Depression, from my experience.

So many words that are taboo. These also happen to be some of my favorites. We must have the hard conversations in order to develop as humans. We must stand up and say, #metoo.

SUICIDE

Been there, tried that. Dangling on the edge of life and death, testing the fates, was a hobby of mine you could say. I remember as a child placing myself in dangerous situations, and asking if it was my time yet. I was an “adrenaline junkie”; a “book worm”; a “napper”; and a “picky eater”. College. My twenties. Since then I have learned tools. I built a lifestyle of survival. I built a lifestyle around keeping the drops at bay. I know my early warning signs. I have tools to walk myself out of it.

I no longer consider suicide. I no longer hold myself at deaths door. I still occasional knock, and beg to be taken. I see the beauty in death. I don’t fear it. Also, it is no longer a hobby to pursue. Ultimately I have been largely in secret of my attempts. Never had the heart to make the messy attempts. Never wanted a loved one to have to do the clean up.

The closest calls for me look more like hanging from a tree branch at the grand canyon waiting for my grip to fail. That time I was rescued by a squirrel that sat with me. So much love and simplicity in it’s eyes. That squirrel helped me to see how silly my drama was. I have taken medications that I knew would bring the deep sleep, but alas the body had a stronger survival instinct than I. Waking up in your own vomit, is another great way to acknowledge the silly drama within for what it is. Life really isn’t that bad is it? Why can’t I hack it? What is wrong with me. So we get up off the floor, shower, drink more coffee. Add whiskey. Go to work.

I dangled off of the edge of a boat at sea. At night out there you could slip away, and crew would not notice until morning. By then you would be miles away, and already asleep. My first nervous break down with a panic attack was in 5th grade. I don’t mean to provoke, shock or whatever. These are just some of my stories.

Depression for me has a language that is not about sadness. It is not something I would even call being down, or sad. If anything it is more about an emotional intensity that grows into a physically painful state of exhaustion. It is an intensity of despair that takes hold. It takes so much strength to simply hold on, that the physical body becomes almost paralyzed. The body becomes numb. Inside the mind screams “get up”, “you need to eat”, “you need to keep going”, “what if someone sees you like this”, “you are going to loose your job again”. The heart constricts to the point where the muscles become actually sore to the touch. I can feel my bones. A quiet voice begs, I just don’t want to feel anymore. the dam breaks, tear flow and the body shakes. These are the good times, because 8 hours of dreamless sleep usually follows. When the dam is finally able to break. Some peace usually follows, but not always.

I have never been in a car accident. I have never broken a bone. I have had serious dental issues that hurt like hell. I have lost two pregnancies, and that felt like my body was literally being ripped in half. The pain in the states of depression, periods of which a professional may call catatonic, is the most intense lasting pain I have ever experienced. This is a type pain where the only real option is to ride it out. Next time you hope to avoid sliding back in there in the first place. Time is the primary medicine.

Knowing your patterns and prevention is key.

In 2008 I met a wonderful soul, Joey Pantalino. At the time he was starting a campaign called “Stop the Stigma”. He was speaking at high schools talking about how it is okay to see a therapist. Talking about how it was OK to go on medication. Getting help is not weak. It is strong. Those that struggle with depression are the strongest people I know. He lived near by, he saw me, and began to check on me with out my realizing his insight and care. He never bought anything. Would just come in, chat at a furious pace, coffee in hand. Always gave me a hug. Always shifted my mood.

I was a shop girl in a fantastically retro boutique. Spent a lot of time by myself, obsessively rearranging the displays, driving the owner crazy. I rearranged the place in nearly every shift. I would wear the party dresses while I worked. One such day, I was wearing a fabulously bedazzled gold disco frock, and shoes that were way to big. I was staring at the hats, debating feathers or felt. I was staring in space really. Just trying to stay busy. If I stopped moving I could break. I wasn’t high enough to be numb that day. He came in and announced that he was bi-polar. He asked me if I had help. He encouraged me to check out medication. Hugged me and left.

