This past week I’ve had a cold… yes, a common cold like many people get this time of year when the season begins to change. You will think this is strange, but having this cold made me happy. In case you’re wondering about this statement, let me explain. This is the first time I can remember in more than 15 years that a common cold has not turned into a full-blown sinus or respiratory infection. I simply had a cold and recovered… without antibiotics or anything more than a bit of cough syrup at night so I could sleep. I find this amazing!

If you’ve read my blog before, you may recall I have always suffered from severe allergies and fought sinus and respiratory infections on a regular basis. These infections often lasted for a full three weeks minimum and then the cough would hang on for months. As a result, I was often tired and run down with low resistance and the cycle would start all over again.

But, today’s post is not about illness… it’s about recovering and being well! I have worked hard the past year to live a healthful lifestyle and believe it has paid off. One important thing I learned during the process is that everybody (and every body) is different. You cannot take a health plan and follow it without question and expect it to work. If you truly want health, you must work to find what your individual body responds to and how it reacts to changes in diet, exercise, medication, etc.

This is what worked for me:

1. Removed wheat from my diet. I do not claim to be gluten intolerant because I do not suffer from celiac disease. But, I do have a wheat allergy and my body rebels when I eat it. This allergy caused problems with my immune system and resulted in allergy problems that often turned into infections, etc.

2. Gradually decreased all medication. Only when you observe your body without medication, do you know exactly what your health issues and concerns are. (This does not apply to life-saving heart or blood pressure medications… so do not decrease those if you are taking them). After eliminating wheat from my diet, my immune system began to function better and my allergy issues changed. Only when I quit taking all medications did I know what I was truly dealing with. I’ve gone from taking six prescription medications daily to one prescription and an occasional over-the-counter med.

3. Began taking vitamins. My immune system was a wreck and I needed to strengthen it, so I looked for vitamins that would help. I take a liquid Vitamin C and Vitamin D daily, along with Vitamin B-12 tablet. This combination helps me feel good with increased energy.

4. Changed my eating plan. Not only did I eliminate wheat, I tried to reduce processed foods and eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s amazing how my system responds to healthful food.

5. Exercise. I used to think exercise wasn’t worth it if I didn’t go spend two hours at the gym working out. I finally realized I need to gradually work up to a full exercise routine. If my muscles are out of shape, I can’t suddenly do a hard-core work out and expect to get good results. I began doing short walks or bike rides a couple of times per week. Then I purchased a kayak and began taking that out on the river on the weekends. Or, I would spend time mowing the yard or working in the garden. The more time I spent outside doing different forms of exercise, the more I enjoyed it. I am now doing about an hour of exercise 4 to 5 times per week, and working toward doing something every day.

6. Listen to my body. Yes, it talks to me. It lets me know if what I’m doing works or not. It lets me know when I need more sleep… when I’ve eaten something questionable… when the air is too dry. If I pay attention, I know what I need to do (or not do) to feel good.

So consider many forms of health plans and research them, from eating, to exercise, to vitamins. Find out what works for you personally and develop your own plan. It’s easy to follow a routine when you get results and you feel good. With making some changes, you will feel immediate results… others will take a while, but stick with it. It’s worth it.

Strive to be healthy!

Cold image courtesy of Reduce the Spread of the Common Cold

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Monica DeGraffenreid
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 13:34:38

    Great post!
    Since getting married/having kids, etc. my diet has become so much healthier. I have noticed the same thing with colds, although mine never got as bad as yours, they would still be pretty miserable for a number of days. Now if I get one it knocks me for a much shorter period (1-2 days usually0. I also rarely get cold sores anymore, and I believe this is due in a huge part to a healthy diet and whole-food supplements.


    • vjkline
      Oct 24, 2012 @ 09:16:11

      It’s interesting how life changes, such as marriage or having kids, makes a difference in the way we eat. I think Aaron’s medical background has made a difference in the health of you and your family… it’s nice to have someone like that as a resource.


  2. Julie Hansen Intuitive
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 17:15:18

    Congrats! I also have been taking B, C and D and noticed a difference. I really related to your post. I have also found relaxation/decreasing my stress level has boosted my immunity. Healthy wishes-Julie


    • vjkline
      Oct 24, 2012 @ 09:12:52

      I agree about reducing stress Julie. My stress level has dropped a great deal since the first of this year and I think that has helped with all my health issues as well. Thanks for mentioning.


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