I Believe in Magic! Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

I Believe in Magic! Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

“Healthy people eating healthy food should never need to take an antibiotic.” -Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Tis the season for colds, flues, viruses, sinus congestion and just feeling plain yuk! Many run to the doctor at the first sign of illness, which usually is not necessary and simply spreads your germs or sends you out only to pick up some more.

For a virus, antibiotics do nothing but mess up your normal good bacteria in your digestive tract (mouth, stomach, intestines).

When I get sick there are a few things I do that seem to shorten my days on the couch, but I try to start my natural regime at the first sign of a depleted immune system (scratchy throat, achiness, fatigue, or what I call the eewy geewies when I just know there is a bug in me).

If you have incredibly horrible symptoms like a high fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing and blowing out green or yellow gunk for more than a week – you may need to make an appointment with your doctor but generally rest, stress management, and supporting your immune system with a healthy diet and natural remedies will decrease your time on the couch or bed.

Before you try any of these remedies, although you probably don’t need the doctor, I would at least ask what he or she thinks of the magic. More than likely your doctor will say “whatever works” or “there is some research to show…” or “never heard of it but it can’t hurt” or just take some Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or Aleve and rest. That’s all good advice but is there anything else you can do? Yes! Here are some home remedies you can try.

Natural remedies

First and foremost eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants-vegetables and fruits, green smoothies and soups with added healing herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, onion, and turmeric. Apple cider vinegar added to your food or taken as a drink has long been known to heal sore throats, colds, and viruses. Horseradish root is an excellent natural antibiotic and decongestant great for loosening mucous or encouraging a blocked sinus to drain. Avoid sugar except for raw honey, which has long been used for its antibiotic properties. Honey added to a cup of ginger tea and sprinkled with a pinch of cayenne pepper is an excellent sore throat remedy.

My favorite natural remedy is garlic. I carry garlic with me when I travel and at the first sign that I feel like there is a bug in me. I eat raw garlic chopped up on bread or mixed with my food. When I am dining out, I don’t hesitate to ask my waitress or waiter to bring me a side of chopped garlic. And yes sometimes you do reek to those around. There is a famous quote “Since garlic then hath powers to save from death, bear with it though it makes unsavory breath.” – Salerno Regimen of Health.

I can remember a time when I was traveling and while at the airport waiting for a flight, I felt like I was coming down with something. I went to one of the airport restaurants and ordered hot soup and a side of garlic. I ate it all. While on the airplane I heard the people in the seats behind me saying “ I smell garlic. Wow! I bet she just ate Italian food!.” It seemed my garlic ingestion was noticeable.

And speaking of garlic, check out my recipe for Garlic Soup.

MARY’S GARLIC SOUP

Start with Chicken or Vegetable Broth (You can use any clear soup or make your own with bullion cubes). Bring to a boil

Add Several cloves of fresh garlic cut up. (I add as many as 10 cloves to about 4 cups of broth) Use as much as you can stand and don’t over cook the garlic.

Simmer the soup with the garlic for a minute or two. (Another variation is to sauté the garlic in the pan before adding the broth. This makes the garlic more tolerable if you don’t like it raw.) I eat garlic raw so I cook as little as possible.

Remove from heat and add: 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar. Sprinkle with Cayenne pepper. (According to taste -a dash can create quite a tang so add according to what you can tolerate).

Other helpful spices are Turmeric, Cumin and Ginger which all have healing properties.

Another variation is to add a beaten egg to the boiling broth like egg drop soup.

If you want to make a more hearty soup, go ahead and add some cooked chicken, turkey or sautéed vegetables. Onions are always good for healing.

Be sure to chew the garlic pieces when you eat the soup.

Enjoy! And Be Well!

 

 

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Everyone Can Use a Pep Talk!

Everyone Can Use a Pep Talk!

Mary Speaking Closeup

It’s Time for a Pep Talk!

As a life and wellness coach, spiritual advisor, and simply as a friend, I have given lots of pep talks. And there are times when I need a good pepping up myself.

I always say, I teach what I want to learn. And I learn from everyone.

Everybody needs pep talk sometimes. We all get down on ourselves, have upsets with life, and generally as normal human functioning human beings, lose our sense of motivation and energy. That’s when like all people on a playing field, we need a good Pep talk.

So here goes:

>You are doing great even if you feel like you are faltering. You are doing your best. Reward yourself for functioning at all.  Sometimes in these dark winter months, we feel like a blob. Half the day may go by and your still in your pajamas-that’s okay sometimes. We all need a day to do nothing but wake up and breathe. If you give yourself a pajama day without guilt, you may feel a burst of energy and productivity the next day or week.