The owner was a pharmaceutical rep. When I saw her later, I asked what she knew. At the time, I had a life coach, and had already found yoga. The power of nutrition and food had already been a major part of my healing up to that point. The periods of despair were less frequent. By less frequent, I mean general lack of vitality all of the time, but crashes were down to once every few months. At times in my life it had been weekly.  My life coach, Joey, the shop owner, and my partner at the time supported me and truly did most of the work to get me to my first psycho-pharmacologist appointment. I had an anxiety attack on the subway and got lost on the way. I was ready to check in. I just wanted a bed, and nurses to fix me, in a building where I had no more of this life stuff to participate in. I wanted out.

Generalized anxiety disorder. Labels felt good. Felt like we could have a plan.

He said I had very common progression of psychosis for people that have lived with PTSD for decades. He put me on Lexapro. I then proceeded to go through the most bizarre exorcism like “adjustment period”, as the meds took hold. It felt as if layers in me were battling for control. My skin felt like a container to some sort of mythical battle of wills. Parts of me became numb for the first time in my life. I could feel the spasms ricochet through my nervous system. These were called lightening storms. After a while… the sun came out.

Lexapro saved my life. I felt a range of positive emotions to their fullest. I had energy. I could think and colors seemed brighter. I felt alive, almost as if for the first time. Being on a medication, allowed me to start putting into practice the tools that my life coach had been teaching me. Before that it was impossible. It has been a very long journey.

I have created a lifestyle that keeps my head above the water. It does not mean that i still go there, but I have be thriving in my own way, medication free since 2010. The one medication worked, but until I had the tools, my doctor started stacking medications on me. Piles of prescriptions. I knew that wasn’t the way. My homeostasis was reset.

Western medicine got me to a point in my healing. I would not be here without it. To truly heal, I had to leave the system and explore through my own. I read all the books tried all of the things. This is my life study.

Mental disease is not just in your head. It is physical too. There is nothing that can be discounted. All things contribute to create your life in this moment. All of the details must be addressed. Every case is unique. Every case needs a team of support. At the end of the day, only you can walk yourself out of it.

I could write a thousand more pages about my healing process, what I have done to get to where I am now. But truly I write this article on the morning of the suicide of one of my beloved heroes, Anthony Bourdain. I write this because we need to talk about the hard things. I write this to tell you, I am here for you.

Hold on. White knuckle grip your way out. Find a friend that will hold space for you and let you have the same conversations over and over again. Let yourself break. I find the bathtub to be a wonder place.

My tools… meditation, yoga asana, a spiritual practice. Clean whole food eating, low carb, high fats. Fermented food, probiotics, bare feet in the dirt. A routine. A sleep schedule. FAITH, Friends, and free time. Play. Acceptance. Service to others.

There are no universal rules or how to’s that work for everyone. YET, alcohol always makes it worse long term. Sugar always makes it worse. Top allergens that trigger psychological response are foods with long chain proteins. Egg protein found in the whites; Cow’s milk protein casein & whey; and wheat proteins gluten, gliadin and zonulin are known and scientifically proven triggers to mental dis-ease.

I walked my self out. Now I help others to walk out of their discomforts. This is the foundation of Pickling Salt.

Email for more information, or support. picklingsalt@gmail.com

https://stopthestigma.org/

 

 

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Aquarius New Moon 2 – 2018

So this is one of my many interests, and lately has become a lot of my conversations within my inner circle. Later in the summer I will be studying vedic astrology, but as of now I am just a hobbyist. So warning, incoming random planetary influence posts intermingled with your nutrition, yoga, and whatever other mess I like to shout about on this modern soap box, hear ye, hear ye..

This can be a fun week, or an emo disaster. Venus is kicking it in fantasy land with Pisces. Play within that space, but do not assume that your partner knows what is going on in your head. State clearly what it is that you want, and then expect nothing. Fall into romance in the moment with whatever comes.

Today is Maha Shivarati ! Home asana practice tunes this week are all about Shiva. Om Namah Shivaya. I bring into me trust that I am OM with the universe, and bow down to allow the powers of change to come into my life. With that I understand, that in order to create, first we must destroy. I trust that which no longer serves will make itself known. I trust that I indeed have the strength to allow those things to be destroyed, and removed from my life. All that stays, I accept that it is there for my continued learning and ultimate creation.

