Staying Healthy This Winter


Happy December.

Have you been following the royal drama? I hope they figure it out so we don’t all have to pick sides. I’m afraid I’d have to be Team Kate, since we have the same Smythe olive jacket.

via Town & Country

My surgery recovery has been going very well. They removed three patches of endometriosis as well as the mass causing me pain, so I actually feel better now than pre-surgery. Score.

This is going to sound silly, but one of the hardest parts of prepping for this surgery was swearing off my vitamins and oils for two weeks. I developed a cold, which I’ve avoided since started my vitamin regimen, and it nearly put the surgery in jeopardy (hard to intubate someone who can’t breathe!)

I managed to knock out the cold with a lot of rest, peppermint tea, and Elderberry syrup  (the syrup is pricey at the health food store, but I get it at a European grocery store as Czarny Bez for about $4 a bottle.) I fired up the diffuser since I did not want to use any oils topically pre-surgery. I diffused frankincense since it’s my go-to oil for wellness. I mean, if the wise men endorsed it, I figure you can’t go wrong.

I also employed the sock treatment. A friend once told me this kooky way to knock out a head cold and I swear it works. At night, take a pair of thin cotton socks and soak them in cold water. Ring them out, then put them on. Then put a pair of thick wool socks over top and go to bed (put the socks on in bed so you don’t walk in them or your entire foot will be wet.) I have no idea how this works and maybe it’s all the placebo effect, but it seems to knock out a cold before it settles in.

The minute I got the thumbs up, I resumed my daily vitamins. I take Magnesium (for sleep), Vitamin C (for healing and immunity), Viviscal (for thicker hair), Curcumin/Tumeric (for inflammation), Vitamin D (for Canadian winter gloom), Omega 3 (for eye health), B12 (for energy and because I’m naturally low), Iron (since the endo makes me naturally anemic), AdrenaSmart (this has brought my cortisol levels down) and NAC (my doctor has me on this one – it helps support liver functioning.) I missed the Vitamin C and Magnesium the most. (Note that I’m taking all of these under medical supervision – it’s always good to check with your doctor before embarking on any health-related change.)

And I had my flu shot (I’m a Big Pharma skeptic, but as someone who could not be immunized as a child for medical reasons and ended up in the hospital with the measles, I am so thankful for immunizations.)

What do you do to stay well in the winter?





  1. Hi Jen, I’m glad to hear that you are recovering well from your surgery – I didn’t realise it was that kind of surgery, I thought it was your eyes again.

    I take fish oil capsules, vitamin D and the Nature’s Bounty gummies with Biotin for my hair. I gets lots of shedding and it seems to have gotten worse lately. I have been letting my hair grow a bit and my hairdresser says that of course I’ll see more hair in the basin and brush if my hair is longer, but I’m not convinced that’s all it is … It’s definitely thinner. So I’m interested in the Viviscal – do you only take if for the 6-month period and no more, or do you have to start again after a break?

    I’ve heard of the sock treatment with Vicks on your feet but never tried it. I’ll keep your version in mind. I’ve had my flu jab as well. This year I took my husband along – his first time doing it as a civvie (he retired from the army earlier this year).


    • Great to hear from you, Patricia!

      I’m shying away from eye surgery at this point. Until someone can convince me otherwise, the results are too much of an unknown. I’m getting by with special glasses or one contact lens for distance. Since I’ve not loved my surgical experiences of late, I was really very nervous about the endo surgery (my first) but it was a piece of cake by comparison!

      I tried biotin for a while but I prefer Viviscal. There are models who’ve been on it for 20 years so I think it’s a continual thing. I’ve taken two breaks from it and think I see more shedding when I’m off it. On it, I’ve seen regrowth where I thought I had permanent loss from too many years of tight ponytails (I ditched the ponytails at the same time, mind you!) I don’t want to be on it forever, but I may stay on while I grow out my highlights. I’ve convinced myself it makes my hair grow faster!

      I’ll have to look up the Vicks. I often put peppermint oil on the soles of my feet so perhaps that’s contributed to it too. Yay on the flu jab. I had a pediatrician thank us this year for doing the shots at our pharmacy. I guess there is a cluster effect where if so many people are immunized, the flu is less severe for everyone. I know there are lots in the anti camp but going through serious childhood illnesses plus the joy of adult shingles has made me a believer in them for sure. I’m sure this is an interesting time for your husband as he transitions to civilian life. I imagine there are some unanticipated differences.



  2. Jen, Hope you are doing okay. I also had a surgery this year for fibroids. Glad that is done with. SO glad to hear you are doing better too. I am a big believer in flu shots and make my crew go, even with complaints every year. Last year it saved us as so many had the flu and we escaped it. Last year, my grandmother got the flu and later passed away from it. The shot doesn’t always work for the elderly and so it’s especially important for us all to get it to protect the most vulnerable, not just ourselves. My grandmother got the flu shot and still got it. She was 100 though, almost 101! 😦

    I go on and off with vitamins. I do like taking a supplement called Calm with magnesium and calcium to help relax and sleep occasionally. I will drink and EmergenC packet when I’m feeling a bit tired or traveling. They really help with that. My husband is a huge science guy and he says supplements are a crock. I don’t know what to believe. Mostly I try to eat a lot of veggies and take a probiotic when I feel off. Nothing too regularly.

    Take care and enjoy the season! Kim

    P.s.What do you think is up with this feud? Is it all gossip?


    • I keep hearing the science too on supplements, but since I’m naturally low in several things like B and D and iron, I figure it’s just getting me back to where I should be (and I can only eat so much spinach!) I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother. I’m sure she had a lot of say after 100 years! My husband’s grandmother turns 100 this year.

      I thought the feud was all gossip but then the palace released some kind of statement, which made it seem more true. What a fishbowl they all live in. They get lovely wardrobes but it seems not worth all the hassle!

      Enjoy the season, Kim.



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