Friday, January 18, 2013


'Tis the season for sickness. The news makes it sound like flupocalypse out there. It's enough to make you throw on a mask and bathe in antibac gel.

Well, if you are scared of germs, stay away from me. Luckily, it is only a cold virus that is surrounding me like a halo of snot and sadness. Still, colds just stink.

Here is an Rx that helps me out a little:

1. Food

When I am sick, all I want is spicy, brothy food and hearty greens.

This week, I made a simple soup. I caramelized one small yellow onion on medium/low heat in a little olive oil. Then, I added a little cumin, salt, and pepper and thew in 2 chopped celery stalks and 2 chopped carrots with a little bit of water. I let this simmer for a little (5 min) and then added a vegetable bullion cube and more water. Finally, I tossed in some noodles for the last 5 or so minutes. I topped the whole thing with a hearty dose of Sriracha. When you are sick, subtle flavors don't have much of an effect. I mostly was going for something to warm me up and clear out my head with a healthy dose of veggies.

I also really like kale. This super green is awesome at any time. When I am ill, I have a strong desire to load up on nutrients and I am not interested in those vitamin mix-in packets-too unnatural. I heard this simple kale recipe on the podcast The Splendid Table. I am a huge fan of this program-so much inspiration. I took a stalk of kale and ripped out the fibrous, tough spine. Then, I chopped it into thin strips and added a splash of olive oil and salt as suggested on the podcast. I wanted a little acid in the dish, so I squeezed a little orange juice over the whole thing. I later tried this again with lemon juice and it was horrible. Go with orange for a subtle acidity and flavor (and fresh, not the stuff in the carton).

2. Tea

I have a ridiculous collection of tea. PG Tips is the coffee of tea, so I drink this in the morning. I like Lady Gray tea from Twinings all day long. Genmaicha is also a delicious all day drink (Japanese green tea mixed with brown rice powder). For a special treat, I am obsessed with Davids Tea in Movie Night. Shipping is a bummer, so I try to ration this one. This tea tastes like apples and popcorn. It is naturally sweet and amazing. Anyone in NYC-I wouldn't mind you picking me up some. I will pay you and love you forever.

You can also make your own throat soother out of honey, lemon, and fresh chopped ginger root. This is a super awesome DIY cold treatment. The lemon strips of mucous (ewww). The honey soothes and is a microbial and the ginger is warming.

3. Steam

Get your humidifier fired up. I like to put in a drop or two of Eucalyptus essential oil to help me breath better. Keeping a humidifier in your bedroom works wonder for sleeping well. If you don't have a humidifier, sit in your shower for a while or just steam up your bathroom and read a magazine.

4. Soft Tissues

I forgot about this one and now my nose is red and looks terrible. I think the lotion added tissues really help. Also, putting a little Vaseline on your schnoz at night is a nice plan. Ugly, but nice.

5. Rest

I haven't worked out since I got sick. Of course, I feel the normal worry: What if I don't start up again? What if I get all out of shape? Ultimately, I had to put these worries aside. I know I will run again when I get better, even if I start a little slower. I want my body to put its energy towards fighting the virus, so I take a rest from working out.

6. Love

I feel a lot of self-pity and sadness when I am sick. I think the low energy that comes with colds makes me more susceptible to this. If you can find someone to brave the germs, have them give you a hug or pat your back. Feeling loved is pretty good medicine. I know that a cold really isn't a big deal. However, getting a little babied is more wonderful than anything else.

If this post is a little lackluster, that is because I feel like a gray, worn-out version of myself. I will be back with inventive vocabulary and novel posts soon. Just a little more sleep, broth, and back pats is all I need.

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