The Flu, Colds and Coronavirus – A Refresher on How to Boost Your Health! [Episode #523]
Today’s solocast topic is: The Flu, Colds and Coronavirus – A Refresher on How to Boost Your Health!
Beauty, it’s that time of year again! This year especially, staying healthy during cold and flu season is more important than ever. I’ve been getting so many questions about strengthening your body against illness this season, so I wanted to dedicate an entire podcast to this topic!
Today I’m going to share with you specific foods and nutrients that boost your immunity, and other lifestyle practices you can take to avoid getting sick. Staying healthy is about so much more than what we’re putting inside our bodies – it also has to do with our minds and spirits. We need to take care of ourselves on all levels is the key to stay healthy!
By making small changes to your diet and lifestyle, you’ll be better protected against the nasty cold and flu germs that are so pervasive this season.
Topics Covered In Tips for The Flu, Colds and Coronavirus – A Refresher on How to Boost Your Health!
#1. Why we should be extra cautious about taking care of ourselves during this flu season
#2. How to fortify your immune system naturally
#3. Which supplements I recommend for strengthening your body against illness
#4. What lifestyle practices are helpful for boosting your immune system during flu season
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Kimberly : 00:00 Hey, Beauties. And welcome back to our Monday solocast podcast, where today our topic is The Flu, Colds, and Coronavirus – A Refresher on How to Boost Your Health. And as we come now into the colder months, into the windier months, as we’re deeper into fall now, and going into the winter, going to the darker period, this is a topic that I just want to bring up now, because it’s the beginning of that period. It’s really important, and it’s more powerful to think about our intentions and practices that we can put into place now to help prevent a lot of these illnesses, or let’s just say we do happen to pick up something, our recovery rate, how hard things hit us, or again, maybe they don’t hit us at all. So, it’s a great time right now to really focus on this topic right now.
Kimberly : 00:56 Today, I’m going to be covering some specific research. We also had our Q&A community podcast a couple of days ago centered around this idea, but today I’m going to be giving some other information. So if this is a topic that’s really interesting for you, I encourage you to go back to our show from just a few days ago and hear what other Beauties were asking about and tips and ideas based on that.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly : 01:23 So we’re going to get into it just now, but first I want to give a quick shout out to our fan of the week. His or her name is zozo710. So I really don’t know if this is a man or a woman, but he or she writes, “Thank you to Kimberly and the Feel Good podcast team for providing positive and insightful conversations. I’ve struggled with health issues for years and love to do my research for natural remedies. So I love that this show focuses on providing grounded and holistic information. I always finish the show feeling inspired to make the little adjustments that lead to an overwhelmingly healthy, vibrant life.”
Kimberly : 02:03 I love zozo710. Thank you so much for your review. And I really love this last sentence here, how you worded it. Overwhelmingly healthy, vibrant life. Because I think we all deserve to feel our best, to live our best lives. And it’s these small, simple little practices that really add up. I know sometimes we think we have to do this big overhaul or maybe my friend is spending so much money and all this stuff. And a couple of good supplements are important, and we want to put as much as we can towards high quality organic food. But overall, it’s just the small things that really make a big, big difference. Micro shifts really add up. So I love, I’m going on a tangent here, but I really, really love this review. And thank you so much, Zozo710, again, for being our fan of the week. I appreciate it so much. And I send you a huge virtual hug.
Leave a Review and Subscribe on Itunes
Kimberly : 03:09 And Beauties, for your chance to also be our fan of the week, please head over to iTunes and leave us a review, which is free and easy and just a really great way to support the show. And while you’re over there, please be sure to subscribe to our show, and that way you don’t miss out on any of our Q&A community shows, which are on Thursdays, or any of these solo casts or interviews, which are also on Mondays.
