(yes, that happened)

5 Essential Things A Naturopathic Foodie Does When She Gets Sick

Tips

I wanted to share a bit about the Friday after thanksgiving that I got sick.

And I mean SICK.

And in coming out of the fog around it I thought it would be super helpful to share with you what I do when I get ill. Because getting sick every so often (like once a year or so) is actually really good for you.

Think of it like a workout for your immune system.

And when people tell me “oh, I’m super healthy I NEVER get sick,” I think, hmmmmm, nope, that means your immune system is not functioning optimally.

And for those of you who do get sick every so often, or have humans in your space who are, like kiddos, here are FIVE ways to support your bodies INNATE ways of healing.

#1 REST

This seems obvious, but many people DON’T rest during times of illness.

PLEASE do this.

You’re body is working REALLY hard to heal and it takes energy, and believe you me, its challenging for even me to sit on the couch for 3 days, but you NEED TO SLOW WAAAAAAY down to allow your body to properly recuperate.

And ask for help around all of the things that are essential to get done. If kids are involved ask spouses or neighbors to help. In our case animals are involved so I leaned on Justin for the time I was out.

For many of you (and even me) this is a lesson in surrender and learning to make requests. It may feel uncomfortable or like you’re burdening someone…you’re not. And as the doctors orders I’m telling you to rest and be a beginning in asking for help.

And life can wait. The house doesn’t need to be cleaned, laundry doesn’t need to be done, dishes can wait.

Sleep.

Then sleep some more.

Then watch your favorite movie.

Then sleep again.

K?

Night night.

#2 FEVER? YES PLEASE

Kinda like cholesterol, fevers get a bad wrap in the medical and social world, and I’m here to debunk why they are very much AMAZING and VERY MUCH NEEDED.

First, let me ask you this question:

Does the body ever make any mistakes? Even when there is a disease? Even when there is a symptom? Even when there is pain? Are any of these mistakes?

Nope.

So if the body is mounting a fever do you think it’s making a mistake?

Nope again.

Here’s why.

When the immune system is responding to a foreigner like bacteria or viruses, our immune cells will trigger a fever response depending on the type of invader. In my case this last weekend, whatever virus I had triggered my immune cells to ask my hypothalamus in my brain to raise my body temp-to change my thermostat to several degrees higher than the normal 98.6.

So then what happenes is the brain says “hey body, just kidding, the “normal” isn’t 98.6 its 103.”

Then the body works like made to raise that temp, triggering shivering to raise the temp, pulls blood from the extremities (hands and feet) and draw it to the core of the body.

Which is WHY you feel so cold even though your body temp is high.

Making sense?

Ok, so then heat denatures things (destroys them) so if you can just heat the body to the point that the bacteria and viruses cant exist then you win.

Our enzymes and proteins wont denature til about a temp of 110 so a fever of 100-104ish is good to go.

My fever this weekend? 103 baby.

Did it feel awesome? No way, I thought I was gonna die, but I got through it cuz I knew what my body was trying to do.

And not only do I encourage people to have a fever, I want you to SUPPORT it. Say you’re fever is 101, drive it up a bit, because the faster you burn the invaders off the faster you will feel better.

So, how to do that?

Take a hot bath.

Drink tea.

Use hot water bottles.

Sit in a hot tub.

OR if you’re on the break of your fever or want to neutralize it you can do a neutral bath. Run a bath that’s about 98-99 degrees.

Drive your temp up a tad and be sure and wrap yourself in blankets. And be aware of the fever cycle. Typically it starts to climb later in the day and then breaks at night.

DRINK A LOT OF WATER/LIQUIDS as with fevers comes potential for electrolyte issues so staying hydrated is a must.

And one of my favorite ways to break a fever is a neutral temp bath.

And seek help if your fever is more than 104 and lasts for more than 3-4 days.

The heat is on.

#3 LIQUIDS

Specifically BONE BROTH, ill give you the recipe inna sec, but on the tailcoat of talking about a fever, your body is CRAVING liquids to flush all the toxicity out, and as I said above, keeping your electrolytes in check.

You’re appetite is also most likely suppressed because you’re focusing on healing, not digesting.

And the coolest thing about bone broth is that you’re getting so many vital nutrients, mineral, and vitamins to give your body the information to heal, while not having to sit down and eat a whole meal.

As when you’re sick that usually, and should, sound awful.

