Ways to Prevent and Cope With Winter Illnesses

The weather of Fall 2016 has had drastic weather changes and soon, winter will be here. As the weather changes, our bodies need to cope and that means we may get sick during this time. The drastic changes take a toll on our health, especially for those of us who have existing health conditions. Below is an article that discusses common winter illnesses, with tips on how to prevent  and cope with them. Cheers to your health!

Coping with Colds and the Flu This Winter


Dr. Marissa Ferrazzo-Weller of Pearl River Internal Medicine – Highland Medical, P.C., an affiliate of Nyack Hospital, shares what you can do to make it through cold and flu season.


Dr. Marissa Ferrazzo-Weller

If you or your kids start feeling sick this winter, it’s helpful to know whether it’s a cold or the flu. “Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can take the right steps to feel better,” says Marissa Ferrazzo-Weller, DO, of Pearl River Internal Medicine.

How can you tell if it’s a cold or the flu? Both are viral infections of the respiratory tract, which includes the nose, throat, airways and lungs. “They share many symptoms, but there are some differences,” she notes. “The symptoms of a cold develop more slowly, and are usually milder than flu symptoms. A cold typically lasts for about one week, but some do linger, especially in children, elderly people, and those in poor health.” View our Cold vs Flu infographic.

Cold symptoms can include:

  • Fever up to 102°F
  • Runny or stuffy nose (often with green- or yellow-colored discharge)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Watery eyes

While you can’t cure a cold, you can treat symptoms so you feel better faster. You can try treating congestion, cough and nasal discharge with a decongestant, antihistamine or a combination of the two. Many over-the-counter cold treatments contain both and are labeled for multi-symptom relief. Dr. Ferrazzo-Weller suggests that you check the list of active ingredients to make sure the medicine addresses your particular symptoms. She advises, “People with high blood pressure and heart disease should avoid decongestants, since they can raise blood pressure.” While many other remedies such as Echinacea, zinc and vitamin C are often touted as cold remedies, there is no solid scientific evidence that supports these claims.

“Staying hydrated is extremely useful in helping your body fight illness,” she shares. “Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks as they can lead to dehydration.” She also recommends gargling with warm salt water and getting lots of rest, both of which can help you feel better.

“When kids are sick we often keep them home, but as adults, we can’t always follow the same guidelines,” Dr. Ferrazzo-Weller notes. “If you must go to work, remember to wash your hands frequently and have a box of tissues and a hand sanitizer readily available. Your diligence will reduce the spread of germs, helping to keep your associates and family members from getting ill.”

Flu symptoms usually appear suddenly and can include:

  • Fever over 102°F
  • Stuffy nose
  • Nausea
  • Chills and sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches, especially in your back, arms and legs
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

Although most people recover from the flu within one or two weeks, elderly people may feel weak for a longer time, even after other symptoms disappear. Dr. Ferrazzo-Weller says that getting plenty of fluids and bed rest is the best remedy for flu, but in some instances, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication.  Drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir(Relenza) are started within two days after flu symptoms appear, and can reduce the severity of symptoms and the length of the illness by at least one day.

Antiviral drugs may be recommended for people who are at higher risk for flu complications based on their age (older than 65 or younger than 2 years old) or underlying medical conditions such as asthma, blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease), chronic lung disease (such as COPD), diabetes, heart disease, or kidney or liver disorders.

Flu symptoms, such as  congestion, headache,  cough and nasal discharge, can be treated with over-the- counter medicines as appropriate for the symptoms and the patient’s existing health conditions. Dr. Ferrazzo-Weller’s advice, “Stay home until your symptoms are gone and you are truly feeling better.”

The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot.  As it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to protect the body from the influenza virus, the best time to get a flu shot is in September orOctober. However, as Dr. Ferrazzo-Weller tells her patients, “Getting a flu shot at any point in the flu season will still help protect you from the flu.”


Keeping Cool In The Heat Of The Summer


We are entering the hottest summer weekend of 2016 and we all want to stay healthy and cool as possible! In my last article, I discussed the importance of hydration and the information below expands on that, and provides other ways to stay healthy and keep cool in the heat. Please read the article below to keep you and your loved ones healthy in the heat. Cheers to your health!

