This year has been pretty brutal with regards to the flu, bronchitis, the stomach bug… you name it and we know someone who has had it. The news is covered with stories on the latest area to be stricken. Schools with low attendance, workplaces with hand sanitizer stations just inside every entrance, and grocery store shelves empty where tissue boxes, cough syrups, and fever reducers used to be. The waiting rooms in all of the urgent care clinics in our area are filled with people suffering from these awful illnesses.
I am so thankful that we have had an unusually healthy Fall and Winter season in our household this year. I can remember a time when our youngest had strep throat almost every Thanksgiving. Yes, I mean on Thanksgiving. It never failed. If we were supposed to be going out-of-town, he would get sick the day before. Bless his heart. He would spend the day on the couch with a bowl, a washcloth, and a cup of Gatorade. It seemed every Fall our two youngest would get the sniffles and the stuffy nose and congestion would just stay with them almost all Winter long. Not really sick, but not really healthy or well either. I remember one Valentine’s Day, I had already been sick for about a month and had an asthma type attack at work. I had to leave and go to the doctor. I had developed Bronchitis and was prescribed an inhaler and other meds. The last couple of years has been remarkably calm for our family and again – I am so very thankful.
So what changed? Have we just been lucky this year? Extra blessed? I don’t think that’s it. I thought this would be a good place to just think about and write down the changes we have been making over the last couple of years and how I believe they have helped and maybe how they might help you, too. These are the big things that I believe have helped our family stay above the wellness line, so to speak.
We try to limit the amount of sugar we consume. Excess sugar depresses immunity. Now, don’t get me wrong. We still ordered Girl Scout cookies. We aren’t crazy! We just watch the amount of sugar we consume and cut it out where we can. I use raw Stevia in my coffee, for example. I don’t drink coffee every day because it has a tendency to make me too acidic. When our bodies are too acidic, disease can take root.
My son now drinks non fluoridated water and uses non fluoridated toothpaste. We have been trying to reduce as much inflammation in his body and brain as we can. This has proven, for us, to help him tremendously. We also use aluminum free deodorant for the same reason. We try to eat less inflammatory foods, such as dairy, grains, and soy. Reducing things that cause inflammation in the body has been key.
My family started using essential oils last April. We began that journey when our daughter had a severe eczema flare and nothing else we tried helped. As a result of venturing into the world of essential oils we stumbled upon a super fruit drink called Ningxia Red. It is a highly concentrated blend of super fruits, the wolfberry, and essential oils. It helps support the immune system and is high in nutrients and anti-oxidants. This has been a game changer for our family. I will post another article on how this has helped our autistic son tremendously.
The last thing I believe that has helped us stay above the wellness line is the reduction in the use of toxins in our home. I used to love to burn candles. I was unaware of the dangerous chemicals released into the air when burning candles. Most candles are made of paraffin wax, which emits highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned. We have stopped using aerosol sprays that contain highly toxic chemicals like regular household cleaners. The ingredients in some widely used disinfectant cleaners are highly toxic and can disrupt our endocrine and respiratory systems. We are still in the process of replacing our cleaning supplies with non-toxic ones that won’t harm our bodies.
Now, I know that even doing all of this doesn’t make it impossible for us to get sick. I just hope that by making these changes we stay healthy more often. Each of these changes are simple, but I believe they add up. As we eat healthier and take vitamins and supplements that strengthen our immune systems and rid our homes of as many toxic chemicals as possible, we get stronger and healthier. Praying that you find all the things that help you and your family stay healthy, too.