The Miracle Cure for Staying Healthy This Winter

When I started Gracefulfitness I was all hooked on this phrase “if you know what’s good for you, do it!”.  Sounds obvious enough but I think the ability to actually integrate knowledge, intuition, and, perhaps most of all, follow through, is greatly underrated.

I was thinking about this yesterday in terms of how to prevent getting sick.

If I were to write a post “Top Ten Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter” it would include things like drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, exercise but not to much, eat vegetables and a variety at that, take a muli-vitamin, get outside, get sunshine everyday if possible, wash your hands very regularly, eat fermented foods, and cut back on coffee, sugar,  and alcohol.  All great things to keep you healthy however they are useless if you don’t actually tune into your body allow yourself to slow down and comply with what it’s saying.

In other words, the real way to stay healthy this winter is to prevent getting run down and sick in the first place rather than try to play fix-it once the crud has set in.

Take cold sores for example, I know what to do to avoid getting them (as I talk about in this post) yet maybe once a year I will still get a big one.  When an outbreak occurs I can ALWAYS look back and see the pattern; extra chocolate, nuts, and oats in my diet, stress, and right before my period.  Like most dis-ease, it is very preventable but not really treatable once you get past the tipping point.  So avoidable with different diet choices and an extra dose of Lysine and vitamin C yet I ignored my innate body intelligence and thought I could get away with it.

Occasionally I luck out and I do get away with it but often I don’t and end up run down and sick or with an uncomfortable and embarrassing blister.  Why is it so hard to take good care of ourselves? I know that I tend to get rundown in the fall and am susceptible to the fall cold/flu and yet I usually wait until I actually start to feel bad before taking what should be preventative measures in an attempt to get healthy again.

As with most posts I write for this blog,  I’m really writing this as a reminder to myself, as I am as ‘guilty’ as anyone else at ignoring my body’s cues and pushing on until I’m forced by illness to actually slow down and take care of myself.

I do know what’s good for me; I need fresh air, lots of water, fresh food, fermented food, to be moderate with coffee, alcohol, sugar and partying, lots of sleep (naps included!), vitamin supplements, good humor, regular exercise and regular rest and I need these things in different doses depending on the day and time of day.  You also know what’s good for you if you allow yourself to pay attention and be really really good to yourself, so do it! ;)

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Fall Feeding

Fall in Virginia is a good time for eating; apples are at their prime, “winter” squash is ripe for the picking and glowing all hues of orange, the last of the fresh greens are to be savored, and soups becomes appealing again after several months of steering clear of anything (besides hot coffee!) that might raise my core temperature.

As my I Cook “recipe” page disclaimer states, I ain’t really about recipes but I do love experimenting in the kitchen and wanted to highlight some of my favorite fall makes today.

This cranberry sauce is a personal favorite. It freezes really well and so I make a big batch then put small mason jars in the freezer.  When I run out I grab another jar and let it defrost in the fridge then eat it mixed in plain yogurt.

sugar free cranberry sauce

I’m less of a baker than I used to be (I have lost my sweet tooth!) but historically I am more successful with muffins than cookies or bread and hot from the oven baked goods screams fall.

banana nut muffins


Seeing this salt picture is a great reminder to harvest what herbs I can find and make myself a big batch!

stuffing salt recipe


Miso serves a double purpose in this recipe; it provides the depth of flavor and richness that I crave in the colder months plus the immune-boosting aspects of fermented food.

miso soup recipe


I’ve been working on editing my I Eat page this week and it’s made me realize how much my diet has changed since creating it a few years ago.  I wish I would have saved the old version before I started revising but basically when I made that page I was eating more soy and less animal products than now.   The biggest surprise? I forgot that I was ever silly enough to buy nonfat yogurt!  These days my top choice is this greek stuff that is 10% milkfat, it’s fattier than ice cream and it takes amazing. :)

Today is my Day 3 of the One Hour Plank Challenge, how about you?



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