Is it a Cold or Flu and What Do I Do?

‘Tis the season we hear sniff, sniff, a-a-choo! Just “hoping” we don’t catch a cold or the flu isn’t going help. Taking precautions may work, but if not, here are some ideas to feel better soon.

Willing it Away

If you truly don’t want to catch the bugs floating around this time of year, there are several precautions you can take. Here are some non-medicinal strategies you can use to keep the sick away:

1) Sleep. When you get tired, take a nap, or go to sleep. If you absolutely cannot, then breathe, get done what you must, and then get thee to a bed. Do not pump up on coffee or other caffeine. That will falsely revive you and weaken your immune system.

2) Stay calm. It’s the time of year when stress builds; it could be the foreboding holiday worries, finances, kids and school, etc. When you feel yourself stressing out, remind yourself to shake it off. Do you want to get sick? No? Good. Then breath, smile, take a bath, hug someone you love. Do nice things for yourself.

3) Drink lots of water and other non-sugary beverages. Keep flushing out. Stay hydrated.

4) Wash your hands with soap and water several times a day. Germs are everywhere. You can seriously avoid getting infected if you wash them away before they get you.

5) Eat fresh foods high in vitamins A, B, and C and zinc. Take supplements if you’re feeling especially vulnerable.

Calm The Mind
Calm The Mind

A Small Defeat

Let’s say you tried everything listed above, but you still got sick. Oh, well. You did your best. If you’ve been healthy, this setback shouldn’t put you down for too long.

Is it a Cold?

If it starts with fatigue, a scratchy or sore throat, and/or a headache, it’s probably a cold—especially if it comes on gradually. With a cold, you shouldn’t get feverish (unless it develops into a sinus infection or something else bacterial.) Just a stuffy nose, coughing, and some crankiness, but not enough to keep you in bed.

Is it the Flu?

Usually, the flu hits quickly and knocks you out of commission. Here’s a list of what you might experience: headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Influenza (“the flu”) and a cold are both viral. There is no cure. Antibiotics will not work. Go back and examine the prevention list and those will help your body overcome the virus more quickly.

Some doctors may prescribe an antiviral medicine for the flu. But a cold you’ll have to suffer through too. Over-the-counter remedies are simply to aid with symptoms.

Another Form of Cure

Some people swear by essential oils. Essential oils are extracts from plants and flowers, making them a purely natural wellness entity. If used properly, essential oils can be safe. They can provide balance and promote the body’s restoration from illness.

Essential oils can be smelled, rubbed onto the skin, or ingested. Essential oils should be diluted with water or a carrier oil like jojoba or almond. Applying a small amount of diluted oils onto your skin permeate the cell walls to deliver nutrition and remove waste. (But don’t rub potent oils on children’s skin.)

Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil

Ingesting essential oils should only be done with precaution. A couple of drops into some foods or drinks are perfectly acceptable, for adults. For both kids and grown-ups you can try:

1) Black Elderberry. Said to improve flu symptoms in two days.

2) Echinacea. For general immunity strengthening.

3) Chamomile. A calming herb with anti-inflammatory properties.

4) Ginger. Has a long history of use in alleviating nausea and vomiting.


For other tips on maintaining optimum health, check out

Want to Push the Limit? 5 Tips for Getting the Most Intense Workout

Going to the gym everyday can get pretty routine, especially if you’re used to doing a similar workout. That’s one of the reasons Cross-fit has become so popular; your mind and your body plateau, and the only way to improve your condition is by mixing up the exercises.

Every once in a while, it’s a good thing to take your workout to an extreme. Disclaimer: if you’re not already active or you have any injuries, hold off on extreme intensity for now. But if you feel up to it, here are some tips to guide you through your experience:

1. Wear proper clothing: You’ll want to dress in materials that contain wicking. When you sweat profusely, you’ll want your clothes to absorb the wetness and keep your body as dry as possible. You don’t want to overheat, nor do you want to get a chill from being wet. Also, the right socks and shoes are important to keep your feet from blistering and also to protect your ankles and shins.

2. Breathe: As your activity becomes more intense, your lungs will require more oxygen. Naturally, you will breathe heavier. What’s great about interval training is that during the “rest” periods, you get the opportunity to take slower, deeper breaths, and sort of “catch up”—right before it’s time to go into intense mode again!

3. Stay headstrong: If you begin to feel a bit lightheaded, that’s understandable. Blood is rushing to all different parts of your body and its muscles. It may also be an endorphin rush you’re feeling as well. Of course, if you feel dizzy or too lightheaded, slow down, hold onto something stable, and take deep breaths.

