On Preventing A Cold (But If That Doesn’t Work, Some Sick Day Essentials)

I think I may have found the perfect formula for fighting off a cold. ‘Tis the season for sniffles y’all. Also, doesn’t the word “sniffles” just sound too cute for what it’s describing? Saying you have the “sniffles” makes me think of, oh I don’t know, adorable sneezes. We all know there is nothing adorable about snot rocketing out of your nose and mouth at high speed.

Anyway, Monday morning I awoke with a sensation more dreadful than a Superbowl hangover– a sore throat. Instead of rolling over and getting another hour of sleep (don’t you hate when you wake up before your alarm?), I proceeded to panic. I only had 2 Cold Eeze drops left from my previous illness when a toddler coughed directly into my mouth.

Here is how I prevented myself from getting sick. Suggestions on improving it are welcome.

cold ease

Cold Eeze Drops. The Honey Lemon flavor tastes like candy, while the Cherry flavor further proves that Cherry flavored medicine tastes awful. If you start popping these when you begin to feel sick, the zinc magic will zap those cold germs right out of your sys.

Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Tablets. You have to get the tablets that dissolve in water, NOT the gel pills.  It tastes like drinking watered down Sprite, but that shouldn’t deter you (unless you accidentally buy the Orange Zest flavor, which tastes gross, like DayQuil). I’d rather drink something bland than have snot slowly drip out of my nose for days on end.

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice. Aka a delicious vitamin C boost.  It’s like eating an orange but without any of the effort. I don’t get you people who don’t like pulp in your OJ. Plus the not-so-fresh stuff has some funky ish in it. Let’s not make things worse when you’re starting to feel ill. The deli next to my office offers fresh squeezed OJ. It’s great, but it makes me wish I was back in Spain. When I spent a summer studying abroad, I would hit up the campus café daily to get a fresh squeezed jugo de naranja. They had this magical machine where they would put some oranges in at the top, then the oranges would go through an obsatacle course where they would get smashed, and then the juice would flow into the glass at the bottom. It looked something like this:

Te extraño jugo de naranja

True Story – I would sit in the café between classes and just stare at the thing. I was usually super resaca from too much festajando the night before. And when you’re hungover, watching oranges parade through a machine to make sweet, glorious jugo made you feel less like poo.

Water. I drink more water than Abigail Breslin’s character in Signs, yet when I’m starting to feel sick I drink even more of the stuff. If you’re not on that level, it’s time to up your H2O intake. We’re talking those gym douches that carry around a gallon jug of water while they grunt-lift weights at the gym levels of hydration. It helps to flush your system. Yes, you’re going to have to pee every half hour, but that beats being sick. Added bonus– you can start to empathize with all of your pregnant friends.

Also, the lady that owns the deli next to my office told me that her Doctor Friend  said that taking a bath helps to prevent colds. I haven’t lived in a place with a bathtub I would I put my bare ass on in years, so I can’t say if this works or not. It does sound lovely though.

And if all of that doesn’t work, here are all of the things I need to make me feel better while I’m sick…

(PS – Do keep a steady flow of Cold Eeze, Alka Seltzer Cold Tabs, and water pumping through your veins. It does work. I promise.)

Comfy PJs. Whatever you love to lounge in. My go to lately has been yoga pants, big t-shirt, chunky sweater, and thick socks. Browsing for pajamas online makes me realize I should probably do the “adult” thing and invest in some real ones, like these from J. Crew:

Tea with honey. I like green tea, but the type of tea is up to you. Add honey to soothe a sore throat. I hate the taste of licorice, but if you put enough honey into it, Throat Coat really helps.

Soup. Make it from scratch too. Or have someone else make it for you. Making soup from scratch only seems like a production. It’s easy though. Really. It’s just throwing veggies and meat in a pot with some stock and water. Chicken noodle soup is delicious AND helps to fight off that damn illness. This Tyler Florence recipe is delicious and super simple to make (skip making the stock because hello, you’re sick). If you don’t feel like chopping, you can spend a little more on the pre-chopped veggies in the produce section. Same thing goes for this Smitten Kitchen recipe.

A good blanket. I remember the day I bought mine. I had just finished my first semester at college, where I discovered the joy of selling your books back. Joy because I had a wad of celebration-at-the-bar money, but frustration in the whole price inflation/deflation of textbooks in one semester. On my way out of the campus bookstore, there it was– a sweatshirt blanket, on sale too. Think of your favorite sweatshirt. Now think of that all over your body. Oooooh yeahhhh. Who knew I could write blanket porn? Speaking of blanket porn:

Ooooh baby I wanna wrap myself up in that like a burrito. Yeahhhh that’s right. Get all up in that cable knit. Mmmmm yeahhhh.

Hot Sauce. It’s not news that I like spicy food. When you’re stuffed up, drowning your food in hot sauce will help clear out those sinuses. Get ready to breathe out of your nose again, but make sure you have plenty of tissues.

Steam. Whether you’re putting a hot towel on your face or converting your bathroom into a sauna, there is just something so soothing about steam. The next time I’m under the weather I want to give these shower soothers a try.

Movies. I find nothing more comforting than a good bad movie. My pick would have to be Nuns on the Run. So what if it is universally panned? It’s a fun British comedy caper. It’s Hagrid in a Habit along with Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. It gave us “Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet, and Watch.” It also features Steve Winwood’s “Roll With It.” If that isn’t the equation to feeling better, then you are really beyond help in my opinion.


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