How to Stay Cool in Warm Weather


Keeping cool in warm weather is a multi-faceted challenge. Risks of getting too hot in warm weather include dehydration, heat stress, heat cramps, or even heat exhaustion. Keeping your body cool will also help to keep your mood calm too, for heat often exacerbates feelings of stress, tension and frustration. There are lots of simple and effective ways to stay cool in warm weather and most of them are very affordable.

Method One of Five:
Eating and Drinking to Stay Cool

    1. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 5

      Stay hydrated. Water is essential for keeping you cool during hot weather. Water keeps your body cool and should be drunk even if you don’t feel thirsty. It’s okay to also drink commercial waters (such as Vitamin Water) or sports drinks such as Powerade or Gatorade but they’re usually not necessary unless you’re deliberately replenishing lost vitamins/electrolytes following a sporting activity.[1]

      • The best way to check your hydration level is to measure your urination color. Anything darker than straw colored is probably an indication that dehydration is on the horizon, and water is needed.[2]
      • Stay away from sugary drinks such as sodas; they decrease the ability of your body to store water. Also, steer clear of alcoholic drinks, coffee, and caffeinated drinks, which are natural diuretics.
    2. 2

      Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.Drink plenty of water before engaging in any activities. If you wait too late, you could experience cramps, which are a sign of heat-related illness.[3] Remind yourself to drink water frequently with one of the following options.

      • Purchase a durable water bottle or water pack that you can tote everywhere and refill at any safe water tap.
      • Freeze a bottle of water to carry around with you. It’ll be solid when you leave the house, but the heat will start melting it from the moment you take it out of the freezer. Wrap it in a towel to prevent water condensation affecting other items in your bag.
      • Download a water drinking app onto your phone. Set reminders, daily targets, and even track when the last time you had a drink.[4]
    3. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 6

      Choose cooling foods. Food can keep you cool provided you make the right choices. Choose salads, fresh raw food, vegetables and fruit. “Cool as a cucumber” is literal; it is nearly 100% water, providing hydration to keep you cool.[5][6] Avoid eating meat and protein-heavy foods during the heat of the day because these can increase metabolic heat production, which can add to loss of water.

      • It may seem counter-intuitive, but eating spicy peppers may help cool you off. They make you sweat, which provides a cooling sensation.[7]
      • Smaller meals may also help keep your core temperature down. Large meals require the body to work harder breaking everything down.[8]
    4. 4

      Make food without using the oven or stove. Find foods that don’t need to be cooked, or don’t need heat to be cooked. If you must actually cook, keep the cool air in, and the temperature down, by using the microwave instead of the stove or oven.[9]

      • Cold soups are great in warm weather. If you haven’t tried them yet, hot weather is the excuse you need! The fact they are often healthy is just an added benefit.[10]
      • Make popsicles, slushies, frozen fruit, frozen yogurt, and other frozen treats to help you cool down. 

Method Two of Five:

Avoiding and Combating the Sun

    1. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 1

      Stay out of the sun while it’s at its hottest. This commonsense approach isn’t always easy to adhere to when summer fun beckons, so it bears repeating. Avoid activities in the noonday sun as much as possible. It’s best to limit your sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day during warmer months. When you are outside during these times, limit your exposure as best as you possibly can.

      • Schedule activities early in the morning or later in the afternoon
      • Some people are particularly vulnerable to heat and should stay in cool places during hot weather, such as children, the elderly and those who have health problems.
    2. 2

      Spend more time in air-conditioned places. When the heat is excessive, it’s best to enjoy the benefits of air conditioning. Air conditioning is the primary preventative measure for heat-related illnesses. Visit public buildings if you don’t have adequate air-conditioning at home.[11] A few possible locations to avoid the heat:

      • The library is a great place to get cool and learn new information.
      • Grocery stores are air conditioned well. And if it’s particularly hot, visit the freezer section and peruse for a while.
    3. 3

      Wear sunscreen! While sunscreen doesn’t necessarily have a cooling effect, its protective effect is vital during warmer weather. As well as being painful and damaging, sunburn can cause a fever and various signs of dehydration.[12] If left unchecked, sunburns can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.[13]

      • At the minimum, use SPF 15. If you’re planning on being outside for a while, SPF 30 would be a better option.
      • Reapply often. Every two hours is recommended, but it should be reapplied more often if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.
      • Apply roughly a shot glass worth of sunscreen to cover the entire body.[14]
    4. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 1Bullet3

      Stay in the shade. Retreat to shade as much as possible. Taking breaks under trees works doubly well because trees release water into the air that absorbs some of the heat. While shade doesn’t lower the actual temperature, the lack of sunlight exposure makes it feel like the temperature is up to 15 degrees cooler.