4. Keep your brain in the game: The first few minutes of intense exercise most of us scream inside, “I can’t do this!” Well, yes you can. Pushing to extreme truly is mind over matter.

If your body is in shape or you exercise regularly, you absolutely can push yourself a little farther if you decide to. If the pain feels like you are injuring yourself, stop. But if it’s a good pain, stick with it. When your workout is over, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment.

5. Hydrate and stretch: during and after. Drink water and also indulge in a beverage with electrolytes to replenish. You can incorporate stretches into your workout once your muscles are already warm. It’s very important after an intense session that you take the time to stretch or you will cramp or feel undue soreness the next day.

Congratulations for taking such good care of your body. It’s yours to enjoy and cherish. Have a great workout!


How Much Water Do We Actually Need?

Researchers wrote in the Harvard Health Letter that needing eight glasses of water per day, as a rule, is a myth.

Says Who?

No one’s quite sure who announced that eight glasses of water is what we need. We do know that the Institute of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic agree that we need approximately that much “liquid.” But we can get hydrated from the water that’s in our fruits and vegetables, too.

Setting it Straight

Perhaps because less than 10% of adults actually eat enough vegetables is how supplementing with a glass of water came about. Another misconception is that we need to drink all of that water at once. In fact, we need to hydrate evenly throughout the day. Paying attention to our bodies can inform us when we’re thirsty. Needless to say, on hot days or when we’re exerting a lot of energy, more liquid intake will be necessary.

Skin-tessential Details You Probably Want to Know

Your skin is a vital part of your overall health. Not only is it your largest organ, it helps regulate your temperature and defends you against the elements. And, if you’re image conscious, it’s one of the first things people notice when they look at you.

The Skinny on Your Skin

The average adult is covered by about 20 square-feet of skin. You probably learned in biology class that it’s comprised of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis is the top layer, and does most of the protecting. It’s also the layer that suffers the most daily abuse from the elements, injury, and outside chemicals and toxins. (Especially your face.)

When your skin is dry, it usually means it doesn’t have the right balance of oily lipids (fats) on the surface.  Here are some drying culprits:

  • Winter weather- a combo of cold air and indoor heat strip the moisture from your skin.
  • Hot or very cold water.
  • Soaking skin too long in water.
  • Soaps and harsh cleansers, including alcohol and fragrances.
  • Overuse of abrasive scrubs, brushes, or loofahs.
  • Using the wrong moisturizer, which may include ingredients such as: alcohol, lanolin, and chemicals like phthalates and parabens.

For sensitive skin, consider switching to Fragrance-free and dye-free products for your laundry.  Keep irritation to a minimum, and don’t wear wool or other itchy, rough fabrics. Getting informed on ingredients added into products we absorb into our skin is essential as well.

Ditch the Dryness

Modifying your daily routine and switching to safer products will help your skin stay youthful and supple, no matter your age or the season.  Making these changes will make a difference:

  • Shower, bathe, and wash in warm, not hot water.
  • Use gentle moisturizing soaps and cleansers.
  • Apply a quality moisturizer to wet skin.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water and limiting caffeine and alcohol.
  • Use a humidifier.
  • Apply sunscreen every day.
  • Exfoliate, but gently.

Remember that your lips and nasal passages can dry out and dehydrate, too.  Lip balm and saline mist are good additions to your moisturizing arsenal.  Eating right is also important—make sure you are getting enough fatty acids (from fish and nuts) in your diet, along with magnesium, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

Kids Get Dry Skin Too

Don’t forget the little ones when you are looking to change your routine.  Their youthful skin is extremely sensitive, and it can dry out just as easily as yours.  Look for safe products (free of harmful additives) that are fragrance-free and designed just for babies and young children.  You can even use natural remedies for the entire family—like essential oils, aloe vera, honey, and seed or nut oils.

Natural Solutions to the Dry Dermal Dilemma

Because we absorb so much through our skin, it’s best to minimize the amount of harmful chemicals and additives we slather on it.  There are many natural, plant-based remedies for dry skin on the market, or you can make your own.  Either way, look for products with the following ingredients:

  • Natural plant oils and butters (olive, avocado, coconut, shea, jojoba, etc.)
  • Essential oils
  • Oatmeal
  • Honey
  • Aloe
  • Antioxidants like vitamin C and E

With just a few simple steps you can kick your dry skin to the curb and reveal a younger, healthier you.  For more skincare and wellness information, just search