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Monthly Archives

November 2014

How to Beat Your Cold Naturally

how to beat your cold naturally

It’s that time of year. Unfortunately, cold season doesn’t play fair. Your cold comes on suddenly, usually without any sort of warning. One minute you feel like running through a field of tulips and butterflies and the next minute you feel like you have fallen through a pot hole on your way to so-called tulip field. You probably don’t have time to be sick. After all, you probably didn’t block off any sick days on your calendar.  The cold season doesn’t wait for us so prepare yourself to fight back with these wonderful natural remedies.

Gargle

Gargling with warm, salty water is a wonderful way to soothe a sore throat. The salt water works by flushing the bacteria that is living in your throat while also relieving inflammation and loosening thick mucus (which most of us are accustomed to when sick).

Rest

Seriousy. Isn’t resting so overrated? Not really. Resting while you have a cold is one of the best things you can do for your body. Your body needs to focus its energy on getting you better, not getting you out of bed and to work. So just take a sick day. Trust us: the world won’t end if you miss a day or two of work. Not to mention, your counterparts probably won’t want to be around you once they hear you cough or sniff or sneeze. Colds can hit you like a ton of bricks, especially when you felt fine hours earlier. Trust your body and allow it to work its magic in peace.

Honey

This liquid gold is one of the best cough suppressants I’ve ever used. It instantly soothes a tingly throat and its benefits can last for hours. A few spoonfuls before work will usually last all day long. Unlike traditional cough suppressants, you don’t have to worry about consuming any unknown substances. As an added bonus, honey doesn’t taste like fake cherries or mysterious grapes. If the idea of swallowing spoonfuls of raw honey is just gag-worthy, try mixing a few spoonfuls into your favorite tea. The benefits may not be as great,  but you may feel some relief. I’d recommend using 100% raw honey to be sure you aren’t consuming any added ingredients.*

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is like a cure-all in our home. Gargling with ACV and water soothes your sore throat since the germs can’t survive in such an acidic environment. Be careful to not gargle too much, however, since the acid in the ACV can wear down your tooth enamel. Drinking a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water is a great way to clear up any nasal congestion. The amino acids in the acv will also give you a boost of energy in case your cold has you feeling sluggish.

Garlic

Garlic and onions have become a staple in our home. We use them regularly in our home cooking and in our cold remedies since they work wonders on the common cold. We can always tell when someones caught a cold by the distinctive garlic broth smell that radiates throughout the house. The allicin in garlic is thought to be the compound that fights the cold, the same ingredient that gives garlic its distinctive “garlicky” flavor. Add crushed, raw garlic and onions to boiling water and boil until onions are clear. Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper and drink up! The flavor takes some getting used to but the duration of your cold will be shortened dramatically!

Water

Keeping your body hydrated while you are sick is crucial. Fever, diarrhea and vomiting deplete the water in our precious bodies. Dehydration can have negative impacts on both our mental and physical capabilities, which is why it is important to stay hydrated. Since you may not be eating as much, your body isn’t able to collect as much water from your food, further depleting your hydration levels. As soon as you notice you are not feeling well, keep your eye on your water intake. Be sure you are getting down as much water as you can (around 2 L a day) for optimal benefits.

Zinc Gluconate

Before you stock up on your Nyquil and Dayquil this cold season, take a gander at zinc gluconate, also known as Cold Eeze. This throat lozenge uses zinc gluconate to release zinc ions into the body to shorten your cold. How does it work? The zinc gluconate in the lozenge prevents the cold virus from binding and replicating, hence shortening your cold. The lozenges don’t taste the best, but they work and are free from any artificial colors or preservatives. When taken at the onset of your cold, zinc gluconate may reduce the duration of your cold by a few days.

Ginger

A homemade ginger tea works wonders relieving congestion and a sore throat, while supporting your immune system. To make a wonderful ginger tea at home, start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and adding a few slices of fresh ginger, lemon and cinnamon. Allow the mix to simmer on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add in raw honey.

 

*Remember to never give honey to a child younger than age 1.

