Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Common Cold

Well I am feeling even better today than I was yesterday so I am now more convinced than ever that my brother's advice to take a few days off for rest was sound and good for me.  I cheated and hopped on the scale last night because I was afraid that not exercising would be a problem but I was still 270.5, the same as Monday.  Of course that was less than an hour after eating dinner (chicken and rice) so I might even have a little loss that's just not showing yet.  I'm trying not to think about it too much though.

I found an interesting article on Yahoo! this morning regarding the common cold and I thought I'd share the cliffnotes version with you.  There are four things that it says we should take to boost our immune systems and combat sickness and then there are two things that it says we should avoid.

Good #1: Vitamin D, obtained through sunlight, milk and other dairy products, and often found in tandem with calcium supplements like the ones I'm taking.  "Laboratory studies indicate that the nutrient may help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make us sick" (Adit Ginde, M.D., University of Colorado School of Medicine).  From personal experience, if you have a cold, I would avoid using milk/dairy for your vitamin D because it can increase mucus production and coughing.

Good #2: Green tea, the wonder plant is it not?  I don't like green tea, typically, but herbal tea with lemon and cayenne pepper is practically the holy grail of cold remedies in my family so this doesn't really surprise me.  According to the article: "One laboratory study suggested that a particular type of polyphenols called catechins may kill influenza viruses" (No reference information provided).

Good #3: Probiotics, "good" bacteria found in yogurt that we're all hearing about in Activia and similar product commercials.  Well this is another long-time remedy used by my family though I must admit I'd forgotten about it.  Acidophilus is a key ingredient in yogurt and, in liquid form, tastes like it.  We used to get it in brown glass bottles with metal caps when I was a kid and it was milky and maybe a little gritty but the raspberry flavored version was quite tasty.  I haven't been able to find it around here, and I have asked several places but no one carries it in liquid form anymore.  Odd huh?

Good #4: Soluble fiber "abundant in citrus fruits, apples, carrots, beans and oats—helps fight inflammation" (Christina Sherry, Ph.D., University of Michigan).  Well I have been eating more fruit lately so that's good yeah?

Bad 1 & 2: "Airborne" and Vitaminwater "Defense".  It says that the excess amounts of nutrients found in the former are potentially harmful and the latter falls short of containing enough of them, plus is 125 calories per bottle.  Good to know huh?

4 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee with creamer
1 banana
1 foot long chicken sub (the usual)
1 cup cheesy rice
1 dinner roll
4 Tbsps Salsa
15 SunChips
Daily Caloric Intake: 1354

Still on hold but I'm feeling a lot better and should be back on the program tomorrow or Friday!


  1. Yeah, I really think you made the best choice in deciding to take it easy for a few days. That definitely helps your body heal faster.

    I just started eating yogurt again regularly, so I'm hoping it'll give my immune system a boost during cold and flu season.

  2. The reason you can't find the liquid stuff too easily anymore is for 2 reasons: 1) it's hard to store -- the store has to keep it refrigerated and even if you do it's shelf-life is a lot shorter than the capsule/tablet-form, and 2) research has shown that liquid-cultures suffer an attack from stomach-acids that kill a large number of the flora whereas tablet/capsule-forms are better protected until they reach the gut where the flora are accustomed to living and can thrive there.

    In other words... if you take the liquid-stuff, a large amount of what you take is likely to already be dead before you even open the bottle... and then, of what's alive, some other large amount is likely to be killed by your stomach acids... so a (relatively) small amount actually reaches the gut (which is where the flora actually live).

  3. This is an AWESOME post! I am glad to see that you are starting to feel better!! And you shared some secrets!! I just came down with this damn silly cold!! So... time to go snuggle outside and soak in some of that sunlight, sip some green tea.. and darn I have no yogurt... well... 2/3 aint bad! :)

  4. Jen: Yogurt is good for you for a lot of reasons. I don't really care for it usually (I think it's a texture thing) but anything we can do to defend ourselves against germs right now has to help.

    Brandon: Wow, thanks for the additional info. I liked the taste of the liquid but I guess I'll pick up some pills tomorrow after I get paid because I do remember it being a major help when I was a kid and you would give that stuff to me. Way better than when you made me snort cayenne pepper tea for that sinus infection I had when I was six, that just sucked.

    Trisha: I am glad you enjoyed the post. I know you all probably get sick of hearing "I had a good day, I had a bad day, I was hungry, I'm sick of drinking water" lol. I'll try to keep the posts as interesting as possible from day to day. Unfortunately, however, the inspiration just doesn't always strike.

    Thank you all for following and responding!

  5. Hi! I am new here and I was going back through your archives and wanted to know what you meant by a "caveman" day.

    Glad you are on the mend. I have had the same sucky cold :(

  6. Katie: My brother was telling me about a diet called the "caveman diet" where you go all day without eating much more than nuts, berries and lots and lots of water. Then you have a killer workout where you just go until you drop, then you eat everything you want in any quantities for dinner.

    A "Caveman" day is a modified version of this where, to keep my body confused so that it doesn't adjust to the lower calorie diet and plateau, one day a month I eat 200 to 300 calories more than I do the rest of the month and burn 200 more than usual as well.

    I hope you feel better soon! It sucks being sick!

  7. Hey you're doing a GREAT job; glad you're feeling better - and really glad you'll be able to go back to working out today. Enjoy your blogging and reading/understanding some of the things you're finally putting into words. I really enjoy seeing you, finally, liking yourself again ----YOU are a GREAT person, have become the caring/kind/loving person you were as a child; we enjoy seeing that side of you again. WE ALL LOVE YOU and YOU are an **IMPORTANT** member of this family - keep up the good work and get healthier, we want you around for a VERY LONG time ~ mom

  8. I am so proud of you! I am 43 years old and the biggest I have ever been. I'm 5'7" and 230 lbs. I have two young teenagers, and I feel so bad when they look at me all bored because I have no energy to do things with them. Especially out of the house things, Im completely embarrased with my weight. You are such an encouragment. best of luck!
    Sincerely, Kristin