Fall is here, and that means that cold and flu season has arrived. Have you ever noticed that some people seldom get sick? Or maybe you have wondered why after being exposed to the same virus, one person gets ill while the other remains well.
I actually haven’t been sick in a few years, but this past weekend, it got me.
If you’ve listened to me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m all about taking care of yourself first because you’re no good to anyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself first. Right? Right. Except that I haven’t really been listening to my own advice lately.
I think it’s that Wonder woman complex - I can do it all and do it well. Not.
Anyways, this past week was crammed full of big events for my business. A Wellness Fair, a Grand Celebration at Peterborough Maximized Living, a local Festival and the launches of both my Online Slim Down Program and the In-Person Slim Down Program - all in one week. Not to mention, hockey season starting up with four days of hockey in a row for my son.
It all makes sense now why I would get hit hard with the flu this past Sunday - right in the middle of the Purple Onion Festival. I’m talking fever, chills, aches & pains. Nasty. I left my booth half an hour early and came home and crashed in my bed.
Thankfully, the worst of it was over within 24 hours and now it’s just working it’s way out of my body.
The awesome thing though, is that years ago this same flu would have wiped me out for at least a week and has even turned into both pneumonia and bronchitis at the same time in the past, with a lingering cough and feeling lousy for a good 3 weeks.
Now, two days later I feel a lot better (I sound like I have a not-so-sexy telephone voice, but I feel tons better.)
So, what does make the difference between someone getting sick and someone not getting sick, or how badly the sickness affects them when they do get sick?
I’m going to share my two cents worth and get a little bit science-y here for a minute….
The reason lies in the strength of the immune system. And the strength of your immune system is largely dependent upon the condition of your digestive system (ongoing STRESS is one way of letting your guard down with your immune system.)
When you are exposed to bad bacteria or viruses, it is up to your immune system to protect you from being infected. If your immune system is strong, your body will fight off the threat. If your immune system is weak or compromised, you may end up sick.
Microbes: the good, the bad, and the ugly
Inside your digestive system are many microbes. Microbes are live organisms that affect your overall health.
Some of these organisms are beneficial and protect you from disease. These good bacteria recognize when illness-producing intruders enter your body; they promptly attack the intruders so you do not get sick.
If you do not have enough good bacteria in your gut, you will be more susceptible not only to infections such as colds and stomach flu, but you will also be at risk for autoimmune diseases such as colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and Chron’s disease.
Ideally you have a large supply of these good microbes living in your gut. But they can easily become depleted. If you have recently taken antibiotics, you have had not only the bad bacteria wiped out, but also the good bacteria. Antibiotics are not selective in their destruction.
Antibiotics are not the only way that good bacteria become depleted in your digestive system. The chlorine in your drinking water can destroy them, as can the pesticide residue on the food that you eat.
Once the supply of beneficial microbes in your intestines dwindles, bad microbes such as yeast, fungi and disease-causing bacteria begin to take up residence. When the scale tips in favor of the bad, your immune system becomes compromised.
If you think you might be deficient in good microbes, it is not difficult to remedy the problem. The solution is to take probiotics. Probiotics are good microbes that you can consume in your diet.
They then settle in your digestive system and get to work protecting you from illness and destroying the bad bacteria that may be living there.
Probiotics are available in capsule form, but you can also replenish the good microbes by eating the right kind of yogourt and other foods that contain good microbes (like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir.) Check the label on the yogurt that you buy to make sure it says that it contains active cultures—those are the good bacteria that you need to eat. You also want to make sure it has a low sugar content, otherwise you’re defeating the purpose. Sugar feeds the BAD bacteria.
Take action now and get a head start on this year’s cold and flu season. You can get ahead of the game by improving your gut function and fighting illness.
As I’ve talked about before, you want to be very choosy when buying your supplements because they are NOT all created equal and if you’re not careful, you’ll basically be flushing your money down the toilet because you’re body won’t be able to absorb the benefits due to binders and fillers from poorly made products.
(As part of my healthy community, you have access to practitioner-grade, safe supplements delivered straight to your door, at special pricing through FULLSCRIPT. Simply click on the image below, create an account and search for products or click on "My Dispensary" on the left for my personal favourites.)
MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE BRAND OF PROBIOTICS:
Genestra HMF (you can find them HERE under “My Dispensary”)
MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE SUPPLEMENTS FOR BOOSTING MY OVERALL IMMUNE SYSTEM ARE:
Vitamin D3 by Pure Encapsulations
Oil of Oregano by CanPrev
Juice Plus 3-blend capsules (kids eat FREE! Let me know if you're interested and I'll set you up.)
