As much as I love the colder months of the year a part of me also dreads it. Rather than spending all my time skiing in the mountains or cuddled up with a cup of cooca, I can pretty much guarantee that I will get sick at least once during the winter months. Over the past 6 years I have become increasingly interested in holistic health. I like to stick to natural remedies when possible and focus on feeding my body whole plant foods rather than popping some Dayquil every few hours. And as much as I am grateful for the natural remedies I turn to, I am by no means against modern medicine. It was just six years ago that a group of doctors and many months of antibiotics saved me from being paralyzed. I had osteomyelitis (infection of the bone) in one of the vertebrae in my spine and to this day have no idea how the heck I got it. Because of a talented team of doctors I am still able to run, hike, ski, and bike as much as my heart desires. All this to say that although I love me some natural remedies for the common cold and flu, I am not against the miracles of modern day medicine.
The first, and perhaps the most important, step that I take to stay healthy is my diet. I primarily eat a whole foods plant based diet. What does that mean exactly? This mean that I eat plants…lots and lots of plants. I live a vegan lifestyle so I do not consume any meat, diary, eggs, or any other animal byproducts. I also strive to eat little to no processed food. Now if this concept is entirely new to you you’re probably thinking that this sounds like a bland a boring life. Well my friend, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In a few months I’ll be releasing an ebook with all of my favorite recipes that I have cultivated over the past few years; showing you just how delicious, nutritious, and filling a plant based diet can be!Not only does is this diet absolutely stellar for my my body, the planet, and the animals, but it also makes me feel my absolute best. I mean what more could you ask for?
As much as I thrive off of living this way, I’ll be the first to admit that it doesn’t make me invincible to getting sick. Like most people, I should probably not drink out of other people’s cups so often and be more dilgente about washing my hands. But alas, here we are, in all of our achey and body sore throat glory. Over the past few years I have become much more intune with my body. I am able to recognize when I am about to get sick and take some preventative action (woohoo)!
As important as diet is when it comes to prevention, adequate sleep should not be underestimated. So many of us have a go go go mentality that we forget the importance of rest. Whenever I feel a cold coming on I make sure to get an adequate nights sleep. I know this sounds simple but don’t underestimate your body's power to heal itself. However, sometimes, despite all efforts, I still find myself dealing with a cold. When this happens I continue to eat a plant based diet, drink plenty of water and sleep for as long as I can. On top of that there a few natural supplements that I incorporate to try and shorten the length on my cold and lessen the symptoms.
ELDERBERRY: This magical little berry really packs the punch when I begin to feel sick. They’ve been used for hundreds of years to help shorten the length of a cold and lighten cold like symptoms. Elderberry comes in many different forms these days but my preferred method is a liquid. ELDERBERRY TEA: Combine 2 droppers of Elderberry Liquid Extract, juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1 inch of diced fresh ginger into a mug. Fill with boiling water and allow ginger to step for approximately 5 minutes. Sip and enjoy.
ZINC: While zinc may not help prevent a cold it has been proven to shorten one! I prefer a zinc lozenge that also have Echinacea and Vitamin C.
ECHINACEA GOLDENSEAL: Thought to help boost your immunity, echinacea, may help prevent the common cold as well as shorten its length. I may be the only one who thinks this, but an added bonus is that it tastes like the orange tootsie pops.
While these supplements may help shorten my cold, nothing compares to drinking plenty of water, eating a plant based diet, and getting adequate rest. I like to know what I’m putting in my body, whether that be medicine, body products, or cleaning products. At the end of the day I’ve found that I don’t get healthier any faster when I take Dayquil or NyQuil and they often leave me feeling extremely foggy.
When I am getting ready to drift off to sleep, I put a few drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil in my diffuser to help ease my congestion so I can get the sleep my body so desperately needs.
I believe that given half a chance, our bodies can often heal themselves. As eager as I may be to get back into the swing of things, I understand the importance of rest while my body works its magic. I have experienced first hand the life saving benefits of modern day medicine. However, that doesn’t mean that I feel the need to ingest it on a regular basis. I believe there is a time and place for it and I am forever grateful to those who dedicate their life to helping others. Do I think it’s overprescribed? YES! Do I think we should disregard it entirely? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
I am simply here to share my experience with you in hope of inspiring you to live a more natural and vibrant life full of abundance. Stay healthy my friends!