{15/11/2012}   Food and drink for colds

My recent cold has not been of chicken soup-requiring proportions, but it did require some hot honey and lemon drinks.  I love that there are certain foods and drinks that I probably only have when I have a cold.  I fear there is nothing scientific or medical to my findings, rather a series of observations about things to make you feel a bit better, if only psychologically, when you have a cold.

I often have a bath instead of a shower when I have a cold because baths warm you to the core and the steam sometimes kind of clears your head, or makes your nose run, resulting in slightly snotty water or wet-hand-tissues.  I also tend to get out my warmest jumpers, looking trussed up and ready for a bracing blizzard.  Slippers must of course be worn and if I don’t change out of my pyjamas, my long dressing gown is a necessity.  Unfortunately, this look serves to make me shuffle and stoop like a very poorly person and does not serve to improve my overall health.  You’re better off getting dressed.

As for drinks, if I’m really unwell I don’t drink my usual morning tea, replacing it with a hot Ribena.  It has to be Ribena.  I have tried other brands of blackcurrant squash but none taste like Ribena when hot and it just doesn’t feel like they do the job!  I have had quite a few hot Ribenas of late, including one at 2am when I couldn’t sleep.  I slept after that, though woke a few hours later for a wee, annoyingly.

I love hot honey and lemon but it’s best drunk if someone else has made it as I find it a bit faffy and faff isn’t what you want when you’re feeling sorry for yourself and weak and pathetic.  The other evening, however, I vaguely followed a recipe for a cold and flu cinnamon tea: water; lemon juice; large chunk of peeled and chopped fresh ginger; cloves; honey.  It was a veritable hug in a mug and I’m sure it made me feel better.

My final cold remedy drink is Lucozade, ideally the bright orange original one.  It tastes slightly medicinal, it promises an energy boost and it isn’t a delicious drink, ergo it can only be good for you.

Food-wise, there are not that many things I always have when I have a cold, in fact I can’t think of any, but it is the only time I enthuse about soup, particularly chicken noodle soup.  I am not a soup fan but they are reminiscent of pureed food, which makes me think of poorly people.  As for chicken noodle soup, well everyone knows that is magic soup and gets rid of colds!  I have recently started having toast with hedgerow jam when I’m ill as I’m convinced that the foraged red berries are good for you and give you a vitamin C boost.  To have a cold breakfast while you have a cold would be very wrong, I think.  The other day, at the height of my coldiness, I realised I needed crumpets.  I took this as meaning my body needed something in the crumpets to get better.  I suspect that was a false signal but those hot buttered crumpets with a lovely cuppa (I was never ill enough with this cold to foresake my tea) didn’t half make me feel better.

So in an ideal world: drink Ribena and eat toast with hedgerow jam while sitting in the bath.  How rock and roll is my cold remedy?!


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