By Callie McBride
One of the most prominent obstacles to weight loss, or healthy living in general, is coming down with the common cold or flu. While everyone knows that it’s extra imperative to make healthy choices during the times when your cold symptoms are at their worst, it’s also not a secret that people allow their miserable state to influence their food choices. Staying curled up in bed with a coughing fit or a runny nose somehow always equates to indulging in comfort food and sugary liquids. Microwavable mashed potatoes, thick, creamy soups, and an excessive amount of carbs are just some of the culprits in the case of the cold. It’s hard enough to be super healthy on a day-to-day basis, so it must be nearly impossible to keep a clean track record during flu season, right!? Wrong. So, so wrong.
Not only is staying hydrated, energized, and all-around healthy of the utmost importance while sick, it’s also a lot easier than most people think. Here are a couple simple equations to break it down:
Having the flu = feeling awful.
Eating processed, sugary, empty-carb loaded foods = feeling gross.
Drinking warm herbal teas, re-energizing with copious amounts of fruits and veggies, and staying as hydrated as humanly possible = feeling better than any superhero out there.
I’ve got more good news, too. Dr. Oz, everyone’s favorite daily talk-show doc, has pronounced seaweed to be the “miracle vegetable.” He credits the funny-lookin’ food for having more concentrated nutrition than vegetables grown on land, and for possessing powers to prolong life, prevent disease, and impart beauty and health. Turns are there are over 20 types of edible seaweed, the most popular being nori, kumbu, kelp, and dulce. It has healing detoxifiers and major energizing elements to it. Now, I’m not suggesting you replace your world-famous butternut squash soup as your go-to “sick” meal, but I would definitely recommend adding a side seaweed salad to your plate.
As I attempt to get over my own seasonal cold, I have been buddying up to herbal tea, lemon-infused water, and tons of green vegetables to help my immune system get back on track. I recently paired my seaweed salad with some delicious steamed edamame. More fun foodie facts! Edamame has 11 grams of protein in just half a cup, and has all 9 of the essential amino acids that the body cannot make. Don’t even try to tell me that a week-long cold-induced t.v fest on the couch hasn’t included far too much snacking. Boredom begets eating begets boredom begets eating…stop the cycle, get your protein fix! Edamame is perfect for that, especially as its just freshly steamed, and warms up your whole body.
Pour yourself a tall mug of tea, grab the remote, and feel free to take a couple days of rest from the exercise regimen when you are feeling under the weather. As long as you heed my loving advice to up your green veggie intake during an especially miserable cold spell, there won’t be a thing to feel guilty about.
What are your favorite remedies for when you are sick? Leave a comment! (cough, cough)