Prevent the Flu Naturally.
- Are you tired of all the hype about cold and flu season coming on?
- How do you feel about flu shots?
- What do you think about the over-priced supplements that claim to radically boost immunity, but don't live up to expectations?
- Is it confusing to sort through the facts from the fiction about preventing colds and flu?
For me, every year as Fall arrived, I'd often wonder what would happen during the Winter. I'd ask myself, "Will I get sick once? twice? or three times?" and then I'd vaguely hope that I would only get sick once. Sound familiar at all?
Surprising but True. Not to brag too much, but my experience of trying to avoid illness in the winter is very different now. In a good way. And I can safely say that these past three years, I've been refining my routine bit by bit, and no longer get sick at all. Really. All that happens now is that two or three times per Winter, I will feel sluggish and also I'll usually feel the glands in my throat feel like they're working overtime. And then the next morning I'm fine.
Why? Because I'm implementing enough of the strategies listed below to support my immune system and the bugs I'm exposed to at home, work, and at restaurants just can't get a foothold in my system.
But here's what's even better. Because of my highly refined methods I'm just happier, and have more energy all year long. Hour by hour, day by day. And feeling top-notch is now my main inspiration with the lack of sickness as just icing on the cake!
Check out the Immune Boost Smoothie Recipe at the bottom of this blog post to learn what my partner Bronwyn and I eat for breakfast everyday. It's probably 30% of what helps us stay healthy and vibrant all year long!
Immunity Basics. Before we jump into how to stay well and be vibrant, remember what you already know about your immune system. Recall that your body has an amazing complex set of moving parts. From your body's two different inflammation response mechanisms (for acute & chronic inflammation) to your white blood cells, to your beneficial bacteria in your GI Track, your personal immunity to disease is working 24/7 to keep you healthy and strong.
What are the real causes of illness? Why do we get sick?
The first thing that pops into our heads is: germs! And yes, those exist in a very real way. But, even though germs are all around us, all the time, think about why they gain a foothold in our bodies. Why does one person get sick and another who is exposed to the exact same bugs avoid a cold? Simple: the strength of the immune systems. Most people who get ill have weak immunity due to a system that is overworked and worn down!
What weakens an immune system?
- What we eat,
- What we drink,
- What we breathe,
- The stress in our lives.
More data is being produced every year showing that a poor diet, exposure to toxins, antibiotics, poor gut health, and an imbalanced autonomic nervous system are the key factors that make us sick. And this is especially true during cold and flu season.
500,000 Years of Evolution Defeated
For hundreds of thousands of years our bodies evolved the most amazing immune system imaginable! If your white blood cell count is good, then they can eliminate invaders in your bloodstream all day and night. If you're diet is poor and your stress is high, then your white cells are too weak to do their job. If the beneficial bacteria in your gut are well propagated and strong, then they can eliminate bad bacteria before they can produce anti-nutrients and before they can get into your bloodstream.
And yet, in the last 75 years we've seen more rapid change in our lifestyles than our bodies can handle. We're all exposed to more toxins in one week than our ancestors encountered in an entire lifetime! Never before in human history was there such widespread mental and emotional stress.
And after eating whole foods for millennia, we're now in the midst of a unprecedented chapter of human history of toxic industrial agriculture, depleted soils, and overly processed "food." All these factors are creating the Obesity Epidemic, the Auto-Immune Epidemic, The Diabetes Epidemic, and the Cancer Epidemic! Not to mention the huge increase in Urinary Tract Infections, chronic ear ache, heart disease, food allergies, asthma, pollen allergy, Exzema, Psoriasis, chronic sinus infections, yeast infections, IBS, and chemical sensitivities!
What are the solutions?
- Love Yourself from within.
- Love Yourself with great food and herbs.
Here's a "Yes List" that you can use to be proactive in your health and your loved ones' well-being this Fall season.
1. Gorgeous Gut. Did you know that 80% of your immunity is tied to the health of your gastrointestinal tract? Creating a vibrant GI system is going to be one of your strongest allies when it comes to defeating diseases. Things like bitter greens, immune boosting bitter herbs, roots and medicinal mushrooms are present in Sarvaa's products. They not only bounce bad bacteria off of you like a kid's birthday balloon, but liven you up.
