Our family was blessed a few weeks ago with the addition of a new baby boy, Peyton Jay. This picture was taken during his first week and it’s evident his brothers are so in love with him. It’s been a crazy busy summer with a new addition and getting used to life with 3 boys. One of the things I have made time for despite the busy times is staying on top of eating well and making sure we are all taking our required daily nutrients. Summer is one of the easiest times to eat healthy since there is lots of fresh produce grown locally. When you can make great salads, steam fresh veggies and pair it with local grass-fed meats on the BBQ, it becomes easier to eat well since it tastes so delicious for the entire family.
This is a great time of year to get the kids back into a wellness routine, especially if it has been off during the summer months. Our family invests a lot of time and money in wellness since there is nothing more exhausting for a parent than when the kids are not well, or anyone in the house for that matter. It often means someone needs to take time off work and re-schedule everything to accomodate the extra needed care for the sick person. As chiropractors, we get to work with a lot of patients who have put their health low on their value list for many years, they always end up requiring more care to get well again. We also get to see patients who have taken many preventitive steps along the way to stay well, they usually require less care and get to a level of optimal wellness where they have more energy and vitality, that is where I want my family to be. Here are a few steps I recommend to get you and your family on track for your healthiest, most vibrant year yet:
- Get your spine and nervous system checked by a chiropractor regularly- (The strong connection between the nervous system and the immune system is why chiropractic patients dating all the way back to the 1918 flu epidemic had a startling better chance of survival than those who sought medical care). Our family gets checked anywhere from weekly to every 2-3 weeks. We know our kids need to get adjusted by their mood and disposition at times. If they have more bad falls during a particular time, we check them then as well. Other than needing stitches for my 3 year old from a fall, the kids have never had drugs or required any medical care. Prevention in our family is key, it makes life easier for all of us.
- Take probiotics daily- One capsule is all you need but make sure it has billions of bacteria/capsule. You get what you pay for with these products so make sure you get a good product. This will help boost your immunity by lining your gut with the bacteria needed to properly digest food and absorb the nutrients from your food. It will also help crowd out harmful bacteria and yeast. My 3 year old gets it every morning in his Greens drink when I break up the capsule and he stirs it in with his straw. My 5 year old can now swallow the capsule on his own.
- Take Omega 3 fish oil daily- I give each of the kids 1 teaspoon/day and take 2-3 teaspoons for me. The fish oil contains DHA (required for proper brain function) and EPA (excellent to reduce inflammation in the body). These are required nutrients in the body and if you’re not supplementing, it’s likely you may be deficient. Take it now to ensure you are getting enough for you and your family.
- Take Vitamin D daily- If you live in a Northern climate like Canada, you will likely require supplementation every month other than July – September. If you are blocking the sun with sunscreen or not getting exposure during the day especially if you work indoors, then supplementation may be necessary even during the summer months. The best way to find out the exact amount is to get your vitamin D level tested by your naturopath or medical doctor. We recommend 2-4000IU/day for kids and about 5,000IU/day for adults. This may differ depending on what your current levels are.
- Cut down on sugar- This may seem difficult at first but when you gradually reduce yours and your family’s sugar intake, everyone’s taste buds change and sweetness then becomes relative. You start craving less sweet stuff and when you do taste something less sweet, it becomes enough instead of the vicious cycle of needing more and more sugar. Your immune system will benefit immensely and hyperactivity in kids reduces dramatically in some cases with this reduction.
It certainly seems like this is difficult to fit in on a daily basis but we get our essential 3 nutrients in at breakfast. It takes us a couple of minutes max to do it daily. When we take the time to stay healthy, it pays big dividends in the fall and throughout our long winters since we have healthier, happier, more vibrant families.
The key for us is to talk to our kids about where food comes from. We explain to them how healthy and strong their bodies grow with better food and have them help us make informed decisions about what we eat. They love it when it’s their idea rather than just telling them that is what they have to eat.