>Be grateful! When you are stressed it is always good to take 10 deep breaths or even 3 if that’s all your mind can focus on, but if not then think of at least three things you are grateful for right now!!

>Life will present plenty of opportunities for you to be negative. How about looking for something to shift your mind to a more positive view point even if it feels or looks like sh_t. You know the story of the little boy who said he smelled something-it was horse manure and rather than say yuk! He said there must be a pony around here somewhere.

>Quit over thinking everything. It all may be good and there you go trying to figure out what could be wrong. The ego analyzes. The spirit accepts. Stay in the moment and enjoy it. If something feels off, listen all around you to see if there is anything you need to do about it or learn from it.

>Tame your inner critic and listen to your inner cheerleader. We all have an inner critic, but we also have an inner voice that guides you to living a life that flows. One of my favorite cheers was:

Jumpin in the grandstand, beatin on a tin can, Who can? We can? Nobody else can! Standing on our hands, standin on our feet, the Rockets the Rockets can’t be beat!

Well try that one in the morning when you wake up less than excited about your day.

I tell my grandkids-Can’t died in the cornfield.  YOU CAN!

And here is a pep talk from a young man aspiring to be president:

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Have to Stop Sooner or Later – A Reminder

You Have to Stop Sooner or Later – A Reminder

As I reflect on my life right now, I want to share an article I wrote that I am reminding myself to follow.

This year has been a very stressful, yet exciting year. We made a major move from a house of 31 years to a new home- very different, a connected “landominium”, maintenance free living-quite a change. Between preparing the house for sale, decluttering,  keeping it immaculate for the weekly showings for months, working with the builder on the plans for our new home, and the major task of moving in general, my body has taken a toll. You really do have to be mindful of a stress and the affect of pushing until your exhausted. We are now settled and loving it, but I reacted to something while unpacking and developed a major allergic dermatitis reaction. Now on steroids and drugs, it is important that I take time to heal the cells of my stressed out body, by reconnecting my mind and spirit.

Today I put out the yoga mat while listening to meditative music and did a 40 minute yoga routine for detoxing. It felt very necessary and quite nice. My husband and I have resumed our Tai Chi practice in the evening, and hopefully this bout of illness will pass, having been a blatant reminder that YOU HAVE TO STOP SOONER OR LATER!

Anyway, here is the article:

For years people who have talked about wellness referred to weight loss, fitness or smoking cessation programs. Later we identified the role stress plays in our overall health and wellness so we developed stress management programs.

Interesting that although the wellness industry has spent the last 20 years designing programs and providing health promotion information to the point that most consumers are very well educated, health is not improving
much – Not the kind of health that is defined by an overall sense of balance of body, mind and spirit or physical, emotional or spiritual togetherness. In fact many people are exercising and watching their weight. Unfortunately many people have given up and continue to spiral upwards. There is no loss of material on what constitutes a healthy diet or adequate fitness program. There are also more self help books published than ever before to help us deal with our stress management.

Keeping all of this in mind, it is interesting that when I work with people as a wellness coach, their vision often includes a regular exercise program and healthy diet, but it always seems to include the word
balance and gaining more energy and enjoying life more. Yet that is the one place it is hard to concentrate. To stop all of our activity, whether it is for our work or just to keep the house managed is very difficult. We just keep going until our body can’t go anymore and then we get sick. It is when we get sick that we question how we have been going about getting all these things done.

More and more people have said to me that they need to take time to meditate, yet less and less do. Why is that? I know for myself I often feel that once this or that item on my to do list is complete, I will be able to sit back and relax. Sitting seems such a waste of time when there is so much to do. That is why we recommend that you schedule a regular time for meditation regardless of what is going on in life or with work. It has to be as built in as brushing your teeth. It has to be an everyday occurrence.

But what if we are just not of the makeup to sit in a formal meditation? That is not necessary, but what is necessary is to have some sort of practice built into your life for reflection on more than your everyday tasks. The fact is that one’s body and mind can’t keep on going without a break. Eventually you will have to stop.

Regardless of what your life looks like right now, it is helpful build into your day a time( even if just 5 minutes)  for silence, prayer, yoga,reflective reading, listening to peaceful music, journaling, or if you can, sitting in a position of meditation, following your breath long enough to feel a difference in your body- a feeling of peace and quiet rather than rushing and a sense of urgency. If you practice enough, it will become a memory in your body that you will be able to tap into when life is speeding by. Like all of my clients, it has to be a priority and goal for change. Let that be now and not later.

