During the colder months of late fall and winter, we tend to stay indoors to avoid the chill and end up becoming sedentary creatures. We indulge in holiday sweets and treats, savory gravies at Thanksgiving, and those “why-not-just-one-more” holiday hors d’œrves. While occasional indulging during special times is understandably impossible to resist, be sure not to sabotage all the hard work and exercise you’ve already done.
Don’t let your health fall by the winter wayside, but make proper nutrition a year-round commitment. The Longevity Solution teaches how to incorporate healthy foods into a balanced diet throughout the year. Here’s how to help nourish your body and keep it going strong for 100 healthy holiday seasons.
Back to Basics
Did you know that the old food pyramid has been updated? The old model promoted a diet built on breads, pasta, and rice, called for a few vaguely described “servings” of fruits and veggies, and lumped together all fats and oils under the instruction to “use sparingly.”
Chiropractors and nutritionists now agree that while carbohydrates are still essential, at least half of ingested grains should be whole. You need 2.5 cups of colorful (green is always a safe bet) vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit each day for a balanced diet. Also all oils are not created equal. Avoid added fat and sugar, but oils found in fish and nuts should be incorporated into your daily meals.
Superfoods to the Rescue
Make foods jam-packed with health benefits a regular part of your diet, which is an easy way to live a quality 100 Year Lifestyle. Try berries, wild salmon, broccoli, tomatoes, soy, oats, strawberries, cantaloupe, garlic, beans, oranges, pumpkin, spinach, bananas, turkey, beans, walnuts, yogurt, and green tea.
Embrace your winter blues—berries, that is! Full of antioxidants like vitamins C and E, they protect against cancer and aging, among other maladies. They’ve even earned the nickname “brainberries” because of their memory-enhancing properties.
Milled flaxseed is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and is even believed to help prevent cancer. Mix a few tablespoons in with your daily cereal, sprinkle it on yogurt or salad, or grind it up and add your “flaxseed flour” to almost any baking recipe for a nutty flavor.
Become a Grocery Guru
Learn to become a grocery guru and always check the labels while shopping. Look for breads labeled “whole grain” not “whole wheat” and avoid foods with high-fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients. While pre-made sauces, marinades, and meals save time, their additives may compromise your diet in the long run. Use seasonings and spices instead of salt and sugar. The surest shopping path to a healthy 100 Year Lifestyle is to slice, season, and cook food yourself, using whole, fresh ingredients. You’ll feel, see, and taste the difference!
Super Family Time
Shop and cook together with your loved ones this holiday season and year round. Enjoy the time you spend together preparing and sharing a healthy meal. Keep the snack trays filled with a mix of holiday treats and nutritious options for in-between meal nibbling at family gatherings. Your body will thank you and so will your friends and family!
Sickness Season or Healthy Season?
What you need to know about colds, the flu, and ear infections
Each year around this time, millions of children and adults come down with a cold, the flu, or an ear infection. Yet misconceptions often result in inappropriate treatment.
Colds and Flu: Both the common cold and influenza are caused by viruses, so medical treatment is rarely necessary. Influenza is like a cold, but may include fever, body aches, chills, and extreme fatigue. Stomach flu, which causes vomiting, is often a case of mild food poisoning.
According to an article in the February 2003 issue of Pediatrics, colds accounted for 1.6 million emergency room visits and 25 million ambulatory visits in 1998. In response to the widespread misconception that medical intervention is helpful, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued some commonsense advice to parents:
- Avoid antibiotics, which have no effect on viruses.
- Don’t use over-the-counter cold or cough medications, since most will not work.
- Don’t use aspirin if a child has a fever, since it can cause a serious reaction called Reye’s syndrome.
Annual flu vaccines are available, but their benefit is extremely questionable. Vaccine experts must decide which flu varieties will be the biggest threats 9-12 months in advance. Since flu viruses mutate constantly, it is nearly impossible to include the right strains in the vaccine.
The Swine Flu is causing recent concern. According to the September 8, 2009, Wall Street Journal, the CDC now advocates “watchful waiting” as an option. “The majority of adolescents and adults and most children won’t need antivirals,” said the CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization & Respiratory Diseases, Anne Schuchat. Most people just need “mom’s chicken soup, rest, and lots of fluids.”
Ear Infections: Typically affecting young children, ear infections may be caused by viruses or bacteria. The Southern California/RAND Evidence-based Practice Center analyzed clinical studies conducted from 1964 through 1998, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It estimates that more than 5 million cases of acute otitis media (AOM) occur each year in the US at a cost of approximately $3 billion.
The studies showed that without antibiotics, nearly two-thirds of children recover from pain and fever within 24 hours of diagnosis and more than 80% recover fully within seven days. In the May 2004 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidelines, recommending observation in many cases instead of antibiotics. Several studies, such as the one conducted by Drs. Fallon and Edelman and described in the March 1998 edition of Alternative Therapies, have shown that chiropractic care benefits children with recurrent ear infections.
Remedies and Prevention: So what should you do when you come down with a cold, the flu, or an ear infection? Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of fluids, and eat healthy food. In addition be sure to get adjusted regularly and especially if you are sick. Your nervous system directly controls your immune system, and spinal subluxations can interfere with the communication between the nervous system and the immune system. Chiropractic care will remove this interference so your body can maximize its immune system response and keep you as healthy as possible.
Thomas Edison said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Good advice for us to follow.
Staying Strong During Winter Flu Season
You’re more likely to join the 80% of people who won’t get the flu this year by adding these proven natural approaches to your daily routine.
- Avoid sugar and fried foods.
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Stock up on vitamin C—take up to 1000 mg every two hours if you have cold symptoms.
- Get regular chiropractic adjustments to boost your immune system and relieve stress.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get Your Zs—quality sleep—and load up on zinc lozenges.