Immune systems, gut health, and how we have avoided sickness!

September 18, 2018

For over a year, we have managed to go without any major sicknesses, and even avoided the stomach flu (I feel like I am cursing myself by saying this). I did some instagram stories on my wellness account about how we were able to build up immune systems and gut health this year. I received so many questions that I thought I would go ahead and put it into blog post format as a reference point!

Here are a few key things that have worked for my family in staying healthy during the toughest time of the year! Please note that I am not a health professional, and by no means am telling you this the only means to use for health. We still go to the doctor’s office and use medicine when needed! This is mainly to focus on preventative care so that we can avoid those situations if we can.

1) We cut refined sugar from our diets – This is always something I knew we needed to do, but Gabe and I have a sweet tooth. However, sugar lowers your immune system for hours after consuming. That fact alone was enough to motivate me. It was tough to do because refined sugars are in cereals, granola bars, breads, etc. I had to hunt down different brands at our local store (because ain’t nobody got time for 5 different store trips), and use different alternatives for sweetners like raw honey, pure maple, and coconut sugar when needed. Because I associate foods with so many nostalgic memories we still do birthday cake, holiday treats, etc. However, you would be surprised how many delish recipes there are nowadays that are good for our bodies!

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I also try to avoid giving the kids white flour so we eat a good deal of rice, quinoa pasta, potatoes, and Dave’s bread. I just wish healthier foods didn’t have to cost more! These changes though have helped with my kids’ moods and health so it’s worth it to me.

2) Probiotics and Vitamins – During flu season, I give them daily probiotics since it feeds the good bacteria in our gut, which is related to so many of our organs and how they function. Building up a healthy gut can often positively affect digestion, moods, child development, and immunity. A few options:
RenewLife probiotics because they are dye and sugar free (you can find them at Target for adults and there are chewables for kids). If you have an infant on breastmilk you give them natural antibiotics, but there are some powder probiotics for babies you can mix with formula. I did this when I weaned Azelie to make sure she was getting enough vitamins.
Strawberry Kefir to drink. It’s a really good probiotic and delish.
Natures Plus has a good chewable multivitamin for little ones.
Raw Honey – There are several benefits to raw honey, and one of them is it works as a natural antibiotic. Manuka honey can be pricey, so I save that for when any cold symptoms are showing up. There is also a Manuka essential oil you can topically apply to glands.
Elderberry syrup – This is powerful stuff! I have seen it nip cold and flu symptoms in the bud. You can actually make your own elderberry syrup too if you are up for it. I give the kids a teaspoonful directly or in honey tea if they start to feel a cold coming on.
Echinacea or Echinacea tea – None for helping fight the onset of flu symptoms and build up the immune system, I often put a little elderberry syrup and raw honey in echinacea tea and even my little ones will drink it willingly!

3) Immune Building and Germ fighting – We use essential oils a good deal for immune building as well. They are the lifeblood of the plant and can be absorbed quickly either topically or ingested to benefit and support our systems. A few ways I use them to help boost the kids’ immunity is through flu bomb recipe roller bottles and diffusers. I rub Thieves roller bottle on the bottom of their feet at night, Thieves hand purifiers after they get out of school, and diffuse Frankincense and Thieves to purify the air. It takes a few minutes to do, and has become a daily habit! I have used oils for pregnancy, postpartum, stress relief,  sleep support, and hormonal support as well. Very thankful for effective options that aren’t harmful to our bodies. The main oils I use are in the starter kit which also includes a diffuser. You can grab a kit here, and I can add you to your facebook support group that is a helpful search engine for every question you have.

Those are the 3 main things (in addition to consistent quality rest!). When you have 5 little ones, having them all sick feels overwhelming, so these changes have been worth fighting for. It takes time and energy initially, but now these changes are habits that feel very normal! It made all of the difference last holiday season not to have back to back sicknesses, and my hope is that these tips can help prevent some dog days as well!

I am happy to answer any questions you have in the comment section below.

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