How Not to Waste a SICK Day

January 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm (food, health, home)

It cracks me up when people say “I hate being sick”, like most other people purposely don’t wash their hands so as to catch the latest cold or flu.  Fact of life, most adults get about 2-4 common colds a year.  If you can’t beat it, join it.  These are my solutions on how to not feel sorry for yourself for time it takes to get better:

1. CALL IN SICK!!!  I’m completely blown away by how few people do this.  What an awful thing to do to your coworkers and customers, exposing them to your highly contagious germs.

(Restaurants are strangely unforgiving of sickness- in the 6 years I worked at a busy chain, servers were always expected to cover their own shifts or come in sick.  Remember that next time you go out to eat and your waiter greets you with the sniffles!)

2.  Now that you are safely in your own home, GET OUT OF BED!  It is so easy to stay tucked under the covers, and everyone says to rest and get sleep, but I promise it will make you feel better just moving around a little.

3.  On that note, take a short walk around the neighborhood.  I like to walk to the nearest video store to pick up flicks for later.  The sun and fresh air will make you feel fantastic, and a mini-workout can do wonders for the immune system.  It will also get out that weird, sick anxiety and cabin fever.

4.  Liquids!  Tea (with lemon and lot’s of honey), water, & OJ for Vitamin C.

5.  Eat healthy, normal meals.  Most of us lose our appetite when we are sick.  Try really hard to follow a regular eating schedule.  Especially fresh fruits and definitely some soup, protein, and carbs to absorb all those liquids.  Lighten up on the dairy, though.

6.  Steam some veggies, use the steam to clear up nasal passages, and then eat those healthy peas/carrots/broccoli all up!

7.  May sound stupid, but I always wear something super colorful.  It will help brighten the mood.  Also, should be extremely comfortable.

8.  Enjoy the peace and quiet.  It may be one of the few times you are at home alone.  Keep the TV off for a few hours.  No music.  Just relax and let your mind wander.

9.  Catch up on all those movies you wanted to see.

10.  Be slightly productive and do some boring work at home.  Pay some bills, research a different bank/insurance company, whatever has been put off!

I usually do a combo of these on my sick days, and I end up feeling better and not too guilty for missing work.  Hope it helps.


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Sea Urchin Sex

February 19, 2008 at 10:40 pm (food, ocean, sex) (, , )

My favorite sushi treat is “uni” AKA sea urchin. While most people think the edible inside is called roe, it’s actually the gonads of the male sea urchin. It looks like a textured paste, but feels light and airy to the tongue. The taste… well, it tastes like fresh sea air. Delicious. How many other animals can say that about their gonads??

All along our great California coast divers brave the cold water to deliver millions of dollars worth in uni gold to Japan. During the 1960’s the sea urchin was declared a “pest” because of the tendency to eat entire kelp forests. After that, the market took off, partially helped by a Federal subsidizing program. Over-fishing of sea urchin is now a big problem, leaving me to wonder if I should even be ordering them. red-sea-urchin.jpg

My guilt increases when I look back on 8th grade Career Day. Let me explain. For years as a child I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. It would be so fun to study the beautiful sea life on a boat! My awesome mom made some calls and scored an invitation with a top scientist in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, off the coast of Washington.

First, we kayaked around the island and almost instantly spotted a whole pod of Orca whales, a mama and baby and nurses. Incredible. This was it! This was what I wanted to do. I was so excited about my possible future calling… until we visited the laboratory. This intelligent, funny scientist spent most of her time in a fluorescent-lit, linoleum-floored underground room studying the reproductive habits of sea urchin. I shit you not.

From that day on my romantic ideas of marine biology (or science careers in general) were completely gone. Studying the gonads of spiny bottom-feeders sounds like a bad joke, not a great career path. I completely forgot about the little sea urchin, until years later at an adventurous sushi dinner.

Now I’m wondering– Should I have gone to school to help the little guys get it on?

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