All of this arrives upon super high Aquarius energy. The Chinese New Year, South Pole Solar Eclipse, and Maha Shivarati are sliding into our vibration with wild winds. Look out for some dust getting kicked up as Jupiter fires up the revolution coming out of this transit. Thankfully there are enough planets in Aquarius to help us detach emotionally and see things from a cooler perspective. Don’t fight it my lovelies. LOOK. Look at was is getting kicked up in the dust. I dare you to stand witness to your life as if you were a third party. See how it settles in the next few days. Then it is your choice to clean it up, or wallow like a pig in mud by the time the rains of Pisces start to fall.

Stand witness.

Then walk forward with grace.

 

Kitchari Recipe

Digestive reset. K I T C H A R I

IMG_20171203_133658_692


Nutritious, tasty, easily digested, blend of lentils and grain. Typically Mung dhal, and basmati rice.


1) Rinse & soak beans or lentils with seaweed and bay if using. I like to let mine soak overnight, or while I am prepping everything else, dancing to music, and general horsing around. Rinse rice separately.
2) Measure and prep all ingredients. Once you get going everything gets added in really fast, if you still have chopping and measuring to do the spices may burn.

⁃ Measure all seeds, and put in a small dish together.
⁃ Mince all fresh spices/herbs and put those in a small dish together
⁃ Measure all spices that you are using in powdered form, and add those together.
⁃ Measure and set aside everything else to make 20171203_132128your Kitchari your own.
3) Warm oil or ghee in a large pot. I like to use my deep sided cast iron for added yummy. Once the oil is warm.. not smoking.. Add seeds and toast, stirring until fragrant 30-60 seconds.
4) Add fresh spices like ginger, garlic, or fresh turmeric if you are lucky enough to 20171203_132421have some on hand. Stir until blended with seeds and it starts to soften, become fragrant, or brighten in color. About 1 minute.
5) Add powdered spices. Stir until everything is coated and fragrant. 10-20 seconds
6) Strain and rinse lentils and rice. Add dhal, rice, dried fruit, some nuts etc. and stir until well mixed and lightly toasted.
7) Add water. Bring to a boil 5 minutes.


8) Lower to a simmer and cover. Stir occassionally. 35-40 minutes or until desired texture is reached. Be sure to make sure it does not burn to the bottom. Add water to adjust consistency. Some prefer a crunchy dhal while others prefer a soft well cooked kitchari. You will also find your desired consistency. Adjust with water for a dryer or soupier style.

9) Garnish and serve.


In India households have their own recipes, there really is no limit to how you can customize. The key is to make sure you have lots of spices, a grain, and a bean.

Mono-fasting is a great way for an otherwise healthy person to support a mild impairment to the Agni. An example of a mono-fast is to eat Kitchari for all of your meals, plus bone broths, herbal teas, and you can even add lightly steamed veggies to your dish one meal a day!

This is a great way to cleanse and rejuvenate the digestive tract after vacation, an illness, or recent food poisoning. This is especially helpful after a period of gratuitous eating such as can occur around the holidays. It is a wonderful practice to cleanse and detox a few times a year. Depending on your constitution it is good to get into the habit of fasting or cleansing around the solstices and equinoxes. Choose what is most appropriate for your body, during the appropriate seasons. A kitchari fast can be observed around both spring and autumn equinoxes, and especially around the winter solstice. It is not well advised during the summer solstice, however there are always exceptions. Ask your Ayurvedic councilor for advice on what is best for you.

One should fast just enough to stimulate Agni, burn ama, and clear the channels. Prolonged fasting is not recommended in Ayurveda and may result in damage to one’s health.


Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 10.35.35 PM

NOTES:

1 Cup Mung beans, or lentils of choice, red or yellow
2 bay leaves
1 sheet of kumbu, or seaweed of choice.

1/2 – 1 Cup grain. Basmati Rice or Quinoa

2 TBS Ghee or sunflower oil for hot pitta

Spices:
You can use seeds or half the amount in powder. OR about 1 thumbs worth fresh.

* Optional

Multi dosha? Use a blend of the two recipes! Multi-dosha household? Make it plain and personalize with your condiments!