Now, as I mentioned above, sugar feeds the bad bacteria. I also know how hard it is to reduce the amount of processed sugar in your diet, because sugar is added to almost EVERYTHING. Even things we wouldn't think it's been added to (read your labels!)
Remember, anything made with white flour TURNS INTO sugar in the body (breads, bagels, muffins, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc.)
Sugar addictions are at an all-time high and because of this and we can get stuck in a vicious cycle very easily of consuming sugar and feeling good, then the resulting energy crash which leads to reaching for more sugar.
I've been through this myself and am now helping others to take back control of their willpower by crushing their cravings for sugars, carbs, caffeine and alcohol (all of which feed the BAD bacteria.)
Grab my FREE 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE HERE.
Let me know in the comments what you're doing to boost your immune system this Fall!
Until next time,
May Anne xo
As soon as people enter the diet world, they’re usually taught the simplistic notion that input versus output is the key to weight loss. That basically, you must burn off more than you eat.
Sounds reasonable enough, right?
I’ve met a lot of women like this, and in all honesty, I believed this myself for years and spent most of my grade 11 year nibbling on bits of lettuce and hardly anything else.
The problem with most diets out there is that they result in people being half-starved with metabolisms crawling along at a snail’s pace.
So now, this notion of eating less and doing more doesn’t apply. In fact, it’s this concept that has put so many people in this situation in the first place.
They’re denying their bodies the calories and nutrients they need in an effort to shed those pounds and not only does it not usually work, at least, not long-term, they’re often hungry, tired and irritable in the process.
You see, studies show that the vast majority of people (mostly women) who lose weight on a diet gain it all back within 5 years. This is why the diet industry alone is worth BILLIONS. If it actually worked, there would be no money in it.
So what does work? Learning how to actually eat, so you can tune out the massive dieting industry and stop buying into diets, pills and potions and start actually feeling good and enjoying food again!
I want to help you understand how this works.
Continued calorie-restricting causes your metabolic rate to slooooow down. The metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories for energy.
When you’re in an extended state of calorie-restriction, your body goes into survival mode and stores incoming calories (since it thinks it’s starving and wants to save every last calorie for survival, instead of using up your fuel for all your bodily functions.)
This is a lose-lose situation.
When we’re under prolonged calorie restriction, many basic biological functions also slow or shut down, and we end up with compromised immune function, and that can lead to not being able to fight off infections and viruses, or being able to filter toxins from the body, and low energy.
I get it. We believe this is the way to go because they’ve seen so many other people do it. But it never lasts and it’s not sustainable!
This concept is so widespread, yet it’s dangerous. If you continue with cutting calories, then you are causing more damage to your body.
In other words, the more you ‘diet’ the more damage you are doing to your body and it will get harder and harder to lose weight the more you do it.
Having the knowledge, or the tools as I like to call them, about the right way to eat means you can avoid “dieting” and all the negative aspects that go along with it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a happy person on a diet!
Once you understand the powerful effect food has on the body it can help you reach your goals without dangerously cutting calories.
You won't be able to lose weight long-term without these things:
So remember, cutting calories is not the answer to long-term weight loss.
Ready to ditch the dieting, restrictions and rabbit food and instead lose weight while becoming healthier AND feel amazing? Awesome. Send me a message here.
May Anne xo
Well it’s officially Back to School time, and with that brings the challenge of making lunches!
As moms, we want to provide our children with not only nourishing lunches, but lunches they will actually eat, and because we’re busy moms, lunches that also don’t take up a ton of time!!
As a mom and Nutritionist I know the struggles families face when it comes to packing healthy meals for school!
I know how hard it is when you pack healthy snacks for your child, only to see them come back home again in the lunch box - untouched. One year, my son likes cut up green peppers, the next year he suddenly doesn’t like them anymore - What??
A big concern of mine is the amount of processed foods that make their way into kids lunch boxes.
Now, my sons lunches are never perfect, and yes we do purchase certain granola bars and the occasional treats, BUT what I am talking about is when the majority of a child’s lunch comes from pre-packaged foods that are full of preservatives, colouring and flavourings.
These chemicals will not help your children focus, and are setting them up for cravings for these types of food, AND will also impede their choices for real, whole food.
To help them focus, they need stable blood sugar and real, whole foods to fuel their brain. This is where WHAT we pack for their lunches comes into play. Now, before you throw your hands up in despair, thinking that your picky eater would never eat what I’m suggesting, hold tight - I’ve got your back with this one!! Here’s the thing, picky eaters usually aren’t born that way - it has a lot to do with the flavour enhancers, sugars, and chemicals that our children’s processed foods are loaded with, not the whole foods!
