It's the Little Things...(or, how to get rid of a cold fast when you're just not in the mood to be sick)

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It doesn't take much for me to get pretty excited sometimes.  From things that I'm sure no other sane person would get excited about.

Like when I'm making the bed and get the throw pillows just right on that first toss, or the container I've chosen to pack the leftovers in is exactly the right size to hold everything, yet not too big to take up extra fridge space.

Or like when you wake up to a dry bed, despite the fact that you'd first greeted the day at 2:30 a.m. with a swollen throat that takes all the effort in the world to swallow, because its opening is now roughly the diameter of a drinking straw meant for a flea, and your sweet husband, when he awakens at his normal crazy hour of 3 a.m., asks if you're okay, and you can barely croak out your "no," so he fills and refills glass after glass of the homemade elderberry tea you'd brewed the night before when you'd suddenly felt a slight tickle in your throat, whereupon after draining the approximately 2.5 liters of liquid, you fall into a deep sleep, only to have one of those dreams where your bladder is going to burst, but you finally find relief and empty out gallons of liquid in a very Austin-Powers-gets-thawed moment, after which you continue to have similar, fever-induced dreams before waking again at a more reasonable hour to - thank goodness - aforementioned dry bed.

I'm sure you can all relate, right?

So after waking the other morning to discover that I luckily did not have to do an extra load of laundry just because I'd vividly dreamed of a trip to the toilet, I set about throwing myself full-bore into my time-tested (& after a decade teaching 6-to-8-year-olds in public school, Trust Me, it's tested) "I'm not in the mood to get sick right now, so let's just nip it, nip it in the bud" routine. (That phrase always worked out well for Barney, right?)

Not only do these methods of mine usually work immediately, they're natural and have the added bonus of keeping all people, sick or otherwise, far away from your general proximity for days (you'll see why in a minute).

Besides keeping your loved ones a safe distance away from any crabby, I'm-sick-so-do-it-yourself remarks, it will also create a buffer to ensure everyone else is safe from all those nasty germs you're so kindly entertaining in your own personal Disneyland.

Nip It In The Bud Tip #1

Elderberry tea.  These little dried balls of perfection seem pricey, but I can brew several batches from just 1 tablespoon of berries, which means that one package will last you just about forever.  Simply boil them in water and then let them steep a bit, Strain, Drink, Repeat.  

If you like your tea sweet, you can add in a squirt of honey, but I tend to just keep mine plain so I don't give all those nasty germs any more sugar fuel than the cookies I undoubtedly had for dinner the previous night.  

Give this tea to everyone else in your house (it's even safe for infants, as long as you don't add honey) to make sure no one else develops the crud that you're trying to exterminate.

Nip It In The Bud Tip #2

Eat raw garlic. And by eat, I mean devour the stuff like it's candy and if you can't handle the taste (it will set your mouth on fire if you chew an entire raw clove by itself), then grab one of these and squeeze the daylights out of the your bulbs before spreading the goop onto toast, throwing it in salads, or just basically covering whatever you'll be eating next with the pungent allium.  

Cooked garlic can be helpful as well, but you really need to force down the raw stuff to make this bug-destroying plan work.

The bonus of this item is that all vampires will avoid you like the sun, which is always a good thing, unless you happen to be pining after one of the Cullens.

Nip It In The Bud Tip #3

Take extra vitamin C.  As G says, take it all day ,, let's just say until you need to hang out close to your new friend John.  (He's got such a delicate way of putting things, that one.)  Don't worry, you can't overdose on this vitamin, since it's water soluble (that's why your body takes what it needs and gets the rest out so quickly).  I've actually not personally experienced the gastrointestinal issues that G speaks of, despite taking well over the typical 2,000 mg limit in a day, but I wanted to warn you.

Nip It In The Bud Tip #4

Take it easy for a few days.  I'm notorious for ignoring this one, but I've found that if I make myself skip the physical activity for a day or two (no 50-mile bike rides - even if the temperature is perfect and there's not a whisper of wind outside), then I'll be back on the trail at a pace that won't see me lagging back with all the geezers on their giant tricycles.

I could list a few other tools that I resort to using whenever these tips haven't done the trick and exterminated the bugs, but I honestly can't remember the last time I've had to do that, since these four pretty much always take care of things immediately.

So man your own Checkpoint Chickie and keep nasty cold germs away from your home by implementing these Nip It In the Bud Tips - and then you can get all excited about more important things, like whipping up a batch of famous pickles...

Do you have any other secret weapons to use against nasty cold germs?  I bet you do, and I'd love to hear all about them!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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  1. Whoa girl you are hardcore!! Eating raw garlic, yikes! Totally might try it next time though, I hate colds. I would hate to disrupt my romance with Edward Cullen though... i swear my elderberry syrup! Might have to try the tea.... also salt water gargles help soooo much when it's a throat thing. I've heard of gargling with vinegar but... um, yuck.

    I hope you're on the mend and feeling back to normal! Why on earth does your husband get up at 3?? That would have been a deal breaker for me. ;P

  2. These tips are timely with cold season upon us! Thanks for sharing at the Thoughtful Spot!

  3. Excellent tipps. We are struggling here with the cold. So open for new ideas . Thanks

  4. Great tips! Thanks for linking on Amanda's Books and More!

  5. GREAT tips! Thanks for linking up to Meetup Monday!

  6. Oo! I want to buy elderberries now to make tea for my fiancé! He's come down with a horrible cold. Thanks for all the tips!