Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Fever and congestion and laryngitis, oh my!
Hey gang. Sorry I've been MIA this week. I've actually got the flu. And although I've been dragging myself to work each day, I feel like I've been hit by a mack truck. It started over the weekend (of course!) with the fever and chills and has since transformed into wicked congestion and laryngitis. Yes, indeed - I've literally been using hand signals to communicate with co-workers today. And even better? I'm hopping on a plane tomorrow for a long weekend out-o-town...I apologize to my seatmates on the plane in advance.
Ugh. What a way to spend a vacation - speechless and sniffly - even if said vacation involves time spent with family in a cold weather environment, rather than chillaxing on a sunny beach with a Mai Tai in hand. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....oops, sorry about that. I started to daydream about my perfect getaway.
Anyhoodle, to try to nip this bug in the bud so to speak, I've been downing quarts of OJ and bowls of chicken or veggie soup all week, along with a ridiculous amount of tea, water, vitamins, cold meds and emergen-C. Good times. Tonight, when I get home, I'm whipping up some hot tea with cayenne pepper, honey, lemon juice, garlic and ginger. Sounds horrendous - but I'm told it's actually an effective remedy. Whatever works!
Since the flu seems to be knocking people out left and right these days (my office is filled with sneezing, hacking people) I figured I'd pass along a few preventative measures designed to keep the flu bug at bay, along with some feel-good recipes.
1. Eat a well-balanced and healthy diet - complete with several portions of fresh fruit and vegetables every day - to keep your immune system strong.
2. Regularly take a multivitamin or antioxidant supplement such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, etc.
3. Drink plenty of fluids, including eight to 10 glasses of water each day. Herbal teas can also help.
4. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat.
5. Exercise regularly, whether it's a brisk walk around the block at lunch or an hour of cardio kickbox at the gym. Movement does your body good.
6. Sanitize your office/work area, kitchen and bathroom. Bacteria tends to blossom in these environments, helping generate the viruses that cause the common cold and flu. If you clean a lot of dishes by hand, stick the sponge in the microwave for a bit or toss it in the dishwasher to help cut down on germs.
7. Use a humidifier. It can help thin the mucus in the nasal membranes that causes stuffiness or postnasal drip.
8. All those handshakes, hugs and kisses that you regularly dole out may be friendly gestures, but you could also be spreading - or receiving - bacteria. Also try to avoid grasping too many doorknobs, escalator handles, subway rails and elevator buttons - all of which are teeming with germs.
9. Get plenty of sleep.
10. Wash your hands frequently!
While none of these are a silver bullet when it comes to prevention, they can certainly help reduce the chances of catching or spreading the flu.
Now, for those in the same miserable sick boat as me, here are a few meals designed to ease a sore, tickling throat or stuffy head.
Pho Bo soup (aka Vietnamese beef and noodle soup)
Tuscan tomato soup
Plum tomato cabbage soup
Chicken soup (aka, Jewish penicillin)