8 Tips for a HEALTHY, HAPPY Winter (immune support NOW)

YIKES! Peeps are texting and emailing me left and right- HELP! Winter has hit our family, we have long coughs that won’t go away, sneezing and congestion and we keep passing it around our families and yes, the tummy bug is going around too-

Please note, below is a list of things we do to help support our immune system PROACTIVELY from about Oct- March here in Washington, DC. I do not use the same products or rituals, routines ALL year otherwise they are not as potent. When we are building and strengthening our immune system, we go slow and steady and do not over do it. When we are treating a cold or virus we are a bit more aggressive with our dosing and more intentional with the amount and the frequency at which it is given.

Holistic Health is a lifestyle approach to our wellness.. proactive not reactive.  Meaning, there is not something I just “take” to fix what’s presenting right now- I have to look at the WHOLE picture, at ALL the parts that are triggering and effecting my body, mind, spirit.  In general,  there’s a bit more of an inquiry, reflection and engaged relationship to our health. I know this model is not always supported in mainstream culture but let’s step back a bit and look at the ways we can cultivate our immune strength and support starting today… email me with other ideas that you use or what below was helpful.

****Also, we are humans. We catch things from one another. The reality is we cannot avoid this- BUT we can shorten the duration, we can decrease the intensity, and we can be way more proactive about our health than we think- ALL . YEAR. LONG. OH and I encourage you to do all of this with ALL ages- babies to teens to seniors!*******


1.  Eat your greens, daily! however you can, make sure to intentionally add greens to your diet. I like to throw a handful of spinach or kale in my smoothies or my soups or make sure I have a side salad with them at least once a day. Lately, I have been craving raw spinach and eating it as a snack in between meals- yum! Milo loves it too.  OH and on the veggie side- PLEASE be mindful to eat warm veggies in the winter- if you only eat salads, that can be very drying to your digestion- so it’s nice to have some lightly steamed veggies at every meal to help with digestion. Be mindful  that you are mixing up and creating variety with the veggies you eat and how you prep them.

2. Warm Regular epsom salt full baths or foot baths. I love this brand. And I use a variety of essential oils daily in my baths. My favorites are  Serenity, Balance , Deep Blue and then just making up my own blends and trying new oils based on how I feel… ohh- and when I want energy I use THIS– which I’m obsessed with.  I also put a drop in the kids baths and I use a little salts for them too!

3. Sleep more. Please, people- GET SOME SLEEP. There are loads of ways you can holistically and naturally support your sleep and if you suffer from not getting enough sleep, trouble falling or staying asleep this can be one of the simplest, most profound ways to strengthen immunity.  My sleep well tool kit includes- a diffuser next to my bed, relaxing sleepy oils like this and this, my journal for reflections and getting stuff off my mind and inspiring books that I can read a few pages of before bed, when I wake early- This is when I tend to read writing memoirs, creativity books, books on spirituality, buddhism, parenting, mindfulness.. and lately I get most of these from the library.

4. Investigate- It can be really helpful to have an inquisitive attitude about our bodies and what’s going on with them. Pay attention!  If you are eating too much sugar this season, how does it make you feel ?  I get a little headache and I use DigestZen oil when I get a belly ache and feel sluggish and I know the next day I have to pull back and have a super clean eating day. If my energy feels scattered or low- I go to acupuncture, if something is going on more intense or longer than a few days, I might go see my natural doc. I use massage and movement classes to take care of myself. The important thing here is.. 1. does this practice help me? do I feel energized after?  Is there anything going on in my body that needs a bit more attention– NOW is the time to get the help you need. Chronic illness and pain TYPICALLY DOES NOT GET BETTER ( especially as we get older) when we pretend it’s not going on or it’s “not that bad”.  So- if you run 7 days a week but find that you are getting a cold every few weeks- it might be a sign from your body to take a break, try some new movement practices to even/ balance your system out and go for a run 1-2 times a week instead. So be inquisitive about your body and list out a few supports that might be helpful to try!

.Mind & Spirit

5. Yoga and Meditation- daily. 80% of our  dis-EASE comes from stress. The other day I got some hard, stressful  news in the middle of the day, and immediately I could feel a cold coming on… Cultivating a regular, consistent, daily yoga and meditation practice  is a really important way to reset the system, allow our internal systems to do what they do best, to process emotions as well as to ground ourselves and calm our minds.  A little bit counts, give yourself permission to start a 5 minutes yoga and a 5 minute meditation practice today. Can’t get to a class?  Try Yoga Anytime or Yogaglo or any of our free 5-10 minute practices here. 

