Saturday, 24 December 2016

My vegan guide on how to survive a christmas cold.

Colds and infections are never fun but when you are a vegan it is incredibly difficult to stick to your chosen diet and recover from the infection. Normally you would have the energy to rustle up a vegan dish packed with nutrients and vitamins but if you're stuck in your bed the last thing you want to be doing is worrying about cooking methods and timings.

The NHS recommend that to treat a cold it is best to drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest and eat healthily. A low fat, high fibre diet including plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit which sounds perfect for vegans except it is not. The two common home remedies for a winter cold is chicken broth and honey; both are completely useless to vegans.

So what is useful for vegans?
In the morning, it was the most difficult for me to eat as my throat was incredibly swollen but I needed a little energy boost. I found crumpets enjoyable and I craved bananas like crazy. So I chopped up a banana and had it on top of my crumpet. It satisfied my cravings and gave me such a good energy boost.  I also really enjoyed a crumpet with my favourite brand of  peanut butter as well.




I found that Rice krispies or (crisp rice if you shop at aldi) drowned in unsweetened soya milk, topped with mixed dried fruit. Microwaved on a medium heat for around 30 seconds was like heaven. I had a small bowl in the morning and as a supper before bed.


For a bigger meal in the evening I tried tinned tomatoes on toast, its soggy and required very little effort to make. The best tinned tomatoes are the italian brand Napolina  and I always have them in my cupboard.



















Soups
When I had energy I took the time to make a soup and left it in the slow cooker.
There are a range of vegan stocks available such as Kallo, Tesco's own and my all time favourite Knorr.
Its very easy to make any soup you fancy really, I made a Broccoli, pea and thyme and a wonderful carrot and swede.

Carrot and swede
1/2 large swede, 2 large carrots, knorr stock and 500ml boiling water left in the slow cooker until the vegetables have softened.

The other soup I would really recommend is miso soup, which you can either easily make or buy. Miso has been a staple in the chinese and japanese diets for thousands of years, it is known for its numerous health benefits.

Coughing
My lungs were constantly trying to clear themselves and I learnt that there are two types of coughing - productive, (when you are trying to expel and get rid of mucus) and unproductive (when your cough is just ongoing and accomplishes nothing). I found a few different remedies seemed to work at certain stages.

  • Boil hot water and steam your face underneath a towel for 5 minutes
  • Hot showers with the bathroom door and windows shut (try to create a mini steam room)
  • Prop your head up when you sleep 
  • Cough drops - the good kind, I love these ones from Holland and Barret .

Obviously it is critical to keep hydrated and drink often, pure water is the best with a slice of lemon but can get pretty dull after a while. So try herbal teas and squashes such as Vimto.

Finally it is critical to get some sleep, whether you are vegan or not sleep is the best medicine for a cold, run down sick body. So get plenty of rest and just put saving the world to one side for a day or two.


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