Welcome to Connecticut, where it can be 35 degrees one day and 75 the next. That’s the beauty of fall, but no one likes getting sick — especially when you can’t afford the time or money it takes to just be sick. So we do everything we can to stay healthy, but as usual, we don’t really agree on the best way to do that.
Disclaimer: We are not doctors. We are not nurses. Even though one of us works for a hospital, we’re not even very good at science. So nothing, and we mean, nothing, written here should be taken as actual medical advice. We’re just crazy enough to share our harebrained methods with you and think you’ll care about it.
As the resident Evolutionary Disaster, I get sick a lot. Someone with a cold looks at me from 500 feet away, and I’m sick within hours. However, with a trip to Southeast Asia planned next month, I have vowed that I will NOT get sick this fall, so I’m taking extra precautions (especially since, for the past three days, I can hear a coworker hack and sneeze around the corner from me).
I’ve started exercising more and trying to shed a few pounds since being in better shape can increase your immunity. I’ve also improved my diet for this reason, and to get more veggies in (since I’m allergic to most fruit). This means a salad for lunch at least 3 times a week and loading up on veggies at other meals. I’ve never been that great about a daily multivitamin, but I’ve been trying to be better about it. Maybe I should go with gummy ones to make it more fun. Unlike the Anti-Couric, I was one of the first in line to get a flu shot — especially since I now work at a hospital. It’s as much for me as it is for all the patients!
Since I also need to make sure that my immunity is above and beyond, I’ve started drinking Damactive Immunity things every day, as well as adding Lifeway kefir which contains probiotics. Pomegranate is my favorite flavor so far. Now, if I start feeling crappy, I totally have a second line of defense — besides the get extra rest thing. I load up on Bolthouse Farms C-Boost smoothies — besides having a ton of Vitamin C, there’s Zinc, Echinacea, fiber and other herbs that might help boost the immune system. And, it’s tasty to boot.
Being Asian, people also assume that I know about special herbs and crap that are supposed to keep you healthy. Unfortunately, the only thing my Asian connection really has helped with is getting me something through my dad. A friend of his developed a blend of herbs including garlic that is supposed to help ward off illness. I’ve never even tried to find it in a store or online, but I will take it if I start feeling gross. My papa swears by it, but sometimes I wonder if it’s just the placebo effect. Even so, I’ll take it.
In all truth, I think my best immune defense (and yours) is for people like my aforementioned ill coworker to stay the eff home when they are sick, rather than try to be a hero, come to work and infect everyone. We can take all the precautions in the world, but it’s not going to do any of us any good if other people won’t take precautions on behalf of others.
Unlike the Asian Persuasion, I don’t get sick very often. When I do I can almost always trace it back to a source. For instance, when the Asian and I went to Ireland a few years back I could feel myself getting sick on the plane ride back. Damned recirculated air, and Guiness-infused immune system. Last March when I was getting ready to head out on the Ragin’ Cajun with the Prissy Bitch I started to feel a cold coming on after our intern came to work sick (and I was stupid enough to touch her mouse). Needing to fight off the cold for the sake of my vacation I put even more effort into Vitamin C+ boosting than normal. (Ever since that Ireland trip, I’m careful to turn my immune system into a fortress before I get on a plane.)
I dosed myself with Nighttime Robitussin to help get to sleep early — an therefore get more rest — at night. During the day I drank various Odwalla and Naked juice blends like it was my job, adding in some herbal “immune boosting” tea. I even popped a few of those Airborne tablets. And then the Asian told me about garlic, and how her ancestors swear by it to fight off colds. So I went out and promptly bought a bottle of garlic capsules. As it turned out, all of this worked. I more or less fought off the cold, even after binge drinking on Bourbon Street (though, I do admit to feeling like hell for a day or two after that).
This year, though, I’ve still got a bottle of garlic supplements so I’m taking them as a preventative. I stopped taking vitamins because they’re probably a waste of money, and the last bottle I bought made my mouth water like I was going to throw up every time I took one. I thought I was having morning sickness for some sort of immaculately conceived baby for a whole week.
But as AP mentioned, I don’t believe in the flu shot. I got one about three years ago when my work was giving them away for free. I didn’t get the flu. But I didn’t get it the year before or after either. I prefer to rely on my love of tea — any time I wake up with a scratchy throat it seems to go away by the time I’m done with my first cup of tea — and general aversion to other humans to keep me healthy. I mean, it’s hard to catch someone else’s illness if you just stay away from other people.
Pretty much everyone loves fall, even grumpy, old, cantankerous me. I love football, the baseball playoffs, slutty Halloween costumes, and Thanksgiving. But I’m not a big fan of getting sick.
So how does a person in the Nutmeg State keep from calling out of work 9 times this cold season? Hey, I’m not a doctor so don’t look at me for a definitive answer. However, I will tout the virtues of one thing I firmly believe keeps me from being a total sniffling, sneezing bag of mucous: Orange Juice.
Orange juice is the one thing that keeps me up and running when everyone else falls victim to illness. Do I have any scientific evidence to back this up? No, none what so ever. What I do know is that when I don’t drink orange juice for a week, I don’t feel so good. When I drink it on a consistent basis I feel fine. What more evidence do I need?
So while people will try to convince you to take multi vitamins, supplements and all other sorts of whacky money making schemes, my advice to you is to drink orange juice. It’ll keep you healthy…assuming you’re somewhat healthy to begin with. It won’t cure diabetes or anything…in fact, it might make it worse.