Ever Wonder Why that Diet isn’t Working?

Health is about creating healthy, sustainable habits - not rules. Instead of focusing on a “diet,” let’s refocus on a lifestyle of eating real food that is nutrient dense and beneficial for our health. By eating whole foods that nourish our bodies, most of us will reduce inflammation, lose weight, and improve our moods naturally. And, eating this way can be delicious, too! Win-Win.

A Natural Remedy for the Flu and Cold - Stewarding Life Wellness

What is the Flu? 

The flu is a broad term used to describe a group of viral infections that tend to infect and cause a lot of symptoms, loss of workdays, hospital and ER visits, and even death. Usually the deaths caused by one of the viral illnesses is a secondary infection that overwhelms the immune system in those whose immune system is already compromised like newborns and the elderly. Every year around October the CDC come out with a “flu shot” that is “marketed” as safe and healthy and expected for almost everyone to get to “prevent” the flu. In reality this is their best (calculated) guess of what strains will be coming through and more than once they’ve had to tell the public they guessed wrong.

This is not going to be rant about the safety of the flu shot but you can decide for yourself if the proclaimed benefits outweigh the risks (study, study, article). Sometimes practitioners prescribe antiviral medications like Tamiflu to try to lessen the duration of symptoms by slowing the viral replication but overall your immune system is what eventually has to rid the body of the virus. Antivirals are not very helpful in clinical practice (or in the research)  but at least offer some hope to patients that we can help shorten the process.

Cause of the Flu

“Catching a cold” is really catching a viral infection more than 90% of the time. This is why antibiotics are often useless against the infection unless a secondary bacterial infection has set in. Getting “the flu” is really not much different except that the viral influenza strains that come through in the winter season are usually pretty tough on the body for a solid 2-3 days and symptoms can linger for 1-2 weeks.

A strong immune system doesn’t ensure that you won’t get the flu but it does make complications from the flu extremely rare and usually shortens the duration of symptoms. We’ve been trained to think that getting sick is always an experience we should avoid but getting sick gives the immune system the opportunity to get stronger.  As it formulates an attack on the invader(s) it has an amazing capacity to store memory of that particular pathogen in case it tries to come attack us again. Of course I’m not advocating hanging out in the ICU or health department and seeing how many hospital acquired infections you can stock up on but at the same time, I’m not afraid of my kids playing with a friend who’s battling a cold. There is almost always a middle ground where wisdom lives.


Natural Cold & Flu Remedies and Recommended Supplements

  • Elderberry Syrup
  • Vitamin C Spray (great for children)
  • Drink LOTS OF WATER. Push fluids like crazy. You'll need to flush out the virus.
  • Drink ACV mixture 2-3 times/day.
  • Drink Bone Broth - homemade if possible but even store bought will give your immune system a great boost. Replacing meals for bone broth if you don’t have an appetite while sick is fine too!
  • Drink Kefir or Kombucha
  • Hot decaf tea with raw local (or manuka) honey and lemon.
  • Thieves essential oil (there are a few equivalent oils out there) - 1-2 drops with carrier oil to neck, bottoms of feet.
  • Chew a raw clove of garlic morning and night (if that's too strong for you, mince and sweeten with honey then swallow).  Or you can mash a few cloves and steep it in your broth.
  • Gaia Quick Defense or Turmeric Immune A.S.A.P. - Take 2 capsules every 3-4 hours (Both have echinacea and elderberry.  It's like an all natural tamiflu alternative)
  • High Dose Vitamin C-  Vitamin C can be dosed pretty high but is best to spread the dose out over the day if you don’t have a buffered form that is easy on the digestive tract. Shoot for 3-5 grams per day if you are over 100lbs.
  • IntraMax- nothing beats a strong foundation. IntraMax is a potent liquid multivitamin packed full of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, herbs, antioxidants, and more that are designed to help build a strong immune system and internal environment.
  • Lauricidin- this is a monolaurin supplement taken from coconut oil. Monolaurin has been well studied as an immune support in significantly compromised HIV patients and showed impressive decreases in the viral load! It is also a potent pathogen killer proven successful against intestinal and systemic candida, H. pylori, Staph and Strep strains and others. It is used often to suppress chronic EBV (Mono), HSV (herpetic viruses), CMV (Cytomegalovirus), and influenza (Flu)!
  • Colostrum - high quality bovine colostrum sources have multiple ways that they support the immune system. If collected within the correct window the products should contain a good amount of IgG which is an immunoglobulin that binds pathogens and removes them from the GI tract primarily. It also contains large amounts of lactoferrin that have also proven to have strong anti-viral benefits. Lactoferrin is one of many “immune factors” that is contained in colostrum and bovine colostrum, in particular, is up to 40 times higher in these “immune factors” than even human colostrum is.
  • Orthobiotic 100 - high dose probiotics have shown a positive effect on immune health by increasing a lab marker called Secretory IgA (SigA). SigA is one of the first lines of defense against invading pathogens in all the mucosally lined organs including (but not limited to) the respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract. The flu virus usually invades via inhalation often affecting the sinuses, throat, bronchi, and lungs. If your linemen (SigA) are strong and they mount a good response there is a chance you never have a single symptom. If they are able to rid the body of most of the virus but not all, at least you should have an easier road ahead of you and symptoms will be minimal and short lived.

