Nutrition: The Woes of Getting Sick with ADHD (& How to Boost Your Immune System)

In bed and catching up on Homeland with my pup, Gulliver.
Happy 2013, everyone! I am so sorry for the delayed post. I was hit with a bout of the influenza that has plagued us this winter. In honor (or in spite) of it, here’s a entry about the woes of being sick with ADHD, with tips to boost your immune system...

I can’t imagine a worse sick patient than me.

On any given sick day, most languish in the extra rest, the extra hours spent in bed...perhaps they run a temperate bubble bath with eucalyptus salts and proceed to inhale...exhale. Or else they indulge in marathons of reality tv.

For me, sick days are like being confined to a 48-hour road trip. I may see some interesting sites along the way – namely hours of tv and movies – but I am constantly itching to get out of bed and move. The problem is...whenever I stand up, my legs turn to jelly, and I must crawl back into the cell that is my bed. Throat Coat Tea, you are my bitter sidekick.

...And, Influenza, you are my arch nemesis. With the hopes of fortifying our defenses, here are some techniques to boost our immune systems. Next winter, I refuse to catch the bug that coughs from cubicle to cubicle around the office.

Combat Germs
Hello disinfectants, soap, and hand sanitizers! If you work with small children or in a large office, you may already keep these on hand. Add hand cream to the mix so that your skin doesn't dry out. Another tip that I thought up this year is - toothpaste! During the winter, avoid sharing yours with friends and family members. It is one of the easiest ways to share your germs. And if you live in an urban area (like I do!) wear gloves outside to keep your fingers warm and create a barrier between you and public surfaces (e.g. subway poles, door knobs, and ATM machines).

Be Zen (...or at least try to be)
Looking back on my New Year's Resolution, I wished for rest. Perhaps it's idealistic to envision a calmer version of myself. But still, I must strive....

When I researched how to boost one's immune system, an answer that popped up quite often is "reduce stress." Mother Earth News explains, "When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands churn out epinephrine (aka, adrenaline) and cortisol. While acute stress pumps up the immune system, grinding long-term duress taxes it. For instance, psychological stress raises the risk for the common cold and other viruses."

Pay attention to what quiets your inner monkey. For me, I find cooking and baking to be incredibly relaxing.

Cinnamon-raisin bars from this vegan recipe!

Super Foods
...which leads us to super foods. Huffington Post released a great article about 11 foods that will help keep you healthy: "21 Foods to Boost Your Immune System." These include...

My constant companions.
  1. Chicken Noodle Soup (the staple)
  2. Onion and Garlic
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Citrus Fruits
  5. Yogurt
  6. Immune-Boosting Supplements
  7. Hot Tea (my current best friend)
  8. Ginger
  9. Honey
  10. Black Pepper
  11. Spices

Are there any super foods that they left off? Comment below or send me a note at WriteToJulianna.

Vitamin D
I don't know about you, but I have a low threshold for cold weather. When temperatures drop below 50-degrees, so does my time spent outside. The negative effect of this is that my Vitamin D levels also tank. I've spoken to a surprisingly amount of friends, family members, and neighbors (the majority of whom are women) who have visited their doctor with symptoms of feelings lethargic, and returned home knowing that they have a Vitamin D deficiency.

Here are some tips from Dr. James Dowd, associate professor of medicine at Michigan State University and author of The Vitamin D Cure, about possible cures:

Read more about Vitamin D Deficiency at O Magazine!
I often feel like a hamster in a wheel when it comes to the amount of exercise my body needs to maintain an even rhythm  After a long weekend away without a run, I’m bouncing from toe to toe. You can see a physical change in my behavior.

When it comes to boosting your body’s resistance to infection, we all hear that exercise is key. But for me, sage wisdom never sinks in until I understand why. To inform us both, here’s a video from Web MD that explains how exercise, sleep, nutrition, and some herbal remedies are linked to a boosted immune system:

Are you as ancy as I am when you're sick? What tricks do you use to stay healthy?