Jana Jamail - Winter Health Tips


SUMMARY: Diffuse essential oils. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Drink 80 oz of fluids. Sleep seven hours. Wash your hands, sheets, and towels constantly. Drink five alcoholic beverages or fewer a week. Take B-12.

I am a proud JMU alumna, and although I majored in international relations and economics, JMU helped provide me the experiences I needed to form my own nutritional consulting company. In fact, it was the courses I took ay JMU that provided the springboard into a lifelong education in leadership. Specifically, in Dr. Keller and Dr. Kaussler’s international relations and foreign policy classes, I built confidence. Classes like these introduced me to the simulation exercise known as Statecraft. Serving as the president of several different nations in this Risk-like game helped me think about leadership in a very unique way, and eventually encouraged me to lead as the founder and owner of Rose + Ginger Nutrition.

I have been running my business, Rose+Ginger Nutrition, for two and a half years. I help clients to cure fatty liver, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type two diabetes, and heart disease. In all, my combined clientele has lost over 600 pounds and dropped their cholesterol over 500 points! As exciting as this progress is, it is important for my clients (and all of us for that matter) to remember that colder weather brings new challenges to our health goals.

The winter season can be a difficult time for your body’s defense mechanisms that keep you healthy and happy. The weather is getting colder and that means sweaters, warm fireplaces and hot cocoa. Unfortunately, the winter season can also mean colds, flu, bronchitis and seasonal depression. Throw in exposure to new germs through travel, time spent in new places with various family members and copious amounts of sweets, and you just might have to use those precious sick days before the holidays even arrive! Gasp!

Don’t panic, you can boost your immune system and prepare for seasonal health challenges with these nutritional tips.

Essential oils

While essential oils and their ability to heal have been a hot-button issue recently, research is convincing droves of people to try these natural remedies. For example, some countries have even labeled lavender oil as a medicinal substance for treating anxiety. Essential oils have immune-boosting properties that help you stay healthy, especially when diffused into the air. Try out a diffuser, or even a “roller” to put essential oils on your body. I recommend using lavender, lemongrass, and eucalyptus oils. You can find recipes for healing with essential oils all over the internet.

Nutrient-dense food

Eat foods that fight infection and replenish your body. You need to shape your plate differently with foods rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammation, vitamins, and minerals. Half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, a quarter should be lean protein, and the last quarter should be whole grains.

Try the following nutrient-dense foods and spices: chia seeds, flax seeds, blueberries, acai, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, spinach, garlic, nutritional yeast and citrus fruits.


Water and tea are important for maintaining health. I recommend drinking 80 oz of water daily. The fluids will flush out infection and replenish your cells. If you’re traveling by plane this season, drink an entire bottle of water (16 oz or more) before boarding. Planes are as dry as deserts (literally, not figuratively) and the more hydrated you are, the more prepared your immune system will be to prevent contracting the sickness that may be on your seat!


Get enough sleep! Seven hours of sleep is the magic number to maintain your immune system. If you know you won’t get enough sleep try to nap when traveling or schedule in resting time.

Wash everything!

Wash your hands. Especially before you prepare and eat meals, before and after you go to the gym and before and after you’re on a plane. You don’t know what you could be putting in your mouth or on your face.

When did you change your sheets last? Not sure? Wash them! What about that dish towel sitting over your oven? Wash it! How many times have you used your towel after a shower or washing your face? Wash them also! Wash sheets and towels every one to two weeks and change out your towels after every third use.

Use a non-toxic disinfectant to wipe down your counters in your kitchen and bathroom. After you eat or brush your teeth wipe, everything down. You don’t want germs collecting on things you put in your mouth!

Be mindful of alcohol

Alcohol lowers your immune system and dehydrates you. Consider reducing your alcohol intake this season to no more than five alcoholic beverages in a week.

Natural light lamps & B-12

Seasonal depression can take quite a toll on your mental well-being. As less sunlight is available to provide nutrients and energy that can naturally fight off depressive symptoms, you should consider alternative ways to access those health benefits. Salt lamps and natural light lamps help to stimulate the benefits your body soaks up from sunlight. Also, consider adding a B-12 supplement to help counter symptoms of anxiety and depression.

It is also incredibly important to conduct “self-checks” of your mental health during the darkest days of the year. Ask yourself, “how do I feel today?” If you are someone who struggles with Clinical Depression (Major Depression) or General Anxiety Disorder, these self-checks are even more important. Prepare for the seasons with less sunlight by increasing exercise levels and being more intentional about getting longer and sounder sleep. Finally, if you or someone you love seems less energetic, happy or starts experiencing significant changes in behavior, talk to them. Seek help for you and those you love who exhibit common symptoms of depression. To learn more about the symptoms of clinical depression in its various forms, visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

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Published: Sunday, December 1, 2019

Last Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2019

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