Normally I’m well prepared for cold and flu season — I keep a bottle of hand santizer by my desk at work and another in my purse, I kick off my day with a tall glass of Emergen-C, I try my best to eat and live healthy. But apparently, I let my guard down. This weekend, the illness came down on me like a hammer.

I was able to call in sick yesterday, but today I have to drag my sorry, sniffling butt in and get work done. How do you carry on with life’s stressful routines when your body is aching and you’re coughing up multicolored semi-solids? I’m trying to figure it out. Here’s what’s sorta, kinda working for me as I battle the Mucinex family that’s taken residence in my lungs.

Vitamin Water — One of Mama Bella’s mantras to me is, “did you take your Redoxon C?” The popular British effervescent Vitamin C drink also is a mainstay in Trinidad (and I suspect many other former colonies).She always, always has a bottle on hand. Here in Miami, I’m addicted to Emergen-C. Most people are probably aware of the 1000 mg Vitamin C Emergen-C, which comes in like six different flavors. I have the raspberry, but I’d like to eventually try the tropical and to go with the holiday season, cranberry might be good. Besides chugging raspberry Emergen-C, I’ve been sipping on their Immune Defense formula, which only comes in one flavor — ruby lemon honey.

It’s like floral lemonade. I likee. Besides 100 mg of vitamin C, immune defense also includes enhanced zinc, Vitamins A & D, hibiscus extract, and elderberry extract. I’ve been guzzling it now that I’m ill, but perhaps (like Airborne), it would have been better as a preventative measure. Hindsight, bellas, hindsight. (Psst, in case you were wondering, Emergen-C also makes a yummy strawberry multivitamin, and they’ve got flavors for what ails ya, from your aching bones to your bum ticker. And it’s all on sale at

Hot Tea (For Your Face) — my favorite freelancer (and Pisces soul brother) is a dude by the name of Carlos Suarez de Jesus. Carlos is an artist at heart, with the voice and physical bearing of a Cuban pirate. He is awesome. When he heard I was sick, he called me right away and told me to buy a bottle of eucalyptus leaves, boil them into a strong tea, and steam my face over the pungent brew. Woo! That was a really affordable way to clear my passages like nobody’s business. Good looking out, Carlos! There’s a vast variety of steam inhalers, body washes, and vapor plugs on the market — I like that Sudafed vapor plug, but you really need to be close to it for the thing to work, IMO. (hey, do you live in a cold climate and could use a humidifier? Is this Hello Kitty humidifier not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? Awww. I love Hello Kitty).

Pick Your Over-the-Counter Poison — Whether it’s Theraflu, Nyquil, Sudafed, or Zicam, there’s someone who swears by “their” cold and flu medicine as the best one on the drugstore shelves. For me, it’s good ol’ Robitussin. Without the Nighttime cough and cold suppressant, I would have been hacking my lungs out all night long. Instead, I was sweetly put to bed at 8:30, and slept through till morning. I can’t take Dayquil or anything daytime, because it just totally zonks me out. So I only medicate at night.

Ugh, I hate being sick, bellas! I am way too busy to be sick. I’m behind on some major posts, and struggling to balance my workload on top of it all. But with the three steps listed above and lots of rest, I’m slowly emerging from my stuffy-headed funk. I’m off to sip some fresh-squeezed orange juice and get down to the things I need to do today.

What’s your never-fail cold and flu cure? Take care of yourselves this season, bellas and fellas – I don’t want any of you feeling like I’ve been feeling!

