Paleo Cold & Flu Remedies primal diet health sickness-min

Paleo Cold & Flu Remedies

Since I’ve been following a Paleo diet, I thought catching Cold & Flu were a thing of the past. But, sadly no; I’ve just got over my first cold in over two years. I recovered far quicker and felt nothing like as bad as I had in my pre-paleo days, but it was frustrating to feel ill all the same.

The winter before I went Paleo, I seemed to catch every virus going around. I permanently had a cold or the flu – and felt terrible. So perhaps I shouldn’t complain about feeling a bit run down for a few days, once every two or three years.

Doesn’t Paleo prevent you from getting Cold & Flu?

I think Paleo plays a crucial role in building up a good immune system; but sometimes this isn’t enough. After a few hectic weeks at work, insufficient sleep, the arrival of Winter (seriously reducing my daily sunshine/ Vitamin D exposure), I suspect my immune system didn’t put up the usual fight when confronted with a cold virus. A trip to an extremely cold Canberra was the final battle that my immune system lost.

Paleo Cold Remedies?

I’m really against over the counter medicines, so at the first hint of a sore throat, I immediately researched natural cold cures and remedies.

The most important things are the simplest; lots of sleep and good hydration. I also made a big pot of chicken soup which is not only very nutritious, but it is also warming and soothing for a sore throat.

Vitamin D levels are crucial; I’m usually very sporadic in taking it, so I’ve been making sure I take Vitamin D3 capsules every day. I don’t usually supplement with Vitamin C, but almost everything I researched on remedies mentioned it, so I started taking it too.

I don’t usually have sweeteners, but I found hot lemon water with raw honey very soothing. I read a lot of people add in cayenne pepper and ginger, but that was a step to far for me. As was raw garlic or gargling with Apple Cider Vinegar.

They say prevention is better than cure…

I’ve definitely learnt my lesson. I’m going to be far more careful to keep my Vitamin D levels up, especially in Winter (I must book another test to check what my levels are). I’m not going to compromise on sleep – and Canberra, sorry – but I don’t think I’ll be visiting again until Spring.

Have you noticed a decrease (or hopefully absence) in Cold & Flu since you changed your diet? If you’ve got any Cold & Flu remedies or cures, please pass them on in the comments below, you might just help someone somewhere feel a lot better!

Paleo Cold & Flu Remedies primal diet health sickness-min

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Conscious Parenting Summit

One of my readers told me about the Conscious Parenting Summit, which starts today. The talks are free to listen to online for 24 hours; and there seem to be a couple of interviews a day on all sorts of parenting aspects.

Whilst the nutrition seems to be more geared towards raw food than Paleo, the summit talks about a number of issues that seem very relevant to bringing up Paleo Children, such as Pregnancy, Natural Fertility, Water Birth, Lotus Birth, Unassisted Birth, Bonding, Vaccinating, Breastfeeding, Co-Sleeping, Elimination Communication, Non-Violent Communication, Circumcision and Home-schooling/Un-schooling.

So if you have young children, are pregnant, or considering starting a Paleo family, it might be worth checking out the summit!

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The DASH Diet

One of the things I liked so much when I started researching about Paleo, was the ease and simplicity. The books basically tell you to eat a simple diet, of the natural foods we’ve evolved to eat. I found there really was nothing confusing or contentious. As well as reading the Paleo and Evolutionary health books – I read everything else I could find on nutrition. There is a book for every fad diet imaginable, with completely conflicting and confusing advice. Some of the diets just seem downright complicated to follow and devoid of any logic.

One of the best selling diet books in Australia at the moment is about the “DASH Diet”, so I couldn’t resist taking a look. I’ve noticed the newer fad diets seem to be more closely resembling Paleo, so I always hold out hope that books like this will be about Paleo, but with a different name.

DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” and is aimed at those suffering from High Blood Pressure, though it also has a significant focus on weight loss. I had high hopes when I picked up the book – but it quickly became apparent that the book is based on the flawed food pyramid. The plan recommends a diet high in fruit, low-fat dairy and whole grains. It also advises avoiding processed food and limiting (not eliminating) sugar.

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While the DASH diet is based on studies, these studies only compared three different nutritional plans. Unfortunately they don’t give the specific meal plans for each of the diets in the study, just the macro nutrient profiles – and some of the micro nutrient profiles. From this it’s apparent the DASH diet had 10% less fat than the other diets (taken entirely as Saturated fat), with the 10% added onto the protein and carbohydrate consumed. Without knowing exactly what they ate, this is rather meaningless. Cheap, commercial chocolate is high in saturated fat – as is butter – they clearly aren’t equal, yet this study doesn’t allow us to differentiate.

