It’s the middle of winter, for those of us in the northern hemisphere.
And most people are all like…
The cold can actually be invigorating if you’re well equipped. But many have a hard time even accepting chilly weather (let alone enjoying it.)
Why? Because this time of year also goes hand in hand with people getting sick. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Too many people are simply not willing to take responsibility for their own well-being.
People blame the weather for not feeling well. They blame the cold. They blame their genetics. They blame their co-workers. They do everything imaginable to avoid taking responsibility for their own health. That’s willingly giving your power away, in exchange for a life of perpetual victimhood and ill-health. Well, fuck that, let’s take our power back. You don’t have to fall victim to “cold season,” “flu season,” or any season that doesn’t consist of you exploding with awesomeness.
I personally haven’t been sick in years. I’m not a superhero (not yet at least). I wasn’t born with superior anti-sickness genetics. What keeps me feelin’ good, feelin’ great is the habits I’ve included in my lifestyle. I refuse to let my well-being be a slave to external factors, and that’s one of the most empowering things you can do.
So here’s a list some things I’ve included in my lifestyle that help keep me from getting sick:
1. Drink water – Actually, drink A LOT of water. Always. Water is kiiinda crucial for survival, you know. And if you’re dehydrated, a lot of things go wrong. This one is obvious, but always needs repeating. Staying hydrated is mandatory for any state of good health. I chug a glass of water (with some apple cider vinegar) first thing every morning. And I always drink tons of water throughout the day.
Note: Tap water (in the US) contains flouride, and plastic bottled waters contain BPA’s. Both are bad news for the body (That’s beyond the scope of this article, but feel free to do your own research if you’re interested). So some good alternatives are filters that remove flouride (I use this), glass bottled waters, or natural spring water that you bottle yourself.
+Check out this interview for an in-depth look at water, hydration, and health.
2. Cold showers – Cold showers come with tons of benefits, one being increased immune function. I start my showers with warm/hot water, and I switch to cold water halfway. It’s a lot easier to do this than just jumping in a cold shower. You can start by just turning the water cold for the last 30 seconds of your shower. As you start to love it (you will), you’ll naturally add more and more time under cold water. Cold showers wake you up LIKE WHOA too. It’s my secret weapon to starting the day off right.
+Read more about the benefits of cold showers here.
3. Apple cider vinegar – The benefits of apple cider vinegar are endless. And most of the benefits involve both preventing and curing sickness. I put it in water. I put it in tea. I add it to salads. When in doubt, bust the ACV out.
+8 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
+15 Reasons to Use Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day
4. Vitamin D – Vitamin D is critical for the immune system. Supplementing with Vitamin D is probably the single most important thing you can do to stay healthy during the winter. I take 5,000 IU every morning, and I get a lot more from cod liver oil as well.
+Why Vitamin D is Better than ANY Vaccine and Improves Your Immune System by 3-5 Times
5. Coconut oil – Coconut oil is my panacea. It’s antibacterial and anti-microbial, making it perfect for keeping sickness at bay. I cook with coconut oil, put it in coffee, and include it in a lot of recipes. I also do something called oil pulling every morning. I just swish coconut oil around in my mouth and pull it between my teeth for a few minutes. Oil pulling is so effective because it rids the mouth of bacteria. The mouth tends to harbor a lot of bacteria, which can be taxing on the immune system, so this frees the body up to more easily optimize itself.
+Coconut Oil & the Immune System
+10 Facts About Coconut Oil
+Why You Should Start Oil Pulling Today
6. Greens powder – Aka nutritional insurance. Most greens powders are packed with vitamins, minerals, and condensed superfoods that will undoubtedly strengthen immunity (among many other benefits), keeping you healthy and energized. What I do is drink a glass of greens powder mixed with water every day, while in a fasted state, right before my first meal to ensure maximum nutrient absorption.
+This is my favorite greens powder.
7. Maintaining good gut health – Many people just don’t realize how important gut health is. At least 80% of the immune system is directly related to gut health. A lot of health experts say that everything starts with the gut, and that couldn’t be more on point.
Here’s what I do (and don’t do) to maintain optimal gut health:
Do’s: Eat fermented foods (like sauerkraut), supplement with probiotics and/or digestive enzymes, and eat real food (sorry pop-tarts).
