I am sick. Not with morning sickness, but with a cold. The kind that sits in your throat, your nose, your head, and your ears. The mucus is so thick and disgusting that I can barely breathe. And I can’t taste anything at all.
One of the toughest things about being pregnant is being sick. Your immune system is slightly relaxed due to your little angel of a parasite and little things can get you down. In my case, I think I ate one too many toasted tomato sandwiches. I’m sensitive to wheat, but I gave into the cravings anyway and now my body is rebelling. Fear not body, I will be nice to you from here on in. Most of the time, anyway :).
Many people believe that whole grain bread is healthy, and while it’s better than white bread, if you’ve got a wheat sensitivity, it’s all the same. It’s a heavily processed food, so it’s not something you should be eating every day like most North Americans do. Toast or cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pizza or pasta with garlic bread for dinner ring a bell? And it’s not just wheat that can make you sick. If you eat too many processed foods and not enough fresh foods, you will tip the balance in favour of sickness. Sickness is your body’s way of saying “HEY! Give me some respect please or I’ll MAKE you!”
Now, that being said, what do you do when you get hit with a freight-train-type cold? Here is my personal, natural cold remedy. It is good for pregnant, and non-bun-in-the-ovens alike. This is something that everyone should do when they come down with a cold. You don’t need to run to your pharmacy and load your self up with unnecessary drugs.
1. Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush out your body, and keeping it well hydrated will allow your body to get things done. Add a bit of lemon to help flush your liver.
2. Lay off the wheat and the dairy and other processed foods. Get rid of them completely if you can at least until you feel better. Wheat and dairy are the most common allergens and since you’re body’s immune system is already compromised, consuming these foods only hinder it further. These foods are acidic and therefore not health promoting in the slightest. That being said, lay off the beer too! If you are concerned about calcium, go get yourself some kale, broccoli, and swiss chard. Some of the world’s biggest animals are solely leaf eaters. There’s a reason they don’t drink milk.
3. Increase your anti-oxidants. Eat plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables in their raw state. These foods hold the building blocks that will help you overcome any sickness and build a healthy body.
4. Exercise. I know it’s hard to exercise when you feel awful, and walking from the couch to get the remote knocks the wind out of you, but you’ve got to move. The best exercise tool I know of for this situation is the rebounder. Lightly jog on the spot on a rebounder to get the lymphatic system moving. Put on your favourite music and dance while jogging. 15 minutes a day is a fantastic place to be. Have three 5-minute sessions if it’s what you need.
5. Use a neti-pot. This delightful contraption can be used in conjunction with sea salt (less than 1/4 tsp) and warm water. You tip the water into one nostril, and tilt your head so that the water runs out the other nostril. Daily use of a neti-pot when you are in good health will keep your body’s first line of defense (your nasal passages) free and ready to defend your body!
6. Drink ginger tea. The easiest and best way to make ginger tea is by cutting up an inch cube of ginger into small pieces, and letting it steep in a french-press (traditionally used for steeping coffee). Ginger is not only effective in relieving morning sickness, but it has many positive effects on the digestive system. It is useful in the treatment of colds and flu because it is an anti-inflammatory and a natural pain killer.
For those of you who are NOT pregnant, I will add taking a few drops of oil of oregano each day and eating a clove of chopped up raw garlic each day to your regime. These are potent disease killers, but are not recommended during pregnancy.
Well, it has been 24 hours since I started taking my own advice. I can breathe, my headache is gone, my ears have very minor to no pressure in them, and my throat is clear of mucus and doesn’t hurt anymore. I can taste my food better and by tomorrow or tonight even, I should be tasting 100% of my food. I used the neti-pot twice yesterday and had about a liter of ginger tea. I used the neti-pot again this morning and rebounded for 15 minutes. So far I have eaten a banana, an apple, 2 cups of spinach, 2 large tomatoes, and plenty of water with a bit of lemon today. Things are looking up. As soon as reinforcements arrive, I’ll be making a green smoothie with apples, banana, greens, ginger, lemon, and water. Yummy!