**These tips are simply guidelines, not to be used in place of your doctor’s recommendations.

 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

10 Creative Ways to Use Pumpkin This Fall

 

Halloween may be over but the cherished “pumpkin season” has yet to come to an end. Reusing your pumpkin saves you money and creates a colorful menu for weeks to come! Before you toss your jack-o-lantern into the nearest receptacle try out  a few of these fun and clever ways of reusing this halloween staple:

 

10 Creative Ways to Use Pumpkin:

1. Soothing Mask

As lovers of all things masks, you know we couldn’t pass up on this opportunity! Pumpkin masks are full of essential vitamins, like Vitamin A, C & E, as well as antioxidants and fatty acids. These incredible ingredients soften the skin, improve cell turnover, and brighten your complexion. Let’s not forget to mention that the zinc in pumpkin does wonders for treating acneic skin. Mix a 1/4 cup of pumpkin that has been pureed with a spoonful of honey. Apply the mask and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse, pat dry and moisturize!

2. Fall-Inspired Smoothie

The amazing nutrients in pumpkin work wonders inside your body, too! Chop your fresh pumpkin into chunks and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool and remove any skin. In a blender combine the fresh pumpkin with a frozen banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, maca powder and coconut milk. This delicious smoothie is full of vital nutrients and tastes like Fall in a glass! To save you time, freeze any unused, boiled pumpkin for future smoothies!

3. Exfoliation:

If you want to smell like a delicious Autumn treat, look no further than that lovely pumpkin. Pumpkin is full of alpha hydroxy acids, which helps with cell turnover and exfoliation. Talk about glowing skin, huh? Scoop out the insides of fresh pumpkin and place into a blender (set aside any seeds). Add in honey and cinnamon and puree until smooth. In a small bowl combine the pumpkin mixture with a few spoonfuls of sugar. Use this mixture to gently exfoliate your skin (avoid sensitive areas like your face).

4. Pumpkin Bread:

This delicious snack is the perfect treat for the holiday season. Baking with a fresh pumpkin is a wonderful way to preserve that fresh flavor while still packing your baked goodies chalk full of powerful nutrients. To create your own pumpkin puree for your bread, start by washing and halving your pumpkin (cut away the stem and pulp). Bake the halves face down covered in foil for about 1 1/2 hours at 375 degrees until tender. After cooling, cut away the skin and scoop out the insides and mash it until a puree forms. Use this puree in place of the store bought puree in your bread recipe.

5. Roasted Seeds:

It’s no secret that pumpkin seeds are just delicious. They are easy to make and are the perfect late night snack. Start by rinsing the seeds under cool water, then spread the seeds onto a baking sheet. Roast the plain seeds for 30 minutes. After roasting, season the seeds with your favorite spices and roast for another 20 or so minutes.

6. Mashed Pumpkin:

A side of mashed pumpkin is the perfect addition to any fall dish. Soften the pumpkin by cutting it into chunks and boiling them for about 25 minutes. Remove the skin and mash the chunks into a desired consistency. Add a few shakes of sea salt and pepper and voilà!

7. Pumpkin Soup:

The perfect treat for any brisk Autumn day. This delicious squash soup recipe is the perfect way to use any left over pumpkin. Simply subtitute the squash for your fresh pumpkin!

8.Compost:

If you just can’t stand to eat anything pumpkin, just toss it right into your composter! Be sure to cut it into smaller chunks so it decomposes faster.

9.Pumpkin Pie:

This Thanksgiving essential is the perfect way to get rid of your pumpkin. Boil chunks of the pumpkin for about 25 minutes. Once cool, cut off the skin and blend until a puree forms. Use this puree in place of the canned pumpkin you  typically use. This preservative free puree can be frozen and used for holiday treats all season long!

10. Waffles:

This breakfast favorite is going to taste all the better when made with fresh pumpkin puree. This delicious pumpkin waffle recipe is perfect for any fall morning. Just swap out the canned pumpkin for your homemade puree (as seen in #4). Did we mention this yummy recipe has 5g of protein per serving?!

 

What are your favorite ways to reuse your Halloween pumpkins?

 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!
-Zeena