Well, it looks like the New Year has arrived. Hello, 2016. You got here kind of fast, didn’t you? What do you have in store for me this time around? I can ponder these questions right now, because I have been on and off ill since Thanksgiving. Not much more you can do when you’re buried under a mountain of tissues…I mean blankets…yeah no, tissues (eeewwww). Between the stress of the holidays and the stress of being on the road for work almost the entire month of December, it is no wonder this bug got a hold and just refuses to let go. It’s been around so long, that even my mom and sister are like, ummm, maybe you should see a doctor, Ruth?? Did I mention I’ve been on the road for almost a month? Bah! However, cocktails of Benadryl, Robitussin, NyQuil, and Advil only work for so long, which led me to finally acquiesce to my sister’s advice of making her favorite homeopathic cold and flu remedy, which I’ll be sharing my version of with you today.
So is it just me or do we spend more effort on treating symptoms rather than getting to the root of our problems? For example, a friend of mine at work finally got the thumbs up for a back surgery he’d spent nearly 15 years arguing with this military and then tri-care physicians about. Physical therapy, shots, pills, pain management…over and over and over until he finally got a doctor that listened and heard what he was saying. Right now my dad is in a similar boat. For years he has been complaining about back and hip pain and accepting the pain killers offered by his doctors…all the while I am telling him to ask them what is causing the pain! Right before Thanksgiving he got an MRI…and now it looks like he is going to need both hip and back surgery. SMH.
I cannot say that I am innocent myself. Those who know me know how stubborn I can be…of course I can run this half marathon with my IT band syndrome injury…and I’ll do it twice! (Yeah, let’s not do that again, Ruth). I need to take better care of myself…especially after how I wasn’t so nice to myself in 2015 and I am feeling it all over.
Now, my mother would take that as to me being at the doctor’s office every time I had a sniffle or felt a migraine growing (She keeps bugging me to get an MRI even after my doctor said it probably wasn’t necessary b/c of how I responded to the medication…if it hadn’t worked well then…). However, I think we all know that taking care of ourselves is more than making and keeping our doctor’s appointments. It’s about understanding what we can personally take: mentally and/or physically. We’re not super heroes, even if you have a Captain America or Wonder Woman t-shirt that says you are.
For me, some of the things I’ll be doing to take better care of myself is to set flexible goals rather than chiseling them in stone. For example, I gained over 20 pounds in 2015 (I know I don’t look it, but between the scale and my jeans button trust me on this one). At first my goal was to drop it as quickly as I could…all that did was depress me and cause more weight gain. Ineasted what I need to do is make better choices for myself, such as whether to pick up a box of Popeye’s fried chicken on my home from a stressful day work or hit the grocery store for some chicken breasts and veggies. Also, Emilie, our friend Gil, and I have been talking about running the New Orleans Rock n Roll half marathon since we met up in Austin back in February (Well they’re doing the 10K and leaving me to do the half on my own lol). I was supposed to start training Thanksgiving weekend…but you already read about how I’ve been sick and on the road…now I have a mere nine weeks to train instead of my originaly planned 14! I can do it, it’s not my first rodeo after all, but I need to understand that I may not achieve a PR (Personal Record). Instead I need to re-focus my goal and just enjoy the race…it’s supposed to be awesome with great crowds and rockin’ music…it’s New Orleans, c’mon!
That’s just a couple of the things I’ll be doing this year to take better care of myself. What are you guys pondering?
Cold and Flu Remedy
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger root
- 3-5 large cloves of garlic
- Half a jalapeño pepper
- 1 tablespoon Apple Cider vinegar (preferably raw)
- ¼ – ½ cup honey (preferably raw)
NOTE: I started with a 4 ounce mason jar and couldn’t fit the entire 1/4 cup of honey in it…so I moved to a 7.5 ounce Weck tulip jar…and went for a full 1/2 cup of honey.
- Peel and finely mince your garlic cloves and add to your mason jar. Mince as finally as you like depending on how well you like raw garlic. Why Garlic: Raw Garlic has been used to treat a number of illnesses and disease over the centuries. In this remedy, it’s anti-microbial and antioxidant properties are harnessed to give your immune system a needed boost.
- Measure an inch length of raw ginger root. Typically the size of your thumb is about the correct amount.
- Peel and grate the ginger root and add to your mason jar.Why Ginger: Besides its well known properties have easing queasy tummies, ginger also helps with reducing inflammation and improves the body’s ability to absorb needed nutrients. Not to mention the warmth of the spice is pretty comforting IMO.
- Take your half jalapeño pepper and slice. Remove seeds as needed depending on the amount of heat you can handle. You will want a few for the sinus clearing properties of a little spice. Dice finely and add to your mason jar. It should measure to about 1 tablespoon. Why Jalapeño: Did you know peppers have more Vitamin C than oranges? I didn’t either until my cousin told me about it and I went researching. Also, the spice of the capsaicin in hot peppers not only help clear up your sinuses (yeah, wow, did it) but this compound is also associated with reducing muscle and joint aches/pain.
- Now that all your solids are ready, it’s time for the liquid ingredients.
- Add the juice of 1 lemon to the ingredients in your mason jar. Typically you can get about 2 tablespoons of juice out of one lemon.Why Lemon: Yes, Vitamin C, but also its antioxidants,bioflavonoids, which researchers believe are responsible for the health benefits of lemon such as reducing inflammation and improving blood circulation.
- Add one tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar to your mason jar.Why Apple Cider Vinegar: Though mostly a folk remedy with little scientific research to back it up, this ingredient strangely enough alkalizes our bodies. Germs apparently prefer to stick around when our bodies are more acidic. Interesting…
- Now add the raw honey to the mixture. Begin with 1/4 cup and add up to 1/2 cup to get your desired consistency. If you want it chunky, use less honey. If you want more of a syrup, use more honey. Why Honey: Well we all know how this thick stuff helps coat our throats and ease the soreness of a raw and swollen throat, but apparently honey helps keep us hydrated and loosens up congestion when combined with lemon juice or hot water. Also, honey is anti-microbial and contains antioxidants.
- Stir all together and let sit for at least two hours. No need to refrigerate unless you live in a warm areas, then I would keep it in the fridge just to be safe. Mine kept for two weeks at room temperature before it started to discolor and look funky.