How to Survive the Winter Sickness Season


The Chef and I have been knocked to our knees with the dreaded flu. Chills, fever, aching muscles, coughing, sneezing, tired and cranky.

So let’s talk about what you can do to recover quicker once you do get sick and build immunity.

1. Start thinking about Winter BEFORE Winter
Many of us start trying to boost out immune system when winter hits, but the trick is to do this leading up to winter so that your body is strong and ready to fight off sickness.

2. Eat (and drink) immune boosting foods.
Honey, ginger, turmeric, galangal. We add garlic to everything and eat it raw when we are sick.
Foods such as strawberries, oranges and lemons, capsicum, kiwifruit. Foods containing zinc such as nuts and seeds and shellfish such as mussels and oysters.

3. Exercise but don’t exercise
Exercise in general boosts the immune system so that daily walk in the morning is just like taking a ‘stay away from me flu’ pill.
However, exercise whilst you are sick can make your illness worse as the exercise uses up your precious energy for moving your body instead of fighting off infection. If you feel like you are coming down with something, stay home and stretch instead.

4. Chicken Soup
There’s just something about an old fashioned chicken soup that just makes you feel better. It’s light on the stomach, if you use stock made from bones it contains minerals, and it’s warm. Find our recipe here

5. Lemon and Honey tea
Soothe the throat, warm you up and a hit of Vitamin C from the lemons.

6. Juice
There’s nothing quite like a hit of ginger, apple, celery, beetroot, and orange all squeezed into a juice. Do you know how may vitamins and minerals are in there? LOADS! The heat from the ginger can help to soothe a sore throat too.

7. Vitamin C
This one is up to you. The jury is still out on Vitamin C. Studies show that high doses of Vitamin C supplements will not prevent you from getting sick, but it may help to reduce the severity of symptoms.

I do get disappointed when some websites recommend taking 4000mg of Vitamin C per day during a cold. I know I don’t want my money going down the toilet and I’m sure you don’t either. Vitamin C isn’t one of those ‘the more the better’ vitamins. There is a level where Vitamin C is absorbed efficiently (approx 30–180 mg/day, and once you go over 1000mg, then in fact the absorption rate drops to 50%(1) and the rest is simply excreted via urine.

Some people experience stomach cramps from high doses and diarrhoea (many sold at the chemist are 1000mg tablets). The Rrecommeded Daily Intake for Vitamin C to prevent deficiency is 45mg/day which can be achieved by eating foods high in Vitamin C.

Foods such as papaya, oranges, capsicum, kale, strawberries and broccoli.

8. Rest
The body is doing amazing things whilst you are sick. Your T-cells, lymphocytes and macrophages are all declaring war within your body. This takes energy and conserving energy means it can go into making you better. Leave the ironing, the paperwork can wait until tomorrow, and the floors don’t need to be washed today. Sleep and heal.

9. Carbs are Your Friend
Carbohydrates play an important role in immune function, so when you are sick is not the time to start a no carb diet. Choose wholegrain carbohydrates to fuel your immunity.

10. Fresh is Best
Eat loads of fresh fruit and vegetables. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants…need I say more?

11. Eucalyptus Oil Shower

Hop in a steaming hot shower and splash a few drops of 100% Eucalyptus Oil on the floor of the shower. A great  natural way to clear the sinuses

So what’s YOUR ‘Get Better Soon’ trick when it comes to colds and flu?  This is what you wrote on Facebook:

Beca Butcher Chicken n vege soup, plenty of fluids… And eucalyptus oil burning in the oil burner and the most important part REST…..

Bonnie Friend Lemonade!! Not the crap stuff u buy that fizzes… Make it in a juicer with ratios: 2x Granny Smith apples, 1/3 a WHOLE lemon and a finger length of fresh turmeric root. Super high vit c, not heated to kill it and tastes nice!!

Michelle Mason I have left over chicken stock 🙂
Tass Maniatis 3 cloves Fresh grated Aussie garlic, small knob fresh ginger, squeezes of organic honey, 1 x fresh lemon juice all into a cup of boiling water! Let it sit for a minute and stir constantly!! Then use a tea filter and pour into a new cup so the ur only drinking the liquid (add more honey if u want sweeter) People say its gross but I’ve developed a taste for it and its NEVER let me down!! The more potent the better!! 🙂
Leann Ben I eat Filipino soup called “Chicken Tinola” and drink green tea as well as lemongrass & ginger tea. I always try to stay hydrated and warm and take lots of naps.
Ribota de Sajambre Astragalus, silver, vitamin C powder form, ginger pieces in tea, garlic cloves any way you can
Stacey Rogers An early night and a plate full of veges
Tamara Wilson table spoon of fresh garlic and fresh honey 3 times a day (add ginger sometimes too to settle my belly) sip on lemon juice throughout the day and lots of water 🙂
Zelda Alexandra I make Zingy Soup and, combined with rest, it always fixes me within 24 hours! Full of the good stuff: lemon, garlic, ginger, cumin, coconut oil, onion, veg stock, red lentils. Recipe at
Karen Peace Total rest/sleep…and lots of fluids.
Vanessa Carnegie Take two of the Blackmores Echinacea and Garlic tablets with about a litre of water when you feel it coming on, then keep taking them regularly. I’m also a big fan of honey and lemon, using proper manuka honey (it has antibacterial properties, as does lemon) and also a little fresh ginger. A friend of mine swears by that olive leaf extract stuff, diluted in a big glass of fresh OJ. But rest, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

(1)Jacob RA, Sotoudeh G. Vitamin C function and status in chronic disease. Nutr Clin Care 2002;5:66-74.

One thought on “How to Survive the Winter Sickness Season

  1. Pingback: Sick~ A Good Day For A Bed Day! | Happy Suburban Chick

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