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6 Ways to stay well during the holidays!
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I don't have a very good immune system.

And I've always been more prone to catching colds than the average person (something I attribute mostly to years of poor diet and lifestyle choices and partly to being born cesarean section). 

But ever since cutting out processed crap and switching to a nutrient-dense diet of real food 3 years ago, I've gone from getting sick once every two or three months to only once or twice a year (probably the most rewarding part of going paleo for me).

My husband, on the other hand, rarely ever gets sick, no matter what he eats or drinks (not fair)! 

So when he came down with a cold, I was 95% certain that I would get it. But considering the small chance that my lazy immune system could somehow fight off whatever virus that had given my healthy husband a sore throat, runny nose and cough, I did everything I could to fight it.

And guess what? It worked! Almost 2 weeks later, I'm healthy as can be. Staying well while my husband was sick was a first for me, and I believe the following factors had A LOT to do with it. 

TIP #1: Bone Broth. If you haven't made your own bone broth yet, you're missing out. This stuff is pure magic. Not only will it give you the warm fuzzies, but it also packs a punch of immune-boosting, gut-healing minerals in addition to gelatin which supports healthy hair, skin, teeth, and nails. 

While making broth at home may seem intimidating at first, it's actually super easy and pretty difficult to mess up...unless you forget to place a bowl under the strainer at the end and accidentally pour half of your batch into the sink (not one of my better moments). I'll have a post up on the blog detailing the MANY health benefits of bone broth as well as an easy recipe soon. But for now, check out this recipe from Wellness Mama.

TIP #2: Fresh Ginger. It wasn't until I saw this post from Chris Kresser that I realized how much ginger you need to consume (2-4 ounces 2-6x throughout the day) in order for it to be effective in fighting off viruses. But Jeff and I both fought through the burn and did it (using Chris's fresh ginger tea recipe) and I think it had a lot to do with him getting over his cold so quickly and me never catching it. 

TIP #3: Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO). This superfood contains a very concentrated immune-boosting mixture of Vitamins A, D, E, and K2 and is also an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. I take 2-3 capsules of this brand of FCLO almost every day and double the dose when I feel a cold coming on. 

TIP #4: Sauerkraut. Most of your body's immune function (70-80%) lies in the gut. Eating probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut (my favorite fermented food) regularly for the last few months has helped to support the healthy bacteria in my gut while starving the bad guys.

TIP #5: Liver. Liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. I started taking it raw in the form of a smoothie shot or actual smoothie (I use less or more fruit depending on whether or not I feel like actually tasting the liver) a few months ago and have been hooked ever since. Come to think of it, I haven't been sick once since I started taking it. Coincidence? Doubt it.

The raw liver smoothie shot recipe I use is from Real Food Liz. Check out her post if you're interested in trying it out!

TIP #6: Smart Lifestyle Choices. The importance of consistently making smart decisions regarding sleep, diet, and exercise cannot be overstated. I've been pretty darn strict about eating healthy foods, sleeping 7-9 hours a night, and exercising 4-5 times a week for the last few months, which definitely had a HUGE impact on my ability to fight off my husband's cold. 

Of course, being perfect with this stuff during the holidays is hard. Sometimes even impossible. But the more good decisions you make, the less you'll be affected by the inevitable bad ones.

Because who's going to refuse a slice of grandma's homemade pumpkin pie or a glass of champagne with Thanksgiving dinner, right? (Not me). 

I hope these tips gave you a few practical ideas on how to stay well this holiday season. Feel free to reach out to me via email (bethany@fromthepasture.com) with any questions, comments, or clarifications!

As always, thanks for reading and subscribing - have an awesome week!

- Bethany & The Primal Pastures Family

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