Last week I started coughing. It was a painful cough that started in my chest and then tickled me right up through my throat. “NO, NO, NO!” I grumbled, “I CAN’T GET SICK!” But I did. I felt deflated as I backed off running for the weekend and even more weary as I went into a 12 hour work day on Monday, knowing I wasn’t resting but I also wasn’t running.
One of the reasons I despise being sick is that it forces me to think about, “WHY?” The answer that comes to mind most often is stress. Stress comes in many forms–poor diet, lack of sleep, heavy training, difficult life situations, expectations that are too high, worry, etc. Stress weakens our immune system and leaves us vulnerable to germs.
Here’s what I’m doing to fight this cold off and get back to my superwoman self:
1. SLEEP: I’m really pushing for large quantities of sleep. Sleep is when our bodies repair and my body has some repairing to do right now so I’m trying to give it as much time as possible. I’m doing my very best to be in bed early and when I’m not subbing in the morning, I allow myself to sleep a little later than usual. If you have this luxary, take it.
2. HYDRATE: I’m continually drinking throughout the day to keep everything moving through my body and hopefully flushing out the germs that my immune system is battling. Adding lemon to my water gives it pzaz and also gives me some of the natural anti-bacterial benefits of its juice. I also put a dash of cayenne pepper in my morning glass of water–lovely for my liver and also has some great medicinal values such as being an anti-fungal, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory. Whoopwhoop!
3. NETI POT: Speaking of flushing stuff out, I’m using the neti pot to clean out my nasal pasageways. This not only relieves my sinus headache and helps me breathe but it also reduces the risk of a sinus infection!
4. LEMON HONEY CAYENNE PEPER SHOTS: These suckers are potent and while they are techincally not vegan due to the honey, they do wonders for a soar throat. I squeeze the juice from 1 lemon into a shot glass, squirt in some honey and add a dash of cayenne pepper and then I shoot that guy down the back of my throat. These three ingredients are powerful germ killers and the honey is also an expectorant so it will help you cough out that junk in your chest! I’ll raise my shot glass to that!
5. EMERGEN-C: This is me callin’ in the backup. A well rounded, plant based diet will give you all the vitamins you need but when your immune system is weakened, it doesn’t hurt to pull out the big guns (so to speak). I add it to my smoothie or just mix it with a little water.
6. YOGI TEA: I love Yogi Tea all the time but I picked up a “Cold Season Sampler” last week and I am enjoying it. The tea is full of ingredients like Echinacea, Eucalyptus, Slippery Elm Bark, Mullein, and ginger to help clear nasal passageways, soothe soar throats, and boost the ol’ immune system.
7. CUTTING MYSELF SOME SLACK: I had a long day yesterday. I subbed in a middle school in a rough neighborhood then I went straight to several hours of tutoring. This was all after a night of minimal sleep. While coffee was in no way going to help me fight my cold, I knew it would do wonders for my spirit, so I stopped off between jobs and got a cup of joe–something I don’t normally due during the week.
What do you to fight colds?