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The sicko diet

The bad: I have a cold. My sinuses are as congested as LA traffic. My throat is as dry as the southeast. My head feels like it’s going to implode and suck everything within a 20 yard radius into its gravity well.

The good: I weighed in at 173.8 today, my lowest weight yet. Woo-hoo? That’s a 3.5 pound drop in just one day. I might lose these last 15 pounds in mucus alone. The cold has killed my appetite too, so I had to force myself to eat some soup last night. I’m trying to stay hydrated and I’m taking my vitamins, so hopefully this shall pass. I’m not a fan of the sicko diet.

So, tell me, what are your favorite cold remedies? Hot chicken noodle soup? Lots of orange juice? Not mixed together, I hope. Hit me with your ideas in the comments.

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Lisa • November 7, 2007 at 7:31 am

Lipton Honey and Lemon tea, Vitamin C, AND no exercise. Your body needs rest; don’t kick yourself when you’re down.


kar_kar • November 7, 2007 at 7:44 am

I’ve found that lots of rest, hot broth-based soup, hot tea, and those zinc lozenges (cold-eze is the brand I use and they make sugar-free ones) have me feeling better in no time. Hope you feel better soon!


Tia • November 7, 2007 at 7:46 am

Lots of warm, liquidy goodness along the lines of hot teas and soup…not mixed together. Stay away from dairy, I hear it increases mucus production and that is the last thing you need right now.

I hope you feel better soon.


Marianne • November 7, 2007 at 7:53 am

I usually rub myself all over with Vicks vapor rub, especially on the chest and throat and then take some NiteQuil. (The green kind cause the red kind makes me gag! YUCK!) Then I climb under a ton of covers and sweat the bad bug out. My Mom like TheraFlu but I don’t like the taste of it.

I hope you feel better soon!



Michelle • November 7, 2007 at 8:01 am

Emergen-C (Vitamin C fizzy supplements that taste good!) you can find them at Trader Joes. Fluids of any non-dairy kind. Also, I’ve found that taking an L-Lysine supplement helps too (found at most any drug store). Here’s info about it from wiki so you don’t have to look it up:

L-Lysine is a necessary building block for all protein in the body. L-Lysine plays a major role in calcium absorption; building muscle protein; recovering from surgery or sports injuries; and the body’s production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.

Last, if your mucus is not clear, give in and go to the doctor, it’s most likely bacterial, and you’ll get well MUCH faster!! I thought I had some sort of virus three weeks ago, turned out it wasn’t, and I ended up with Bronchitis for a week-and-a-half until I went to the doctor.


annie b • November 7, 2007 at 8:12 am

Sorry to hear that you are ill.

Definitely chicken soup. A drink of hot water plus honey, whiskey, lemon.


Stephanie • November 7, 2007 at 8:21 am

Zicam. I totally believe in it and it’s cold fighting powers. That and fluids. I usually just drink tea and water bc of the calories I could drown in with orange juice.


Mary • November 7, 2007 at 8:31 am

An old physics professor I knew used to swear that the best way to get over a cold was:

1. For dinner, eat something with tons of garlic.

2. Soak in a hot tub, with water as hot as you can stand.

3. Have a hot toddy (I think he said whiskey with water & lemon. Not sure how that fits in health wise — perhaps it helps you sleep?)

Hope you feel better soon!


CurvyJones • November 7, 2007 at 8:42 am

Sleep, sleep, sleep. I take some Nyquil and hit the sheets!


Cathleen • November 7, 2007 at 8:52 am

Vitamin C, echinacea, those zinc tablets, and something to knock you out so you can sleep it off. I like to suck on hard candies (tangy citrus flavored) to help my throat, but that’s bad for the diet.


Jess • November 7, 2007 at 9:03 am

Definitely take something like NyQuil before bedtime. If you can get a good night’s rest, you will recover faster.

I am also a big fan of Airborn fizzy tablets, but you’re supposed to take them as soon as you feel a cold coming on, not after you are sick.


Kate • November 7, 2007 at 9:03 am

I’m also home on the couch sick today…yuck.

I’ve found nothing helps like rest, green tea, and airborne (an effervescent supplement with herbs). I find it helps out alot, usually shortens the length of my colds substantially.


