How to help your body naturally with colds and flu

This month has brought in some very sick patients. This has to be the worst cold and flu season I have seen in a few years. Strange symptoms with fast moving disease pictures. It’s especially scary for mother’s with young children as the symptoms progress rapidly. My best advice would be to see a qualified homeopathic doctor as soon as possible, and ask for a few days off for sick leave in order to recover. If the infection gets really bad, a good homeopath will refer you to a GP for antibiotics.

Here is my guide to surviving this snotty season:

  1. AVOID dairy. Bacteria love dairy as it provides nutrition for them to thrive! Dairy also amplifies the production of mucous in the body. Please try your best to avoid milk, yoghurt, cream, etc.
  2. AVOID sugar. This is the obvious sugar (as in the granular type you sprinkle over everything), as well as added sugars in foods we eat- tomato sauce, prepacked foods, cereal’s. This also includes wheat products- white or brown. These are simple sugars that break down into simple glucose sugars. Unfortunately this may be difficult to avoid… but try your best. Sugar puts a huge strain on our immune system (read this article I previously wrote on sugar: https://yeshthehomeopath.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/how-junk-food-and-sugar-affects-weight-gain/) and actually dampens our recovery process.
  3. AVOID sugary medicines. I am also not a fan of cough mixtures and lozenges as they contain high amounts of glucose. Please read the labels to see if there is sugar in the content. Opt for natural cough mixtures and natural lozenges that are sugar free.  Be aware of the addition of artificial sweeteners as well to these ‘healthier’ options. This must be avoided as their nutritional content is zero, and they only add to the toxicity in our bodies.You will easily find sugar and artificial sugar free products in a health shop.
  4. AVOID alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine both dehydrate the body, slowing down other bodily reactions and weakening the immune system. Water is essential for almost every chemical reaction in the body, so when your body is under strain with a disease, every little bit of water counts. Your body also uses a lot of water to temper your fever… so give it what it needs.
  5. INCREASE your sleep. I find ‘enough sleep’ is a relative term in today’s modern lifestyle… However, when you are sick, there is no way for your body to recover if you don’t get downtime. During your sleep cycle, the body gets an opportunity to detoxify as well as regenerate. This is when the parasympathetic nervous takes over and nurtures your sick body. Also, I’m sure you already feel sleepy and listless, so learn to listen to your body and please do get at least 10-15 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period in order in order to recover quicker. You will probably relish it too.
  6. WASH your hands regularly. I know this may sound basic, but many people easily forget this, more so when you are sick! So, after you blow your nose, wash up. If you sneeze of cough, AVOID doing so in your hands. It is an art to practice this, but allow your cough/sneeze to fall into your inner forearm/ inner elbow as you block. This will avoid germs on your hands, and prevent you from spreading it around your home and office. Be conscious of the way we potentially spread germs in an environment, and by no means am I promoting O.C.D like behaviour!
  7. AVOID gym and strenuous exercise. This relates to the sleep point. Allow your body some down time and let it recover without being put under more stress. Gym’s also are a huge breeding zone for bacteria and viruses, so best to avoid this place until your body is stronger.
  8. INCREASE your fluid intake. So the doctor recommends you increase your fluid intake when you have a cold/flu. What does this mean? Water? Juice? Tea? Energy drinks? Again, try to avoid energy drinks and fruit juices. These both contain lots of sugar, and some of the energy drinks contain caffeine. These serve no purpose in your recovery. The answer would be (if you haven’t caught on from my article yet!)  lots and lots of water! Let it be room temperature water as this is more soothing for the throat. It can get quite boring after a while, so here are a few idea’s:
  • 1 cup of warm water, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root, half a slice of fresh lemon
  • 1 cup of warm water, steep in a green tea bag, 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • A hot toddy- See recipe on my blog!

And last, but not least, replenish your spiritual reservoir as you feel your body starting to recover. I recommend visiting your reiki healer for a healing and recharging session. If reiki isn’t your thing, go for a soothing aromatherapy massage to help push out the last bit of toxins into your lymphatic fluid, so you can aid the detox process.

Take care of you 🙂

Sustainable lifestyle changes for weight loss

Sustainable lifestyle changes and weight loss

After the holidays, some of us may have indulged, and now, the clothes we wear are just a little too tight… oops! What we have to realise that weight loss is not a quick fix, found in a pill. The honest truth is what we all don’t like to hear/read: Weight loss means good diet, exercise and supplements. What we also need to consider is a mind- body link. When we nourish the body, reduce the physical, mental and emotional stress, and accept ourselves for all that we are, weight loss occurs in a sensible and sustainable way.

Here are some practical lifestyle habits to adopt, long term:

  1. Food choices: Our bodies are designed to process healthy, real food. This may sound obvious, however, many of us are unaware of the fact that modern diets contain ‘dead’ foods. Dead meaning they contain substantially less nutrients than natural foods. These include: Junk and fast foods, pizza’s, pasta’s, chips, sweets and chocolates etc. What we lack from daily eating is live foods, which are fresh and natural. Our bodies crave the foods that are nutrient dense and of superior quality. I always tell patients- an old fashioned diet is the best diet- boiling beans, salad, raw veg, low wheat and more rice/quinoa/millet/amaranth etc.
  2. Probiotics: Absorption of nutrients depends on the health of our intestinal system. The gut needs to be healthy in order to extract the nutrients from the food we eat. This requires the use of a very good probiotic, as well as having cultured foods (yoghurt etc.). This will not only aid in absorption, but also cleanse the colon and allow our bodies to release toxins easily.
  3. Stress: Cortisol and inflammatory hormones run rampant when your body is stressed. These hormones lead to constant cravings and sometimes we make the wrong food choices. This is what causes our bodies to store excess fat. We have to realise the importance of how to reduce stress in our lives. The power of spending quiet time alone, having a soak in the bath, sleeping an extra hour, meditation, gardening, hobbies and exercising are invaluable to stress reduction. What also comes to play with stress is by living a sustainable life. Not overspending, living on what you need, not what you want. Find a way to lower your expenses, and live simpler.
  4. Detoxing: The more excess fat we carry on our bodies, the more toxins we harbour. The body naturally uses fat as a storage tank for toxins it cannot eliminate! It is therefore, vital that we live a detoxifying diet, continuously. This means increasing lots of fresh, raw foods (salads and sprouts), increasing water intake, green juicing, and in general, alkalising the body.