Don’t’s: Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed food compromises gut health and creates all kinds of bodily dysfunction. Limit processed foods, and you’ll allow you’re immune system to optimize. Avoid antibiotics unless you really, really need it. Antibiotics kill healthy gut flora, leaving you with sub-par gut health and a compromised immune system (I elaborate on this below).
+80 Percent of Your Immune System is Located in Your Digestive Tract
8. GO (Garlic and Onions) – Both garlic and onions are well-known for staving off many forms of ill health. And for good reason. They work like a charm. I eat garlic and onions with every meal. And recently, my sister’s boyfriend shook off a cold within hours by eating a few cloves of garlic. The GO combo works, plus it’ll keep vampires away.
+Garlic, The Immune System Booster
+Are Onions Good for Your Immune System?
9. Herbs and spices on everything – All herbs and spices are immensely beneficial to health. The more you use, the more optimized you’ll be. Some immune boosting herbs and spices I use every day are turmeric, oregano, ginger, black pepper and parsley. As my motto goes, “Turmeric… I put that on errthang.”
+The Benefits of Turmeric
+Spicing Up Your Immune System
+6 Health Benefits of Parsley
10. Short-term intermittent fasting (daily) – Short-term fasting allows the body to repair cells (a process called autophagy) instead of constantly devoting energy to digestion. I don’t eat anything until lunch time, so I usually spend 15-16 hours a day without food . I’ll have coconut oil in my coffee (at 10-11am) most days though. Because a fun fact is that you can get all of the benefits of fasting by just ingesting pure fat, hence the coconut oil coffee as “breakfast.” (Read more about that here.)
+Natural Cures: Fasting
+Leangains (tons of great info on intermittent fasting)
11. Alcohol-hacking – Alcohol causes dehydration and depletes your vitamin stores (among a bunch of other negative effects depending on the amount). That’s why it’s crucial to be especially on point with keeping your immune system strong while indulging in the spirit. A night out drinking can easily turn into a bad hangover with a lingering cold. The protocol linked below will help you to avoid that fate and stay feelin good, feelin great.
+The Bulletproof Exec: Alcohol Without the Hangover
When gettin’ my drank on, I always apply the Vitamin C/NAC part of the protocol (Step 2). And the morning after, I do a short fast and drink TONS of water until I start feeling hungry again (which is usually in the early afternoon). This makes me feel 1,000 times better than when I would wake up and shove food in my face. Just some food (or lack thereof) for thought.
12. Limiting consumption of grains – The consumption of grains (and really anything with gluten in it) is linked with all kinds of bodily dysfunction. Too many to list them all. But regarding getting sick, grains cause digestive problems (remember the importance of gut health?) as well as autoimmune reactions (like allergies). One thing I’ve noticed is that ever since I started avoiding grains on a regular basis, I don’t get seasonal allergies. I’m like MC Hammer to allergies these days, they can’t touch me.
+The Awful Truth About Eating Grains
PS – Don’t be fooled by the “whole wheat is healthy” propaganda. It’s not healthy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. And, in general, grains today are far different from the grains of ancient times. I highly recommend reading the book “Wheat Belly” for an extensive look into the health effects of grains.
13. Avoiding over-the-counter meds (and antibiotics unless completely necessary) – Don’t take meds unless you really need to. They only cover-up symptoms and suppress the immune system. Antibiotics destroy gut flora, including the good kind (There’s that gut health connection again). So if you have sub-optimal gut health, you’re setting yourself up for disaster in the form of perpetual sickness. This is why if you do have to take antibiotics, it’s crucial to supplement with probiotics to restore healthy gut flora. And have you noticed that everyone who regularly takes over-the-counter meds are the ones who are always sick? Hmm.
And here’s a crucial point to understand:
“There is a common perception that if you’re coughing, sneezing or have a low-grade fever, you must take a medication to get rid of it. In reality, coughing and sneezing are tools your body uses to get rid of viruses and irritants, and fever also helps to kill bacteria and viruses.” –Anti-Fever Drugs May Prolong Flu
+The high price of antibiotic use: can our guts ever fully recover?
