This is one of those real life, "I just went through this a few days ago" posts that always seem to be the most helpful in my opinion!
For Thanksgiving we met up with family and stayed in Gatlinburg for a few nights! We love it up there but the only downfall of going from 75 degree Gulf Coast weather to 40 degree weather are the colds that tend to come with that climate and pressure change. That usually always does it for me. We were headed home on Sunday and I started to notice I was a little conjested and my throat was scratchy. I also felt abnormally exhausted. These are usually all telltale signs of a cold for me but I was determined to nip it in the bud. I had a busy week ahead of me and ain't nobody got time for a cold.. am I right? I can't say that I was surprised I was feeling under the weather though. Other than our plant based Thanksgiving dinner, we had been eating pretty badly while we were away. There were not many vegan options and the food we were able to eat was high in starch and carbs and low in nutrients and vitamins. We are used to eating a very balanced diet and we do most of our cooking at home so I know that change was rough on our bodies for those few days. Luckily on our way home we made sure to make the healthiest choices possible. Thank God for the whole foods we found on our way back. Ha!
I know this might sound silly and cliche but ever since changing to a plant based diet back in August, I've felt way more in touch with my body and what it needs on certain days and in certain seasons. So with that being said, I was so excited to share this experience because I'm not just writing a blog post on "how to beat a cold" feeling like I just lucked out. No, I am actually 110% positive that because I listened to my body and caught it early, I was able to fight off what could've been a really nasty cold and am SO happy that I can share my experience and what I did with others because let's be real, winter colds are the worst.
Here are my top tips for beating your winter cold:
1. Eat all the food! Seriously.
You know the saying "feed a cold, starve a fever"? I believe that's half true. I don't think you should starve a fever but you should DEFINITELY feed a cold. When your body is fighting a cold or infection or any kind of illness it needs to be nourished and hydrated more than ever. Our bodies are incredibly designed and when they are functioning properly they will tell us loud and clear what they need. I literally felt like everytime I finished a meal or snack, 30 minutes later I needed something else. I listened and just kept eating! I was snacking (healthily of course!) every hour or so I would say. I had a lot of soup, a lot of chocolate hummus (yes it's a thing! I'll link it below!) some leftover lasagna, and a good bit of fruit! One of the things I believe helped me ALOT was a homemade miso soup I whipped together Tuesday night. Seriously so good and super quick which is great when you're feeling sick. Another great recipe I found was a hot toddy for colds and what caught my attention was that it was described to be "nature's Nyquil". Um, yes please.
2. Take your vitamins.
I love my vitamins and supplements and when you are feeling like you have something coming on is the best time to up your intake! I recommend taking a mutli vitamin, preferably whole food based, along with an omega complex supplement, turmeric capsules which are great for immunity and inflammation, vitamin c (these time released capsules are my fave), echinacea, quarcetin, and anything else that boosts the immune system! So on a daily basis I would usually take my mutli vitamin, turmeric and my omega complex but the second I feel something coming on I'll start to add in the extra vitamin c, echinacea, quarcetin and essential oils (more on these in tip 5). On Monday night and three times throughout Tuesday I was doubling all of my dosages for the vitamins that were safe to double. Do your research here because depending on the potency and milligrams on your specific supplements, you can take more of certain things and less of others but make sure you are researching specifics before doubling anything. Vitamin C is safe to take a lot of. Your body will flush out what it doesn't need but things like multi vitamins, turmeric, omegas, need to be monitered when it comes to doubling or tripling dosages. Always do your research. ;)
I work from home and I feel very blessed to be able to take an off day when I need it but I understand that that's not always an easy option for some people. What i'll say here is that if you are run down, sick, achey, and obviously fighting something, you're not going to get better by pushing your limits. Sometimes it's worth taking that personal or sick day to re-charge and recoup so that you can tackle the rest of the week strong. If you aren't able to take an off-day, make sure that when you're home from work you are doing everything you can to support your immune system, relax, get to bed early and just give your body the rest it needs. I truly believe that my day of rest is what helped my body recover. It was hard for me because I truly love my work and as my own boss there is never not something to do but I knew that my body needed this so I listened and had a productive week afterwords because of it.
