3 ways to stay well this winter

3 ways to stay well this winter

Cough, hack, sneeze! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing this everywhere! From work to daycare to friends and family… everyone is coming down with something. It has me thinking about these 3 things we all could be doing to stay well this winter.

Get your Vitamin D level checked. Our vitamin D levels are lowest in the winter months which means we may be missing out on some helpful immune benefits. One research study reported that adults who have low vitamin D levels are more likely to have had a recent cough, cold or upper respiratory infection.  There is still a lot of research to be done about vitamin D but we do know that the active form of vitamin D can tame inflammation and boost production of microbe-fighting proteins in your body.

Dietary sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, fortified milk or juice, liver, cheese and egg yolks. It is not likely that you will be able to meet your needs through diet alone and the level of vitamin D supplementation you need will depend on your blood level. So talk to your doctor today if you think your vitamin D levels are low. In the meantime, it wouldn’t hurt to be taking a multivitamin that includes some vitamin D.

Stay hydrated. If you are anything like me, a glass of cold water doesn’t sound great this time of year. That’s trouble considering we still need to stay hydrated in the winter months. The good news is we can choose other ways to fill our bodies with the fluids we need. My favorite options? Tea and soup! Now doesn’t Candy Cane Green Tea sound delightful? Or what about unwinding with a little a cup of honey lavender stress relief tea?? And I can’t tell you how excited I am about this new local product for making soups. Thank you, Kate Elia, for transforming high quality, under-appreciated local scraps into a heavenly tasting kitchen staple that I can’t wait to get my hands on for winter cooking.

Move more. The shorter, colder and sometimes gloomy days of winter can encourage us to stay inside at our desk, on the couch or snuggled in bed longer. It can be hard to be as active as we are in the warmer seasons. It’s worth the effort though. Exercise makes you feel healthier and more energetic, it can ward off depression and it keeps our waist line slim. I love to find creative ways to move more in the winter. After sitting for a bit, I will get up and shake my sillies out (can you tell I have a 3 year old?) or I might run to my car instead of walk. Sometimes I do push ups while letting the kids play in the bath tub or do squats while I brush my teeth. These may seem small and insignificant but every lit bit of movement adds up. Of course, it’s also great to do more stretching, walking or a weight-lifting, too.

Food for thought:

What are you doing to stay well this winter?

Tell us:

What is your favorite winter wellness tip?

Looking for an immunity boost in your diet and lifestyle? We can help!


3 things to do after you are as stuffed as the turkey

3 things to do after you are as stuffed as the turkey

Awh..the season for feasting is here. There is a good chance you will be eating some turkey, gravy, rolls, stuffing and all the things to go along with it soon.  YUM!! Who is excited for the yummy food?! (Me!) I could go on about how to be mindful, eat a well-balanced turkey dinner, avoid overeating but let’s face it…. Thanksgiving is about celebrating our food! Dare I say it but… I think it’s okay to overindulge a bit at your Thanksgiving meal.

Perhaps the most important thing is what you do afterwardHere’s what I plan to do after the feasting is done.

  1. Get outside and move! One year I did a turkey trot walk/run the morning of Thanksgiving. Another year my family walked around Duke’s campus after eating our meal. This year I’m gonna #OptOutside! Will you join me? Let’s say no to the long lines and madness of shopping and say yes to nature!! We’ll be posting pictures of us opting outside on our Facebook page. We wanna see your nature selfies too! Post them with the hashtag #OptOuside and #wellbalancednutrition
  2. Go green! Leftovers are awesome. We will likely have plenty of turkey, mashed potatoes, rolls and pie left after it’s all said and done!  It’s really easy to over-do it if we don’t balance them out with some fruits and veggies. I am planning to buy a variety of greens and fruit to eat alongside the remaining foods from the turkey day spread.
  3. Eat breakfast. When you overeat a bit on Thanksgiving, skipping breakfast that morning or the next day may seem like a reasonable thing to do but it’s not wise. I will keep my metabolism going with a small and healthy morning meal such as eggs and fruit.

There you have it, folks! Those are my plans. What will you do? Comment below and let us know or let us know on Facebook.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Ya’ll!!



What I did with all the Halloween candy

What I did with all the Halloween candy

I love fall. The weather is cooler, the leaves change color and it’s the perfect time to get outside. Not to mention it marks the beginning of many celebrations and holidays to come…which is a wonderful thing and a challenging thing all at once.

Halloween is the first celebration of the season and boy was that fun! Don’t you just love seeing kids in their costumes all giddy for candy? And walking past all the houses with spooky decorations?

Of course, my 3-year-old wanted to be Elsa and my little guy was an adorable dragon. They did a great job of collecting tons of goodies in their plastic pumpkin buckets, but now I am dealing with the aftermath.

elsa dragon

Candy on the brain. It’s all my little Elsa wants in the morning and in the afternoon and before bed. She sees that plastic bucket and she wants to consume all the candies! If you give her one she asks for “one more” and then “one more.”

Can you blame her? I can’t. She is just like her mom. I see the candy sitting out and I grab a piece. Then I think to myself, ” maybe just one more.” I am not a good moderator with chocolate and cookies. I do much better if it’s out of sight, out of mind.

So here is my 2 part strategy for the Halloween candy stash.

  1. I created a game board that I titled LIFE IS SWEET. I found a poster board and wrote the rules of the game: (1) Be sweet. (2) Be grateful. (3) Enjoy a sweet treat. I taped/glued on 30 paper cups and let my little girl pick out 30 of her favorite pieces of candy which she then put in each cup.  I covered the cups with a square of tissue paper labeled 1-30. Now every day in November after we recall the ways in which she was sweet that day – for instance, being a good friend, listening to mom and dad, being kind to her brother – and say out loud one thing she is thankful for she can enjoy a treat. (By the way, the two things she is grateful for so far are candy and macaroni and cheese! Ha!)
  2. I put the rest out of sight so it can be out of mind. I froze the rest of the chocolate candy to pull out on special occasions throughout the next 10 to 12 months or when the dire craving hits. The non-chocolate candy went in the cabinet.

I’m hopeful that the 2-part strategy will eliminate the desire to overindulge and create a fun element to enjoying the candy over time.

Food for thought:

Are you a moderator or an abstainer when it comes to Halloween candy? How about other holiday treats?

What strategies can you use to make it easier to avoid overindulging when ______ is present in abundance?