Last week I was lucky enough to be in a mountain cabin celebrating Thanksgiving week with some of my favorite people on the planet!

Out of the fourteen people there, at least a couple of us were trying to shake off the last phase of a cold. Now we’re all pretty naturally inclined when it comes to our health so there were plenty of vitamins, minerals and essential oils to help bolster the immune system. I’m sure it helped somewhat, but five days of eating, drinking and making merry will slow the healing process down a bit. It got me to thinking about the fact that almost all of us tend to be fatter and sicker in the winter. Why do you suppose that’s so? I have a couple of theories…

First of all we eat TONS more sugar around the Holiday’s than any other time of year.  It’s kind of like “permission to pig out!”  Are you aware that every time you eat sugar it suppresses your immune system for FOUR HOURS???  It’s kind of like taking a stun gun to your T-cells, you know, the army that protects you from the bad guys?  Not only does it cripple your immune function for several hours, it weakens your adrenals.  They have to work overtime to help rebalance the blood sugar to something other than “carb coma” levels.  The worst part of all is that for most of us, the sugar turns straight to belly fat!  UGH!!!  Now, I’m not picking on anyone here.  I’ve certainly had my years of “see food and eat it”, but I’ve gotten a little more discriminating since I’ve been able to feel the effects of my food intake quicker as I get…um…just a teeny, weeny bit older.

Both your immune system and your adrenals work hand in hand to keep you healthy and energetic.  When one struggles, you can be sure the other one is having a hard time.  Here are some tips to keep you going strong and having fun this holiday season:

  • Limit your sugar intake. You don’t have to eat every cookie that is offered!
  • Pace yourself with the alcohol. It stresses your adrenals just as if you were consuming sugar. You can still have fun and may even remember it!
  • Optimize your sleep. The adrenals rebuild and recharge with 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
  • Make sure you get Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin D in your diet every day.  Along with other nutrients and probiotics; these three especially strengthen both your immune system and your adrenals.
  • Take a sauna break. Near Infrared Saunas detox heavy metals and other toxins that tax the immune system and keep it from functioning at peak levels. They also heat up the body’s core temperature which kills off opportunistic bugs, viruses and fungi before they can make you sick. I have one in my office. It is the BOMB!
  • Be careful with stimulants. When things get hectic, we tend to drink more coffee, coke, etc. It will catch up with you! Stimulants tend to weaken your adrenal glands. Picture a mean man beating a tired horse. It can only go so far. A better way is to just say “no” sometimes, go home and put your feet up.