Lying in with a lurgy – a few suprising products to nurse you through your cold

I have a little winter lurgy. One of those truly annoying ones that isn’t quite bad enough to get you out of work, but just bad enough to send you straight to bed when you get home. Ugh.

Needless to say, the last thing I feel like doing right now is sitting down to tap out the weekly post. I have, however, recently downloaded an app that scolds me when I don’t reach my weekly milestones, so I find myself at an impasse.

To take the sting out of soldiering on, I have decided to dial it down a notch and just share photos of some LLUF-approved products that are in my house for the purpose of providing sweet, sweet relief in moments like these. Such as Thursday Plantation Eucalyptus Oil.

Eucalyptus oil

Other than my bed, of course, this little bottle of strong-smelling goodness is my favourite possession in all the world right now.

Then there’s Ethical Nutrients Immune Defence tablets. Tastes weird, but I feel like it helps.

There’s also the essential super-moisturising body wash to help my skin withstand the longer, hotter showers I indulge in when I am sick. Natures Commonscents have just released their body wash range and they are divine.

Natures CS

And of course then there’s tea. Black tea, green tea, chai tea, peppermint tea. Realistically no hot beverage is off limits unless it requires lots of milk. I’m a big fan of a simple lemon wedge squeezed into a mug of water, or some diluted apple juice heated in the microwave as well.

Tea2

So there you have it. A few of my favourites. I hope they serve you well. And now I am off to bed.

Top tips for staying warm this winter…

warm

This has been a cold, nasty week in our nations capital. On Monday morning I went into work at 10.30 and there was still frost on the gound!! Not just in the odd shady corner either. There were thick blankets of it laid out across the grass. Not. Good.

So my top tips for keeping warm?

1) Build some big woolley socks into your wardrobe. Eco-friendly, and with lots of Australian made options, socks will not only keep you warm but may also increase your chance of orgasm!!! Find out more here.

Tuff Mongrel Socks

2) Block up spaces around your windows and doors to help keep the heat in. Don’t have anything? That’s ok. Make your own door-snake with these simple instructions.

doorsnake1

3) Drink lots of tea. Comforting, delicous and warm. You’d be mad not to use the change in the weather to drink more. It’s also an opportunity to help lift people out of poverty, with 100’s of tasty fair-trade blends out there for the buying. See this post for some of my favourites.

tea

4) Make your own heatpack from things that are lying around the house when things get truly desperate.This easy little trick is a great substitute if no hot water bottles or wheat packs are on hand to soothe a sore body or add a little support to feet that are desperately trying to warm up.

So there you have it – the simplest, cheapest and most universe friendly ways I know to add a little warmth to your winter.

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I go back to Netflix and a massive cup of peppermint tea… maybe winter isn’t all bad 😉

Why am I so tired? A suprising answer.

Bed

Noticed a little inconsistency in my blogging lately? Two blogs here and then nothing for a few weeks?

Truth be told, I’ve been exhausted. Unbelievably, can-barely-drag-myself-out-of-bed-some-mornings, feel-hungover-but-I-haven’t-been-drinking tired. And as such, my my A-game hasn’t been anywhere for a long time!! I haven’t brought it with me to the blog, or to the community organisations I work with, or to my half of the house work (my poor hubby).

Given a long family history of depression I figured it was most likely a little ticking genetic time-bomb going off, but on the off chance it was something else I asked the doctor to do the standard gammit of blood tests. They say you should get them done every two years anyway, and it’s been a lot longer than that for me. And to my suprise it came back with something.

I expected it to be a thyroid thing at the very least (medical history prejudice again), but in fact I had a vitamin B12 deficiency – a vitamin important for brain function and energy production. Excited at stumbling across a solution so quickly, I eagerly asked the doctor what veggies I could eat to fix it – none. I was confused. All vitamins come from fruit and veggies don’t they?

After a short Google (not a verb, I know), I have come to understand – and kids, I wouldn’t recommend quoting this in a science project – that vitamin B12 is, well, kind of, sort of, but not exactly, the poop of a special kind of bacteria that grows in dirty water. We use clean water to grow our veggies, but animals still drink the dirty stuff. So the main source of natural B12 is animal products. Or something like that. I encourage you to do your own research if you are looking for the actual answer. I am a raconteur, not a medical scientist.

Anyway. Not being a big meat eater the Doctor suggested that I take a fairly sizeable dose of the Vitamin. I shan’t tell you what it was, because I don’t want this article to inspire people to take supplements at higher dosages than the label recommends without individual medical advice. But I shall tell you that I grabbed the first Australian made 1000mcg bottle of B12 I could find, although you can get lower doses as part of multi-vitamins and ‘stress formulas’.

When I first started to feel better I put it down to a coincidentally timed holiday, told myself the supplements were hippie voodoo, and stopped taking them. This led to a slow slide back to where we started. Within 4 days of getting back on the little pink pills I was feeling good. I’d forgotten I could feel that good. The extra energy, and the absence of brain fog was a very welcome relief.

Now of course, this is my experience based on individually tailored advice provided to me by a licensed medical practitioner. If anything my relapse and original reluctance are warnings against self-diagnosis. So don’t use this post as an excuse to delay a visit to the doctor if you need one. But if you are feeling a little run down, particularly if you are a veggo, give some thought to your own vitamin B12 levels.

The BHP – the weirdest trick for staying warm this winter

warm

My first winter in Canberra I cried in public three times because I just didn’t want to be that cold anymore. After four years here I still desperately long for the mild winters of my beloved Brisbane, but I’ve stopped crying. Needless to say, the subject of staying warm is close to my heart, so now that we are in the middle of winter I thought I’d do a series of articles to help you through the worst of it using each element of the LLUF mantra (less, local, used, fair) – starting with less.

Now I don’t usually associate winter with less. I associate winter with more clothing, more emotional breakdowns, and as I outlined in the ‘No Sweat’ article, more food and a whole lot more red wine. However, one sneaky trick, imparted to me by my first housemate and childhood friend (love you babe), allows you some extra toasty warmth by repurposing things you are almost guaranteed to have around the house. I call it the bogan heat pack or BHP.

The BHP requires three things. A wet tea towel, a plastic bag, and a microwave. Just hear me out.

  • Firstly, fold the wet tea towel – and I mean saturated – to the desired size, keeping in mind that the more times it is folded the less of you it will cover, but the longer it will stay warm (I prefer to fold it twice), and place inside plastic bag. Fold plastic bag around tea towel.
  • Secondly. Place the plastic bag inside the microwave with the opening to the plastic bag on top. This will reduce any water running out onto the microwave plate or onto you when you pull it out.
  • Microwave for 1-2 minutes. Be super careful when removing from the microwave as this baby will be very, very hot. This is no sweet and simple store bought wheat bag we are talking about.
  • Finally, wrap it up in another tea towel – preferably one of the fluffy ones for a bit of added luxury – and cuddle/place on your cold or aching body part.
  • You might also like to grab your laptop and start researching how to change your name to Shazza -your call.

The BHP has many advantages over the traditional hot water bottle or heat pack, as it not only doesn’t need to be stored anywhere, does not get lost down the back of the cupboard during summer, and costs nothing.

As long as you heed the very, very hot warning, you can’t go wrong with the BHP.