February 21, 2011

Why Must I Always Get Sick?!

Posted in Allergies, Cold & Flu, Health and Wellness, Sinuses & Congestion tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:40 PM by Rockin' Rita

Why must I always get sick?! That’s the question so many of us ask ourselves every year around this time. Nobody likes getting sick and you do everything you can think of to prevent it. What about when you are unemployed? How much can you afford?

I’ve been unemployed over a year now and have no medical insurance. First I hear of 5 people who are sick from one thing or another. Next, my dad gets sick and has a nasty cough. He’s got insurance so he goes to the doctor who puts him on antibiotics. He’s better now, but guess what. That’s right. I managed to catch it despite vowing I wouldn’t. I tried to stay away from him as much as possible. Everything he touched I either stayed away from or wiped down with Lysol wipes. I washed my hands often and never used the towel he used to dry my hands, just paper towels. I got out of the house or stayed up in my bedroom anytime he was around. I started using airborne every night and taking vitamin c supplements but apparently it was no use.

I’ve been suffering from some nasty nasal congestion for the past several months on and off, but it was under control with the help of the clear Breathe Right nasal strips and Vicks Sinex 12 hour nasal decongestant spray. Fast forward to the week before last. The weather around here in NJ started getting warmer again and naturally my allergies and asthma were affected. I didn’t think anything of it because this has always happened since childhood. I started using Breathe Right advanced nasal strips at night to keep my nose more open because the regular ones just weren’t doing it. Last week I started needing to use an additional strip on top of the advanced at night and in the morning I was still really congested, so I started using the regular size strips during the day too. A couple of days ago, my congestion started getting even worse. To compensate I started using the Sinex more often and when that didn’t quite work I used TheraFlu Warming Relief Severe Cold and Cough.

On Saturday, I went to a friend’s birthday party and had to leave early after suffering really bad with just horrible congestion. My congestion has never been so bad before! I just couldn’t breathe at all through my nose and it was really starting to affect my asthma. My friend’s sister noticed I had already taken my rescue inhaler 4 times within a short period of time. On the way home I stopped off at Rite Aid and picked up Advil Congestion relief, more Breathe Right Advanced strips, and TheraFlu Warming Relief Sinus and Congestion. Before I even got out of the parking lot, I put on a fresh Breathe Right strip and opened up the bottle of TheraFlu and took some. It was no use, the TheraFlu had only made me more congested. I tried blowing my nose but as soon as I cleared it out I would clog right back up.

When I got home I made myself some tea with lots of honey and took some more TheraFlu and went to bed. When I got up in the morning I felt fine and wasn’t even congested so I didn’t bother taking anything. By time night fell I was back to feeling run down and totally congested so I tried more of the TheraFlu which didn’t do anything except clog me up more. After about an hour I decided to try Coldcalm, a homeopathic remedy. I took 2 pills every 15 mins for 2 hours and 2 pills an hour after that as directed but I only felt just as bad. By time the TheraFlu had worn off I decided to try the Advil Congestion Relief. Again that didn’t work and I was running out of options. I gave up and made myself more tea, filled up a hot water bottle to keep my feet from freezing, and decided to go to bed. If you are anything like me when you can’t breathe and your feet are freezing you can’t sleep. By time 2am came I was exhausted and still freezing, so I decided to try one last trick and take a hot shower hoping the steam would open me up. Well it succeeded in warming me up, but no luck with the congestion. In the bathroom cabinet I found some NyQuil and took that. Bummer! Didn’t work.

Probably around 4 am or so I finally fell asleep while watching tv. When I awoke this morning I was no worse for wear, but still I was still extremely congested. I had had it. I was fed up, exhausted, and out of options. Again all morning I suffered but this time I decided not to take anything else knowing it wouldn’t work. I was ready to call the doctor up to reluctantly make an appointment for asap and spend $75 just for him to tell me to do what I was already doing and to give me a script for something else to rid me of the congestion. I was moments away from picking up the phone when my mom said just go online and try to find some home remedies. Not expecting to find anything useful as I’ve checked before for remedies and searched in the past only found the options like try saline solution, vicks vaporub, humidifiers, neti pots, hot showers, etc. But I searched again today figuring what harm could it do?

This time I tried searching “severe nasal congestion remedies” and the first 2 links I clicked on had all of the above solutions and more. They both mention drinking Tomato Tea. I made myself up a batch as I have all of the ingredients already at home. Within minutes of drinking up the spicy mixture (and i can’t take spicy heat) I started noticing a slight change in my breathing patterns. Instead of the snotty sound coming when I tried to breathe through my nose I heard a light whistle of air coming through my left nostril. OMG! It was working. Now a couple of hours have past since I drank the “tea” and I have blown my nose several more times with little relief. Moments ago I blew my nose then immediately (before my nose had a chance to fill up again) sprayed the Vicks Sinex in each nostril. I continued typing away and not 5 minutes  after I used the Sinex I can’t believe it, but I’m completely clear. I CAN BREATHE!!!! As an added bonus now I don’t need to go to the doctors!!!!

Here’s the links to the sites I checked out and the adjusted recipe I used. Many yeys and few nays are the results gathered from people who’ve used the “tea.” The one thing they have in common is that most people say “don’t expect the tea to work immediately.” Always a good thing to keep in mind, especially when you’ve been stressing! The best peace of advice I can give you if you are suffering like me is to always hope what you take will work, but don’t ever expect it to.


Home Remedies for Nasal Congestion

Sinus Congestion Remedies

Tomato Tea Cures

Spicy Tomato Tea recipe
2 cups tomato or veggie juice or Bloody Mary Cocktail mix (no alcohol)
3 cloves garlic (more if you can)–crushed or minced as fine as you can make it
2 TBSP Lemon juice
2 TBSP honey
1 tsp Hot Sauce/prepared horseradish/ ceyenne pepper (the more you can handle the better)

Heat it up and drink it like a tea. You can drink as much of it as you’d like in a day as it is not traditional medicine and will not have side effects as such.

UPDATE: In the weeks since I got tired of drinking the tomato tea and just stopped all together cos it wasn’t super effective. A couple of days later my congestion was getting bad again so I picked up some Suddafed at the recommendation of a friend and now for the most part my congestion is completely gone during the day. The only time I’ve had to take anything is when I first wake up in the morning and occasionally before I go to bed. I think I can live with this being able to breathe thing!

January 21, 2011


Posted in breakfast, Holidays, Recipes and food tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:21 PM by Rockin' Rita

Ok so one of my favorite foods is oatmeal. I just love it! It’s great for warming you up on a really cold day and is great at filling you up. Not to mention all the fiber and protein and other health benefits! I am one of those people who love to add just about anything to it. What I add in depends on several factors (my mood, the time of the month, and cravings just to name a few).  I swear it can take me over an hour just to make a bowl of oatmeal. No, really! I’m serious. Please stop laughing. I know it’s crazy.

I love honey and cinnamon OR nutella (mmm) and granny smith apples OR apricots and strawberries. Sometimes I just throw in a bunch of baking spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, etc.) and brown sugar to a couple of packages of apples and cinnamon flavored oatmeal. Or I’ll do honey and smashed bananas (Mmmmm). I’ve even been so crazy to put in those yummy graham cracker sticks (cinnamon or honey flavored) OR oreo’s OR other cookies OR left over cereal crumbs (especially Quaker Oatmeal Squares and Quaker Life). I just can’t stand it plain!!! And I’m not a maple oatmeal or raisins in oatmeal fan. Weird, right?! I also don’t like Quaker brand instant oatmeal. How strange is that?

Are you the same way? What do you like in your oatmeal? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever added in? What type of oats do you use (quick, old-fashioned, steel-cut, instant from packages, etc)? Does brand matter to your taste buds?

In honor of National Oatmeal Month, RedPlum (that wonderful coupon supplier) posted an article all about oatmeal! I thought I’d share it with you all. To read the entire article click here.

6 Cool (Low-Cost) Ways to Spice up your Kids’ Morning Oatmeal

  1. Peaches and Cream
  2. Peanut Butter and Bananas
  3. Rainbow Oatmeal
  4. Mini Oatmeal Cups
  5. Buried Treasure
  6. Oatmeal Muffins

January 12, 2011

How’s That Resolution Going?

Posted in Health and Wellness, pasta, Recipes and food, Weight tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:36 PM by Rockin' Rita

How’s that resolution to lose weight going? Lemme guess, if you are anything like me you have been tempted and probably given in. Giving in once in a while is ok. Really, it is. Just don’t give up. I told you I’d be here for you and I am.  Today I’d like to post some videos of recipes that are simple, delicious, and can satisfy you. But best of all, they can fill you up and help you keep that resolution! These recipes are courtesy of Giada DeLaurentiis and come from her show “Everyday Italian.” Click the link to see the recipe. Enjoy.


Farfalle with Broccoli

Giada whips up a quick dish of bowtie pasta with broccoli.


Penne with Spinach Sauce

Giada tosses penne pasta with a light and healthful spinach sauce.


Roasted Eggplants and Tomatoes

Roasted eggplant and tomatoes is a great way to get kids to eat vegetables.

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