21.10.14

WHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM LETS YOU DOWN


I'm writing this the night before my first marathon – eek! - from my hotel room in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, I have a vile cold but my steely determination (read: I'm stubborn as a mule) means that I'm going ahead anyway. I in no way condone this sort of stupidity, some casual googling has revealed that it puts unnecessary strain on your heart to exercise when ill and I realise it's going to impair my recovery but I can't bear to miss out. I thought I'd compile some tips for magicking yourself back to fighting-fit health which have certainly been speeding me towards recovery, if not quite all the way yet!

1. Absolutely ram yourself full of vits and mins. It might be a placebo effect but I've been cramming down crazy quantities of homemade green juices because they look like murky restorative potions and they're helping to put a spring back in my step. I'm not the recipe type, more of a chuck it in and chug it down girl but my favourite juices generally contain grapefruit and lemon for a vit C hit, ginger because it's generally amazing for you and an anti-inflammatory to boot, spinach because of the protein and iron content (and because I'm not quite brave enough to liquidise my beloved kale yet) pineapple for taste purposes and a sprig or two of fresh coriander because it adds a lovely zing and makes me feel a bit fancy. I promise that this is actually delicious and tastes quite a lot like lemonade, despite looking like pond sludge. 



2. Baby yourself. My childhood memories of being poorly involve a lot of Marmite on toast cut into soldiers and dippy eggs, always artfully arranged. Whilst grown up life involves woefully less of being taken care of by mummy, pretty meals of wholesome ingredients are a surefire way of distracting me from even more childish behaviour such as descending into mournful whimpering. Same goes for Disney films, matching pyjamas and calling home to whinge to anyone unfortunate enough to answer the house phone.



3. Healthified versions of treat foods. I've realised it's becoming clear from my blog entries that basically my greatest pleasure in life is eating and if I can get all important nutrients while feeling like I'm eating a decadent dessert, I'm all for the self-deception. A regular treat is “clean” pancakes, there are a million different variations on the Internet/Insta but my favourite replaces flour with ground almonds, milk with soya milk and tops with berries, pecans and a drizzle of honey. Bicarb of soda makes them fluffy. You can add protein powder to the batter if you're getting super serious – I recommend hemp. 



4. Don't over-do it! Instead of running this past week, I've been walking for a few mins at a moderate-to-brisk pace to get at least some of the endorphins my body craves and then relaxing in the unseasonably warm sun on my balcony for some fresh air before crawling back into bed. That way I don't feel like I'm missing out too much but don't delay my recovery. It sucks to be cooped up but it's worth concentrating on recovering so you can get back to real life sooner. Obviously, I don't always take my own advice but a marathon is a pretty special case!

It's pretty soothing to think that by the time you read this I'll be all done and with any luck it'll all have gone swimmingly! Sickly season is well and truly upon us now and with any luck these tips will hold you in good stead for the assault on your immune system the next few months have in store.


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"Hiya, I'm Catherine, recent English Lit graduate newly situated in Shoreditch. I love street food, puppies, competitive cheerleading and pyjamas."