Fight a Cold…and Win

Well, it happened. I avoided fall allergies. However, lately I’ve been around a bunch of people with a variety of winter illnesses, and this morning I woke up with the sniffles. I could feel the cold symptoms coming on, before I even crawled out of bed…headache, chills, stuffy nose, scratchy throat, and that tired feeling around the eyes.

This wouldn’t do! I’ve built up my immune system over the past few months, by eating healthy, nutrient rich foods. Waving the white flag and giving in to an illness didn’t appeal to me. I attacked the cold head on, with the following powerful strategies.

Fight a cold and win
1. Listen to the body – My body wanted a hot water with lemon in it. It turns out this was an excellent choice. Lemons contain highly absorbable vitamin C. And the antioxidant flavonoids in this citrus fruit fight illnesses, including colds. Plus lemons are an effective mucus expeller. I sipped on a cup of hot water with the juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon.

2. Oranges, oranges & more oranges – Like lemons, this fruit is high in vitamin C, flavonoids and coenzyme glutathione, which together fight off viruses. After the lemon water and a glass of fresh celery juice, I created a new breakfast smoothie. I combined two bananas, two red oranges, a cup of pineapple and a tablespoon each of hemp and chia seeds. I’ve never added oranges to a smoothie before, thinking of them as more of a juicing fruit. This won’t be the last time I include oranges! The smoothie was light and refreshing and just what I needed.

3. Nettle tea -I’ve kept a pot of this herbal tea brewing today. Nettle strengthens the body with healing alkaloids and its anti inflammatory properties help relieve cold symptoms naturally. I brew three tablespoons of dried nettle leaf in six cups of boiling water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Or for a single cup, use 1 teaspoon of dried nettle. I drink it plain but it can be sweetened with organic honey, if desired.

4. Eat lightly, with a focus on fresh fruits – There may be some merit in starving a cold! Listening to my body again, I’ve eaten fresh fruits primarily today, accompanied by lots of liquids. Fruits are easily digested without taxing the digestive system and packed with powerful nutrients. I did have left over veggie pizza for lunch. Otherwise, it’s been a fruit day. Dinner was a bowl of fresh sliced pears, great for cleansing the body and purging toxins, and more red oranges.

5. Powerful supplements – These three supplements helped me to make it through fall without seasonal allergies. I’ve come to realize that supplements alone, while helpful, cannot overcome a poor diet. But eliminating inflammation causing foods, increasing fruits and vegetables, and adding supplements creates a powerful health routine that wards off illnesses and allergies. I feel like I might have let my defenses down because after I successfully made it through allergy season, I eased off my daily supplements. I have been diligent this week in taking them, and I won’t get lazy about this routine again. Especially helpful for fighting allergies and colds are Ester-C, a vitamin C complex, elderberry, for boosting the immune system, and raw honey. Locally produced raw honey is so important for supporting the immune system and fighting ear, nose and throat infections. I typically take a big spoonful once a day. Today, I’ve taken two.

6. Hot Apple Cider – I’m finishing up my day with a cup of freshly made hot apple cider. You can read about the health benefits of this incredibly delicious drink in a previous blog post HERE. Inhaling the spicy aroma makes me feel better, even before I take a sip. The cider contains spices that aid healing. I’m grateful for its healing properties. And for the way it warms and comforts me as I savor it.

Normally, when I have a cold coming on, I feel worse as the day progresses. Not today. By mid afternoon, my head had cleared, and the headache had disappeared. The sniffles were gone, as was pressure in my sinuses and ears. That tired feeling around my eyes lingers slightly, but overall, I fought that sneaky cold, and I’ve won the day’s battle. Life Changing Foods, by Anthony William, has been so helpful.

I didn’t think that my first act of making life a little more tender, in 2017, would be directed toward myself. My hope is that sharing my day of extreme self care, and yes…tenderness…will help someone else successfully, and naturally,  fight a cold, and win. In that way, may this act of tenderness go far.


Order Ester-C and Elderberry supplements below:


I am an Amazon Affiliate and may make a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of these products, or any other items, by going through my Amazon link!

The Ta Da List

I have long been a list maker. I am one of those people who used to add things to my list, as the day progressed, just for the pleasure of crossing them off. My habits told me was that what I really enjoyed was the sense of accomplishment that I got from a day of doing. 

Although I still make lists occasionally, I’ve shifted in the last five or six years, away from “to do” lists, focusing more on being. However, I was delighted today to read about a new-to-me type of list making that appeals to my creative side. 

I came across the “Ta Da” list in Walking in This World. Author Julia Cameron suggests creating a Ta Da list, rather than working from a To Do list. The list of Ta Das, as in Look what I did…Ta Da, highlights creative actions and steps during the day, rather than focusing on what didn’t get crossed off the To Do list. Ta Da is accomplishment oriented, rather than task oriented. 

