10 Tips When You Are Sick (WIAW)




Quite the appetizing picture to start a WIAW off with, isn’t it?

Yes my friends, for the past few days I have been one sick puppy (ever wonder how that expression came to be? Me either.)




Being sick over the weekend meant that I only had the chance to bake one thing despite my goal of being in the kitchen a lot. Unfortunately although the entire batch of what I made was eaten in hours the recipe is not blog-ready yet. There were just one too many steps in the baking process for my taste (think bake, slice, broil, rotate, etc… Yep, I think you understand my problem here).

I’m more of a simple recipe kind of gal. My favorite recipes on the blog so far have been the pancakes where I’ve just had to blend the ingredients, pour and cook. Actually, I have a promised pancake recipe that I haven’t posted yet, but I’ve already made up my mind for today!

Getting back to being sick though, I woke up Saturday morning after driving for about 6 hours Friday night to get home (long unnecessary story behind that one) with a sore throat. I brushed it off as just being caused by having the air conditioning on in the car too high, which has happened several times before.




Then I spent the first few hours of my weekend scoping out some auctions with my dad. My favorite was this old school that was basically selling everything inside except for the windows, walls and lockers. It was a little spooky because everything looked eerily similar to my old elementary/middle school classrooms. I even found a few textbooks that were being auctioned off that I’m pretty sure were the same ones that I used in my fifth grade history class…

And with old buildings comes a lot of dust. It was definitely not the smartest thing for my worsening cough (and by now watering eyes).

Later that day I went to a family friend’s wedding at my church and her reception at the local university. Aside from some very awkward toasts given by the bridal party (of which about half mentioned zombies more than once) it was absolutely lovely!

My family skedaddled out a little early because both my brother and I had a lot of homework to do (me studying for two exams and my brother doing some post secondary assignments). Upon arriving home and eating supper though, I just began to feel worse than worse. I tried working on my Accounting take-home quiz and managed to make a good dent into it, but honestly I was just kind of zoned out.




Before I went to bed my mom had me take my temperature. With two different thermometers I should add because the first one said 97 degrees and the second newer one said 96.6. *Sigh* I always have such low temperatures.

By then I pretty much felt awful and had what I thought at the time were the strangest dreams ever. In summary, I woke up constantly in a state of confusion over the ratios of coconut flours in a mathematical table. Laugh all you want. It was super stressful. Most of my stressful dreams involve really complicated math problems that seem totally solvable while I’m asleep however when I awake I end up realizing that they weren’t… That was not a restful night in the slightest! After waking up at 1:20pm once again over my panic at not being able to figure out coconut flour ratios, my nose was draining (ick), I was sweating up a storm (double ick) and my sinuses felt like they were so heavy my head would surely topple over.




Somehow I managed to fall asleep again until a little before 6:00am… This time I dreamed that someone I knew had been murdered, I had an electrical cord in my bag, and then one of my elementary school teachers yelled at me at how dangerous they were before proving her point by sticking the plug end into the socket end and shocking herself. In my dream I screamed bloody murder and fortunately woke up to find myself not screaming and perfectly okay. Just very sick and very very wide awake.




So then I mosied on downstairs to my kitchen where I put on a big kettle of water and made myself some hot tea while my little dog proceeded to bark her heart out and wake up our large dog outside.

My parents came downstairs and asked what was wrong because I was up so early. “Um, I’m sick.” I think they believed me when they couldn’t exactly make out what I was saying due to said swollen sinuses.

Fast forward throughout the day I skipped church because my temperature rose to 100.8 that morning (using the thermometer that said 97 the day before). This made me a little angry because I haven’t been to church in weeks because of being at school and I thought I was finally going to get the chance to go. It was probably a good thing that I didn’t though so I didn’t spread my illness to all of those nice people.




I basically slept for the full hour too, no thanks to the help of my little dog again, who decided to come investigate her owner and check to make sure I was still alive. Thanks for caring Lilly. Really.

Amidst all of this I kind of lost my appetite and just munched on chicken throughout the day. I made sure to stay hydrated but food just lost its appeal. This is a new phenomena for me as I haven’t really been this sick for probably four or so years. In fact, food still isn’t the first priority on my mind when waking up now (don’t worry, I’m still eating! I have a feeling my stomach will catch up with my brain in a day or so and all will be back to normal soon).

By the time that my family got back from church I was just waking up. They shared a little bit about the new songs, the sermon, and about helping with communion/the scripture for the day.

Then I went back to sleep. Sitting up. My neck sure hurt but it did wonders for my ability to breathe!

