No Food Fluenza

I’ve had the flu this week. It’s just as bad as people say. After taking last Friday off as a fun day for me, I delighted in binge watching the final season of Downton Abbey and was looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. Saturday afternoon I started feeling a little off and just couldn’t shake the chills. I went to bed at 4:00 and decided not to get up again until Tuesday evening. Ok, not entirely true. Jeff looked at me on Sunday and said “wow, you really look horrible” to which I responded by driving immediately to urgent care. The only thing good I can say about that is that I had plenty of room in the waiting room as no one would sit within a 10 seat radius of me. A subscription of Tamiflu later and I was back to bed.

This is a cookbook blog, and it’s hard to write a review when you’re not cooking. So instead, I thought I’d share a few things that helped when I was truly feeling awful.

  1. Smoothies. My throat was terribly sore and I didn’t really take on solid food for a few days. I was so tired that I thought I should at least attempt some nutrition, so I fired up the vitamix with water, a big handful of spinach and a small bag of frozen peaches. You may think it sounds nasty – but it’s not. It’s even better with frozen pineapple. It looks pretty green but it felt great on the throat. If you want some inspiration, Real Simple has some simple green smoothies or you can go straight to the green smoothie experts at http://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-101.
  2. Neighbors. I am fortunate to have the best neighbors in the world. A few weeks ago there was a miscommunication with our after school babysitter and H got off the bus without anyone there to greet her. She wasn’t fazed – she just walked down the street until she she got to a house with a minivan in the driveway. We all know each other, and will look out and help out when we can. So when my neighbor discovered I was sick, she rang the doorbell a few hours later with two bags full of chicken soup, rolls, orange juice, and fruit popsicles. I almost started crying when she brought it over – partially because I was feverish and delusional, primarily because I knew my family would be able to have dinner that night. Another neighbor dropped off orange juice and trashy novels – evidence that she really knew what I needed. There are plenty of studies out there that indicate that strong neighborhoods have a positive impact on community, safety, and a sense of belonging; I’m lucky because I feel it every day. If you have a neighbor that you love, give them a shout out. I know I’ll be dropping muffins off at a few houses tomorrow morning as my thank you.
  3. Seclusion. I’m not sure what Jeff told H and C, but they did a great job of not coming into the infection zone while I spent my time in bed. I cranked up the electric blanket to fight the chills, kept the ipad close by, and was able to just be sick. I realize this a luxury (to be sick by yourself, without interruption) and I’m glad that Jeff managed to hold down the fort until I was vertical again. Of course, on Friday when I returned to the regular morning routine, Jeff laid on the “thank goodness, you’re back” pretty thick as he poured his coffee.
  4. Get your flu shot. Jeff took the kids in on Monday after I came down with it; apparently they screamed the whole way through it. While it is a bit embarrassing to have your children echo throughout the doctors office AND for them to pull down their pants to show off the bandaid/evidence to their teachers, it’s well worth it to provide a little protection against the flu. I’m pro-vaccine, pro-science, and will get my booster flu shot in 2 weeks, once the Tamiflu is completely out of my system.

After a lack of tasty food for a week, we celebrated my return to the semi-living with sushi (a first for H and C) and relived the past a bit as Jeff and I went for sushi on our first date. The kids were amused by that – enough to try sushi, but not enough to actually LIKE it. H liked unwrapping it; C liked the concept of chopsticks as ninja sticks. Jeff giveth, Jeff taketh away. Isn’t that always how it goes?

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Next week – the prelude to Valentine’s Day. It been at Target since New Year’s Day; now it’s at our house with a twist. It’s going to be a chocolate themed week, but on the savory side. Cocoa nibs, anyone? Stay tuned as I review a cookbook from a bean-to-bar chocolatier in Seattle. I can’t think of a sweeter way to get back in the saddle again.

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