Stop that cold or flu before it gets started

Stop that cold or flu before it gets started

Realize that you can do something to prevent getting sick. So let us proactively start today to avoid illness.

Realize that you can do something to prevent getting sick. So let us proactively start today to avoid illness.

by Elaine Haynik — 

It is that time of year again — winter and the holidays approaching. Does that mean you must suffer with a bout of the flu, a cold or sinus infection? Realize that you can do something to prevent getting sick. So let us proactively start today to avoid illness.

First, be sure to get enough sleep, keep your immune system strong and incorporate the following:

Watch your thoughts — Recognize stress and deal with it. Mind your mindset and reframe your thoughts. Learn to quiet yourself down. Meditate. Do not dwell on fear or negativity. Avoid discouraging words. Get off the pity pot — forgive and forget. Train yourself to smile more and be optimistic, positive and grateful. Perform frequent acts of kindness and spread sunshine.

Watch your activity level — If you are sedentary at your job, make an extra effort to incorporate some physical exercise. Keep your circulation moving. Stimulate your mind and body through deep breathing, walking, biking, running, swimming, hot tubs, saunas and gym workouts.

Watch your diet  — Try not to eat heavy meals. Eat less meat, little to no junk foods, and more fresh or raw fruits and vegetables. Eat more greens, even seaweed. Eat whole grains; however, go light on whole wheat (often it is a hybrid). Add one tablespoon of ground flax seed daily to cooked foods, such as hot cereal or muffins. Add lemon to your water or have a hot lemon drink first thing in the morning with added molasses or honey. Lemon turns alkaline in the body. Add a cup of herbal, green or black tea to your afternoon routine.

Cut out sugar — It is the worst. Why do you think you get sick after overeating at the family Thanksgiving feast or at the company Christmas party? Skip that daily soft drink and those syrup-laden coffee drinks that are nutritionally void and can equal 400 to 600 calories.

Sugar in any form paralyzes the white blood cells, putting them into a coma for six or more hours. These cells are the Pac-Men of the immune system — when they detect the enemy, they disable the germs by eating/ingesting them. When they are asleep on the job, the enemy cells get a head start. By choosing to consume sugary foods, you have just disabled your own immune system by sabotaging the work your cells are trying to do to keep you healthy. Think about that.

The dreaded cold — If you feel a cold coming on, immediately alkalize and hydrate the body. Food and water are often too acidic, meaning you need to use emergency measures to raise your pH to an alkaline level. Take an Alka-Seltzer®, Airborne®, Emergen-C® or mix yourself a drink of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic or pink Himalayan salt in a glass of water. These specialty salts help with electrolyte balance. Repeat, as needed. Stop sugar, dairy and meat. Go for a short brisk walk.

Flush out toxins and stimulate your circulation — Heat up some chicken soup. You may use canned chicken and rice soup with added water. Add 1 or 2 cut cloves of raw garlic and one teaspoon of miso, a probiotic. Add some green herbs for taste — Italian seasoning, parsley, oregano or thyme. Shake some cayenne pepper into the soup, which will bring on a slight sweat. The idea is to get the lymph system flowing as quickly as possible.

Next, make yourself a pot of ginger tea. Use a piece of fresh ginger root about 1-1/2 inches long, cut into thin coins. Boil the ginger pieces in one quart of water. Keep covered and simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add a big glob of honey and the juice of 1 or 2 lemons. No need to remove the ginger. Leave the tea in the pot and reheat as necessary. Try to drink 2 to 3 cups daily, or sip it often. It tastes spicy, is warming and works amazingly well. Add extra water as needed to replace the water that evaporated or boiled off.

Take a hot bath — Put 1/2 cup of Epsom salts in your bath water, which helps you detox by adding magnesium to your system to prevent muscle aches. Dress warmly after your bath. Apply Vicks® or essential oil to your nostrils, throat and chest. Breathe in aromatherapy. Drink a cup of ginger tea and go to bed early.

Disinfect your surroundings — Wash and disinfect all the doorknobs, light switches, phones, computer keyboards and mouses, faucet handles, toilet handles and other things you have touched. When you are fighting a cold, change your pillowcase daily. Remember your face is on your pillow where all the germs take up residence, and at night you breathe them in again.

Sit in the sun — Expose yourself to the sun for 10 minutes or so, daily. The sun is a potent disinfector and stimulates the immune system.

Wash your feet — Wash the soles of your feet daily before bedtime. Medicine and toxins can be absorbed through the soles. Try rubbing the soles of your feet at bedtime with a therapeutic oil.

A few other items I use include: zinc lozenges, bee pollen, honeycomb, vitamins A and D, acidophilus and echinachea. The key is to think ahead. Be watchful over your body and thoughts. Prepare, balance, and stay happy and active throughout the holidays.


Elaine Haynik, RN, is a Scottsdale, Ariz., resident and nurse who retired after 40 years of working in both hospital and alternative medicine.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 5, October/November 2015.

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