Mmmmmmm…..Pumpkin Spice. There are two kinds of Fall people in my opinion: Those who LOVE everything pumpkin and those who do NOT. I sit very firmly as Mayor of the “Those Who Love Everything Pumpkin” Camp! I start waiting for all the pumpkin things at the beginning of August. I get antsy for cooler weather and cinnamon and nutmeg and clove in the air. My second favorite holiday is Halloween (my first is most definitely CHRISTMAS!!!!). I just love pumpkins and scarecrows and cinnamon apples and cider and leaves turning beautiful colors and everything Fall!
Here is what I don’t love about the cooler months, though: goopy noses and hacky lungs! All that cooler weather tends to drive people inside and while the warmth is good for the bones, it is also a nice breeding ground for all kinds of cooties. Yuck! So why are we even talking about this now? It’s not even quite Fall – in Texas that means we still have a good couple of months of 80-90 (even 100!) degree weather and lots of outdoor time left before the real cold starts to hit. But now is really the best time to be talking about being prepared for the colder months! Now is the time for you to be stocking up on your winter wellness tools, building your immune system for what may come, controlling what you can control within your environment and learning more about ways to support your health and practice prevention as opposed to reacting to crises later on.
So, here are the things my family and I are doing to get ready for those cooler months:
1.) Garbage In, Garbage Out
It’s true. What we put in our bodies is just as important as what we put on our bodies. Our environment can have a huge impact on our immune systems as our body’s natural defense system is taxed trying to eliminate toxins from the air we breathe, the products absorbed into our skin and the foods we eat. Picture it this way: A car engine can run smoothly and efficiently with proper maintenance and the right amount of fuel. But every 3 months or so, you need to have an oil change, top off fluids, check internal parts for wear and tear, etc. If you do those things and feed your car with good quality fuel, it will run well for years and years and years! But now imagine a car that uses the cheapest, fastest to get to gas possible no matter the quality. This car’s owner rarely changes the oil and is always forgetting to top of fluids or check internal parts. On top of that, this car is driven daily in stop and go traffic for hours. Then this car carts around about 400 tiny humans to various practices and piano lessons and finally limps home at the end of the day exhausted and worn out. If we think about those cars from our example being our bodies, then the fuel is the type of food we eat. The regular maintenance is exercise and regular detoxification practices. The stop and go traffic and running around to various activities is much like the added stress we put bodies through by over-extending ourselves and exposing ourselves to unnecessary toxins. What ends up happening is our bodies become so stressed that our immune systems either fizzle out completely because it can only fight off so many attackers or it goes into super “Hulk Beast Mode” and smashes everything in sight – good or bad. This is when your body’s warning flares start shooting off left and right trying to get you to notice the problem. Symptoms are a message from your body to HELP! Understanding this and educating ourselves on how the body works helps us to better prepare for what we need to be doing to support it.
2.) Know Better, Do Better
Now that we understand WHAT stresses our bodies, we can make better choices. I am the queen of poor choices when it comes to healthy decisions. I can justify a handful of chocolate chips like nobody’s business! I can legitimately explain away why I simply didn’t have time to work out even though I have a perfectly good gym membership with plenty of available hours to accommodate my chaos. I am definitely right there in the trenches with you on this one! But I am making baby steps and as long as I keep moving forward, that’s what really counts. Now that I better understand the role food should play for my body, I make an effort to make better choices (turns out cookies and a snack size bag of beef jerky for lunch won’t really get you through the day!). I also recognize that what I allow in my environment really does matter. Cheaper is definitely not better. That goes for my skin care, beauty care, personal care, cleaning, oral care and even pet care products. If I want my immune system to be functioning on all cylinders (like how I tied that back into the car example from earlier???) I have got to stop making it work overtime filtering out and dealing with all the junk that doesn’t belong there. The same goes for my kids (and my husband – even if he doesn’t like kale) because not only do I not want to teach them my bad habits, but I also don’t want to set them up for failure. So we read lables. We educate ourselves about ingredients in our toothpaste and shampoo and body wash and even our laundry soap (there is a whole other post about the chemicals your skin absorbs from laundry products that never get washed out!) and dish soap and what we clean with. We have learned about alternative solutions that allow us to get stuff done without taxing our bodies unnecessarily. It’s pretty liberating when you think about it – freedom to choose! We are slaves to the limited options no more!