Kimberly : 03:38 All right, let’s get into it now. Let’s talk about some research here for boosting your health, flu, colds, and coronavirus, how to best protect ourselves against all of these things, all of these little things that may be going around. This is the time of the year, especially because of what’s going on with COVID-19, that if someone around you is coughing, or somebody has a fever, rightfully so, there’s a bit of panic. And there’s coronavirus, and then there’s normal colds, and then there’s normal illness and sickness that gets passed around.
Kimberly : 04:16 So we want to fortify our bodies against all of it, because first of all, anytime right now, if we get sick in any way, it’s stressful, more stressful than usual. Number two, because we want to feel our best day to day. We don’t want to have to be grounded in bed for a long time, just not feeling great in our bodies. So, I don’t have to tell you that. Nobody wants to get sick. So let’s get into some research here.
Kimberly : 04:45 First, let’s talk about food for a minute. Let’s go through our cornerstones. And sometimes we talk about food first, often we do. I’m used to it that way, because I think it’s a very tangible starting point, but it doesn’t mean that food is the most important. It’s just a starting point, it’s a pathway entry for a lot of us. So there is some great research from Harvard University, and all of this I will link to in the show notes over at mysolluna.com, saying that immunity isn’t one thing that we do. It’s not like, oh, I take elderberry syrup, or I’m taking a ton of vitamin C. It’s multifactorial. As Harvard says, it’s not from a single entity, but it requires “balance and harmony.” So we really want to take a multifaceted approach. And the top recommendations from Harvard are eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, which of course is something we’ve always emphasized, but we will want to talk about it for a moment here in the food cornerstone.
Kimberly : 05:50 Secondly, I’ll just jump ahead a little bit, secondly, exercising regularly, we know that helps to boost circulation all around. Number three, getting adequate sleep, which is also in our body cornerstone. And fourth is minimizing stress. And I love that this is one of the points of Harvard because stress goes into the emotional/mental. That goes into our third cornerstone because events, in and of themselves, are not stressful. It’s raining. There’s a fact. Or this person hasn’t answered my email, or there is traffic today. These are all facts. It’s our response. It’s our way. It’s our people perspective. It’s what we add into the equation that creates stress. It means our bodies are struggling. Our mind is struggling to accept something we resist. And so it creates that stress, that stress response, a cascade of stress hormones, and just an overall imbalance in our system. So we’ll get into that a little bit now. Let’s move through it systematically.
Food and tips to boost your health
Kimberly : 06:59 So then the first thing that we want to talk about is the food. So fruits and vegetables, all around, super, super important. Furthermore, according to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, a plant-based diet may give the immune system a boost because those on a plant-based diet have been found to have more white blood cells that produce antibodies to combat bacteria, viruses, and invaders. So this is based on research, we will link to it, which is really, really interesting.
Kimberly : 07:32 I’ll say that when we are eating a plant-based diet or a mostly plant-based diet, our bodies can have more energy to repair, to, in this case, again, create more white blood cells, to help to cleanse the system. When we eat a very heavy diet with a lot of meat, a lot of dairy, there’s just so much energy spent on working to break down that actual food and to push it through so many feet of our digestive track to get it out of the body, that we do become more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Our bodies are just spending much more energy on digestion. Our bodies are trying to break down that food.
Kimberly : 08:15 So one thing I’ll say, it’s not all or nothing, but know that as we go into this period of winter, the more plant-based you can be, the more meals you choose to have lentils and beans and veggies and Brussels sprouts and walnuts, and all these amazing foods, without the meat and dairy, you’re going to be lightening the load on your body. And consequently, you’re going to be helping it to feel its best and its strongest, and to build the immunity.
Kimberly : 08:41 So additional research shows that particularly, we want to focus on foods that contain beta carotene, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin E, which can boost the immune system and reduce oxidative stress. So I will say that the Glowing Green Smoothie®, for instance, is a really wonderful place to start. And make sure that you’re having it more closer to room temperature. Now that it’s windy and cold, having a really icy cold smoothie first thing in the morning probably isn’t appealing. And remember, you never have to do that. You will want to start with the heat. You want to start with hot water with lemon or even hot water with lemon and ginger, and then you can make your GGS closer to room temperature, take it out, put it on the counter, and then you can drink it a little bit later in the morning, or just a couple minutes later will make a big difference to your body. So it’s great because there’s so much vitamin C in raw fruits and vegetables, that it’s just a wonderful power-packed drink.
