When I woke up Sunday morning, I felt ick and yuck (technical terms). My nose was a little stuffy, my ears a little painful, my head a little cloudy. I was registered for an 11:30 am Core Fusion Cardio class. I knew there was no way I could comfortably make it through, and luckily I was right outside the four hour window to cancel class. I canceled, and then considered my options.
I could go to 12:30 Core Fusion with one of my favorite teachers, as I had originally planned before changing it to Cardio the day before. I could go to an earlier class closer to home and be done. I could go to a later class closer to home, when I might feel more awake, more alert and less sick.
None of these options appealed to me. It was clear what my only real option was. My body was begging for it.
UNPLANNED REST DAY!
And that, my friends, is item #1 in How I Fought a Cold in One Day.
Yep, one day. I woke up on Monday feeling better. Today is Tuesday, and I still feel better — although I am continuing following the below advice just in case. Keep in mind that I am not a doctor or professional healer. I am telling you what specifically I did on Sunday, and what I do at other times, that worked for me.
How I Fought a Cold in One Day
#1 – Take a rest day from working out
If you’re anything like me, taking a rest day is not always appealing. I plan my days around my workouts and I plan my workouts around my days. This is a pretty new thing for me; it only started when I fell in love with running, Core Fusion and yoga. Prior to that, I had to force myself onto the elliptical or spin class or whatever. Once I realized not only that I love running, Core Fusion and yoga, but that they helped my body and my entire life in ways I could never have imagined, planning them into my days became automatic.
These things also taught me how important it is to listen to my body. I knew a Core Fusion class, although not intense cardio like the CF Cardio I canceled, was still way too intense for me on this day. I felt icky and the thought of Core Fusion overwhelmed me. It did not sound fun, even with one of my favorite teachers. My body was telling me not to go. I listened.
For extra validation, I turned to my new favorite website dailymile. I posted a note: Taking an unplanned rest day. Woke up feeling a cold coming on… Oh how I’ve changed. I remember when most days were rest days!
I received 15 comments and two “Likes” in support of my decision. If you ever want to feel good about yourself or your decisions, log on to dailymile.com.
#2 – If the weather is not cold or raining, get fresh air
I would have easily wasted my entire day in bed watching 30 Rock if my friend didn’t get me outside. Sunday was a perfect, warm, sunny day in New York City and I was fully prepared to spend it with my computer on my lap. Luckily I have a great new friend who got me out and walking all around (and spending money on jeans I might or might not need). The fresh air and sunshine took most of my ick feeling away. I felt a thousand times better just being outside on a beautiful day!
I also got to try on my future engagement ring at Ann Taylor.
I SAID YES!
#3 – Drink green juice
This is an important one. I used to get colds all the time and now I don’t. Among other things, I strongly attribute this to green juice. When I say green juice, I don’t mean it actually has to be green, although it often is. I say green juice to mean any type of unpasteurized vegetable juice. This is different than the bottled (or boxed) juices you can find in the supermarket. Those juices are pasteurized, which destroys the vital enzymes and nutrients.
Fresh juice is like drinking straight vegetable health (because that is exactly what it is). You’re getting all the nutrients with none of the fiber that takes your body’s resources and slows down its absorption of those nutrients. They can go directly to your blood stream and help fight and cure your cold. If you make a habit of drinking juice regularly, you can more effectively prevent colds from happening.
[Source: Choosing Raw]
I own a Breville juicer and I love it, but if you don’t want to buy one there are other places to get a fresh juice. Many delis have juicers and I find that in NYC, they will advertise this fact on their store window or awning. Of course, you can buy juice at a juice bar and if you don’t think you have a juice bar near you, try a local gym — many of them have juicers in their cafes and will allow non-members to place an order.
Which brings me to my next point…
#4 – Eat as cleanly as possible
My friend Cassie is a vegan. She eats mostly raw. She drinks green juice every day. Dog food for her chihuahua Basil is vegetables and dog treats are One Lucky Duck macaroons. She gives people colonics for a living. Before her healthy lifestyle, Cassie got colds all the time. Now, Cassie never gets colds.
This goes in line with item #3 above. Not only should you drink juice even when you’re not sick, you should eat as cleanly as possible — all the time. I remember when I got a cold about once a month. Since cleaning up my act and changing my eating habits, I have gotten about two full blown colds in the last three years.
On this day, I made especially sure to eat well. I didn’t eat anything processed (with one notable exception, discussed in the next item). I didn’t eat any animal products (I am a vegetarian, but not vegan). I ate steamed vegetables. I ate (drank?) vegetable soup. I ate oatmeal and banana and nut butter and brown rice.
As important as my food was on Sunday when I was fighting an oncoming cold, it is more important that I eat that same way most of the time. Get enough nutrients, give your body food it recognizes and don’t clog it up with crap and you might find yourself getting sick less often too.
#5 – Suck on Cold EEZE like it’s your job
Okay, okay. I know Cold EEZE is not a whole food. It is probably not the greatest thing in the world for you. Hell, it contains corn syrup. That is something I try to avoid like the plague. That said, I swear by Cold EEZE. I do. Sometimes you have to sacrifice health for, well, health. The key cold fighting ingredient in Cold EEZE is ionized zinc.
You can buy other products containing zinc, but here’s the thing. Cold EEZE ionizes their zinc, which is what has shown positive clinical results in fighting and/or shortening colds. I do not buy the sugar free variety because I am scared of artificial sweeteners.
[Source: Cold EEZE]
I can’t say anything for certain, but I tend to latch on to Cold EEZE from the moment I feel a cold coming on and I haven’t gotten a cold in a very long time (way to jinx it D.) Whenever a Twitter friend mentions they feel like they are getting sick, I always jump in and recommend Cold EEZE. It tastes much better now than when it first came out years ago. My favorite flavors are Cherry and Strawberries & Cream. You can find drugstore versions of the exact same thing for less money — but they don’t have the Strawberries & Cream flavor.
Also of note — there have been some studies on the effectiveness of Cold EEZE, but nothing has been done yet on Airborne.
#6 – Buy a humidifier you find adorable
Look at that cutie pie! I actually bought it because I’ve been waking up with blood on my face (sexy, I know!) from the dry air in my apartment + my nose. But I was glad to have it at night when I went to sleep. First of all, the air from it smells so good. I stick my face in it and just inhale the delicious air. Second, it really helps with nasal congestion which is what usually makes me feel sicker than I actually am.
#7 – Rest
I spent hours upon hours in bed with 30 Rock on Sunday, as I mentioned earlier. Never underestimate good old rest. Or 30 Rock.
I wanted to put 10 items on this list and make it nice and round, but really I only did these seven things and this post is already long for me to start adding in things I think are funny but don’t really fit. I know what it feels like when a cold is coming on (ick and yuck) and I truly believe I recognized the signs and effectively fought it this time. This is not to say I will never get sick — believe me, I will — but I didn’t get sick this week and for that I am happy. Being sick f*cking sucks.
Have you ever done any of these things I mentioned? What are your surefire cold remedies?
P.S. Unrelated — That ankle pain during my half marathon? I sprained my ankle. Sigh.