 

Hot and Cold, the nature of Autumn

AUTUMN

&
TEMPERATURE RESILIENCE

Three months of fluctuating temperatures. Three months of energy drawing in and downward. Three months to dry out, and cool off from the summer. This period is crucial to get the dis-comforts from summer out of the body. If it is not removed and Pitta, the influence of summer, is allowed to sit elevated in the body disease then begins to develop.

How does your body handle the seasonal shift?

Do you feel relief or do your issues become worse as the fall season develops?

This time of year it is important to regulate body temperature. We want to cool down from summer, while simultaneously avoid catching a chill. This may be a challenge for some. This season is all about preparation for winter. What happens now, creates your health for the next season. Very simple things can really make a big impact on your ability to get through this winter unscathed. Personally I secretly love getting the flu. When else as an adult do we get a full week off to play video games, watch tv marathons while drooling on oneself, wearing the same stinky sweat pants for days at the sympathy of your loved ones, friends, and bosses? Sadly the healthier I get the faster I bounce back off the sofa, or never end up there in the first place. Sigh compromises for health and beauty, right.

key gunas of focus
Hot; ushna  vs  Cold; shita

It sounds really basic. Cool down if you are hot, and warm up if you are cold. Most of this holistic balanced living stuff is a little science, a little bit of wisdom, and a lot of duh. Most of our discomforts in life can be completely avoided if we simply learn to pay attention, and take action. This is the language of prevention. Even when you are already dealing with serious health issues, these basic concepts will take the pressure off of the body so that it can focus on healing the bigger issues. Our body works hard to maintain a very narrow degree of temperature. Adding in hot spicy warming foods, adds more heat to the body that it then needs to work to cool down. Vice versa eating raw salad in a cold body, takes away energy simply to warm up. You can help your body while it fights to keep you alive by eating appropriately to your current conditions. Notice the patterns, and set your life up around proactive prevention.

Such as, pack extra layers like hats, scarves, and sweaters this time of year. In fall it is best to dress like a swiss army knife, and over pack your lunches with lots of variety. Be a boy scout, and be prepared. This season is all about variability, and you want to be prepared. Even the weather man has no idea what the conditions will be during this variable Vata season. This next month pay attention to any foods that may bring a chill to your body, vs foods that increase heat. Pack a variety of foods for work or school that could cool you off or warm you up.

Easier said than done, and I am with you, and the struggle is real. HOWEVER it is the little changes that will truly add up and create long lasting change. Incremental steps are the foundations that will create endurance in the body, thus paving the way for the big heavy hitting stuff to actually penetrate the body and allow it to do it’s thing.

First focus on simple easy 1, 2, 3s for this season.. aka big impact juicy stuff that is so simple anyone can do it.

** If your temperature is varying wildly going from sweating to freezing, first contact your holistic health professional to get your HPA axis and Thyroid looked at. If you are freezing and cannot warm up, or sweating in February… call me.

Autumn is the time to let the excess Pitta, or built up heat from the summer, leave the body. While, for some the focus is more on building up heat stores for the winter. The days fluctuate from hot to cold, and our resiliency will be revealed.

Are you over heating in the afternoons and unable to cool?

Or are you freezing in the mornings or at night and unable to get warm?


Cool Down

Reduce Pitta heat:
Acclimatize: exercise outside during cool mornings and evenings, dress lightly to allow the cool wind to move across the skin.
Eat a small nutritious breakfast. Be sure not to skip.
More raw food and sweet fruit as snacks
Look at your plate: 20% raw food per meal. 40% green per meal.
Drink all beverages at room temperature.
Top meals with cilantro, or tzatziki sauce


Warm Up

Increase warmth for Vata & Kapha:
Protect all of your sensory organs. Keep with you something to protect your ears, head, chest, and neck. Wear thick socks.
Spend time outside during the warmest hours of the afternoon, getting lots of sun exposure. About 12-2. Have layers to cover up well in the late afternoons.
Breakfast should be warm porridge or brothy soups.
Drink warm beverages and cooked foods.
Cook with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom
Top meals with sesame oil.


