Friday, February 24, 2012


Let me just preface this post by saying that everyone at my place of employment has some kind of cold or upper respiratory illness. This means I am slathering on the hand sanitizer like nobody’s business and using bleach wipes to clean my desk every day. Germs!

This makes green smoothies packed with greens, fruit, and oats especially appropriate. I drank one on my way to work the other day, and I’m sure everyone was wondering what sort of green sludge was hanging out in my to-go tumbler.


One of my coworkers ate chicken noodle soup the other day, which I thought was pretty brilliant considering the cold weather and cold illness going around, so I decided to make my own version +/- a few ingredients.


anti-germ vegetable soup

  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots or sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 T butter or oil
  • 1 cup quinoa or noodles of your choice
  • 1 cup kale
  • 5-6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Sauté onion and celery in butter until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add carrots or sweet potatoes (or both) and cook for a few more minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat until quinoa or noodles are cooked.


And when I feel a bug coming on, I usually do the following:

  • drink tons of water or hot tea
  • take vitamin C
  • eat more fruit and vegetables (natural nutrients)
  • get lots of sleep
  • cut out sugar

What’s the theory on sugar and infection? This one is up for debate, but some experts think that sugar inhibits the body’s natural defense against invading pathogens and promotes an environment favorable to the growth of pathogenic organisms. Others say the similar structures of sugar and vitamin C create competition for uptake into the body’s cells. Whatever the proposed theories, I have certainly found this to be true.

What about zinc and vitamin C as immune boosters?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, oral zinc may help reduce the length and severity of colds, but it also has potential to cause side effects (GI effects) and participate in drug nutrient interaction. Intranasal zinc should not be used due to risk of severe side effects.

Vitamin C has not been proven to prevent colds but may slightly reduce their length and severity.

So, while everyone else is stocking up on puffs plus, I’m having another round of wheat grass [oh joy].


what are your go-to strategies for preventing the plague of death?


  1. I think you are right on. Will power is also a powerful tool

  2. Oooh, I love the facts on sugar and infections! I am going to pass that tid-bit on, if you don't mind! (With a link up, of course!) :-)

  3. Ha ha...I totally thought this was going to be about wheatgerm. But it's great timing. My bf is suffering through the same, and I am desperately trying to come through on the other side sans cold.

    Soup and smoothie both look amazing, but I have to really support your sugar theory. Sugar plays such a small role in my diet now, and it's been almost a year since I've been sick at all! (knock on wood...)

  4. Oh! Super good luck not getting part of that rat pack. Sometimes, we do everything we can only to find out YEP still human. But I love your feedback about sugar. I found myself munching on a dum dum today and then realized I AM HUNGRY and this IS NOT FOOD. I had some trail mix instead.

    And I am feeling worn down. This is when R and R is important. Making the hard choices (whether to cancel party attendance) is another matter!

  5. I have to agree with everyone else. Your notes on the links between sugar and infection are very interesting. As someone who has a serious sweet-tooth, I'm going to have te try harder to avoid sugar, especially when I feel a cold coming on.

  6. ahhh i think its about eating enough vitamins and exercising regularly, so that when the germs are near, your body is healthy enough to fight them off! :) love this soup! healthy and clean. :) hope you are doing well! stay healthy.

  7. lots of veggies, lots of fruit, probiotics, water, staying physically active... washing hands often!

  8. What's the research on wheat-grass and colds? I knew what the info was about vitamin C and zinc, but wheat grass seems like another fad in my opinion, unless there is something I don't know!
    The soup sounds wonderful, by the way, sweet potato makes everything better!

  9. I'm with Gina on this. Never heard anything about wheat germ and colds so now I am curious. I hate to say this because I am sure I am cursing myself, but I swear I don't do anything special and I rarely, if ever, get sick. Even if Ryan is deathly ill (like viral meningitis) I don't get sick. On rare occasion I will, but usually not. Although I am nervous this year because of the cold and snow, but so far so good. Oh, and one time I subbed for a 1st grade class, and I got sick. But years working in a hospital and almost nothing. I will stop writing about this now because I think I am definitely cursing myself.

  10. What great tips! I do the exact same thing during cold season. I also make sure I get plenty of sleep (less than 8 hours and I'm prone to any bacteria/virus in my path!).


  11. Ugh...colds and flus are going around everywhere. It's awful. I make sure to get plenty of rest. Sleep deprivation really seems to be the cause of many illnesses for me. ;)

  12. This definitely works for me as well. I have to get enough sleep, eat lots of veggies/citrus and reduce stress.


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