Sinus congestion is horrible – not being able to breathe, going through boxes of tissues, restless nights, etc. If you want to relieve it without resorting to medicine, here’s what to do:
Use a neti pot once a day. The neti pot will irrigate your sinuses, freeing up some of the congestion and washing out some of the stuff stuck in there that may be causing the congestion in the first place.
Drink at least 16 ounces of green juice for breakfast every day.
Get upside down! Going upside down will also help free up some of the congestion. It will be hard at first because you won’t be able to breathe at all through your nose but stay upside down and you’ll notice the congestion starts getting looser and moving around.
Massage your face to loosen things up. I use my fingers to massage the area between my cheekbones and my nose, the area below my eyes, in outward circles. Also try massaging the area outside of the eye cavity, just above the nose but below the brows, as well as your cheekbones.
After a hot shower, immediately blow your nose.
AVOID DAIRY! Dairy already causes mucus buildup in your body (albeit in the colon, not the nose) but you will make your body work even harder to get rid of the sinus congestion if you consume dairy. In fact, you should ideally stick to as much of a raw vegan diet as you can. Also try eating spicy food.
And there you go! If you do all of these, you’ll notice major strides within a day or two, and should be able to completely kick the congestion’s butt soon after that.
There are so many benefits to this concoction but on top of it, it’s delicious. I drink hot water with raw honey and cinnamon every day. Typically, I add 1 tbsp raw honey and 1 tsp cinnamon to about 1 cup of water. It’s also just a great way to add fluids to your diet if you don’t like to drink water.
Get them here:
Out of the slew of purported benefits, I can definitely personally attest to a few of them.
Relieves sinuscongestion – I’ve had a couple experiences of something entering my nasal passages and causing sneezing fits and my sinuses to get majorly congested. I know one was from the air conditioning at work and the other I am guessing was some sort of dust that lodged itself deep into my nose. When that happens, I aim for 3 cups a day of this concoction, and let me tell you, it really does the trick. I will literally feel some sort of relief immediately after drinking, and complete relief within a few days.
Kickssicknesses – On a similar note…I haven’t been sick in 9 years so I can’t say for myself, but I did tell people to try this out when I saw that they were sick. One of them now drinks it every day too because of that, and the other told me it normally takes her 10 days to get better but instead, she got 90% better over the weekend! For you skeptics out there, she started drinking on a Thursday or Friday, not on a Monday or something.
Aids digestion– Drinking this helps get things moving in your colon. It might be beneficial to drink it before a meal. Based on personal experience (and the testimony of someone else I know), it seems that the more junky the food you have inside you, the more likely your body will push things out of your colon…so maybe it’s a detoxifier as well. I’m going to go with it.
Other benefits include:
lowers cholesterol and strengthens the heart
relieves (and maybe even cures) arthritis
prevents bladder infection by destroying the germs in the bladder
cures stomachaches and clears stomach ulcers
strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks
kills the influenza virus
keeps skin fresh and soft, and slows down the aging process
removes pimples (apply a daily paste of 3 tbsp raw honey and 1 tsp cinnamon powder on pimples at night, wash in the morning with warm water)
cures skin infections like eczema and ringworm (apply equal amounts on affected parts)
weight loss by drinking in the morning before breakfast and at night before sleeping (supposedly, it does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body)
cures cancer (based on research in Japan and Australia)
helps fatigue and increases the vitality in the body
prevents bad breath (gargle 1 tsp of each with hot water in the morning)
restores hearing if taken daily, morning and night, in equal parts
Now, having said all that, I am going to include a bonus recipe. This is a delicious tea with beneficial digestive properties. The lemon aids in clearing out your liver, the ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of nutrients to the body and soothes the stomach and colon, and the raw honey and cinnamon has all the benefits I just stated above. So try it out! I make this tea on the weekends, since it’s harder for me to slice ginger and squeeze lemon at work.
Makes 1 serving.
1 cup hot water
a few thin slices ginger root
1/4 – 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp cinnamon powder
previously steeped tea (optional)
Mix all ingredients together.
The reason I add the previously steeped tea is to add flavor, and once tea has been steeped already, it has been naturally decaffeinated. Enjoy!
Swish it around in your mouth while you continue with your morning routine. You want to build up to 20 minutes.
Spit out in the garbage.
Rinse mouth with water and brush your teeth. (Added boost: scrape your tongue after rinsing but before brushing)
Things to keep in mind:
DO NOT SWALLOW! You may want to gag or swallow at first, but you will only bring toxins back into your body that were pulled out. Personally, I wanted to swallow because toxins were coming out and my sinuses were swelling up, making it nearly impossible to breathe through my nose. Spit it out instead. As I said earlier, you want to build up to 20 minutes. Eventually, your body will get cleaner and you will not have these sensations again, and oil pulling will become a cinch.
