There’s something going around…

As I write this, I’m sitting on a packed train with a light burn in my throat. Inflamed tonsils or something worse is lurking, and I know this is only the beginning. It’s ‘there’s something going around’ season. 
I have been out this weekend and had a shock to the system going on two pre-9am runs last week, so maybe I did this to myself, but I’m determined to fight it with as little medication as possible and here’s how. 
I’ve been dealing with general colds differently in the last few years, choosing not to internally drown in orange juice, but turning to a tiny little plant called Echinacea. It’s a dainty pink flowering plant known to increase your germ-fighting white blood cells (from
Tesco sold effervescent Echinacea tablets for a while (no idea why they stopped but I’ve tweeted them to find out), that were my little miracle. I found taking the Echinacea as a fizzing dilute meant I would end up drinking a whole glass of water at the same time – we already know how important hydration is when you’re feeling low. I’ve found some others in Boots here, and here. You can also get Echinacea in tablet and tea form, but we’ll talk about teas further down. 

When I’m ill, I’ve either got no appetite at all or I want to eat everything I see (a.k.a. appetite as usual). If it’s the former, I can guarantee the first thing my mum will try force feeding me is soup. I’m sure there’s something psychological about soup and feeling well. 

I think that women just have a primeval instinct to make soup, which they will try to foist on anybody who looks like a likely candidate. – Dylan Moran

The warmth is excellent and, whether you’re sick or not, soups are great for energy and feeling full because of their high water content. When I say ‘soup’ I do not mean something in a tin that you found in the back of your cupboard that’s just about in date. The fresher the better, and bonus wellness points for you if you can make it yourself.
Get something with a little kick! Chilli contains up to seven times the vitamin C level of an orange and has a range of health benefits, including fighting sinus congestion, aiding digestion and helping to relieve migraines and muscle, joint and nerve pain (from 
Cook Like a Jamaican: Jamaican Pumpkin Chicken Soup
BBC Good Food: Hot Bloody Mary Soup

If you’ve been hit with an illness on the go, this itsu chicken jaipur crystal noodle cup is great. A fancy pot noodle bursting with flavour that I can personally vouch for after it practically brought me back to life at lunch time today. They sell it in most supermarkets so you don’t need to worry about not being near an itsu branch!

Onto one of my favourite things in the world: tea. As I mentioned above, echinacea tea is a personal life saver. For the less herby lovers, you may prefer Pukka’s Elderflower and Echinacea. For those that can handle the herb: Heath and Heather Organic Echinacea. If you can step away from the caffeine crack, or are willing to substitute one of your doses for a herbal tea, you won’t regret it. Key tea: lemon, ginger and honey (with a cheeky bit of white rum if you’re old enough and it’s Friday… or even if it’s Monday who cares).

The chances are you’ll come down with something just as you have to go to work on a Monday morning and you’ll be desperately seeking energy! While you’re wishing you could spend the day in duvet isolation, layered in Vicks surrounded by snotty tissues, remember to eat as clean as you can! All the standard healthy advice applies here: drink lots of water, eat your veggies, avoid milk

I hope this was helpful, and that you’ll survive the colder months without being ill and needing this advice. I’m off to dig out my warmest jumper and curl up with my biggest mug. 
Harleigh Reid
Harleigh Reid

I write about food and eat a lot.

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