Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nursing Myself Back to Health

Nobody likes to be sick. When I lived at home with my parents, I was blessed with home-cooked meals every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My parents owned a restaurant together for over 10 years and are both excellent chefs. Everything they make is made from scratch with fresh ingredients. They cook a variety of ethnic foods and they are generally very well-balanced between meat/protein, carbs (rice or bread) and vegetables. I was spoiled and didn’t realize it. When I left home and had to start feeding myself, I didn’t have the time to cook. I was juggling a full-time school load and three jobs.

Eating out and eating processed foods took a toll on my body. I started to get sick often; making frequent trips to urgent care. I rarely got sick when I lived at home with my parents. Getting sick often meant missing a significant amount of school and work, which I could not afford to do. I had to make some changes in my diet and I also had to learn how to take care of myself while I was sick. I am now a pro at getting rid of my coughs and colds within a week!

A few weeks ago, I got a cold after sleeping through a cold night with my window open. I didn’t even get a warning. I woke up with a headache, stuffy/runny nose, sore throat, and very swollen glands. I had an exam in school that evening but I felt like a pile of crap so I took the exam and skipped the remainder of class. I got started right away on my “regimen” to get rid of my cold as fast as I could.

I don’t know how the saying goes. Are you supposed to starve a cold and feed a fever? Or are you supposed to feed a cold and starve a fever? Regardless, when I’m sick I don’t feel very much like eating. Herbal tea is very soothing (Raspberry Tulsi tea is shown) for my throat. I try to stay away from a lot of sugar when I’m sick so I pick a tea that is naturally sweet or I add some honey to it. I drink about 4-6 cups of tea a day when I’m sick and plenty of water. I also love to eat a warm bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and honey mixed into it for breakfast. It is very soothing for my tummy, will keep me full, and give me a little strength for the day.

I hate getting a cold and not having enough tissues in the apartment! I was down to one last box and I needed cough drops so I decided to run errands and grab a few things. I bought a 3-pack of tissue boxes and cough drops (honey is my favorite) from Target. Then I made a stop at GNC for my “Ulta Zinc Lozenges.” Research of the effectiveness of zinc yields mixed results. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies that yield positive results stated that it is most effective when taking zinc at the onset of symptoms (within 24 hours). These lozenges work wonders for me. I take up to 6 a day and I believe that they cut my cold in half. The soup is tomato basil soup from Byerly’s. It is cream-based and not very healthy, but it is all I want to eat when I have a cold! If I’m up for it, I’ll make a grilled cheese with some Swiss or mozzarella cheese to dip in it.

All of these wonderful things plus lots of rest scared my cold away in five days!

Just because this works for me, does not mean it will work for everyone. I am not a medical professional and I am not trying to give medical advice. I am simply sharing what makes me feel better when I get sick, personally. Always consult with your doctor before taking any vitamins, medications, herbal supplements, etc. Always educate and empower yourself before making any decisions!

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