Cold Comfort: My Battle Plan Against the Sniffles and How You Can Prep Too

So, I’m ready to admit that I have a cold! Initially, I suspected it might be related to my food sensitivities, specifically cane sugar, which tends to trigger a runny nose for me. Lately, I’ve been a bit lax about making my own cane sugar-free chocolate and, instead, I’ve indulged in a few (okay, maybe more than a few) squares of my husband’s dark chocolate. If it’s in the house, and I lack a healthier alternative, I can’t resist!

You see, I’ve identified these food sensitivities through the Mediator Release Test (MRT), and cane sugar is at the top of the list. The MRT has helped me make more informed choices about my diet and overall health. This time, however, the runny nose has been exceptionally persistent! I went through a box of tissues rapidly, and by the end of the day, I was utterly miserable. I crawled into bed, perhaps acting a bit like a baby in hopes of getting my husband’s attention. Fortunately, he lovingly brought me everything I needed and then wisely kept his distance, not wanting to catch it. When I checked my temperature and found it was 102.1, that’s when I had to admit that I was indeed sick.

It’s tough for me to acknowledge that I’m sick. I often feel that people don’t expect me to get sick because I do all the right stuff—maintaining a healthy diet with daily juicing or smoothies, staying active, ensuring plenty of sleep, and taking supplements. I suppose I’m doing pretty well if I only get something once a year!

So, what do I do when I finally admit that I have a cold? Glad you asked!

After a little bit of attention seeking I get to work starting with:

REST – I can’t emphasize this enough; rest is paramount. If you’re feeling under the weather, do whatever it takes to prioritize rest. Reschedule those meetings, call in sick, and tuck yourself into bed. If you’re lucky, indulge in a cozy movie marathon. Don’t hesitate to enlist your loved ones to help; they’re usually more than willing to assist during your recovery.

FLUIDS – Opt for liquid-based sustenance over solid foods, especially during the initial stages of illness. This eases the burden on your digestive system, allowing your body to focus on healing instead of digestion. In fact, for the first day or two (or longer if needed), I completely bypass solid foods and focus on hydrating with various liquid options. Consider water, coconut water, nourishing smoothies, fresh juices, comforting soups, nutrient-rich bone broth, or soothing herbal teas. The goal is to keep your hydration levels up and support your body’s recovery.

SAUNA – If you have access to an infrared sauna, make good use of it. Just remember to stay well-hydrated during and after your sauna session. Infrared saunas offer a host of health benefits, particularly for relieving congestion during a cold. Bring a bundle of tissues in with you; you’ll likely need them!

SUPPLEMENTS – While I generally don’t advocate for over-the-counter medications, there are exceptions when they can be helpful. For instance, if my fever spikes significantly, like it did to 102.1°F in this instance, I might take one Aleve. However, for lower-grade fevers, I prefer to allow my body to naturally combat the illness, as a mild fever can be your body’s way of fighting off infections. But at 102°F, I don’t take any chances.

Additionally, I incorporate a selection of supplements to bolster my immune system and alleviate symptoms. These may include:

I keep a powerful ally in my supplement cabinet for situations like these: Allimax. Derived from garlic, this natural compound was once known as “Russian Penicillin” for its potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties, making it a valuable defense against various infections, including colds. The recommended dose is one capsule per day, but during times of illness, I double down, taking one in the morning and another in the evening. I typically continue this regimen for 5-7 days, with the option to scale back to one daily if I notice improvements.

Now, let’s talk about the powerhouse that is Vitamin D3. It’s not just a vitamin; it’s a hormone that participates in nearly all of our physiological functions. Its role as an immune system regulator makes it indispensable for overall health. Despite the misconception that we get enough from sunlight, Vitamin D deficiency is surprisingly common. I personally take a daily dose of 2000-4000 IU, guided by my lab results. Ideally, Vitamin D levels should range between 40 to 80, leaning towards the higher end. My first test revealed a meager level of 22, even though I reside in sunny South Carolina. When I sense a cold creeping in, I temporarily boost my intake to 10,000 IU (five single drops, each containing 2000 IU) three times a day for three days, before returning to my regular regimen.

You may already be acquainted with the wonders of Sambucus nigra, commonly known as elderberry. This botanical gem has gained well-deserved popularity for its ability to deactivate viruses and boost the immune system. I blend Sambucus with Vitamin D, diluting them in water and consuming this concoction three times a day. A dose of 35 drops (1ml) thrice daily works wonders.

When my occasional sniffles escalated into a mild cough, I turned to Ginger-Tussin at bedtime. This soothing elixir not only provides relief but also supports the immune system. I recommend taking half a teaspoon every 4-6 hours as needed.

A good night’s sleep is paramount for recovery, so I opted for a dose of Melatonin at bedtime. Sleep is a vital component of the healing process. I’ve been incorporating melatonin regularly after discovering my deficiency through the DUTCH test. Prior to this, I had trouble falling asleep and, if I woke up in the middle of the night, it would take hours to drift back into slumber. My melatonin level, measured at a mere 7, should ideally exceed 18.

It’s day two, and I’m thrilled to report that I’m already feeling significantly better! I’ve been taking it easy, comfortably nestled in my bed while penning this note to share with all of you. Luckily, it’s my day off, which means I can dedicate some time to rest and recovery.

I’ve been diligently hydrating myself with a variety of fluids. This morning’s juice concoction featured a vibrant blend of carrot, apple, extra ginger, turmeric, and chia seeds. As for my culinary plans, I’m excited to whip up a delectable cabbage soup for tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch. I understand that the idea of “lovely” and “cabbage” in the same sentence might raise eyebrows, especially since my husband won’t touch it. But that just means more for me! Later on, I’ll treat myself to a session in the sauna, followed by a relaxing Epsom salt bath. To top it off, I intend to savor some fresh air, whether by lounging on the back porch with a captivating book or, if I’m feeling up to it, embarking on a leisurely stroll. It’s starting to sound like a day at the spa, right? Remember, self-love and self-care are essential, especially during times of healing.

Before I sign off, I want to emphasize the importance of stocking your supplement cabinet proactively. Many of these items can be found on Amazon, and if you have Prime, you can enjoy the convenience of 2-day delivery with free shipping. While online shopping is convenient, I encourage you to explore your local health food store as well. The knowledgeable staff there can provide guidance and may even have additional recommendations tailored to your needs. Your health is an investment, and taking these steps can make all the difference when the sniffles come knocking!

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Ginger-Tussin Syrup by Designs for Health

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Disclaimer: While these are personal strategies that have worked for me, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your health regimen, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking medications. Your doctor can provide guidance tailored to your specific health needs.

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