      • If a cool breeze comes by, that can feel like an additional lowering of 5 degrees in the shade.[15]
    5. 5

      Splash water on your skin. When it’s hot outside, a dip in cool water is refreshing. Jumping into a pool is not always a choice. Don’t forget low-maintenance options like sprinklers.[16] You could also try taking showers or baths with cooler than normal water to take the edge off.[17]

      • Fill a spray bottle with pure water and place in the refrigerator at home or work. When you feel too hot, spray a fine mist of the cooled water over face and body to help cool you down quickly. Refill as needed and keep refrigerated.[18]
      • Make a game of staying cool. Gather friends and run through sprinklers. Throw water balloons. Have a squirt gun battle.
    6. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 7

      Use fans. While the efficacy of fans during extreme heat and humidity has been debated, some research suggests fans are beneficial up to 97 °F (36 °C) with 80% humidity, and 108 °F (42 °C) with nearly 50% humidity.[19] Whether hand-held or electric, fans can keep you cool by continuously circulating air. In your home and office space, locate fans in rooms where you are working or resting to keep the air circulating freely and to reduce the mugginess of heat.

      • Try making your own “swamp cooler.”These evaporative coolers can reduce temperature by significant amounts. They range from the simple (i.e. a bowl of chilled water in front of a fan) to the semi-complex. With just a few PVC pipes, a bucket, an electric fan, and a frozen gallon of water, you can create mid-40 °F (4 °C) wind.[20]
      • The fan should not be the primary source of cooling.[21] 

Method Three of Five:
Dressing to Keep Cool

    1. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 3

      Wear lighter clothing. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing will help to keep you cooler. If it is light in color, it’s even better, as this will reflect the heat and sunlight better. Shorts and short sleeved shirts are good choices. Something that lets the air flow freely through, hitting the sweat on your body, works best. The following suggestions are specific ways clothing can maximize your ability to stay cool:

      • Cotton and linen clothing tends to keep you cool and absorb moisture.
      • Clothes you can hold up to the light and see through are great choices. Be sure to apply sunscreen when wearing really thin clothing, however, as the clothing doesn’t provide adequate protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
      • Synthetic clothing tends to trap moisture, which makes the fabric feel heavier, stick to your skin, and restrict air-flow.
      • Working in lower humidity settings with short sleeves has been shown to have a minor benefit. Weigh the options of UV exposure with your choice of clothing.[22]
    2. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 3Bullet1

      Keep your head covered. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, one that sufficiently covers the top of your scalp as well as the tops of your ears. This helps to keep you cooler by providing shade. Choose a brim that is wide enough that it can also cover the back of your neck.[23]

      • Light-colored hats can help keep you cool.
    3. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 4

      Wear breathable footwear. Depending on the activity, one shoe could be more comfortable or appropriate than another.[24] Consider whether arch support, durability, and comfort are mandatory, and then choose the best breathable footwear for the activity.

      • Cotton socks are great, but moisture wicking socks help your feet stay cooler.[25][26]
      • Some running shoes are designed with the summer months in mind, providing ventilation in a variety of designs.[27]
      • Be careful if you decide to go barefoot. Many artificial pavements become unbearably hot during warm weather and can scald your feet.[28]
    4. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 3Bullet5
      Choose function over style. Wear fewer accessories during hotter weather. Metallic accessories can heat up considerably and less is always best when it comes to keeping cool. Other clothing accessories can weigh clothing down, trapping in heat and moisture.[29] If you have long hair, wear it up and off your face and body, allowing the breeze to flow along your neckline.[30] 

Method Four of Five:
Keeping Your House Cool

    1. 1
      Minimize the effects of sunlight on your roof. Ensuring your house is a lighter color, or a reflective color, can decrease the temperature in the house. Cooler colored roofs are approximately 50 degrees lower during hot summer months. It’s possible to put a roof coating on your existing roof, or replace the traditional darker shingles with a lighter color.[31]
    2. 2
      Close curtains and blinds. The sun’s rays convert to heat. However possible, you should block the rays coming into your house to keep the temperature down. Closing curtains, lowering shades, or even blocking windows can significantly reduce the heat in your house and keep it cool. Awnings work as well, because they keep the direct heat off the windows without blocking out all light.[32]
    3. 3

      Insulate well. Better insulation means less heat in the summer. If your house is hot, you can cool down easier with better insulation. Less crevices and avenues for the air to escape means the cool air stays inside.[33]

      • Ensure there is some air between insulation and roofing material. 

