Sunday, January 12, 2014

Down For The Count

It's that magical time of year again...post holiday cold and flu season!  I spent this past week fighting a cold.  A fight that I eventually lost.  I'm pretty pleased to say that more often than not when I start to get those early twinges of a cold I'm able to take it down before it amounts to anything.  This time I wasn't so successful.  On Monday I had that iffy throat feeling.  You know when you don't have a sore throat per se but it's just not right.  I took it easy that day and had a couple of clementines and extra Brussels sprouts with dinner.  Tuesday was the same, not sick but not quite right.  I opted for comfort food for dinner (Cacio e Pepe with lemon ) with a nice big side of salad and broccoli.  All the while I was drinking water like crazy.  Wednesday morning, I get up and the sinuses are feeling a little clogged.  I look up some remedies and heat a cup of water and a cup of apple cider vinegar on the stove and inhale the steam.  Despite that fact that my nose hair felt singed and vinegar vapors were tickling my brain, I press on.  I then choke down a spoonful of minced garlic and honey. 
Its the third one in the past 5 days and every bit as gross as you might think.  I thought swallowing the Gu before a race was bad, this is just as bad but the garlic burns your tongue.  Hayden asked for some since he already had a little cold.  He didn't think it was all that bad.  Figures.  I went to work and ate clementines and my usual banana, oatmeal and Greek yogurt.  I couldn't wait to get home and snort some more vinegar.  While it didn't completely take the pressure away, it did give me some relief for a few hours.  When I went home I made a cup of my new favorite warm drink, Turmeric Milk.  I keep coming across recipes and articles about turmeric and all of its amazing health properties.  People in India swear by it as an immunity booster.  It's also used to fight infections, aid in digestion and it is an anti-inflammatory (again this is just a small sample of its long list of health benefits).  For those of you unfamiliar with turmeric it's a root that looks very similar to ginger root.  The dried version is in the spice aisle at the grocery store and is the ingredient in curry that gives it that bright yellow color.  I use the recipe in the above link but have found the combo that I like best.
I like 2 cups of Almond milk (although I'm sure I'll love it just as much or more made with coconut milk or a combo of the two), a Tbs of honey, a teaspoon each of turmeric and cinnamon (which itself has many health benefits), 2-3 cardamom pods (I happened to have these and frankly don't know what else to do with them~but now I do!), a 1/4 tsp of vanilla and a few whole peppercorns.  You gently bring it to a boil in a pot over medium heat.
Then remove from the heat and strain (if you added pods and corns and such) into your mug.  It smells as lovely as it tastes.
I highly recommend it, even if your not sick or feeling like you're getting sick.  I prefer it to tea but I'm still working on the whole tea thing.  I gave a cup to Hayden one afternoon.  He didn't love it but he thought it was OK.  He drank the whole cup.  He's a trooper.  

By Wednesday night I felt pretty beat.  Not happy but still holding out hope that I was going to meet my friend on Thursday afternoon to go for a run.  That so did not happen.  When I woke up Thursday morning, my head was in a vice grip, my ears were plugged and my eye was glued shut.  Awesome.  I'm officially sick and I have pink eye.  Needless to say I called in sick to work and got myself over to urgent care to get that eye taken care of.  I spent the rest of the day on the couch.  I made a "tea" of fresh ginger, lemon and garlic.  Its not bad but a little on the strong side.  It made four cups so I refrigerated what I didn't use and reheated over the next couple of days as needed.  Then I found this little Gem a Pineapple Kale Coconut smoothie.  This is my new favorite smoothie. 
2 Cups of fresh pineapple, 1 banana, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 Tbs shredded (unsweetened) coconut, and 1 cup of kale (I only had spinach on hand but I'm sure it's just as good both ways).  Check out the Young and Raw website for more info on this most fabulous smoothie.  I drank all of it, which is two full glasses.  I didn't feel like sharing.  Friday morning I thought about going to work.  For about a minute.  My throat was so sore I didn't know how on earth I could talk on the phone for four straight hours so I called in again.  It's pretty rare that I call in sick and even more rare that I do it two days in a row but I was determined to get rid of this yuck a.s.a.p.. I drank two more of those awesome smoothies.  Saturday was so so.  Nelsy made me some more turmeric milk in the morning which was nice.  I watched the SU basketball game and napped and finally got rid of my sinus headache around 7:00pm.  Today is Sunday and I feel a ton better.  I still have a little cough and a little runny nose but WAY improved.  So even though I couldn't hold the cold at bay, I'm feeling pretty sure that it has helped to shorten the duration of this yuckiness.  Two really bad days isn't so bad.  And Now I have some new favorite healthy things to drink!





7 comments:

  1. Glad you're feeling better Amy! Can't wait to try the turmeric milk...looks crazy but sounds good. Thanks for the smoothie site, too...here's my fave: http://simplegreensmoothies.com/

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  2. I think you're going to love it, it's a nice cozy alternative to hot chocolate!

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  3. Hey there! Nice blog - really nice tone on the writing. Good thing you've got going here. Quick observation on sickness. Should be very easy to avoid if you are vigilant. Plenty of sleep (maybe most important), fair amount of regular exercise, and plenty of immuno-boosting foods in your regular diet. Cut back on dairy (people resist this one, but it makes a difference). Don't overindulge in food/booze or anything really for that matter. Moderation is wonderful and preventive beats medicinal every time. I swear by raw almonds and kale among other things. You cannot eat enough raw leafy greens! You seem "in the know" so you probably knew all these things, but they're worth repeating. Sometimes execution of the plan is the hardest part of good health. Cheers! Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks for the nice comments and tips. I actually incorporate all of those things on a daily basis but sometimes those stupid germs win! Healthy eating and regular exercise makes it a rare (and abbreviated) occurrence for sure.

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    2. Nice! I figured you had it well under control! (And I knew I was most likely preaching to the choir, but sometimes I get typing and carried away by the thoughts in my head and my own windyness as it were...) I always find it a bit absurd that more people I know aren't taking control of their food the way you have and aren't living to the best of their ability. It's not THAT hard. I guess they don't realize how great the benefits are for themselves and their families, everyone they know really! Hopefully to that end your blog is discovered by those in need of it and who are also ripe for change. Happy travels and as they say, namaste.

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  4. So glad you are feeling better. You have been an excellent health coach. You are so knowledgeable about different foods, grains, seeds...etc and the benefits they provide. Thank you do much for helping my family and I attain a healthier lifestyle.

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    1. Thanks Melissa! It's my pleasure :)

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