Awe, August comes so carefree and quickly vanishes along with the last traces of summer. As August arrived we all wonder “where did July go?” Time flies when you’re having fun, soaking up the sun and being more social. With the first crisp cool mornings, you sense that change is forth coming as the daylight dwindles.
September is a critical month to prepare your immune system for fall. Recognizing your immune system is one of the bodies primary functions in which it requires resiliency between the exterior and the interior world. It has many interfaces that may sense danger as stressors come from many different aspects- externally from our environment to physiological, biochemical, emotional, social and how one perceives things mentally.
When cells senses danger, worry, fear and stress it ramps up. Sometimes it misreads the signals and stays in an over-reactive chronic state of alarm. This state leads to a wildfire of inflammation along with a wide gambit of metabolic diseases we know all too well, like heart disease, diabetes, mental disorders and a wide range of autoimmune conditions.
Immunity cannot be isolated to the intake of a single vitamin or supplement. Rather it’s the sum of a greater whole in which we have to give attention to a few key pillars that will help this transitional time.
Falling back on the basic principles of Ayurveda —if we connect with the qualities of each season it gives the body a better chance to adjust accordingly and keep balanced. With this Covid crisis lingering and ruling our lives it sets us up for cortisol to be running amuck through one’s veins.
Signs of imbalanced seasonal dryness include harder stools, gas and bloating, insomnia, anxiety, and a scattered mind. Seasonal stress might show up as a skin disorder, fall hay fever, susceptibility to a sore throat, and any onset of infection or “itis” that signifies the over abundance of inflammation.
In today’s overly STRESSED and toxic world this correlates to about 95% of today’s lack of optimal holistic health and WHY disease is so prevalent and manifests into physical symptoms!
Ways in which you can improve your overall well-being by removing the physical, mental and emotional effects of daily stress that permeates into our tissues, energy fields and creates symptoms of distress.
The SCOOP on POOP
If you are prone to constipation, it’s almost always worse with the first cool Autumn air. A buildup of toxins from constipation or dryness may aggravate allergies, cause urinary tract infections and the onset of other pathogens to proliferate.
Ginger is a known prokinetic, that along with its ability to quell inflammation, it helps drive the MMC(migrating motor complex) of the gastro intestinal tract. Adding it to water with lemon first thing in the morning, incorporating ginger in meals or if you’re a Young Living lover like myself— adding a few drops of oil into a capsule with some psyllium husk powder for fiber is the way to literally go.
Fats and fiber for frequency equals flaxseeds. Taking one tablespoon of flaxseed oil before bed or 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds soaked in 2 Tbs of water for five minutes makes for aiding in elimination.
Another favorite food remedy is kickstarting the day with kiwi’s. By juicing a couple of kiwi’s, cucumbers and celery together will help support the stomachs digestive function to the colons mucosal hydration. Doing a day of juice fasting helps reset your digestive and metabolic fire.
I am more of a smoothie loving girl for the fact of the many nutritional punches of immune boosting benefits, digestive enhancing prebiotic fiber sources and liver cleansing super greens which can all be deliciously combined and consumed. Consider bypassing the coffee that is dehydrating for a more superior smoothie.
Certain types of mushrooms have key constituents known as 3,6 beta-glucans that promotes an immuno-modulatory effect. They help improve natural killer cell function, which is essential for fighting viruses. I enjoy a Cold-Pressed Seed Powder Blend that contains sunflower, cucumber, cranberry, black cumin, blackberry, and concord grape seed fibers and AHCC®, a clinically-studied microRNA signaling & patented cultured mushroom mycelia extract blend that enhances the gut/brain axis. This all supports the immune system, skin, eye, brain, and heart health, while increases stress resilience as the microbiome is entwined with the central nervous system.
Before bed try magnesium citrate and vitamin C in a buffered ascorbate powder which both act as an osmotic agent that draws water into the GI tract to soften stools and will make it easier to pass impacted bowels.
Sleep is one of the clearest links that science has been able to make that directly plays a significant role in building up immune resiliency and for which one has an actionable amount of control over. For some, it’s elusive, disrupted and short because stress has caused cortisol to curve high during this critical rebuilding period. During deep sleep, the brain detoxes, immune cells enhance to support any fight against the common cold, flu and to protect us from cancerous tumor cells.
Our brains are always looking for patterns, may the rhythmic song of the peeper frogs lull you into a deeper state of slumber. Settling down earlier in the evening with lights out by 10 may help to reset your circadian cycle. When the body is warmer at night, blue light is avoided, the mind is in a peaceful place and no alcohol is consumed are ways to help with insomnia.
Unlike these unison creatures that call out during the night, humans are a warm-blooded species. The body spends lots of energy adjusting to varied temperature changes. Air conditioning and cooler temps, shifts of the season can play a part in being a physiological stressor on the bodies adaptability to change so keep a blanket and sweatshirt handy not to get chilled.
If monkey chatter, anxiety, worries and stress affects aspects of your days and quality Zzz’s then using adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha, not only improves moods, but calms the mind. This is crucial if you wish to get off the cortisol carousel. Deep sleep should have you slumbering for a good 6-7 hours. An amazing MOOD managing natural supplement that supports anxiousness, sadness and restlessness by triggering those happy hormones.
