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Playing on the Beach in October > The Common Cold

I’m a terrible patient. First, I reject all signs of illness. Then, when I can no longer deny my symptoms, I admit to having “allergies.” And if I continue this charade for more than a day or two, by day 3 I'll find myself suffering from a migraine with unrelenting nausea. My body "wins" (or loses) and I finally succumb to resting.

I despise being sick. And, it's my passion to keep you well. Therefore,I spend an inordinate amount of time researching the best ways to stave off bugs of all kinds. I experiment on myself, listen to advice from family and friends and add a heavy dose of feedback from patients. In this newsletter, I want to share some of these tips before the back-to-school germs and/or the cold and flu season get you down. To add drama: in ancient China, the Emperor's Doctor would mysteriously disappear if the Emperor fell ill. Please don't get any ideas.

Put yourself to bed early: You’ll take advantage of the body’s best time to heal between the hours of 10pm and 2am. Double-plus points if you can sleep until the sun comes up. If you can spare some time in the morning for extra sleep, you'll be going with nature's timing. Our bodies work best when we act in accordance to what our seasonal environment is doing and you might just feel better.

Cover up: Have you ever noticed that after sitting in front of an air conditioner, your neck gets stiff and tight? Well, my grandma was right: getting “wind” on your neck can make you susceptible to catching a cold. Chinese medical theory states that “evil wind” can transmit disease. We now know that they were right…us “modern folk” just call them airborne illnesses. Simply carry a scarf with's a light-weight and versatile accessory that will easily make you feel more fashionable and protected!

Eat cooked foods: During my first trip to China in 2009, I found myself lost in the same village that "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was filmed. It really was a mesmerizing town. As I rushed to rejoin my travel group, I came across the village reservoir, where the animals would bathe and drink and where ( gasp!) vegetables were being "washed." Suddenly, it dawned on me: perhaps the Chinese recommendation to only eat cooked vegetables was due to the unavailability of clean water for washing them. Uncooked food is also very energetically "expensive" to digest. Just consider that the human body temperature ranges from 96 to 98 degrees and that uncooked vegetables can be much colder. Your digestive system must bring the food up to body temperature, then it must do the work of processing it. So, if you don't have time to cook your veggies, simply take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before you eat them or drink tea with your salad to "balance" the temperature of the meal.

Add a dash of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon to hot water, tea, coffee, oats or your favorite protein shake. This powerhouse combination of spices can be found in most kitchens and together they aid with digestion, boost your immunity, are anti-inflammatory and fight fungus and bacteria. Why not throw some in your favorite food or bev today?

As always, thank you for doing this with me!

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