Well, that time of year is upon us…the time when colds start to be passed around like a hot potato. I have gymnasts starting to come in to class with sniffles, having missed days of school, etc. The dry air sucks the moisture right out of our bodies and leaves us more susceptible to catching something we did not intend on catching. I have noticed it big time…I can feel the air drying out my lips and skin by the second and I have been drinking fluids as quickly as I can to try to maintain some type of moisture balance. I have had to up the anti on my moisturizing oils out of the shower just to try to retain any moisture in my skin before the drier air gets the best of me. However, with all of my precautions, sometimes those little buggers slip through the slightest window and still can cause a raucous. A little over a week ago, I noticed my throat starting to get a little dry and sore. This is my body’s way of telling me that my immune system is compromised and at risk. As soon as I get that sign, I start my artillery of remedies to try to ward off this potential cold from getting any worse. This time around, I had to travel and race in my first triathlon with Team Challenge, so the cold got the best of me. Still, all of my precautions and remedies have kept it from going deep into my body. I have not been congested at all and everything is “moving” out quickly! Is that too much information? Hahaa! Here are a few of my rememdies that you can do regularly to ward off colds, shorten their duration and strengthen your immune system in the process. Hydrate! Our bodies are over ¾ water – it is an essential and basic necessity for life. When we get dehydrated, our mucous membranes – the tissues of our bodies that are closest to the outside world and therefore a HUGE part of our immune system – become drier and develop small cracks that allow germs to pass their protective barrier. When they are well hydrated, they have a protected surface that is more difficult to penetrate and therefore keeps most germies out. When you are sick, water is a great option, but also be sure to get warmer fluids that have a high water content: soup, broth, tea…especially a ginger-honey-lemon tea with some turmeric and cinnamon or clove for added cold-kicking power! Avoid sugary drinks and dairy as those typically encourage the germs and mucous to proliferate and only lengthen the time of your cold. De-Bug! While this is NOT the time for a detox, it IS the time for flushing your body of any unwelcome germies. Eating alkalizing foods and drinks is a great idea – lemon water, apple cider vinegar each morning, Liquid Clay and the other foods listed in the “Nourish” section will help with creating an environment in your body that is conducive to GOOD bugs, and one that is unfit for those BAD bugs.

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Nourish! While “comfort” food might be the first thing you want when you are under the weather, it is important to put your comfort foods into categories. You have comfort foods that you may turn to in a time of “emotional” need – these foods act like a big hug from a loved one. The comfort foods that you want to turn to during a cold are those foods that are like having grandma wrap you in a warm blanket and care for you until you are better. This means home cooking! You know Grandma loved cooking for you! Soups, stews, homemade breads or muffins (gluten free if needed), eggs if tolerable and LOTS of fresh herbs and vegetables – especially fresh, leafy, greens. Probiotics! I have a special place in my heart for probiotics. As sad as it is, they are like the front line of defense that we have when our body is under attack. As a result, they are the first to get killed off when our body get invaded. Yet, they are CRUCIAL to maintaining the integrity and strength of our immune system. So when we are sick, and stressed because of being sick, those probiotic numbers dwindle pretty quickly, and even MORE so if you choose to take antibiotics. It is a great idea to be on a probiotic regimen regularly, but if that does not feel right for you, then taking a series of probiotics when you are sick will help to get you better much more quickly.

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Rest! Deep down you KNOW this one, but yet it usually takes a life or death diagnosis to get us to stop, get off the hamster wheel, slow down and actually appreciate life a bit. When you are sick, your body NEEDS sleep! This is the time when our bodies repair, regenerate, heal, detoxify, and basically complete every function that allows us to make it through the day successfully! SO unless the world will literally fall apart without you, take a day off, or even just a half-day, as it can have exponential results. Living Clay While this is not technically a “food”, it is ingestible and is a MUST HAVE in your health regimen. Using my clay pulled the worst of my cold right out of my body and, as someone incredibly susceptible to strep throat, I am convinced that it prevented my sore throat from progressing into strep. Thieves Essential Oil Blend Thieve Essential Oil Blend is therapeutic grade, so you can ingest it, however I recommend practicing EXTREME caution as this oil is incredibly potent and can STING! I simply diffuse it through my home, day and night, when I am sick and alternately with Eucalyptus Globulus, make my own “Vick’s Vaporub.” Stay tuned – more to come on these oils in a later post.

While these are very common sense tips, the power is in actually DOING THEM! So make it a point to keep you and your health a priority this season and put some of these into practice now to prevent any colds that have their eye on you. And if by chance you do catch an unfriendly germ, then put these practices into overtime and get better soon!