Sunday, October 31, 2010

5 Ways to Get Rid of a Cold Without Medicine!

Here I am all smiles as I go through week 17 of being pregnant! Goodness this baby sure has grown in the last week or two, apparently my uterus is the size of a cantaloupe now and I believe it! Unfortunately I wasn't smiling so much last week when I came down with a little cold...not sure if giving our two dogs a bath stirred up some allergies of mine, or maybe it was just something that was going around, but boy I did not feel good!

17 weeks
Here's the symptoms I had: constant sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose and then really runny nose, sinus headache, and achy muscles, just to name a few. Now the easy thing to do would be to down some DayQuil or just head to the doctor for a round of antibiotics...but I'm not a fan of meds or traditional doctors before I was pregnant so I'm not going to either of them now. Time to go alternative with it! So here you have my top 5 tips of how I got rid of a cold without meds.... (just a note, this is what I did to fight off my cold and I immediately felt better the next day, but it took about 2-3 more days to shake the rest of the symptoms). Now for my disclaimer...I am by no means a doctor! Everything I post on here I've learned from books, online research, talking with natropaths/midwives/chiropractors, so I am not the end all to be all so take these tips with a grain of salt and decide for yourself. What worked for me, may not work for you, but it sure doesn't hurt to share! So without further top five tips for getting rid of a cold without medicine!

1. Sleep! My all-time favorite cold remedy is sleep. Here I am with my sleep mask on...a must-have (usually I don't sleep with all the lights on, but I needed a pic for this post-lol!). So on the day I was feeling really sick I came straight home and turned my usual 15 minute nap into an hour long nap. After that I went to bed about 2 hours earlier than usual, and in the morning the next day I slept in for an hour later (since there was no way I was getting a good workout in at that point). So my sleep advice when you're fighting off a cold is to take anytime you're not at work and replace it with sleep!

2. Go to the chiropractor! When I feel myself coming down with a cold the first place I go is my chiropractor's office. But if I'm already miserable and sick I definitely set up a time to get in! (Clearly this isn't me in the picture, but it shows my favorite neck adjustment from a chiropractor!). Aside from the neck adjustment, I also have my ears popped (she just pulls down on them till they pop...this seems strange, but I always feel much after it's done) and I also get electronic acupressure done on my sinuses. My other favorite thing about the chiropractor is that before I get adjusted I get to lay on this rolling massage table for about 30 minutes! Picture like a massage chair that does your whole body (well at least from your lower back up to your head) is kind of what it looks like. There is also a heat pad in there as well, so it basically feels like I'm getting a 30 minute back massage! To enhance the relaxation, I also like to listen to some tracks on my iPod like the "Relaxation Track" from the Hypnobirthing book CD (to help get me ready for labor), or one of my other favorite guided imagery tracks from Belleruth Naparstek's album: "General Wellness". Basically, after laying on the massaging table and then getting adjusted...I usually walk out of the chiropractor feeling pretty good, or at least more at peace knowing that my body is now adjusted and aligned.

3. Heat Pack! Usually by about day 2 of a cold all the drainage just goes up to my sinuses and just stays there, till the point that I can't taste anything or breathe out of nose. So to help with this I use the almighty heat pack! It's basically those blue gel packs that can be frozen or warmed up, for this instance I like to have it warm. I'd love to get one of those that is specifically for your sinuses, but for now I kick it old school and just put the rectangle-shaped pack right on my forehead/sinuses with a cloth napkin under it. I actually kind of like how it covers my eyes, because usually I'll lay it on there when I'm taking a nap or about to fall asleep. I like to visualize the mucus that was hard and stuck now melting and dissolving out of my body. These things are very inexpensive and can do a lot of good when you are stuffed up!

4. Noodle-Based Soup! You know what you're mom always fed you when you were sick as a kid...chicken noodle soup, but I wouldn't touch canned chicken noodle soup with a ten-foot pole at this point for a number of reasons. First, when I'm sick the last thing I want to eat is chicken (aka animal carcass) because it takes forever for your body to digest it! Why would I want to waste by body's energy digesting meat when it needs to be healing me! Another reason I don't want canned chicken noodle soup is all the preservatives and chemicals used (not to mention off the chart sodium counts) in the canned soup. And let's not forget BPA (an endocrine disruptor which has been linked to breast and prostate cancer as well as infertility), has been shown in some of the highest levels in cans of chicken noodle soup (ravioli and infant formula weren't far off either!) click here to read more.

Without canned chicken soup, what's a sick greenie to do? Make your own! Here's my all-time favorite "I'm Sick Soup" called, "Broccoli Noodle Soup" and it's from a book called, 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson. You can see the yummy pic above! Although I couldn't find the exact recipe for you online, it's on page 143 of the book and here's a post about it on a vegan blog. Basically all the prep work you have to do is chopping a head of broccoli, an onion, a few carrots and some garlic. Usually I like to make my vegetable broth from scratch, but when I'm feeling sick I do not feel being Betty Crocker with this one, so one quick alternative I have been loving lately is Gaylord Hauser's Instant Vegetable Broth. I love this one because it doesn't have any MSG, all you have to do is measure out 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of hot water and stir, and you get about 23 cups of broth from the little box that cost me about $4-5 at my local health food store. Unfortunately you can't by it online, but I suggest looking for it at Whole Foods if you're interested. Last but not least in this awesome soup is the noodles! Since I'm gluten-free I always go for Tinkyada brown rice pasta, and it tastes delicious after being cooked in with the veggies and broth! This recipe is amazing when you are sick and I wouldn't doubt that it had some magical healing powers...or maybe that's all in my head-oh well! ( :

