10 ways to fight seasonal sniffles

it's been a long time since i've been sick. sometimes i feel like i have an immune system made of steel, but yesterday i woke up with an urgency to get myself to the doctor. i have to admit, i knew i had been hovering just above the 'sick line' for about a week, but alas, my immune system gave in. i woke up with a sore throat, headache and stuffy sinuses, oh no! afraid that it was strep, i headed to the doctor. after a negative test and no prognosis, he sent me home with a dose of antibiotics. really? i have some pretty mixed feelings about taking them since i'm not sure that i need them, so i put on my wellness hat and got to work on a few things i know would make me feel better. below you'll find what i came up with.

winter wellness essentials

there are several ways to stay well when the odds are against you. here are a few of my favorite, tried-and-true methods:

1. pound the green tea. that's right, get to steeping! with it's immune-enhancing boosters, green tea is known to help fight colds and reduce flu symptoms.

2. neti. do you use a neti pot? it's a simple way to irrigate the nasal passages with unbeatable results. it's safe, easy and soothes the lining of your nose as it removes the excess mucus that lingers in the sinuses as fertile grounds for infections and bacteria (and it's been known to bring me back from just about near-death).

3. up your vitamin c. up your vitamin c intake to 1000-2000 mg a day. my favorite way is through taking a few emergen-c's (my favorite flavor is cranberry pomegranate).

4. hydrate. simply staying hydrated by drinking lots of water will help you feel better and wash your cold away.

5. stay warm and rest. pay attention to your body and rest if you feel tired. that orange do-hicky-thing up there is my new ceramic heater, and it keeps me warm and toasty!

6. eat lots of garlic. garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help ward off minor infections.

7. eat honey. honey is great for soothing a sore throat. try adding some to your tea, or melting 2 teaspoons in a mug of hot water to sip on.

8. avoid phlegmy foods. that is sugar, white flour, wine, dairy and red meat- as these enhance the build up of mucus.

9. gargle. gargle with warm salt water to help soothe and heal sore throats.

10. soup. eat warming, nourishing foods such as veggie soup. here is my favorite recipe to fight seasonal sniffles:

vegetable soup

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    • thanks jillian! haha, i know the neti sounds a little scary (i was freaked out by it at first, too), but it’s painless and really so helpful. just read up on how to do it, i.e. make sure to use non-iodized salt and tilt your head completely horizontal and breathe through your mouth. it’s been around for centuries, so it’s def tried and true. let me know how it goes!

  • i love emergen-c too, especially when i’m feeling sick or tired, but you really shouldnt take more than 2,000 mg of vitamin c a day. it’s bad for your stomach! the daily recommended dosage is around 85 mg a day for women over 19.

    • thanks for your advice, kristie! i first should have clarified that you should only increase your vit-c intake if you’re feeling sick. after doing some more research, i agree with you! i’m going to change that number, and since i’m no expert, i appreciate you for pointing this out!

  • I love my neti pot! I didn’t know that garlic was good to ward off virus’. Very interesting! The soup looks delicious. It’s amazing what a nice chicken soup can do for the body (even if it’s faux chix, hah). I’ve always given my little man (he’s 4) honey when he has a cough/sore throat. He loves it and sometimes comes up and says “my throat hurts & fake coughs” so he can get a spoonful of honey. What a stinker :)

  • oh no! hope you feel better soon and I’m sure you will with these remedies! that recipe sounds delicious. I also love emergen-C and it actually works for me when I get foot and calf cramps from running. love my garlic too…eat that almost everyday.
    feel better!

  • bonnie, no problem! im not an expert either by far! i recently became pregnant (yea!) & have been doing a lot of research on what vitamins & supplements & such i should make sure i am getting per day. when i found out about the vitamin c i was surprised, especially since i love my emergen-cs and know a lot of others that do too. i just wanted to pass the info along!

    • congratulations kristie!! i actually just read something the other day about taking emergen-c while pregnant (no, mom- i’m not pregnant!), and the concern was that the baby could get too much, then need it after birth? i’ll try to find that article again, but it sounds like you’re on top of it! thanks again!

  • Lemon is really good for you too, especially squeezing some lemon juice into hot water with honey, or even just adding lemon to your tea! Great stuff!