As the temperatures cool down, the cold and flu season heats up. The peak of cold and flu season is coming up (December – February), so let’s do what we can to set ourselves and our loved ones up to be well-equipped to handle sickness—or avoid it altogether—as easy as possible.
In this post, I’ll go over 5 things that you should tackle before entering flu and cold season….
First things first… SLEEP
Feeling vulnerable to sickness lately? Let’s check in on your sleeping habits.
A key piece of health maintenance – and therefore sickness prevention – is getting enough sleep.
People who get less than 7 hours of sleep nightly are 3x more likely to catch a cold than those who get 8 or more hours.
How’s your sleep? Take my Sleep Quiz to discover your Sleep Score and get 13 ways to improve the quality and quantity of your shuteye.
Lack of sleep compromises immune function, making people more vulnerable to the common cold and other viruses and bacteria.
During sleep, our bodies manage inflammation with the increased production of cytokines. When sick or injured, this inflammatory response has a role in assisting the recovery process and activating innate and adaptive immunity as the body repairs and fights off infection.
Getting less than the optimal 7-9 hours of high-quality and quantity of sleep for adults will decrease the immune system’s ability to have the strong innate and adaptive abilities it was built to have. Keep in mind that children and teens require more sleep.
Less than 8 hours of sleep will disrupt the delicate balance of immune function leaving the body to remain in an inflamed state when waking.
This can lead to other damaging impacts throughout the body and leave it even more vulnerable to sickness and injury.
Sleep is what your body craves naturally when you’re sick.
If you want 13 proven ways to sleep better, deeper, and longer…
Download my free Sleep Hygiene Checklist
And if you feel like you’ve tried everything, my team and I always suggest our favorite sleep product…
Sleep Remedy was designed to optimize the body’s natural sleep cycle to work its magic as we sleep deeply (be sure to use my code robbwolf10 for 10% off)
Again, great sleep supports a strong immune system so it’s critical to get your sleep in check before anything else.
Next on your checklist for a strong immune system is having the most nutrient dense diet as possible.
If you read my book Sacred Cow, you’ll know that animal products are the most nutritious foods on the planet. This is things like red meat, organs, offal, shellfish, sardines, wild caught salmon. Complement your animal products with other super nutrient dense vegetables like broccoli, spinach, onion, cauliflower; herbs like basil, cilantro, rosemary; fruit like blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe; and other miscellaneous things like nori, brazil nuts, mushrooms, and sauerkraut.
A well-rounded diet of the aforementioned foods will make sure you’re getting enough vitamins, minerals, and protein and help strengthen your immune system.
One of our favorite places to order high quality meat from is White Oak Pastures. They’re a family run, regenerative operation out of Georgia who raise and slaughter all their animals themselves. White Oak has beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey and more. Click here to check out White Oak Pastures.
If you’ve got the meat part down, but feel like you’re not up to par on your fruits and vegetables… you can get a little boost from Paleovalley Organic Supergreens. It’s a blend of 23 Organic Superfoods and NO cereal grasses. It’s made only with ingredients that are certified organic meaning they are non-GMO as well as free from harmful pesticides and herbicides. Click here to get your Paleovalley Organic Supergreens 15% off with my code IMMUNITY15
And if you’re looking to stock your pantry with healthy foods (Brazil nuts and canned sardines, anyone??), condiments, beverages, oils, and more, we love to order from Thrive Market to save money. And if you’re new to Thrive, you can get $20 off your first order plus a free gift when you join.
Boost with Supplements
So now that you’ve got your baseline health zipped up, there are a few more things we can do to boost your immune system.
The first thing you probably think of to take when you feel a cold coming on is Vitamin C.
Before you gorge on oranges or your typical drugstore vitamin C pills…. You should know that:
- Oranges contain a FRACTION of the amount of vitamin C as other sources
- Pills are made of synthetic vitamin C (this form contains a small percentage of the nutrients found in natural vitamin C)
- Oranges and typical pills contain sugar (with the amount of sugar in most pills, you’re better off not taking them at all!)
- Most supplements are full of toxic fillers and “flow agents” (which can cause inflammation and gut issues), GMOs (most vitamin C in pills is made from GMO corn-syrup!), and various allergens (like soy, corn, or food coloring)
Our family only takes the Paleovalley Essential C Complex. It contains not one but three of the most concentrated natural sources of vitamin C: amla berry, camu camu berry, and unripe acerola cherry. Each nutrient-packed serving delivers 750% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C – an amount meant to help you thrive, not just survive.
Click here to stock your medicine cabinet with Paleovalley Essential C Complex for 15% off with discount code IMMUNITY15
Other vitamin supplements that you want to be taking:
- Zinc — proven to boost your immune system; make sure you’re taking a physiological appropriate dosage to avoid ‘zinc purging’ AKA nausea and diarrhea
- Vitamin D — most people are vitamin D deficient and it’s a critical piece of your health. We like to supplement with Vitamin D + K2. Here’s an example of a good one.
Another immune boosting superstar is all-natural and straight from the beehive…
Propolis, pollen, and honey all have a host of immune-supporting ingredients—antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and more beneficial compounds
They have an Immune Kit that bundles their most immune boosting ingredients that you should have on hand going into cold and flu season. No chemicals or funky ingredients.
Get the Beekeepers Immune Kit for up to 20% off code: ROBB for 20% off
My family and I swear by their B.Immune Propolis Throat Spray (included in the Kit).
Other things you can try…
We’ve already talked about the importance of Vitamin D. Taking a supplement can certainly be helpful, but making it yourself is even better. You can make Vitamin D in the winter months with a Sperti Vitamin D Sunlamp. It’s the only sunlamp to get vitamin D from UV light the natural way. It just takes 5 minutes of use every other day.
Click here to check out the Sperti Sunlamp
Did you know that our endocannabinoid system can actually BALANCE the immune system?
And that cannabidiol, also known as CBD, can help make these systems run more smoothly*…
In fact, research shows that CBD might be one of the best sources of antioxidants available.
I’ve tried a bunch of different CBD brands and my favorite and the one that works best for me is Ojai Energetics Full Spectrum Hemp Elixir. I’m confident using and recommending Ojai because they’re 100% organic and third-party tested for purity, 20x more absorbable, and works quickly (in 30 seconds where other brands take 30 minutes).
If you’re interested in trying CBD for the first time or you want to try another brand because you didn’t get the results you wanted, try Ojai risk free.
Hope you can take a few things from this post to help keep you and your loved ones healthy this flu and cold season!
I mean this in the kindest way possible, but you sure are trying to sell me a lot of stuff!
To be fair, I feel somewhat cheap borrowing all your books from the library, but I do live in the Centre of the Universe and we make excellent purchasing decisions.
Funny fact: Up until today, I thought “pocket-protector” was a paleo slang word for cellphone, which, understandably, was confusing me. I mean, they both protect pockets in a way.