• Wellness

    Three ways to attack the common cold

    Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

    My husband travels often for his job. On his recent trip to France, instead of bringing home a box of chocolates, he brought home the common cold. This was a very powerful virus. My husband came home on Thursday and I was immediately sick by Saturday.

    Since I knew I was traveling soon to see family, I started my self-care cold routine that morning.

    Drink water – lot’s of it

    My routine starts with drinking 70 oz of water, approximately half my body weigh in ounces. I normally try to drink this much water daily, but often fall short. When I have a cold – I definitely hit this number. Now, I don’t drink just any water, I make herbal infused water. Take a 40 oz container (check out this stylish pitcher) and add one-half lemon, six slices of cucumber, a couple of crushed mint leaves and one rosemary sprig.

    Lemons contain vitamin C, cucumbers are hydrating and help cleanse toxins from the body, mint helps with digestion and adds a nice flavor to the water and rosemary has anti-inflammatory, and free radical zapping antioxidant properties. Directions: Drink throughout the day.

    Herbal Spa Water

    Take Echinacea

    Echinacea is a flowering plant and the roots and leaves are ground up and used in supplements and tea. I’ve used both, but prefer the tea especially if I have a sore throat caused by dripping sinuses.

    If hot tea isn’t your beverage, I’ve also discovered the Immunity Aid beverage by FitAid. This cold, slightly fizzy orange ‘soda’ has echinacea, zinc, vitamin C and D3, turmeric, astragalus and valerian root, and chamomile. I’ve purchased a four-pack at my local Vitamin Shoppe, but when I was sick it was easier to buy Immunity Aid in a 12 pack from Amazon. I have Amazon Prime, so received my package the following day.

    ImmunityAid by FitAid
    Cute dog glass(1 of 4) from https://www.uncommongoods.com/

    Try an Elderberry Supplement

    Elderberries contain antioxidants and bioflavonoids that can reduce the length of the common cold. The dark purple color of the berries is due to a flavonoid called anthocyanins which helps boost the immune system.

    In the journal, Nutrients, there was a study to determine if elderberry supplementation reduced the duration of a head cold for air travelers. At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that there was a “significant reduction of cold duration and severity in air travelers” (Tiralongo, et al), who used the prescribed capsules that contained 300 mg of elderberry extract.

    It is interesting to note that in the study, the travelers who successfully reduced their cold symptoms, began their supplementation 10 days before travel (2 caps per day), and increased the dose to 3 caps per day while overseas.

    Perhaps it’s bold of me to suggest that the Elderberry Gummies shorten my cold as I only took 100 mg at the start of my cold, but you never know.


    A head cold is never fun and we’re always searching for ways to reduce the length of sickness. These are the three items that I added to my diet once I realized I was sick. I’ll admit that I had a couple of rough days and difficulty sleeping due to congested sinuses, but I feel that I got over this cold quicker (within 4 days) with this regiment than just taking over the counter cold medicine.

    I understand that everyone reacts differently to viral infections and maybe good old vitamin C and chicken soup works for you. However, if you’re struggling to get well – fast – do give these three remedies a try.

    In the comments below, let me know your tried and true cold remedies.

    Tiralongo, Evelin et al. “Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Nutrients vol. 8,4 182. 24 Mar. 2016, doi:10.3390/nu8040182

  • Nano_Side

    My experience with Reebok Nano 8 & 9 Training Shoes

    Nano's 8 and 9

    When I started CrossFit four years ago, I simply wore my regular gym shoes which were running shoes from Saucony (“Sock-a-knee” for those that wonder about the pronunciation of the brand). Once I began lifting a barbell it became obvious that my running shoes were the wrong type of shoes to wear while lifting.  Running shoes are made for forward motion with quite a bit of padding in the heel. So when weight lifting, running shoes are too spongy and don’t offer the stability of a flat shoe.  After practically being on my toes for a deadlift, I thought it was time to find a good pair of CrossFit shoes.

    Of course, I went straight to Nike as they have (in my opinion) the cutest gym shoes for women. I mean, come on, how cute are the Metcon 5 AMP training shoes with the while canvas and confetti print on the heel? Cute! Am I right? But alas, I have weird long feet and a size 9 in Nike is too short for me and vanity prevents me from sizing up to a 9.5.

    Next up: Reebok

    I originally purchased the Reebok Grace, a relatively pretty shoe in a size 8.5 as the size 9 felt too large. The 8.5 size felt ok on, but my toes hit the edge of the shoes during a workout and I knew the shoes were not going to work. I sold my Grace shoes to a CrossFit gym member for ultra-cheap.

    My next purchase was the Reebok Crossfit Nano 8 Flexweave. I learned that I better get that size 9, which I did. When I first received these shoes and put them on – it wasn’t love at first sight.  My goodness, these shoes are ugly. However, they are good Crossfit shoes.  The flexweave allows for breathability as well as flexibility and the low cut design allows for mobility when moving through various WOD components. These shoes also have a solid grip on the gym floor. However, these shoes failed me in the running department.  Every four rounds of a 400-meter run left me with shin splints. These shoes have absolutely no shock-absorbing material in them whatsoever. So when my gym WOD’s required running, I went back to my running shoes.


    Then came the Reebok Nano 9 Training shoes which boasted “added midsole cushioning” and “designed to absorb impact during short runs”. Ok! That’s my shoe!  I purchased the Nano 9’s and … um, what cushioning? Where was this cushioning? Sorry, no these shoes are not any better during a run than the Nano 8’s.

    The Nano 9’s have a similar breathable flexweave and a new outsole for improved heel-to-toe movement, much like a running shoe. These shoes also have a thin toe cap to help ease the pain of smacking your toes against the bar on toe-to-bar raises. They also added a rubber overlay from the midfoot to heel to provide structural support and added durability. 


    Now, what’s a gal to do when her Nano’s cause shin splints during those short runs?

    Get –> athletic inserts.

    The cushioned footbed in these shoes (as in most shoes) is removable and I replaced it with the Sof Sole Athlete Neutral Arch Comfort Insole found on Amazon. I purchased two pairs for both my Nano’s and I’m happy to report that running with these insoles resulted in no shin splints.  I will say that you have to be aware that a slightly thicker insole will ‘take up space’ in your shoes so you may need thinner socks and you will need to loosen your laces, insert your foot and re-tighten.  Regarding size for the Nano 9’s, I did order both an 8.5 and 9 size shoes and while I thought the 8.5 would have been a slightly better fit, I knew that if I wanted inserts that I would be better off getting a size 9 and I was right. 

    In closing, I would recommend the Reebok Nano’s as a solid shoe for CrossFit workouts. However, I am still on the hunt for better (if not prettier) shoes, so I will probably revisit the Metcon’s and I will definitely be looking at Inov-8 and NOBULL shoe brands.

    Well, my friends, that’s it for me, let me know in the comments below your favorite Crossfit shoes.