What 18 Health Leaders in Milwaukee Do to Boost Their Immune System

This article was originally published January 2014 and updated with current links.

Seasonal changes are the perfect time to re-evaluate our habits and lifestyle so we can make changes for the better. What we all hope for is to develop healthy habits are so regular they become second nature, right? Habits that are such a part of us that we hardly give them a thought. That’s what these individuals have accomplished. They’ve practiced healthy living, studied it and made it second nature. These people have a sparkle in their eyes, an energy about them that is irresistible, they eat, sleep and breathe health. Their healthy lifestyles encompass all aspects of life: physical, emotional, spiritual, professional. Not only that, they are leaders in our community who are teaching other’s to adopt those healthy habits, too. Many have made it their life’s work to help other’s be healthier, all are leading by example. What is amazing is how varied the perspectives are. I hope you are inspired by the variety of options available to you in choosing a healthy lifestyle, ideas to help you discover what works for you!natural remedies for colds


Together we all can make a difference in someone’s life for the better. Together, we can all make a huge impact on our community and beyond the borders of Milwaukee.  Everyone practices some healthy habits to some degree, give yourself credit for what you do, too.

These people have a full lifestyle of healthy habits, it’s not just going through the motions, it’s part of their being. If you’d like to dig deeper and discover what really fits your life, check out my latest book, Two Inches Of Wool, it will give you some direction in finding those healthy habits that will fit your life. Yes, when we start developing healthy habits it often begins by just copying someone else’s ideas. But there comes a time that you need to step out of the box and listen to your body and do what is really right and works for you. These people have taken health and embraced it as their own, found what works in their life.

You can discover your highest potential when you reach out and try something new so you can discover those routines that will become second nature. When you start to get sick, timing is everything. If you have the wellness tools on hand, the wisdom and the clarity of thought it can be the difference between being run down a couple of days or being sick for weeks. 

Jeanne Telderer of Rainbows End Farm raises organically fed and pastured chickens, pork, turkey and lamb.  Whenever we cook a chicken, I make a bone broth and transform it into Sally Fallon’s Coconut Chicken Soup recipe. We always add a good dose of garlic to boost the immune building broth.  This gets frozen and whenever anyone starts to feel something coming on we warm it up and enjoy the nourishing fluids :).  We also use a cinnamon/clove/rosemary/melaleuca essential oil blend and take supplements known for their immune boosting abilities like Ester C, Olive leaf, Elderberry & Zinc.  Looking for organic, grass fed beef & chickens in the Milwaukee or Washington County area? Contact Jeanne directly at  telderers.rainbowsendfarm@gmail.com

Rebecca Magestro is the Owner/Director of  Mosaic Wellness in Germantown which opened in December 2013. Rebecca combines her experience as a Life Coach, Reiki master, Ayurvedic Therapies Specialist, and Yoga Instructor to help guide others on their wellness journey. Her education includes a BBA in Marketing & Psychology, Advanced Coach Training with Coach U, Landmark Education, and Yoga Teacher Training from Kanyakumari Ayurveda/Yoga Center .262-251-YOGA (9642)

According to the Ayurvedic health perspective, Colds are a Kapha dosha imbalance. The body builds up excess cool and moist qualities, causing congestion and runny nose. At the first onset of cold symptoms, my go-to regimen for comfort is the following:

1)      Using a Neti pot to clear and cleanse sinus passages

2)      Alternative nostril breathing to open up airways

3)      Sip hot water with honey and ginger

4)      Cut out any dairy or cold drinks from diet

5)      Take Triphala herbs before bed

6)      Gentle Yoga – Sun Salutations, shoulder stands, chest openers

7)      Plenty of Rest

Colds have a tendency to linger. Historically, ancient remedies like these have been used to support healthy immune function.

Dr. Rose Kumar is the CEO and Medical Director of The Ommani Center and author of Becoming Real: Reclaiming Your Health In Midlife. I eat organic vegan, exercise everyday, drink NO alcohol, and take a supplement pack that detoxyfies and supports the liver in addition to supporting immune regulation and providing balanced probiotic support.  Also, I love my work!