Method Five of Five:
Strategizing to Beat the Heat

    1. Image titled Stay Cool in Warm Weather Step 2

      Plan ahead. Whatever you’re doing outdoors, having a plan will help cut down on unnecessary activity in the heat. By having a plan, you can set time limits on your exposure to the heat and plan ways to minimize the effects of the heat before you head into it each day. Always be sure to stick to your time limits by prioritizing and leaving less important things to be finished when it’s cooler.

      • When hiking, study the map at the beginning of the day, and calculate the best route, especially one that makes the most of shade where possible.
      • While swimming, monitor your time in the pool. You may think there is minimal sun exposure because of the cooling effect of the water, but staying in too long without reapplying sunscreen or taking a break could lead to sunburn.
      • If you have to travel a lot during hot days in your vehicle, plan ahead by having your vehicle inspected and ensuring that your air-conditioning is in working order. When you notice the temps aren’t as frigid as you’d like, take it in for service. The car is likely low on Freon.[34]
    2. 2
      Check local weather or news for updates. As part of your planning, spend time watching the weather forecasts. In the USA, NOAA produces a heat alert based on Heat Index Values. The importance of this measure is that it tells you how hot it will feel outdoors when the relative humidity has been factored in with the actual air temperature. Be aware that heat index values are devised for shady areas and light wind conditions. If you’re under full sunshine and in the presence of strong winds, the heat factor can increase by up to 15 °F (−9 °C).[35]
    3. 3

      Allow yourself time to acclimatize if traveling. Travelers often make the mistake of trying to maintain normal levels of activity when arriving in a country warmer than the one they’ve left. Acclimatization can take up to 10 days depending on the temperature difference.[36] Rather than pushing yourself, give yourself time to acclimatize to the new warmer environment, which means minimizing physical activity until the heat feels more tolerable.

      • Once you feel more comfortable in the heat, gradually build up your physical activities until you’re back to your normal level.
    4. 4

      Pace yourself when working in the heat. Slow down, it’s not worth pushing yourself strenuously when it’s hot outside. Start and progress gradually, noting when the heat is really affecting you. Rest is an important way of coping with too much heat. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to rest when you feel fatigued during warm weather.[37]

      • Things that require a lot of physical effort can be done early in the morning or later in the day.

The Importance of Hydration


Hydration is vital to maintaining a healthy functioning body. It is so easy to forget to hydrate, but many health issues occur due to dehydration. Personally when I’m dehydrated, the issues are usually dizziness, stomach and sinus problems. Thankfully I haven’t had an asthma problem in over 2 and 1/2 years but for some, dehydration can affect asthma as well as many other functions in the body. In the more extreme weather months such as Summer and Winter, we need to be especially careful, though it is important to stay hydrated year round. Below is an article that explains the importance of hydration. Stay hydrated and live well, cheers to your health!!!

Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints. Water is needed for good health.

How does my body lose water?

Water makes up more than half of your body weight. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you are physically active, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid water loss. If you don’t replace the water you lose, you can become dehydrated.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated?

Symptoms of dehydration include the following:

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
  • No tears when crying

Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to take action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.

Who is at higher risk of dehydration?

People are at higher risk of dehydration if they exercise at a high intensity, have certain medical conditions, are sick, or are not able to get enough fluids during the day. Older adults are also at higher risk. As you get older, your brain may not be able to sense dehydration and send the signals for thirst.

You may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking if you:

How much water should I drink each day?

You may have heard different recommendations for daily water intake. Most people have been told they should drink 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which is a reasonable goal. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses may be enough. Other people may need more than 8 glasses each day.

If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.

Besides water, what else can I consume to stay hydrated?

Water is the best option for staying hydrated. Other drinks and foods can help you stay hydrated, but some may add extra calories from sugar to your diet.

Drinks like fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas can contribute to the amount of water you get each day. Even caffeinated drinks (for example, coffee, tea, and soda) can contribute to your daily water intake. A moderate amount of caffeine (200 to 300 milligrams) is not harmful for most people. This is about the amount in 2 to 4 8-ounce cups of coffee. However, it’s best to limit caffeinated drinks because caffeine may cause some people to urinate more frequently, or feel anxious or jittery.

