How I Fought a Cold in One Day

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.


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

#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.


#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.

27 comments on How I Fought a Cold in One Day

  1. Katie
    October 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm (7 years ago)

    All really good advice. I used to want to eat junk (especially carbs) when I was feeling sick but it’s hard to deny how much better I feel when I stick with wholesome foods. I should try some juice this winter. I find that light exercise like a walk or easy ellipticizing makes me feel better than doing absolutely nothing if I’m not feverish or sick to my stomach.
    Katie´s last blog post ..PB Banana Goodness

    • Katie
      October 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm (7 years ago)

      Actually… this often applies to hangovers too.
      Katie´s last blog post ..PB Banana Goodness

      • Dori
        October 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm (7 years ago)

        Egg and cheese is my hangover cure. So much for no animal products!

      • Katie
        October 21, 2010 at 9:03 pm (7 years ago)

        For SURE egg and cheese was go to in college.

        I was just looking at the newest Real Simple mag and they had a cold-fighting bit in there. They suggested oysters.. apparently high in zinc.
        Katie´s last blog post ..Love of the Land

  2. Samantha
    October 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm (7 years ago)

    These are awesome tips!! I was feeling sick last Wednesday, so I did most of the stuff that you recommened, and ta-da….Thursday I was all better!!
    Samantha´s last blog post ..Does that degree really matter

  3. Chase
    October 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm (7 years ago)

    I swear by airborne. And sleep. Sleep is the best remedy! And lots of fluids. I felt one coming on a few weeks ago and managed to nip it in the bud with this formula!

  4. Tanya
    October 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm (7 years ago)

    Great advice! Especially about the rest and fresh air – that always works for me (well not always :-)
    Tanya´s last blog post ..The Week That Was and Will Be

  5. Retta @ RunRettaRun
    October 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm (7 years ago)

    I love that humidifier!! I’m a carbaholic when I’m sick. :) Blood on the face? I thought everyone knew that was supah hot!

  6. Bess
    October 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm (7 years ago)

    My “kick a cold’s butt in less than 12 hours” remedy is these Chinese herbs I get at my local vitamin shop. The name is Zong Gan Ling and for the first 2 doses, double them ( 6 pills instead of 3)…I first got hooked on these herbs when I got a horrible cold 12 hours before heading to the frigid cold Park City Utah… and it was a miracle cure!

    And yes, agreed on the power of green unpasteurized juices.
    Bess´s last blog post ..The Music That Got Me To Wonder Woman Splits

  7. Rachel Wilkerson
    October 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm (7 years ago)

    I couldn’t have read this at a more perfect time; I was literally just going to email you that I feel like I am coming down with something and just feel blah!

    I need to find a green juice place in H-Town. But for now, I will go do the “fresh air” thing and the “cold eze” thing and walk over to CVS!!
    Rachel Wilkerson´s last blog post ..Lessons from an October Weekend

  8. Victoria
    October 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm (7 years ago)

    Your plan is good, but I would also add a neti pot! That’s my (twice) daily allergy cure, but is also amazing with colds and such. Miracle cure. Glad you feel better!

    • Dori
      October 19, 2010 at 9:00 pm (7 years ago)

      So true! I only need that when I already have the cold though, not when I am trying to prevent it though.

  9. Laura Georgina
    October 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm (7 years ago)

    Such good advice! I am going to stock up on Cold Eeeze back home–oh yeah, and re-start the “you know you want to give me a juicer for a November present” campaign in this household (which really means I’ll just buy one). And thank you for reminding me that 30 Rock cures all ills!

    I don’t want to jinx myself, but ever since I started exercising regularly (five to six days a week) and eating cleanly (I still eat meat occasionally, but otherwise it’s a dairy-free life) about a year and a half ago, I can count on one hand the times I’ve even gotten CLOSE to sick, cold-wise. So being healthy keeps you healthy–who’d have imagined??
    Laura Georgina´s last blog post ..Outfit of the Week Award- The Bravery Dress Korean Kimchi Karaoke Edition

  10. Missy Maintains
    October 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm (7 years ago)

    I agree about Cold Eeze! I always try to take it as soon as I feel the sore throat begin. I also recently got a humidifier from my CSN certificates and love it. I got it for dandruff actually but I always breathe better after using it. I need to start with the green juices again. I am cheap and lazy.
    Missy Maintains´s last blog post ..Hello Boston!

  11. Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run
    October 21, 2010 at 10:03 am (7 years ago)

    Hope you are still feeling better! Sorry about your ankle. Eek! When I’m fighting a cold, I drink lots of water, rest as necessary, try to get a lot of sleep, eat well, take Zicam chewables, drink Emergen-C and I just started taking Alka Seltzer plus cold and cough it rocked!

  12. megan
    October 21, 2010 at 11:27 am (7 years ago)

    I love the humidfier! Where did you buy it?

    • Dori
      October 21, 2010 at 11:51 am (7 years ago)

      Bed Bath Beyond!

  13. Paige @ Running Around Normal
    October 23, 2010 at 10:32 am (7 years ago)

    Great tips! I totally agree with the rest day for sure. I also swear by Emergen-C, eating clean, and juicing. Although it’s so messy to make a daily juice!

  14. Bianca Valentim
    October 24, 2010 at 11:24 am (7 years ago)

    Thanks for the advices! I agree with them all.
    Just had homemade açai + strawberries smoothie with sprouted (flourless) bread with vegan butter for breakfast. Need to buy the humidifier asap, the dry air is killing me.
    Bianca Valentim´s last blog post ..Suellen Callaway love session NY

  15. SM
    October 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm (7 years ago)

    As much as we all mock Vitamin Water, I’ve got to say I haven’t had a cold in 4 years (4 YEARS!), by knocking back 2-3 bottles of the lemon flavored Multi-V as soon as a feel a cold coming on. One to two days of this and it’s in retreat/gone without a trace. I’ve tried with other flavors but this is one with the most effect, I guess it’s the zinc.

  16. Neti Pot solution
    February 25, 2011 at 7:43 am (7 years ago)

    Good plan.But i think its always better to visit doctor.You can try neti pots also.You can search youtube for dr oz + oprah winfery+neti

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    Hanna´s last blog post ..Hanna

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    Chrinstine´s last blog post ..Chrinstine


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