I know we hardly EVER get sick because we're SO healthy, but here are some tips for that rare occasion when careless holiday eating, stress, and/or the blues make you crash...
Weird phenomenon: when you are struck down with a cold, you often forget to do even the most obvious things to help yourself (<-- hey, that's the name of my upcoming kids' cookbook, pun intended!), am I right? Sometimes you need a reminder.
Here are my natural home remedy practices to help you kick the common cold and kickstart your immune response as quickly as possible (good for preventative care, too!)—cycle through these throughout the day:
• OPT FOR OREGANO OIL: This stuff is powerful and good to have around to use preventatively. In the midst of a cold, take 1-2 drops at a time a few times a day. You'll feel the burn, and it feels right—like germs are getting killed on contact. Get it at any health food store.
• SWISH SEA SALT: For sore throats, stir enough salt into some warm water to make it quite salty. Gargle, spit, repeat. You can also drink some salt water if you're feeling wheezy—asthmatic friends report it helps right away.
• GET NETI: At first I denied that this neti pot (or any kind shaped like a tiny tea pot) was special, but it really does make nasal rinsing so gentle and not horrible like other squeeze-bottle ones I've had. I add 8 oz of water to a pot, heat for just a few seconds to a gently lukewarm level, and stir in one NeilMed packet (PH-balanced, USP-grade sodium chloride) so your salt is always safe and properly proportioned to the water. The neti pot holds 4 oz, so you have at least two "doses" ready for the day. You'll be shocked by what will rinse loose from your sinuses when you're sick. WOW. If you've never nettied, watch a demo.
• STEAM STATION: For sore throats, coughs, and stuffy noses, set this up once and do it throughout the day as needed. Boil water in a pot with either A) lemon wedges and their juice, which are antibacterial or B) a few drops of peppermint and/or eucalyptus essential oils (these really help congestion immediately—alternatively, rub on your hands then hold them to your face). When the water is nice and bubbly, put a towel over your head like a hoodie, stand over the pot, and waft the steam toward you, taking deep breaths through nose and mouth. NOTE: if you're treating a child, pour the hot water into a bowl and set it on a table to be safer. Added benefit: your skin will look lovely, dewy, and rosy.
• POUND PROBIOTICS: Take a therapeutic dose every day, maybe even twice if it feels right. My favorite: Natren MegaDophilus Dairy-Free powder (mild taste, I like it better than swallowing capsules, easier to mete out your doses, too). My opinion: probiotics should come from the refrigerated section of your health food store only.
• LOVE THE LIQUIDS: Get some kombucha, raw juice, "breathe easy" tea, and/or mix the best Vitamin C into water and sip all day. If you feel hungry, eat high water-content foods only (raw food like citrus) and brothy soups (spicy helps the most, try a version of this gorgeous kimchee soup, ready in minutes). Skip breads, pastas, and sugar—obviously.
• MOISTURIZE YOUR MUG: Ugh, all that tissue use can make your face dry and raw and then besides feeling terrible you look terrible, nooooooo! Dampen your face with a warm washcloth, then lightly rub on a layer of your favorite botanical oil blend. I think the BEST is Living Libations Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn. Let it soak in, then gently pat dry if you need to.
To your health!
Some season favorites, things you should know, gift ideas, items on sale in my store (at the bottom!), and good news:
• I just color-proofed my upcoming book The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids, out in April 2016 (I'll remind you then!). This is the one you'll be able to give to all the children you know without causing a fight with their parents or schools. You asked, I created!
• TODAY: Racing Extinction (from the director of The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists intent on showing the world never-before-seen images that expose issues of endangered species and mass extinction. Premieres Wed. December 2nd at 9p EST on Discovery—to more than 220 countries!
• My little vegan athlete just became the Kid's Worlds Champion (look!) in no gi Jiu Jitsu in her division..against an opponent 15 pounds heavier! #veganpower
• Nom Yourself and I ate the most insane fresh jammy vegan pop tarts at this new spot. Thanks, Moby!
• Beverly Hills writes an AWESOME law for animals.
• This handsome world champ scales walls, dangles off buildings, and wants everyone to go vegan.
• J-Wro's Out of the Darkness course for healing the blues.
• It took 256 years for this company to make a vegan product, but see? Things can change! #veganpressure
• Amazing insight in this book on the government and environmentalists/animal activists.
• Decorate for the life you want (and see my kitchen featured!) in here.
• If you loved Blackfish, you'll love this even more.
• This goes in all of my smoothies. No winter colds!
• Brrr, even L.A. is cooling off! 10 vegan leather jackets.
• I love gifts like these that get used up and make the recipient feel the best ever.
• Very cute vegan message T-shirts from here.
• Do you need vegan holiday party shoes? Places that make the search easy: Zappos (filter your search for material!), GoJane (women's, all synthetics), Polyvore (search "vegan"!), Aldo and Call It Spring (both have lots of non-leather styles available), Bambi & Tramp, LC Lovechild, and Moo Shoes (100% vegan). That should do you good for a start!
• Check my store for deals on signed and doodled books, prints, and my custom pet portraits (which benefit Animal Rescue Corps through December!):
I FINALLY just watched the new documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret over the weekend...twice in two days, that's how much I loved it.
I did the artwork for the Cowspiracy T-shirts during the crowd-funding campaign and knew the doc would be a good addition to the vegan genre, but the final cut exceeded my expectations. It's truly a great accomplishment and I want to make sure you see it, even if you're a vegan veteran and not a newbie (I've studied the motives for over a decade and the film still managed to shock me with some numbers, history, and footage I've never seen).
So you know:
• Cowspiracy is NOT a violent film about animal cruelty, per se.
• It IS an exposé on the environmental movement's failure to discuss animal agriculture (FINALLY!!!).
• It's a fantastic film to watch with meat-eating friends because it's not outrightly vegan until you're already hooked by Kip Anderson's journey (he's the filmmaker) and the interviews he conducts.
• You will learn from vegan experts and leaders you should know.
• Once the vegan conclusions is reached, Kip does a great job covering frequently stated excuses.
• AMAZINGLY, the film has been made available on Netflix—SO accessible! Or via DVDs and digital downloads, too, for just a few dollars.
I promote veganism every day, but the film actually reignited me to do more, especially to influence more influencers, so I'm brainstorming ideas there. And it made me extremely proud of vegans, who I strongly feel are the only people doing any effective activism these days. I really mean that. It's not self-righteousness; it's that given such staggering statistics of destruction caused by every kind of animal agriculture, there will be nothing left to fight for if not planetary health first. At this point, our vegan work is a matter of life and death in more ways than one.
Promise me you'll watch it! This weekend!
*Please give the film a 5 star review, too on Netflix. There's been word that Big Agriculture is having people leave poor reviews.
Thank you for the work you do everyday. I see you!