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How to Prepare for Cold & Flu Season

by A. Vogel USA on October 13, 2017, Health, Lifestyle


Cold & Flu

Colds and flu have already started popping up across the country, and we’ve definitely noticed extra sniffling and coughing in the A.Vogel office. With the first signs of cold and flu season appearing, I thought it was time to start talking about what you can do now to prepare for winter.

Why you Should Prepare Early

Getting ready for winter early is the best way to avoid colds and flu – or at least reduce their severity! Nobody wants to get sick over the Holiday break, so it’s important to make sure your immune system is strong and healthy now. And with colds and flu already making an appearance across country, now is a great time to take a look at what you could be doing to prepare.

Check Your Diet

As the colder weather comes around it can be easy to turn to comforting foods instead of all the fresh, healthy food you’ve (hopefully!) been eating over the summer. However, now is the time you really should be focusing on eating well. So, let’s look at a few of the basics:

Fruit and veggies: You should still be aiming to eat at least 5 portions a day, and make sure these are varied – eating 5 apples a day doesn’t count! Brightly colored fruit and veggies are good ones to focus on in winter as they generally contain high levels of vitamin C. You should also include plenty of green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach. Soups are a good way to get extra vegetables into your diet!

Complex carbohydrates: Eating plenty of complex carbs like brown rice, brown bread, whole wheat pasta, oats and starchy vegetables are great ways to keep you fuller for longer and keep unhealthy cravings at bay. They’ll provide lots of energy to get you through the day, and will support a healthy gut which, in turn, will look after your immune system.

Protein. You may need extra protein during the winter to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Try to incorporate lots of plant proteins like nuts, seeds, beans, pulses and tofu, as these are also full of vital vitamins and minerals.

Establish an Exercise Routine

Keeping active is important during the winter, so getting into the habit of exercising daily now will make it easier to continue once the weather turns colder.

Exercise is especially important in the winter for a few reasons. First of all, it boosts circulation, helping to send immune cells all around the body to search out pathogens. It also helps to release feel-good hormones called endorphins, and this is important because many people experience low mood as the days become shorter, darker and colder.

Like your diet, I’d recommend a varied exercise routine. Running outside a few times a week is a great way to get some fresh air, while a half hour yoga practice each evening can help to stretch the legs and get the blood moving after a day at work.

An ideal exercise plan for winter includes:

  • Running outdoors 2-3 times a week
  • 30 minutes yoga 4-5 days a week
  • Swimming, hiking o skiing once a week

Sleep Well

Sleep is vital for energy levels, mood and the immune system, which you’ll know are all incredibly important during the winter months. Get into the habit of going to bed a little bit earlier to ensure you get your all-important 8 hours sleep a day – you’ll definitely feel the benefit when the cold weather comes around!

If the cold weather stops you sleeping well, make sure to invest in a thicker duvet now, and make sure your windows are draught-free.

Vitamins, Supplements and Herbal Remedies

During the winter, it can be difficult to decide which vitamins, supplements or herbal remedies to take, as everything seems to be touted as vital during the winter! However, there are a few that I’d recommend you stock up on now so that you’ve got a good supply to get you through the winter.

Vitamin C. As you’ll probably know, vitamin C is vital for the immune system, and especially for the respiratory tract where colds and flu strike. Opt for vitamin C from a natural source, as this will be easier for the body to absorb and use. Avoid huge single doses, and opt instead for smaller doses throughout the day, as this vitamin is water soluble so the body can only absorb so much at once.

Vitamin D. Famous for its role in supporting bone health, vitamin D is also important for the immune system. During the winter, you’re likely to become deficient due to the lack of sunlight, but this is, arguably, when you need it the most! Don’t be tempted to go for the really high doses – vitamin D fat soluble so will be stored up in your body, meaning that very high doses can actually be problematic. We recommend around 4000 IU per day.

Zinc. When it comes to minerals, zinc is one of the most important for immune function. If you’ve got a healthy, varied diet with plenty of nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), then you should be getting enough. If not, a supplement might be a good idea.




How to Use Herbs for Taste and Health

by A. Vogel USA on June 21, 2017, Herbamare, Herbed Sea Salt

Herbs are hot this summer! There’s nothing that lifts culinary spirits more than having access to fresh herbs from the garden, balcony or from your window.  Adding herbs to your summer meals not only make them tastier but also healthier.

Below, A.Vogel proposes a few of the most important herbs from basil to parsley.

Why is fresh …best? Herbs have a high water content (at least 90%), which is why they should be consumed quickly after harvesting. By osmosis, herbs quickly dissipate in water and dry out.

Tip: Rinse the herbs with water and place in a plastic bag and store in a refrigerator so the herbs remain stable

Continue reading >

Create a Bee-friendly Garden!

by A. Vogel USA on May 18, 2017, Allergies, Lifestyle
Create a Bee-Friendly Garden!

Some people think nature is “out there,” in a national park or other designated wilderness area. But bees, our most important pollinators, love to live in urban settings where there are short flight paths, and a variety of different plants and flowers to sample. In fact, bees are more likely to thrive in your backyard, community or patio garden, and on mixed farms than on acres devoted to single crops.

We’ve all heard about the mysterious global disappearance of honeybees. Other bee species are also declining, mainly because of habitat loss. You can make a big difference just by creating a bee-friendly space in your garden. (And it’s not hard — bees are easy to please!) Continue reading >

Sneeze-free Gardening Made Easy

by A. Vogel USA on May 17, 2017, Allergies

Hay fever can take all the fun out of gardening.

If hay fever symptoms keep you from doing the things you love, here are some simple tips to follow all season long so you can keep doing the things you love to do.  Continue reading >

Sinus Congestion?

by A. Vogel USA on May 5, 2017, Allergies

Keep breathing!

Is breathing through your nose a challenge?  If you find it difficult to breath quietly through your nose, not able to exercise without struggling for breath or feeling like you’re always clearing your throat – you are enduring the delights of a congested airway. Continue reading >

Hay Fever and Children: What to Know & How to Treat It

by A. Vogel USA on April 28, 2017, Allergies

Is your child constantly rubbing their eyes? Sneezing, especially when outside? Is their nose runny or blocked? Have you noticed if any of these seem to be worse on sunny days? Then it could be hay fever!

For a child, hay fever symptoms can be both upsetting and unsettling, especially if they can’t explain how they feel (which is common in very young children), or if the symptoms are disrupting their sleep at night and concentration during the day. Continue reading >

Get a better night’s sleep despite symptoms of hay fever!

by A. Vogel USA on April 18, 2017, Allergies
Hay fever and sleep

Is hay fever affecting your sleep?

For hay fever sufferers, the summer months are often plagued by pollen, with sunny days spent dreading heading outside or hiding indoors. So, once the sun goes down, surely suffers can finally get some peace, right?

Unfortunately for many, hay fever symptoms can actually worsen before bedtime and affect sufferers while they sleep. A recent poll of 2,080 hay fever sufferers, found that 64% had trouble sleeping due to their symptoms and an average of 72 minutes of sleep is lost each night when pollen levels are high. Continue reading >

Reasons for Neck Pain After Sleeping

by A. Vogel USA on March 21, 2017, Health

Do you wake up with unexpected neck pain?

Experiencing neck pain in the morning is common, and often caused by the neck being in an uncomfortable position while you sleep. This can be due to your natural sleeping position, your pillows, your mattress, or being pregnant. 

In this article, we explore these causes in more detail, and discuss exercises and remedies to help. Continue reading >

Nurturing Your Probiotic Environment – Steve Lankford Interview with Josée Fortin

by A. Vogel USA on February 21, 2017, Digestion, Health

Your good bacteria needs the proper environment to thrive

In this article we are sharing a Podcast done by Steve Lankford of Health Quest Podcast. Health Quest Podcast examines the science of nutrition and it’s application to good health. The research in nutrition is expansive and powerful. It is also sometimes confusing and challenging to understand. Steve interviews the nation’s most respected and knowledgeable experts and brings the science to his audience in a compelling and yet understandable form.

