Here in the South where we live, weather is quite an unpredictable thing. You can experience all four seasons in any given week. For example, this January, it has been in the low 70s with nearly 80% humidity – yuck. Crazy weather means lots and lots of people are sick, including my poor 14 month old daughter. Although we prevent many illnesses and sicknesses just by eating well and avoiding toxins (processed foods), no one is immune 100% of the time. So, here are some things we’ve been trying to do to alleviate my daughter’s sickness, make it go away faster and prevent us from getting it…
1. Whatever we do we make sure to eat greens in whatever form possible. Whether it’s spinach, kale, broccoli, green beans or mustard greens, leafy greens are nutrition powerhouses and will fight hard for you even if you don’t feel like it. If it’s a stomach bug, I’m not likely to eat roasted broccoli, but some greens in a smoothie with some fruit and juice I might stomach.
2. Get plenty of bone broth. Whether it’s making chicken soup, beef stew, soaking quinoa or rice, sauteing vegetables or just drinking it by itself, you can’t have too much mineral rich bone broth. I gave some to my 14 month old daughter today in a sippy cup and she drank a good bit of it. That little bit of saltiness actually is a welcome comfort to the sick body.
3. Eat real food. Although you may not feel like eating a big heaping bowl of spinach and broccoli at every meal, you don’t have to resort to ramen noodles. There are plenty of real food options out there and one is bound to sound appetizing. Make comfort foods like almond banana “pancakes”, carrot muffins, smoothies, or soups. When all else fails, just make sure you get plenty of water. Staying hydrated is the biggest key during sickness.
4. Drink lots of water. Yes, fluids in general are good, but 100% pure water can’t be beat. I mean, your body is 75% water – it’s important.
5. Mom was right – sleep is still the best medicine. This is the one I have the hardest time with. I will work so hard to make sure my daughter gets her naps and good sleep through the night and that my husband gets his rest before a big day at work, but I forget about myself. Not only does sleep help relieve stress (which can exacerbate sickness), but your body needs it to refuel and rejuvenate. Although crying babies and deadlines can interfere with daily sleep needs, I aim for at least 7-8 hours a night. [That’s actually one of my New Year’s Resolutions: get in bed by 10:30. You can hold me accountable!]
6. Eliminate stress. This should be a no brainer for everyday life. When you are stressed, your body’s immune response is lowered making you more susceptible to illness. Constant stress has even been related to chronic illness.
7. Get outside and move a little! When I was a kid and someone was sick in the house, my mom would open up all the windows and doors to get some fresh air in the house. There’s something to that. As long as you aren’t throwing up every 5 seconds, just getting outside (soaking up some vitamin D, which some studies have shown to even protect against the common cold) and walking around will do wonders for your physical and mental state.
Here’s to your health!
Breakfast – scrambled eggs, 1 slice bacon, black coffee
Lunch – Because our daughter is sick and we are trying to not get sick ourselves, I decided to make some homemade chicken soup. I unfortunately didn’t have any homemade chicken broth on hand, but had some organic chicken broth in the pantry, so I used that. I simply cooked chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic in the broth and added chicken from some baked drumsticks to the soup.
Banana and almond butter as a snack.
Dinner – Leftover Chicken drumsticks, sauteed red cabbage & kale and spoonful of rice.
I made my 2 minute hot chocolate after dinner.