Consciously Shopping in Toronto: Beating the Flu

So, what’s a flu-fearing, germ-wary, busy person supposed to do during cold and flu season? As always, eat well and eat real, exercise and take good care. It’s not medical advice, just common sense.

Washing your hands, taking cover, warming up and cooling down, eating right, detoxing and recovery are all things that we recommend and have considered, and that I incorporate into my life, so I know they are tried, tested and true, and below are the essentials. Remember, if you are hit with the flu, this too shall pass.

Coconut Water

Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Remember, your best defence against the flu is doing everything you can to beat it in the first place, so make sure you pack in your daily dose of nutrients any way you can. Coconut water is bursting with vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, which your body needs to fill up on when you’re feeling under the weather. This is in fact nature’s sports drink (and not electric blue in colour!).

Try COCO, the natural drink to quench your thirst, available at Shoppers Drug Mart. Run and operated by a Canadian company (a group of fathers who care about what their families consume) take great care in choosing the best coconuts possible. Harvested without the use of chemicals, their Young Green Coconuts are not from concentrate!

Sip It Back

While you’re very busy trying to get your health back in gear, it’s still important to be mindful of the amount of waste we all create (even when we haven’t moved from bed!) Consider straws and tissues to be the worst offenders. You don’t want to be putting plastic in your mouth, right?

You have enough to worry about while fighting whatever is brewing in your body – no need to add toxic chems from straws to the list. Not to mention, think about the amount of waste that builds up using disposable straws when you’re sick (or even when you’re perfectly healthy!) Try using a Strawesome  Barely Bent glass straw. You can find them at Eco Existence or online. It might not be flexible like the bendy plastic ones, but it doesn’t have the toxic plasticizers either, and it’s already on a great angle for lying down or sitting up! Strawesome glass straws come with a lifetime guarantee – yes, they are that durable (even for kids).

Clear it Out

We’ve all been there when we’re sick…we’re congested, we have trouble breathing, we’re sniffling, often very aggravated, and, most certainly misunderstood by those we are speaking to and with. Clearing out our airways (the right way) is important – not only so we can gain some relief and breathe again, but also so we can prevent further infection.

Many over the counter ointments, like vaporizing rubs, contain petroleum along with other nasty chems (and some ingredients you can’t even pronounce). Soothe away the aches and pains of congestion with all natural, plant based formulas like Thera Wise VpR Natural Bio-Active Vaporizing Rub  made from botanical extracts. This soothing formula, found at Shoppers Drug Mart or online at, doesn’t make your nose burn when smelling it, and it doesn’t leave you with sticky skin (so you can leave the house after applying!). All Thera Wise products are paraben and petro-chemical free, so what’s good for you is also good for the environment.

For more information and great tips to beat the flu this season, read our complete downloadable Get Well Stay Well Guide.

Photo by Aria Forrest

Lisa Borden

Our monthly contributor of Consciously Shopping in Toronto, Lisa Borden is an eco-advocate and mother of three, whose business is a direct reflection of her commitment to better, more responsible living. She is a dedicated workaholic, admitting that it takes a lot of time and effort to change the world, especially in her non-preachy, fun, engaging and inspiring ways. Lisa consults, writes, engages the media, runs private workshops, and enjoys speaking to large and small groups. Her full-service marketing firm, Borden Communications + Design Inc. is based in Toronto and takes great pride in being an ethical business providing exceptional ideas. You can sign up for Lisa’s rants and raves or reach her directly at

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