I always find it difficult when the seasons change to maintain my good health. It’s as if my body knows the minute the weather is getting warmer that it decides that it needs to remind me of the last vestiges of winter with one major cold. As I know I’m not alone, I thought I would share with you my go-to tips that help me recover quickly and me back in working order. Loaded with soft tissues, orange juice and my remote I give you my change of season cold survival guide.
Water, specifically lemon water: I drink about half of my weight in fluid ounces daily. Not only is water great for keeping you hydrated but it also flushes out all the toxins that are floating around your body. Drinking lemon water has added bonuses of alkalizing your body and aiding with digestion and supporting weight loss.
Tea: is an important ally in your battle of the bug. The things you want to look for in your blend are licorice root, mint, chamomile, bergamot root and antioxidant-rich green teas. Beverage of this nature is great for detoxifying the body while also boosting your immune health. In particular I tend to lean on the following teas to battle my colds:
Mighty Leaf Organic Detox Infusion: This tea is full of herbaceous goodness with notes of basil and mint. It also is a very earthy tea and is great if you are not a sweet-tooth kind of a person.
Flying Botanicals Cold Comfort: Notes of peppermint, lemon balm and rose hips make for a robust, slightly citrus and floral tea that is great during the colder months or to ward off any pending sniffles.
Tea Pigs Liquorice and Peppermint: This tea is like a dessert and a sore throat mender all in one. I can drink this hot or cooled off on ice. It is naturally sweet with mint and licorice root and always puts me into good spirits.
Body, Muscle & Joint Bath Soaks: I am firm believer in the restorative properties of bathes. It’s a great opportunity to just relax, clear your sinuses, enjoy a bubble or two and relieve your sore and achy muscles and joints. My go-to these days range from the drug-store variety to high-street products. In addition, I always find that my skin is perpetually dry any time I am feeling under the weather. Because skin is our largest organ we need to definitely treat it with some TLC. I like to use light-weight hydrating oils and overnight-masks for my face, neck and cuticles, for my body I like thick creams or body conditioners with lavender or rose notes and long-lasting balms that I can slather on my cupids bow, lips and elbows.
Yoga for healing & wellness: Stretching your achy and sore body is a great way to flush the toxins out of your system. I know the idea of making it to your local studio seems ridiculous when you are sick, but never fear, no need to go out of doors. Yoga with Adrienne has a plethora of videos targeting a variety of muscle groups, poses and practices. She even has a few dedicated to detoxing and healing the body and is perfect to help you to start feeling like your normal self.
Chicken Soup: I have always been a firm believer in the restorative nature of chicken soup. Here is my go-to recipe that requires little attention, is full of pantry staples and packs serious flavor punch. The recipe below creates a light and lemony broth that is both curative and comforting. I like to serve mine with some crusty bread and a few dashes of hot sauce. Enjoy!
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups mixed dark leafy greens (pictured above are chard & kale)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 whole onion diced
1/2 cup egg noodles
2 cups carrots & celery
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
salt & pepper to taste
Start by heating your olive oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or stock pot. Meanwhile, sprinkle salt & pepper on both sides of each piece of chicken. When the olive oil becomes shiny (about 2 minutes) add the chicken breast to the pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook until browned on both sides (about 3-5 minutes per side). When the chicken has browned, remove from pot and set aside.
Next you will add the onion, carrots and celery to your pot and cook them until softened, stirring occasionally. Once softened, add the garlic, lemon zest, thyme leaves and lemon juice to your pot and stir. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot and cook your vegetables and aromatics until the lemon juice has reduced by half. Then add the chicken back into the pot along with your stock. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes or so, remove the chicken from the pot, place on cutting board or bowl and shred using two forks. You can also roughly chop the chicken into 1 inch cubes.
Meanwhile, drop the egg noodles into the pot of soup and let it cook in the broth for about 12 minutes or until tender. After the noodles are cooked through, take your shredded or chopped chicken and add it back to the simmering liquid. At this point check the soup for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Before serving, add the greens to the soup, cover and let them cook for about 5-10 minutes. Once wilted, serve the soup immediately with a side of crusty bread and a few dashes of hot sauce.
As much as being under the weather can bring you the blues, I say use the time to self-soothe and be kind to yourself. Hang out in your favorite PJs, watch all the bad TV you can absorb, relax and heal!