 

Breakdown of SLW Flu Protocol

7am- First full dose of Intramax on an empty stomach + 8oz of fluid, Apply Essential Oil
8am- Bone Broth and Gaia Quick Defense or Turmeric Immune A.S.A.P + 8oz of fluid
9am- Food + 8oz of fluid
10am- Drink ACV mixture
11am- Elderberry Syrup + 8oz of fluid
12pm- Bone Broth and Gaia Quick Defense or Turmeric Immune A.S.A.P + 8oz of fluid
Apply Essential Oil
1pm- Food + 8oz of fluid
2pm- Drink ACV mixture d
3pm- Second full dose of Intramax on an empty stomach + 8oz of fluid
4pm- Elderberry Syrup + 8oz of fluid
5pm- Bone Broth and Gaia Quick Defense or Turmeric Immune A.S.A.P + 8oz of fluid
6pm- Food with Lauricidin, Probiotic, Colostrum + 8oz of fluid
7pm- Drink ACV mixture
8pm- Elderberry Syrup + 8oz of fluid, Apply Essential Oil
9pm- Bone Broth and Gaia Quick Defense or Turmeric Immune A.S.A.P + 8oz of fluid
10pm- Down your garlic mixture and go to sleep! Your body needs rest. If you can, go to bed earlier!

Preventative Options (Lifestyle)

  • Preventative medicine is always ideal. So if you are looking to be proactive versus reactive this flu season here is your summary.
  • Optimize Your Immune System!

  • Optimal sleep: 8+ hrs of sleep per night. 7 is a minimum if you are under negligible daily stress. But always shoot to get 8+. Usually we fall short of what we really think we are getting. Consider tracking your sleep patterns with an app or other device to get a better sense of how much good sleep you are really getting.

  • Nutrient Dense Diet: Shoot for a strong nutrient base as discussed above and avoid frequent or large doses of sugar to prevent periods of compromised immune function. Kefir is also something we are excited to start carrying at the clinic. This may surprise most who are familiar with our thoughts on dairy but this is actually a non-dairy Kefir with a potent live probiotic dose. We as a family do not love fermented foods and our gut is likely paying the cost for this. Therefore we are excited for this addition to not only the practice but also our daily routines. You can read more about the low sugar Juice Kefir by Ether Elixir at etherelixir.com. It is a very cool immune boosting routine to add in during flu season and any season for that matter.
  • Build your Metabolic Reserve: Consider the supplement recommendations above to build a reserve that is difficult to deplete. This will make complications less likely in the times when you do get sick. One nutrient that is better accumulated from something other than supplementation is Vitamin D. Make sure to get at least 20-30 minutes of sunshine everyday. Obviously lab testing to confirm any nutrient deficiencies or compromised immune health (i.e. Adrenal Dysfunction or GI Pathogens) would be ideal if you have access to a Functional Medicine practitioner near you. Or you could always set something up with us Remotely if you don’t to get some deeper testing done.