Karen Balistreri is an Independent Health Coach. The first step I take to build up my immune system is drink 2-4 oz. of Goji fruit Red power drink and take 3 capsules of an oregano supplement throughout the day,  and use the Immune Boosting blend where applicable.  I may choose to receive a Immune Boosting essential oil therapy. Essential oils have been researched for their ability to support a healthy body. The Innr Defense capsules are loaded with 4 different species of oregano essential oil. Adding a drop of orange essential oil to the Goji Fruit power drink may magnify the nutrient blend to strengthen your immune system.   

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Gail Bast, MBA, CAE is President of Association Acumen LLC, providing creative and customized project & headquarters services to membership organizations. She is an  assoication management leader, yoga fan, animal lover, health and wellness afficionado and epicurean. I am a basic girl when it comes to dealing colds and flu. I focus on maximizing sleep and fluids. I try to sleep more than 8 hours at night and push clear fluids. I also step up my neti-pot regime to keep my sinuses clear.

Becky Wax is a Les Mills National Trainer Body Pump™  Body Combat™  and CXWORX™, ACE and AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor, and a Les Mills Presenter and Group Fitness Director at Gold’s Gym in Waukesha.  http://www.reebok.com/becky.wax.  At  the 1st signs of cold/flu I eat raw minute rice and drink warm apple cider. It make no sense but if works for me every time.


Jennette Cable, ND, CTN, CCH, ST Owner of Creative Care Wellness is a traditional naturopath, a classical homeopath, and a sound therapist. She is certified by the American Naturopathic Certification Board as a Certified Traditional Naturopath (CTN) and by the Council for Homeopathic Certification as a Certified Classical Homeopath (CCH). She is also a certified CEASE Therapist, a VoiceBio® practitioner (ST), a Rhythm Entrainment Intervention® provider, and a member of the Sound Healers Association. Finally, as a preceptor for the Aurora Family Medicine Residency – Integrative Medicine Rotation in Milwaukee, Jennette shares her experience with medical doctors looking for integrative medicine training. www.creativecarewellness.com.  Here are steps in Jennette’s regiment for colds & flu comfort:

1. Enjoy a generous serving of warm homemade bone broth, into which a huge dollop of organic coconut oil has been melted.  Season to taste with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos Fermented Seasoning.

2.  Run a hot bath into which is dissolved certified Sea Salts and several drops of a respiratory: RC Blend Essential oil.  Soak until skin turns pink, while listening to a favorite Baroque era string ensemble recording.

3.  Rinse off, being careful to not check any sweating, while drinking at least 16 ounces of room temperature water steeped with organic lemon.

4.  If running a temperature before getting into the bath, engage the “Cold Sock Ritual”.

5.  Immediately get into bed, turn the lights low, enjoy the drowsiness of the induced hypothermia, express gratitude for blessings, practice deep breathing, and visualize feeling complete and well.  Enjoy at least 9 hours of sleep.  Should sleep be interrupted throught the night, get up only to do some gentle stretching and deep breathing.  Return to bed.

In the morning, if not yet “back to normal,” I close my eyes and identify exactly how I am experiencing my symptoms.  I then consider a well-indicated homeopathic remedy that covers how I’m feeling in mind, body, and spirit.  The same cold or flu bug is experienced differently by each individual, and two people may often need completely different routines for body balance.

Gail Bennett was the owner of Fair Trade for All , a specialty gift shop on 88th & North Avenue and the previous Director of the Well City Milwaukee project, a workplace wellness coalition dedicated to promoting a healthy Milwaukee workforce. As a mom of a teen who works full time, I don’t have much time for our family to get sick. We start our regime with prevention by regularly drinking Yogi teas with herbs that support a healthy immune system. We also take Vitamin C regularly. If we get sick, we immediately begin putting Tiger Balm on our chest and bottom of feet. We are often comforted by these familiar aromas. We double up on vitamins, healthy teas and juices and as a last resort take Tylenol and other flu medicines to curb the symptoms and help with recovery. 

