Getting a cold or flu can be a big problem for anyone with a busy schedule, but particularly for those living off the grid.
A few sick days can set work back by a week and cause you to lose crops, eggs or other life-sustaining work. But everyone gets these at least a couple of times a year right? Wrong.
If you are living off-grid, then you already know that you don’t have to follow conventional thinking.
Prevention is the best medicine. Growing up, I was always getting sick. It seemed like all I had to do was hear someone sneeze to catch a cold. I knew I had a weak immune system but I didn’t know why – and I was eating mostly organic whole foods.
Looking back now, I know why my immune system was weak. I was under constant stress and not getting all the nutrients I needed. My diet did not have nearly enough vegetables and fruits. Today, my immune system is stronger, my life has less daily stress, and at least half of my diet consists of fresh produce. I get sick far less than I once did.
There are times, however, that we just cannot control how much stress we have in our lives. On those days, extra prevention is needed. It’s essential to stop and listen to your body. Find any moment you can to squeeze in a little extra sleep when you are feeling exhausted. Listen to what your body says it needs.
If you are craving sweet things, you may need more fruits. If you are crazing sour things, you may need vitamin C. If you desire chocolate, try getting more magnesium. Your body is trying to get what it needs to fight off the illness, deal with the added stress, or heal the damage that the extra stress has caused.
Recently, I went through a period of extreme stress due to uncontrollable circumstances. I started waking up in the morning with a sore throat and feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. Then I started having nausea and a loss of appetite. After a couple of days, I realized I was on the verge of a more significant illness. So the next day, I set aside a little time for healing. I cut a couple of things out of my schedule, made some sacrifices, and asked my husband to buy dinner so I didn’t have to make it that day. I started by sleeping in two extra hours.
Then having no appetite, I sat down and tried to think of something healthy that sounded appealing (listening to my body for what nutrients it might need). My grain-free banana bread seemed OK, and I put peanut butter on it because that also felt right (I probably needed protein). Throughout the day, I kept feeling like all I could eat was bananas. By suppertime I was actually getting my appetite back and craving beets with ginger and honey (interestingly, all three are anti-inflammatory). I ate a lot of those with a little steak and more banana. To my surprise, I felt much better the next day and went back to my usual schedule. Normally it takes at least a week of multiple symptoms and severe exhaustion for me to get over a sinus infection. But instead of getting worse, I just kept getting better and avoided the full-fledged sickness altogether.
When you feel a cold coming on, try these other tips, too:
Stay hydrated. Drink more water than normal to flush out or “rinse” your body. Soup is a great way to get protein and extra hydration.
Eat foods with high amounts of anti-oxidants like vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables are a good way to do this. This is always better and safer than taking any supplement.
Drink hot tea with lemon and honey. But don’t force yourself. Your body may be telling you that this is not the best option.
What are ways you prevent a cold when you feel it coming on? Share your tips in the section below: