Switching to natural remedies mid-flu

Flu Recovery, Day Six.    Ah!  Yesterday I felt pretty good all day – very low energy, but could feel myself steadily reviving.  The body is an amazing vehicle!  I began at last week’s flu taking Gatorade  to hydrate and Mylanta to calm my stomach, since that’s what the hospitals suggest.  Both products did a good job of getting me through the first few days.  By the second day of the Gatorade, I felt whacked out by the sugar and was having lots of heartburn.  I was in the cycle of alternating the Gatorade with the Mylanta, forgetting that both of those were really contrary to the natural balance of my system.

You know how when you don’t feel good, you can’t think straight?  I am not practiced enough in natural remedies to have them be my first thought when I get sick.  When I’m sick, my path of least resistance is to go back to 10 years old again.   My path of least resistance is to have my subconscious bring to mind every “remedy” the tv and radio has programmed into my thoughts for the past 30 years. And in my weakened state, those thoughts bring me comfort and I forget that I know more.

I forget that when I began researching natural remedies for digestive ailments in 2004, I learned that if you take acid blocking medicine – prescription or over the counter antacids – you are stifling Nature’s process, and the acid is produced as an indicator to you, not unlike a gas gauge.  It’s just telling you you’re getting low on resources and it’s time to fuel up.

And fueling up seldom means ingesting more, it usually means eating a balanced diet and getting more nutrients into your system.  If you take acid blocking medicine, you may not be absorbing nutrients from the food you do eat.  That’s why you feel constantly tired, because you’re not getting the vitamins and minerals, etc. you need from your food.

So 3 days into my flu, I switched from Gatorade and Mylanta, to Emergen-C (see http://www.emergenc.com/) and clear vegetable broths.  I know I was also getting better, but my heartburn stopped within hours.  I still had nausea off and on, and my innards were still spasming, but the heartburn was gone.  I also began to lose what must have been a sugar headache, and I felt less hyper and restless, which I also attributed to the sugar of the Gatorade.

By Day 5, I had managed to get to Publix and bought a jar of Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base and began making a very light broth, using 1/4 tsp per cup of hot water.  I would do that every 4-5 hours.  It has a very high, homemade flavor.  I was tempted to gulp it, but knew better.  I’m slow, but I’m learning!

Also on Day 5, my friend Joy stopped by to share some bean soup she’d made.  It was still warm and, although my first thought was “I am not going to put even a single bean through my digestive system right now”, the container tempted me into opening it before I got to the fridge.   It smelled heavenly!  She told me she’d made it extra soupy for me, so I took a tentative sip… ambrosia!  I closed it up and put it in the refrigerator.  Two steps out of the kitchen, I could taste it on my tongue… I turned around and got it back out.  The water of it had come to the top, so I took another sip and enjoyed the flavors in my mouth.  I felt the cells of my body start dancing in a good way!  One more quick sip and back to bed.

I was able to nap a little and then got up and spent two hours working on the January Horizons.  I was feeling much more nourished and revitalized, but knew not to attempt to do too much.  I had been steadily drinking the Emergen-C and sipping the organic vegetable broth every couple of hours.   By 10pm I went to bed and slept straight through until 1:30am.  Heaven!  I think I had pleasant dreams.

1:30am  I woke up a little chilly.  The temperature outside had dropped almost 20 degrees since I’d fallen asleep, so I jumped up to close my window, then took a hot shower and washed my hair.  As I woke up more, I realized it had been hours since I’d had any tummy discomfort, despite my feast of clear broths all afternoon long.  I recognized my tummy growling as good healthy bowel sounds and got excited!

4:30am I blew my hair dry and rolled it up into a bun, both to keep it out of my way and to make it be wavy when I let it down.  I could tell I was feeling better since I gave thought to how I looked.  I went into the kitchen and decided it was time for some more broth.  I took out the bean soup and added hot water to it and gave it a good stirring.  Then I strained about a cup of liguid out, and added 1/4 tsp of the Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base.   This wasn’t technically a clear broth because of the bean starch, but I knew it would be nourishing if I could keep it down.  I was ready.  I was going in.

7:00am   Well it has stayed down, just some mild burping; I feel fine, and I have also had 19 oz of Cranberry Emergen-C overnight.  I feel really nourished and psyched to be on the other side of my winter flu.   I’ve had some good reminders that my food is my medicine.  That I can overcome my past programming on essential areas like health, by doing my own research and then remembering what I know.

We don’t forget because we’re getting senile.  We forget because we’ve never made it a discipline to be mindful and pay attention.  We’re too lazy or it doesn’t seem important in the moment, plus we’re all self absorbed and shrinkwrapped in our own insecurities.  Then when something “real” in life happens, we fall apart because it isn’t in real life like we were programmed to believe it was going to be.  And there’s no one to turn to, unless we’ve developed our own independent and internal resources.

I’ve been reminded that my body can be taken down in a moment, and that how long it takes me to snap back afterward is up to me.  I’m lucky.  I’ve got a good immune system, in 2004 I changed my diet so I eat a maximum of 50mg of fat per day, and very little processed foods.  I don’t eat sweets or ice cream or chips or things like that.  I drink water and herbal teas, no caffeine, no alcohols, very little juice.  I eat turkey, chicken, fish, maybe 3-4 times a week.  Plus I get my blood tested every 3-4 months to make sure my levels are all in balance.  So I know I’m healthy and my diet helps determine how quickly I can recupe.

It’s a good reminder to me that it’s not just a meal or a snack, it’s a building block for renewed cell structure.  I’ve gotten more creative with salads lately, still training myself to love them 🙂    I buy my produce at local stands and I don’t always buy organic.  When I am planning my salad, I am thinking less about taste than I am about what variety of nutrition I can get out of it.   I’m training myself that as I discover what is best for my optimum health, well I’ll just make myself love the taste of it, that will be the simplest.  Yeah… I’ll let you know how that works out…. grin…

The sun just peeked over the tree line and my body tells me it’s time for another nap, and… at last … I’m learning to listen.

Life is good.

In case the FTC is wondering, I am not endorsing anyone.

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LISTEN FREE: You Are Not The Body

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