Whenever I feel like I’m coming down with a cold, I want to eat the weirdest things. Cream of wheat, pixie toast {a delicious combination of butter, cinnamon, and sugar on toasted bread}, chicken wild rice soup, cold macaroni and cheese…All of these items are dishes that I find supremely comforting. Another thing they have in common? They are all foods from my childhood–foods that now, as a healthy-living adult, that I tend to avoid. This little predicament got me thinking: how do you stay healthy when you’re feeling sick? From indulging at meals to avoiding exercise to embracing couch life, not to mention, you know, actually fighting infection, feeling under-the-weather is ROUGH on the body beautiful. How to make the experience less sucky? Follow my guide! Consider this your get well game plan. Fingers crossed that you won’t have to use this guide any time soon!

The Diet:

  • Fluids fluids fluids. Hydration is always important, but when you’re battling an illness, it pretty much becomes a non-negotiable. Wash out those germs, girl! Keep a water bottle near by and sip on tea, vitamin C drinks, and kombucha throughout the day. You can also get your liquid fix with broth, popsicles, and high-water fruit, like watermelon.
  • Eat for your symptoms. Allow your illness to dictate your intake. A stomach ache, for example requires a vastly menu than a cold. Don’t know where to start? If you’re having tummy troubles, opt for bland food and ginger. If you’re dealing with a cold, sinus infection, or the flu, stock up on warming soups and broths. You might even want to try something spicy to clear out your sinuses! Consult this post from Greatist for sick day food dos and don’ts! Make sure to avoid excess sugar, alcohol, and any known food sensitivities!
  • Indulge accordingly. Sometimes when I’m sick, I get a Happy Meal. Fries, chicken nuggets, the whole deal. Why? Because it’s packed with calories and it makes me feel better. Do you, boo. Listen to your body! As long as you’re not eating large quantities of fast food for every meal while you’re sick, you’re good. In fact, a little indulgence just might even make you feel BETTER. It’s called comfort food for a reason. {Note: if you DON’T feel like indulging at all, or even doing much more than snacking and sipping drinks, that’s fine too. Don’t force yourself.}

The Supplements:

Personally, whenever I’m sick, I always up my supplement game. It can’t hurt, right? Whether it’s purely a placebo effect or if these little additions actually DO help with my immunity and recovery is debatable, but I swear by popping them as soon as my symptoms develop and throughout the course of my cold. Here are the four goodies I swear by.

  1. Multivitamin. SHOP: Rainbow Light Women’s One Multivitamin.
  2. Zinc. SHOP: Nature Made Zinc Tablets
  3. Greens. SHOP: Sun Chlorella Chlorella Dietary Supplement
  4. Probiotics. SHOP: Garden of Life Primal Defense ULTRA Probiotic Formula

The Game Plan:

  • Get as much rest as humanly possible. When you’re not feeling your best, the best thing you can possibly do is to listen to your body and squeeze in some extra rest. Even if you can’t nap all day, if you’re feeling worn out, you should make a real effort to avoid exerting yourself. Stay off of your feet. Lounge. Walk less. Indulge in a marathon Netflix session. Avoid stress!
  • Take it easy when it comes to working out. As someone who works out six times a week, taking a voluntary break from my fitness grind is often the trickiest part of being sick. I’ve learned, though, that it’s better to take it easy when I’m sick-ish than it is to have to take an involuntary break from exercise because of full-blown sickness. Seriously, just listen to your body and take it easy when you feel like you’re coming down with something! Don’t do anything high-intensity, cut your cardio session short, and opt for gentle movement like yoga, pilates, walking, or barre if you truly feel the need to get in a sweat session. Follow this guide for specific exercising-while-sick recommendations!
  • Stay clean. Wash your sheets. Wipe down your remote. Get a new toothbrush. Avoid sharing cups and cutlery. Wash hands almost obsessively and keep hand sanitizer on-hand 24/7, especially if you’re dealing with Kleenex. Not only will this help to keep your germs somewhat self-contained, but you’ll also {hopefully} prevent re-infection.
  • Don’t get chilled. Heat has healing powers, y’all.  Staying toasty is a must. Personally, I always feel like being warm literally BAKES the sickness out of me, so I’m a fan of being almost uncomfortably hot in the name of wellness. Hot baths, heating pads, and blanket burritos are all fair game. If you’re hot AND cold, {AKA the worst experience ever,} have layers on hand to add or subtract–think a zip-up hoodie, wooly socks, and blankets galore–as needed. Do what works for you!

…combine food, supplements, & lifestyle tips and feel better.

Stay healthy!



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