March 17, 2020
It's about time I put together a post like this.
Not only for this time of uncertainty and quarantining due to COVID-19, but also because many live in parts of the country/world where, during the winter season, it’s rainy, gloomy, snowy and/or too cold to spend too much time outdoors.
But also spending too much time indoors can of course have its drawbacks, here’s why:
You know what that does to the body?
But this is not to make you feel bad at all about hibernating indoors! Sometimes we really have no choice.
That’s why I’m arming you with ways to avoid the cabin fever, winter blues and bonus: BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY!
The most important thing to do to avoid cabin fever is to establish a daily routine, not defined down to each hour, but more or less broken down by morning, afternoon, evening. The most important part of your day being your morning, as it sets the pace and the emotional tone/mood for the rest of the day.
For example, in the mornings, you can:
Did you know that indoor air is more toxic than outdoor air? You’d think that because of all the pollution, inside is better, right?!
Add more Greens to your space
But according to the EPA, “indoor levels of pollutants may be up to 100 times higher than outdoor pollutant levels and have been ranked among the top 5 environmental risks to the public.”
So it’s important to have adequate air filtration in place throughout your home, or especially in the areas you dwell in the most.
One of the best ways to do this is to have more house plants! These are nature’s best air filters. Look for plants such as:
Another way to purify the air (and also create a calming atmosphere!) is through diffusing essential oils. Oils such as lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, wild orange, cinnamon bark have a calming and cleansing effect.
If you don’t know what essential oils are, read this.
Essential oils activate the olfactory system, which is the part of the brain that is connected to the sense of smell.
This means that when you smell them (by diffusing them), they activate our emotional, mental and physical health because of the aromatic chemicals released.
These chemicals can induce relaxation, can clean up bacteria in the air, reduce inflammation, among many other things.
Less sun exposure is very common in the winter, whether you’re quarantined or not. So it’s inevitable that if our vitamin D levels were not optimal by the end of the summer, that we become deficient in the winter.
It is common to have low vitamin D levels even at the end of the summer. This is because our lifestyle has evolved so much over the years. The majority of us now work in offices most of the time, and year round. We park our cars as close to the building as possible, and we’re spending less and less time outdoors. In addition to that, we pile on the sunscreen to all exposed skin. This means we actually get very little direct sun exposure - even in the summertime.
What happens when you’re vitamin D deficient?
What is the significance of vitamin D to the body?
Vitamin D is actually a fat-soluble hormone that not only plays an important role in calcium absorption and bone density but also: immunity, hormones, gut health and brain health.
Vitamin D has the power to control immune response, and deficiency can lead to autoimmune disease and an increasing susceptibility to infection. 
Several studies have shown that those with low vitamin D levels were more receptive to infections and sick days from work.
Tuberculosis infections were treated with high doses of vitamin D before antibiotics were created.
That’s how powerful this vitamin (but actually it's a hormone!) is.
In addition to that, vitamin D is essential for making thyroid hormones and a deficiency is often associated with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism).
When the thyroid is low in function, it creates a cascade effect on the rest of the hormones in the body and can result in irregular periods, weight gain and infertility.
Vitamin D also impacts brain function and mood. The “winter blues” and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are directly linked to vitamin D deficiency.
It’s important to supplement with vitamin D throughout the winter months to boost the immunity and avoid the winter blues, between 2000 to 3000 IU’s.
BUT there are actually two forms of vitamin D available in supplements: D3 (cholecalciferol) and D2 (ergocaclciferol).
D2 is less effective and less absorbable than D3 because it’s not as biologically active.
If you’re vitamin D deficient and need to take a supplement, D3 is what you should look for.
It’s also best to take it with a fat, since it’s fat soluble and will be better absorbed.
Excellent supplements include those from Designs For Health (Vitamin D Supreme) and Genestra (D-Mulsion 1000) and Cod Liver Oil.
Food sources (though not nearly enough alone) include: wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, whole egg.
Any electronic device using Light Emitting Diodes (LED) such as a smartphone, tablet, computer or tv, and of course LED light bulbs emit blue light.
Blue light impairs the circadian rhythm, which is responsible for giving you energy during the day, and causing you to wind down at night. It does so by suppressing melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone that signals to the brain when it’s time to sleep.
Blue light is great during the day because it’s energizing, but harmful at night because it tricks the body into thinking it’s still daytime.
A study done in 2014 showed that people who used a light-emitting device before bed took longer to fall asleep, slept less deeply, and were more alert than people who read a printed book. 
During sleep, the body regenerates and the brain and liver detoxify so that the immune system is not burdened with excess waste and pathogens to ward off.
In order to have the most optimal immune system performance, it’s important to prioritize sleep by:
This last point is important and most often missed.
What we put into our bodies also affects our immune system.
Eating sugar and processed foods suppresses the immune system.
For example, one can of coke has been shown to suppress the activity of white blood cells for up to 5 hours.
This is significant - especially if you have this can of coke around the time that a virus or pathogen comes into contact with your blood and starts to proliferate. It continues to do so, because the white blood cells - which fight pathogens, are “taking a break”.
Processed foods also contain inflammatory ingredients and artificial chemicals which slow down our detoxification pathways and in turn reduce immune system activity.
To boost the immune system, it’s important to focus on nutrient-rich and anti-inflammatory foods that are not processed. This includes all vegetables and fruits, high quality proteins (grass-fed/pasture-raised/wild caught), healthy fats and whole grains.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What resonates the most/least with you?
Do you think you get enough sunlight and vitamin D exposure during the winter months?
September 09, 2020
Have you ever read the package insert that comes with any pharmaceutical drug?
You know, the one that’s folded 10x and has the smallest print and looks like a waste of time and paper?
That’s the one I’m talking about.
June 09, 2020
There’s a lot of controversial info out there on dairy. Some sources say to absolutely avoid it like the devil.
Other sources (like the US and Canadian food guide) say it’s a must with every meal.
Here’s my take on dairy.
March 04, 2020
Overall, more than half of U.S. women use the pill at least in part for non-contraceptive purposes such as PMS, irregular periods, debilitating cramps, PCOS, endometriosis and acne.
The pill might succeed at controlling all the above, but were you told what else it’ll do to your body?