Top 5 tips to avoid getting sick in the winter

For those on the Northern Hemisphere, winter is still gripping the country with it’s cold, clammy hands. Although spring is not too far away (woohoo!) how do you make sure to avoid all those nasty colds, flus and bug floating around? And if you already caught something, how do you get rid of it as quickly as possible?

Woman drinking cup of tea - warm clothes (blog)

I constantly used to get everything which was passed around and felt like my immune system surely must have been the most useless thing ever. I walked quite a bit and didn’t eat that bad after-all, it’s not like I lived of junk-food. Maybe just a cookie here, a piece of cake there at work, dessert on weekends… popcorn at the movies occasionally. Sadly the grey skies and crappy weather just made me want to eat more bad stuff because you feel good. However, the overload of starchy carbs and sugar is only a temporary relief. This is how I stay happy and healthy during the winter:

  1. Water. This one may feel like it’s been beaten to death, but it’s true – drink lots of water! I drink at least 1.5L of water each day. Don’t underestimate the humble powers of water. It improves your immune system, clears toxins, prevents constipation, makes you think clearer, relieves fatigue and just generally puts in a better mood.
  2. Cut sugar, eat healthily. Cutting sugar out of my life has boosted my immune system incredibly. I get less sick than before, and if I do catch something it passes very quickly and with less nuisance (usual two week long colds turned into nice short 2-4 day affairs). If you are not prepared to cut it out completely, see if you can swap out one item every day through the winter for something with less sugar content and less carbs. E.g. cookie instead of a donut, a piece of fruit instead of a cookie, a small caramel macchiato instead of large etc. I generally eat healthy wholesome foods, including loads of veggies and superfoods. For inspiration on making your own healthy food (including sweets), check out my recipe page.
  3. Sun-worship. I open all the curtains as soon as I wake up, the light helps to reset your body clock faster. Go for a 15 minute walk midday, every day. Even 5 minutes help. It doesn’t matter how crappy the weather is, you can still get plenty of vitamin D through those miserable grey layers. Vitamin D makes you happier by activating production of serotonin and dopamine – your body’s natural happy hormones (p.s. Vitamin D also increases production of oestrogen and testosterone… if you catch my drift. There is a good reason why people feel more frisky in spring and summer).
  4. Eat breakfast. Please don’t skip breakfast. You will have heard this a million times before. But, if you skip breakfast, you are setting your day up to fail from the beginning. There, I said it. Protein rich foods like eggs, meat, seeds and nuts gives you long lasting energy and you will be much less likely to reach for unhealthy things during the morning. Why not try my crunchy granola with fruit and almond milk – it’s full of seeds and nuts (and some carb for immediate and slow energy release to start your morning of right). Oh, and it’s tastes ridiculously good! This is what I have every weekday morning along with a soft-boiled egg or two.
  5. Laugh. A good laugh makes me less tense, less stressed and much happier. Laughter increases you resistance to disease by boosting the immune system (yes, I know I mentioned this several times already, but that’s what keeps you from getting sick :)). In the winter, I make sure I spend quality time with my husband and friends or watch funny movies. If you are at work and having a miserable day, why not grab your mobile and read something funny online (like these autocorrects) or grab your ear phones and your phone and watch some funny  cat clips on YouTube? (What? You don’t like cat videos? Get of this page! ;))

I hope these tips might help you through the rest of the winter. What’s YOUR top tip? Please share 🙂

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes, you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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