6. Affirmations- Our mindset when we start getting sick or when others around us get sick tends to look something like this.. ” I’m going to get this. I don’t want to get this. Why do we always get sick. I can’t get sick this week I have ____ to do. Do we have enough medicine? What can I take? Now I need a quick fix. What’s going to stop this?!? Oh no- I feel sick, it’s getting worse!”

Here is what I propose we bring to our awareness instead…

” I am healthy. My body knows how to heal. Resting, nourishing, relaxation will help my body flourish. Breathing in, I am healthy and calm. Breathing out, I let go of what is not serving me in this moment.”

7. Less stress, more rest. Okay this tip is around making space in our schedule for long, lazy cozy mornings and quiet reflective nights. Clearing our schedules for plenty of downtime, creative time, connection time. This is where you will find space to make healthy foods and soups, where you will find time to do a few moments of yoga/ meditation by yourself or with your family. Winter is the time for reflection, to nourish our introverted sides, for putting our feet up and letting our systems have a break from the constant distracted adrenaline rush of daily modern life. If you or your family members get sick often – it’s time to ask yourself, are we doing WAY too much? Where can we pull back? What needs to come off our schedule ( just for now, not for always?!) Another question I like to ponder is- are all the family members getting what they need? How can we work together and communicate in this season to make sure we all feel aligned and we are all on the same page with the family flow. For us, this looks like talking about what events to attend, what we need to let go of, what brings us joy, and how we are feeling with our schedule. Each year, each season it changes and it’s so wonderful to lean into what mother nature is whispering to us to do, feel, be in this season . Side note- I also find this is the BEST setting for my most creative, meaningful, enjoyable ideas for work, life and biz.

8. Cultivate JOY!  A joy practice is something I DEEPLY believe in. WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY?  start a list and try to practice/ integrate something for the list daily. Sometimes we have to “remember” to bring JOY into our daily life ( especially during super busy seasons) so.. some of the things on my joy lists are… all year, all season nature walks, reading a chapter of the book I’m reading, moving my body to music I love ( even 1 song feels great!), painting/ creating something ( even 15 minutes nourishes me!), making a date with my best girl friends or snuggling with my babies with no agenda or screens or distractions. So.. INTENTIONALLY bringing more joy into your life- STRENGTHENS your immunity! I love all the research that has come out about laughter and feel good hormones flooding your body!! So, FOR OUR HEALTH- let’s all commit to more of what brings you joy!

BONUS- Essential oils for immune strengthening   Many of you have asked what oils to use and how to use them. Read this below to get some ideas.. remember there is no ONE way, there are lots of ways to use oils to support all your wellness goals.

On GuardI use pretty much all of these over the fall / winter season. I use the toothpaste all year round, and the throat drops and beadlets when I travel and as hand sanitizer on airplane and the metro. I also ingest the beadlets when someone sneezes near or on me. I diffuse On Guard oil in my bedroom and kitchen and put the oil on my feet and the kids daily when we are healthy. When we have a virus, I apply more regularly like 1-2x an hour.

Oregano–  I use this oil regularly when I have been exposed to a virus. The moment I feel something coming on, I start to rub it on my feet and diffuse. It is potent and I have found really positive results on myself when using it to shorten or prevent a virus- it’s quite magical for my body.  Oregano is a “hot” oil and should be use diluted- I am able to put 1 drop in my water bottle and ingest it it that way, I like the way it tastes – but I know for many others it burns their lips- and that method won’t work for them. I would not give children to ingest.

Melaluca – This is the 3rd one I use in my bath and as an immune strengthening oil.  I rub on bottoms of feet or diffuse. Do not ingest Melaluca.

Lemon– This is just part of my daily morning routine- putting 1 drop of oil in warm water to start the day and get my digestion moving and activated. Again, a proactive habit I have.

There are so many others that can help support a healthy lifestyle- if you want to learn more, join our Oils Enthusiasts team and playshops- email pleasance@lilomm.com for more information.