Rishi TeaBernard Rosen is a wellness educator and consultant. He has a PhD in Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health. Areas of expertise include nutrition education and consultation, personal wellness and fitness, stress management, yoga and meditation. When I start to feel sick:  I have two products from Standard Process that I use.  The first is called Andrographis Complex – a mixture of three herbs (Echinacea Root, Holy Basil, and Andrographis) and calcium.  The second product is Congaplex which contains lots of good stuff to boost the immune system.  The Congaplex also comes in a chewable version which I give to my kids. www.brwellness.com

KC Thorson is your “organic cooking coach”KC has used her organic & natural foods expertise and customized recipes  over the past 8 years to enable hundreds of area professionals and families to create whole/organic and natural foods meals, snacks and desserts in fast, easy & delicious ways.  Learn how to “Cook from scratch in fast-food  time  and more about KC’s coaching at www.kcskafe.com  www.facebook.com/OrganicCookingCoach  When I start to feel sick I turn to whole foods, natural vitamins and pure essential oils:

  •  A small shot of orange juice with 1 clove minced organic garlic before bed and first thing in the morning.
  •  A glass of water with several drops Essential Oil of Oregano before I begin the day.
  •  If sinuses are involved, use of a netti pot with several drops of Essential Oil of Rosemary.
  •  Double doses of liquid Vitamin C and Vitamin D/K drops.
  •  Organic greens, greens and more greens!
  •  A huge batch of homemade chicken soup/bone broth.
Cheri Meyer is exposed to an abundant supply of cold & flu germs as a 2nd grade elementary school teacher. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, hiking, biking and rock climbing when she is not teaching. During cold and flu season I increase my vitamin C to capacity (right before the bowels get too loose – some studies indicate that the body can only absorb about 200mg per dose so higher doses will just be eliminated via the urinary tract or cause those loose bowels), increase my vitamin D, and make sure to take my zinc.  Most importantly, I strictly limit my sugar and grains intake and try to get ample sleep.  Also, I drink a at least a whole Nalgene with lemon juice each day.  So far, so good this year!  It works!  It’s not complicated at all…just being consistent with the basics.
Deb Martell is a Cancer Survivor 2 x’s over (breast cancer 1st, then leukemia 10 years later as predicted from chemo treatment). She’s an active mom of 4, kids in college and beyond. I keep things simple when I start to get sick, all I really do is take Airbornne or zinc and drink Melaleuca tea with lemon and honey, lots of fluids.
Lynette Shepherd is owner of Movers & Shapers Wellness Solutions, with a passion for helping people FEEL &/or LOOK BETTER.  I accomplish this by customizing my services to the individual.  My consultations are FREE so I can get to know them first (their lifestyle, what they eat & drink, their activities & exercise and their level of stress).  Then together we determine the best course of action for them to accomplish their wellness goals. I DRINK (more than usual) nutrient dense fluids!!  “Ultimate Aloe” Juice (lots of it), Green Smoothies in my Nutri Bullet (with added powdered greens, probiotics & Omegas) and extra water!  I over power the “bad bugs” with “good bugs” & then flush them out!!  & of course to bed early so the body can heal!!
Leah Stadel is a mom of 5 kids, Musician, Mentor and Music Instructor with beautifully balanced perspectives on life, faith and health.  First, we have never subscribed to flu shots.  I have not done all the research on the whys and why-nots; I just can’t see how seeking those injections fits into God’s provision of our body’s ability to handle foreign bodies.  I understand the basic logic, and that they have benefit for social health in general for some, but the fact that we haven’t had a flu in our home for at least 4 years is pretty compelling, too.

Secondly, we wash our hands frequently (normally) during the day and do not use anti-bacterial soaps.  I grew up on a farm, and the exposure we had to a variety of bacteria would frighten  most health professionals today, but that natural exposure secured our health and ability to tolerate a lot of things.  The fear of germs seems to have led to a weakening of immune systems.  So we use regular soap when our hands/bodies are dirty.

