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Sick Season

Oh, it’s that time of year again. Sick season! 

It starts to get cold outside. Everyone in the office or at school is suddenly coughing. Some losing their voices. The person sitting next to you has a stock pile of dirty tissues. You think to yourself, “Yup, it’s that time of year. I’m gonna get sick.”

Well frankly rather than call this sick season, I would prefer to call it, “It’s getting cold, unhealthy, forget-to-take-care-of-yourself season.”

I know, we all think that it’s just inevitable. All we can do is wash our hands as much as possible and stay away from the sick people.

Or is it?

Hardly. Colds and flus can be prevented by simply amping up your immune system.  When it gets cold, your body’s immune system is automatically working harder simply to keep your body temperature up. Then to add to that, we have holiday season. This is why I call it the unhealthy, forget-to-take-care-of-yourself season.  You’re eating rich meaty, cheesy foods, followed up by holiday cookies and other desserts. You’re just over-eating in general. Everyone has candy on their desk. You’re drinking more coffee and hot chocolate but less water. Your partying with friends, family, and coworkers. Staying up late, waking up early. The holiday season is everything that will suppress your immune system.

Before you reach for the Meds

Remember your body is a freakin’ genius! You are the dumb one wrecking it. (Sorry but it’s true.) Think about it. If you’re sneezing and have a runny nose, you’re body is obviously trying to get rid of something in your body. Same thing goes for coughing, or any other types of  “get rid of process.”  When you take medicine to stop the runny nose or suppress the cough, you are actually prolonging your sickness, because now the part of your body trying to get rid of this crap is paralyzed by the medicine and has to find some other way to “fix” you.

Now I understand, taking medicine to stop your runny nose is certainly convenient, but it isn’t fixing the problem.  So rather, we should be asking ourselves, “How can I help my body fight this crap off?” One of the first things that comes to most peoples mind is Vitamin C.  I agree one hundred percent! BUT, don’t go running for the orange juice. I said DO NOT. Orange juice has wayyy too much sugar in it. Sugar will hurt your immune system more than the little bit of Vitamin C will help. What you need is REAL FOOD packed with Vitamin C… and A… and E… and anti oxidants… and well I could go on and on with other phytochemicals, but I think you get the picture. Basically eat tons of fruits and vegetables people! (IE eat the orange not the fake sugar juice in the store.)

So I actually fell into the Holiday Season, terrible habits, forget to be healthy and take care of yourself trap, and I started getting sick.  While I hate admitting this, lucky for you I can share with you what I did to beat that crap in 24 hours.

1. Plain hot water. No honey, no lemon, no tea, jut plain hot water. This sounds so weird, I know. I learned this from John Douillard. It’s an ayurvedic practice.  I could try to explain it, but its difficult. Just trust me and John Douillard here. Sip plain hot water as often as possible throughout the day.

2. Fresh Juice.  I found everything in my kitchen that was orange, yellow or just really good for me and loaded it into my juicer.  I used, 3 handfuls of kale pieces, 2 oranges, 3 carrots, 1 apple, 1/3 of a sweet potato. Then squeeze a lemon wedge into the juice.  I drank 2 large glasses of this. One for breakfast. One for dinner. And oh yea, it’s delish!

3. Sweet Potato Pablano Soup.  This is Dr.Andrew Weil’s recipe and oh my was it good. I scarfed like 4 bowls down for dinner. It was like my body couldn’t get enough! Get the recipe here.

Be Healthy, be sick-free, be happy, and be hot this holiday season!

Merry Christmas from me and these guys!

Don’t forget to share with me!

What do you do when you get sick?

Do you have any home remedies you swear by?

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Vegan on the Go

I grew up in an Indiana town. (Sung with Tom Petty’s Mary Jane’s Last Dance) 🙂 Sometimes I get so frustrated living in the Midwest because being vegetarian can be challenging, but being vegan is like being an alien.  If you’re from the Midwest you know what I’m talking about. If not, I envy you. 

These last 13 days being vegan has really made me appreciate the “diet” the way I used to.  I’ve been asking myself why I fell off the vegan bandwagon in the first place.  All I hear back is all the excuses I used to make. “I’m not home enough.” “It’s just too hard when I’m working” “If my friends would stop eating cheese I wouldn’t have this problem” “My family puts cheese in everything” etc. etc.

Well you know what? I’m over those days. I’ve been hanging out with my friends more these last 2 weeks than I ever have in the last 4 years.  Being with friends means going out to eat more. Now I’m a huge believer in home-cooked meals and would never complain if someone banded me from eating out ever again, but this is real life. We have friends; we socialize; we entertain; we…. eat out!

Vegan Friendly Dining

1. Panera Bread.  Cliche maybe, but there are 3 things that are vegan straight from the menu.  Pesto veggie soup, black bean soup, and the classic cafe salad. I’m sure you can have your way with any of the salads and a few of the sandwiches too.

2. Red Robin. Shhh don’t tell. But seriously every now and then I get a craving for those big fat burgers! Not the ones with actual meat, but just a big messy burger-esque sandwich.  Red Robin has vegan burgers that you can sub on any of their burger options. I asked for them to special make mine, ya know sauteed onions but not in butter… and they were totally cool! They also have one called, keep it simple, and it’s all vegan.

3. Taco Bell/Mexican. Yes my dear friends dragged me to taco bell. Not something I like to admit, but I was thinking about it and I think it’s really important for new vegetarians/vegans to know that it is out there. Taco Bell you can get a bean burrito fresco with no cheese. It’s pretty good for $.99.  And almost any mexican restaurant you can get veggie fajitas with salsa and guacamole and be the happiest little vegan ever!  Do be careful ordering refried beans or rice.  The refried beans are often cooked with lard. And the rice is often made with a chicken stock. Just ask to be sure. (The ones at taco bell are lard free believe it or not.)

4. Italian Restaurants. Pick your pasta. Add your marinara or red sauce or sometimes a white wine sauce. Load in the veggies.  Skip the cheese. Easy.  🙂

Don’t be a clammed up vegan. Get out there. Eat and be merry.

What are you’re favorite vegan meals out?

As a little bonus, I want to give you an update on my challenge.  First, I’m still a little salad challenged. Second, I have a new favorite smoothie. I call it blueberry pomagranite slam. Third, I’ve lost 2 pounds being vegan! I’m 5 foot and 112 pounds. It’s a big deal. And I feel great! Fourth, I LOVE hula-hooping. I’m spreading the trend everywhere I go. Check it out.