So when I say liquids I mean herbal teas, water, hot water and lemon, kombucha, soups, broths, and bone broth.

What I don’t mean are caffeinated teas, coffee, Gatorade, soda, energy drink, sports drinks, zero calorie drinks, or those vitamin waters.

Recipe for Bone Broth
Go to a local grocery store and get some beef bones or lamb bones (or chicken/turkey) you can ask the butcher if you cant find them.
In a large pot, cover the bones with water and add a splash of vinegar. (The acidity will help extract more minerals from the bones). Bring to boil and skim. Add any veggies you’d like (this is not necessary, just for taste). Decrease temperature and simmer for 24-48 hours. The longer you simmer the more minerals you’ll extract.
Keep the broth in the fridge or freezer and drink on its own with salt or use in soups and sauces.

Another Recipe For Ya
Use a whole chicken or turkey wings and necks. Cover with water and simmer with your choice of herbs etc until the flesh is cooked. Remove the whole bird and take the flesh from the bones. Put the bones back into the pot, splash of vinegar and simmer for another 24 hours.

The vinegar is added to pull the minerals out of the bones.

Keep the flesh in the fridge to use for chicken soup, curry, stir-fry, or whatever you wish. Be sure to use the broth with these recipes. Add the meat after the veggies are cooked – it only needs a warm through so making the meal is quick.

When the broth is done strain it through a colander or strainer into a glass container. Cool the broth. If you’ve made too much broth for your fridge space, you can always reduce it further by boiling it down and freeze it in ice cubes. Add a cube to any meal to jazz up the taste and increase nutrients.
Experiment with bones and flavors, adding veggies and herbs.

This should taste GOOD.

#4 WARMING SOCKS

This is an old trick I learned in med school and it sounds SUPER odd, but I PROMISE you it will be your new best friend.

This is what you do:

Warm your feet in a bath before bed. Then get a pair of cotton socks and run them under cold water, ring them out, put them on. Then take a pair of WOOL socks and put them over your cotton socks.

Go to bed.

In the morning the cotton socks will be dry as a bone, and you, most likely, will have slept super awesome and are going to feel way better.

At least on the mend.

Why they work:

When you heat your feet up you vasodialate the blood vessels and draw blood to your feet, which pulls blood from the upper body. Then when you put the cold socks on your blood vessels vasoconstrict sending the blood back up the body. And when you’re sleeping the circulatory system is focusing on pumping as much blood to your feet to warm them up, draaaaawwwwing blood and congestion and toxins from your upper body.

So, whenever you have anything going on in the upper half of your body like headaches, migraines, sinus infections, ear aches, chest colds, bronchitis, swollen glands, sore throat, etc…you can do warming socks to help draw that congestion out of the top half.

In short the socks, increase circulation which helps increase immune cells to help fight infection and helps the body detoxify.

They are the bomb.

And for kids you can rub Vicks Vapor Rub on the bottom of their feet and it will have a similar effect.

#5 FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS AND SUPPLIERS TO HAVE ON HAND

FOODS

  • Bone Broth
  • Herbal teas
  • Lemons
  • Soups

AVOID

  • Big meals
  • Sugar
  • Wheat/gluten
  • DAIRY
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

SUPPLIES TO HAVE ON HAND

  • Hot water bottle
  • Eye pillow
  • Cotton socks
  • Wool socks
  • Good quality thermometer

SUPPLEMENTS

  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Flavanoids
  • Magnesium

And a not-so-side-note, if you can avoid taking OTC drugs PLEASE DO.

I honestly can’t say this loud enough. We SO OFTEN as soon as we feel anything like a sniffle or a cough we TAKE SOMETHING.

And we FORGET that this is YOUR body WORKING. We cough to get the bacteria OUT of our lungs, we have a runny nose so the viruses are on a slip-n-slide OUT of our head, if we TAKE a over the counter thing to STOP that from happening then guess what?

The bacteria and the viruses just get to hang out inside us for longer.

Cool?

Not at all.

So next time you start to have a little cough do warming socks, not drugs.

Hahaha, I wanna bumper sticker that says that.

Anywho…

Your body will be SO much healthier and happier on the other end of it. If you can muscle through 2-3 days of death you’re gonna feel like a million bucks come day 4. Clear headed. Clear minded. And then pat yourself on the back because your immune system just pumped iron for 72 hours, all by themselves, and they are stronger for it.

And so are you.

Tea anyone?

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