Water can also be found in fruits and vegetables (for example, watermelon, tomatoes, and lettuce) and in soup broths.

What about sports drinks and energy drinks?

For most people, water is all that is needed to maintain good hydration. However, if you are planning on exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful. It contains carbohydrates and electrolytes that can increase your energy and help your body absorb water.

Choose a sports drink wisely. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. Also, check the serving size. One bottle may contain several servings. If you drink the entire bottle, you may need to double or triple the amounts given on the Nutrition Facts Label. Some sports drinks contain caffeine. If you use a sports drink that contains caffeine, be careful not to get too much caffeine in your diet.

Sports drinks are not the same as energy drinks. Energy drinks usually contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants (for example, guarana, ginseng, or taurine) that your body doesn’t need. Most of these drinks are also high in added sugar. Many experts recommend that children and teens should not have energy drinks.

Tips for staying hydrated

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Purchasing bottled water is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it from the tap instead.
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • Be sure to drink water before, during, and after a workout.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. It will keep you hydrated, and it’s free!







Types of Massage

bg-massageMassages are great for pain relief and relaxation, but to get that relief you need to choose the right kind of massage for you. Personally I found out that deep tissue massage with accupressure is wrong for me.  It was very painful and intense, because they pressed in so deep and my muscles were so tight. My breath was pushed out of me and I had to breath out hard, like I do when I exercise.  After each deep pressure part they rub it to soothe the pain. I felt better right after the massage but my back started hurting that same evening. My whole body was in a lot of pain for 5 days, especially my neck, shoulders and lower back. Soreness is expected the first couple days because of the muscle adjustments, but you are expected to feel a lot of relief after the soreness is gone. However I did not feel any relief.  Injuries can happen from deep tissue massage and I think that is what happened to me. This kind of massage does help some people with pain but it did not work for me.

The week after the painful deep tissue massage, I had a Swedish massage with hot stone treatment and it was really relaxing. I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated after it. The massage was more gentle and therapeutic and the hot towels followed by more massage and then hot stones was a blissful experience, I almost fell asleep! My pain was gone and I felt great!

Massages are not cheap so to find good deals I searched Groupon. I recommend Groupon highly because you get great deals, especially if you want to save money like I always do.

There is a great article I found that describes different types of massage and the experience of each kind really well, I suggest reading this if you want more information on what types of massage are available and what could be best for you.



Jogging In Place To Lose Weight

Hello everyone! I have been away for awhile due to being sick for over a month and am finally well again! Now that I am strong again, I decided to research effective ways to get some great cardio. Jogging in place is a fun and effective way to get in shape at home and at the gym. Try it and have fun!

2016-03-10 21.38.47.jpg

How to Jog in Place to Lose Weight
By Maggie McCormick May 14, 2015


Jogging in place can be an effective way to burn calories, helping you to lose weight. It’s easier to do than jogging outside or on a treadmill, and the fact that you can do it inside — away from the heat in summer and the cold in winter — can help you stick to this as an exercise routine. If jogging in place is your exercise of choice, it’s important to do it at an intensity that gets your heart pumping. If you challenge yourself, you can burn more than 500 calories per hour.

Step 1

Warm up with a light jog. Lift your feet only an inch or two off the ground, hopping from foot to foot. Give yourself a few bear hugs to warm up your upper body.

Step 2

Move your arms as you jog. The more you move your body, the more calories you’ll burn as you work out. Engaging your arms is an effective way to up the burn.

Step 3

Lift your knees higher to increase your heart rate. If you want to really get your heart pumping, you can bring your knees up high — your thighs should be parallel with the ground.

Step 4

Increase your speed as well. The faster you jog in place, the more intense your workout will be.

Step 5

Alternate periods of intensity with periods of recovery. It can be difficult to sustain high-intensity phases for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do them. Work out as hard as you can for as long as you can and then bring it down to an easier jog to recover.

Step 6

Incorporate strength training moves into your jogging workout. The disadvantage of jogging in place is that it doesn’t offer the same resistance and muscle-building benefits that you would receive if you were jogging outside or on a treadmill with an incline. Make up for this by doing body weight moves like squats, lunges and pushups in the middle of your workout.

Step 7

Create a schedule for exercising and stick to it. The more often you do your jogging in place routine, the more calories you’ll burn and the more weight you’ll lose. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week to maintain your weight — you should do more if you want to lose weight. You can combine jogging in place with other types of activities.

