Holiday Wellness, Part I Spread the Love - Not the Germs

The “Holiday Season” is filled with mixed vibrations – both positive and negative. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to look forward to each gathering of friends and family with comfort, confidence, and the ability to bring a healthy mind, body and spirit to the celebration? There are many ways to achieve this. First, we focus on the body. One of the most effective steps you can take right now is to pay careful attention to your physical health. Next, we will focus on the mind and spirit. (Part II will approach those topics.) In this issue, we will deal with “the body.” Below are a few tips to help you do just that.

Guard Against Germs (and Viruses)

Hugs and kisses without sharing colds and flu viruses can be quite the challenge. Consider working the following into your routine:

  • Hand washing (especially before and after food preparation).

  • Keeping a roll of paper towels on a decorative holder for guests; line the trash can with a plastic bag (those from the super market work well for small cans, as they have ‘handles’ for easy grasp).

  • Taking extra Vitamin D several days before and after the gathering (ask your healthcare provider for recommendations).

Read Your Body

You might be fighting a cold or sinus flare up if you experience these symptoms:

  • Snoring the night before.

  • Awakening with a sore throat or thick glob in your throat.

  • Feeling extra tired upon waking.

  • Awakening in a bad mood.

If you have any of these above-mentioned “signals,” chances are you are fighting infection. Possible interventions some people benefit from:

  • Simple salt water irrigation (for sinuses).

  • Gargling with mild salt water.

  • A bowl of chicken soup.

  • Herbs (if you are interested in using herbs to speed the healing process, speak with your health provider before doing so).

Interventions Benefits From

These are reliable health behaviors at any time of year, but especially during the holidays:

  • Avoiding white sugar, flour (all kinds), wheat.

  • Adding vegetables that are red, orange or yellow (such as butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet peppers (red/yellow/orange).

  • Increasing intake of clear water; cutting out soda (every kind).

Tempting as it may be to reach for an over-the-counter liquid or pill from the bathroom medicine cabinet, there are ways in which your kitchen cupboard can provide more value in the short and long run. Including and avoiding key foods, herbs, vegetables, and spices often help to boost the immune system.

If you are interested in learning more about how to read your body communication and tap into your kitchen for remedies so that you can respond appropriately, speak with your trusted healthcare provider.

Here’s to a healthy, happy holiday season!

Dr. Nancy Iankowitz is a board certified family nurse practitioner and Director of Holistic and Integrative Healing LLC. She is also host of “Marcy’s World”on Pawling Public Radio. Email your questions to: For more information, call (917) 716-6802, or visit online.