  • Use Your Common Sense:  There are things that should go without saying but probably should be mentioned. Wash hands often during flu season. Try to air out the house often after someone has been sick and don’t stay cooped up inside. This is just asking to get sick. If you do get sick, wait until the fevers and body aches abate before exposing the world to you. That should be common courtesy but is often forgotten.  If a cough  and runny nose is lingering but you feel fine otherwise, it is unlikely that the virus load is high enough to really cause an outbreak. Again, just wash your hands often and make sure to exit the room if you are feeling a coughing fit coming on. Wiping the house down often with essential oils like Thieves or On Guard and/or diffusing them will also create a less friendly environment for virus to hang out and spread. Find a friend who is super savvy with EOs to get further recommendations or find a trusted resource online who studies the research closely in this area.

 

Holiday Gift Guides

The Holidays are here and it is a great time to give thoughtful gifts to our friends and family. We put together some fun suggestions below:

   

 

 

1. Instant Pot- This is a kitchen staple! We hardly go a day without using it. It steams, sautees, pressure cooks, and slow cooks. I love that it allows us to make healthy choices and cook our dinner quickly!

2.Primal Palate Organic Spices- These spices are some of our absolute favorite. They are perfect to sprinkle on meat or your veggies to give amazing flavor!

3. Wooden Spoons- It is important to move away from using plastic during cooking to eliminate BPA. Wooden utensils are a great replacement!

4.Celebration- We love Danielle Walker's cookbooks and are so excited for this new cookbook to help recreate some of our holiday favorites!

5.Omega Juicer- This is a slow cold-press juicer that helps protect nutrients and enzymes while you are juicing. It is a great way to add nutrients into your diet or your family's diet. It is also a great way to get kids excited about fruit and vegetables as they help you juice.

6. Zoku- This popsicle maker is awesome! You can add in juice, smoothies, or other mixtures to make popsicles in just minutes!

7. Chemex- This coffee maker is a great way to make smooth, fresh coffee. A must for any coffee connoisseur.  

8. Inspiralizer- We absolutely love this tool to help spirilize our favorite vegetables to use as pasta replacements or to throw in salads. Kids also love eating vegetables like this in such fun and unique shapes!

9. Instant Read Digital Thermometer - This tool is so useful for cooking meat to the perfect temperature! 

 

1. Yeti Cup- These cups are amazing! They can keep your drinks hot or cold for hours and are a great option to replace plastic water bottles!

2. Charcoal Bar- Charcoal is a great product to help remove toxins from the skin and leave it feeling clean and refreshed! 

3. Fit Bit- This is such a popular item and a great way to see your daily activity.

4. Protein Powder- We love this protein powder. It is gluten and dairy free and a great source of protein for a healthy meal replacement or a filling snack!

5. Eno Hammock - Taking time to relax and enjoy nature is such an important thing to do. With this hammock you can do that just about anywhere! 

6. Wireless Speaker- Perfect for using in the house, outside, or on a picnic!

7. Grilling Cookbook- There really is an art to grilling and this book is invaluable for teaching various techniques and providing some great tips for making amazing meat and veggies on the grill!

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1. Eye Shadow and Blush Palette- Eye shadows and blush are often tainted with various heavy metals and numerous toxic chemicals. However, this Beautycounter pallet is a perfect, safe gift available only during the holidays.

2. Yeti tumbler- the perfect way to  keep your morning cup of tea or coffee warm all day!

3. Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind cookbook- the recipes and photography in this book will blow you away! They are all paleo and beyond delicious!

4. Non-toxic nail polish- A great way to enjoy some pampering without all the toxic chemicals!

5. Beautycounter charcoal bar and mask set- Charcoal is excellent for removing environmental toxins from our skin. This holiday set is a fantastic gift that includes a charcoal soap bar and a luxurious charcoal mask. Can't say how much we love this!

6. Kitchen Herb Garden- a fun and cute way to have fresh herbs year round right in your kitchen! 

7. Kingso Water Bottle- It is so important to not use plastic water bottles to reduce BPA chemicals in our every day life. This water bottle looks so cute and is a great safe way to bring water with you everywhere.

8. Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups- Eating Evolved makes their chocolate with coconut sugar and the coconut butter is also an excellent source of fat, making it a delicious and much healthier treat. 

Giving gifts to our family and friends gifts is a great way to show love and care, but remember that it is not the reason for this season. Spending valuable time cherishing and serving those we love and making memories together will always be more valuable than any gift we can purchase.

And most importantly, lets be purposeful and take time to stop and remember that God sent His Son into the World as a man to atone for our sins. It is truly the greatest gift that has and ever will be given to us! 

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas, everyone!