Sometimes when spring comes around, we often get a little sick. Sniffles, sneezing – I asked my friend Christina Pirello what’s up with that. She explained, “According to the principles of Chinese medicine, we get colds when the body needs to get rid of excess or change its energy. So in terms of spring colds, the body is trying to ‘lighten up’ after a winter of heavier foods, less activity, less time outdoors. As the weather warms, the body wants to move that warming energy out to make us better able to handle the summer heat and feel comfortable in that heat.”
So, if you sense a little bug coming along that you are fighting to fend off – maybe feeling extra tired, your throat is scratchy, or any typical symptom that something awful is around the corner- here is what I do, and I hope that it helps you:
1. Nap ASAP. Take an hour nap as soon as possible. If you’re at work, consider taking the afternoon off. If you get sick, you are going to need to take a lot more time off to recover. It’s better to take a few hours to regroup before it gets out of hand.
2. Clear your calendar. Free your schedule of anything that isn’t more important than you getting better–which is almost everything. Sometimes you just can’t get out of a work thing or a school thing, but try.
3. Drink. Try ume sho kuzu or my cure all tea. This will help to heal your body and help it flush all of the bad bugs. Christina reminds us to skip the fruit juice as the sugar in them can make the cold last longer.
4. Go to bed early. And sleep as much as possible. Your body needs energy to fend off the germs. The energy you’re using to stay awake can be better spent ridding your body of the nasty sickness.
5. Go Superhero. Immediately and hard core. Miso soup, greens, brown rice, cure-all tea, and ume who kudzu will be super healing for your body.
6. Chew. I mean, really chew. I suck at this, but even if you have scarfed down most of your food and then suddenly remember to really chew one bite, it’s beneficial! For every bite, you should have about 20-50 chews, depending on your cool factor. I’m not that cool, but I try hard to remember and when I do, I try to at least get past 20. When you chew, the special enzyme in your saliva, called ptyalin, breaks down complex carbs into glucose. When this glucose travels to your brain, you will feel nourished, centered, and you brain will be free to generate happy thoughts!
7. Gargle. Make hot kukicha tea with as much salt as you can handle- aboutout one teaspoon (Christina says if you try too much more than that, you can choke) or as close to that as you can– and gargle that sucker three times a day. Some people swear by apple cider vinegar gargle and you could try that too. Maybe just add a little cider to the kukicha salt concoction. Or, if nothing else, just do salt and hot water.
8. Take echinacea. I used to think echinacea was just for prevention, but it’s also good for when you’re already sick. Take one dropper full, five times a day. Keep doing this daily until you feel 100%.
9. Rest rest rest. Let yourself rest. I’m partially talking to myself here because I have a hard time taking a break. I have all of my projects, I’m constantly writing blogs in my head, and I take care of my munchkin. I’m in love with my life, my long lists, and my projects so it’s hard to rest and do nothing sometimes when I have so much on my plate. When I’m sick, I have to and I love it when I do.
10. Scrub your body. The hot body scrub in The Kind Diet really makes a world of difference. It increases circulation, helps loosen and dissolve trapped fat under your skin, opens the pores to release toxins, and helps to circulate lymph fluid. If you want to truly stay well and have great skin and feel like a superhero, try it! I try to do it every day, but in reality only actually do it a few times a month (so lame, I know!). I’m certain if I did it every day, I would fly.
When I have gone off-track – too much sugar or too much work, I sometimes start to feel a little sick. If I don’t take the right steps right away there then is a better chance that I’m going to be full-blown sick.
The great thing about being a veggie superhero is that if I do take these steps right away, I rarely get the full-blown sickness- it passes through super quick. With a traditional diet, that gunk generally sticks around longer and the sickness is more intense. That’s the beauty of our diet.
What other great tricks do you have for knocking out your sickness before it takes hold?