14. Avoiding flu shots – Don’t believe the hype. They’re repeatedly proven to be ineffective, potentially dangerous, and they’re just unnecessary. There are so many far better approaches to staying healthy; with no appointments, no needles, no heavy metals and no side effects.
+Flu Vaccine And Its Side Effects
15. Let the immune system work its magic – Go outside, breath the fresh air, get dirty. Exposing yourself to germs on a regular basis keeps your immune system functioning as it should. Sanitizing everything leaves the immune system dormant, so it can’t handle it when there’s a real threat. This is especially important for kids in developing a well-functioning immune system, in my opinion.
And on the other side of the spectrum, if your immune system is perpetually overwhelmed, it obviously won’t be able to work as it should either. If you’re assaulting your body with foreign toxins from pop-tarts (sorry again pop-tarts), stressing about your job 24/7, and not sleeping enough, your body will have a lot of trouble fighting off anything.
Another point is that if your gut health (again!) is messed up, your body starts exhibiting extreme reactions…
Abnormalities in your immune system—such as allergies and autoimmune diseases—are a common outcome of GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), as about 85 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. When your gut flora is abnormal, your gut lining begins to deteriorate, since it is actively maintained by your gut flora. The beneficial bacteria in your gut make sure the cells that line your entire digestive tract are healthy, well-fed, and protected from chemical or microbial attacks. But as your gut lining deteriorates, the junctions between the cells open up, causing your gut to become porous, or “leaky.” According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who discovered GAPS:
“It becomes like a sieve, and foods don’t get the chance to be digested properly before they are absorbed. They’re absorbed in this maldigested or partially broken down form. When the immune system and the bloodstream finds them and looks at them, it doesn’t recognize them as food. It says, ‘You’re not food. I don’t recognize you,’ and it reacts to them. It creates immune complexes, which attack these partially digested proteins. As a result, we’ll get all sorts of symptoms in your body.”
+When Food Turns Deadly
16. Adequate sleep – Sleep is the ultimate recovery mechanism. It’s crucial for everything health-related, especially staying immune to sickness.
+Sleep and Immune Function
+New links between sleep deprivation, immune system discovered
+How Sleeping Can Affect Your Immune System
17. Don’t stress – Everyone knows how bad continuous stress is on the body. It also suppresses the immune system. Learn to let go. Make lifestyle changes to release constant stress. Some of the best stress relievers are yoga, meditation, deep breathing, laughing, smiling, exercise, walking, and most importantly having FUN!
Pretty much every article on here addresses this issue too, so check out the archives 🙂
+Stress Weakens The Immune System
18. Self-brainwashing for vibrant health – One of the reasons I don’t get sick is because I tell myself I don’t get sick. Successful people brainwash themselves for success; unsuccessful people brainwash themselves for victimhood. You see this all the time, the people who are always sick always talk about how they’re sick. They personally identify with being sick. So their thoughts, emotions, and actions become a breeding ground for sickness. Like David Icke said, “A victim mentality creates a victim reality.”
“Thoughts give rise to neuropeptides and chemical reactions which produce physiological results…in the mind-body connection every change in the mental-emotional state causes a change in body physiology and…energy manifesting into physical matter. Feelings are chemical. They can kill or cure.” -Candace Pert, PhD
“What controls the composition of your blood, and therefore the fate of your cells? …signals from the environment…interpreted by the mind… The brain releases chemistry into the blood that controls cell behavior and genetic activity. If you change your belief and perception, you can change the chemistry of your blood and create your own biology.” -Bruce Lipton, PhD
You are what you think.
+The Placebo Effect: Transforming Biology With Belief
+Does Consciousness Create Reality? The Double Slit Experiment
+Scientific Proof That Thoughts & Intentions Have The Power To Alter The Physical World Around Us
+Emoto’s Water Experiment: The Power of Thoughts
2 fantastic books, if you’re interested in how thoughts and emotions manifest in the physicality:
+You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
+The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
So there you have it.
Implement some of these, and your immunity will be stronger than Mariusz Pudzianowski after taking too much pre-workout.
Implement all of these, and you’ll use your would-be-sick days from work to fly around the world with a cape on.
(But really though, you’ll never get sick and feel great 24/7.)
Stop being a sickly little victim.
Hop back into the driver’s seat of your well-being, and head straight to awesomeland.
Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.