The book is full of un-Paleo recommendations such as only eating whole-grain bread, avoiding coconut oil, trimming all visible fat off meat and only eating low-fat dairy.

I’m sure someone coming from a highly processed SAD diet would (initially) see benefits on a DASH diet – but only because they had cut out processed foods, sugars and therefore reduced their carbohydrate intake. It saddens me that unwell people follow this diet in good faith – when it isn’t based on good science – and certainly doesn’t seem optimal.

What do you make of the DASH diet and the other fad diets out there?

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Magnesium

I spend a lot of time reading about various supplements, trying to work out what I should or shouldn’t take.  I really don’t like the idea of taking supplements – it’s not exactly a Paleo activity we’ve evolved to do!  However, I know it is a lot harder not to get all of the micro nutrients we need today than ever before.  Mineral content in soils is severely depleted due to modern farming methods, meaning the produce that grows in that land and animals grazing on the land are also far lighter on mineral content. I’ve been especially interested in Magnesium.

 I’m fairly sold on taking Vitamin D3 and fish oil, but after reading “The Magnesium Miracle” and researching the mineral,  I recently decided to buy some Magnesium Citrate.

I had a lot of blood work done recently and whilst I don’t appear to have a Magnesium deficiency my magnesium mmol/L levels look to be lower than desirable.  Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in so many of the biochemical processes in the body, it is claimed to help with sleep, stress and help regulate blood sugar levels.  It’s role in insulin sensitivity is especially interesting to me, with my current weight loss objective.

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There are so many different types of magnesium supplements – I found magnesium oxide, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium carbonate, magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium sulfate!  I decided to try Magnesium Citrate as apparently it has a better bio availability, which means it should be better absorbed.   I believe this is the same form as found in the ‘Natural Calm” brand.

A lot of people get magnesium through skin absorption, either by bathing in Epsom Salts or apply magnesium oil – I might try this route in the future, but for now, I’ll see how I fair with the supplement.  There are food sources of magnesium, such as green vegetables, bone broths, almonds and fish – but to achieve reasonable levels I’d have to eat such high amounts from the food source, that I don’t think it would be realistic at the moment.

Do you supplement with Magnesium?  Interested to hear what benefits – or even downsides you’ve experienced with Magnesium supplementation!

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7 Habits of Highly Healthy People

Since I’ve taken such a keen interest in my health over the last couple of years, and particularly since I’ve adopted a Paleo lifestyle I’ve come to be surrounded by more and more healthy people.  It doesn’t take long to realise that these people have a lot in common.  I’ve been trying to understand exactly what they do differently, so that I can try to adopt these habits myself.

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1.  View food as nutrition and fuel.

Healthy people see food purely as a means of providing their bodies with the fuel and nutrients they need – not for pleasure and enjoyment.  They are never obsessed with where their next meal is coming from and with constant thoughts of their favourite type of junk food.

2.  Prioritise healthy lifestyle above all other distractions

Healthy people have their health as their number one priority.  This makes it easy for them to decline social invitations that they know will mean poor nutrition, poor sleep and a hard training session the next day.  They constantly keep their focus on their health, instead of being easily tempted by distractions that go against these aims.

3.  Consistently get adequate sleep & get up early

I’m realising more and more how crucial sleep is to leading a healthy lifestyle.  Healthy people almost always seem to have a routine of getting up early and going to bed early (because they know they can’t burn the candle at both ends).  Going to bed earlier means being more organised with evening meals and of course, not staying out all night on social events.  Consistently having proper rest allows the body to recover and recharge ready for the next day.  Sleep also seems to have crucial roles in how the body stores fat as well as willpower and concentration.

4.  Surround themselves with healthy people.

Healthy people tend to have healthy friends.  Having a circle of healthy friends means meals out and social events will be based around healthy food and activities.  A group of friends with a similar outlook will also serve to inspire and motivate.

5.  Seamlessly integrate fitness into their daily routines

Fit people don’t have to rearrange their day and cancel arrangements to squeeze some exercise into their day.  They have established routines that centre around fitness.  For example, getting up early every morning to get some training in before work or walking to work.  They will routinely take the stairs instead of the lift – and perhaps even work at a standing desk!

6.  Results not excuses

Successful, healthy people don’t make excuses.  It might be raining, they might be tired, they might have an important meeting, or a friend visiting.  It makes no difference.  They will still eat well and exercise.  They won’t allow these factors to impact their life.  The motivation to stay fit and healthy is far more significant to them than the temptation to give into any excuses.

7.  Healthy self image

Crucially, healthy people seem to visualise themselves as just that, fit and healthy.  Those who are not yet there, may instead visualise themselves as unfit, unhealthy and overweight – all negative connotations that can only hinder their efforts.

Do you agree with my observations?  Have you noticed any other traits healthy people seem to have in common?