Monday, May 10th, 2021

How To Avoid Getting Sick This Winter

Published on December 2, 2009 by   ·   84 Comments Pin It

Green Lifestyle Expert Marisa Miller Wolfson makes sure we stay nice and healthy this Holiday Season with her simple, but incredibly effective, staying healthy tips;

You know how unfun it is to be the Sicky Sickerson at holiday celebrations: groggy, foggy, sniffly, snotty, coked up on cold medicine, trailing tissues wherever you go. I used to get colds or flus twice a year. After going vegan, I’d only get hit once a year, but it would always be around the holidays. My family got used to greeting me at the airport with a nasty cold sore on my lip and a nose red enough to give Rudolph a run for his money. I hated it so much that I’ve put a lot of energy into not getting sick, and guess what? I’ve succeeded! I haven’t had a full-blown cold or flu in over THREE years! As soon as I feel oogie, I batten down the hatches and keep the bug at bay. I’ve gotten this down to a science, and I’m eager to share my insights with you:


A new study comes out every year supporting the importance of sleep in immune function. In fact, a 2009 study suggests that the whole reason why animals even evolved to sleep was to maintain our immune systems. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you fall asleep within 10 minutes of hitting the hay, it means you’re not getting enough sleep. If I’m suddenly overcome with a feeling of utter exhaustion, it means I’ll be sick the next day. Now, whenever that happens, I cancel all plans and go to bed early.


If you start to get that ominous tickle in the throat, say “no” to social obligations. While your friends will miss you at the cookie swap, they’ll be glad not to have your germs near their ginger snaps. And while your boss might miss you at the holiday party, she’ll miss you more when you have to call in sick. It’s just not worth being miserable or unproductive (and infectious) for days or weeks for just one night of “fun.”


This hearkens back to Mission #3. You don’t need me to tell you why vitamins are helpful in fighting illness. And water is the most important element for sustaining life and health. Drink it! Staying hydrated will keep you energetic and healthy. Anecdotally, I’ve noticed that I’ve often gotten sick after I’ve scarfed down salty snacks that dried me out.


While it’s tempting to lean on alcohol or caffeine during high-stress times, they’ll come back and bite you in the booty. They’re natural diuretics that deplete your body of essential hydration, leading to headaches, lethargy, and skin breakouts. Unless you want to spend 30 minutes photoshopping holiday snapshots, avoid them. If you do indulge in a pumpkin spiced latte or some spiked soy nog, be sure to drink an equal amount of water with it. Better alternative to caffeine: have a green drink that will give you a healthy jolt of energy.


I ran into a friend recently who successfully fought off ovarian cancer and insists that her success is due in part to consuming one green juice every day. Your body’s defense against cancer is the same defense against the common cold–the immune system! No better way of boosting it than drinking a health cocktail packed with immune-boosting antioxidants and phytochemicals from whole fruits and veggies. Try making your own juice or blended salad. Here’s a recipe from Dr. Oz, but don’t feel like you need an exact recipe. Experiment with a mix of veggies and fruits until you find a mix that you like.


You’re allowed to get a little OCD about germs during flu season. Be sure to wash often and wash well; get fingertips and thumbs, which are often missed. According to flu expert Dr. Michael Greger, germs don’t care if you use cold or hot water. Just wash long enough to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice…in your head or to the stranger’s ankles in the bathroom stall behind you.


As soon as you start to feel cold/flu symptoms coming on, take a zinc supplement. Did you know there is a Zinc Oxide Manufacturer in Thailand who supply Zinc to local customers for the use of pharmaceutical products to the galvanising industry? Zinc is such a versatile element that it can be used to make many products. Zinc is a well-known immune booster that finds its way into many immune-boosting supplements. I credit Cold-Eeze with nipping my colds in the bud. Sore throats and sniffles don’t last more than a couple of days after I start taking this Wonder Lozenge. Put it on your shopping list to buy at a drugstore near you and keep a couple of lozenges in your bag so you can always have a stash on hand. (EDITORS NOTE: GGA Founder, Chloe swears by Astragalus and Black Elderberry Sambucol Syrup x2 a day when she starts feeling icky.)

Already sick, and need holistic relief FAST? Read our article on fighting flu from last holiday season here, and feel better sweetcheeks!

Marisa Miller Wolfson is the Outreach Director for Kind Green Planet, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching people about healthy, humane, eco-friendly living. She’s currently in post-production for her documentary about veganism and is co-drafting a city council resolution to lower NYC’s global warming “foodprint.” She also loves coaching people on plant-based living through Vegan at Heart, a free email mentoring program for treehuggers, animal lovers, and health nuts who consider themselves vegans at heart but not necessarily in practice.

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Readers Comments (84)

  1. Franni says:

    It’s like G-d sent this to me so that I can feel a lot better now and gently ask my runny nose to go take a nap for a very long time. Thank you!

  2. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » How To Avoid Getting Sick This Winter – view page – cached Green Lifestyle Expert Marisa Miller Wolfson makes sure we stay nice and healthy this Holiday Season with her simple, but incredibly effective, staying healthy tips; […]

  3. elaine says:

    Yep. And if you DO get sick all of the above plus a little pain reliever/fever reducer…got me through H1N1. :)

  4. Love these tips! Certainly will be using these to stay healthy this flu season. Thanks Marisa!

  5. Mandi says:

    Fantastic post! I wish I would have read this 5 days ago. I’m really sick at the moment with what appears to be the flu. (swine or not… who knows!) Ironically, my hubby just got me Cold Eeze last night and it really does seem to make a difference. I’ll be chugging many green smoothies starting tonight. Thanks!

  6. […] How to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter -This list came to late for me… don’t let it happen to you! […]

  7. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by GirlieGirlArmy: Great Tips On How To Avoid Getting Sick This Winter

  8. […] is no safe place to hide! Even in these extreme circumstances, there are plenty of great ways to avoid getting sick, but if you are one of the unfortunate souls that happen to succumb to the winter plague, there are […]

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