I’ve tempted fate. Just the other day, I was telling someone (possibly bragging) that I hadn’t been sick in more than three years. Those words proved to be the kiss of death! In the past two weeks, I’ve had an ear infection and a virus. You know…… that runny-nose, sneezing, wheezing, sore throat, headache thing that we’ve all passed around lately. Rather than blame the sickly others with whom I’ve been in contact, I looked towards my diet to figure out what had gone wrong. There, as plain as day, was the culprit. Sugar. I have consumed entirely too much of it in the past month. While my home is usually void of sweets, lately there has been a plethora of tempting goodies, beckoning me from the depths of my pantry. Really, I tried to hide the goodies. It did no good, because I am weak. In case you missed the sugar post from earlier, you can find it here. Being a nutrition student, I should have known better than to be blind-sided by sugar.
Here are the things I should have done to prevent a weakened immune system….
Exercise. After eating all of sweet stuff, I was sluggish. Did I really think that changing the channels counted as a workout? Exercise boosts the immune system.
Vitamin D. During the cooler months, it’s difficult rely on the sun to provide the vitamin D our body craves for wellness. I usually take 2,000 IUs of vitamin D daily. For myself, personally, I find that vitamin D also boosts my mood. That’s great for those around me.
Sleep. I’ve been staying up too late. I blame it on the energy drinks from last Friday’s FFF post. I also blame it on BRAVO. The housewives are entirely too addictive!
Eat Lots of Veggies and Fruit. Unfortunately, I chose delicious homemade cakes and cookies as snacks instead of fresh produce. Although my immune system is unhappy, my thighs are even more unhappy.
Eat Yogurt. A cup of yogurt has been thought to reduce the chance of catching a cold by 25%, thanks to the probiotics. Note to self….eat yogurt for a snack. Yogurt with fresh fruit is even better!
Manage Stress. This seems impossible, right? Stress can be reduced with exercise and quiet time. If possible, have at least one thing in your day that you look forward to doing. I am looking forward to a cup of spiced tea with my sister. Stress management is always a good excuse to get together.
Check out this chart that I found on a website I follow, www.eatingmywaytobetterhealth.blogspot.com
Now that I am sick, this is what I am doing to overcome my sickness more quickly….
Green Tea. Green tea is full of antioxidants. Warm tea can comfort a sore throat, however, iced green tea works well, too. If you prefer it sweetened, chose Stevia over sugar. Don’t be afraid of green tea. It’s not actually green, you know…
Chicken Broth. It has been medically proven that chicken stock or ,better yet, bone broth helps to clear nasal congestion and thins the mucus that makes us feel bad. It has an inflammatory effect that eases the cold symptoms. Isn’t chicken soup supposed to be good for the soul? It’s especially good for the soul if someone else offers to make it for you.
Ginger. I’m not suggesting you watch an episode of Gilligan’s Island (although it might take your mind off of your sickness). Ginger, the spice, is a natural pain and fever reducer. It also settles a less-than-perky stomach. I sprinkle it into my hot green tea and into my soup.
Cinnamon. Last year, I ate an apple with almonds at least 5 days a week. I didn’t get sick one single time. Coincidence? I think not.
Honey. Honey helps fight infections. Try drizzling honey over fruit or in green tea. Or, add it to whiskey with lemon to sooth a sore throat and cough. (Or, so I’ve read… Who actually keeps whiskey on hand?)
Thank goodness, I’ve seen the err of my sugary ways. I’ve since kicked sugar to the curb and have cleaned up my diet. Hopefully, I can prevent any future germs from making a home in my newly improved immune system. Adios, bad things! Only good things are allowed in this body!
I’d love to know your tips for staying well. Please share in the comments below!