This post was inspired by that fact that over the last 2 weeks I have managed to fight off both a cold & flu!
1) about 2 weeks ago I was super congested – head & chest – and seriously lacking my normal abundance of energy
2) and again, just Monday morning, a viscous bug tried to attack my body – leaving me in bed all day with debilitating body aches, nausea, chills & sweats – but after an incredible amount of sleep…oh, about 20 hours + lots of water, I was able to show that bug who’s boss!
Over the last several years, working in the gym & yoga studio’s, spotting/touching sweaty clients & yogi’s all day + my own workouts bring me to gyms, yoga & pilates studio’s, locker rooms, on sweaty yoga room floors, etc…all over Charlotte, this puts me in contact with I-don’t-even-want-to-think-about-levels of sweat & germs. The positive about all this sweaty interaction is that I have built up quite the immune system and really don’t get sick too often. BUT! with that being said, there are those times when I suppose my defenses are down and those pesky little germs try to get the best of me and you better believe I do everything in my power to not let this happen.
Before I start, I suppose I should say that the fact that I had flu like symptoms on Monday morning was so completely out of the ordinary because getting the flu just isn’t my type of sick. My entire life I’ve always been extremely prone to head, chest & sinus congestion / pressure. Like the sleep-with-your-mouth-wide-open, zero-air-is-passing-thru-my-nose type of congestion. My sister on the other hand, has always gotten the flu.
With that being said, as soon as I feel the slightest inkling of any sickness going on, which for me, always (always) begins with a sore throat, this is my immediate course of cold and/or flu killing action:
No Working Out.
All 3 of these things do nothing but weaken your immune system even further, making you more susceptible to getting sick and/or worsening what is already brewing inside your body. Sugar feeds anything from the common cold to cancer. Alcohol, which contains sugar, also suppresses your immune system’s ability to fight off a cold/flu/infection in your body. Working out, honestly can go either way. I’ve learned my lesson thru the years and this one definitely requires being in tune with your body. I’ve made myself 10x worse by being stubborn, not listening to my body’s needs & working out any way. If anything, I’d say go for a light walk.
If I’m just coming down with something the best thing for me is to rest & sleep it up. On the tail end of a cold, a walk + light weights, nothing high intensity, makes me feel good without setting me back.
When it comes to fighting a cold, I turn to holistic, herbal remedies first. Going to the doctor for prescription meds and/or antibiotics is, for me, a last resort and the only way I will go to the doctor is if I know I can’t kick the cold on my own and I know I have an infection.
This is your test…
Blow your nose. Is it clear? Is it thick, yellow/green?
Clear. Your good. Yellow/green? You have an infection.
For me, if I have the nasty mucous thing going on + sinus pressure & congestion to the point where my head might pop off, I know I have no choice but to go to the doc & get on antibiotics. Shoot me. Antibiotics are the worst. Not only do they kill the infection, they also kill everything good inside your body – particularly all the healthy bacteria in your gut which is beneficial & essential for a healthy immune system. Please think twice before taking a round of antibiotics. Each course of antibiotics weakens your immune system more & more, decreasing your body’s ability to heal itself + can lead to leaky gut, decreased nutrient absorption and even antibiotic resistance. Eeeek!!
These are my trusted remedies for boosting my immune system & fighting off a cold or flu naturally.
When I’m fighting something off, I drink up to 4 packets of Emergen-C a day! Each packet is loaded with 1,000 mg of Vitamin C + other immune boosting Vitamins like Vitamin D & Zinc. There are so many types of Emergen-C to choose from but my fave for fighting off a cold is Emergen-C Immune Plus in either Citrus or Acai flavor. I also drink Emergen-C if I happen to be feeling a bit tired & need a little boost and when I’m traveling, just in case!
Apple Cider Vinegar.
I drink ACV on the daily, whether I’m sick or not and swear by its immune boosting properties + its wonderful for healthy digestion & your metabolism, too! I simply add 2 tablespoons of Vinegar to about 1/4 cup water and just drink it down. I use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with the “Mother” .
Goldenseal + Echinacea.
You can buy goldenseal & echinacea separate but I believe they are even more powerful & effective together. I use Gaia Echinacea Goldenseal Liquid Extract. Simply use the dropper that it comes with. The recommended dose is about 45 drops. They say you can put it right in your mouth but I think it tastes gross that way and prefer to put the drops in a tiny bit of water and just drink it down quickly. Do this 2x a day to boost your immune system & kick the sick.
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Water + other fluids like coconut water or electrolyte enhanced water & herbal teas are the best for keeping up your fluids and to help flush out your body. If you happen to have the flu with symptoms like throwing up and/or diarrhea, staying hydrated is incredibly important to replenish your electrolytes. Please, don’t drink sugar filled Orange Juice thinking it is going to make you better. OJ is one of the worst things you can drink — instead, eat a real orange or other citrus fruits.
As a professional sleeper, I can’t sing the praises of sleep enough! Sleep is so incredibly precious & healing to our bodies. Whether your sick or not, proper sleep – 8 hours a night – is so important to keep our bodies functioning at their best. On Monday, I seriously slept ALL day. The only time I got out of the bed was to either pee or get more water. As much as this sucked, it was what my body needed. After sleeping all day, my body aches started to subside around 8pm. That was the first time I got out of the bed to eat something since a banana at about 10am. I ate a couple rice cakes + another banana, hopped online / watched a bit of TV and was right back in bed by 1030 to sleep thru the night until 9am the next morning! ahhh… amazing.