|Cherry blossom trees in DC...read on...|
In these few minutes I have before I hit the hay, I wanted to spit out a little something to give me a break from reading cases and writing "therefore, the court should blah, blah, blah..."
This busy period at work is a particularly bad time to get sick. But alas, thanks to Mother Nature's crazy antics, I've either come down with a cold or the worst case of allergies I've ever had...So it got me thinking: Isn't there a better way than pumping myself full of drugs to tackle the spring cooties?
Before I get into that, I want to say how dismayed I am at the 1-2 punch that Mother Nature can deliver. On one hand, she has brought us an incredibly early and wonderfully welcome spring. Here in the Nation's Capital, that means an early appearance of our world-famous cherry blossom trees. On the other hand, the early spring can me earlier attacks of spring allergies and colds...As much as I've loved the beautiful cherry blossoms, daffodils, and other flowers, I think they're going to kill me!!
If you've never been to DC to see the cherry blossoms...Well, I'd love to encourage you to do so, but honestly, if one more tourist or tour bus hit this town, it may push me over the edge! My road rage elevates about 500% during the spring tourist season around here. So for now, allow a few of my pictures to satisfy any curiosity you may have about our cherry blossom trees....
On Wednesday, I biked to and from work, and did a loop around an area called Hains Point (for a total of about 20 miles for the day). Hains Point is a little peninsula that's bordered by the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. It's a great place for runners and cyclists to train because a loop around the Point is somewhere between three to four miles.
It's also a nice place to train because it has amazing waterfront views and, during the spring, an abundance of blooming cherry blossom trees. So after work on Wednesday, I took a loop around Hains Point on the way home on my bike to see the cherry blossoms, which are in full peak bloom:
|View looking up Hains Point lined with cherry blossom trees...|
The pictures don't really do it justice...
So my ride was awesome - I even ran into some friends I hadn't seen in awhile (including Katie in her cute little running skirt). I got home, headed to the pool for a quick swim, then settled in to work on my brief for awhile...
|Looking across the water...|
|Hmmmm...well at least the flowers are pretty...|
And of course I had to attempt the self-photography...
And two more....
|Doh! Can you find me???|
|Peek, there I am!! |
I was feeling good about my productive day frolicking with Mother Nature. But as the nite wore on, I started to feel like crap. My nose was running like there was a faucet in my face and I literally was sneezing every couple minutes. I figured it was the pool where I go to swim (which is saltwater) because it does that to me sometimes....
Alas, when I work up this morning, I felt like ca-ca. Nose still running, sneezing constantly, ear ache, headache, and overall deflated feeling. So either Mother Nature blessed me with some wicked allergies, or I'm catching a cold. I'd hoped to go for a run today, but I barely had the energy to get off the couch.
Instead of turning to drugs, I try to nurture my self with food, liquids, and other natural remedies. So I wanted to pass along natural remedies that work for me or that are proven to help you get your energy back when Mother Nature knocks you down:
- Neti Pot: I've used a Neti Pot for years and fellow blogger Stephanie at Usually Stephanie recommended this also. If you've never tried a Neti Pot for colds, allergies, or sinus infections, I highly encourage you to give it a try. It looks like a tiny little plastic teapot into which you dump a little packet of saline mix. You put some water in the pot, mix in some saline, stir and, well...dump it in your nostrils. Get some tissue ready, bend over the sink, tilt your head to one side, gently put the end of the pot in one nostril, and tip it until the water pours into your nose. The force of gravity will actually drain it out the other side of your nose. Kinda gross, but well worth it! Once you've drained one side a bit, gently - and I mean very gently - blow your nose. You don't want to do this too hard or your ears will pop. Then repeat the process on the other side. You will be amazed at how much gunk you can get our of your nose. I do this in the morning and sometimes at night if I'm really congested. This is a proven, all-natural way to help relieve the congestion of allergies, colds, and sinusitis.
- Tea: I love tea and it's always a go-to drink when I don't feel well. Yogi tea is my favorite brand for hot tea. I love them because they have various flavors depending on your ailment, like particular types for cold season. For iced tea, I love, love, love, Honest Tea's Community Green tea. I don't like sugar in my tea, and the Community Green tea is only lightly sweetened with cane sugar and orange flavor. According to the Livestrong foundation, "herbal teas that contain natural antihistamines may reduce mild allergy symptoms. The 'Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine' lists stinging nettle, licorice root, Chinese skullcap, gingko, echinacea and cramp bark as potentially beneficial teas for treating allergies." As for colds, Livestrong recommends that herbs such as "ginger, honeysuckle, slippery elm, echinacea, goldenseal, stinging nettle, astragalus, elder, eucalyptus, boneset, and yarrow" may help stimulate your immune system to help fight off colds. Of course, try to find organic teas to make sure they're free from pesticides and, as always, you should consult a doctor before taking any herbal medications, especially if you're pregnant.
- Try to avoid dairy and sugar: If you have a cold or allergies, you may want to refrain from dairy and sugar until you get your symptoms under control. Not a problem if you're a vegan! Dairy and sugar are mucous-forming, and certainly when you're coughing up a lung or sneezing your brains out, you sure don't want anymore mucous floating around in your system!
- Eat nourishing foods: Did you know that 80% of your body's immunity is in your digestive tract? In addition to staying away from processed foods, dairy, and sugar, you'll want to eat certain foods when you're battling a cold or allergies. My favorite vegan Ironman, Brendan Brazier, recommends consuming not only the obvious fruits and veggies, but also "pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, kale, and spinach" all of which "contain excellent sources of vitamin A, which can reduce the severity and occurrence of colds." Today for lunch, I made a delicious, comfort food creation of my own. I started with a green salad, loaded with lettuce, spinach, carrots, sunflower seeds, almonds, and nutritional yeast. Then had a grilled vegetable sandwich on whole grain quinoa bread, with a spread consisting of a special blend from Brendan Brazier's Thrive Foods books of nutritional yeast, tahini, and other yummy ingredients. I felt better almost instantly just from the nourishing food. As the day went on and my food digested, I started feeling a little run down again, so time to re-fuel!
- Breathe Right Strips at night: If you want a no-drug alternative to help you breathe at night, try Breathe Right strips. Or hell, wear them during the day too if you don't care what people think! I find that these strips pull open my nasal passages so I can breathe better during the night and avoid waking up with a sore throat and stuffy nose.
Those may not be the most scientific or earth-shattering tips, but they're pretty rock-solid alternatives to drugs. They won't necessarily help you get rid of an actual virus, but they can help your immune system fight off the alien attackers that come from allergies and colds. Plus, they'll help you feel better while you're trying to fight the cooties.
I hope that Mother Nature is kind to all of you this year....
|May these beautiful spring flowers not send you running away, sneezing....|
Do you have any natural remedies that you use to fight colds and allergies?