Thoughts From The Sick Bed

Even the healthiest people get sick. I fell ill with the flu 10 days ago and am just now getting out of bed and starting to feel better. My doctors tell me if I hadn’t received the flu shot, I would very likely be hospitalized with complications.

I do “everything right”. I get a lot of exercise, I take my supplements, I eat very healthy, I get 8-9 hours of sleep a night, I meditate, I enjoy lots of nourishing relationships. Sometimes, even with all of that, you just get sick.
I’m telling you this because a lot of holistic nutritionists and wellness practitioners sell people on this notion that if you just do all the “right things”, you will be invincible. That if you just cut out all sugar, or go gluten free, or go vegan, or go paleo, or any number of other things, you won’t ever get sick. That is nonsense. We are human and human bodies sometimes break down, get sick, or get injured.

Someone from my cohort yesterday told me not to eat any fruit whatsoever and stop all my supplements because they “feed the pathogen”. This is such utter nonsense. When I asked for studies to back up her claims she went radio silent. It makes me angry that someone out there is peddling this psuedo-science.

Bottom line: be careful when seeking wellness information and guidance. Look for real, honest-to-goodness scientific studies and papers to back up any claims. If something doesn’t sound right, follow that instinct. And if you ever have any questions, reach out to me. I like nothing better than to provide science based wellness advice.

In the meantime, I’m following doctor’s orders to rest. I’m going to eat lots of fruits and vegetables (they are full of vitamins and minerals, fiber, vitamin c, and other anti-inflammatory compounds). I’m going to get acupuncture today, and I’m staying hydrated. Sometimes, time is the best medicine.

Your Immune System


Flu season is rampant this year, with a strain that isn’t well matched to the vaccine (current estimates place it at about a 10-30% match). While getting the flu vaccine is at the top of my family’s to-do list every fall (here is a good overview on why we believe in the flu vaccine), there are other things we do to support our immune system, like eating healthy foods, getting exercise, and supplementing with Vitamin D. I also take a daily zinc supplement (read here about why zinc is important).

There can be many reasons for why our immune system isn’t functioning at optimal levels, including drinking too much alcohol, having high stress levels, and eating too many refined carbs/sugars. While getting sick from common viruses like colds and enterovirus (aka: stomach flu) is quite normal, if you find yourself getting sick often, it’s worth it to get checked out for underlying causes.

Even though I know all the things to do in order to keep my immune system in good shape, I still get sick a couple of times a year. We can’t always nip our stress in the bud as quickly as we would like, or it’s the holidays and we are partaking in more rich food and alcohol than we normally do (not to mention our exercise routines tend to go out the window in November and December). Keep this handy info page taped to your fridge or mirror to remind yourself of all the ways that you can naturally help your immune system be stronger.  And remember, this information should never take the place of a discussion with your doctor or trusted health professional, and never start a supplement without first talking to your medical professional.

immune system page 1

Immune system page 2

Vitamin C Smoothie (Great For Your Immune System)

Vitamin C Smoothie (Immune system)

This week is bound to be super busy and possibly stressful, especially those of us who celebrate Thanksgiving. With increased levels of stress come increased rates of cold and flu. If you’re traveling by airplane, consider your risk even higher (one study published in the Wall Street Journal showed a 20% increased risk). And if you’re visiting family and there are many of you staying in the same house, usually someone ends up sharing germs, too. So how do we navigate the holiday season without succumbing to feeling miserable? One thing we can do is make sure we are feeding ourselves with nourishing and immune boosting foods. Foods high in Vitamin C pack an antioxidant punch, which helps lower your risk of getting sick. Vitamin C also helps regenerate other antioxidants in your body. Fiber is another important nutrient, as it helps lower inflammation. And yogurt, which is a probiotic rich food, helps keep our gut flora in check. Because about 80% of our immune system resides in our guts, we want to make sure it’s always balanced and healthy.

For the past week I’ve been having a green smoothie every day for breakfast. It starts my day off on the right foot and by the time I’m finished drinking it I’ve already had at least three servings of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables. This helps keep me healthy and sets me up for wanting to continue eating healthy throughout the day. Since I know I’ll be enjoying a lot of my favorite foods at Thanksgiving, this is a good way to ensure I’m getting proper nutrition leading up to the long weekend.

Try this Vitamin C smoothie and let me know what you think. Feel free to customize it for your own needs (swap out spinach for kale, for instance).


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Your Immune System — Carrot Ginger Turmeric Soup

A Few Of My Favorite Things 2017


Sniff sniff

medical mask emoji

Yesterday I started feeling slightly congested.  I have terrible allergies this spring (thanks climate change!) and figured it was just something blowing around in the wind.  By last night I was feeling achy and exhausted and that’s when I knew I had a dreaded springtime cold.

When I start to feel sick, I go into lockdown mode.  I cancel anything that’s not totally necessary and hunker down.  Rest is the most impactful thing you can do when you start to feel under the weather, and I’ve learned time and again that trying to push through only prolongs the misery. Netflix binges of Grace and Frankie and  Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are possibly indicated.

In addition to Netflix binges rest I also add a few remedies.  I drink a green smoothie in the mornings to slam as many fruits and veggies into my system as I can (if you’re interested in green smoothies, click here to learn about the challenge I did in the fall).  All those vitamins are fantastic immune boosters for when you aren’t feeling 100%.

green smoothie

In addition, I take astragalus three times a day in tincture form.  I love this product from Herb Pharm.  Click here for an information page on astragalus published by the National Institutes of Health.  It’s important to know about the herbs and other remedies you use before you start taking them.  I buy it at Whole Foods but you can also order it on Amazon. I also take Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup twice a day which I also get at Whole Foods.  Multiple studies published by the NIH have shown elderberry syrup to be antiviral and immune boosting.  Read here for one of them. I also use a neti pot to flush yucky stuff out of my sinuses.  Here’s a picture of a few different types of neti pots in case you haven’t seen them before and are wondering what in the fresh heck a neti pot is.

neti pot

I learned recently that it also helps when you have fluid in your ear.  Learning to use and get accustomed to a neti pot isn’t hard, in my opinion.  It’s not for everybody but I highly recommend it!  I buy packets of saline solution at my local drugstore.

I also eat copious amounts of raw garlic (sorry family) and drizzle raw honey on stuff because both are antiviral and the honey also soothes a sore throat and a cough.

And sleep.  Obviously.  If you can’t fit downtime into your day (many people can’t), then try going to bed extra early for a few nights.

Please comment below and tell me what you do to fight off “the crud”.  I’m always looking for new things to add to my repertoire!

***And as always, please know that I am not a doctor and I’m not authorized to prescribe any medical treatment to anyone.  Please check with your health care provider before adding any over the counter treatments.