How Not To Get Sick

Michael SallustioBlogLeave a Comment


People often ask me why I never get sick. The fact is I do get the occasional head cold or sinus infection, but when I do it is relatively short-lived. And I can tell you that when I do succumb to any kind of illness, it is almost always during a time when I am either doing a poor job of managing stress or pushing myself too hard (another form of stress). Either way, I look at it as my body saying, “if you aren’t going to slow down and take care of yourself, I’m gonna make you slow down.” It’s like a wake-up call.bigstock-Healthy-ingredients-for-streng-39625411

Some people will get that wake-up call and ignore it and just keep pushing through it or stress themselves out trying to snuff out the infection with drugs that just make it worse or have no effect. And some people are so afraid of getting ill that they choose to get the flu shot, thinking that will protect them. The reality is the data has not shown the flu shot to be effective and I and many other health professionals have written about how it contains toxins that can actually compromise your immune system and your overall health as well.

So I have developed a list of things you can do on a regular basis (beyond washing your hands incessantly, of course) that will strengthen your immune system and reduce your risks of getting the cold and flu. The great thing about this list is that many of these habits may also leave you with more energy and just feeling better overall. Some people may even lose weight and have less aches and pains.

I will warn you that some of these things you have probably never seen nor heard of before. And since they are new to you, you need to give your body time to acclimate. So be patient and don’t expect miracles right away. None are a guaranteed cure. These are just habits and tools that have worked for me and many of my clients over the years. I hope they serve you well. Oh, and don’t get stressed out if you can’t take all of these on at once (remember, stress alone can make you sick). Some is better than none.

  1. 1.Limit/Avoid Gluten and Pasteurized Milk (except raw cheese and yogurt) – You have probably heard of this one before, but it can be a huge contributing factor when it comes to immunity. Gluten and milk are two of the most common food intolerances and as such can promote mucous and delayed onset allergic reactions, such as general inflammation and a compromised immune system. The exception can be foods made with raw or cultured milk like some varieties of cheese and yogurt.

  1. 2.Avoid Refined Sugar – Numerous studies have shown that refined sugar can depress your immune system, and surprisingly soon after eating it. So read your labels and limit your consumption of sugar to whole fruit (not fruit juices). If you want to sweeten your tea (notice I didn’t say coffee), use raw honey or stevia.

  1. 3.Drink Plenty of Water – Staying hydrated is critical. It helps reduce mucous and promotes the elimination of toxins. Drink at least ½ ounce of filtered or spring water per pound of body weight. So if you are 150 pounds, drink at least 75 ounces a day. This is in addition to other liquids you drink that contain water. Start your day with 12-16 ounces and continue to drink water between meals.

  1. 4.Coconut Oil – Unrefined (virgin) coconut oil contains monolaurin — a substance that has natural anti-viral/anti-bacterial properties. Because coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) and saturated fat, it is fairly solid at room temperature. However, these properties make it a very stable fat so it does not need to be refrigerated. In fact, MCT’s have been shown to be heart healthy and a great source of energy. I spread a tablespoon of coconut oil on gluten-free toast practically every morning. I also cook with it.

  1. 5.Eat Plenty of Greens – The main reasons green foods are so helpful in boosting immunity is because they nourish your liver, which is a source of immunocytes, and alkalize your blood (acidic blood is conducive to disease). So if you don’t like vegetables or can’t get in your 3-4 servings per day, use a green drink like I do. You could juice greens, if you have the time. I have used many different powdered green drinks over the years. My current favorite is NitroGreens. It is made from nitrogen-rich green grasses. I literally mix one scoop in 12 ounces of water every morning and drink it down. And if I do get sick, I load up even more on greens and reduce my quantity of other foods in general.

  1. 6.Apple Cider Vinegar – This is full of enzymes and healthy gut bacteria. Your first line of defense in your immune system is your gut. I take 1 Tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar with lunch and/or dinner. Make sure you get the bottle with the “mother”(pulp) in it. It helps me digest my meal and boosts my immunity. Mix it with a little raw honey if the taste is offensive.

  1. 7.Probiotics – I take two capsules of UltimateFlora by RenewLife daily – one with breakfast and one with dinner. This supplement compliments the apple cider vinegar by increasing the good bacteria (flora) in my gut. It helps fend off the bad bacteria.

  1. 8.Vitamin D – Vitamin D3 is actually a hormone, and as such, it plays a role in the immune system as well as in the secretion and regulation of other hormones that secreted by your endocrine system, which is comprised of 36 different organs. You think vitamin D is important? You betcha! And the reason you should supplement with it is because the richest sources of it are organ meats, and I’ll bet you aren’t eating a lot of those. Other sources are natural sunlight, free range meats and cod liver oil. I get mine from Cod Liver Oil as well as a separate vitamin D supplement. I recommend taking 4,000 IU’s daily, but check your blood levels through your doctor periodically to make sure you aren’t overdosing, which is pretty rare by the way.

  1. 9.Wellmax or UltraVirX – These are two herbal supplements I keep in my arsenal in the event I am exposed to or beginning to fight off a cold or flu. The UltraVir-X is a bit more powerful and can only be obtained through a health professional like myself. The Wellmax can be found at Whole Foods and other health food stores. Both are effective at protecting you when you are exposed to sick people and speeding up your recovery if you do get ill.

  1. 10.Exercise, But Don’t Overtrain – Exercising daily is a no-brainer, right? However, when it comes to immunity, how you exercise is key. Overtraining is one sure-fire way to compromise your immunity. Keep your exercise intensity between 6-8 on a scale of 1-10. It’s okay to push to 9 or 10 here and there, like with interval training, but don’t stay there too long. What is too long? Well, if you feel exhausted an hour after working out, you probably overdid it and that’s when immunity takes a hit. Don’t turn your exercise routine into another source of stress.

  1. 11.Get Your Sleep – Most of us are busy. Sleep is your body’s chance to rest and recover and your immunity actually has a chance to reboot. Like I said before, if you don’t give your body sufficient rest, it will leave you with no choice but to rest. That’s what illness is. The most recent studies have shown that we need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. It’s that simple. Make it happen!

  2. 12.Daily Stress Management – For me, this is my morning yoga and meditation. Most mornings I take 10-15 minutes to do some light yoga followed by seated meditation. On the mornings when I miss it, I feel more stressed until I am able to sneak it in later in the day. For others, it may be just taking a few minutes each day or throughout the day to do a mental check-in. Other ways are to simply get outdoors or take a gentle yoga class or moderate intensity cardio. Sitting in a sauna and sweating out toxins is another way. The key is to give your brain a break from thinking about what is next or what is due. Just breathe and shut off your mind.

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