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Staying Up When the Temp Goes Down

November 10, 2010

Every season, without fail, I get some kind of cold. Last year, it just happened to coincide with me starting a new job (whether it was stress or whether it was weather… I’ll never know). But so far this year, I’m doing alright.

In this month’s Natural Health Magazine, there’s an article on how to stave off/get rid of colds without resorting to over-the-counter meds that make you feel detached and drowsy. It was such a good article that I thought I’d list the remedies for you. Then I’ll tell you a few remedies I use myself. And in between, you can see a few ridiculous pictures of me playing in cold weather.

Like this one.

At King's Cross in London. I really must be a Muggle... because I couldn't get through to Platform 9 3/4.

From Natural Health, pg. 90:

  • Echinacea– your body recognizes echinacea as bacteria, causing it to produce more T-cells– more soldiers to fight the battle!
  • Ginger– slightly raises your body temp, which can help kill off viruses. The rhinovirus, which lives in your nose, is very temperature-sensitive.
  • Elderberry– warms up your body temp, like ginger. Also, it’s delicious.
  • Garlic– raw garlic has the anti-bacterial ingredient allicin, which is formed when it’s chopped chewed, or crushed. But you have to eat a whole clove raw, so NH recommends putting in some honey or peanut butter.
  • Homeopathic remedies– I’m not too sure I understand this one. It sounds like the medicines are supposed to create similar symptoms to what you’re experiencing. Not sure if I like how that sounds.
  • Licorice– has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties (good for sore throats).
  • Vitamin C– well, duh.

In Oslo, Norway when I studied abroad. It was the first time I'd seen snow in 11 years.

And here are a few remedies I’ve been utilizing to stave off an almost inevitable cold (hey, it’s worth a shot, right?).

  • Sleep– I don’t get 8 hours of sleep most nights, but I never get less than 6. That seems to be enough for me. Any less than 6, and I start to get a stuffy nose and/or tickle in my throat.
  • Tea– minus the milk, plus a teaspoon of honey. I’ve really started to like Trader Joe’s candy cane green tea. It’s just a fancy way of marketing peppermint green tea.
  • Fruits and Vegetables– your mom’s not lying. They really are good for you. And all those antioxidants add up.
  • Bundling up– this sounds like a given, but how many times have you run out of the house without a jacket?
  • Drink your 8 glasses– no, not wine– water. Your mucous membranes (lovely, right?) need to stay hydrated in order to catch all that garbage that you inhale through your nose. You can’t do that with a glass and a half of water. Try to make it to 64 fl oz a day.
  • Emergen-C– if people in my office get sick or if I’m about to fly somewhere, this becomes my bestest buddy. Maybe it’s a placebo, maybe it actually works. All I know is, I didn’t get sick in New York.

Snowmobiling in Park City, Utah. I was the only lady in my family to successfully drive one (my sister drove hers off a cliff... but she's fine).

And When the Inevitable Cold DOES Happen…

  • Do everything above, PLUS…
  • EXTRA Sleep– never underestimate the power of giving your body extra time to recoup. I swear by it.
  • Breaking a sweat– if I have a cough that lasts weeks, the only thing that seems to kill it is by going for a run INDOORS (running in the freezing cold probably isn’t a good idea). I don’t know the why of it, but it always seems to work. Just don’t weight-train– the extra repair work your body has to do might make things worse.
  • Peroxide + warm water– it tastes disgusting, but it helps get rid of the first signs of a sore throat. Gargling with a glass that’s 1 part peroxide and 3 parts warm water 2-3 times a day will help kill the bacteria having a party in the back of your throat. But put a towel over your mouth when you do it. It makes a mess. And maybe brush your teeth after or drink juice to get rid of the taste.
  • Say Boo to Moo– dairy creates extra phlegm (I know, that should be gross enough to make me give it up altogether, but it isn’t). When you’ve got post-nasal drip, you really don’t need help with “extra” stuff. Cut dairy ’til you feel better.

My brother, Alex, knows how to stay warm. Well... in theory.

Keep in mind, however, that the above remedies are for minor colds. Stuffy nose. A little cough. A tickley throat. Sneezing. If you really start to feel sick, you can’t beat a trip to the doctor. Body aches= bad. Prolonged sinus headaches=bad. Weird crap that isn’t coming to mind right now=probably also bad. You can’t cure strep throat with a glass of diluted peroxide and a few extra Zzz’s.

Staying bundled up... because the creepy doll was giving me chills.

I know I said I’d post some food today, but I changed my mind. And you’re not really missing anything. And my workout wasn’t any different from what I usually do (I did 2 miles again– no cramping!).

What are some of your cold prevention tips/cold remedies?

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 11, 2010 1:39 pm

    We love the photo! Please share it and your experience when you become a fan of Park City on Facebook, We hope to see you again soon.

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