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.

 

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