In this podcast Steve is interviewing Josée Fortin, a Naturopath and Biochemist with a degree in Biochemistry from University of Ottawa and is a member of the Association des Naturopathes Agréés du Québec (ANAQ). Continue reading >

The Importance of Friendly Gut Bacteria

by A. Vogel USA on February 14, 2017, Digestion, Health

The role of friendly gut bacteria in helping maintain a healthy digestive system

Poor digestion can be triggered by a number of different factors, ranging from stress to poor diet. In this page, a digestive expert, Ali Cullen describes how our digestive system can be disrupted and how to improve our metabolism and digestion by increasing our intake of L+ lactic acid and using herbal remedies.  Continue reading >

Supporting your Child’s Immune System

by A. Vogel USA on January 10, 2017, Health

Seven important steps to take

While many would use the word boost in scientific terms, what we are really talking about is supporting the immune system. There are many practical and useful steps you can take to help the development of your child’s immune system. Continue reading >

Next Step… Detox!

by A. Vogel USA on January 6, 2017, Health

So you’ve been sticking to those resolutions to start exercising and taking care of your body, but what’s next? Detox!

There are so many possible regimens, it becomes a bit confusing. Here’s a simple program that you can follow with ease, enjoying better health without too much pain or too many adverse effects. Continue reading >

10 Ways to get Stronger, Healthier Nails

by A. Vogel USA on December 18, 2016, Health

Lack of a balanced diet, poor nail care, and dry weather can take a toll on the health and appearance of your nails, and if you are prone to weak nails that break or spilt, your body might be low on calcium, a common health problem for many women.

And let’s face it, unsightly brittle nails, dry cuticles, and ghastly chipped nail polish will ruin any outfit and make a bad impression. It’s little wonder you keep your nails hidden in your gloves or stuffed into your pockets!

Well, it’s time to give your nails the tender loving care they deserve! Keep them looking beautiful and strong with 10 easy nail care tips! Continue reading >

Water is Simply Amazing!

by A. Vogel USA on November 20, 2016, Health

Here’s Why…

Water, so remarkable, there’s no living without it. Fresh, flowing, and if you’re lucky, free– water, is everyone’s friend.Water can keep you alert, protect your heart, and give your brain a good boost. It can help you maintain weight and can even help you look wonderful, by keeping your skin in check.

For a quick rundown of how effective and important water is to your life, read on!  Continue reading >

Exercising with Hay Fever?

by A. Vogel USA on June 17, 2016, Allergies
Exercising with Hay Fever

Don’t give up!

Feel worse after you’ve been to the gym? Do itchy eyes and sneezing affect your game? Hay fever and allergic reactions can wreak havoc on your workout schedule and have an affect on your ability to enjoy outdoor sports or activities. From disruptive breathing, nasal congestion, loss of concentration and energy, allergies can destroy a solid workout. Continue reading >

What is Hay Fever?

by A. Vogel USA on June 17, 2016, Allergies

Hay fever is a common problem usually encountered in the spring and early summer. It is part of the group of health conditions known as allergic rhinitis – an allergic reaction to airborne substances, leading to inflammation in the lining of the nose, throat and eyes. Continue reading >

What is Allergy Rhinitis?

by A. Vogel USA on May 10, 2016, Allergies

Your immune system can react to allergens.

Allergic rhinitis arises because your immune system reacts to an allergen, causing inflammation of the mucous lining of your respiratory system.

Hay fever is a type of allergic rhinitis, where the allergen appears in the form of pollen. Although the most effective treatment for allergic rhinitis is avoidance of the trigger, this is often not possible. However, home, herbal and conventional treatments have been developed and have shown to be helpful.  Continue reading >

All About Allergies

by A. Vogel USA on April 10, 2016, Allergies
All About Allergies

A.Vogel, a Natural Solution for Allergies

Until about 100 years ago an allergy was something out of the ordinary. Today, allergic reactions to a number of substances, i.e., a variety of pollens, mold, dust and dust mites, animal dander, and the environment, have become commonplace and can cause any number of unpleasant reactions.  Continue reading >