6 Healthy Habits to Help Ease Your Way into Fall

Fall is coming– are you doing what you can to ease one of the most challenging seasonal transitions for your body?
In addition to the cooler temperatures in the forecast this week, you may notice you’re feeling more tired than usual as the days shorten and our internal clocks shift.  Perhaps your allergies are starting to flare up causing all sorts of disruptions.  So many of us get sick when the seasons change, and this is partially because we haven’t adequately planned ahead to sync our lifestyle to meet the new season.  This includes changing our movement practices, the foods we eat, and even our daily habits and rituals.
To help with your transition, I share with you…
6 Ways to Help Ease Your Way Into Fall:
1. Rest when you are tired. If you push through, over schedule, or over caffeinate you will really mess with your immune system. To function optimally, your immune system needs lots of rest and digest time.  Refer back to my Plan to Thrive DIY Retreat where I teach you how to create your model calendar.
2. Hydrate. Keep drinking your water!  In fact, make it warm and add a little lemon or lime (fresh or essential oil) to keep digestion moving.
3. Oils! Revolutionize your approach to health and wellness with therapeutic-grade essential oils.  DoTerra oils and supplements are a big part of my family’s wellness plan.
To learn more about ordering oils to address wellness goals for you and your family- email me or you can also buy here. 
Remember you can diffuse oils, apply them to the soles of feet  largest pores in the body), behind ears, on wrists or heart center.  You can also ingest 1 drop in water (this is where I highly encourage you to use a trusted brand like DoTerra).
Some ideas for Oils:
– take your ON GUARD beadlets drop daily AND you can also break one open in your hand to use as sanitizer on the go.
– Use eucalyptusin your diffuser or bath.
– Apply 1 drop of oreganoon the soles of your feet or in your waterif you feel a cold coming on (this oil is considered a hotoil so it will burn your lips if you use too much!  You can dilute hot oils with a carrier oil like coconut oil)
– Drop some Melaleuca  (tee tree oil) in your bath water or rub on your feet for daily immune support.
– Diffuse lavender, lemon, and peppermint in the kitchen and bedrooms for allergies.  You can also put 1 drop of each in your water.
– Use Balance, Serenity or Vetiver for Rest by diffusing or putting on soles of feet or even directly on your pillow.
Want to learn more about oils?  The focus of my next Yoga & Aromatherapy workshop at Washington Yoga Center is Surrender and Receive, which I find to be so seasonally appropriate!  I also host a monthly Healthy Happy Hour where we explore oils and connect over our love for healthy living in my kitchen!
4. Practice. Vata (season is coming)!  It’s windy, which can be super unsettling especially for people who feel anxious or “live in their heads”. During this season it’s particularly important to start and end each day with grounded practices to help support your connection to nature and the changing of the season.
Here’s a breathing practice I love!  Make it extra special by adding some oils I mention above!
Binded Breathing Practice
Binded Breathing Practice
5. Warm foods for comfort, support, nutrition and digestion.  For breakfast, try some oatmeal with any combination of flax, cinnamon, chia, almond milk, maple syrup.  And for lunch or dinner, soups and stews make a great choice.  Again, your immune system will need your help to have a smooth transition to fall, so take care in what you eat, especially during seasonal transitions.
6. Disclaimer: okay, this might be a little “woo-woo” for some of you but for others- I think you will LOVE this morning affirmation practice.  Wake up in the morning (if possible before anyone else)and lay in your bed or on the floor.  Bring one hand to the heart and one hand to the belly. Breathe.
After a few rounds ask yourself, “What do I need today? What is my body calling for? What is my heart seeking?” and always remind yourself, “You are loved. You are supported. You have all you need.”
You might even add the affirmation, “I trust my body, my mind, and my heart to guide me today. I am whole.  I will move into the day with spacious generosity of spirit and love.”
Try it! Let me know what you think/feel.
Additionally, if you want a copy of the Welcome Fall worksheet I use (it’s super short & simple) just e-mail me and I’ll send it over to you.
Stay tuned for next week’s Wake Up Wednesday edition where I share mind-body practices based on energetic strength, balance, trust, creativity, and self-love.
P.S. Want to truly nourish your body, mind, and spirit?  Surrender to Fall at our Mom’s Up Retreat in the beautiful Virginia countryside.  Registration ends 10/10. The retreat was just featured on MindfulHealthyLife!