Do not spit it out in the toilet, sink, or anything else with a drain, as the oil will eventually clog the pipes.
The more toxic your body is, the harder oil pulling will be. But that’s a good thing. The toxins want to stay embedded in your body so they have a tough time coming out. Push on through, it’ll be worth it.
The idea behind oil pulling is that the oil pulls the harmful toxins, bacteria, fungus, etc. through your gums, pores of your teeth, etc.
People have noticed changes in their body, including whitening of their teeth, preventing bad breath, prevents cavities and gingivitis, eases digestive problems, and getting rid of their allergies and other illnesses. My teeth have become whiter, yes. I have a friend who has suffered from nausea and vomiting in the morning, and she would have a lot of trouble holding down food in the morning. I suggested that she try oil pulling, and lo and behold, it helped! So oil pulling affects people in different ways but I have yet to hear any harm coming from oil pulling.
Choosing a juicer can be overwhelming. Here is the lowdown, starting from the cheapest:
masticating and single gear
Pros: fast, easy clean-up, inexpensive
Cons: destroys the nutrients, still leaves wet pulp, loud
Let me get into the cons, since the pros are self-explanatory.
destroys the nutrients – We all know fruits and vegetables aren’t shelf stable. Pretty much anything we do to them jump starts the release and destruction of nutrients due to oxidation (exposure to the air). Centrifugal juicers basically cut up these fruits and veggies and spin them around at a high speed so that some of the liquid gets separated from the fiber. As a result, you have to drink the juices within 15 minutes of juicing. So you can’t make any juice ahead of time and store them.
still leaves wet pulp – The drier the pulp, the more you’ve extracted out of the fruits and veggies and the more bang you’re getting for your buck.
loud – the world and its grandma is going to know you’re juicing whenever you are
Masticating and Single Gear
This is basically the in-between juicer. I suggest this juicer to most people because it’s a nice balance between those who don’t want to spend too much on a juicer but still want quality juicers.
These juicers are gentle enough that you can make your juices ahead of time and store them. Some say you can store up to 72 hours, but I’d just do 2 days max to be safe.
A couple reasonably priced juicers:
Pros: produces juices with high nutrient value, quiet, leaves dry pulp
Cons: pricey, slow, tedious clean-up
Imagine pushing something through a pair of gears. That something gets gently squeezed and, in this case, produces juices with a high level of nutrients intact and leaves behind dry pulp. These juices can be stored up to 72 hours but I just keep them for 48 hours max, just in case. These juicers come with many parts to clean up and take longer to juice, since it is so gentle on the fruits and veggies.
I have been using this one since 2012 and I still love it:
This is the Rolls Royce of juicers. The highest quality juices come from these machines. Being as that I’m sure the large majority of us don’t have an exorbitant amount of money to roll around in, I’m not going to waste my breath on explaining these because they don’t come cheap.
TIP!!!!! When storing your juices, put them in tightly sealed, nonporous (ie, non-plastic) containers, like mason jars, leaving as little air as possible in the containers.
What is the big deal about juicing? Here’s the 101.
First off, let me begin by explaining the 2 types of juicing that’s out – let me call them juicing for health and mainstream juicing.
Mainstream juicing – what is most likely being referred to out in the media now, that is currently become more and more popularly used for detoxification, and consists of juice fasts lasting for 3, 5, or 10 or more days.
Juicing for health – the juicing done by health aficionados who actually incorporate juicing into their daily lives.
I am not a fan of mainstream juicing. Juicing actually has legitimate benefits but mainstream juicing is what is attracting those who want quick fixes and to have a fast detoxification and weight loss. The problem with mainstream juicing is that people don’t realize how unhealthy and improper it is. You can’t eat like crap and then shock your system with a juice fast, only to jump right back into crappy food. It’s going to feel awful and any benefits to your body from the juice fast quickly goes to waste, literally and figuratively. So I suggest if you want to go through a juice fast, start off by easing your body into it by eating clean first. And DEFINITELY eat clean and light as you transition back into solid foods.
As for the juicing for health folks – we try to incorporate green juices into our everyday lives to supplement our diets. Personally, I drink green juices every day for breakfast, when my stomach is empty, so that the nutrients can go directly into my body.
What the heck is juicing?
It’s simple – take a bunch of veggies, mostly green veggies, and a little bit of fruit, and drink them without the fiber.
Many argue that you need the fiber in your diet. Here’s my argument: a healthy diet will have plenty of the fiber you need. You’re not missing out by juicing. By taking out the fiber, you are skipping the digestive process and allowing those nutrients to get to work on your body right away. Green juices are basically a magical elixir that you add to your everyday diet. They allow you to get an extra boost of veggies that you couldn’t possibly eat in a day.
Okay, so how do I do it?
