A Pregnant Woman’s Natural Cold Cure. It’s Your Cure too!

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.

The Plan:

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!

Fighting the Dairy Advocates.

Being one who tries desperately to avoid dairy products, it is unfathomable that others would even consider drinking a glass of milk. There are so many reasons to avoid it that there isn’t a chance I can share all of my reasons why right now…you’re going to have to wait for the book to hit store shelves!

I am currently doing research for the aformentioned book and I stumbled across a study done at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, which is just an example of all the ridiculous studies out there that are so horribly designed that they’re just wasting time and money that could be put to much better use!

This particular study looked at the effects of drinking milk on exercise, which could have yielded some terrific results had it been designed correctly. The researchers had its participants drink either water, a sports drink, 1% milk, or 1% milk with added sugar before and every 10 minutes during exercise. They concluded, and I quote “exercise time to exhaustion was not significantly influenced by the drink ingested but there was a tendency for subjects to exercise longer when the carbohydrate-electrolyte, milk, or milk plus glucose was ingested compared with water.”  No kidding geniuses!

Their bodies are already swimming in crap associated with all the milk and ice cream, etc. over the past few days. A better study would have lasted weeks and had the participants eliminate all dairy from their diets, look at exercise with glucose and water, and then introduce dairy over a few days and look at exercise again with dairy and glucose.  The re-introduction of dairy would probably make them too ill to exercise!

It’s so frustrating when most studies are designed by people backed by the dairy industry…of course they’re not going to design a study that sheds the light on its horrendous effects on the human body!

A New Earth – Awakening the Body to its Needs

I just recently started reading A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle, and I’ve got to say it is an unbelievably good read. At one point, Eckhart makes a statement about Bulimia, and how sufferers often make themselves vomit so they may continue eating.

“Their mind is hungry, not their body.”

Now, not everyone suffers from bulimia, but if you or someone you know is struggling with a weight issue, you will know that there is a large body-mind connection to which you or they are not aware.  Unless every effort is made to strengthen this connection, any effort to lose weight will be in vain.

It may take some time to become aware of your body’s true needs, but you can do it.  The trick is simply to pay attention.  There is a connection between the foods you eat and the way you feel.  If you’ve ever had a hangover, you know what I’m talking about!

Once you start paying attention, you will notice subtle changes in the way you feel, expecially if you are eating foods to which your body is particularly sensitive.  For most people, this will include dairy and wheat products as they comprise the top 2 allergens.  You likely eat some form of dairy or wheat every single day, multiple times a day, without awareness.  Try going 4 days without eating dairy or wheat products.  On day 5, indulge in some ice cream or pancakes and note how you feel afterward.

I say 4 days because that is roughly the amount of time it takes the body to work through, process, and eliminate foods from the cells of your body.  You may feel symptoms of “withdrawal” after the first or second day, and it may not let up through the 4th day.  In this case, I challenge you to keep on with this little experiment, perhaps going beyond the 4th day, because the fact that these symptoms exist is your body telling you that it is indeed sensitive to these foods, and it needs extra time to expel them from your body due to years of toxic build-up brought on by eating these foods every day.

The results may suprise you.  It wasn’t until I did this exact experiment on myself that I realized my body had been telling me for years to stop eating dairy foods.  Once I became aware of my body’s needs, I drastically cut down on my dairy intake, and I have never felt better!  If you have eczema, psoriasis, acne, or any other dis-ease, I encourage your participation even more because your body is screaming and you are not paying attention.

Once you start paying attention to the messages your body relays, over time it will become easier and easier to tell when you are truly hungry and when you are not.  You may become aware that you eat in social situations, whether you are hungry or not – just becasue others are eating.  You may find the courage to say no to your eyes when they see ice cream, and listen to your body when it says “I don’t like ice cream, it makes me feel sick.”

Get Healthy – Detox!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you constantly feel tired, find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, are overweight, or suffer from headaches, migraines, digestive upset or constipation, you are in desperate need of some cleansing action. It’s time to reduce the digestive load on your body and cleanse!  Toxins are stored in fat, so if you’ve got a lot of it, you’ve got a lot of toxins just waiting to be released!  The good news is that our dietary plans are designed to both cleanse and slim your body!

