our immune system is in our gut. So if you want a very cost effective way of improving your immune system, preventing coughs and colds then you must get yourself one of these. More powerful than probiotics and a fraction of the cost.
Have you got at least one great idea you can use straight away that can improve your health?
I would love to get some feedback from you and stay in touch.