Simple. Buy a juicer. Buy vegetables. Put the two together. I usually drink 16 ounces a day.
The proportion of veggies to fruit should be 3 to 1 because you don’t want to overload on the sugar. Personally, I only use half an apple for every 16 ounces and rely on cucumbers and celery to mellow out the taste, due to their high water content.
The darker green your veggies are, the better.
I find that as long as I have the cucumbers, celery, and apple, I can mix and match on the rest of the veggies without much problem. I like to include vegetables I don’t normally eat. Unless you like the taste of mustard, though, you might want to take it easy mustard greens. I learned that out the hard way. Also include herbs – cilantro helps clear out heavy metals from your body and parsley helps detox your kidneys. Lemons keep the nutrients fresher longer.
Does that help? Questions are welcome and I will be sure to update this post based accordingly!
But does it really work?
Yes. I am gaining nothing by telling you to start juicing, except the knowledge that I am helping you become a healthier person.
Juicing has helped me get stronger faster and heal faster. It has cleared cobwebs from my mind and it has balanced out my chemical hormones. I feel like a sane person now. Or…saner. And most importantly, it has helped my digestive system. So now I can eat more without getting fat! Woooooooo!!!!!!
I’m not usually a fan of Mexican/Texan food, but this vegan recipe is delicioso! It has a slight kick to it, depending on how sensitive your taste buds are, but the combination of flavors makes this dish so amazing. But all you need is a pot and a food processor or blender! So very easy and yummy that you won’t believe it’ll actually help you detoxify and lose weight!
Why should you try yoga? When someone first suggested yoga to me, I laughed at the idea of putting aside valuable workout time just to stretch a little bit. I was so wrong. Here are some reasons why yoga is an incredible addition to your arsenal:
Flexibility: Let’s start with the obvious. Yoga makes you flexible. Why is flexibility important? Let me tell you, I scoffed at the idea of stretching. Now, I would be upset if I was inflexible. Once you become flexible, you will love how easier it feels to move about in your every day life. Blood starts flowing better and hey, some people have actually said they’ve gotten taller. Flexibility is important because it helps prevent injuries and you get less brittle as you age (read: it keeps you younger longer). Imagine your body like spaghetti. When it’s dry and something pushes at it, it breaks. When it’s wet, it becomes pliant and if something pushes at it, if just bends. So bend, don’t break. Go with the flow. Be like the water. And any other similarly corny lines.
Mental clarity: Second most obvious – it’s meditative. Not because you sit there and clear your mind (which is actually extremely hard) but because you end up becoming so focused on trying to stay balanced on that one leg that you push all other thoughts out of your mind and just for that one moment, you are living in the moment. When you are thinking about everything else, you let the moment you are living in slip away. Also, some yoga postures specifically help increase blood flow to your brain and help clear those cobwebs away. Take inversions, for example. Putting your body upside down gets the blood flowing in a different direction but also gets you into different perspectives.
Strength: Yoga is amazing because it strengthens all these tiny little muscles that get ignored by other exercises. These tiny little muscles are important because they help the bigger muscles gain so much more. Don’t ignore the little people! Yoga is also amazing because the postures require many parts of your body to work in harmony in such minute detail so you get stronger in multiple areas at once.
Balance: Obviously, you will learn how to balance better. You start balancing on one leg while the other leg is dangling somewhere else, you balance your body on your two hands, and eventually you could balance your body on your fingertips or just your head! I’m not there yet so I won’t be showing that. Yoga also teaches you balance in other ways. You learn to listen to your body and you start to pay attention to which side of your body is different, and in what ways, from the other side. You learn how to back off if need be and you learn how much your body can accomplish.
Detoxification: We are all storing toxins in our body from everything – the air, the chemicals in our soaps, the food we eat, etc. It takes time for our bodies to get those toxins out and if you are too toxic, the body starts breaking down. Yoga helps give that body the edge it needs. Some poses increase blood circulation, some poses stimulate the lymph nodes and particular organs in the body, some poses wring out your body as if it’s a wet towel, etc. If you try out hot yoga, you also get to have the added benefit of having the toxins leech out of your skin via your sweat. Some of the postures also have helped people release their emotions (in other words, emotional detoxification)
You’re so vain, I betcha think this song is about you: Yeah, it makes you look better, too. It lengthens your body and makes you more lean. The improved circulation makes you look healthier and improves your skin tone as you shed that dry skin. You may also start eating better. The more yoga you do, the more you pay attention to your body and realize it’s a haven and start wanting to eat cleaner. Or, you do yoga after eating junk food and feel absolutely horrible throughout the postures and realize you never want to feel so disgusting again and swear off that junk food for months. Both have happened to me. And finally, you get to show off to everyone what cool things you can do now and how you can contort your body or stand on one leg longer than them.