Another fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and spend more time in both REM sleep (for brain rejuvenation) and deep sleep (for body restoration) is a natural SLEEP supplement that’s been studied for its effectiveness. Corn grass and other patented blends of tryptophan, 5HTP phytonutrients and mineral cofactors that support serotonin/melatonin metabolism and improve sleep quality.*
GUT BRAIN DIET
If immunity is important to you then gut health should stand out as inseparable to consciously support one’s well-being 100%. As 80% of our immune function resides amongst the gut barrier walls. There’s a number of fundamental factors to keep both in your mind, fork and on your plate. Being mindful to not only slow down and chew each bit to beyond morsels, but to daily consume healthy doses of probiotic and prebiotic foods.
Today science reveals specific strains of probiotics target specific neurotransmitters that will simultaneously boost the uptake of ‘feel good’ happy hormones. As well as we recognize probiotics serve to reinforce the trillions of bacteria needed to build a fortress of flora to fight against the pathogens of bad bacteria, viruses, fungus and parasites.
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Dialing down on raw foods and consuming cooked foods that warm the soul like soups and stews. Taking your garden gems like beans, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, cabbage, carrots and garlic scapes to ferment into fabulous probiotic rich nutrition.
Naturally begin to align with the root vegetables that come into season during this time. All are especially antioxidant rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps to boost the gut friendly bacteria. Loaded with vitamin and minerals to lower high levels of blood fats and blood glucose to reduce the risk of Type-2 diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer.
We also want to include more healthy omega 3 fats, through oils, avocados and nuts. These help take down inflammation, promotes healthier cardiovascular, brain function, insulates the body and nourishes cells of the nervous system.
A shift in carb cravings can be a sign that your body will begin to prepare for colder temps ahead. When the body begins to build insulating layers of fat from circulation to the skin the blood dries out. Staying hydrated with water, antioxidant rich fruits like grapes, stonecrop peaches, plums and kiwi’s also provide fiber and moistens the GI tract.
This virus has broadened everyone’s awareness that Vitamin D is a significant component to our immune health. As the autumn months manifest into winter and lower exposure to sunlight this should be one of the few necessary things to consider supplementing. I believe anyone who suffers from autoimmune conditions should consider choosing liposomal liquid forms. Daily outdoor exposure to the suns rays throughout the colder months, alongside increasing intake of foods high in Vitamin D, such as mushrooms, oily fish, eggs and sprouted seeds is all beneficial.
HERBS to HELP and HEAL
Rose hips are a summer fruit that begins to form in early summer, and ripens in the late summer through autumn. They are rich in vitamin C antioxidants, carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids.
Amalaki, commonly known as Indian gooseberry or amla, is considered one of the most powerful rejuvenating herbs in Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, it’s known as “the sustainer”. Its been traditionally prescribed to strengthen the immune system to support the common cold, sore throat and to nurture the digestive tract, inner/outer skin, arteries, and liver.
Saffron has received so much recognition from Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Shawn Talbott to the numerous learning challenged . I think, September, school and studying and don’t we all know someone who may need the support when stressed with wanting to do better comprehensively? Saffron helps to normalize serotonin and dopamine activity — the “feel good” neurotransmitters, aids in reducing cellular damage, and supports lowering stress hormones including cortisol for more optimal focus and concentration.
Holy Basil or Tulsi, meaning “incomparable one” as it’s not your typical basil plant. It’s been considered sacred by the Hindus and always in Ayurvedic medicine for as an adaptogen herb to counter life’s stresses and provide calm to the body and mind.
Rosemary supports the body, mind and spirit. It helps relieve muscle discomfort, enhances immunity, mental focus and an overall ‘feel good’. Alone it can be helpful, but when you put these three herbal remedies together they synergistically have been studied for their neuroprotective benefits, the ability to reduce oxidative stress and kicks up those happy hormones especially in children. KIDS MOOD was designed with literally them in mind, but this patented proprietary blend that’s similar to a pixie stick has adults praising its holistic effects.
Licorice root improves inflammation along the GI tract, especially good for those who suffer with acid reflux or heartburn. It’s gelous soothes dryness, encourages water retention and has anti-viral and microbial properties. Caution to those with high blood pressure and on meds for congestive heart failure or blood thinners.
When chronic to neurological inflammation runs amuck upstream this distracts anyone from living their best lives. Anxiety, depression, brain fog, joint pain, aggravating skin conditions, poor sleep, and a lack of energy and/or vitality.
For this my first go to is green tea because of the powerful antioxidant, epigallocatechin…lol, a real mouthful. I love to drink this energy enhancing tea in a ground matcha tea form—a coconut latte style or in a pomegranate proprietary flavonoid blend with other added amino acids for mental alertness. Amare’s ENERGY + is full of necessary bioflavonoids that support a healthy gut microbiome, liver detoxification, and help take down oxidative stress aka inflammation.
Intermittent fasting improves energy and cellular apoptosis. Begin by taking longer durations from your final bite at night which ideally should be around 6pm and last for a good 14hours before taking that first break-fast bite. Not over eating gives the digestive system that much needed break. When less vital energy is spent on digestion the bodies metabolic engine can rev up and immune cells can regenerate.
And during this transitional time think positively about aligning to do a 21-30 day whole foods cleanse or a gut reboot to adjust the pH of the intestines and cut down on inflammation which robs the brain and body of energy required to function optimally. It’s polyphenols, antioxidants and other phytonutrients from plants that help fuel, feed and increase the blood flow to the brain so the body can operate at a higher capacity.
Alway’s ask yourself does this support the lifestyle I am trying to create for myself? If you’re feeling wonky of body, mind or spirit know first you are not alone and women especially fall into the out of balance, out of sync and stress induced statistics. For some it’s simple solutions to help you feel more vibrant, healthier and in harmony. But we all need to begin with lifestyle changes that build upon our emotional and stress resilience and we just may need to adjust our own seasonal self-care management tools.