Tag Archives: sick

3 Ways to Ward off Sickness This Winter!

It’s that time of year…Christmas is in the air, but so are lots of cold and flu germs!

No one wants to miss out on the holiday parties, cookie baking, and gift exchanges, so I’m here to give you my 3 top tips for warding off the germs this season!

 TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY:

1)      Build your immune system up so you’re better able to fight off the germs. This means eating lots of nutrient-rich veggies, drinking lots of water, and taking your vitamins. Regular exercise also helps equip your body to fight infection.

2)      Keep the sweets to a minimum. There’s no reason to deprive yourself of Christmas cookies altogether, but try not to go overboard. Large amounts of sugar temporarily weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick. Enjoy your candy, cookies, and chocolates in moderation – this means eating one or two, not the whole bag or plate!

3)      Get your zzzz’s. It’s a hectic time of year, but make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. When you don’t get enough sleep….you guessed it, your immune system is weaker! Beginning to see a common theme to these preventive tips? A lot has to do with keeping your immune system strong – i.e., giving yourself a fighting chance in the battle to stay healthy!

Ok….well, what happens when I do get sick??

As much as I’d like to say the 3 tips above will completely prevent a single sick day this winter, it’s just not realistic. Life gets the best of us sometimes, and even the healthiest person will find themselves nursing a scratchy throat and sniffling at a Christmas party sooner or later. It happens. And it happened to me this past week. (Which is largely what inspired me to write this post!)  head cold

 

Wednesday afternoon, my throat started getting sore and I began to feel that dread that comes the night before a cold really sets in. You know that feeling when you just know you’re about to get sick? It’s not fun. And before learning about holistic health, I would usually raise the white flag of surrender at this point, and resign myself to 5-7 days of a horrible head cold. Time to start stocking every room of the house with a box of Kleenex.

However, this time around, I decided I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. The battle was on. It sounds dramatic, I know, but if you understood how much I DID NOT want to get sick this week, you’d be in battle mode too.

So, here’s what I did:

1)      Pumped myself full of immune-system-boosting vitamins! My favorite is Congaplex from Standard Process.    Since this is made of completely natural, whole-foods products, you can take them as often as possible. Whenever I start feeling sick, I pop 2 or 3 of these every hour!

apple cider vinegar2)      Gargled. With apple cider vinegar. It’s not fun, and it’s not tasty, but it gets the job done. Apple cider vinegar is amazing for many reasons (see the graphic on the right), one of which is clearing out the “gunk” in your throat and sinuses! However, not all apple cider vinegar is created equal; it’s important to get it raw and un-pasteurized, so that it still has the “mother” in it . My favorite brand is Bragg’s, which is available at Whole Foods and several other health foods stores.

3)      Drank lots of Throat Coat tea! My chiropractor was the one who first told me about this amazing remedy, and I’ve had a box in my pantry ever since. It’s available at your local grocery store, as well as CVS and Walgreens. I drink Throat Coat tea whenever my voice is feeling a little sore or hoarse, even if I’m not technically sick. It’s great stuff! throat coat tea

4)      SLEPT. I realized as I thought back on the past week that I hadn’t been getting nearly enough sleep, which is probably one of the reasons my body finally succumbed to the head cold boogie monster. Thankfully, I only had one client on Thursday morning and was able to reschedule with her so I could get some more sleep. I slept until noon and woke up feeling slightly better. Even though I didn’t notice a huge difference immediately after my nap, I really think the extra sleep helped me come out on the winning side with this cold. As I said earlier, when your body is sleep-deprived and exhausted, you are much more susceptible to the germs and viruses around you.

Thankfully, my story has a happy ending. By Thursday evening, I was feeling much better and the cold never actually went to my head or chest. The sore throat was annoying for those 24 hours, but I’ll take that over a week-long head cold any day!

I know there will still be times that the cold, flu, or other nasty virus gets the victory over you and me, but why not do everything possible to nip it in the bud and get healthy again as soon as possible? Your body (and your friends and family) will thank you!

Here’s to a healthy Christmas season!

head cold

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Wisdom Teeth Are No Fun!

