It’s that time of year again, when everybody seems to be coming down with a something and “flu season” is always named the culprit.

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You’re afraid to leave your house, everybody’s carrying hand sanitizer with them, and you can’t seem to navigate the grocery store without getting coughed on.

The flu isn’t a season, you can get it at any time of year. If there’s an uptick in illnesses around this time, it’s not necessarily The Flu.

More likely, people’s systems are stressed from holiday travel; excesses of sugary, processed foods; dealing with colder temperatures (along with the tyranny of dry heaters blasting their sinuses everywhere); and possibly even financial and other stresses around this time of year.

Stress is a major contributing factor to illness, and nutrition is paramount.

Furthermore, even the most pro-vaccine advocate out there will admit that getting the flu shot is NOT a fail-safe against the flu. There’s some speculation that it may even weaken an already-taxed immune system.

So how CAN you protect yourself from getting sick during flu season?

Feed your immune system!!

Your body contains the most incredible weapon against illness, that modern science hasn’t even begun to understand properly.

Take proper care of your immune system, and you’ll be amazed what it can do to protect you.

1. Nutrient-rich soups with fresh veggies and broth. It’s so easy to throw a big pot of fresh chopped vegetables on the stove, cover them with water, and simmer for an hour. Salt, pepper, and you’ve got a power-packed meal that will sustain you from many illnesses.

You can add fresh garlic, mushrooms, celery, and chili peppers. Other great additions are sea vegetables like dulse or kelp, Himalayan salt, lemongrass, fresh cilantro (detoxes the liver), thyme (fights viruses), and oregano (anti-microbial).

2. Fruit smoothies. You need a Vitamix or Ninja blender to really enjoy these. Ideally, you’re growing your own fruit in abundance–but if you’re not there yet, just go fill up your chest freezer with fruit from Costco. Then you can make smoothies year-round. Freeze fresh bananas when they’re speckled brown–perfectly sweet for smoothie-making.

Add in wild blueberries, strawberries, mango, pineapple, blackberries and raspberries. I have a huge bag of dewberries harvested from our friends’ property last Spring–STILL making their appearance in smoothies.

Add honey or a handful of dates for a natural sweetener. For a major nutrient punch, try adding powdered barley grass juice extract, spirulina, probiotic powder, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Just top off with water and blend for 1 minute to make sure there’s no unpleasant texture from raspberry seeds.

3. Elderberry syrup. You can go to the store and buy this stuff, but it’s way cheaper and yummier to make your own. Just get dried black elderberries, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and LOTS of raw, local honey. Making the syrup is easy, and you can take elderberry syrup by the spoonful several times a day to fight off illness, or once a day as a preventative. It’s extremely high in Vitamins A, B and C, full of antioxidants and nutrients, and stimulates the body’s immune system.

Other immune boosters include colloidal silver and high-quality essential oils.

Put a drop of colloidal silver in morning hydration drinks, which consist of a huge mason jar of purified water, a tablespoon of chia seeds, salt sole (for minerals), and a squirt of liquid chlorophyll.

Put thyme and oregano oils along our spines (mixed with coconut oil), and on the soles of our feet before bedtime, whenever anyone is feeling poorly or stressed. You can use a cool-mist diffuser and a do TERRA blend called OnGuard with frankincense oil regularly, too.

These are our basic maintenance actions to ward off illness and the mythical flu season in our family!