Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tips for Avoiding Sickness

I seriously dislike that moment when I feel sickness coming on. Or worse yet, when one of my kiddos wakes up with a runny nose or congestion. Then those thoughts come, "is he sick? Is everyone else going to get it now?" Change the congestion up with a stomach bug and I if I am honest panic is my most common reaction. I can think of few things I dread more than a home filled with nausea and vomitting! Can you relate at all? (It is funny because as I write this Erik has a runny nose, his first in almost half a year. Although I think I can point to the sugar he has been allowed to have this past week as at least part of the culprit. Sugar is not our friend! But I am getting sidetracked...).

As a mom I often feel this pressure to keep my kids healthy by having the best nutrition possible. There is this tension I live with. In my gut I know that constant sickness is a signal something is not right and I want to do all I can on my end to raise a healthy strong family. Yet I have learned through the years that even when I have all the plates spinning so to speak, I still need to trust God to protect us and no system of health is full-proof. So many things play into having strong immune systems -strong healthy guts, healthy whole food diets, plenty of rest, lack of stress, environmental factors, etc, and I simply cannot control each and every factor all of the time. This fall for example I was eating very healthy and yet was sick for weeks on end. I was breastfeeding/pumping for my youngest and my body was wiped out. I even got a staph infection. I was such a mess. I finally got to a healthy place and have been healthy since, but it is proof that diet alone will not keep sickness at bay.

While we cannot control everything and guarantee complete health in our homes, there are many things we can do to boost strong immune systems in our home. Today I'll share with you some of the supplements to our diet that have made a difference in keeping my family healthy. Although it is hard for me to point to what specifically has made the difference, and these things have not become my guarantee that we won't get sick, when we are consistent with the following we seem to be able to keep sickness at bay most of the time:

1) High dose probiotics. We take these every morning. The older two children can swallow their pills and for our youngest two I mix his probiotic capsule into their morning drinks. One tip on probiotics that I learned from my naturopath is that it is best to be consistent with the probiotic you choose. Your body adjusts to the blend of strains you are on and if you are changing brands up a lot it can be counterproductive. I am wanting to switch brands but plan on doing so this summer when we are less likely to get sick. Seems like a safer time to make a change.

 2) High dose of Vitamin D3. While Vitamin D is already a recommended supplement in the medical world, I personally needed a much higher amount than is recommended to raise my D levels to an optimal place. Blood tests are the best way to know where your Vitamin D levels are and how much supplement you should be taking. See this for more info.

 3) Beet kvaas. This is a fermented beet drink and is loaded with natural probiotics. It is so good for your gut. However, my kids really wouldn't touch this as is so I make a drink that has 1 part organic apple juice (this is the only time we drink fruit juice), 1 part water and 1 part kvaas. I add in some coconut oil for fat for the kiddos, mix it up in our vitamix blender and serve it for breakfast a few times a week.

 4) Hydrogen peroxide ear drops. I found this tip on Dr. Mercola's website. When we are exposed to a nasty bug or one of the kids seems to be coming down with something, we all get a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear. I have everyone lay on the floor and put the drops in one side and then tell them a story or they watch a show while the drops sit for about 5 mins. The drops bubble up in the ear which tickles them a bit but they have learned to be good about staying still. Then we dump out the drops and do the other side. I am convinced this has dramatically decreased the spread of any illness within our home.

5) Good sleep. We get the kids to bed at a good hour every night and the youngest two get good naps in every day. Keeping rested helps so much!

I have heard of other supplements and tricks that help ward off sickness, such as elderberry syrup or garlic, but so far the list above has been working well for us. We might not be able to control every factor to having strong health, but I hope you will be inspired that there is a lot we can do to help!


  1. I had put my 1 week old baby probiotics when he was suffering from acid reflux and a very sensitive stomach. It made him so much better. He went from hours of crying and fussing, constipation and gas pains, to being happy and sleeping well :)

    1. Isn't that amazing?! Sooo much better than putting them on reflux meds. I put two of my sons on meds and really wish I hadn't.