It's that time of year again when the weather is cold, school begins again, and the flu and cold season comes for a visit. Before I went vegan six years ago, it seemed I was sick all the time. My husband used to work with teens and caught everything and then, of course, so did I. And every time a holiday or days off rolled around, we were sick.
Thankfully, I don't have this problem much at all anymore. I really do believe a big part of it is because I'm vegan and I exercise. But I also have a regimen that works for me and I know my body well enough to detect when something is off.
To prevent colds and flu I:
- Wash my hands often. This is just automatic.
- Wipe down keyboards and phones at work. We have shared workstations and I also work with the public at a public service desk, so I do this every single time I sit at the computer. Okay, some would say obsessively, but I have over 130 hours of accrued sick time. Just saying.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every single day, even weekends.
- Eat whole foods almost exclusively. I'd say at this point in my life the only processed foods I eat are soy milk (about 3 times a week) and tofu (every other week).
- Exercise with alternating days of yoga and Synergetics, plus two 15-20 minute walks daily.
- Practice meditation and quiet time.
- Pop an Airborne tablet in my water bottle at least once per week.
- Eat lots of citrus every day, usually Clementines, grapefruit, and orange slices.
- Gargle with very hot water and a heaping spoon of salt every hour. I can't do this at work but so far, this hasn't yet happened. But when I'm home, I have found that this really does take the pain away quickly.
- Take ibuprofen to reduce swelling and ease pain.
- Continue to drink Airborne (or its generic equivalent) in my water bottle all day long; it tastes good and boosts the immune system.
- Drink hot tea--decaffeinated and/or herbal.
- Take zinc and/or elderberry lozenges throughout the day.
If I've caught a cold, I take the day off from work to rest. The body needs rest and sleep most in order to repair itself. If you're running around, you will NOT get better faster and your symptoms will be more severe and last longer.
If my nose is stuffy, which rarely happens anymore, I use a nose spray only to sleep at night; it's too easy to become addicted.
So that's all I do. If I do get a cold or virus, its symptoms are not severe and the whole thing is usually over within 3 days.