3.) Cleanse and Support
Now that we know better and try to do better, we are on the right track for a stronger and healthier immune system. We could wait until our systems clear the gunk out of our bodies on their own, as long as those systems are not so clogged up they are stagnate and incapable of cleansing. But that could take years in some cases and frankly, I am not that patient. So for us, we choose to cleanse and help our systems along in that process. It is recommended to do a cleanse (however you choose to do so) every 3 or 4 months – most people do them quarterly. Why so often? Isn’t it just a one and done kind of thing? Now that you know better, you do better so you won’t be putting those terrible things in your system anymore, right?!? My prayer is that you have better self control than I do! Because then you won’t have to worry about when you fall off the wagon and emotionally eat. Or you get too busy for reading labels and totally missed that your favorite shampoo changed formulas. Or maybe you live in a bubble and simply don’t come into contact with any other people, or their kids, and you never go outside or drive a car or live in a neighborhood that does regular mosquito spraying? The thing is, we can’t control everything in our environment. That’s why cleansing our bodies frequently can make a big difference in how efficient they run.
The second part of this is supporting our natural defense processes. Even if we are eating all the right foods and getting plenty of intentional movement in our lives, we may be lacking in key nutrients and vitamins. Either the source or quality of our food is lacking, or the way it was prepared diminishes the nutritional content. Or we are simply missing portions in our diet that we didn’t know we were missing. If you are not getting the right kind of nutrients from your diet, or you are simply not absorbing them, then you body is having to work double time to pick up the slack. It will even leach nutrients from other parts of your body depending on what you are deficient in. You also signal to your body that it is in a stage where it is preparing for long term lack (kind of like the concept of bears stocking up their storehouse for hibernation). What then happens is your body starts to store everything it thinks it will need rather than use it. There are a number of ways you can support your body and boost your immune function without having to forage for greens in an exotic and foreign land!
4.) Gather Your Tool Kit
We have talked about a number of the why’s and how’s, but now let’s talk about the what’s…the things you need to have in your toolkit to help you with these wellness strategies!
- Our family made an effort to be completely (as much as possible!) toxin-free in our home last year. We made it a point to even do what we can to control the things we can control outside of our home as well. So yes, I am the crazy, crunchy mom who brings her own supplies everywhere we go. BUT I don’t do it because I love to cart around a small suitcase. I do it because I care about my family. But that goes deeper still. I overhauled everything in our home. I started with the cleaning products we used. Did you know you can replace pretty much everything under your kitchen sink with one bottle of Thieves Household Cleaner? Not only are you saving a TON of money that way by not having to buy 42 different products, but it’s plant based and all natural and I am telling you it smells AMAZING! I literally open the bottle and just sniff it. And I can…because I am not inhaling toxic fragrances or harsh chemicals when I do that. There aren’t any! Plus I have the power of THIEVES at my disposal. I am cleaning everything in sight with my Thieves Household Cleaner and I don’t have to worry about unwanted micro-organisms anymore!
- Between Thieves Dishsoap, Thieves Laundry Soap, Thieves Dishwasher Detergent, Thieves Foaming Hand Soap and Thieves Spray and Thieves Hand Purifier I have my kids, myself, my husband, my pets and my house covered from top to bottom. I no longer have to worry about absorbing harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances into my skin from what is left on my clothes from washing. I have a highly effective and all natural solution for that in my Thieves Laundry Soap. Thieves Dishsoap does a great job helping me to pre-clean my dishes – am I the only one who is perpetually scraping burnt food off the bottom of pans??? – but it is also an effective cleaning aid for a lot of other things. This morning I took marker off my daughter’s face with the Thieves Dishsoap. And again, I don’t have to even think about what is in it that shouldn’t be on her delicate face! Combining the Thieves blend of essential oils with the plant based formula of these products means my house is detoxed, cleansed and a safe haven for us even during the cold winter months! (I am doing an online class all about products in your home that you need to Ditch & Switch! Come check that out to learn more!)