Kelli • November 7, 2007 at 9:14 am

For me, Alka-Seltzer Cold knocks it out after 2 or 3 uses. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!


melsky • November 7, 2007 at 9:25 am

Hot tea with ginger and honey is what I use. I just make regular black tea and then put in a very small amount (half teaspoon) powdered ginger, and then add more ginger to taste. The ginger creates a pleasant warmth on the roof of my mouth and my throat and feels soothing to my sinuses.


Chris • November 7, 2007 at 9:29 am

Lots of liquids (soup, juice, water, etc.) and NyQuil to help with sleeping. A dose of NyQuil right before bed gives me the best sleep I’ve ever had in my life.


z. • November 7, 2007 at 9:31 am

I find that reveling in the time off work is the best medicine–though doesn’t apply if you actually like your job!


Diana the Scale Junkie • November 7, 2007 at 9:36 am

Garlic in your chicken soup

Tea with honey

Zinc lozenges/Zycam

Delysum for a cough

Stay Hydrated


I actually read somewhere that if you are coughing a lot you should rub Vicks on the bottoms of your feet and put on a pair of heavy socks before you get into bed…I’ve never tried this but several people have said it really works. Honestly, I have a hard time sleeping with socks on my feet but if I get a cold, I’ll give it a go.


Jenny • November 7, 2007 at 10:12 am

One word: Nasaline. A modern “neti” pot that I use once a week and EVERYTIME I fly. When I have a cold, it flushes all of that junk out. (Laughed hard at the 15 pound mucas comment.) I know, I know, it sounds weird. That’s what I thought at first…. but then you get that relief and AHHHHH.

P.S. Sorry your are sick. :-(


grumpy chair • November 7, 2007 at 10:22 am

Water, water and more water.


hanlie • November 7, 2007 at 10:37 am

I have been using a natural remedy for years. My sister got it from a clinic nurse when she was pregnant.

Hot water, honey, cinnamon, dried sage, lemon juice, turmeric and grated ginger. Get into bed after drinking the concoction, stay warm and get some sleep. Works like a bomb!

Hope you feel better soon!


Kyle • November 7, 2007 at 10:41 am

My mom swears by zinc. In tablet form or in form of these little sticks coated with it that you stick up your nose.

I personally like to do really light exercise if I have plugged up orifices. A short jog, or powerwalk almost always gets the snot running if you’re plugged up. It sounds gross, but it works for so don’t knock it!

And no dairy, like Tia said. That always makes the snot factor even worse.

I hope you feel better soon!!!


Meagan • November 7, 2007 at 10:53 am

(Long-time reader/stalker, first time posting…)

I’m also currently sick and in Indy – perhaps we’ve caught the same bug! I usually try to stay strong and depend on lots of water/tea/soup and cough drops, but I think I’ll be hitting the Nyquil tonight. I haven’t been able to run all week and it fills me with woe. Hope you get better soon!


Erin • November 7, 2007 at 11:09 am

sleep, tv, and happy meals.


psychsarah • November 7, 2007 at 12:18 pm

First of all, I hope you feel better soon-there’s little I loathe more than a cold.

My personal “healing” routine involves lots of garlic, herbal teas (like peppermint, ginger, sleepytime, etc.), broth soups, as others have mentioned. I also put on the humidifier in my bed room, put on tons of warm cozy clothes and blankets, watch schlocky tv or read trashy magazines between naps (your brain needs to rest while you’re healing in my opinion), and don’t get out until I feel better (or have to pee-all those liquids have to go somewhere!)

On the sicko diet front, I was quite ill last Christmas season and I credit it with a net loss come January-otherwise I would have gained for sure! It was the most effective tool to say no the myriad sweets & treats at my in-laws that I’ve ever had. I was contemplating how to infect myself again this year, but its risky business!! Take good care of yourself and get well soon!


Leticia • November 7, 2007 at 12:29 pm

I second Jenny. You must do a sinus rinse with a NetiPot type thing….there are different brands, Sinucleanse, NeilMed, AYR, whatever…pretty cheap and found at any drugstore. You will feel so much better. Then you can take the chicken soup and whiskey and go to sleep. :o)


coraspartan • November 7, 2007 at 12:40 pm

I have heard of the Vicks socks remedy too, but haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

My prescription for getting better includes homemade chicken noodle soup, green tea, and LOTS of water.

