Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Blow to My Health Pride

 Sometimes, like when over half of our health-conscious family comes down with a horrible, violent cough, I wonder if our healthy eating does us any good. It was certainly a huge blow to my pride to fall prey to this stupid cough and actually be so sick that I spent almost two straight days in bed, too sick to want to do anything except for sleep (which was what I couldn't do because of the coughing). Besides all the healthy things our family normally does, I had just completed a juice cleanse/fast during the week after New Years, and I had continued off of that to eat salads more frequently (even when the rest of my family was having something else for the meal) and generally try to eat even more healthfully than usual. I was also exercising more regularly, and trying to get a healthy amount of sleep. 

I felt like I had gotten off to a great start for the New Year. I actually hadn't even ended the old year that badly, I didn't think. I didn't overeat during the holidays (yes, I actually managed NOT to stuff myself like usual) and I avoided the excessive amounts of sweets fairly well. David was sick the whole time, and it was a pretty good reminder of why I wanted to eat healthy, and not splurge on "treats" even during the holidays. But somehow, the terrible cough that my little brother had through the entire Christmas holidays caught me almost three weeks ago, and I'm still not completely recovered.

So what good did all of my supposed healthiness do for me? My sugar-crazed little brother, who eats as terribly as he possibly can with the sort of food that we have in our house, gets sick, and then I, arguably the most serious healthy eater (at least at the time) get the exact same sickness, and get it worse. Yes, it is extremely annoying. 

After much consideration, I narrowed down my failure to what I believe were my two main areas of neglect: I lacked vitamin D, and I didn't boost my immune system enough. After one particularly frustrating situation with my dad's favorite immune booster, echinacea tincture, I turned my back on what has always been my family's "go-to" for avoiding sickness. My dad and Sarah, who are the most diligent takers of echinacea in our family, still haven't had this awful cough. Mom and Joel took lots of echinacea, and didn't get as horribly sick as I did. As for the vitamin D, well, we've had lots of spring-like weather recently, so I should have been outside getting sun more. But, I also have heard that it's important to supplement vitamin D, especially during the "winter" with cod liver oil. (It's even more disgusting than it sounds.)

I still haven't quite convinced myself to go back to echinacea, as my frustrating experience was so recent that I am still exasperated with it, so right now I am looking into other options for immune support. Garlic is incredibly useful for many things, including the immune system, but has the negative of a strong and unpleasant odor. As I'm typing this, I'm experimenting with whole cloves of garlic in each cheek as a remedy for Tonsillitis. Oh, did I forget to mention that I got Tonsillitis too? It's just wonderful, my pride is being beaten to a pulp.

For the vitamin D, besides taking advantage of this lovely weather and getting sun as long as it lasts, I think I'm going to have to try cod liver oil again. Maybe capsules would be good enough. It's so gross, there's nothing like fishy-tasting oil. I could taste it for about an hour after I took it, no matter how much food I shoveled after it. Yep, I think I'm going to try capsules first. 

So here I am, still having occasional coughing fits, trying to knock out this Tonsillitis and feeling like a good portion of my year was stolen, but I hope I'm also a little wiser, significantly less prideful and maybe I'll be able to keep off the 12 pounds I lost!