Do any of these sound familiar to you:
-Daycare calls to tell you your child has a fever. You now have to take a minimum of 2 days off work because they can't go back until they are fever free for at least 24 hours.
-The school nurse calls to tell you that your kid got sick in class. You leave your work meeting to pick them up and bring them home praying that you don't catch it next.
-You just left the minute clinic with your child who tested positive for strep, next thing you know you are picking up the Amoxicillin and begging the pharmacist for enough to cover all three kids instead of just one, because lord knows you will be back next week with one of the other two.
-Three people at work have the flu . . . but they couldn't afford to take time off so instead they decided to infect the entire office. You now find yourself spraying Lysol every five minutes, hand sanitizing every 3 minutes, and wiping down every square inch of your desk anytime someone stops by to talk to you.
-It's December and between work, family, and friends you end up having Christmas parties every weekend. That means loads of germs cooped up in small enclosed spaces and lots of handshakes and hugs to top things off. That also means that stomach bugs seems to be spreading like wildfire!
So let's talk about why we shouldn't have to be so concerned with sickness all the time, why we are having to, and what we can do about it!
You were born with an internal army!
Think for a second, where in the main entry point for most germs and bacteria to get into your body?
And from there where does everything go?
The beauty of this is that 70-80% of your immune system in made of good bacteria in your Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. stomach (aka your internal army). There will always be both good and bad bacteria, but the ratio should remain at about 90% good bacteria to 10% bad in a healthy stomach.
I like to picture this as the scene from Willy Wonka (the Johnny Depp version) where they are viewing the geese laying golden eggs and the rich girl stands on the Eggdicator and goes down the bad egg tube. Your internal army is designed to fight off the bad bacteria and germs and send them out of the body. The good bacteria and beneficial nutrients are sent to the rest of the body to keep it healthy.
So major enemies of the immune system are things like:
-Drugs and Alcohol
-Lack of proper rest
So if I was born with an internal army, why am I getting sick all the time?
If you buy a brand new car and drive it over giant potholes, through the mud, slam on the gas and the breaks constantly, let it rust in the winter, and never change the oil, why would your car suddenly stop working?
Because you abused it!
After just 12 months of being alive we are generally handed a sugary cake full of sugary frosting and told to smash our face in it and eat as much of it as we can while everyone around us cheers. After that many of us are given sugary cereal for breakfast, sugary granola bars to snack on, and fruit snacks to keep us quiet for a little while. Not to mention the sweet treats we get when we do good things, and all the holiday candies!
After all the sugary goodness of being kids we usually get to an age where were either purge on junk food, alcohol, or both, and then reduce the amount of rest we are getting to the bare minimum. Not to mention we take on more stress than our bodies were ever designed to handle, and most of it being very unnecessary stress.
We are abusing our immune system.
Not only that but we aren't getting nearly the amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to feed the army and keep it strong. Then to top it off we overuse antibiotics, antibacterials, and over the counter medications that are either stopping the immune system from having to work, or killing all the bacteria INCLUDING the good stuff (your army).
I am not saying you have to ditch the Lysol all together, or that you can never take your DayQuil again. What I am saying is that any time you can let your immune system do it's job, you should! There is a time and a place where extra measures will be needed. If you save the "extras" for those times, they will work much better for you.
So I was born with an internal army to help me stay healthy and feeling well.
Then I abused the army and it slowly diminished . . . ?
So now what?
Now, we fix it!
It's not a quick fix, it's not magic, and it's not easy, but it is simple.
Start wherever you are and in whatever way works best for you. There are 4 areas that need to be addressed to start rebooting that army. I don't suggest trying to tackle them all at once because that would be very overwhelming. I would however suggest finding the one that sounds right for you, and starting there.
What are these 4 areas?
(in no particular order)
-find a stress outlet
-reduce your sugar intake
-get your gut healthy
-add more nutrients
A little more on these topics . . .
Finding a stress outlet:
This can be anything that takes your brain (and added muscle tension) out of the stresses of your day. You should add it to your week as often as possible!
It can be anything: painting, pottery, cooking, music, exercise, knitting, scrap booking, writing,coaching, animals, volunteering, ANYTHING
LEVELING UP - start meditating to REALLY relieve stress!
Reduce sugar intake:
Start checking the ingredients in your food. Look for sugar or high fructose corn syrup, or anything listed as syrup, or ending in "ose". If something like this is listed as an ingredient, see if you can find something else to eat.
Reducing your processed sugar intake will help to strengthen your army since sugar feeds the bad bacteria and starves the good.
Get your gut healthy:
Reducing your sugar and adding nutrients will help with this, but so will a highly reputable Probiotic with good bacteria strains. A probiotic will add good bacteria to your army!
You can find a good supplement from a credible brand, OR get these from yogurt. BUT, watch out for the added sugar in your yogurt. Go Greek if you can.
Calories are not created equal so please stop counting them! You need nutrients.
I am a big fan of a good shake to start your day or replace your fast food lunch. Your shake should include a clean and pure protein, a healthy fat, fiber, and some greens in order for your to get the most benefit from it.
So let's recap quick!
We need to start rebuilding our army. Our immune systems were designed to fight off disease and maintain healthy functioning of our body and the organs within it. 70-80% of that immune system is located in our stomach on the front lines. Things like stress, sugar, lack of rest, drugs, and over consumption of alcohol are things that can tear down our system. In order to rebuild the army and regain control of our health, we need to find a stress outlet that we can add to our week several days. We need to reduce the amount of sugar we are consuming, by a lot. We need to get our gut, and more specifically our gut bacteria, healthy again! And we need to add nutrients to fuel and strengthen our army and our body!
Let's get to rebuilding today!
And check out Coach Meg's Immune System Checklist page on the the website for a reboot checklist as well as links to some of coach Meg's favorite immune boosting things!
Stay tuned to hear THE TRUTH BEHIND SUGAR, next month.