Kimberly : 09:41 And when it comes to beta carotene, we want to focus on foods like sweet potatoes and all these wonderful orange foods in particular, and carrots, which there’s certainly a lot of carrots going around in my home. And sweet potatoes too, which are one of Bubby’s favorites.
Kimberly : 09:58 Vitamin E wise, I recommend almonds. I make fresh, raw almond milk every day. There’s so many wonderful sources for all these nutrients. Again, making sure to focus on getting a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into your body, checking out as things start to shift at the farmer’s market, as things start to shift in your local market, and just seeing what looks best and what looks freshest and how you can vary your diet, is going to really do a lot of good for you.
Kimberly : 10:31 So that is, and again, if you’re looking for some more recipe ideas, I highly recommend that you check out mysolluna.com. We have tons of elixir recipes, soups, stews, salads, you name it. We have all the different categories over there, so check it out.
Body and what this cornerstone encompasses beyond food
Kimberly : 10:50 All right. So our next cornerstone is the body cornerstone, and body cornerstone encompasses everything that isn’t food-related. So sleep, exercise, supplements. One of the most important things here is that we want to… So I’m going to do this one first because there’s a crossover a little bit between food and body, and that has to do with vitamin D. Now, vitamin D is super, super important for our immune system. It helps to… It’s actually integral to the immune system. There’s research from the Nutrients Journal, also from the University of Edinburgh, that shows that a vitamin C deficiency can lead to dysregulation of immune responses. So that means that the more deficient we become in vitamin D, we leave ourselves more susceptible and more vulnerable to viruses coming up and sicknesses in general.
Kimberly : 11:46 So it’s really, really important that we get some vitamin D regularly, to balance our system and to boost our immunity. And the best source, of course, is natural sunlight. So I’m a big believer in getting some sunlight on your limbs. I walk around every day. I go for walks with baby Moses in the carrier. So I really protect my face. I wear a hat. I wear sunglasses. I wear non-toxic, chemical free sunscreen on my face, but I like to get the sun on my limbs. I like to get it on my arms and my legs for a couple of moments. And everybody’s skin is different. So maybe a few minutes is already too much for your body if you’re very fair, but I do encourage you to get a few moments of sunlight on, just to help activate that vitamin D.
Kimberly : 12:30 Additionally, you can supplement, and you should supplement if you are living in a place with very minimal sunlight. We’re so lucky here in California. It’s November, and I’m still wearing shorts and a tank top, and there’s so much sunlight, not to rub it in, but just to say that, of course, the weather changes wherever we live. So be mindful that this is a very, very important supplement. This is something over and beyond usually what you can get in the diet. There are four to five sources of vitamin D, certain mushrooms have vitamin D, but because it’s so important, if you’re not in a place where you’re getting adequate sunlight, I do recommend taking a vitamin D supplement, just to be safe, just because, again, it’s such an important part of immunity.
Kimberly : 13:19 So now in the body cornerstone, let’s also talk about sleep. Research on sleep and the immune system from the CDC states that sleep has powerful effects on immune functioning. Sleep loss, which is considered less than four hours of sleep per night, puts you at a much higher risk of viral infection and cardiovascular disorders. With regular sleep hours, which are considered six hours or more per night, it’s the sweet spot, at least where we want be, because at least getting six hours a night can help increase influenza antibody production by 50%. So, sometimes, to be honest, I’m going to be honest. I’m going to be real with you guys. I don’t get eight hours of sleep, especially not right now. Mosey is just a few months old. Bubby’s been coming into our bed really early in the morning. At night, I don’t go to bed super early because it’s the time with hubby, where we want to hang out and chat and talk and connect.
