As we head into fall away from the beach and back to school and work we shift our focus from being outdoors a lot to more indoor time. A few simple shifts can help your body adjust to to fall rhythm more naturally.
Sunlight is a major factor in helping your body produce melanin which triggers the hormone melatonin in your pituitary gland regulating your circadian rhythm. Melatonin is essential for sleep but also boosts your immune system. Just 20 minutes of sunlight is necessary for the benefit effects. Early morning sun is the most beneficial. Getting up out in the am just for 30 minutes before you start your work day will have significant benefits. Sunlight aids the body in producing Vitamin D3 which is essential for a healthy immune system. If you are working from home give yourself an extra 30 minutes to get outside before you sit down to work. If you are heading into the office and walking is an option to get to work, choose this as your transportation, you are not only getting the benefits of sunlight but also getting in some exercise as well.
Immune Boosting Foods
Eating healthy foods with vitamin C such as limes, oranges, and clementines are essential to fighting off infections. Garlic, onion, ginger, and spinach are also on top of this list for building a healthy immune system. Also eating seasonal vegetables and fruits such as apples, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, crab apples, cranberries, and turnips. Check out some local fall farmers markets for inspiration and local organic vegetables. We are also shifting into soup season. Try lighter soups, with vegetables and beans with lots of onions and garlic. In addition, add bone broth to meals for added immunity. There are many high quality bone broths available today at most markets. Just make sure you chose an organic option and packaged in glass or BPA-Free container. Pumpkin is also a great option, it is high in vitamins and minerals and very high in beta-carotene. Skip the canned pumpkin and opt for fresh options.
As the sun begins to go down earlier this can easily throw off your natural circadian rhythm. Try to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Get to bed earlier and no electronics before bed. Reading or a guided meditation are your best options for a good night's sleep. In addition, adding in epsom salts baths with some lavender before bed is super helpful. The sulfate and magnesium in the epsom salts will also help with detoxing and relieving joint pain flair ups as the cooler fall months approach us.
September for me is the start to a new year. One of the best ways for me is to plan my health goals, business goals and personals goals is through journaling. The power of manifestation begins with a thought. This can start with an image in your mind, but I find the power of journaling and writing down our health goals as well as other goals is the first step for change. It is also super helpful to revisit these goals every morning or weekly to keep you on track.
It’s hard to believe it’s that time already! The summer is such a an amazing time to rest, relax and recharge from the year. Back to school is always an exciting and high energy time. As kids get back into the school year the goal is to keep them healthy, happy and productive. Kids today have so many after school commitments as well, it is easy for kids to get run down.
Here’s what I recommend. The first thing on my list is a high quality children’s probiotic. Do not use an adult probiotic, it should specifically be for children. Probiotics not only supports gut health but research shows probiotic also boosts immunity as well. In 2018 a double blind study done found that probiotic aided in supporting upper respiratory infections was more successful then placebo. * What we know is that gut health also effects the overall wellness and balance of the body. If gut is healthy our bodies are more likely to be able to fight off infections we encounter. This is especially true for children. Children spend most of their day in classrooms in close contact with other children, germs are spread across surfaces and thought the air. Although hand washing is essential we can’t always depend on this during the day when are not there to remind kids.
Next on my list is Vitamin D3. During the summer months kids are outside getting Vitamin D3 naturally from the sun. In the fall and winter the exposure to the sun will be more limited. Not only does Vitamin D3 help with the absorption of calcium in the body which is essential in adults and children, it also aids with bolstering the immune system. Research has found a deficiency in vitamin D3 is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection. *
A staple in our herbal medicine chest is Gan Mao Ling. Gan Mao Ling is a Chinese medicine formula consisting of, Gang mei gen, San cha ku, Huang jing, Ban lan gen and Jin yin hua. This is one of my go to herbal formulas at the onset of a cold or flu for myself and my children. It should always be in your herbal medicine chest. I will even use this formula if I feel my children or I have been exposed to someone who is sick, as a preventative. As with all herbs use a high quality brand which ensures good manufacturing practices and a company that tests for the quality of the herbs. One of my favorites is made by Plum Flower brand.
Meditation /mindfulness and breadth Work are techniques kids can readily use to for a much needed “mental break”. Adolescents today face a host of challenges that previous generations did not. The rise of the digital age, the increasing competition in education, a rise in peer pressure and the burden to succeed in an ever competitive environment. Children today are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety, stress and depression. According to the City of New York office of the Mayor, in New York City’s 1 in 5 adult New Yorkers is likely to experience a mental health disorder in any given year and a staggering 73,000 NYC public high school students report feeling sad or hopeless each month. Meditation calms the nervous system and decreases stress hormones in the body. Studies have shown benefits for gastrointestinal symptoms, obesity, headaches, high blood pressure, pain sensitivity, and immune function. A trial of 300 urban middle-schoolers using school-based mindfulness instruction led to improved psychological functioning and lower levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
Although guided meditation and having a meditation teacher is invaluable it is also very effective to download a free app and get started. This way kids are able to access the meditation anytime they feel like they need a break! I like, Insight timer and Clam.
Lets not forget moms and dads. I found meditating with my girls is a great way to get them meditating and have some claiming together time.
One of my new favorite things for kids is, Bee Propolis Spray. Propolis is a well know immune system enhancer. Propolis is from the sap on needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When the bees combine the sap with their own discharges and beeswax, a sticky, greenish-brown product used as a coating to build their hives, which is propolis. Propolis from different areas of the world will have a different chemical constitutes bases on the flowers and trees the bees have access to and thus different health benefits. Propolis contains flavonoids which have antioxidant properties. Propolis and its extracts have numerous applications in treating various diseases due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antimycotic, anti-fungal, anti-ulcer, anticancer, and immunomodulatory properties. Propolis also contains vitamins, such as vitamins such as, B1, B2, B6, C, and E and useful minerals such as magnesium (Mg), calcium, potassium, sodium, copper, zinc , manganese, and iron. *
I find clinically the throat spray to be very effective in fighting off streptococcus virus in children and teens. Some children are more prone to strep occurrence and re occurrence. I have found this to be very helpful in prevention and even treating Strep Throat. The brand I love is, Beekeeper Naturals, Propolis Throat Spray.