The transitional seasons of fall and spring may be strikingly beautiful, but they are also the times of year when pesky viral infections are let loose upon college campuses, Bolt Bus bathrooms, and airplane aisles alike, plaguing the sleep-deprived with illnesses like “walking pneumonia” and my old favorite, the endless mystery cough. When your Z-pack’s not doing the trick, and your family is several states or continents away, what’s a girl to do?
The best way to avoid getting sick is to proactively perk up your lifestyle. First, at the risk of sounding like Well Woman spam, get some rest! Teach yourself to nap or at least lie down for 30 minutes between classes. Depending on your time management skills, this may have been impossible during midterms, so if you want to avoid a virus this spring, make sleep a priority. It will do far more for you than any so-called superfood.
You should also take this opportunity, like all others, to eat delicious food. The following are often considered “superfoods” because they are more nutritious than their peers. Thankfully they are also delicious and available at the dining hall and/or at Westside/Fairway/Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, I can no longer refer you in good faith to Morton Williams, the beloved lazy person’s grocery, because I recently discovered that often they simply “don’t carry” asparagus or broccoli. Without further ado,
1. Salmon: Yum. Cheapest way to get this is frozen at Trader Joe’s. If it’s not packaged with directions, just rub both sides with an Italian seasonings spice mix and cook it in a pan for around 4 minutes on each side.
2. Dark, leafy greens: You’ve heard this before. Spinach, collards, and the current darling of the natural foods world, kale. I usually go with a big family sized bag of spinach. You could also stuff a huge carryout box with the salad from Hewitt or the Diana Café. Save a little for salads, and throw the rest in a pot or pan with the lid on. It’ll cook down to a serving size more appropriate for one person.
3. Garlic, citrus, yogurt, and tea. I don’t think you need specific preparation tips for these guys, but they are all delicious, can be eaten in a variety of different ways, and are readily available at your local dining hall. Don’t add to Barnard’s financial woes by stealing the Nutella; It’s time to start hoarding the oranges!
4. Naked Juice: Bring out the big guns. I know it’s like six bucks for fourteen ounces but if your roommate or significant other is actively sick and disgusting, you may want to pull out all the stops.
5. Multivitamins: This is a stumper. There is a lot of controversy regarding the effectiveness of a one-a-day pill; some studies cite the benefits of added calcium, while others say they overload the system with certain minerals that can lead to cancer. As for me, I kicked the Women’s Multi last year. If you’re eating right, you should be getting all you need from your diet. Vitamins just seem like an expensive placebo.
6. Home Remedies: I may not have faith in vitamins, but no one can shake my faith in my Granny’s advice.
1 Tbsp each of lemon juice, honey, and whiskey.
Heat until they melt together.
Take as a shot.
Next, generously apply Mentholatum (a petroleum miracle similar to Vaporub but superior in every way) to the soles of your feet. Cover with socks. Sleep 8 hours.
…Don’t question it. Good luck!