SEASONAL FOODS

Raw cools, Cooked warms
fruit: apples, cranberries, pears, grapes, guava, kiwis, persimmons, pineapple. pomegranate

greens: Belgian Endive, Butter Lettuce, endive, spinach big leaf, pumpkin, radicchio, swiss chard,

Vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, daikon radish, jerusalem artichoke, kohlrabi, mushrooms, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips

Spice it up: ginger, garlic, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, sunflower seeds,

Add Flavor to Winter, 5 tastes

Flavor.

One of my rules, it that we shouldn’t eat anything that does not taste good. Those of you who have sat through my waxing on about the importance of chewing may have heard some of this before. The taste of our meals is a great pleasure in life. The color, texture, smell, and flavor all combine together to create a truly sensual experience.  Close your eyes the next time you bite into a favorite treat. Really give into the sensation.

Some of you may find that your favorite snacks can be a little off putting once you really sit down and pay attention to it. While other food items may blossom into favorites. I have found that when I am paying attention, the horrid taste of food colorings, metals, cleaners, and pesticides become unmistakable. At the tame time the sweetness of carrots, and complexity of an olive transitions into a divine moment in time.

All of this flavor is important. So important that all ancient medicines have quantified them into 5 predominant categories. Sour, Bitter, Sweet, Pungent, and Salty. You see the flavor means something. It is an indication of the nutrients that reside within. If something tastes good to you, your body wants those nutrients. If something tastes bad to you, your body does not want the contents of the food. SImple as that.

The very nature of these 5 Tastes, informs their influence.

  • Sour
    • liver and gall bladder
    • Earth and Fire
    • yin, cooling, contracting, gathering, absorbent
    • dries and firm up tissue
    • Increase Pitta/kapha, decrease vata
  • Bitter
    • heart and small intestine
    • Air and Space
    • yin, cooling, contracting
    • energy descending
    • dry excess fluids, drain dampness
    • Increase Vata, Decrease Pitta/Kapha
  • Sweet
    • Spleen-Pancreas, Stomach
    • Earth and Water
    • Yang, tonify, strengthen,
    • expands upward, and outward.
    • increase tissue and fluids
    • increase kapha, decrease vata/pitta
  • Pungent
    • lungs and large intestine
    • Fire and Air
    • Yang, expansive, warming,
    • moves energy up and out
    • stimulate digestion, and move mucus
    • increase vata/pitta, decrease kapha
  • Salty
    • kidneys and bladder
    • wood and fire
    • yin, cooling, centering
    • moves energy inward, and down.
    • softens, detoxifies
    • increase pitta/kapha, decrease vata

When we look to harmonize with the winter, we actually want to look towards flavors that cool the surface of the body, and draw our energy inward and down. We are also in general looking to reduce Kapha, and increase Pitta. Early winter most of us will be focusing on a decrease of Vata to offset any imbalance picked up over the autumn. However, be careful not to push the see-saw too hard if you life in a home with dry heat. Vata can then take over your mucus membranes leaving your lips chapped, throat dry, and nose sore.

Let us take a brief look at the different flavors and the winter season.

Classically Bitter and Salty are promoted in the winter because these flavors provide a sinking,  and centering quality. Both of these flavors also cool the exterior of the body, and bring our heat deeper and lower. A cooler surface will create a less drastic difference between the skin and the air, resulting in more comfort.

The salty flavor can be emphasized if you have a slight build and require more flesh for insulation. This taste also creates moisture, and can lubricate a body that tends towards dryness.  In winter most people can tolerate a little more salty flavor in the diet. NOTE that we are not talking about salt itself, but more the flavor and taste of saltiness, and should be used with caution by the excessive, over weight, lethargic, person with high blood pressure. Examples include barley, soy sauce, miso, pickles, and sea salt. Seaweed is an exception to the rule and can be used by everyone, especially those with the conditions previously listed.

The bitter flavor is very strong and can have an influence by adding it into the diet in even the smallest amounts.Small regular amounts in the winter will nurture the body deeply, and preserve joy in the heart through out the darkest of winters. Some foods with the bitter flavor include watercress, endive, turnips, celery, asparagus, carrot tops, citrus zest, and cabbage. Most medicinal herbs are bitter, and a display of this flavor’s healing potency. Unlike the salty flavor, bitter has an influence on reducing heat in the heart and liver, clears mucoid plaque, and lowers blood pressure.