Around 3:00pm I got up, headed to the kitchen and started finishing my food prep for the coming weeks at school. On the way home with my dad on Saturday we picked up 3 pounds of Foley fish pieces fresh from the seafood counter at the grocery store, so I put those in the oven to bake. Then I started gathering up my laptop, pillow, blanket, toothbrush, face soap, etc.

I am so thankful to my mom who worked all week on cooking chicken and stock for me in our crock pots! All I had to do was pull the bags out of the freezer and stick them in my insulated bag.

When it was time to go we took two cars, my dad driving by himself in one and my mom driving me in my car. We stopped by Meijer so that I could pick up some Aleve in case anything got worse with my headache/fever/sinus problems, as well as some frozen vegetables for my meals.

My parents drove me up about half way to my school because they were a little concerned about my coherency being a problem with me behind the wheel. Good choice it turns out as I slept for most of the way there, asking my mom random questions in between dreams about apple chunks going down slides made of talking celery (My biggest concern during these dreams was that the celery stalks were unhappy and being taken advantage of?? Who am I?)




At the midway point I put fuel in my car and said goodbye to my parents. My mom called me about 10 minutes into the trip to make sure I was okay. Thankfully I knew she was going to do this so I turned my volume on high so I wouldn’t miss her call. I know her too well. 😉

Being back at school I’ve still had a couple of rough nights sleep/breathing/dream-wise (last night it was a growling Rottweiler the size of a horse that bit off a man’s head…). I’m looking forward to when things are back to normal and I can sleep in relative peace.

My head still feels like it’s in the clouds a bit and whenever I get up I have a raging headache. Plus my throat is getting all yucky and my nose feels like it will never stop running (I only have half a kleenex box left so fingers crossed for me!). My temperature is down now though from the almost 102 degrees that I had on Sunday night when I got to school.

After that little nice recap I think it’s safe to say that while I still feel awful, I am on the mend!

And I figured this would be as good a time as any to share what I do when I get sick to try and get over whatever I have as fast as possible!

1. Hydrate.




This is number one for a reason because it is the most important. Keeping hydrated not only keeps you from getting dehydrated which is very easy when you are not feeling well, but it also does two other important things. First, it  helps to flush toxins out of your body, including probably some of those bugs that are making you sick. Second, drinking a lot of fluids can help bring down a fever naturally without the use of medication. So drink a lot of water!

2. Take probiotics.




I already take probiotics twice a day and when you are sick it is certainly no time to stop! If you don’t currently take them on a regular basis a lot of doctors and health practitioners are now recommending that you take them when you are sick to make sure that your body doesn’t get overrun with the bad bacteria and so that you can build up your arsenal of good bacteria.

3. Drink tea.




Preferably herbal teas without caffeine. I have been drinking at least twice a day a large mug of organic peppermint tea. The only ingredient is… You guessed it- peppermint. Ginger and lemon tea is also supposed to be fantastic but unfortunately the one that I have at home also contains soy (why? I have no idea) so I couldn’t use that one. Peppermint is very soothing to the sinuses both in the herbal properties of peppermint as well as in the steam from the mug. Whenever my tea was too hot to drink, which is always, I just leaned my face over the mug and breathed in the steam. It’s double purposed for helping clean out your sinuses while the tea is cooling off, and then soothing your throat when you finally get to drink it!

4. Consider taking vitamins/minerals/herbs.




I was planning on taking Vitamin C if we had any at home, and while we didn’t, I think this is probably very important to have on hand for next time. What we did have in our cupboard was Echinea and Goldseal which is supposed to be great for fevers, headaches and gastrointestinal problems so it was a win-win all around! I’m sure there are plenty of other vitamins/minerals/herbs that are recommended to get over these seasonal bugs too, but these are the common ones that I’ve heard of.

5. Soup really is your best friend.




No, I am not talking about Campbell’s soup in the can that you buy at the grocery store, or even the broth that you buy from the carton that is 100% pure and natural. I am talking about good old-fashioned homemade soup made from quality meat and bones. It’s super simple to make. Just take a crock pot and put in a whole chicken or a nice piece of beef with marrow. Then fill it almost to the brim with water and set it on high for overnight. Obviously cooking times and temperatures will vary with the quality/type of your crock pot, but this is what works for me). Combine the homemade stock and meat with some freshly chopped vegetables and cook until everything is nice, soft and delicious!

***What if you are vegan or vegetarian? Obviously the meat won’t work for you, but homemade vegetable stock can be very beneficial as well as it’s a great way to jam pack a lot of nutrients into one delicious bowl. Plus, the heat of the liquid is part of the reason that soup is so effective when someone has a cold as it helps to dissolve all of the mucus in the throat. Give it up for soup!