Kimberly : 14:30 So I don’t know that eight hours is, especially right now where I am in my life, a viable goal, even though it would be wonderful. But six hours is something that I feel like I am shooting for and I would like to get, and of course, I want to get back on track to where I can get eight hours. But as mothers, as parents, as busy people juggling a lot sometimes, it doesn’t always look perfect. As I’ve always said, we’re perfectly imperfect. And all of this stuff that we’re talking about, these are the ideals. So it doesn’t mean we hit everything perfectly, but we do our best. And what I want to emphasize is the most powerful approach to this is thinking about it in a wide way, thinking about it from the four cornerstone perspective. Instead of putting all your focus on one cornerstone, obsessing over food and recipes and just doing that, it’s better to do a little bit in food and to do a little bit in body, and to do a little bit emotionally, and to do a little bit spiritually. And that way you’re able to, again, just support your body’s wholeness.
Kimberly : 15:37 And everything affects everything else. So we know our emotional wellbeing, our mental health, our thoughts, everything affects the physical body and vice versa. And the way that we connect with spirit, the way we’re able to de-stress, the way that we’re able to take care of our body affects everything. If we’re not eating well, if we’re eating really heavy food, it affects our meditation. Our meditation is going to help us digest better.
Kimberly : 16:00 So I could literally connect to the cornerstones in infinite thousands of ways, but just know that what I would love for you to do is to think about spreading your focus out, so that it’s not just in one or two of the cornerstones. And I definitely think that’s really important.
Kimberly : 16:19 So we have sleep here next. And then let’s move on to our third cornerstone, which is… Oh, before we move on there, sorry, I want to talk about one more thing, which is how important, again, we’ve talked about this a million times, but how important it is for you to really, really, really focus on your gut health right now. It can feel overwhelming, all the information out there right now, about take this form of elderberry, or maybe it’s this or this, and all these different supplements, and all these different syrups and gummies, and all these things being passed around.
Kimberly : 16:56 But just remember that the most important supplement for you to take, hands down, is the SBO Probiotics. This is a very powerful form of probiotics that’s going to get past your stomach acid. It’s going to get to your gut, which is where it’s going to help your immunity. So if you want more info, it’s over at mysolluna.com. I’ll say that in research published by urologists, this year in 2020, found that bacteria plays a major role in preventing and protecting against illnesses like the flu, since a healthy immune system begins with gut health. So it’s super important to balance the good bacteria in your gut, to be able to protect against all these foreign entities and pathogens and so on and so forth.
Kimberly : 17:42 So take your SBO Probiotics every day. And I know that there’s a cost to that, but if you put that as your focus, then you often don’t have to buy all these other things. It simplifies everything, and you start to feel your own power, your own strength, because it’s not relying on something outside of yourself. Makeup is great, but you need the makeup to put it on. It’s not manufactured by your body. Whereas when you take probiotics, we’re rebalancing our gut health. It’s supporting what your body’s systems are already meant to do and to be in balance. And so it’s working with your body. It’s working in tandem with your body, and a lot of things imbalance our body, like stress and sugar and all these different things, not sleeping well. So we want to come back to balance. And again, the probiotics are instrumental in that way.
Emotional wellbeing and mental health amidst a pandemic
Kimberly : 18:43 So moving along, our third cornerstone is emotional wellbeing/mental health, shall we say. And this is a really, really important one right now. According to the CDC, influenza arises in the fall and winter because stress is so high right now, it’s higher than ever. Stress of avoiding the flu is creating more stress on the average person, as we are all in the midst of a pandemic. So influenza rises, all these other illnesses rise when stress breaks down our body. So how do we react to stress or how do we respond to it? How do we work with stress?
Kimberly : 19:35 So again, it goes back to perspective. It’s not the traffic. It’s not the rain, when you wanted to sunny weather. It’s our reaction to things. So we really want to work on what are our big triggers? What are the things that really bother us consistently? When do I just feel frazzled, I’m at the end of my rope?