- Prevention is key – as we have already discussed! So I keep a “wellness sidekick” ready to go. My kids get a swipe of the roller bottle blend I made up along their spines everyday before school. I swipe my neck (I can’t really reach my whole spine!) and sometimes I will even swipe under my toes (google “vitaflex points”). If we feel like something is ramping up to take us down, we apply more frequently. By applying our blend BEFORE we fall below the wellness line, we are increasing our body’s frequency and making it impossible for micro-organisms to thrive. Because essential oils are not created the same every time (weather conditions, soil conditions, the way the wind blew that day all affect how the plant grows. You can learn more on that at www.seedtoseal.com) critters cannot adapt to them. Therefore, applying frequently and regularly helps to build up an environment that is not conducive for a good breeding ground. The oils we like to use in our wellness roller are: Thieves, Oregano, Lemon, Frankincense and ImmuPower. I mix them up in an empty bottle, add in a carrier oil and pop a roller fitment top on. BAM! Instant immune support!
- Supplementation can really help, too! The first thing we do to support our bodies is drink Ningxia Red every day. Ningxia Red is a whole-fruit puree that is packed with vitamins and nutrients your body needs. The main ingredient (and it’s namesake) is the Ningxia Wolfberry. You may have heard people talk about Goji berries? The wolfberry is very similar. It is sourced from Ningxia, China and is a powerhouse of antioxidants. The essential oils in the Ningxia Red help to cleanse the body and cell receptors, making it more likely that your body will actually absorb and use the nutrients you give it. Once again we are back to cleaning out the gunk and supporting with the good stuff! I drink 2 ounces of Ningxia Red everyday. It is my “morning” drink instead of other typical morning options. Not only do I get a nice level energy boost from it, but I don’t get the lingering cons of other morning options. I usually mix it with some coconut water and a little bit of stevia (it has some sweet in it already and is really pretty good on its own, but I find when I add the coconut water, it needs a little sweet boost!) and I fill the rest of my glass with water. Yum! (If you are local and would like to learn more about Ningxia Red, please join my class here)
- On days when we may need an extra boost we add in Super C chewables and ImmuPro or Longevity in to the mix. Multi Greens is another really great supplement for nutritional support. Essentialzyme and Essentialzyme-4 are huge in helping to support proper digestion – a big factor in immune function. Life-5 Probiotics and our selection of Kids Mightyvites or adults Master Formula daily multivitamins are great preventatives also.
- Diffusing is vital for us to protect our environment and also support our wellness. We have a diffuser in every room. At night we diffuse oils to help promote restful sleep (sleep is a huge component in maintaining wellness!) and during the day we diffuse oils to help purify our air and provide emotional, therapeutic and focused support. Sometimes, though, I just diffuse something because it smells so good! I still get the benefit of the essential oils in the air and through inhalation so it’s a win win! We especially like to diffuse during homework time to help promote an environment conducive to concentration and learning. Or when we have a house full of guests (like during the holidays!) to help purify the air! Often times during the day we are diffusing Thieves, RC, Dorado Azul, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, etc to help support our proper respiratory function. Cleansing the stagnant air that tends to be an issue during the colder months is just as important as your daily vitamin or swipe of oils!
- Always be prepared! You can’t use what you don’t have! Don’t wait for a need to arise to get what you need. Especially when you have to order it. We keep our “winter wellness” tools well stocked even before the winter weather hits. If you haven’t already, start stocking up now so you can be prepared and ready to go should a need hit unexpectedly – cause that’s generally hot those things tend to work.
If you are not already a Young Living Member, this is a great month to get started! The Thieves Starter Kit has you covered for most of your winter wellness tool kit PLUS this month only, if you are a new member enrolling with one of our Premium Starter Kits, you will also get a FREE bottle of Thieves Laundry Soap! This is not a sample size bottle. This is a FULL SIZED bottle that gets you at least 64 loads (I got 87 loads out of my first bottle – I stopped counting after that!). You also get the 24% discount and access to targeted and customized support from me and my team of leaders and users. Plus I have a whole bag full of goodies and reference materials to get you started on the right foot! Check out the Premium Starter Kit options here! Also, this month’s promos for new and current members with qualifying orders are perfect for supporting wellness goals. You can learn more about the promotion for this month here. Take note, the Oregano I was talking about earlier could be your for free this month!
What are some of your favorite ways to stay above the wellness line during those winter months? I’d love to hear your suggestions and feedback!