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nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
December 5, 2007, 11:05 am
Hope you feel better soon! I wish I had a cure but I don't. After I get sick, I eat plenty of chicken soup, rest and drink lots of fluids.
Miss Maxine says:
December 5, 2007, 11:28 am
Feel Better! I just got sick, probably around the same time you did, lol. After tons of sleep, tea, and orange juice I'm feeling a lot better. I hope you're able to finish your work!
surayasmom says:
December 5, 2007, 11:29 am
Hope you feel better soon. Get as much rest as you can!
lockedgoddess says:
December 5, 2007, 12:07 pm
I hope you feel better soon! My Granny told to make a tea out of sage. Just seep some sage in some boiling hot water and strain it real good. it will make you cough up mucus and sweat.
warrior11209 says:
December 5, 2007, 12:11 pm
Feel better soon!
Davina says:
December 5, 2007, 12:34 pm
Airborne! It's worked for us so far. As soon as you feel like your might be getting sick or your throat starts hurting, take one and you'll be good.
Los Angelista says:
December 5, 2007, 4:28 pm
I have sworn by eating garlic to cure a cold or the flu ever since I was pregnant with my 1st son and afraid of taking OTC medicines. Here's what I do: Make a piece of toast, butter it and then finely chop up a large clove of raw garlic and put it on the toast. I suppose if you're really hardcore you could just eat the clove all by itself but I'm not there yet. Anyway, I eat the toast and chase it ginger tea. Note: Do this at home when you get home from work/before you go to bed because you are going to really reek! If you catch it right when you're starting to get sick, you'll probably be alright the next day. If you are in the throes of illness, you might want to use two cloves or repeat every few hours. Feel better!
Bebroma says:
December 5, 2007, 5:00 pm
Lots of honey in tea helps me when my throat hurts or I'm coughing. Also zinc lozenges are the stuff, as far as I'm concerned. They literally seem to (a) shorten the duration of a cold, and (b) make me feel temporarily better for a few hours after I suck on one.
Soul Living says:
December 5, 2007, 5:34 pm
I totally agree with the sage, honey, and garlic. Drinking TONS of water is essential too. Here is an article that has a tea recipe for colds & flus and herbs for congestion & coughs(sage, thyme, rosemary,etc.): To Your Health Bella...Stay Lovely!
Ursula says:
December 5, 2007, 6:01 pm
Here's wishing you a speedy recovery!
dettygirl says:
December 5, 2007, 7:37 pm
I will definitely try & remember these remedies, as everyone in my office is coughing & sneezing every whichaway. I've been brewing echinacea & green tea togther w/lemon & honey every other day for the last month & have avoided having to call in thus far. Hope you feel better soon.
MoniMoni says:
December 6, 2007, 1:55 am
The minute my throat acts up: gargle with salt water and peroxide, then I take cloraseptic spray. Swab nose with Zicam swabs (best on the planet)! I also used Airborne (generic version, most drugstores have them). Constantly use antibacterial hand sanitizers, wipe down everything with alcohol... Drink Green tea daily and multivitamins along with a cod liver tablet daily. I had a cold for minimum of 3 days with this method.
MoniMoni says:
December 6, 2007, 1:56 am
Oh yes, I forgot, I did hear that Mucinex works wonders...although I haven't tried it yet.
Anita Grant says:
December 6, 2007, 10:20 am
Oh my beautiful bella! There ain't no fussin' with the tussin' take some, keep warm and get better soon - ya hear! Much love to you, dearheart.. Anita
Danielle says:
December 6, 2007, 1:19 pm
I'm a big Vitamin Water fan and I also love Emergen-C as well. I'm not big on alot of drugs. I'll suck it up during the day. Then, because I know rest is the most important factor when it comes to healing, I'll take Alka Seltzer Plus Cold at night to help me sleep. It clears up my symptoms and allows me to rest.
Vivrant Thang says:
December 6, 2007, 4:24 pm
Here's hoping for your swift recovery, Beautiful Bella. Right now I'm taking 500MG of Vitamin C Timed Release a day and 3 Echinecea pills (2 in the morning and one at night). When I get sick, it's all Tylenol Cold products, Vit C and Echinecea. Nyquil at night. I do think I'm about to be all of that Emergen C and Airborne though. Stocking up this weekend. An interesting thing I noticed is that I would get sicker when I weighed 150+ lbs more. I would get horribly ill the 2nd week of every December without fail. Since losing that weight, I haven't been sick like that since...knock on wood. I
Afrodite says:
December 7, 2007, 11:57 am
I haven't been sick all year and I thank my multivitamin for that, yessss! When I do get sick, I usually sleep a loooooot but outside of that I get a big bowl of hot and sour soup to help clear my nasal passages and then I'll head over to Jamba Juice to get a Coldbuster. The drink has a lot ov Vitamin C and Zinc to boost your immunity. All that over the counter 'ish never does anything for me except knock me out.
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