The good news is: I’m not sick, in the sense of having a cold or flu. The congestion I was feeling on Friday went away after a couple hours, but…

The bad news is: my gum is swollen and inflamed all around my bottom left wisdom tooth. It’s really bad. I’ve been in a lot of pain since Friday and it appears the wisdom tooth (teeth) will need to be pulled. I’m going to call my dentist tomorrow to have him take a look and see if that’s what needs to be done. My wisdom teeth were never pulled when I was younger because my old dentist always checked them at each visit and told me I had plenty of room for them to come in and didn’t need to have them pulled. Which was wonderful at the time, but now, not so much!

Yesterday was a rough day – I was feeling horrible all day and pretty much did nothing other than lay on the couch, watch movies, nap, and eat soft foods.  😛  By the time I went to bed last night, I was emotionally exhausted and down on myself, but hyped up because I couldn’t stop worrying about getting my wisdom teeth pulled! I couldn’t fall asleep for almost 2 hours and kept waking up throughout the night, in pain.

This morning, I finally stopped dozing in and out around 9:30 and decided I needed to get out of bed and try to make the most of my day. In spite of the pain, I felt like a run would help me feel better and the weather outside was so gorgeous! As soon as I started running, I felt better, and after a couple miles I was able to stop thinking about the pain in my gum.

As I ran, I listened to some podcasts from one of my favorite pastors/teachers, Andy Stanley. He’s the pastor of a church in Atlanta and I always keep up with his podcasts on my ipod. They’re one of my favorite things to listen to while I run or work out. On the spur of the moment, I decided to try a new route today on my run. It ended up being beautiful and I ran along so many huge mansions and estates! By the time I looped back home and did one quick lap around my street, I’d done a little over 7 miles. My legs felt strong the whole time and the pace was comfortable but not slow. I don’t know any of the exact stats because I’ve stopped running with my GPS watch lately.  Since I’m not technically training for any races right now, I’ve been focusing more on just running for enjoyment and not pressuring myself with distance and pace. I run because I love the way I feel during and after a run. I love being outside and covering miles on my own two feet. I love seeing nature while I run and discovering new routes and trails. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish the run, sweaty and exhausted but happy and content. 🙂

I spent the afternoon at home, mostly on my laptop. I caught up on emails and did some work for my sister’s upcoming bridal shower.  I also did some knitting, washed my sheets, folded laundry, and put clean sheets on my bed. Is it weird that I get really excited to sleep in my bed the first night after I put on clean sheets?  😛

Around 5, I decided to make some tea with my Teavana tea set! I brewed some Chocolate Mint tea and lit some votive candles for some added ambiance.

 

This evening I enjoyed dinner with my family and caught up with my sister and her fiancé, who just got back from a weekend in Kansas City. Then I watched the latest Mission Impossible movie with my bro.

Despite being in a lot of pain with my swollen gum, this weekend turned out to be really fun and relaxing! I’m so glad I got in a good run today and some time outside in the gorgeous fall weather.

Off to pop some Advil and hit the sack!

Quick and Easy Upper Body Workout

This morning’s workout was upper body weights, with my go-to exercises for arms, shoulders and back. When I’m at the gym, my strength training workouts are much more involved and thorough, but with the limited dumbbells I have at home, my basement workouts are much more basic.

I completed 3(sets) x 15(reps) of these exercises:

– Side shoulder raise

– Tricep dips

– Overhead press

– Bent-over, single-arm row

– Reverse Fly

– 2 minutes of abs

After enjoying a bowl of my favorite oatmeal for breakfast, I got to work on some emails and homework. And of course, did some knitting.  😉 My scarf is already about a foot long and I love it!

   I fear that I may be coming down with the cold that has been going around. My throat is sore, my head is congested, and I have very little energy today! Uh-oh! I’m supposed to go to an awesome Fall Party tonight and I was going to bring a yummy pumpkin dip…really bummed that I might miss the fun time with friends tonight!!

In the meantime, I’m going to try to rest as much as possible here at home…reading, homework, knitting, and some Netflix. 🙂