It all starts right before Halloween for our family. Parties, treats, sugar, oh my! Yes, we do try to minimize how much sugar we get but, let's face it, it is not always easy, especially if you have kids.
Increased sugar intake and increased stress around the holidays, especially if traveling, is unavoidable. The key is to manage them.
The key to minimizing the onslaught on your body is stress management. And this is what gets me to the "few of my favorite things around" the holidays. This post will be brief and "to the point" as I know everyone is in a rush right now, so here we go without further ado.
1. Sleep. Enough said. Get as much as you can. You body and your adrenals will thank you. Where to get: your own home or wherever your holiday travels might take you. Price: free
2. Quality Vitamin B Complex. Sugar, caffeine, alcohol and stress are primarily responsible for depleting B vitamins and, therefore, greatly weakening our immune system, making us more susceptible to all the "bugs" going around.
I recommend and swear by Thorne Research's Stress B Complex. Thorne Research supplements are high quality supplements only available through qualified practitioners. They are pure and guaranteed to be free of allergens and gut irritants (like Magnesium Stearate, for example). My entire family gets on a daily dose of the "Stress B Complex" a few weeks before Halloween and we stick with it through the holiday travels, at least.
Where to get: I carry and stock these for my Portland-based customers. Otherwise, talk to your health practitioner to see if he/ she carries them. If you in Portland, you are in double luck: Pharmaca (Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy) carries Thorne Research supplements because it is staffed by qualified practitioners, so you can simply walk in, talk to their awesome staff and get it right there. Price: $13.10.
3. Probiotics. 70% of your immune system resides in your gut. Those bugs "own" you and you need to feed them the right stuff. I rotate through probiotic strains regularly. For ravel and around the holidays, a sugar gobbling up strain, Saccharomyces boulardii, is my all time favorite. It is also shelf stable up to 3 weeks without refrigeration, so ideal for traveling. "Yeastbiotic" is the one I stock and recommend the most. Where to get: I carry these or you can also order it here. Price: $34.99
4. Activated Charcoal. This is something you can use when planning to consume alcohol or are unsure about the quality of the food around you (holiday parties:-)?) It can take the toxins out of your body (in case of alcohol, before they get to your liver), leaving you refreshed and truly grateful you took some. Word of caution: as with any supplements. always talk to your health care provider. This is especially important for consuming activated charcoal. It is a simple but powerful substance that can take medications you might be taking out of your body, along with the other toxins. So, yes, talk to you doc before taking activated charcoal, especially if you are on a medication. Where to get: You can order it here. Price: $18.95
These were the few of my favorite things around the holidays, in the order of significance. I hope you noticed that I listed "sleep" first:-). Do not underestimate the benefits of restorative sleep. It is easy to get and, yes, it is free.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
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