No one likes a cold, and various colds of one origin or another are going around this winter season. One of the worst parts of the common cold is that it’s unpleasant enough to make daily life annoying but mild enough to force you to still go out into the world and maintain a normal schedule.
But you don’t want to have to do that. You don’t want to get anyone else sick, and you want to feel better—fast. How do you do it? How can you speed up your clearance of a cold, whether through actually expelling the virus from your body, getting rid of the symptoms, or both?
Let’s talk about that.
Whenever I write about sleep, I hear from a chorus of people who struggle to sleep through the night. Anecdotally, it seems a far more common complaint than difficulty falling asleep in the first place.
These complaints are one of three types:
People who have trouble falling asleep
People who sleep fitfully, waking multiple times throughout the night
Those who reliably wake once, around the same time most nights
Understandably, this is a hugely vexing problem. Poor quality sleep is a serious health concern. Not to mention, sleeping badly feels simply awful. When the alarm goes off after a night of tossing and turning, the next day is sure to be a slog. String several days like that together, and it’s hard to function at all.
The liver is incredible. Most people think of it as a filter, but filters are physical barriers that accumulate junk and have to be cleaned. The liver isn’t a filter. It’s a chemical processing plant. Rather than sit there, passively receiving, filtering out, and storing undesirable compounds, the liver encounters toxic chemicals and attempts to metabolize them into less-toxic metabolites that we can handle.
It oxidizes the toxins, preparing them for further modification
It converts the toxins to a less-toxic, water-soluble version that’s easier to excrete
It excretes the toxins through feces or urine
Bam. It’s an elegant process, provided everything is working well back there. And it’s not the only process it controls.
Next time you want to sip on something warm and comforting, try a London Fog Latte. I’ve been hooked ever since a friend encouraged me to order one at a local coffee shop. As soon as I took my first sip, I was determined to figure out how to make them myself.
A London Fog Latte is now my go-to drink whenever I need a hug in a mug. Start-to-finish, it takes about as long as brewing a cup of coffee, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand right now.
Thank you for reading past the title of this post. I wasn’t sure anyone would. After all, here I am offering advice on how to quit the world’s most beloved beverage. (“Hold my beer,” says Beer.)
The love of coffee transcends national and cultural borders. Around the world, most of us start our day with coffee. Folks take pride in sourcing the best beans and pairing them with the ideal grind and brewing method. We meet friends, clients, and first dates for coffee because coffee shops are comforting, safe spaces.
As good ol’ Anonymous observed, “Humanity runs on coffee.”
Yet here I am suggesting you might want to quit. Before I get into why, let me assure you that by and large, I still think coffee has more benefits than downsides. It improves workouts and memory, fights fatigue, and epidemiological evidence links coffee consumption to a host of health benefits. You can check out my Definitive Guide to Coffee to learn more.
There are downsides, though. In the pursuit of optimal health, it’s essential to examine our choices and behaviors and ask which of them might be undermining your health and longevity goals. That’s what I’m suggesting you do today.
Well, does it?
We’re all going to be putting food in our bodies just about every day for the rest of our lives. Most of us will do it several times a day. We’ll chew it, send it down the esophagus into our stomach, and expose it to gastric juices and digestive enzymes. We’ll strip it of nutrients and send the excess down to the colon for dismissal, feeding resident gut bacteria along the way. The whole process should go smoothly. There shouldn’t be any pain or discomfort, bloating or constipation. Oh sure, nobody’s perfect, and there will be slow-downs or speed-ups from time to time, but in general a vital, fundamental process like digestion shouldn’t even register in our waking, conscious lives.
But sometimes it does.