I also like to include the Pungent Flavor into my diet in the winter. Pungency has a tendency to increase the digestive fire, and stimulate movement. This stimulation when taken in the morning or at lunch can help relieve the tendency towards stagnation. Plus just enough spicy heat added to a dish can warm the body significantly. Taken in larger amount pungent foods will cool the blood by pulling your inner heat up and out. Just enough will warm cold hands, feet, and nose in winter. My favorite winter pungent tastes include an inch or two of ginger added during cooking, or to offset cooling effects of a green smoothie. And a pinch of cayenne topping every dish. Garlic is another favorite winter pungent taste.  Add minced garlic to the end of cooking to boos the immune system, and as a preventative anti-viral while the flu makes its rounds at work. r

In summation this winter experiment with the Salty, Bitter, and Pungent flavors. Find your favorites and take back your health.

Pungent = for the Cold and Damp, ^PV

Salty = for the Cold and Dry, ^PK

Bitter = for the stagnant, ^V

The power of Choice. 5th chakra power

I have been thinking a lot lately about the 5th chakra as a bridge between the heart and the mind. It is interesting how our neck even resembles the structure of a bridge between the torso and the head. I went back and read the excerpts from the 5th chakra workshop I held last month, and had some new insights about navigating my own struggle in making choices.

“Our mental energy powers the external world, while our heart energy powers our personal domains. For centuries our western culture has thought that emotional energy weakens our ability to make quick and necessary decisions, and that mental energy is virtually useless in the emotional domain…

If mind and heart are not communicating clearly with each other, one will dominate the other. When our minds are in the lead, we suffer emotionally because we turn emotional data into an enemy. We seek to control all situations and relationships and maintain authority over emotions. When our hearts are in the lead, we tend to maintain the illusions that all is well. Whether the mind is in the lead or the heart, the will is motivated by fear and a futile goal of control.

This imbalance of head and heart turns people into addicts.  From a control and energy stand point, any behavior motivated by the fear of internal growth qualifies as an addiction.” Any behavior that we use to hold ourselves back, to hold ourselves down, to slow down change and growth. With that definition I can say that I have even used books as an addiction, to procrastinate, and let time lapse in hopes that time will pass and make the choice for me. She goes on to say, “Any behavior that is usually healthy, even exercise or meditation, can be an addiction if it is used to avoid pain, or hide from personal insight. Any discipline can become a willful block between our conscious and unconscious minds, saying, “I want guidance, but don’t give me any bad news.” We even try to direct the very guidance we are seeking. Our lives end up in a seemingly endless cycle of mentally wanting change but emotionally fearing change at every turn.

The only way to break through this pattern is to make choices. Make choices engaged in the united power of the mind and the heart.”

It may not seem like it sometimes, but there are always many choices. If we combine the chakra theory above, and add in the Chinese concept of yin and yang, there are always 4 choices.

  1. Yin of the Heart
    1. This choice is one of self of love, selfishness, sometimes even lust or desire.
  2. Yang of the Heart
    1. This option is one of love for those close to us. The doing for someone else.
  3. Yin of the Mind
    1. This choice addresses the inner workings of the mind, morals, and conceptual ideals.
  4. Yang of the Mind
    1. This option revolves around external schematics, strategy, and feasibility.

These are very simplistic outlines.

“It is easy to keep oneself in a holding pattern, claiming that one does not know what to do next. But that is rarely true. When we are in a holding pattern, it is because we know exactly what we should do next, but we are terrified to act on it. Breaking through the repetition of cycles in our lives only requires one strong choice that is aimed at tomorrow, and not yesterday.

Yes it is frightening to leave the familiar contents of one’s life, even though one’s life is often desperately sad. Change is frightening, just ask the 1rst and 2nd chakras. Waiting for the feeling of safety to come along before one makes a move only results in more internal torment because the only way to acquire that feeling of security is to enter the whirlwind of change and come out the other end feeling more alive than ever before.”

