Sniff sniff

medical mask emoji

Yesterday I started feeling slightly congested.  I have terrible allergies this spring (thanks climate change!) and figured it was just something blowing around in the wind.  By last night I was feeling achy and exhausted and that’s when I knew I had a dreaded springtime cold.

When I start to feel sick, I go into lockdown mode.  I cancel anything that’s not totally necessary and hunker down.  Rest is the most impactful thing you can do when you start to feel under the weather, and I’ve learned time and again that trying to push through only prolongs the misery. Netflix binges of Grace and Frankie and  Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are possibly indicated.

In addition to Netflix binges rest I also add a few remedies.  I drink a green smoothie in the mornings to slam as many fruits and veggies into my system as I can (if you’re interested in green smoothies, click here to learn about the challenge I did in the fall).  All those vitamins are fantastic immune boosters for when you aren’t feeling 100%.

green smoothie

In addition, I take astragalus three times a day in tincture form.  I love this product from Herb Pharm.  Click here for an information page on astragalus published by the National Institutes of Health.  It’s important to know about the herbs and other remedies you use before you start taking them.  I buy it at Whole Foods but you can also order it on Amazon. I also take Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup twice a day which I also get at Whole Foods.  Multiple studies published by the NIH have shown elderberry syrup to be antiviral and immune boosting.  Read here for one of them. I also use a neti pot to flush yucky stuff out of my sinuses.  Here’s a picture of a few different types of neti pots in case you haven’t seen them before and are wondering what in the fresh heck a neti pot is.

neti pot

I learned recently that it also helps when you have fluid in your ear.  Learning to use and get accustomed to a neti pot isn’t hard, in my opinion.  It’s not for everybody but I highly recommend it!  I buy packets of saline solution at my local drugstore.

I also eat copious amounts of raw garlic (sorry family) and drizzle raw honey on stuff because both are antiviral and the honey also soothes a sore throat and a cough.

And sleep.  Obviously.  If you can’t fit downtime into your day (many people can’t), then try going to bed extra early for a few nights.

Please comment below and tell me what you do to fight off “the crud”.  I’m always looking for new things to add to my repertoire!

***And as always, please know that I am not a doctor and I’m not authorized to prescribe any medical treatment to anyone.  Please check with your health care provider before adding any over the counter treatments.

Bikini Body

I’ve been agitated about something for a couple of weeks now.  Actually, agitated is the wrong word.  It’s not strong enough.  Angry as hell feels better to me.  Let me fill you in: My 11 year old daughter subscribes to Discovery Girls magazine.  It’s a magazine published by National Geographic, and it features stories and articles aimed at girls who love adventure and fun.  Its target audience is 8-12 year olds. Great!  Right?  

One day my daughter brings me a spread from the magazine with photos of bathing suits, and she says “This one is really pretty”.  Innocuous enough, right?  I noticed the title of the story was “What Swimsuit Best Suits You”.  I thought, “Awesome!  This will be an empowering feature on what swimsuit is best for whatever activity you love to do most — diving, swim team, cannonballs”. I’m envisioning sleek, aerodynamic sports suits that will stay put for those epic diving board moments.  

I was wrong.  It was an article on HOW TO DOWNPLAY YOUR FLAWS.  It featured phrases like “If you’re curvy on top, coverage is key!” And “side ties and cut-outs draw the eyes down” (Whose eyes?  They are children.)  “If you’re rounder in the middle, busy geometrics draw the eye inward!” I could keep going but I’m confident you see where this is going. 

I immediately cranked out several tweets to Discovery Girls to express my extreme displeasure.  And then I settled into how I really felt about this.  And what I felt was deep sadness.  My daughter, who still loves to play in the water, who still loves to dive for pennies, who still loves to horse around with her friends, was just told by a magazine I trusted that her body isn’t good enough the way it is.  That it has inherent flaws that she needs to hide. That her job is to create an image that is pleasurable to othersSure, it won’t be the last time she hears this message.  BUT IT WAS THE FIRST TIME.   So, we had a discussion on what total crap that message is.  We talked about how everyone has different bodies and how each one is absolutely okay exactly how it is.  How she will hear messages like this throughout her life but that they are total bull honkey.  And I sent her off to play. In reality, the loudest voice she hears is mine. So I’m hoping all my positive messages drown out this insanely stupid one. 

Discovery Girls has since quasi-apologized for their misstep.  They received a lot of messages from a cadre of very angry parents. And rightfully so.  They took something from their readers in that feature.  For some girls it’ll sail right over their heads. No harm, no foul.  For others it could be the start of a tumultuous relationship with their bodies.  Only time will tell how each girl will respond to a message like this. But I think we can all agree that we should give our young girls (and boys!) all the time they deserve to be kids who just want to play.