Also a hot bath once or twice a day–especially if your body aches. I don’t know if it speeds up the healing process, but it sure makes your body feel better!

Hope you are better soon.


Rachel • November 7, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Ouch. I’m just getting over a cold myself. I second (third?) Zicam. It’s most effective when used at the first sign of the cold, but it probably won’t hurt.

I also like saline nasal spray, hot showers, Sudafed, and sleep.


Cara • November 7, 2007 at 1:05 pm

I get sinus infections all the time so I have a regimen I stick to that I have found to work for me.

The best food to clear up the sinus’ I found is SPICY food. So spicy your nose just runs and runs. hahaha. The best thing (to me) is thai food, specifically, drunken noodles with tofu (but you can pick chicken or whatever). I get it at level 10. It is really spicy, plus it has onions in it which are said to help naturally get rid of colds.

Another thing I make is top ramen noodles and then spice them up with a TON of cayenne pepper.

I hope this helps!


Marianne • November 7, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Feel better soon!

For me, water water water water is usually the answer. My joke with my boyfriend is that I pee out the sickness. :D

I also try to eat things that involve lemon, ginger, or curry. I take lots of hot showers because the steam unclogs things a bit, too. If I’m really sick (more than a cold), I take a day or two to just be a couch potato – lots of blankets, tea, books and kleenex. I’d rather do that, be miserable for two days and get over things quickly than drug up and be a little sick for a longer time.


Penny • November 7, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Brew a cup of your favorite herbal tea, add a shot (or two) of a good whiskey, one teaspoon of honey, and a squirt of lemon. Repeat as necessary.


dietgirl • November 7, 2007 at 2:06 pm

crikey! poor chook, hope yer on the mind soon! my favourite rememdy is curling up on the couch watching bad daytime telly. hehe.

PQ – They just started a writer’s strike here in the states, so we’d better hope my cold clears up in a month or two because that’s when the soap operas are going to dry up :)


cmae • November 7, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Zycam plus the following Vitamin C blast:

1000 mg at the first onset of symptoms

100 mg every hour until symptoms have disappeared for 24 hours

Works like charm. If only I knew about this back when I used to sing…


Laura • November 7, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Oh! My friend just turned me onto this blueberry juice from Alaska that totally took away my symptoms when I had a cold. She gave a couple of sample bottles, I can send you one if you’re game. By the time it gets to you, you might be over your cold though . . . I guess you could save it for next time. It’s also supposed to help with any chronic pain/inflammatory issues, but since you’re otherwise healthy you probably won’t see any major benefits. Anyhoo, let me know.


Laura • November 7, 2007 at 3:20 pm

Agree with the Zicam. It won’t make your cold go away instantly, but it definitely shortens it. Lots of rest & fluids. No dairy.

Hope you feel better soon. At least it’s fun to see the lower weight on the scale–it’s a bright spot in the middle of the misery.


MB • November 7, 2007 at 3:21 pm

I agree with CurvyJones and others – SLEEP, SLEEP and MORE SLEEP and NYQUIL (the real stuff you have to sign for) if you need help getting there. Try not to fry your brain with too much bad daytime tv.

At this point I would be willing to try to sicko diet if I got to see the scale go downwards.

Hope you feel better soon.


Elastic Waist • November 7, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Um, “woo-hoo?” is the funniest thing I’ve read all day.


Migraineur • November 7, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Back when I used to eat rice, I’d go out for sushi – the combination of warm miso soup and sinus-clearing wasabi was very comforting.

Recently I was reading that Mike and Mary Dan Eades recommend that low-carbers increase their carb consumption to maintenance levels during illness. Aren’t you doing South Beach, which is sorta LC? I’m not sure exactly how much starch and sugar you’re consuming, but you might try a bit more until you’re well. The idea is, don’t try to lose weight while you’re sick.

My husband taught me what I think of as The Poor Man’s NetiPot. When you’re in the shower, cup your hands and let them collect some warm water. Then slowly and carefully inhale the water through your nose just until you feel the urge to sneeze. Sneeze. Blow your nose. Repeat a couple of times, if necessary. It helps a lot, and if you hate it, you didn’t waste any money on equipment.