I like that distinction! I like celebrating what I have accomplished, rather than fretting over a long list of things to do. Julia says, “The Ta Da list shows I did work on my art today. Creative lives are made up of minutes…and minute amounts of work do add up.” 

Here is my Ta Da List for today:

* I finished watching a new Netflix series this morning, The OA, Season One. This mind bending series, the first I’ve ever binge watched over a weekend, goes on my creative list because it was so original, clever and imaginative. I’ll be thinking about this show for days. I’d recommend for ages 16 and up, as a couple of scenes are for mature audiences only. 

* Read a chapter in Walking in This World, The Practical Art of Creativity, where I embraced the Ta Da List. 

* Free writing on ideas for the Year of Inspiration blog this year. I wrote these categories for “making life a little more tender (gentleness, concern, sympathy, from the Latin word meaning ‘delicate’)”: compassion toward others, being Light, Love, and Inspiration, offering peace, joy, hope, understanding and forgiveness to others, giving time, resources and money to assist others, being present and witnessing another’s life, listening, being empathetic and sympathetic, walking alongside. I am open to other tender ideas. 

I wrote these categories for “making art a little more robust (strong, healthy, vigorous, from the Latin word meaning ‘oak-strength’)”: writing – storytelling, blogging, essays, free writing, poetry, drawing, painting, coloring, gardening, clothing design (a new interest), cooking, decorating, vignettes, repurposing, photography, mixed media, collage, building, music, movement – dance, zumba, tai chi, yoga. I am open to other robust art ideas. 

* Read about blogging, and about communicating with the Divine. 

* Wrote a blog post

Ta Da! There is my list, and the creative steps I took today, that are in alignment with this journey I am on. The OA inspired compassion in me as well, and a greater awareness of the importance of reaching out to help people, youth in particular, and accepting others where they are.

Ta Da is an accomplishment accompanied by fanfare and a bow of acknowledgement. I’m thinking of it as a daily, joyful pat on my back, and a playful high five with the Divine. 

A New Year, A New Adventure

As this fresh new year gets underway, I am celebrating with a new adventure! Today’s post officially launches my new blog, with its own domain name, The appearance is similar, because the software is a product. I have a new host, siteground. 

All this newness has certainly challenged me, mentally, and I am in the process of learning more and launching a second blog that focuses entirely on my healing journey. I am excited about the possibilities and the potential! My archives from the previous site are in the process of being transferred. Perhaps. As a daily blogger, my former blog site is huge, which presents some challenges in transferring three years of posts. 

Whether those previous posts are able to be moved to this new site, or not, all is well. My first site will remain up and will feature a redirect to 

This year’s theme and journey began to develop early in 2016, with the passing of actor Alan Rickman. Long a fan of this amazing man, I was deeply saddened by his  unexpected death. Alan once said that to know him, study his work. Missing his presence on this earth, I did that very thing, watching his movies and interviews, reading about his projects and life. Which is how I came across this remarkable quote of his:

I was captivated by Alan’s words, and tucked them away in my heart. 

Last summer, expanding on an exercise in the Walking in This World book, I enjoyed a month of drawing creative activities out of a glass pitcher, one each day. Not only did I enjoy the fun and artistic activities, but I learned to trust at a much deeper level. The activities I randomly drew each morning perfectly matched my day, time and availability wise. 

On the only two rainy days during the month of June, I drew the rainy day activities. Those kinds of “coincidences”, called synchronicities, get my attention. They are taps on my shoulder, making me aware that something greater and more mysterious is unfolding. I began to see and hear the word inspiration, repeatedly. Repetition is another way that the Divine alerts me to something important. 

And then the invitation came. 

As my days aligned with the activites that I seemingly selected at random, I sensed the playfulness involved, the humor, and the joy present. I asked a bold question of the Divine. “Will you play with me?” My answer came the morning I drew a rainy day activity, as rain fell outside. The answer was “YES!” 

What I heard next astounded me. The quiet words that filled my mind posed a question. “Will you play with Me?” How could I not accept such a request. “Yes…yes!” was my answer. 

That incredible month revealed my word for 2017, Inspiration. The word literally means “Divine guidance”. It can also mean to do something creative or artistic. Another definition of inspiration is to breathe in, or inhale, life. All of those meanings align with me, with my current journey…and connect back to the Alan Rickman quote that I was drawn to early in the year. 

The lightbulb, long associated with creativity and bright ideas, clicked into place as my symbol for the year. As soon as I acknowledged this symbol, the lightbulb began to show up everywhere in my life. I have a large Edison bulb hanging in my studio. 

My Year of Inspiration will focus, then, on two things: making life a little more tender and art a little more robust. Through my second blog I’ll also be sharing my healing journey and the importance of good health, at every age. 

It promises to be an amazing year. After all, I have been invited to play. I feel inspired already.