6. Use saline spray.



There is nothing worse than leaving your nose plugged up while you are sick. It makes you feel awful and only prolongs the sickness by letting all of that drain back into your body. By using a saline spray (I used a generic version of Ocean Spray) it can loosen up your nasal passages and help get everything cleared out. I tried to use this about twice a day and will try to continue to use it until I feel completely better.

7. Sleep.



This can be very hard when you are not feeling well, and as I shared in my recap from the best few days, there were many nights where I didn’t get the ideal number of hours. On those days though I was able to nap and that is perfectly fine. Get as much sleep as you need. That is the time where your body works to heal itself and the additional rest will help you get better faster. Seriously. Try going without sleep when you are sick and see how fast you recover!

8. Gurgle with salt water.




It’s really as easy as it sounds. Heat up some water, mix in some salt (my choice is pink sea salt as it’s corn-free) and gurgle. Don’t swallow. Spit it back out in the sink and repeat as necessary. This not only helps to clear out your throat, but it can be very soothing as well for those with voice hoarse from coughing.

9. Reconsider taking that medication.




No, I don’t mean ignore your doctor’s orders of taking a medicine that he prescribes. What I mean is that before you rush to the hospital with a small temperature, or rush to the medicine cabinet for that Tylenol/Aleve/Advil, pause a second to just think. Growing up my pediatrician always suggested that my parents wait to give us any medicine unless our temperatures reached a certain point and/or we got very uncomfortable. More recently I’ve heard that the reasoning behind this is that in many cases a fever is our body’s way of reacting to the infection and by letting it naturally run its course this can sometimes reduce the time it takes for us to recover. As you will note from above, I did buy some Aleve and although I didn’t use it, I just wanted to have it on hand in case my fever went higher or I started to feel much worse. Better safe than sorry and use your own judgment of course.

10. Don’t load up on junk food.




When I say junk food in this case I really mean anything that is processed. Especially when you are sick it is important to get your calories from food that is as close to whole and healthy as possible. I know a lot of people tend to drift towards the cereals and ice cream and Popsicles and (canned) soup, and while those may be what you are craving, they are probably not going to be any help in fighting off whatever infection is raging on in your body. Bacteria feeds on sugars. Processed food = sugar. Also, while your body may be able to handle that fast food meal or big fro yo on a normal day where you are operating at 100%, on a day that your body is sick it is best to stick with milder, simpler ingredients. And how much more simple can your food get than one ingredient (or no ingredient!) labels?

***Note: I am not saying that all food that comes in a box or is processed is bad for you or junk food. I wholeheartedly believe in moderation. In the case of being sick though anything not natural really is perceived as “junk” in your body and as such is probably best to be avoided, at least temporarily.

And those are my top 10 tips for how to beat out that sickness! Sorry for the stock photos (my laptop is currently deciding to not recognize my phone as a real device so that’s fun…).

Happy WIAW Wednesday to everyone! Here’s to no colds, flus or other illnesses in the coming weeks for you. (But just in case, you know who to turn to 😉 ).



Questions for you:

  1. Have you been sick yet this season?
  2. What are you best tips for getting over a cold, flu, etc?

Animal Crackers in my Soup (WIAW and WIR)

Even though it’s not Friday, I have a confession to make:

I almost didn’t post today.

*Gasp* Shocker, right?! I’m not sure that I’ve missed a Wednesday since I’ve started this blog. And as you will be able to tell from my Week in Review portion of today’s post, I’ve been busy up the wazoo.


So, let’s review (in bullet form of course), shall we? 🙂

  • Last week I published two posts on my usual Wednesday and Friday.
  • I also shared two recipes last week- one for soup, and the other for blueberry muffins. Both grain-free and oh-so-yummy.



  • Over the weekend I made this lovely pear crisp for my family (recipe will be up soon!):


  • I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower. What else can I say except that I loved it and want to watch it again soon?! It was a great classic coming of age story, but had many more modern elements which I really liked. The three main characters were fantastic.
  • Also in the past few days I’ve gotten two calls, both about summer internships. One I didn’t get, but the other I did (remember my WIAW trip post for this one?). Still unsure of what to do, but I have until Friday to decide!
  • This week I have two exams, and three papers due, hence the confession above. *Fingers crossed for all five*

And that wraps up my Week in Review portion of this Wednesday post! Thanks Meghan 🙂

Now, the WIAW portion will be a little shorter than normal today, but I couldn’t skip it entirely because I didn’t want to miss out on the last week of GREEN!

Anybody remember this song from when they were younger?

I honestly never watched the movie, but it seemed like every commercial break on TV had an advertisement with Shirley Temple singing this song. Last week I randomly started singing it and I thought that it would be the perfect title for a blog post!