If all else fails, remember that anything you do will make your cold go away in 7 to 10 days. ;)


Sally Parrott Ashbrook • November 7, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Masaman curry–it may not cure you, but you’ll feel comforted. And the textures of it are good even when you can’t taste what you’re eating.


Lora • November 7, 2007 at 4:31 pm

I swear by Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold…and a good slug of NyQuil at night.


Mary • November 7, 2007 at 5:02 pm

I have another take on all the honey being prescribed. Somehow I stuck on warm OJ (like in the microwave or in a pot on the stove) with a little honey in it. Yes, it’s kinda sweet, but something about the warm is really comforting to a dry, sore throat.

Feel better!!


Allison • November 7, 2007 at 5:25 pm

Alcohol will kill anything. Just stay hydrated.


fat bridesmaid • November 7, 2007 at 7:19 pm

VapoRub, VapoRub, VapoRub! I swear, enough of that stuff could probably cure cancer.


Joe Grossberg • November 7, 2007 at 7:28 pm

It’s already been mentioned, but garlic is totally safe and somewhat effective.

However, it’s worth noting that (1) it works better raw and (2) it needs to sit for a bit, to let it chemically react with the air.

So, mince a clove of garlic, set it aside, make your soup, and *then* put the garlic in.


anji • November 7, 2007 at 8:24 pm

I’ve had that sinus thing for 3 weeks… two rounds of antibiotics later, still battling it. Hopefully you don’t have to get to that point.

Start with some nice crying (I just did that, minor break-down with my teaching placement!) and that cleared up lots :P Halls Cough Drops…. Mexican Hot chocolate…


3 tablespoons instant hot chocolate mix

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pinch chili powder

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup boiling water

That’s not how I would usually make it, I’d make it REAL hot-chocolate (with melted chocolate, etc.) but – in a pinch this would work. However, I’ve never tried with the chili powder. I would use regular jalapeno peppers… you cut them up, remove the seeds, boil it and then strain the hot-chocolate to rid of the debris… so all you’re left with is hot-chocolate with a nice taste to it. Yea, it has a bit of a bite (don’t use too much hot-pepper) but – I guarantee you, your sinuses will clear up within minutes.

I drank one in a resturant once when I was sick, and… well… thank goodness the napkins were on the table as I had the niagara falls thing happening! Felt tons better afterwards :)

Good luck!


Lauren • November 7, 2007 at 8:55 pm

lots and lots of Nyquil


Julie • November 7, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Two things usually help me when I have a cold:

1. A mixture of lemon juice, ginger, and cayenne pepper. It’s not so pleasant to take, but it does help.

2. Boil an onion. I know it sounds weird, but cut one up, boil it, strain it, and drink the water. I works!


Michelle • November 7, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Oh, I forgot, Mucinex is wonderful. The best is Mucinex D (behind the counter now). It basically has Sudifed in it. Also, I’m another VapoRub gal, when I’m stuffed up or my chest hurts. I only take NyQuil if I truly can’t sleep.

I still stand by the L-Lysine though. I know this will sound silly, but a few years ago when my cats were kittens one got REALLY sick, to the point she wouldn’t eat. She would drink, so I started giving her kitten formula, but she wasn’t improving. I didn’t have the cash for the vet at the time so I looked into home remedies and found out about L-Lysine. When I started crushing up the L-Lysine and adding it to the formula she got better really fast. Next time I got sick I tried it (since I got it in the supplement aisle at CVS) and it worked. I’ve used it almost every time since, and I see the difference when I do. I ran out so didn’t use it when I was sick a few weeks ago, and I really think it would have helped.

Hope you get better!


Kalyn • November 7, 2007 at 9:40 pm

Sorry you are sick. I do agree with all the people who recommended Zicam, although it works best when you’re barely getting the cold. It’s a miracle how well it works if you start using it at the first sign of a cold.


kentuckienne • November 7, 2007 at 9:51 pm

The boy swears by Zicam, but I hate the taste; I’m also leery of the type you stick up your nose, since there have been reports of people losing their sense of smell that way. And I think it only works if you use it in the first 24 hours anyway.

