7 Ways to Fight Off a Cold

Well, I missed my regular Monday post over here because on Sunday night my little one woke up with a fever and a very stuffy nose. We spent most of the day yesterday on the sofa, trying to rest (in between me jumping up to cook chicken stock!) and trying to build up our immune systems.

As soon as I figured out that she was coming down with a cold, I started pulling out all the stops to try to ensure that I didn’t get it—or, at least that I get it as lightly as possible. So far so good! I’ve got a slightly stuffy nose, but nothing more.

Need to fight the “Booger Man?” Here are 7 ways to fight off a cold:

  1. Take your vitamins and supplements.  As soon as I got the baby back to sleep on Sunday night, I went into the bathroom and pulled out all our cold-fighting vitamins and supplements: vitamin C, vitamin B complex, zinc, and echinacea are our go-tos.  My husband tends to take a mega-dose of all of these, but there’s really no need; whatever your body can’t absorb gets excreted in your urine, so just take the recommended dose on the bottle.
  2. Drink your water. Water flushes out your system and keeps you hydrated while you’re sick.  It’s extremely important to drink plenty of water so your body can work at peak performance to fight off the cold.
  3. Eat raw garlic. This one is tough—even for adults!  But raw garlic is a powerful immune booster that helps stimulate the production of white blood cells and antibodies.  For breakfast yesterday, I scrambled an egg with some Swiss chard and topped it at the last second with minced raw garlic.  Still a challenge to get down, but I believe it’s helped!  I didn’t try to give the baby raw garlic (imagine the wailing!), but I did fix her some pasta with VERY garlicky red sauce for dinner, and she gobbled it down.
  4. Drink an immunity smoothie.  I discovered a recipe for an immunity smoothie on Dr. Sears’ website.  I made it yesterday, and if nothing else, it’s pretty darned tasty!  But you’ve got to think it’s pretty healthy, too, with all those good foods in it.  I have found this is especially good when kiddos don’t really want to eat while they’re sick.
  5. Spice up your life. Other foods that fight colds are ginger and spicy peppers.  If you can stand it, work those kinds of foods into your meals whenever possible.  I put raw ginger in my portion of the immunity smoothie and had a bunch of jalapeños with my dinner.  Whew!
  6. Drink chicken broth.  It’s an old wives’ tale for a reason: chicken stock or broth has lots of good stuff in it, especially for babies who don’t want to eat when they’re sick.  I make chicken stock based on Alton Brown’s recipe and instructions. Can’t go wrong with that.  And you can put broth in a bottle or sippy cup even for a kiddo who doesn’t feel like eating.  If you don’t make your own, buy the best you can find, but even bouillon made from a cube can help replace lost electrolytes in a kid who is dehydrated.
  7. Rest.  It’s so hard as a mom to take this advice—especially when you aren’t fully “sick” yet.  But it really is important to try to give your body the time and space it needs to fight infection.  Plus, I realized as I was lying on the sofa yesterday with my baby girl curled up asleep against my chest, there are only so many days we will be able to do this, only so long that she will fit so perfectly in the curve of my arm, only so long that she will accept my ministrations and embraces in this way.  It has to be healing just to accept that and enjoy those moments of love.

In that spirit, I’m signing off!  Got to go rest up with my baby so that we can fight this infection and be ready to face the rest of the week.

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