There is also a 5th choice. That choice lies right in the middle. It contains some heart, some mind, detachment from the outcome, and faith that you will survive. This choice is the Middle Path. The path of least resistance. The path of sustainable growth. The growing edge. Balance. Vishuddha.

 

This post is inspired by and adapted from the writings of Caroline Myss PH.D.

Colds vs Flus ~ What is Ailing You?

Cold and Flu season started early for me this year. It truly kicks off when all of the kids go back to school, and all the germs get passed around like trading cards.

First we need to identify what we are dealing with. Mostly these colds start with a virus (some sort of “itis”). Then if things are slow moving, a secondary infection which is bacterial can develop. The Common Cold and the Influenza have similar symptoms but should be treated differently for faster results.

sick-in-bed-painting

STEP 1: put a name on it.

COLDS comes on slow; dominating symptoms are in the chest, neck, and head

  • with a cold, you will be able to get away with going about your regular day with some rest in between. Eat regularly, adding in pineapple, chicken broth, mushrooms. Remove coffee, cheese, milk, pork, eggs, and nuts.

FLUS hit fast and hard; It will dominate your whole body, with tender muscles, and fever 

  • for a flu I clear my schedule and go to bed. Get hot showers and bundle yourself up, drink lots of warm beverages to induce sweating. Your body will create a fever to help cook the virus out. You can assist in the process by inducing a good sweat. If you wake up wet, get another hot shower and change into dry clothes, drink more hot beverages, and bundle back up. If your face is flushed and you feel too hot, then eat some pineapple to cool off.

Bacterial Infection: Hit some all natural antibiotics. Try doubling your probiotic dosage, or add in echinachea (purchase flower, stem, and root ingredients), Blow your nose, spit out stuff, keep the mucus moving.

There will probably be a lot more symptoms unique to you, or one thing really impacting quality of life. I usually get stomach aches from all of the mucus running down my throat into the digestive tract. The key is to pin point the dominating factors. It is easy to figure out what you have, just by paying attention.

If you you are chronically catching a cold or the flu, then it is time for some serious action. This means your immune system is either not supported and worn out, or that it is working very hard on an underlying disease. If this is you, consult a professional.

Sinusitis, Bronchitis, Laryngitis, Rhino-Virus, Pharyngitis, -itis named by the location the virus has made it’s home.

STEP 2: Rest

Step 3: Kill it.

  • Bromelian:
    • The magic of chicken broth. Find the highest quality chicken broth in the store, and drink up. OR find a person that loves you to make some homemade broth from the carcass of a roasted chicken. Here is an article that I wrote about making Turkey Broth from your leftover thanksgiving bird:
    • PINEAPPLE! Bromelain is also in pineapple, If you are hot, or have a cough this stuff is amazing. Plus it is full of Vitamin C, and virus assassin.
    • Dr. Axe has a good article about Bromelain. https://draxe.com/6-unbelievable-health-benefits-bromelain/
  • Vitamin C
    • This vitamin penetrates the cell walls of viruses and neutralizes their ability to replicate. Thus the population can no longer reproduce and the illness ceases when those cells die.
    • Eat foods high in Vitamin C. Here is a comprehensive list of foods in order from high to low. http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-009101000000000000000-w.html
    • Rose hip tea is also very high in vitamin C.
  • Mushrooms:
    • These guys are truly powerful medicine. Turkey Tail mushrooms show up in every single traditional healing book I open. Now I am seeing how truly powerful Shiitakes are. I prefer to buy the dried mushrooms, as they store much longer. Then when I whip up a stir fry, I freeze the soaking liquid. This then gets added to my chicken broth during my sick days. Last year I caught I terrible flu, and was only in bed for 1 day. Fully recovered in 2 days. Everyone around me was out on average for a full week and a half. Seriously. Mushrooms.
  • Anti-Viral, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial  Herbs to add to your broth or tea
    • Star Anise, fenugreek, sage, thyme, honey, licorice root,
  • Diffuse essential oils and/or rub those swollen lymphs. Create a blend of these.
    • Eucalyptus, Thyme, Lemon, Pine,

 

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