I was sick last week and took Aleve Cold & Sinus, but what really seemed effective was three scotch and sodas with two slices of lemon apiece. I woke up the next day feeling much better. My Scots grandparents also used whisky with a dollop of honey — at least you’ll sleep well!


Nneka • November 7, 2007 at 10:17 pm

1000 mg Vitamin C every 2 hours.


Nneka from the old Slim Spirited


Nancy Bea • November 7, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Lots of hot tea (any kind) with honey. Chicken soup is lovely, but the homemade kind is best (and hard to come by!)Wear a hat (even indoors), and if possible, get to bed early with a hot water bottle.

My husband swears by those fizzy vitamin tablets, called Airborne or something like that. You take one a few times a day if you feel like you are coming down with something. I’m rarely that self-aware…seems one minute I’m fine and the next I’m sick! But if you can tell you are fighting something then it’s worth a try.


Nancy Bea • November 7, 2007 at 10:24 pm

Forgot to add: sorry you’re ill. Nice about the incidental weight loss, that’s a bonus! Nonetheless, I hope you feel better soon!


HK • November 8, 2007 at 1:43 am

I sit next to a humidifier all day and drink tea and chicken soup. The humidifier helps a lot with the congestion.


Elizabeth • November 8, 2007 at 1:49 am

Vitamin C capsuls. They raise your immune system. I start downing them at the first sign of a cold and they rarely hit full-on!

I hope you feel better soon.


Janet • November 8, 2007 at 7:47 am


For your impacted sinus’ I suggest Dr. Oz’ treatment. A Neti Pot. You can get it at CVS (etc.) for $15. You make the solution and with your head over the bathroom sink, tilted to the side, you pour the solution into your nostrils one at a time, as it exits through the other side.

You will be surprised how it cleanses them of all the mucus.

Feel Better!


psychsarah • November 8, 2007 at 7:49 am

I just thought of something else-the good kleenex with the lotion in it. It’s a nose-saver-take care!


Cathleen • November 8, 2007 at 9:47 am

I second the tissues with lotion on them — they totally keep your nose from getting red and chapped and sore. Why add to the misery if you don’t have to?


Kris • November 8, 2007 at 10:14 am

So sarry that you are sick right now. Rinse your sinuses with a Nettie pot of warm salted water several times a day. Add lots of garlic to your soup and drink warm lemon water with honey or add lemon to your tea. Drink gallons of fluids and add cayenne to your tea or soups if you can stand it.

Sending good healing thoughts your way,



Catherine • November 8, 2007 at 5:18 pm

I agree with those who wrote SLEEP. And a good dose of the cold remedy stuff that knocks you out. Keeping a glass of whatever cold or hot thing you like by the bedside helps, too.

I have used those zinc lozenges, and I think they work.

Chicken soup is great, too, if you feel like eating.

Congratulations on the few pounds of your most recent weight loss — I think it’s an honest loss — everybody gets sick once in a while!

Way to go!


Country Chicken • November 9, 2007 at 8:38 pm

Hot water with lemon is my favorite drink for when I have a cold. Actually, I drink it now every morning and I notice a difference in my mood and energy level.

Congratulations on the 170! Absollutely fantastic work!


Cairogal • November 9, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Vietnamese soup call “Pho” (pronounced “What the fu__”). It’s got rice noodles, a bit of hot sauce in a beef broth, and your choice of meat/chicken/veg. Guaranteed to clear out the sinuses. Good for a rainy day, too. I call it “Vietnamese Penacillan.”


myskinnyfiles • November 10, 2007 at 1:17 pm

Maple lemon ginger red tea (1.5 tbs of grated ginger, 1 tbs of lemon juice, with 3 teaspoons of maple syrup, 1 red teabag in 1.5 cups boiling water)

It’s like a spicy hot tea. Us a fine microplane to grate ginger.

Get well soon! Congrats on the second century!


myskinnyfiles • November 10, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Maple lemon ginger red tea (1.5 tbs of grated ginger, 1 tbs of lemon juice, with 3 teaspoons of maple syrup, 1 red teabag in 1.5 cups boiling water)

It’s like a spicy hot tea. Us a fine microplane to grate ginger.

Get well soon! Congrats on the second century!


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