I've done my own research and am working to change my eating habits and food storage plan to go through this naturally. Here's our plan:
- Lots of fresh vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, with gluten-free grains (for 2 of us but the 3rd gets other grains too).
- Very little cooking to preserve nutrients.
- Minimize processed foods. Processing foods into chips, candy and etc. takes out vitamins and other nutrients.
- Cut out dairy products. Milk from dairy animals can cause an increase in mucous production. We've switched to supplemented rice milk and hemp milk. (Can't have soy milk.)
- Cut out flesh products. We're not going 100% vegan or even vegetarian but we're minimizing. I recently saw a special on PBS that discussed how horrible the meat processing is ... and it's so bad that many meat inspectors become vegetarian. Meat is recommended to be fully cooked not because of the intrinsic nature of the meat but because it almost certainly has e-coli or other bacteria that needs to be cooked to be eaten safely. Except for tuna and some bacon (probably), we're working to become mostly no-meat people.
- Garlic. I have lots of dried garlic and will add that everywhere and every chance I get.
- Increase Vitamin D levels. It appears that Vitamin D levels are lower in the Winter when we're less exposed to sunlight. I'm storing rice milk supplemented with Vit D and the actual capsule/pill supplements. We'll also sun ourselves on the patio whenever we can.
- Pro-biotics. Supplements, sauerkraut (for hubby because... ew!), kefir, etc.
- Sugar - cut it out! We like honey in our rice and oatmeal, but I'm working to at least cut it back to one tablespoon per meal. We don't use white sugar. I like a little stevia in my tea but can do without. We eat a lot of fruit but since it has a lot of sugar in it - albeit natural - we'll cut it back.
- Blueberries. Yes, I know, blueberries are fruit but they are a superfood and great for the immune system. I have a lot of dried blueberries stocked up, and we'll have one small "dixie" cup each day with lunch.
- Lots of liquids. Keep things moving along with lots of water. Don't skimp.
- Elderberry capsules. Starting with the first sign of Winter, we'll be taking one a day. Should I come down with a respiratory-something, we'll take elderberry syrup/extract.
- Vitamin C... well, this one everyone knows. Goldenseal and echinacea are absolute musts for supplements.
Other things to do:
- Get lots of rest to help the body fight off viruses and bacteria.
- Use coping mechanisms to deal with stress - talk, throw pillows, scream, cry, hug, etc.
- Exercise is essential to get the body in shape to fight off illnesses, but also produces adrenalin and endorphins and helps the circulatory system.
- Wash hands often. Everything I touch has already been touched by someone else... shopping cart handles, items in the grocery store, car door handles, door knobs, money, etc. Keep hand cleaners handy, but don't use too much because we need some bacteria! Buy a good plain chemical-free soap. Even a "dry-rub" (rubbing your hands together for 3 minutes to get rid of the top layer of skin) is a good substitute when you can't get to a sink and soap.
We've set up an indoor grow room in our home (with grow lights). We are planting seeds for string beans, shelling peas and cucumbers. We already have 2 tomato plants, and 2 buckets with strawberry plants. We'll add parsley, zucchini, spinach and carrots when we figure out where to put them! This is in addition to veggies we've already dried.
We are also going to be raising quail soon. This can be done indoors, with very little evidence to people who don't come into the home or garage (not much of a smell or sounds). We'll be eating the eggs - 4 quail eggs equal 1 small chicken egg. Good source of protein.