Oh, the most wonderful time of the year……..flu season!
Even if you don’t get the flu, it seems like everyone is under the weather right about now. This time last year, I managed to catch some crazy cold during the run of my fall show. My voice disappeared, I felt like absolute trash, and didn’t get better for weeks. It was a nightmare, and ever since then, I have been making changes to my life to ensure that I avoid illness at all costs.
I mentioned last week that I went to see a naturopath, and I am SO CONFIDENT that she is the reason I’ve avoided a cold so far (knock on wood). I wanted to find new ways to manage my asthma and allergies, and she totally came through. I learned that my various medications have been depleting me of nutrients, which in turn made my already dramatic immune system have an absolute meltdown. She started me on a few different supplements to replenish nutrients as well as improve my immunity, energy and respiratory health. I started on this regimen in September and since then have felt the healthiest I’ve felt in years!
Moral of the story – my first tip is to seek help if your health isn’t at its best! Traditional medicine treats my illnesses, but naturopathic medicine treats the symptoms.
Aside from doctor assistance, there are some easy things you can do at home to keep your health in check. Here are a few of my tried and true tips to kick the flu’s ass this winter!
The Holy Trinity
Ginger. Lemon. Apple Cider Vinegar. These 3 things have completely saved my life over the past few weeks! I know, I know. ACV is pretty disgusting on its own. It takes some getting used to, but once you get over the initial shock of the flavour, it really isn’t that bad. ACV is awesome for upping your immunity game – it creates an alkaline environment in your body which kills bacteria and viruses. Lemon does the same!
I put 1-2 tablespoons of ACV in a mug of hot water with my other two heroes – ginger and lemon. I LOVE ginger…I drink it in hot water on its own as well and it instantly makes me feel better. Placebo effect? Maybe. You can add honey as well, but I prefer to avoid the sugar. (Speaking of, avoid sugar in general if you’re feeling under the weather. Sugar is majorly inflammatory and won’t help your case!)
Drink this a few times a day when you start to feel sick and it will keep your symptoms in check.
I am the world’s biggest proponent of steaming. Steam is AWESOME if you are at all congested or battling a virus. I love my personal steamer that I got on Amazon, but you can also steam for cheap at home. Boil water, pour into a bowl, put your face over the bowl and a towel over your head. Breathe in for 5-10 minutes and sweat it out! If you’re extra congested, put a scoop of Vicks into the water – every surface of your face will run (gross) but it is SO WORTH IT. I steam like a crazy person all year round, but especially during flu season.
Listen to Your Body
Ultimately – listen to your body. I’m not going to tell you to eat 1001 greens and overdo the Vitamin C. Every body is different. Personally, I know that I have to do the following to keep my health and allergies in check:
- Increase anti-inflammatory foods (greens, turmeric, beets, pineapple, salmon, and the aforementioned ginger are my favourites!)
- Reduce sugar, alcohol, and processed food
- Dust/vacuum regularly
- Get at least 8-9 hours of sleep
- Get my flu shot (this one is debatable, but the one year I didn’t get it, I got super sick. Just saying.)