Whenever I feel sick I get super hungry but also super thirsty, which is good! Again, your body will tell you what it needs. I have a 24oz tumbler that I was filling up probably 5-6 times a day and also drinking 1-2 cups of hot tea a day. It's so so important to stay hydrated because it allows your body to continue functioning properly and flush out any toxins, etc that may be running you down. Something to note along with drinking a ton of water is to make sure you are intaking enough salt as well. An excess of water can lower your sodium levels and it's important to have enough sodium in your body especially if you are on a plant based diet. So snack on some nuts, pretzels, drink some soup, and just make sure you are intaking a bit of salt along with your large amounts of water.
5. Use essential oils.
Essential oils are the extremely potent and concentrated extract of herbs, plants, barks, etc from all over the world and have many healing properties that have been used for decades. Monday night when I was feeling my worst I diffused On Guard (a protective oil blend) in our bedroom, rolled it on the bottoms of my feet, and took it in capsule form as well. Studies have shown that this oil blend can actually kill/repel the flu virus. So good for this time of year! I also took oregeno oil capsules which are SO amazing for colds, sinus infections, etc. I beat 3 sinus infections last year with oregeno oil. It's a natural antibiotic and so good for your immune system! I also used Breathe essential oil blend on Monday and Tuesday to help soothe my throat. Mixed with coconut oil and and massaged onto the throat helps with sore and scratchy throats a ton. I also love to mix breathe and serenity in my diffuser at night! Helps support clear breathing and sound sleep and smells like a spa which is always a plus. ;)
SUNDAY: Driving home from being out of town I started to feel very tired and conjested. I made sure to stay hydrated and was trying to eat as healthy as I could on the road trip. I chugged a huge bottle of coconut water on our last leg of the drive which I knew would help boost my hydration levels.
MONDAY: Woke up feeling ok but not great and about halfway through the day I was feeling pretty bad. I had a headache, scratchy throat, body aches, I was feeling both hot and cold at different times and was SUPER exhausted. The weird thing is that other than the exhaustion, all of my symptoms would come in waves so I would feel ok for an hour and then the next hour everything would hit again and back and forth all day until Monday night. So I knew my body was trying to fight something. That night I had a healthy dinner, upped my Vitamin intake, drank a ton of water and went to bed. My sleep was not sound due to that annoying scratchiness in my throat and I woke up again, very tired on Tuesday morning.
TUESDAY: I believe today was really the day that I could've easily ruined the process but again, the running trick here is that I kept listening to my body. So Tuesday morning I woke up tired, achy, unmotivated and still had that icky cold feeling but I was SO hungry so I made breakfast and from then on I just continued to healthily snack the rest of the day. I started the day trying to get a little work done but at about noon I decided that I was just WAY too tired and I needed to give myself some rest so I took the rest of the day off. I laid in bed with all my snacks, some hot tea, a big cup of water, Breathe essential oil blend on my throat and diffusing next to me and watched probably 8 episodes of tiny house hunters and just let myself rest and have a down day. It felt AMAZING. It was seriously exactly what I needed. After resting for a while I felt like I had enough energy to run to the store and grab ingredients for an easy miso soup that had great reviews for busting a cold so I quickly ran out to do that and came home and whipped it up. I had 2 bowls of that and it was so soothing and yummy. I also had a cold busting hot toddy along with it that was FABULOUS and helped ease my symptoms and helped me sleep so well. I kept taking vitamins and supplements 3 times throughout that day and diffused breathe and serenity oil next to my bed while I slept that night to help my throat and promote sleep (Smells like a spa. This duo makes a great gift!) Yall, seriously. This day is what helped me the most. Taking the time to relax and let my body catch up and just take a breather was the main thing that I believe really helped me kick the cold.
WEDNESDAY: Wednesday morning I woke up feeling SO much better. I was still a little tired but I had enough energy to do a quick workout, get some work done and start to ease back into my routine. I'm finishing this blog post on Saturday morning and from Wednesday until now I have kept up the large amounts of vitamins and supplements just to make sure I'm supporting my body through the entire week.
I hope this was helpful and you enjoyed! I would love to hear your cold busting tips and tricks in a comment below!
If you are interested in dōTERRA essential oils and want to know more be sure to click the link in the main menu or just use the contact feature and we can chat more about it! For the entire month of december I'm giving away two of my favorite oils to new members so it's a great time to join!