Here’s one of our biggest productivity hacks as parent-entrepreneurs: Our family rarely gets sick.
Save for the occasional runny nose when our toddler has met a new “bug” for the first time, we’re usually operating at 95% or better at all times.
Because of this, we are rarely ever at the doctor’s office, pharmacy, spending downtime in bed, or rearranging our commitments because we need to stop spreading germs + start taking belated care of ourselves.
That reality tells us we’re onto something with our commitment to a simple, organic approach to living. We’re a more productive family unit, which makes business productivity improve just the same.
Here’s our organic treatment of the seasonal cold + flu, which you can use to amplify your wellness productivity any time of year. Enjoy!
When Courtney studied pre-medicine + then worked in the medical research field, she was taught that medicine cures the body.
But to her observation, the change was never long-lasting. It was only a matter of time before that same patient was back through the doors — sick again — with the same frustrations.
The patient would come back needing the same prescription medicine, but this second time, they would usually need a higher dose or an additional prescription to go with the first one. This situation never made sense to us.
Fast-forward through many years + thousands of hours of research, we’ve arrived at this:
“When you go back to basics, eat real + nourishing foods, move often, breathe deep, stay hydrated, sleep well + do this as a lifestyle commitment, your body will heal itself. Nearly every. Single. Time.”
Just this past week, we met our match with a head cold which has been a beast! We had never seen more mucus come out of anyone’s nose ever. And this beast of a head cold is no surprise to us given our deviation from what we know works naturally for us.
We didn’t practice what we preached + instead burned both ends of the candle, compromised our sleep, increased stress, reduced our movement + didn’t pay attention to our nutrition + water inputs. Our immunity was compromised + that head cold beast was able to take advantage.
Here’s the arsenal of remedies we keep on-hand (+ rarely ever need to use!) for kicking a cold (or flu) the organic way.
“Let food be thy medicine.”
This elderberry syrup is an organic household staple. When we feel a bug coming on, we start taking some of this syrup right away.
This syrup has an actually great taste — which is so funny to Courtney after her childhood years of choking down that awful cherry cough syrup!
Safe for most pregnant + breastfeeding women, we found elderberry syrup is an incredible immune booster.
We get MyKind Organics Elderberry Immune Syrup on Amazon Prime — this particular one has added immunity helpers of zinc + echinacea.
Hearty Vegetable Soup
Making soup is an opportunity to use up any vegetables in the fridge.
We’ve found that the healthiest option is to make our own broth using celery, carrots, onions, etc. or purchasing a fresh broth from a local health grocer because they’re made with less preservatives + lower salt content.
But, sometimes when you’re sick, you just need something fast at home. For those times, we keep an organic vegetable broth in our pantry for sick-only use.
The warmth breaks up congestion + the vitamin-full veggies are consumed easier to make us feel better (+ like we’ve earned popsicles later!).
Fresh Orange Juice Popsicles
To turn fresh OJ into a sore throat-soothing treat that adds Vitamin C, we use an ice tray or actual popsicle molds.
Note: If you aren’t up for squeezing fresh juice (we don’t blame you), you might want to make sure your OJ from the grocery shelf doesn’t have any added sugar.
A Note on Sugars + Starches
As comforting as having a grilled cheese sandwich or a bowl of mashed potatoes or sherbet ice cream or all of the Gatorade in the world might feel — the temporary effect will leave most people’s gut microbiomes a mess at a time they need them to function optimally.
So, we choose to leave those comforts for later. We’ve found the results to always be worth the “sacrifice”.
Raw onion has phytochemicals that help keep the respiratory tract open.
For a more substantial meal, we’ll make a black bean or veggie burger + top either with lots of onions, mustard + sauerkraut for extra probiotics.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body + most illnesses can’t thrive in alkaline environments + also contains good bacteria to help fight off infection + help with digestion.
Here’s our mini-recipe: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (preferably raw) into water or tea + drink three times a day. Yes, 3!
You can also gargle apple cider vinegar to soothe a sore throat.
We love + highly prefer Bragg’s (with the mother) Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
Raw, local honey is antibacterial, antimicrobial, + antiseptic. We always have local honey in the cabinet. Check with your practitioner before giving honey to a young child.
Adults without allergies can typically take 1 teaspoon of raw honey 3x/day. Not only is honey healthy, but also delicious! Sweetening our tea with honey for any sore throats always feels like a treat.
This tasty + aromatic herb is a go-to for winter sore throats.
Try this recipe from @lowdogmd for a sage gargle:
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil
- Add 2 tsp dried or fresh sage
- Steep for 10 minutes + strain into a cup.
- Add 1/4 tsp salt + gargle every 2 hours as needed.
You know the “sleep setting” on your computer where it’s still left on but at its least energy-consuming level + only essential functions work? It’s advisable to put our bodies in the same setting when we’re sick.
When we let our systems power down to their simplest operating levels — like breathing + blood pumping — we’re allowing the now-available energy to go work harder somewhere else in the body to regenerate cells, boost breastmilk supply + you guessed it, fight off infections.
We can help our bodies heal themselves faster when our immune systems are done by resting — as doing so lets your body channel its resources towards fighting the flu.
The more resources the body has to fight the foreign bodies messing with our systems, the quicker we can get better + get back to doing activities we love.
We love that these treatments are items that we can keep regularly at home + restock as needed in the grocery store. We don’t have to make a separate Target run or go to the pharmacy + that’s always extra appreciated when we aren’t feeling well.
What about you: what natural cold + flu remedies do you use?
Share your organic flu remedies with us by sending a direct message to our Instagram @organicfamilyceo! 💌 We’ll see you there!