“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
When you’re a teacher of any age group, staying healthy can be a challenge, especially true since four year olds are not known for their exceptional hygiene skills. I love my job and the age group I work with, they are near and dear to my heart. However, we have not yet mastered mucus containment and there is a perpetual supply of germs spreading/shooting through the air at any given point throughout the year.
It is unreasonable and impossible to never get sick. It can be hard to remain healthy with all the germs flying around, but I believe my immunity has improved over the last few years. I think it is completely possible to reduce the frequency and intensity of colds and flu by changing a few habits.
I know it is through the grace of God that I have been able to do this. Nowhere does God guarantee us good health. We need to be proactive and use the skills and resources He gave us to be healthy. It’s amazing how many plants alone can benefit our health, even the ones we don’t normally eat. Don’t tell me He doesn’t know what he’s doing or that it is just a coincidence.
Remember, 70% of our health is based on our habits and choices.
I wanted to share these ideas with you, but I hesitate to even address this because you know the minute I say something I’m going to come down with the flu. As a matter of fact, even as I type this I am waking up with a slight nasal drip. We’ll see how it progresses. I had a pretty good run for a while. At one point I was able to go two years without getting sick, except for one incidence of pink eye, which doesn’t count because we’re talking about colds and flu. Ha. 😜
(UPDATE: Since this was published 2 years ago. I still have not had a major cold, stomach bug or flu. So we’re up to 4 years. Yay! Thank you, Lord. Not that I haven’t had other issues, but this is chat is about the cold and flu.)
(ADDITIONAL UPDATE: I went on a gluten challenge to be tested for celiac due to some health issues. I needed to eat lots of bread for 12 weeks. 3 weeks into the challenge I came down with a cold, reminiscent of what I used to get in the past. This just further supports my view that sugar reduces your immunity.)
Since then, actually in September, I researched and put together a regimen for myself and I have gotten one minor cold but praise God, it remained very mild and only lasted two or three days and then my body managed to shake it off. I even manage to avoid the stomach bug that goes through the class annually.
This is sooo much better than my history of regular sinus infections and colds with annual coughs that normally last 6-8 weeks. This results in lack of sleep and frustration to those I live with, especially my dear husband.
I don’t get flu shots and I don’t take cold medicines. I never really liked taking the drugs, even before I changed my habits. I have tried cough medicine for my 6 week cough. Fact is, it’s not like the cough medicines even work.
So what have I changed in my routine?
Proactive-Before I Get Sick
📌First of all, I am eating healthier food. A healthy body is better able to fight off germs. Don’t minimize the importance of this. Don’t eat so much processed and junk food. How can you body build immunity if it is not healthy to begin with?
📌I have significantly cut back on sugar. As you may recall, sugar impairs your immunity. Each time you have a sugar spike your immunity tanks for up to 5 hours. See this post to be reminded how many ways sugar impairs your health.
📌Stop touching the face! So simple, yet so difficult.
📌Wash hands often!
📌I use coconut oil daily during the fall/winter. 2T per day. Coconut oil has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-protozoal properties. Sneak it in where ever you can.
- hot cereal
- many other ways
See this post regarding bacteria and viruses coconut oil fights.
📌I take Echinacea during the winter. (some people with certain allergies and autoimmune disorders should avoid taking Echinacea).
📌I take zinc a couple of times a week and 2 grams of vitamin C per day. Vitamin C is also important for tissue repair so I take that all year. Check it out here.
📌I keep my vitamin D levels optimal (between 50-80) I take 5000 IU daily. Vitamin D levels actually affect a host of health issues. Check it out here.
Reactive – After I Get Sick
Should I get happen to get sick (which thankfully hasn’t been very often) instead of waiting until I am miserable, which takes longer to fix, I start my regimen as soon as I feel something coming on, like today, to nip it in the bud.
UPDATE: nasal drips gone, didn’t progress, still have dry throat, probably from the heat.
Now, I don’t do all of these at once. It depends on if I feel a scratch in my throat or my nose is drippy, etc.
📌I take two garlic pills in the morning and two at night. Even better would be eating raw garlic. That would be more effective. Not only would sickness stay away, your friends might as well. 🙄
📌I take one AlliBiotic in the morning and one at night. It is a combination of garlic, elderberry, olive leaf, oregano and rosemary extracts, plus a prebiotic to support your gut flora.
📌I up the coconut oil to 4T per day until symptoms subside.
📌I take 4 drops of oil of oregano in water in the morning and 4 at night. Now in the beginning, I thought “I don’t need water, it’s oregano. I’ll just put it on my tongue.” **ACK** **GASP** Don’t do it!!! 😖 Do yourself a favor and use in water, juice, etc. Even then, it is still pretty potent. The burn only lasts a while and then you forget it, just like childbirth. If the bottle sits around a long time, it does lose some of it’s potency.
📌Lastly, I use eucalyptus drops in steaming water to inhale if there is congestion. (Thank you, Karina) Take some good deep whiffs. You can simmer it on the stove or use in a diffuser to fill the house (or in a humidifier), or I leave the cup on the counter and reheat it to sniff some more, adding more drops as necessary (it does evaporate out). I also read (while working on my coconut oil remedy post) that you could mix some drops in coconut oil and rub it on your chest like a vapor rub.
Generally, I’ve never had to do any of these things for more than a day or two. But I start at the first sign of sickness.
Since many of these things are antibiotic in nature, you may want to consider taking an extra probiotic at least an hour or two AFTER you take any of these things. Some sources say they don’t affect your good bacteria, but I’m not sure how that is possible.
*Always check with your doctor before starting any regimen to make sure it will not interact with any current medications you are on or any conditions you have.
So that is my cold and flu plan. So far, it has been working splendidly.
What do you do to stay healthy?