Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tips to Fight Colds

It's been hot and cold in the bay, which makes it the perfect time to get sick. Here are some tips that I've personally tried to help fight the common cold.

Drink lots of water.
Must I elaborate? I lost a lot of the weight I gained by increasing my water intake. Most of us are dehydrated and don't even know it. We suffer from headaches and listlessness, and turn to pills, sugar, energy bars or energy drinks to make us go. Try increasing your water intake to at least the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, or more than that. The next time you don't feel your best, glug down a full glass (or bottle) of water. Water hydrates us, which makes our body work better. Think of drinking water as taking care of your body. And when you take care of your body, the less likely you are to get sick.

Lemon and ginger are your friends.
If you're a tea drinker, use teas with these two ingredients. If you're not a tea drinker, you can drink a hot lemon drink with a splash of honey. Or if you're like some of my family, with grated ginger. I personally can't handle ginger. It makes me gag! But it WORKS.

Or if you don't like any of those, try those drinkable cold medicines, the ones you drink like tea. They usually come in lemon honey flavor, and they work well for me. I actually like the taste, but many of people don't. You'll never know if you don't try.

Wear layers.
I love dresses, and sometimes I get pretty stubborn. Like wearing a dress would chase the last of winter out of town. Scarves, gloves, beanies, leggings, leg warmers, boot socks...they're our friends. Layers are important when you live in an area with a temperamental weather. When it's cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon, then freezing at night. That's what we've been going through. So layer up! They're easy to put on and take off. Don't expose yourself to the cold without protection. That's a fast way of getting sick.

Eat soup.
I love soup. They can be simple or hearty. You can dip in breads or crackers. They warm you right up. When you feel the cold blow in, eat soup. When you have the cold, eat soup. Soup is a great way to pile your body with fluids and the good stuff from vegetables we don't always get enough of.

I'm not a fan of canned soup, though. Too much salt, even in the ones labeled "less sodium." So here's a quick and easy recipe for...

Very Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

You'll need:
4 cups of chicken broth or stock
1.5 - 2 cups of diced or chunky shredded cooked chicken breast (or thigh if you don't mind higher fat & flavor), however much you prefer or have on hand *hint: leftover chicken is great to use!
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 big carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of egg noodles (or other pasta you prefer)
salt & pepper to taste
optional: sprinkle of dried parsley or basil

Do this:
Bring the broth to a boil and add the pasta.
When the pasta is halfway cooked, add everything else.
On medium heat, boil soup until veggies & chicken are heated through.
*I prefer to cook down the celery because I don't like it's strong peppery taste, and I like my carrots soft. But you might like crunchier carrots and peppery celery, so your cooking time will vary.

If you need to cook the chicken, your cooking time obviously lengthens. But if all you need to do is prep your veggies and throw everything together, this soup doesn't take much time at all!

Check out my other Quick and Easy Soup Recipes.

I hope you stay healthy as our seasons change. Keep warm, stay dry, and be well!

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