Fun Healthy Recipes!

Are you ready for healthy recipes that taste like you are having fun cheat days with food? If you get creative with healthy ingredients and textures, you will have a lot of fun with your healthy creations! Below are 15 recipes to get you started, have fun!



The best and easiest healthy, comforting recipes that aren’t boring at all. And they don’t taste “healthy” at all!


Healthy meals don’t have to be boring, and they don’t have to take hours to make either. And with these 15 recipes, you’ll have a healthy meal on the dinner table in less than 30 min, and even the pickiest of eaters will be begging for seconds and thirds!

1. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich – Greek yogurt is a wonderful healthy substitute, but no one has to know because you can’t even tell a difference. [http://damndelicious.net/2012/11/07/lightened-up-greek-yogurt-chicken-salad-sandwich/?m]

2. One Pan Mexican Quinoa -Wonderfully light, healthy and nutritious. And it’s so easy to make – even the quinoa is cooked right in the pan [http://damndelicious.net/2014/04/09/one-pan-mexican-quinoa/?m]

3. Easy Burrito Bowls – Skip Chipotle and try these burrito bowls right at home. It’s easier, healthier and 10000x tastier. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/09/10/easy-burrito-bowls/?m]

4. Asian Quinoa Meatballs – Perfect as a light dinner over brown rice and a side of roasted vegetables. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/10/15/asian-quinoa-meatballs/?m]

5. Avocado Pasta – The easiest, most unbelievably creamy avocado pasta. And it’ll be on your dinner table in just 20 min. Done and done. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/06/20/avocado-pasta/?m]

6. Broccoli Quinoa Casserole – Healthy, cheesy comfort food without any of the guilt. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/05/broccoli-quinoa-casserole/?m]

7. Quinoa Chili – This vegetarian, protein-packed chili is the perfect bowl of comfort food. [http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/16/quinoa-chili/?m]

8. Honey Salmon in Foil – A no-fuss, super easy salmon dish that’s baked in foil for the most tender, most flavorful salmon ever. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/02/07/honey-salmon-foil/?m]

9. Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers – These stuffed bell peppers will provide the nutrition that you need for a healthy, balanced meal. [http://damndelicious.net/2013/06/03/quinoa-stuffed-bell-peppers/?m]

10. Cauliflower Chowder – A creamy, low carb, hearty and wonderfully cozy soup for those chilly nights. Or any other night of the week. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/22/cauliflower-chowder/?m]

11. Quinoa Chicken Parmesan – With an amazingly crisp quinoa crust, you’ll never guess that this is actually so healthy and packed with tons of protein goodness. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/06/23/quinoa-chicken-parmesan/?m]

12. Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps – These simple wraps comes together in less than 30 min, and it’s incredibly hearty, healthy and filling. [http://damndelicious.net/2013/09/24/asian-turkey-lettuce-wraps/?m]

13. Quinoa Black Bean Tacos – Quick, easy, healthy and full of flavor – even meat eaters will love this. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/04/19/quinoa-black-bean-tacos/?m]

14. PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps – A copycat recipe that you can easily make right at home in just 20 minutes. And it tastes a million times better too. Seriously. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/05/30/pf-changs-chicken-lettuce-wraps/?m]

15. Quinoa Enchilada Casserole – A lightened-up, healthy enchilada bake chockfull of quinoa, black beans and cheesy goodness. [http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/07/quinoa-enchilada-casserole/?m]


Essential Oil and Home Remedies To Treat Sinus Infections

Sinus infections are very common, especially during the winter season and other times of weather change. As I am prone to sinus infections, I wanted to look into natural remedies to treat them. You may have heard about Neil Med, a company that designs sinus rinse bottles and nasal rinse solutions. Well, I happen to use it and it works very well. However I learned that you can make the saline sinus rinse solution on your own! All you do is boil 8 ounces of water and wait until it cools to a warm temperature. Once the water is warm, put in a half teaspoon of sea salt and a half teaspoon of baking soda. Shake it up. Then proceed with using a sinus rinse bottle or netti pot.

There are also essential oil recipes that you can use for your sinus infection, as well as other home remedies as described in the article below. Cheers to your health!

5 Essential Oil Based Remedies for a Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)

A sinus infection (also referred to as sinusitis) is an uncomfortable condition often caused by an infection or inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the bony cavities behind, above and on each side of the nose.

