How I’ve (knock on wood) Avoided Cold and Flu Season

cold and flu season, stay healthy, survive cold and flu season

When I went home for Christmas my dad was sick as a dog. Coughing, sniffling and just sounded down right terrible. When I got back, one of my bosses was sick as well. In a normal Angela world, I would have been sick before I even left my parent’s house and would have continued to be sick well into February. Yeah, I’m not joking. Up until May of 2013, I would get sick ever 2-3 weeks and would stay sick for months. In 2012, I caught whopping cough, and was sick for nearly 4 months. And let me tell you, I tried EVERYTHING. I did sinus rinses, I did antibiotics, I did hot showers, I downed more vitamins than you could possibly imagine. I visited every specialist I could think of, trying to figure out just why I was continuing to get bronchitis every other month. I even got rare lung conditions and childhood diseases that maybe I didn’t get tested for.  I went to regular doctors, I went to acupuncturists, I went to chiropractors. And got no where. All they said? Post Nasal Drip.

After over 2 years of working with an allergist and asthma specialist and consuming more antibiotics than probably necessary, I switched to a well known ENT in Chicago. At this point, I figured there HAD to be something done that I was missing. And FINALLY, after close to 10 years of being sick on and off for the better part of 6-8 months a year, it started getting better.

Now I don’t directly relate my health to the ENT, they did prescribe me a nasal steroid which has dramatically helped my post nasal drip. I was also on allergy shots for about 4-5 months which definitely helped.

So what do I think really changed my health?

100% my diet.

Before I went to Argentina I really went on a diet over haul and went right into clean eating. I’ve talked about it before and how I feel AWESOME when I’m not eating overly processed foods and make everything myself. I limit how much sugar I eat and almost completely cut out junk food (there’s always a cheat day here and there). When I came back I fell off a bit but I’m getting back on track to eating clean, well as clean as I can get myself to (about 85% of the time).

But as much as I eat clean and super healthy there are still some additional things I do when I feel like I’m coming down with something.

  • The INSTANT I feel like I’m getting even a hint of sick. A little sore throat, a runny nose or even minorly achy. I start downing Emergen-C. I usually shoot for 2 a day, mixed with OJ because Emergen-C is nasty.
  • On top of the Emergen-C, I drink a ton of orange juice.
  • I sit in the hottest bath I can tolerate.
  • I down as much green-tea as I can stomach. (usually 3-4 cups a day)
  • and I SLEEP. I don’t go out with friends, I don’t go out period. I sleep. I come home from work, put my pajamas on (ok I do that every day anyways) and literally eat dinner and go to bed.

blood oranges

When I got home after spending the holidays with family, I starting feeling like I was catching what my dad had. And I was like #hellno I have gone since my birthday (June 15 incase you’re planning ahead on what you want to get me! jk jk) without being remotely sick. My diet, my nasal steroids and my fast acting methods for preventing it coming on has kept it that way! And let me tell you…I did not get sick! Being around 2 people who were pretty ill, and I STILL managed to not get sick.

I cannot tell you how much changing my diet has literally changed my life and my health. I used to just sit and eat boxed macaroni and cheese, cheese-its and lots of diet coke. I bought pre-packaged, pre-made meals that were out of ease and convenience and it didn’t do me any good. Eliminating processed foods, eating a healthy balance of veggies, protein and carbs keep my energy up, my immune system up and running and has prevented me from getting ill in record time! I can’t and wont ever go back to the way I ate before.

What techniques do you have for avoiding the flu season?

 

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