Kimberly : 19:55 So I actually did as a solocast last week about ways to help remove anxiety, to clear anxiety, before it keeps building up, up, more and more into your body and into your system, which makes it much harder to deal with, when it’s accrued to a certain level. So I encourage you to check that out as well with different ideas.
Kimberly : 20:16 But I will just say to really start your day at a good pace. If you need to wake up a little bit earlier, it just starts to build if we go into the day already feeling like we’re behind and we’re rushing. So just take that time in the morning to space things out, to do your morning ritual, to do your routine, to take care of yourself, including meditation, which we’ll talk about in our next cornerstone. My favorite thing in the world, makes me feel so good, makes me feel so anchored.
Kimberly : 20:48 But just to think about, as we go into this darker period, it’s going to bring up maybe some things for you, as there’s less light compounded with the fact that we’re inward more, we’re going to be home more. You’re not going to see as many people because of coronavirus, all these different things happening.
Kimberly : 21:06 So I suggest that you really make some space for journaling, processing, people in your tribe, people in our community, connecting with them. We have a good community over on Instagram @_KimberlySnyder. We’re actually revamping our Solluna Circle program. That’s going to be amazing. We’re going to talk about that in a few months with you guys, that’ll be great community. But if you need to check in with a friend over FaceTime or online, send a text, whatever it is, just feeling connected and really taking it seriously, that you need to put effort and energy into reducing your stress and rebalancing it constantly and consistently, I think is so important this time of year.
Kimberly : 21:50 And remember, stress has a huge, huge, huge impact on your immunity. So we really want to take it seriously, and we want to take care of the unseen parts of wellness. So what’s going on in your mind, what’s going on emotionally for you, and not ignoring that. And really, really taking the time to take care of yourself in that way, which is so powerful, and again, so important.
Spiritual growth and ways to connect in with ourselves
Kimberly : 22:13 So the next cornerstone is the spiritual cornerstone. So spiritual growth, which again, I define as how we connect in with our true selves, with our authentic selves, how we really anchor into our center and who we are. And spirituality is not about religion, the way I’m using it. It could be independent of religion, or for some people, incorporate it into their religious practice. But it’s not dependent on religion. It’s about, again, how we connect in with ourselves. So stillness, being in nature, just finding time to breathe, sometimes when you just need to close your eyes and lay on the couch for five minutes, put your hand on your heart and on your belly, as I do sometimes, and just check in with you. The you that’s beyond the physicality, the you that’s beyond what you look like, if you’re a man or woman, how much you weigh, all these externals, what you do for a living, but you connect in with your deepest, deepest self, your source of security, the parts of you that can’t really be defined.
Kimberly : 23:27 And a 2017 randomized controlled trial published by the annals of the New York Academy of Sciences found that mindfulness meditation helped to reduce inflammation and boost immune cell production in the body. So there you have it, there’s more and more research that shows how meditation and mindfulness help with immunity. And I think this has to do with, when we are in a state of harmony, inner harmony, everything is effected by that. Our breath is affected and our heart rate, our heart rate variability is also affected. And in turn, all the different systems of the body, including our nervous system with our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, our endocrine system, all of this is connected to our immunity.
Kimberly : 24:15 So when we are feeling in sync, and we’re feeling in harmony, we’re feeling strong, we are able to flow along in life in a much more easeful way. In contrast, when we are feeling tight and anxious and confused and bewildered and all these different things, it creates chaos in our bodies and throughout all of the systems.
Kimberly : 24:41 So again, right now, if you really want to take care of yourself, flu-wise, preventing the flu, cold-wise, coronavirus-wise, all these ways, remember beauties, cornerstones, cornerstones, cornerstones. You want the best, don’t just think about the food. Don’t just think about the cough syrup or the elderberry syrup. Think about what am I doing to take care of my emotional health? What am I doing to focus on myself spiritually? How am I staying anchored? I promise you these things make a big difference, whether we realize them or not. They show up in our face. They show up in our digestion. They show up in your immunity.