Cold and Flu Remedies That We're Taking Here at Sarvaa Superfood
At Sarvaa, we feel the effects every time we take our products! A high vibrational supplement like Sarvaa Gaia Greens is a pure powdered form of bitter greens and herbs that we're all taking regularly. Not only does Gaia boost our immune systems, it's our favorite way to detox toxins and inadvertently-consumed pollutants out of our bodies. Sarvaa Vibrant Biome Probiotics keep our healthy bacteria thriving, boot out the bad bacteria, and raise our immune systems to super-wow status. SuperFruit C, containing over 700% of our RDA of Vitamin C is the best immunity supplement ever! It's literally "the bomb!" Bursting onto the scene of creepy-crawlies in our guts, it not only creates a great shield of defense against bad bacteria, it nourishes all of our good cells. How can we tell? We have great skin, hair, and nails here at Sarvaa, and drum roll, please... We're able to show up to work every day. Simply put, we aren't getting sick. In fact, Sarvaa's founder hasn't been under the weather in years! Sarvaa SuperFruit C, Gaia Greens, and Vibrant Biome Probiotics are major organic immune system boosters that are safe to take every day, and all of them benefit your parasympathetic nervous system so that you can "rest and digest" (instead of being in "fight or flight") and be at peace. See our recipe below for our Immunity Smoothie that contains all three of these clean supplements!
2. Your Body is Asking You for more Micro-Nutrients!
Almost everyone gets their "Big 3 Macros" (Protein, Carbs, and Fat) but the 77 Micro-Nutrients are just as important, perhaps more important to your immune system. Micro-Nutrients include all your vitamins like Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, etc., and all your minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium, and so on. Ever notice how when someone is sick they naturally tend to eat less fat and protein? (And hopefully less refined carbs). This is usually due to the innate sense that we're all born with: we need to eat differently when we're sick. Well, guess what? That same principle applies to avoiding getting sick in the first place.
Perhaps a visual will help when you think about eating Macro-Nutrients and Micro-Nutrients. Imagine that you have a pile of all of the Macro-Nutrients that you need to consume for a week to your left. You're looking at your Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats. Now over to your right are 77 much smaller piles of your Micro-Nutrients for the week. Some of those piles, depending on the mineral or vitamin, may be as small as a grain of rice! But it's still crucial.
Size Matters. Micro-Nutrients are pretty small with colossal benefits. Probiotics are also microscopic helpers that will totally revolutionize your body from your head to your toes, and beyond! Probiotics keep your gut's microflora happy and able to process food so that you can gain as much nutrition from what you eat as much as possible. When you eat junk food or "dead food"---which we get to later in this article---the bad bacteria in your stomach and intestines begin to thrive and do damage without any benefits. Eating "live foods" that are high in probiotics and prebiotics can revolutionize your vitality, energize you, keep you going with fewer slumps, reduce allergies, reduce infections, and create amazing digestion for you. Probiotics can even help you avoid cancer. So from smaller, seasonal illnesses to life-threatening diseases, properly taking care of your gut health can not only help you live longer, but promote your quality of life while you live on!
3. Balance, Balance, Balance!
Balancing your pH levels are directly linked to a healthier immune system. There are different levels of pH within the body, and rightly so. Your stomach is going to have a lot more acidity in order to digest your food (along with your good bacteria). Your circulatory system, on the other hand, is less prone to disease if it is more alkaline than not. Here's a quick fact: The human body is more susceptible to hosting cancer if it is acidic. So alkalize, baby! A simple routine that is helpful for balancing the pH of your entire being is to drink lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with some warm water. These liquids are incredibly acidic outside of your stomach, but actually alkalize upon digestion and spread their benefits like wildfire. This not only boosts your immune system when sick, but is a tremendous preventative to getting sick.
4. Water is Life
As the weather gets colder, it's easier to forget to hydrate. Clean water is the only fluid that your body needs to keep everything in motion, from your blood circulation to eliminating waste. A lot of your immunity is dependent on getting the old toxic sludge out and allowing the joyful cells of your makeup to thrive and beat the drum of health! So fill your largest water bottle, take it with you everywhere you go, and get in the habit of drinking it until it's gone. Maybe you challenge yourself to refill it before the end of the day.
5. Sleep and Rest
Getting good sleep is perhaps the most important part of your vibrancy! You’re worth it! Remember your day starts when you go to sleep, not the next morning. Having a rested body and mind helps you to receive the benefits of your supplements. A way to prepare for your best rest every evening is to decide at what hour to stop consuming various stimulants such as caffeine, cacao, and technology.
