I’m sick and don’t have time!

How to deal with cold, flu or sinus congestion.

Well I finally managed to fall prey to a cold. My body and immune system have been strong and healthy for more than a year thanks to taking good care (insert GOOD food, APPROPRIATE training, sufficient SLEEP, POSITIVE mindset & NOT TAKING LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY).

But none of us are invincible and after a busy Christmas of family and fun, training, and working as a pharmacist as well as therapist, I guess things just caught up with me.

I don’t have time to be sick for long or for elaborate solutions; so I will give you a synopsis of what I am doing with a few additional tips.

It is vital to catch the infection at the first signs of symptoms. These are often sneezing, tickly/ sore throat, runny nose, feeling under the weather, headache, increased thirst, fatigue, shivers, aches and pains, and also inability to maintain high intensity training sessions with a perceived increased heart rate.

1. Day off training. One day off is better being the dumb hero who ends up ill for a week or more. When it comes to training the answer as to whether to train or not is it depends. It depends on your symptoms, it depends on their severity and location, it depends on the chosen activity, the intensity and also the location or weather conditions. Please seek advice from a therapist, your coach or someone who knows what they are talking about.


2. Stuff in my tea – right now bay leaf, chopped ginger, cloves, lemon and a dash of stevia. I am not an extremist, but if you are up to the challenge garlic and turmeric are super additions. Cayenne pepper is also helpful; it can be a tad on the hot side for sensitive stomachs but super for the cold symptoms!


3. Broth in my tummy – I am a big believer in the healing power of broth. Last night I made a big batch using the following ingredients: fresh root ginger, fresh chili, several cloves of garlic, onion, celery, sweet potato (carrot will also be a good option), red pepper, green cabbage, bone marrow bones (I chose to also add some stewing meat on the bone that contained marrow as i wanted to add protein to the broth) and filtered water.

I forgot to add turmeric and highly recommend this power herb anywhere that you can get it in! Other fresh and dried herbs and spices can be added where and when you wish; they all hold numerous healing properties.

Just because you are ill and need to take a day off from training does not mean that you must starve yourself to make up for your inactivity. The body needs both energy and nutrition to assist healing. Quality protein, mineral and vitamin rich foods, colourful plant foods rich in antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory rich herbs and spices being of prime importance. Also, it is best to assist your body with gently cooked, warm and easy to digest foods like stews, soups, broths and teas.

Follow your intuition; your body usually knows what it needs

4. Herbs to chase the virus away. I am fortunate that I have an herbal artillery in the clinic so I mixed up a blend of Echinacea angustifolia, Sambucus, Olive leaf, Thyme, Licorice, Schisandra and Vaccinium for myself. Not everyone will require this same mixture and most herbalists have their own tried and tested blends for coughs and colds.


Quick anti-inflammatory Salmon & Salad dinner
Tossed salad

Quick anti-inflammatory Salmon & Salad dinner


So now that we are in the New Year it is time to tidy up your diets. Here is a quick meal suggestion that is simple, tasty and nutritious:

What you need:

  • Organically farmed salmon fillets (avoid non-organic salmon when possible)
  • Water
  • Butter (the real grass-fed irish stuff)
  • Casserole / baking dish and aluminium foil
  • Green cabbage – my cabbage was a bit on the pale side; the darker it is in colour the richer it is in magnesium and other nutrients
  • Green kale
  • Cucumber – if you don’t like cucumber get inventive; I am sure that red peppers or celery will also work nicely
  • Optional pomegranate seeds or sultanas
  • Greek yogurt or low-fat yogurt
  • Stem ginger in syrup
  • Optional fresh ginger
  • Good quality mayonnaise – the best I had to hand was Hellman’s 
  • Dijon mustard



“Everything in there” Fruit, Nut and Spice Gluten Free Bread


Hi folks,

it is a while since I posted up a new bread recipe. I still bake gluten-free breads from time to time using all sorts of healthy twists; this one was a real winner so I am taking the time to write it up for you. Quantities are approximate because this is how I bake; so long as your end result is a ‘bread-like’ texture before baking you cannot go too far wrong.


  • 1 cup gluten-free jumbo oats
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup potato flour
  • 1/2 cup psyllium husks
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds (whole)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large grated courgette
  • 1/3 to 1/2 half grated pear (not essential – I had this knocking about and needing use)
  • 1 large duck egg (or large hens egg)
  • some treacle; approximately 1 teaspoon melted into some hot water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • some broken walnuts
  • small fist of jumbo sultanas and/ or juicy chilean raisins
  • water to desired quantity (preferably filtered)
  • optional salt to taste – e.g. 1 teaspoon



Slow cooker black bean vegetable tagine


It’s the run down into Christmas; so slow cooked meals are THE PERFECT choice for time crunched busy-bodies doing their best to eat clean and healthy in the count-down to Christmas day.

We just invested in a new crock pot after reluctantly leaving the owners le Creuset casserole pot in our last home 🙂 . BUT with every cloud there is a silver lining because we invested in some fabulous kitchen appliances for our new home.

So, this is the beast! The Crock Pot Crock-Pot 5.6L Digital Slow and Multi Cooker. I purchased mine here on Harts of Stur.


We have prepared a few meals to date in this and are really loving how easy it is to use, with no fuss. Garron has prepared a traditional South African tomato bredie, I have poached a ham (great feedback from our guest) and today was round two for me making a vegetarian tagine to balance all the meat that we have been enjoying of late.

It is good to include beans and lentils in the diet regularly as they are more alkaline in nature (when processed by the body) than meats and dairy foods, and rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; ones that are often limiting in other foods. Here is some tidbits about black beans and lentils.

Before I charge on to the recipe, here are a few tips for this busy period.

Tips to survive the Christmas mayhem


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