Yesterday the Sunday sun hung long in the sky. The afternoon warmth and extended evening hours sparked the air with an energy that everyone around Barcelona could feel. Unanimously city-dwellers basked in the late February sun and continued doing so right up until 3:00 this afternoon, when a fierce front blew into the city, bitingly reminding us all that spring isn’t here quite yet.
Inclement changes in weather like this front not only weaken our immune systems, but this kind of cold packs people into public transit. There they hover, everybody’s personal everything, squished in close, all around everyone else’s faces. It’s no secret that I try to avoid stale, shared air as often as possible, but alas, I love to travel. Since selling my car has kept me sharing air with others on planes, trains, buses, and subways for two years now, you would have thought I’d have discovered the perfect stay flu-free remedy long before now. But you would be wrong.
While I have collected a few favorite go-to’s along the way that help me recover once I’m already sick, to me that just wasn’t good enough. I wanted to be totally un-f*ck-withable. I wanted to avoid getting sick altogether.
My master plan was going really well until Tyler came home from a chilly early-morning beach-yoga with a sore throat. Our friend confessed that was how “it” started. A scrape, like maybe you cut your throat on a scratchy chip, was the early sign for what was battering through the city as a full-blown, ucky yucky, snotty and gross, five-days-in-bed, flu sentence. Because Tyler is literally the healthiest person I’ve ever met, I wasn’t too worried about him bringing any germs home. But he just kept getting worse. And worse. And then finally, he turned to me with huge doe eyes and a bumbly lip pout, and he admitted the horrific truth. A truth we almost never utter. “I’m sick, babe.”
We did our best to avoid each other in our 55 square meter apartment that we treat as a coworking space/gym/yoga studio/commercial kitchen/veterinary office/grooming salon/bedroom/living room. Quarters were close as they ever were, but surprisingly, I never felt rundown. Until when, just as Tyler’s contagious level was at a momentous, Kilimanjaro peak, something happened.
I was a total airhead and used his flu-covered toothbrush head instead of mine.
In the name of science I subjected myself to a germy flu toothbrush head just for you dear readers!
Thanks to my latest salad-crush-of-the-season and its accompanying zero-waste fancy water, I miraculously stayed flu-free for the first time ever.
Why this works:
Heaps of vitamin C fires up immunity
Vinegar curbs sugar cravings (which starves unfriendly germy bacteria)
Grapefruit & vinegar both tighten the tummy
Vinegar suppresses appetite (and does these other 38 awesome things)
Grapefruit satisfies for hours
This combo gets even a sluggish digestion moving
Boosts weight-loss efforts
Minimizes blood sugar spikes
Cost-effective (kale and grapefruit for 2 = €1.50)
Stable ingredients keep fresh for when you need them
Lots of flavor with really few calories!
Winter Citrus Salad
For the Salad:
200 grams kale, washed, stems removed, chiffonade
1 grapefruit/pomelo, scraps saved for fancy, immune-boosting water
For the Dressing:
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, peels reserved*
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Honey, drizzled to taste
Freshly- cracked black pepper (just pepper, I love salt but this doesn’t need it)
This is my budget-friendly trifecta and this salad is great just like this, but feel free to splurge and dress it up with any of the below as well
Kashi (aka toasted buckwheat groats)
1. Pour the dressing over the prepped kale and use both hands to massage the liquid into the kale. Typically greens should be handled delicately, but this is the exception. Massaged kale is the only way to enjoy kale. Really get in there with it! Set aside for up to an hour to soften.
2. Reserve the peel from the grapefruit/pomelo and squeeze gently into a water pitcher. Slice the fruit lengthwise and then crosswise until you have small, uniform chunks. Add to salad.
3. Top with any combination of toppings and enjoy!
*Use your reserved juiced lemon to add immunity booster to a steaming cup of hot water tomorrow morning.
What do you think? Will you try it?