Right now I am drinking an unholy concoction of Yogi immune support/liver detox herbal tea, orange Airborne, local buckwheat honey, virgin coconut oil and 2 packets of True Lemon grapefruit crystals sprinkled with cinnamon and curry powder and all emulsified in the chunky backwash of a grabby toddler*. Why? Because short of drinking the blood of virgins (a topic that weirdly came up a lot at tonight’s cub scout meeting) I will ingest pretty much anything that promises to head off a cold before it starts. Especially the dreaded Summer Cold. It’s bad enough feeling awful in the middle of winter – when you’re supposed to feel awful, duh – but getting all watery eyed and congested in the middle of summer is just totally unfair! (Unless you’re watching a Nicholas Sparks movie and then not only is it fair but it’s a right of passage.)
It all started with the kids, little petri dishes of disease they are, when my eldest started sniffling and complaining of a headache a couple of weeks ago. Since he’s the one who just had Lyme disease of course I went into full-on freak out mode but it turned out it was just a cold. My husband got it next which made my nights snore-ifically sleepless. And then today I woke up with a tickle in the back of my throat. And an unnatural exhaustion after my Tabata sprints. And, the true ringer: a weird painful lump that appears on the top of my mouth right behind my front teeth which I assume is from a swollen lymph node but now I’m wondering if people really have lymph nodes in the tops of their mouths? ANYHOW. I always get that lump when I’m getting sick.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that I don’t feel ill yet and I know from past experience that I can stop some colds from progressing any further. Yes, partly it’s because I’m one of those annoying people who rarely gets really sick ever since jumping on the Healthy Bandwagon. But I swear the drink concoction helps too. Whether it’s just getting extra liquids, the placebo effect of me being a total believer in wacky stuff or that all those vitamins and spices really do help my immune system, drinking it seems to help stop a cold from developing or making it milder if it does hit. (Milder as in compared to how hard my husband gets hit.)
Other things I swear help ward off a cold:
1. Sleep. I basically didn’t sleep the whole time I was in California. I got 4 hours last night. I’m already an hour past my bedtime tonight. And I have an early morning meeting. That’s a problem. Because research has shown that getting enough quality sleep may be the single most important thing you can do for your immune system.
2. T-Tapp. So Teresa Tapp’s program claims to be great at flushing out the lymph system, thereby stimulating your immune response and as you may recall, I discovered that basically any exercise can make the same claim (for the record, rebounding or trampolining had the highest effect). However, doing the T-Tapp “primary back stretch” actually feels really good even if it does look a little silly. And since I’m not going to run out back to jump on the trampoline – I love it but I need Depends – this is an easy way to get my fluids flowing (and not in a Depends way).
3. Exercise. Mild exercise seems to help me get over colds faster. I also think yoga has a detoxifying effect that is helpful for my immune system (I know, I know… next I’ll be writing about my aura being goji berry pink. Hush)
4. Sunshine. Bright, real daylight has a massive positive effect on my mood (one of the reasons winters feel so awful to me here in the northern hinterlands) and whether it’s the vitamin D boost or the mood boost or something else, it makes me feel better.
5. Dance shows. I just finished watching all 6 episodes of Breaking Pointe, a docu about a ballet company. This really has nothing to do with my immune system but it makes me happy and if getting sick doesn’t warrant a little extra self care, I don’t know what does! (Seriously, I watched Bunheads, Breaking Pointe and So You Think You Can Dance all in the past three days. Help me.)
Do you have an anti-cold potion you drink? What do you do when you feel a cold coming on? Anyone else get that weird bump behind their teeth?!
*It tastes like black licorice in an oil slick of Thai sauce with notes of sour and grass. So basically it tastes like butt.
** I just realized that tips #2 and #3 are pretty much the same thing. So really you’re only getting 4 tips out of me