It goes without saying that getting sick... well, sucks. Who doesn't prefer to use their sick days as what I like to refer to as 'mental health days' (I.E. spending the day in bed watching Netflix and pigging out on ice cream... we all need a day like that every six months or so!)?

Unfortunately, as the temperatures drop, more and more illnesses are upon us such as the cold, flu, stomach virus, strep... you get the idea. There's no better time than now to take all the precautions you can to avoid getting sick this season!

1. Wash Your Hands Frequently

Before eating: wash your hands. After eating: wash your hands. After touching someone: wash your hands. After touching cash (I get the chills thinking of how many places money has been): wash your hands. After you use the restroom: do I even have to say it? Just got off the subway? Wash your hands. After sneezing or coughing: wash your hands. When in doubt: wash your hands. I hate to break it to you, but even though Purell is great for sanitizing hands when there is no sink available, it doesn't always kill viruses and bacteria that cause illnesses. Your best defense against sickness is washing your hands with warm water for 20 seconds.

2. Load Up On Lemon Water

Often we think of orange juice as the miracle elixir that bolsters our immune system, but it contains so much sugar that it's actually not doing us too many favors. Lemon has just as much vitamin C, and squeezing the juice of a lemon into warm water and drinking a glass of that every morning can help keep your body strong without loading it up with unnecessary sugar and calories.

3. Grab Some Ginger

Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral, ginger is definitely your new BFF in the winter months. Ginger teas are delicious and effective, but the best way to reap the benefits of ginger are by grating some fresh root into hot water, letting it steep and then drinking it like tea!

4. Hands Off!

For the love of God, keep your hands off your face!!! Touching your eyes, nose or mouth is a surefire way to introduce germs into your system. If you absolutely have to touch your face, refer to rule number onw!

5. Get Creative With Garlic

Typically we dice cloves of garlic and use it while cooking, but ingesting it raw can have amazing effects on our immune system and prevent us from catching viruses. Sounds disgusting, right? Well... it kind of is. My doctor recommended this to me, though, and she hasn't had the flu in over 10 years. I think I'd rather endure 10 seconds of disgusting-ness than a bout with the flu.

The first time I tried this, I made the mistake of swallowing a peeled clove of garlic whole (and I almost puked it up immediately), but the best way to do it is to down a teaspoon of coconut or olive oil first to coat your stomach and then swallow a peeled and smashed clove. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm pretty brave with this sort of stuff so I'm definitely going to give it a shot.

Lovelies, what do you do to prevent getting sick during fall and winter? 

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