Friday, 28 November 2014

How to avoid a cold this winter (like I have since 2006)!

(I first published this in December 2013 but these tips are re-posted by popular interest!) 

I run the risk of jinxing myself by saying this, but I haven’t had a cold since “fresher’s flu” in 2006. 

I simply don’t ever get ill like that. They offered the flu jab for free at work the other day which I refused as I don’t see I need it. “Impossible” were the cries from my colleague, they thought it ridiculous that I simply haven’t ever really had a cold. But it’s true so I want to share with you my ways to avoid a cold…

I think it generally boils down to being healthy overall, doing the obvious stuff like eating your five a day, getting enough sleep and exercising well. So the first few tips might sound too simple, but they’ll set your body up to be fighting fit. Once you feel the first symptoms coming on, that is your cue to up the dose of healthiness to avoid it taking hold of you!

picture from sporeflections.wordpress

  • Eat your five a day and in particular “immune boosting” foods like spinach, berries, broccoli and garlic (see the end of the blog for more foods).

stock up on your five a day 

  • Drink plenty of water. This isn’t just good for overall health but if you have got the start of a virus, it will help to flush it out.
  • If you need a little helping hand, take some multivitamins! I take a simple A-Z and one for energy releasing.  
  • Try to avoid sugar (as much as humanly possible with all these mince pies and choccies laying around) – I read somewhere that sugar can break down your healthy cells, not what you want at this time of the year.

    you will need to accompany Vicks first defence with
    a pack of tissues (leopard print ones optional) 

  • If you start feeling the onset of a sore and tight throat, I swear by gargling salted water. It’s something I used to hate but my mum used this trick when I was little, and like most mummies, she knew best!
  • If you feel a little bunged up in the morning and feel like there is a cold coming your way, then use Vicks’ first defence nasal spray. It works like magic! I promise it’ll keep your cold at bay. You can taste it at the back of your throat and then it makes you sneeze all the gunk out, so although pretty gross, it bloody works!
  • Anti bac is your new BFF! If there is a cold circulating around your office then you the germs are likely to be lingering. Seen that advert for Dettol or something where it shows you how easily germs and bacteria get spread around? Exactly. Especially so when commuting on public transport and in open plan offices etc. 
  • Following on from antibac, keep washing your hands too, not in an obsessive way but enough to avoid germs.

garlic is a top flu buster

  • Forget Lemsip, good old hot honey and lemon does the trick for me. Why? The lemon juice helps cut through congestion and the honey soothes the throat, as well as being antibacterial! Plus it is a liquid, so will help hydrate you! Use manuka honey for an extra health dose, and you can always crush a paracetamol in it (the key ingredient in Lemsip). 
  • I am not one to be known for sleeping lots but even I try to make sure I get 7-8 hours of shut eye in the flu season. Sleeping time is when your body has a chance to recover and rest so it is vital in the fight to stay healthy.
  • Don’t forget a bit of gentle exercise. Pilates, yoga, a gentle walk etc. Perhaps beasting yourself with a jog in 2* isn’t going to help but a good stretch out of your limbs will.

Looking for more top cold busting foods? Here are my favourites..

  • garlic
  • berries
  • leafy greens, like spinach 
  • honey 
  • carrots
  • peppers 
  • mushrooms 
  • oats
  • seafood
  • green tea

keep healthy and have a happy winter! 
X x X

I am not a doctor by the way, so for medical stuff, take a look at the NHS website and

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