At Sarvaa, we definitely encourage physical activity to keep away disease. By getting your breath and heart rates up, you are inviting your body to move the old out and make way for the new in every cell of your body. If an illness is trying to burrow its way into certain parts of you and make a home, increasing your blood flow and working up a good sweat will make it that much harder for a bacteria or virus to stick around. The added bonuses of exercise are all of the things you know: better mood, improved physique, and more sound sleep. At Sarvaa, we all enjoy different activities; yoga, swimming, dancing, hiking, skiing, and one of us practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!
7. Your Nervous System is Key
Your Autonomic Nervous System has two parts: the parasympathetic system that operates your "rest and digest" functioning, and the sympathetic system that manages your "flight or fight" response. Both are necessary for us to stay safe and move through our days in homeostasis. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that stimulates our sympathetic systems way more than what is truly needed causing stress, and our bodies wear thin. And then we get sick.
"Fight or flight." It's not just about social situations where there may be a conflict. Your body can receive messages from poor foods, stimulants or depressants in beverages, or aggravants in your food that trigger a stress response that something isn't right.
8. Mental and Emotional Hygiene
Thoughts and feelings are another way that you can better control how you thrive day to day. Our thoughts inform our emotions. Emotions are transient and are at the command of our thoughts. If you have negative thinking that you allow to run wild, it's going to naturally affect your mood in a poor way. If you change the tone of the story to something more positive, then you may begin to a feel a weight lift off of you. You nervous system appreciates this! The desire to "fight or flee" can slowly dissipate and a calmer view of reality can reveal itself. Perhaps a more accurate view of reality, at that. But please don't lie about a situation. If you say, "I'm making more money!" when you really aren't, that's not positive or helpful to anybody. But if you say, "I am open to making more money," then you are not only being truthful but are inviting monetary wealth into your life. The same if you are avoiding the flu. Saying "I'll probably get sick this season even though I don't want to" can feel hopeless and defeating. Instead try stating, "I love my body so much that my odds of getting sick are less than ever before!" And then back it up with treating your body right with live food, daily micro-nutrients, nourishing rest, and avoiding unnecessary external stressors.
Empower yourself with your actions and your thoughts! Even if you feel like the flu is coming on, be kind to yourself and remove yourself from your normal activities. And while you're away resting, don't beat yourself up mentally. Continue to be gentle and loving in your thoughts towards yourself. Remove hurtful verbiage from your internal monologue such as "slacker" or "lazy" or "weak." Instead, nurture your faster recovery by referring to yourself as "caring," "health-focused," and "conscious." You may even use the words "discerning" and "wise." Besides physical nourishment, this is some of the best treatment for the flu or a cold that you can do.
Keep Loving Yourself!
Here's an "Avoid List" that you can keep in mind as you keep blossoming forward with your "Yes List!"
1. Reduce Dietary Aggravants
Often your first priority for building your immune system strength is to cut back on all the things that dampen your immune systems functionality.
A. Scale back on white sugar, and white flour. This is the absolute most important step you can take to enhance your health and well-bing. Many of you are already doing this, so celebrate if you've got this handled.
White sugar and white flour are highly inflammatory (which create pain and stiffness throughout the body) and can add unnecessary weight to your human structure. When considering sugars of all kinds, watch out for the "Well Hidden Sugars" that are behind the scenes in fruit juices that are inherently sweet like orange juice, or in coffee drinks which incorporate lots of sugars due to the bitterness of coffee.
And when you look at foods that use flour, please be aware of the gluten factor. The flours that most people consume on a regular basis are missing all the micro-nutrients we need to thrive. And most flour is highly inflammatory to your system, and connected to congestive digestive issues. Whether you are gluten-intolerant or not, please consider that gluten is a much more difficult protein for your G.I. Tract to digest, and can add stress to your body unnecessarily.
B. Reduce your intake of "dead food." Become mindful of over-cooked, over-processed, or poorly-gown foods from soils that lack nutrients. Eat more "live" food! Live food translates as vegetables and fruits that are fresh, raw, or lightly cooked so that you are eating them more "al dente" or firmer. It also means eating foods that are grown in nutrient-dense soils.
C. Reduce or Avoid Alcohol. Especially mixed drinks like cocktails that contain sugars. If you want to drink socially but also want not weaken your immune system to much, consider small amounts of spirits like, whiskey or vodka. One idea we like is to try just a shot of tequila and the juice of a quarter of a fresh lime.
D. Cut back on the "Big 8" allergens: Wheat, Peanuts, Soy, Dairy, Eggs, Corn, Shellfish, and Tree Nuts. See if you start to feel a difference if you eat less of these. You may not be allergic to any of them. But knowledge is power, and if you feel less than stellar, have bloating & gas, skin breakouts, or headaches, etc. after consuming any of these Big 8, then you may want to further examine your eating habits around them.
