The Health Transition


So you survived the airport hustle drinking only EmergenC (American vitamin C sachets) and using hand sanitizer as a second skin without getting sick. For me, the big immune compromiser is not the dome of shared international air, its weather changes. Serious weather changes. Like going from a warm, coastal, high-desert climate to wet, grey, and really cold. It feels like no amount of layers and North Face down can keep the chill off.

We've been here in Switzerland for 3 weeks now, and the past 4 days have been spent inside. Counting the bumps on the ceiling, binge watching Downton Abbey (ok, just me really) and building elaborate blanket forts as opposed to hiking the forest trails and collecting sticks.

First Chris, then Mila, and now me. I, of course get hit the hardest it seems. Why is it that when the momma gets sick, she goes down hard. As if our invincible-force-field-ozone layer of health is compromised by some crack in the shield. Maybe it's our excessive use of hairspray? I don't even use hairspray. Regardless of our contributions to global warming or immune instability. It's not fair to have the momma get so sick!

The following are my personal health tricks and tips that wont weigh your suitcase down...

My go-to health tips while traveling:

*Note, I am not a doctor (a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker). The following are simply suggestions of what has been effective for me and for my family. If you have any serious health conditions, allergies, or questions, then please consult with your health professional first.

Onions For a Fever- Sliced onions in socks. place a small handful of sliced (thin, but not too thin. Ya feel me?) onions in the socks of your sleepy, feverish patient. Move those little half moons down to the soles of the feet and leave those socks on overnight while they sleep. An added bonus would be to add a drop of lemon oil and oregano oil to the bottoms of their feet before putting on the socks. Your room may smell like soup in the morning.... In fact, it will. 

Ginger Bath- You can find ground ginger in most countries around the world. It's cheap and effective. Dump a good tablespoon or two into a hot bath and sweat away. This is great for releasing toxins and detoxifying. I always feel that the more I sweat and the more I pee my sickness out, the faster I'll get better.

Propolis- I always carry a tincture or spray of propolis around with me. Plus I can find it in nearly every drug store in Europe and Asia. Highly regarded for it's anti-bacterial & anti-viral proporties and various ways that it supports the immune system. More info here.

Lymphatic Massage- I always carry a lymph rub oil mix on me at all times as my lymph are my first alarm of a growing sickness. Citrus oils are stimulation for lymph glands. Massage them down in a repeated motion from where your earlobe meets your jaw bone and down the side of your neck using 2 fingers and a significant but not painful amount of pressure. I recommend using pure therapeutic grade essential oils and not the cheap stuff with fillers.

Vitamin C- I am a believer in the powers of vitamin C. Load up! When the body has had too much, it will let you know while your sitting on the loo. Then you back off.

Onion & Garlic Soups- Make a giant batch of french onion soup : 3lbs of onions sliced thin and caramelized in oil for 30 minutes (be sure to put some raw slices aside for your socks!) add plenty of salt and pepper, some cayenne (to clear the nose) a sprig of thyme, and top with beef, veg or chicken broth. Top with baguette and gruyere at your own risk. OR I make a creamy garlic potato soup: Roast 2 heads of garlic in the oven until soft and golden brown. cook off 1 chopped onion or leek, or mix of the two until translucent but not brown in the bottom of a heavy stock pot. Add 3 large chopped and peeled yukon gold potatoes, the extracted remains of the garlic, and enough water to cover. Controlled boil until the potatoes are soft and blend with an immersion blender. Don't forget the unmentionable, but always assumed- plenty of salt and pepper. Top the potato soup with finely grated sharp english cheddar and some chives if you wish. 

Reflexology- I travel with a printed chart of the reflexology points. It's much easier to give yourself a foot massage rather than a back massage.

Lay Off The Triggers- At the first sign of sickness I get everyone to lay off sugar (immune system), and dairy (mucus production). Oh, and alcohol (the poor hubs...) 

Sleep- Oh wait, I have a toddler. Sick or not, sleep is still just a suggestion.