Just exchange the crackers with critters and you’re good to go 😉


(Picture inspired by Heather’s Springy Dippin.)

Kabocha Squash and Pea Soup

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Egg and Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, GAPS/Paleo-Friendly

1 serving


  • 1/2-1 cup kaboca squash (cooked using this method)
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cup chicken broth (you could also use water but it wouldn’t be as flavorful)
  • sea salt if desired


  1. Put all of the ingredients into a pot and heat on high until boiling.
  2. Once boiling reduce to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Let cool for at least ten minutes, sprinkle with sea salt if desired and enjoy!


Time to study some more! Happy WIAW everyone!


What are some highlights from your week so far?

Have you seen Perks of Being a Wallflower? What did you think?

Is it still cold where you’re at? Have you made any soup yet this year?

It’s Never Too Late to Be Green

“I don’t want to run anymore. I’ll tell you everything.”

“I wish you would.”

Great lines. Great Movie. Any idea what they’re from?


So… I procrastinated, and now I have an excel Personal Budget due in my MIS class tomorrow. It’s mostly done except for some reorganization and minor recalculations. However, this results in me probably being even more scattered (and possibly more chatty?) than usual. I’m especially frustrated because my teacher didn’t really give us a desired format, just shouted out some important parts and told us to “create it from scratch.” Crueler words were never spoken.


But alas, at least I have something to smile about. Actually, this is probably my favorite day to post every single week. Does anyone else feel that way about What I Ate Wednesday? No matter what else is going on, I love reading all of the WIAWs and getting to chat with some awesome ladies! Plus, the foodie goodness doesn’t hurt either 😉

I didn’t post any special recipes for last week in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day (I know it’s the cool girl thing to say “St. Patty’s Day” but I’ve never heard it called that before this year, so call me old-fashioned!). There were many great green recipes floating around WIAW world, but since it is still March, I’m not late yet.

I also figured what with Winter being over tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this), what better a time to finally post a recipe for soup? It’s “souper” simple. Baha. And is really rather plain Jane, but I just love the combination of vegetables. It’s probably one of my favorites, second only to a combination with kabocha.

Green, Mean, Fighting Soup Machine

High protein, Allergen-Free, Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Nut/Coconut-Free, Egg-Free, GAPS/Paleo Friendly

1 generous serving



  • 1 cup chicken (or beef), cooked
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen or fresh
  • 2 cups homemade chicken (or beef) stock (storebought would work too)
  • Seasonings: sea salt, fresh rosemary


  1. Peel and slice the zucchini. Add all of the ingredients to a small pot and heat on high until boiling. 
  2. Once the soup is boiling, cover and reduce to low to simmer for 20-30 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Pour into bowl and serve with sea salt and fresh rosemary sprinkled on top.


Note: This recipe has a good combination of fat from the broth, carbohydrates from the vegetables, and protein from the meat. If you use store bought broth, consider drizzling olive oil or coconut oil onto your soup after it is cooked so that you don’t lose out on all of those nutritious fatty acids! Also, I peel my zucchini because the skin is hard for me to digest. If you don’t have digestive issues, keep the skin on and wish it before slicing.

Shared on: Whole Foods Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Real Food WednesdaysWheat-Free Wednesday

Also, in the spirit of everything green, I want to share a few of the cool “green,” eco-friendly diy projects that I’ve spotted on various websites in the past few weeks:

Ombre-Painted Mason Jars for Storing Things:

Spray Painted Cheese Grater = Earring Holder:

More Mason Jar Love with Homemade Soap Dispensers:

Crocheted T-Shirt Rug:

It’s never too late to be green, even if March 17th is past. We still have another week of WIAW to go! 🙂


Do you know what movie those lines at the beginning are from?

What green food did you concoct to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Have you ever made any eco-friendly projects? Share!


Look soon for an upcoming recipe that I made this past weekend:



What I Ate When My Toes Almost Froze Off

If you know me at all, then you know that I’m usually a very hard worker. When it comes to certain things though… not so much. One of those “things” is walking the fifteen minutes to my car every Friday.

Last semester my parents drove me to school so that we could save money on car insurance (it costs extra for keeping cars at college). This semester however, I had to buy a parking permit and drive myself. Since I’m no longer on my school’s student meal plan (well, I’m trying to get off it at least) I have to go home every weekend to make the food that I’ll eat for the following week.

The 2 hour drive itself isn’t bad. There are tons of interesting radio stations on during Friday afternoons. Last week I listened to everything from cheesy jewelry store advertisements to a talk show about gun control, from the good time oldies, to my favorite station- country music.