Children’s foods are so loaded with chemicals and sugars, their body’s start to expect the chemical reaction and intense taste every time they eat something. If the food you are providing them does not offer that chemical/sugar reaction, then it often ends up on the NO list! But hang tight - there is a way to help re-wire them!
The challenge is to eliminate the processed options and work with your children on what they DO want in their lunches without offering the flavoured and food-colouring foods. This brings me to Tip #1!
TIP #1 Create a Lunch Box Plan, and let them choose!
This is the first step. The old is not an option anymore, so you will need a lunch box ideas chart to help them choose the items they want in their lunches. Either use this form (above), or if you are a Pinterest mom, sit down with your children and scroll through healthy lunch ideas and make a list! This list will be one of your most valuable healthy eating tools!
If you were to work with me one on one for your own personal health goals, I would help you choose foods that you like, in order to help you eat the right foods. The same thing needs to happen in your home around your children’s lunches. Having a plan makes you way more likely to stick to it. It also makes planning for your week way easier when you have the right foods available!! Gone will be the processed foods that can decrease their ability to focus, and offer ZERO nutritional value!
Not only do Zero Nutrition value foods NOT give your child the nutrients they need, but they actually ROB your child’s body of its stored nutrients in order for these processed foods to be broken down and eliminated. This sets your child up for catching every sickness going around the classroom!
TIP #2 Plan Your Shopping.
This is just as important as number one, and should be based on the healthy lunch choices each week. The trick is to create routine around what day you grocery shop. After you’ve planned your healthy menu, do your weekly shopping. It helps to do this on the same day each week. Don’t worry about getting it perfect! The moment you start planning for healthier and less processed meals and snacks, and shop for those particular foods, the sooner your entire family will start eating more of the right foods!
TIP #3 Do weekly Prep.
I know you feel that you don’t have time for this, but doing this will ultimately create more time for you! This is the step most families miss, and it’s really the one that determines if your child is getting a lunch full of pre-packaged food, or a healthy lunch!
I get it, the BIGGEST challenge I see in most families when it comes to healthy eating is a total lack of time. That's why so many families are eating WAAAAAY too much processed foods - because it’s easier.
But, in my opinion that is a huge contributor to why we have so many issues with attention deficit disorders, immune and gut health issues, and even diseases and illnesses that have become so prevalent since the onset of convenience foods.
FOOD IS THE FUEL FOR YOUR BODY, JUST LIKE GASOLINE IS THE FUEL FOR YOUR CAR. Everything you put into your body determines how it will function.
Once we’ve planned for the right foods and shopped for the right foods, the final step is to prep the right foods. I suggest a non-negotiable weekly time slot for prep time.
Create a routine around getting your children’s healthy lunch set up for the week, which WILL reduce stress and time in helping them eat the right foods!
Taking one hour per week will make the rest of your week run soooo much more smoothly! AND you’ll be instilling the importance of nutrition into your children, which I can’t even begin to describe the life-long benefit that will have for them!
I can’t tell you how many clients I see that are suffering from poor health and/or from being overweight, because they are eating the same way they learned to eat as children. Now, they’re forced to change the way they eat due to health concerns, and they’re finding it incredibly hard to change those habits. Make the changes now while you can!
So what will you be prepping?
Here are my favourite foods to prep for healthy lunches:
I know, this is a lot of information! Revisit the steps above as needed and make a commitment to get started right away. If you’re anything like me, you can’t put it off - otherwise it will just sit on the ‘good intentions’ shelf and never actually get done.
Make a list of healthy options your children want in their lunch, plan your lunch menu each week, shop for the items you need, and set aside 60 minutes a week to get your prep done. I promise you, you will be so proud of the healthy lunches you are sending your children to school with, and if they’re helping, they will be proud too!
Based on the responses of more than 150,000 families in the Juice Plus+ Children’s Health Study, taking Juice Plus+ has far-reaching effects on the health and well-being of children.
After only one year, parents reported:
Ask me how your children can be a part of the Children’s Health Study!
As a Nutritionist I highly recommend Juice Plus+ for families, as it is a whole food based supplement made entirely from juiced fruits and vegetables!
The Children’s capsules contain only concentrated whole food powders without the sugar! Juice Plus+ is not a replacement for healthy dietary choices but helps families bridge the gap between what they are eating and what they should be eating. https://mayjordens-laflamme.canada.juiceplus.com/
Need some support? Connect with me HERE and we'll set up a time for a phone call or Skype!
Until next time!
May Anne xo
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.