Thirdly, I avoid as much as possible the purchasing of processed foods.  Full nutrition for balanced health is the principle, and processed foods deprive us of so much.  I cannot say that I don’t buy some each week, but cooking from scratch with good ingredients allows me to let our food be our medicine.  I can control the amount of sodium, necessary nutrients, fats and proteins we get each week and make adjustments more if I don’t rely on processed standards.

Lastly, we drink well water.  Yup.  Well water.

A few other small habits:  very little soda, regular cleaning of sinks and tubs, regular laundering of blankets, pillows, throws and sheets, fresh air through the house regularly (yes, even an open window a few moments when it is -16 degrees),  training of what to avoid in public bathrooms, and modeling to my kids that simply, you can decide to not get sick!  I’m not sure that deciding that is very scientific at all, but I’ve always thought like that because that is just my temperament.  I’m not getting’ sick!

Barb Lemke RN,  is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner, NMT Practitioner, Healing Touch, EFT Energy Work, Chakra Balancing with Essential Oils   When I begin to feel sick  I start using Inner Oregano Defense, 2 capsules three times a day, breathe in Frankincense essential oil, and rub breathe again in front, behind my ears and over my chest.  Gargle with Immune Boosting Essential oil in water and swallow. http://BarbaraLemke.vibrantscents.com

How can you tell your essential oils are pure?

Amy Salburg is a lawyer who specializes in Food Law, working to protect our rights to pure, non-GMO, organic foods. www.realfoodlaw.com. I pretty much eat honey/cinnamon every day (in my coffee), regularly eat garlic, and load up a bit more on Vitamin C-containing foods when I feel I’m getting sick. I also sometimes take an Elderberry supplement or even Airborne. Thank God, I really do not get sick very often.  

Kristine Stein is the owner of Brew City Botanicals, an Herbalist and Natural Health Practitioner at Total Health in Menomonee Falls. When I feel like I am getting sick, I start taking “Wellness Formula” by Source Naturals. I follow the directions on the bottle which suggests taking 3-4 tablets every 3 hours during the onset of symptoms. Another thing I do is drink echinacea tea to charge up my immune system. The third thing I take is an herbal throat spray called “Throat & Tonsil” by Dr. Schulze’s. Most of the time when I get sick, the first symtpom for me is a sore throat. This spray works really well to kill bacteria in the throat/tonsil area as well as easing inflammation and pain. And of course, drinking plenty of water is essential.

Shelly Skorik has been a nurse for 26 years, the past 15 in the ER. She served 22 years in the US Army. Her family runs a small hobby farm that provides organic, non-GMO produce in a CO-OP, as well as raising chickens for eggs and poultry. She’s been practicing a holistic lifestyle for over 13 years and is currently working on her formal degree to become a Naturopathic Practitioner. Our go to cache for colds and flu includes: Colloidal silver– 1/2 tsp. For kids 3 times/day. 1tsp. For adults 3-4 times/day.  LDM-Lomatium root– 18 drops every 3 hours for adults. 1/2 dose for kids. Very strong anti-viral! ! Coconut oil pulling– about 1 Tbsp and pull it back and forth through teeth for about 5min. Or longer if you can. Draws out toxins from lymphatic system. Cell food– helps to oxygenate bodies cells. Great for upper respiratory infections….acute and chronic. Chlorella– superfood. ..binds with toxins, heavy metals, pesticides and detoxes body. Chlorophyll  it has amazing healing properties. Vitamin D3- I take 15,000iu…kids take 6,000ius daily. Has so many properties. ..great to boost immunity. Fat soluble so eat with largest meal of day. 1Tbsp Apple Cider vinegar with 1 tsp. Baking soda ( sod. Bicarbonate.) Great to stop a cough..and helps to make the body alkaline so it can fight bugs. Essential oils on the feet to balance the body and  arm the body’s defenses. So many good things to choose from!

There you have it, plenty of expertise to choose from if you come down with a cold and flu. Do you have any go to remedies that are your stand bys when cold or flu strikes in your home? Leave them in the comments below, I’d love to hear what works in your home.

Healthy Blessings to you!




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