An acute sinus infection is often accompanied by congested headaches, catarrh and a fever.

If you’ve been experiencing chronic, long term sinus infections then  you’ve likely found your nose has been blocked for long durations. You can feel the blockage along with dull pain and tension between the eyes.

And it’s not a fun experience.

Whether you’re dealing an acute or chronic infection, it’s important that you deal with it promptly. There is always a risk that the infection could travel higher and cause more harm, potentially in the form of meningitis.

What Essential Oils Provide the Best for treating Sinus Infections?

The list below is a pretty definite one – this is basically all of the oils out there that are known to be somewhat helpful for sinus infections. You want to use oils that are antiviral, antimicrobial, surfactants, expectorants…

I don’t recommend using just any of these oils indiscriminately!

Many of the oils in the following list have found their way into the recipes that I recommend next. If you want to use more than what I recommend below in the recipes section, do your research!

  • Benzoin
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Clove
  • Aniseed
  • Marjoram (sweet and spanish)
  • Myrtle (green or orange)
  • Peppermint
  • Hyssop
  • Pine
  • Rosemary (ct. cineole and ct. camphor)
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree
  • Bergamot
  • Thyme (ct. linalool and ct. thymol
  • Camphor
  • Cajeput
  • Spanish sage
  • Rose
  • Chamomile
  • Canadian Balsam
  • Helichrysum
  • Niaouli
  • Ravensara

5 Essential Oil Recipes for Sinus Infections

**IMPORTANT: The Need to Disrupt Biofilms**

  • Before making use of any of these recipes I recommended applying a xylitol based nasal spray. This is because xylitol has been shown to be an effective disruptor of biofilms – which are a protective measure that shelter used by the pathogenic viruses that have invaded your sinuses.
  • Research on biofilms is relatively new, so you haven’t likely heard of them. But I’ll give you a little information on them.
  • Biofilms are a protective layer created by colonies of bacteria. The bacterial colonies produce these biofilms to provide what is essentially an impenetrable coccoon that is extremely hard to disrupt.
  • When at full health these biofilms are effective at blocking attempts by the immune system to disrupt them. This is why people who have chronic sinus infections are sometimes unable to cure themselves even with multiple rounds of antibiotics. The biofilms simply keep the antibiotics out.
  • The presence of these biofilms also inhibits the ability of remedies (like essential oils) from doing their healing work.
  • By introducing xylitol via nasal spray you are providing a solution to the problem since xylitol breaks up biofilms. The nasal spray I’ve listed does not dry out the nasal passages (dry sinuses slow treatment) and won’t inhibit the immune defense of the body. Instead the spray acts more as a surficant and lubricant, which make it easier for the body to produce natural mucus secretions that will help eliminate the pathogens, along with the help of your essential oils.

Alright, on to the recipes!

The following recipes have been sourced from knowledgable essential oil experts, aromatherapists and experienced herbalists.

inhalation sinus_

1.) Simple Nasal Decongestion Steam Inhalation Formulas

Recipe #1


Recipe #2



  1. 5 to 10 minutes before your treatment clear the nasal passages by blowing nose and apply 1-2 sprays of an xylitol based sinus spray.
  2. Next add your essential oils, drop by drop, to a small, non-reactive bowlfilled with boiling water.
  3. Grab a towel and cover your head with it and lean over the bowl, with just you and the steaming bowl blanketed underneath the towel
  4. Keeping your eyes closed, inhale the steam vapors deeply for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Repeat sever times a day.

coconut oil

2.) Simple Massage Oil Recipes to Ease Congestion

Recipe #1


Recipe #2


Recipe #2 Blending Directions

  • Blend essential oils together using the proportions listed above. Feel free to make a bigger batch of the blend, just stick to the proportions
  • Use 5 drops of resulting blend for every teaspoon of carrier oil


  1. Thoroughly mix together essential oils with your base carrier oil in a non-reactive bowl.
  2. Massage resulting mixture into:
    • The back of the neck
    • Chest
    • Behind and in front of the ears
    • Over the cheekbone
    • On your nose
    • On your forehead
    • Soles of your feet

Repeat application 2-3 times daily, or as desired.

3.) Simple Diffusion Recipes

Recommended oil blends for diffusion:


Soothing oils for Evening / Nighttime:


Either diffuse these oils by themselves or synergistically together. It’s recommended that you use an an essential oil diffusor for this.

