Surviving the harsh winters of Chicago can take diligence and creativity. We like to keep it simple with natural remedies that help to prevent those pesky colds and aches & pains that come with colder weather and staying indoors. Bask in those crisp, sunny Chicago afternoons (soaking up all the natural Vitamin D that you can)  and try some of our favorite remedies to kick your cold to the curb.

  1. Bone broth 

Haven’t you heard? Bone broth is the newest trend this winter. Whether it be chicken or beef, the bones of the animal are heated with herbs and vegetables to create a broth. Not only is it delicious and filling when warmed up on the stove, but it provides immense benefits for our immune systems.

Phosphorous, magnesium and calcium release out of the bones and into the broth when simmered and the collagen from the bones helps heal our guts by reducing inflammation.

Making your own broth is super inexpensive and easy, especially if you have a crockpot or pressure cooker. If you don't want to make your own and you're in Chicago, you can order from Kitchfix or Chicago Bone Broth. 

  1. Herbal supplements

Instead of taking drug-store medicines that are loaded with artificial colors and fillers, consider trying syrups and herbs that contain medicinal herbs. Certain herbs such as elderberry have been used for centuries to boost and defend the immune system naturally.

This immune boosting berry can be taken the morning and one at night when you’re feeling a cold or flu coming on. It has the smell and look of drugstore cough syrup but fear not -- it is purely concentrated elderberry and nothing else! You find it at Whole Foods but you can order it here as well.

  1. Hydration

Drinking enough water is essential to stay balanced and hydrated. While we need it every day, when we’re sick we need it the most. Sometimes the best medicine is having enough water in our bodies. After all, water takes up more than 60% of it. Did you know it is recommended that we drink half of our body weight in water? When you wake up, try drinking one cup of water with a squeeze of lemon to boost your metabolism and energy for the day. If you’re working out or on the go, remember to pack a BPA-free water bottle along in your purse or bag. We love these trendy BKR bottles!

  1. Diet

There is nothing better for our immune systems than improving our diet. We like to make our own soup from scratch, loaded with fresh vegetables like carrots, spinach and mushrooms. Did you know that mushrooms contain the antioxidant selenium which helps our white blood cells fight off bad bacteria? Another helpful way to heal your system is to sneak in anti-inflammatory spices like ginger and turmeric. While ginger can aid with stomach aches and nausea, turmeric will decrease inflammation caused by colds and lung infections.

Our favorite way to get an immunity boost when we’re feeling under the weather is by heading down the street to Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery and picking up a Golden Mylk made with almond and coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger, raw honey and turmeric. Yum!

  1. Sleep

While we love staying up until the late hours of the night baking at Simple Mills, we value the importance of sleep so we can re-energize for upcoming meetings and events. When we’re sick, the best thing we can do for our bodies is rest. Checking in with our sleep schedules from time to time will help our systems stay on track and get back to feeling good. We like to aim for 7-9 hours every night.

If you’re having a hard time sleeping, try sipping on some tea! Our favorites are Honey Lemon Throat Comfort (helps with throat irritation and dryness) and Cold Season (comprised of warming herbs for nasal function) from Yogi TeaTurn off your phone, sip on a hot cup of tea and before you know it you’ll be dreaming!

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