What is bad is the fifteen minute walk to my car. In the cold. Through snow.


As you can see, I took this picture *before* I headed out… hence the happy smile still on my face.

What is bad is making it through that long excruciating walk, and then this happens:


Yep. My Friday was basically ruined when I found out that my car wouldn’t start. Here I was all packed and ready to go, with just a teensy little huge roadblock standing in my way.

So, I called my dad and asked for his advice. Then I walked back to my dorm room and called AAA. I waited on the phone for probably twenty minutes and got disconnected within the first five. The lady who finally answered was pretty snooty, but in the end she wished me the best of luck and hoped that I’d get everything worked out.

Needless to say that when I hung up I started to cry.

A big wave of emotion hit me like a freight train. They were sending a tow truck in 45 minutes to try and jump start my car. I should have been ecstatic. But instead I was just so upset. First of all, I had eaten my last morsel of food for lunch, expecting to be home by five for supper. Second, when I talked to my dad, I was pretty rude and strung out. Not good. And third, my car stopped working. In the middle of winter. And there was no one I could share my grief with at school. My roommate was gone for the weekend, my one friend lives off campus, and the others were off with their boyfriends.

So, I trudged back out to my car and waited for 30 minutes by myself. I attempted to stay warm by using a small blanket that I found in the back, and rubbing my hands together inside of my gloves. But let me tell you– It was COLD. Like, upper-teens cold with wind chills in the single digits.

The tow truck arrived in pretty good time and the operator was so nice. He was incredibly patient as I explained what happened, and within minutes my car was running.

When I drove back to my dorm to pack up my things, I seriously couldn’t feel my feet. I changed into a clean pair of fuzzy socks and shoes since my others were soaked from melting snow. And low and behold my toes were a bright bright red. You may laugh, but I actually had a little difficulty walking for the first few minutes as my feet thawed out.


To conclude this miserable (and yes, somewhat melodramatic) story, I made it home safe and sound just before 8:00. About 3 hours later than planned, and boy was I starving!

For this WIAW, I’m going to share with you a few of the things that I made after My Toes Almost Froze Off.

First up, a picture that I took at school, but one that I’ve also enjoyed at home a countless number of times: Beef and “Noodle” Soup (made with peeled Yellow Squash, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt). Extra broth alongside.


Next is another favorite of mine: Glazed Carrots (cooked carrots topped with coconut oil).

For reference sake, here is a picture of the carrots before, chopped and raw:


And here is a picture of them after, cooked to perfection and topped in yummy goodness:


Finally, I want to share a new GAPS recipe that I made this weekend. It’s adapted from a Friday Food Find I did a few weeks ago, and it’s seriously awesome.

And it’s perfect for using up the half of a cow that we purchased this last week! We got all of the different cuts from ribs to roasts, from ground beef to stew meat. This cow is from a local farm and it was grass-fed and pasture-raised:

*Vegans and Vegetarians Avert Eyes*


Super exciting stuff.

Anyways, moving on to what I made:

Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from Heart of Cooking

Allergen-Free, Grain-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, GAPS, SCD, Paleo



  • 2-3 cups squash, mashed (alternatively you could use cauliflower puree)*
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef*
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 large carrots, chopped (around 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil plus more for pan
  • water or broth for cooking vegetables
  • sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 8×8 casserole dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a large pan, add a few cups of water (or broth) and your ground beef. Cook on high, breaking up the meat. When almost done, add all of the vegetables. Let cook for an additional ten minutes or until soft.
  3. Drain the vegetables and meat and spoon into greased pan. Sprinkled with a little sea salt.
  4. In a separate bowl mash the cooked squash with 2 tbsp coconut oil. Spread this mixture evenly on top of the vegetables and meat. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt.
  5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and enjoy!


Vegetables- Any vegetables would work well in here. Onions or broccoli would fantastic to add, I just used what I had on hand. Any kind of squash would work great in this recipe. I used a combination of mostly butternut and a little acorn.

Meat- Any kind of meat would work in here as well. My mom made one with shredded chicken and I think I might give that a go next. Ground lamb would be fantastic.

Vegan/Vegetarian- For an alternative to the meat, I think that cooked lentils (about 2 cups worth), chopped mushrooms, or a meat substitute would all be lovely in this dish.

Sorry I only have one picture to share! The picture I took of the whole casserole turned out really blurry. I promise that when I make it again I’ll take more.


Do you normally fare well with customer service?

Here’s a customer service video that YOU HAVE TO WATCH. It made me feel ten times smarter. Seriously.

Has your car ever failed to start in the cold? Do you have AAA?

What’s your favorite thing to listen to on the radio?