When I was young, I always thought a cold was something that included a runny nose, sore throat, cough, etc., and the flu was when you had stomach distress and vomiting. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that the flu symptoms were similar to a cold – just that the flu includes a fever and usually some pretty serious body aches. Some people still refer to stomach distress as the stomach flu, I suppose. With all the COVID-19 talk these days, it’s top of mind for sure.

During last year’s flu season, our friend, who is a nurse in the Chicago area, is putting in a ton of overtime at a hospital that’s so overrun with flu patients that they couldn’t fit any more in. And this year? Well, you can imagine! Scary.

Many of our friends have had some version of the flu at different levels – from a quick, “I’ve got it, don’t feel great, better now” to “he’s been off work since before the holidays and still can’t go through the day without a nap or two”. How we’ve avoided the seasonal flu to date, I don’t know. With many in our family running around and interacting with tons of people, a husband who traveled by public transportation every day, and just normal interactions at grocery stores, etc., it was pretty amazing. I can try to credit the things we do pretty regularly to help avoid colds and flu but I can’t guarantee that if you do these things you won’t get it. I’m just sharing our “routine” in hopes that maybe you’ll find something that helps.

  1. Essential oils. Love them or hate them, our health has been probably 90% better overall since we started using Essential oils in our home. We diffuse them, put them behind our ears, take them internally (very very carefully), rub them on our feet, clean with them, and, in general, just love them.
  2. Cyclone Cider. I love this stuff. You can buy it online or at your local health food store or make your own (click here for the recipe). I like to take it straight by just shooting 2 dropper fulls back into my throat. Hubs prefers to make a mock Bloody Mary by taking a small can of V8 and adding two full droppers in and stirring (with a celery stick or just a spoon works too!). We take this the moment we start to feel any type of cold or flu symptom. It’s “spicy” – very hot especially if you take it straight, but you can almost feel it knocking out whatever ails you. Everything anyone has ever told you is healthy is in there – garlic, horseradish, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, etc. – it’s good stuff. Mind you, the store-bought stuff is not cheap, but it’s worth having it in the door of your fridge and it lasts forever. I made a large batch of homemade earlier this spring and I’m convinced it’ll last me for the rest of my life!
  3. Elderberry tincture. or Elderberry syrup. Again, you can find this online or at a local health food store or make your own (click here for recipes). This is another one that I just add a couple of droppers full to a small amount of water and chug. You could add it to juice too to make it a bit easier to take as it doesn’t taste that great. When I feel any symptoms, I try to take a shot of this a few times a day.
  4. Vitamin D with Vitamin K – a couple of drops in my OJ in the morning especially in the winter when exposure to the sunshine is at such a minimum. I get mine at Amazon.
  5. Rest. HA! Good one. But I try. When I have trouble sleeping (at my age I ALWAYS have trouble sleeping) at night, I make sure to get about a 20-30 (or more) nap in the afternoon just to make up for the lost hours. Winter is for hibernating, isn’t it?
  6. Walking: Even when it’s cold – although I admit it’s MUCH harder to get myself out there to walk in the fresh air when the temp says 3 degrees and the weather app says the wind chill is below zero. When that happens I’ll intentionally walk more IN my house and/or take several super short walks around my backyard throughout the day. Read some tips for walking here (click). They’re geared toward college students but applicable for everyone.
  7. Limit sugar: Sorry. But this is key. We should be limiting our sugar intake anyway but when you start to feel yucky cut it ALL out so your immune system isn’t compromised while it’s trying to keep you healthy
  8. Hydrogen peroxide: When I’m out and about and potentially around viruses that are flying around me, I’ll swab my nostrils and ears with hydrogen peroxide when I get home. It’s pretty simple; just dip both sides of 2 q-tips into hydrogen peroxide. With one, swab each nostril (each nostril gets its own side of the swab) and each ear (again, one side each).
  9. Lymph drainage: I found this video online the other day and am amazed at how quickly I can feel this working. I don’t understand why it works and it may be a bunch of nutty health talk but I like it anyway, so I’m putting it here:
  10. So that’s it. It may seem like a lot of work but really even if you do it ALL, it’s a minimal time investment and worth it. Here’s to your health!
  11. One more thing: Bone Broth! This stuff is the bomb and SO good and soothing! Make your own in the crockpot (click here for recipe) or buy small cartons that you can just keep in the cupboard. Yum!

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links to make it easy for my readers to find the products I recommend. If by some chance you actually click through and then immediately purchase one of the items, I get a teeny tiny reward from Amazon for referring you to them. You help me keep my blog going and I help you find great stuff.

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