5. Tea! To add to the nice warm broth aspect of the soup I mentioned, I continue the warm liquids with some nice caffeine free, herbal teas. Curious what my mug says? It's a reference to the show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" that show cracks me up! Thanks to my brother Andrew for the mug! The only brand I really like to use for my tea is Traditional Medicinals, mainly because they are organic and only use pure ingredients. Some of my favorites are: Pregnancy Tea (has a bit of a minty flavor, and I'm drinking a lot of that now since I'm about half-way through my pregnancy!), Throat Coat (this somewhat sweet and soothing tea is awesome if you have a sore throat), and Ginger Aid (not sure if you'd be craving a ginger flavor when you're sick, but it would be great for an upset stomach. I usually have about one cup of tea a day when I'm not sick, so when I am fighting off a cold I bump it up to 2 or 3 because it is not only good to get the benefits of the various teas, but it also helps me to remember to drink more fluids!

So, that's my top 5 list of ways to get rid of a cold without taking medicine. Here are the runner ups: taking 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider vinegar in a glass of water (tastes funny but has numerous health benefits!), drinking Elderberry Juice (1 tablespoon in a glass of water also contains many benefits as well such as helping to stimulate the immune system), staying away from sugar (impairs your immune system), and cranking up my vitamin C and vitamin D. Hope these tips can help the next time you are fighting off a cold...without medicine! Have you tried any of these tips before and had them work for you? Any others you would recommend? Please share!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week 15 and 16 Recap!

Hey everyone! So I've been loving my 2nd trimester here! My energy levels seem back to normal (or pre-pregnancy), and when it comes to food, it all sounds good! We had an appointment with our midwife Monday night and it went great! We got to hear the heartbeat again, and this time it was very easy to find (right up front in my lower abdomen) and according to our midwife it was "nice and strong". We also got to hear the pulse of the placenta, which was pretty fascinating...and after hearing this, we decided to call it "Super Placenta"! We will meet with our midwife again in about 4 weeks, but more exciting...we will get to find out the gender in about 3 1/2 weeks! I'll post some more details about that as it gets closer!

As you can see the bump is getting bigger, I know this week it really seemed to "pop"! According to some of my "baby apps" the baby will be doubling in size in the next few weeks, so I'm looking forward to seeing how my body will continue to change. This past week, the baby was an avocado, and it's time to graduate to an.....ONION! Avocados and onions, this baby sure seems to like Mexican food, which is ironically what we had for dinner last night!

Well, time to get back to the 16 and Pregnant marathon on MTV...don't mind me as I curse at one of the girls on there because she's 30-some weeks along and painting the nursery and getting her nails done....jeez can you say TOXIC!!!! Okay, I'll stop my rant, she probably just doesn't know any better! Have a good week everyone!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week 14...Smooth Sailing!

Hey everyone, I just wrapped up week 14 of being one pregnant mama and like the title of my post says, it's been smooth sailing! I think I am officially in my 2nd trimester now (one App I use says it started last week, and another App says it started this either way I'm in now!). I've heard many people tell me that the 2nd trimester is the best because you don't have the morning sickness/nausea of the 1st trimester and yet your not as big and uncomfortable as the 3rd trimester. So, with that in mind, I can't complain with where I'm at right now!

As you can see from my belly pics, I don't look noticeably bigger than I did a few weeks ago, but I do feel much less bloated than I did in the beginning, so now it feels like it's all baby and less like my intestines and organs! ( :

Food cravings? Haven't had many food cravings lately, but my appetite is definitely coming back around and I don't quite have the food aversions I had a few weeks ago, so I'm loving that! I'm sure B is too, because now we can have a few more dinner options other than pasta (my fav!).

Nursery Update: So I got the first item for the baby's nursery this week, a glider/rocker/recliner! I wish I could tell you it's "green" and "eco-friendly" but it's not, it's just a normal chair. I guess I was more concerned with the color and matching the room than spending $1000 for a semi-eco-friendly chair. Some things I will worry more about being green, like the crib and mattress  and others I will just have to let go of.

Anyways, I got the color in chocolate brown because I knew it could go in either a little boy or a little girl's room! Speaking of which...we are so excited to find out the baby's gender, I'm having conflicting dreams each night and I keep seeing our favorite baby names everywhere! Can't wait to find out! ( : Okay back to the nursery...this chair is super comfy and on the day it arrived I rocked in it for about 20 minutes because it was so relaxing. I haven't "rocked" in years and I forgot how calming it was! It was also fun to just sit there and imagine what it would be like sitting there rocking my baby in my arms. Aside from rocking, this chair also reclines, as you can see from the pic, which I can imagine would come in handy after a long day both before the baby comes and after!

So that's about it for me this week, oh and the baby has now graduated from a lemon to an orange, so keep on growing little one...we can't wait to meet you! ( :
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