“If you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”
Joyce Sunada’s popular statement rings true to this seasoned Naturopath’s ears. Time and time again, I see clients who are screaming through life at full pace, only to be sideswiped by sickness, forcing them to slow down. The reality is, though, life is busy. So often, we are go-go-go, and while ideally, we make lifestyle changes and choices to allow for more rest, sometimes our immune system needs love and support on the go. This ensures we can keep up with life without getting knocked down by illness! Buckle up. Below are 8 tips for immunity boosting on the go to help ward off illness and stay vibrant and energised…
1. Keep Healthy Snacks On Hand
The foundation for ensuring a robust immune system lies in the foods we consume. Sugar, trans fats and highly processed foods are detrimental to our immune system while consuming minimally processed, vitamin and mineral-rich wholesome foods are key to optimum immune health. It’s so tempting when hungry while out and about to reach for easy, fast options (hello, drive-through…goodbye, good nutrition!). Even when we’re on the go, it’s crucial to prioritize wholesome nourishment. Having healthy snacks in the car, office drawer, or in the gym bag is key here. Consider storing in the car glove box things like; bliss balls, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, brown rice crackers, and seaweed sheets. For the office fridge, consider buying pre-peeled, easy-to-grab-and-eat mini carrots or baby cucumbers to eat alone or dip into hummus. When our body’s immunity is compromised by stress and the consequent havoc it can cause to our health, we need more than ever to up our nutrition game. Ensuring nutrient-dense choices are close by when we are busy makes it easier to avoid unhealthy options that can be detrimental to optimum immunity. Preparation and forward planning is key when it comes to immune-enhancing nutrition, even when you’re busy.
2. Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration is not often top of mind when we think of specifically supporting our immune health. But it is vitally important to maintain a healthy immune system. Water helps flush out toxins, aids in digestion, and supports overall bodily functions to ensure that our body is in prime condition to fight off unwelcome invaders. When you’re constantly on the go, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. If you’re anything like me, remembering to drink water in winter easily slips the mind compared to summer when quenching your thirst in the heat feels so much more instinctive! Make it a habit to carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go, and for additional immune-boosting benefits, you could add a squeeze of lemon juice to the water. Consider carrying a few herbal tea bags to enjoy a quick warm boost of immune support throughout your day or to get around my winter hydration glitch already mentioned; I find filling a thermos of herbal tea at the beginning of the day really helps. If you’re generally not great at drinking water, consider setting reminders on your phone or use a water-tracking app to ensure you’re staying hydrated throughout the day.
3. Manage Stress Effectively
High levels of stress can wreak havoc on our immune systems, making us more susceptible to infections. Try incorporating stress-reducing practices into your daily routine, even when you’re on the move. Consider guided meditations while driving, 5-minute yoga videos on YouTube for a quick stretch while waiting to taxi kids from A-B, or breathing exercises you can subtly focus on while listening in on yet another online meeting. Spending time in nature can work wonders on calming your mind and bolstering immunity, so even if you only have 3 minutes between meetings, seek the sunshine, or if you have a long phone conversation ahead, why not take it into the park, or simply outdoors in your backyard to get a dose of nature whilst multi-tasking. Practicing deep breathing exercises while driving can help reduce stress and support your immune system. Take a few moments to inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth.
4. Disinfect Surfaces
Carry some natural disinfectant wipes to clean frequently-touched surfaces in the car, such as the steering wheel, door handles, and buttons. This can help reduce the spread of germs while you’re out and about on the go.
5. Portable Immune Gels
In winter, I always have the best intentions with getting vitamins and herbs into the whole family to help us ward off the inevitable nasties we will be exposed to. But again, time is often against me! Portable, easy-to-consume options are where it is at when it comes to squeezing extra goodness into my family’s busy schedules. I have recently taken to arming myself with these Barker’s of Geraldine Immunity Vitamin C Gel Sachets. I throw them into my handbag and also have a good stash in my car’s glovebox to throw back to the kids en route to school! Each sachet contains New Zealand Blackcurrant, Blueberry, and Honey and has no refined sugar while containing 200% of our recommended daily vitamin C intake. And my favourite part about them? Family compliance…everyone loves and looks forward to their morning boost! We are also fans of the Barker’s New Zealand Lemon, Honey, Ginger, and Turmeric Immunity Gels, which are equally beneficial and delicious daily immune support in a convenient sachet. These will definitely be thrown into my packing for any international flights I have in the future (#manifesting)!
For more information or to buy online visit barkers.co.nz.
6. Positivity and Laughter
Laughter has been shown to have immune-boosting effects, so consider tuning out the mental chatter/clutter and tuning into some light-hearted podcasts while you’re doing mundane chores like supermarket shopping or house cleaning. This can help to keep your spirits high and avoid low immunity!
7. Nutrient-Dense Smoothies:
Preparing nutrient-dense smoothies in advance has been a game-changer in our family, as it’s a rare day when we have time in amongst the morning rush to whip up a nutritious smoothie! I like to make a big family smoothie the night before, and I put it into portable containers that everyone grabs out of the fridge while racing out the door. For immunity smoothies, I focus on incorporating citrus fruits into the blend, and I often throw some raw ginger in the mix, also. For added antioxidants and vitamins, I usually throw some family-friendly neutral-tasting spinach in the mix too. To ensure sustainable energy, I always include at least one protein element in the smoothie. These could include; chia seeds, raw cashews, protein powder, natural yoghurt, or any nut butter.
8. Daily Supplements:
Consider taking a high-quality multivitamin or immune-supporting supplement daily. While a wholesome, varied diet is ideal, nutritional supplements can bridge the gap when you’re unable to consume a balanced diet consistently. I leave my daily multis in the center console of the car, and taking it while I wait for everyone to pile in has become as routine as putting on my belt as soon as I’m in the car! Being busy doesn’t mean our immunity needs to take a backseat. Some simple daily changes and implementations can give us the boost we need to keep the immune system in prime form. Taking a little time to prioritse making healthy choices on the go is worth it, after all… “If you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”