4.) Simple Inhalation Recipes

Direct Tissue / Cloth / Handkerchief / Pocket Square Inhalation Recipe:



  • Combine essential oils
  • Apply 1-2 drops of mixture to a tissue and inhale.

Hand Held Pocket Inhaler Recipe:



  • Combine essential oils in a small non-reactive bowl.
  • Place the inhaler wick from your pocket essential oil inhaler in the bowl and allow it to absorb all of the liquid.
  • Insert the wick back into your inhaler and cap and screw it closed.
  • Use inhaler up to 5 times a day. Use your xylitol sinus spray before every inhalation session

You can learn more about inhaling essential oils here.

5.) Simple Warm Compress



  • Pour one cup of relatively hot water into a non-reactive bowl
  • Add your essential oils to the water
  • Sit well to disperse oils
  • Soak your cloth in the bowl of infused water
  • Wring out enough water so the cloth doesn’t drop
  • Place the cloth on your nose and sinus area for as long as desired.
  • Repeat often, being careful to not allow any of the mixture to get into your eyes.

A Few (Non-Essential oil Based) Tips to Help Clear out your Sinus Infection

The essential oil based recipes above should be entirely sufficient to clear out your nasal passageways and send your infections packing.

But, there’s multiple ways to address these kinds of infections, and topical applications are not always going to cure the underlying condition at hand. If you’re not being diligent with a few important factors that I’ll list below then there’s a chance that you won’t entirely hear your infection. Or, if you do, you still run the risk of picking up another one rather easily.

Eat some foods and avoid others

I’m not going to go on some diet crusade here and ramble along.

Your diet is your diet.

But there are some things that are best avoided while dealing with these types of infections, and there are some things to eat that will really help you out.

I recommend that you avoid or limit your intake of the following foods:

  • Sugars (refined and natural)
  • Dairy
  • Wheat


These foods are known to help lead people to developing sinus infections, or to exacerbate preexisting ones.

Here are some foods you should add to your diet or up your intake of:

  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Radishes


These foods boost your immune system response by either providing strong antimicrobial/antiviral support (ginger, garlic) or encouraging proper drainage of your sinuses (onions, radishes).

Take Immuno Supportive Supplements


These supplements help the body flush toxic mucous, encourage rebuilding of healthy mucous and support the immune system’s ability to fight infections.

Use a humidifier if you’re in a Dry Environment

A humidifier will prevent the dryness associated with sinus infections. They’re both preventative and supportive for current infections. If you don’t already have one you can pick one up for relatively cheap. Keep it on in your room at night.

Alternatively, do a lot of steam inhalation with your essential oils before bed and throughout the day.

Get your Blood Checked

If you are dealing with a sinus infection – especially if it’s been a chronic condition for you – then it might be a good time to get your blood work done.

Relevant blood tests:

If you choose to go to your doctor (the above tests don’t require you to visit your doctor) they may do the following check ups:

  • Physical exam
  • Nasal endoscopy
  • Imaging studies
  • Nasal and sinus cultures

What makes us get Sinus Infections, anyway?

We are most susceptible to these kind of infections right after we’ve gone through a cold, hay fever or prolonged exposure to cold, damp air.

Your sinus infection can become exacerbated by various factors including overworking, chronic stress, neck tension and being in stuffy, overheated environments.

Below are some more prominent conditions which can lead to sinus infections:


Allergies will often lead people to develop chronic sinus infections. Allergies to foods like wheat (gluten) and dairy (lactose, casein) are popularly associated with sinusitis. Environmental allergies are commonly related as well, ranging from seasonal to animals allergies.

Low immunity

People who have depleted immune systems are at high risk for developing sinusitis, among other health problems like strep throat and worse. There;s a variety of factors that can lead a person to becoming immune deficient, many of them highly complex.

Deciphering the immune system is beyond the scope of this post, but we will be addressing the immune system with our essential oil recipes.

Being around other Sick People

You can still be at risk of developing strep throat even if your immune system is solid. If you’re surrounded by family, friends or co-workers that are constantly sick you are likely being exposed to a large variety of pathogens.

At first your body might be able to fight off the intruders, but many an immune system will fold if left to fed for themselves for a long time.


5 Essential Oil based recipes for sinus infections

Hopefully this post has been helpful for you.

If you have any comments, questions or recommendations of your own please let us know in the comments section below!