E. Reduce your consumption of Restaurant Food. Sure it's fun, but consider that all but 3% of restaurants in the U.S. use toxic oils, hidden sugars, and almost no organic ingredients. But most of all statistics show that there are typically at least one or two employees who are contagious while working in the kitchen or as servers.
2. Reduce or Avoid External Stressors
Take inventory of who and what you are exposing yourself to that may have negative impacts on your overall well-being. How is media affecting you? Whether it's the news, tv shows, movies, music, social media, blogs or podcasts. What do you voluntarily and involuntarily subject your mind and body to? How are your social situations? Do you surround yourself with people who love you and support you even if they disagree with you? Or are you in "friendships" or a relationship that is made up mostly of gossip, complaining, disapproval, and cynical outlooks? In order to be proactive and healthily engaged in anything we do, from physical wellness to attitude, it is crucial to keep loving, mindful company as often as possible. This includes your own company! Your nervous system will love you for it, your immune system will gift you back for it. "Be the change that you wish to see in the world," stated Mahatma Gandhi. At Sarvaa, we also encourage you to start from within.
3. Your Immune System and your bank account.
Too many withdrawals and not enough deposits will weaken your financial strength. Be absolutely sure that you're making at least two deposits for every withdrawal. It's basic math. The same is applicable to your health. If you are apt to consuming junk food, dead food, or beverages with detriments that outweigh their benefits, then you may want to eat or drink twice that amount in nutrition that serves your well-being.
4. Is an ounce of prevention really worth a pound of cure?
Yes! Think about your experience over the years. Often once you're sick, all you can do is shorten the illness a little bit. And even then, you don't really know if it just ran it's course, or if all your tactics to get back to health actually made a big difference.
But eating well and living a healthy lifestyle is exactly the opposite in a positive way! Unless you have documentation of how much your doctor and pharmaceutical bills cost you last year, you'll never really know how many ailments you are avoiding this year by taking on a few helpful habits and routines. And in a way, isn't that a relief! You won't be able to tally up how many thousands of dollars and dozens of hours you saved by being healthy instead of dealing with illnesses. Live your life without giving your energy to a cold or the flu!
5. How the Sarvaa team avoids colds and flu naturally.
Everything mentioned in this blog is put to the test by Sarvaa's busy staff. Following the above guidelines can help you too! But what if you can't do it all? That's okay! Just do what you can. Enjoy your unique process!
We love eating mostly live food, drinking plenty of pure water, getting the best exercise and sleep we can, and getting most of our Micro-Nutrients from potent Sarvaa products. Our lives are bustling, and we have our share of stress and hardships, but our adrenals and nervous systems are able to handle it because of all the great Superfoods we eat.
The whole Sarvaa team is able to excel in our chosen fields (at Sarvaa and at home) because we're all super healthy and truly thriving! We continue to create and produce these amazing products so that we can consume them, and hopefully so that you absolutely thrive right along with us!
As I said earlier, I haven't gotten sick in years and this recipe is key.
Here's the exact Immune Boost Smoothie Recipe that Bronwyn and I use daily.
Daily Immunity Green Smoothie Recipe for Two:
1. Start off with 2 cups of water in your blender.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds*. (Or flax seeds)
3. 2-3 cups of fresh greens like spinach, romaine, red lettuce, chard, or cilantro, or kale.*
4. One Carrot.*
5. Two stalks of Celery.*
6. One "greenish banana." (The greener the better for pre-biotics for your gut health)
7. Two servings of Sarvaa Gaia Greens.
8. Two servings of Sarvaa Superfruit C.
9. One or two servings of Sarvaa Vibrant Biome Probiotics-96, or Vibrant Biome 52.
10. After all the above has been blended for a full 90 seconds, stop the blender. Stir the smoothie with a long handled spoon for about ten seconds to remove some of the accumulated air bubbles. Then finally, blend in one Avocado which will thicken your smoothie into "smoothie bowl" thickness. (Perhaps better to blend the final Avocado at half speed to avoid developing an air pocket in the bottom of your blender.)
*All Organic Ingredients if possible.
This is how we rate our supplement intake for Cold & Flu Season:
1st Place: Superfruit C
Have questions about these supplements or any of our wellness practices? Please reach out to us! We'd love to hear from you and support your journey in health and feeling optimal.
Love your body, Love everybody!