Ok…so…clearly it is true: As we age our immune system ages. I heard this on talk radio this week. I think they were trying to convince people to get the flu shot. But my proof of the validity of this statement is my cold this week. My son had the cooties earlier in the week (maybe last weekend, I don’t recall). He is sick for approximately 12-36 hours and then he is up and at ’em. I catch his cold and I am sick for a week. It is a variable cold. What I mean is I’m barely sick, then very sick, then almost well, then very sick, then completely better. And even on my “very sick” days I’m pretty good…just don’t feel like doing much.

And everything around me gets a “sick look” which I try to contain. You know what I mean. The bedside table gets messy with books, newspapers, medicine, tissues, lozenges, empty tea cups, etc. You, yourself look “sick”. And then there is the “sick food”.

Typically, when we think of sick food (or food we eat when we’re sick), we tend to think of the typical chicken soup. But that may be cultural, because I know of a lot of people who prefer other foods when they are feeling ill. At the beginning of my illness, I usually prefer something spicy. This is especially true if it is the kind of cold I have now. Lots of nasty head congestion. I think it may have something to do with the loss of taste in my mouth and the need to be infused with strong flavor and heat. Super true if it has become cold. Like now. During the summer I rarely get colds, but when I do, I want spicy. Hot & Sour soup, salads with spicy-tangy dressing, lots of citrus, garlic, hot sauce, etc.

And lets not forget the alcohol! After all, there is no cure for the common cold. Medicine is generally just alcohol and pain remedy. So I prefer my own medicine: good food and alcohol. A cold beer can work wonders. So true with a nice glass of scotch or a rum cocktail.

But, since I am the primary cook in my house, when I am sick the food gets kinda sick too. ( Note to self: It would be a good idea for me to shop for all the food I like and plenty of alcohol at the first sign the my child is sick. After all, it’s been a few years, I know what’s coming. Even better advice to self: cook up some casseroles and other yummies and freeze them so Mr can heat them and feed the family while Mom recovers.) So what is “sick food” in my house? It starts off with wanting spice. So oddly, this time it began with a bag of Hot Fries. You know, the corn/potato hybrid snack. I wanted them so badly early in the week. I NEVER eat these. I think I’ve had them twice ever in my entire life. But I grabbed a bag at an area convenience store. Later that evening I ate half the bag and felt a new kind of ill. Sick food also means a copious amount of fast food or crappy delivery. This is because Mr. doesn’t cook. He’ll make a pot of oatmeal, a bagel or a can of soup…sometimes pretty good pancakes and of course, the morning coffee. But other than that he doesn’t cook. And in an effort to eat better, we don’t keep processed/prepared food in the house. So even if he were inclined to cook a meal, it would mean I’d have to manage the process from my bed and it is not worth it. I’d rather just get myself together and go cook the meal myself. So what ends up happening is a meal of leftovers, followed by fast-food/take out/delivery, until I am better.

All in all it works out. I get a break from cooking. Mr. pledges to get better at cooking (ha!). We have an excuse to eat badly for a few days. Everyone is happy. Sometimes just the terrible food options alone motivates my immune system to kick in. And thankfully, we are a pretty healthy group. We rarely get terribly sick.(Maybe because we eat well when we are well.) And only once have the three of us been sick at once.

I like sick food. How about you?

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