Don’t Miss the Moments. Slow Down the End of the Year Rush

Don’t Miss the Moments. Slow Down the End of the Year Rush

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First snowfall on top of autumn leaves

What is your vision for the rest of the year? Before you know it, we will be celebrating a new year. Are you looking too forward without enjoying the days we have left? I know this is an overwhelming time-busy with Fall cleanup, preparing for Thanksgiving, Hanukah and Christmas, business deadlines, and for many struggling with a budget or health issues. But this can also be a very peaceful time if we savor the moments right in front of us.

Let’s stop a moment and see if we can put our activities in slow motion.

Autumn is such a pretty season. The leaves certainly take their time revealing their colors and the leaves fall at their own slow and flowing pace. Sit under a tree and wait for a leave to fall in your hand. The task of raking leaves seems never ending especially if you have a large oak tree in your front yard like we do. And our red maples are almost ready to shed their glorious crimson leaves before our first snowfall. (Which came last night). Yet autumn leaves can be magical when a child jumps into a pile just raked or we feel their crispness under our feet as we walk.

In a couple of weeks, we will all be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it is not about material gifts but rather the gift of gratitude and family blessings. December is the month of gift giving, which we do for both Hanukah and Christmas. However this year is different. The first day of Hanukah is Thanksgiving. We light the first candle the night before. This means that we will be celebrating both holidays on Thanksgiving.  No problem. I will decorate sooner and perhaps have potato latkes in addition to mashed potatoes and gravy. For the grandkids we normally give a book each night of Hanukah. So this year they will get to open book with all of us after dinner.

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Loved the leaves covered with snow. If you look close you can see the leaves falling.

I always enjoy the first snowfall of the year. Like the leaves, snowflakes take their time falling on the prettiest snow days, flake after flake, each a different shape and identity. Remember the song- “Here comes Suzy Snow Flake. Look at her tumbling down. Bringing Joy to every girl and boy as Suzie comes to town.” Can Suzie bring us all joy? (Full lyrics below)

Soon there will be the lights of the winter holidays as they sparkle in neighborhoods all over the world. I can’t wait-oh, I mean yes I can, but when they shine I will savor each moment of experiencing the joy of the season.

Let’s not rush through these last days of the year with anxiety. I do feel sadness when I think that stores are going to open Thanksgiving night to get a rush on holiday shopping, cutting short quality time and warm conversation.

I know there is a lot to do. I feel the anxiety too, which is why I am writing this. I want to remind myself to slow down, and take note of all I am thankful for including the fall leaves, the holiday experience, and the warmth of being with family and friends.

*Lyrics to Suzy Snowflake:

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Dressed in a snow-white gown
Tap, tap, tappin’ at your windowpane
To tell you she’s in town.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Soon you will hear her say
Come out ev’ryone and play with me
I haven’t long to stay.

If you want to make a snowman
I’ll help you make it, one, two, three.
If you want to take a sleigh ride
Whee! The ride’s on me.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin’ down
Bringing joy to ev’ry girl and boy
Suzy’s come to town.

If you want to make a snowman
I’ll help you make it, one, two, three
If you want to take a sleigh ride
Whee! The ride’s on me.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin’ down
Bringing joy to ev’ry girl and boy
Suzy’s come to town.

*”Suzy Snowflake Lyrics.” Lyrics.net.
STANDS4 LLC, 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
http://www.lyrics.net/lyric/3592509

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Many Days a Week to Exercise? Less May be More

How Many Days a Week to Exercise? Less May be More

Having energy to play with children is absolutely exhilerating and keeps us young at heart.

Having energy to play with children is absolutely exhilerating and keeps us young at heart.

 

          If you’re talking about going to the gym or a focused exercise routine, it depends.

         If you go to the gym 6 days a week and feel pressed to fit that in, you may not be doing your body any favors.

            A recent study showed that those who exercise 4 days a week burned more calories overall than those who exercised almost every day.

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Promoting Cat Health: The Middle Way

Promoting Cat Health: The Middle Way

Oh Sweetie! Looking a little perplexed for his photo op.

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This is our cat, Sweetie. We have had him since he was 4 months old. He is an old man now, but still enjoys food and company, and we enjoy him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promoting Cat Health: The Middle Way

            Our 18-year-old cat, Sweetie has been with us since he was 4 months old. He was given to us by my Course in Miracles teacher who bought him in a garage sale. He has been a natural cat. We have never had him declawed. He spent as much time outside as he did inside for most of his life. Our neighbors all know Sweetie, the large longhaired cat with the beautiful green eyes. We think he is part Main Coon. Main Coons are known for their verbal communication. When we talk to Sweetie, he seems to answer us with his meow.

            Other than for yearly vaccines, we never had to take Sweetie to the Vet because of illness until a few years ago when his health began to deteriorate.

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