Kimberly : 25:20 And then of course, taking care of the body, taking the SBO Probiotics, everything that we’ve talked about. But I emphasize these other cornerstones because they’re the ones that are usually ignored, especially in the face of panic and just focusing on things that we can see and pick up. And that’s wonderful, and that’s important, but again, I just emphasize that that’s not the end all be all. You want to look at everything.
Kimberly : 25:44 So it’s a great time to maybe check in and evaluate and see what practices you can focus on across all four of the cornerstones, to really boost your immunity and to really feel your very best, right here, right now, as we go into the latter part of 2020, and we go into 2021.
Kimberly : 26:04 So it’s a beautiful, exciting period right now, I think, despite… There’s shadows that are going on all around. But remember, if we look to the light, we look to this period as a time where we can really work on ourselves on all levels, we can grow, we can evolve, we can strengthen our bodies. We can strengthen our minds. We can realize how resilient we are, and we can realize that we are resourceful, and we can pivot, and we can shift. And we need to create the strongest temple, in order to do that first.
Kimberly : 26:36 So I hope that you enjoyed this, and I hope that you’re going to take some of these tips to heart. And remember that over at mysolluna.com, we’re going to have all these different show notes for you guys with all the different studies for you guys. And I encourage you to head over there and check them out.
Kimberly : 26:56 So before we leave today, I want to leave you with a thought of the week, something that you can take with you as you cruise into the rest of your day and the rest of the week. Something that is near and dear to my heart is the work of Paramahansa Yogananda who’s the great yoga master and guru. I consider him my guru. I’ve been practicing this yoga and this meditation for well over a decade now. And I love this quote that he says from one of his books. He writes, “In stillness, things will come to you, things you may not understand at the time.”
Kimberly : 27:37 So it’s part of a larger thought, but I just want to introduce this idea of how powerful stillness is, which we cultivate with our spiritual growth cornerstone. When we’re still, it means that we can become more open to our deeper knowing, to our intuition, to things feeling like they’re dropped in. They’re given to us. That’s what I call a download, and that’s where I think some of the best ideas are.
Kimberly : 28:08 So in stillness, things may come to you. He says you may not understand them, but note them, think about them, maybe even write them down, ponder. Because you’re deeper knowing may be coming in to share with you some insight or a new direction, or something that you’ve been grappling with and maybe a new creative solution. So stillness is a point of power. Stillness is something that is important, especially right now, when there’s so much outside noise, how we tune in and how we find our voice inside of ourselves.
Kimberly : 28:40 So I want you guys to think about stillness and how you can create more. I will say I, now with the baby and E’s not really a toddler anymore, he’s four. I call him a toddler, but he’s just over that edge. He’s a very active little boy. And of course, this podcast, and I’m writing the next book, which I think is my most important book, by the way, and I’m running Solluna. So my life is really busy too, you guys, but I find stillness. I find it in pockets. I find it in the little stretches when both the boys are asleep. I find it when Bubby’s playing and Mosey’s napping during the day, and I’m sitting at the kitchen table with them, and I just close my eyes. I find it when hubby’s playing with them, and I can just go outside in the garden for a couple of minutes.
Kimberly : 29:24 And yeah, so check it out. And also I’ve been doing a weekly meditation over at Instagram @_KimberlySnyder. So you can see, I have a little Instagram IG TV series called Meditations. If you’re looking for some more tips to get started, and that’s an easy access point for you, please go check it out.
Kimberly : 29:43 “In stillness, things will come to you, things you may not understand at the time.” I love these words of Yogananda. I’m going to leave you with that. Thank you so much, Beauties, for being with me on this journey. I love you so much. I care about you so much. Keep the questions coming over at mysolluna.com. You’ll see the podcast tab where you can submit questions for our Thursday podcast. I will be back here Thursday for that next show. Till then, take care. Sending you lots and lots of love.