Imagine this: You and your family survive the holiday season without illness. I know you’re thinking that sounds too good to be true, especially if you have kids like we do. With all the little snotty nosed cousins running around and your uncle Bill (whose hand washing practices have always been suspect) giving everyone a merry christmas handshake, your body stands very little chance of escaping exposure to a myriad of viruses. Then there’s the food being picked over all day and still sitting on the table 8 hours later... a paradise for bacteria! Couple this with lack of sleep, increased stress, and improper hydration (Wisconsinites- beer doesn’t count) and you’re looking at the perfect storm that could lay you up for half of January.
So, how are you going to avoid it? Simple. Quarantine. Stay locked in your house and don’t let anyone in or out for 4-6 weeks.
As appealing as quarantine may sound to many of you, it’s probably unrealistic. In that case, the best defense is a good offense. By boosting your immune system before encountering germs you stand a much better chance of escaping unscathed. Think about a military battle. The attacking general usually holds the advantage of knowing when the attack will occur and therefore planning accordingly. It would be foolish of him to engage an enemy without having his troops well equipped and backup troops in position. Your body is no different and you are the commanding officer. Stock up on water before partaking in holiday spirits and eat highly nutritious foods leading up to the celebrations. This will help you in two ways. First, you won’t feel as guilty when you give in to the delicious treats surrounding you and second, your body will be primed to fight any microscopic invaders before they take the beachhead.
Here’s a short list of immunity boosting and nutrient dense foods:
Kale, Kefir, Yogurt, Garlic, Bone Broth, Shitake or Oyster Mushrooms, Liver, any true Fermented Foods, Avocado, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Cabbage, Wheatgrass, Berries, Sprouts, and Microgreens.
* Keep in mind that the source of these foods matter so look for organic, grassfed, or pastured products.
It just so happens that Pine Grove Pastures’ Microgreens will be available beginning this week at Nelson’s County Market in Tomahawk and Golden Harvest in Rhinelander. How’s that for a shameless plug?
Seriously though, take care of yourself and your family this holiday season. With a little bit of forethought and a healthy diet you can avoid being sick and miserable and still enjoy the festivities.
Have a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season,