You don’t have to be overweight to be in need of a detoxification program either – some of the unhealthiest people I know are quite slim!

Whenever it has the energy to do so, your body will repair damaged cells and get rid of unwanted toxins.  A toxin is anything that irritates and pollutes your body.  Internal organs are strained because they have to work hard to process and get rid of these threatening particles. We have little control of some toxins, so we must take special care to deal with the ones we can reduce.  If you live in a city, for example, you cannot control the quality of the air unless you wear a mask everywhere you go.  Not many people are willing to go that far, so by making you aware of the toxins in your environment, I hope to help you make better choices in your daily life. Toxicity in your body is created by contact with irritants.  This includes everything from the soap you use in the shower, toilet bowl cleaner, dish soap, fabric softener, and especially the food and drink you put inside your body. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and other toxic chemicals used in food production are making people sick. Farmers have been hospitalized due to using these chemicals on their farms for heaven’s sake!  I don’t want these chemicals anywhere near my body!

Every night while you sleep, your body is hard at work putting nutrients where they belong and exiling anti-nutrients to areas where they can exit your body through urine and solid waste.  When you get up in the morning and eat breakfast or drink coffee, you put an end to this detoxification process (and incur a lot more toxins for your body to sort through). Most people do not allow their bodies the time it needs to detoxify.  They eat too much food too often and don’t drink enough water to flush out their systems. If you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t force yourself to eat, but be prepared for when hunger strikes by bringing food with you if you’re on the go.

Once you begin to decrease the digestive load on your body, you may feel worse before you feel better. This is a good thing! It means that your body is finally getting a chance to work through old toxins and get them out of your body. Symptoms of detoxification include dizziness, lack of appetite, fatigue, nausea, headaches, increased body odour, rashes, hives, skin outbreaks, increased allergic symptoms, and a general feeling of sickness.  It is important to drink plenty of water in order to flush out any toxins you may stir up.

So, how do you detox exactly?  Here are some steps you can take:

  • Eat as Organic as Possible
  • Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
  • Drink Fresh Smoothies and Juices Daily in Place of Solid Food
  • Limit Meat and Dairy Consumption During (AND After!) the Cleanse
  • Exercise on a Daily Basis
  • Eat Only When Hungry and Stop When You’re Full!
You can take it a step further and do a full detoxification protocol with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist to ensure that you detox safely and effectively.  I know an amazing practitioner who will take great care of you – ME! You will learn how to support your liver and safely bind and remove toxins from your body. The best part about a one-on-one detox program is the individual care, attention, and coaching that ensures you are healthier than ever before! I guarantee your friends will give you compliments daily on your radiant skin!

Increase Alkalinity to Increase Weight Loss!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASimply put – disease cannot exist in an alkaline environment. This alone can be great motivation to increase your body’s alkalinity by adding more alkaline foods to your diet while decreasing overall consumption of acidic foods. Try it for yourself – you can FEEL the difference.
Alkalizing your body can mean a dramatic increase in weight loss. This is because your body stores toxins in fat cells to keep them far away from your delicate organs.  The more toxic you are, the more fat you will need to store the toxins and keep the rest of your body relatively “safe”. The more alkaline you become, the less need you have for fat, and the body will safely release its fat stores, given you are not eating an outrageous amount of calories.
Highly Acidic Foods
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Sugar
  • Refined Foods
  • Processed drinks: Coffee, Soda, Beer, and Alcohol
  • Bad Fats – Anything that is hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or heated.
  • Drugs and Chemicals : pesticides, herbicides, aspirin, and tobacco.
Highly Alkaline Foods
  • Green vegetables and fresh green juices.
  • Fruit: including citrus fruits!
  • Essential Fatty Acids: such as Omega 3 and 6.
  • Filtered water: at least 2L a day!
  • Exercise! Regular exercise promotes toxin removal through the lymphatic and digestive systems!
In my house, we live by 5 simple rules in addition to avoidance of the highly acidic foods above:
  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Sweat once a day.
  3. Drink 1 green juice per day.
  4. Eat 1 salad per day.
  5. Treat yourself!  If you really want that slice of carrot cake, eat it and be thankful for it.  Be happy and content with your decision to indulge ocassionally.  Live in the moment and above all: never feel guilty.  Guilt will only serve to stress you out, promote acidity, and keep you fat!

If you are searching for that illustrious glow, I encourage you to do your best to start eating more raw fruits and vegetables while, again, doing your best to remove some highly acidic foods.  Start out slowly and work to incorporate the 5 rules above.  It may be tough or it may be easy, but always remember where you started and have a clear vision of where you want to be.

Cure Your Sinus Infections!

sinus
 I used to suffer from chronic sinusitis – but since going holistic 2 years ago, my sinus cavities are free and clear! There used to be pressure in my head so great I thought my head would explode, and if I bent over, it actually felt like it did! I had constant mucus production and severe bronchitis infections all year round. I was sick all summer, every summer. The lymph nodes in my head were swollen to the point of serious concern and put me in the emergency room 3 times in one month!
When the Head of Emergency Services at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto said that he had no idea what was wrong with me, I took matters into my own hands and became a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. No more sinus problems. So if you have problems with your sinuses then steer clear of the doctor. They’ll only give you prescription drugs that you don’t need and will end up doing more harm than good. I know because I’ve been down that route more times over the years than I care to remember.
Not only will you breathe better, but you’ll have so much energy that you’ll pop out of bed in the morning just by following these recommendations and get rid of sinus trouble once and for all!
  • Remove dairy and any other foods that trigger your sinusitis.
  • Eat foods that soothe the body such as leafy greens and other fruits and vegetables.
  • Add apple cider vinegar to your water – 2 tbsp, three times a day.  If you only do ONE thing to help alleviate your sinus infection, do this.
  • Practice good nasal hygiene. Get yourself a Neti Pot and learn how to use it! Intrigued? Read on.
  • Clear the air you breathe of dust mites, mold, dampness, and other allergens – get an air purifier.
  • Learn about prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, and the not-so-great effects they have on your body. We want to treat the root cause of sinusitis, not just mask the symptoms
  • Exercise to increase the flow of your lymphatic system.  Get yourself moving and notice now much easier it is to breathe
  • Practice yoga.
I could write a book on how to improve sinus problems, but for now I would like to elaborate on my two favourite recommendations: the removal of dairy and the neti pot.
The thing that improved my problem the most was getting dairy products out of my diet for a few weeks.  I eliminated it completely for 6 weeks and my sinusitis was loads better.  It wasn’t completely gone but it was well on its way out of my body. Yay!  And then I did an experiment.  I went to a party and there just happened to be a massive cheese platter…so I ate a large chunk of brie, some cheddar, and some blue cheese for good measure.  On the way home I felt sick.  And then I threw up…tons. The next day I woke up with acute bronchitis and with it a full blown sinus infection!  I am not kidding. This experience is why I encourage you to experiment with the removal of dairy from your diet.
Now it’s time for the explanation of Neti, my close personal friend.  The Neti Pot cleanses and protects the nasal passages, which are in fact one of the body’s first lines of defense against allergens and illness.  Practitioners of Ayurveda and Yoga in India have been using it for thousands of years to alleviate sinus and allergy problems.  There are a variety of solutions you can use to clear the sinus cavities that include herbal oils and herbs, but I use one of the most basic –a salt water solution in a concentration similar to the saltiness of your tears.
When you first get your Neti Pot, it may take you a few tries to get the angles right – but trust me, you’ll be glad you gave it a try.  Fill your pot with warm, slightly salted water (¼ tsp of sea salt to 1 cup of warm water) and insert the spout of the pot into one nostril.  Then position the head so that the water flows out of the other nostril.  It’s not nearly as uncomfortable as it sounds, and once you’ve done it a few times you will look forward to the benefits each and every day. The benefits were quite noticeable the first time I used it, and it only takes a few minutes –just like brushing your teeth!
So, if you’re going to try even just a few things: eliminate dairy for a week to see if it helps, get yourself a Neti Pot, and drink your apple cider vinegar.  And even though I didn’t elaborate on it, try out a yoga class if you’ve never done it…yesterday I saw a man with mucus hanging out of his nose while in Downward Dog, so there’s some hearsay “proof” that it helps!