To Cancer, On Valentine’s Day

Cancer:

I doubt you’re getting many love letters this Valentine’s Day. Don’t get excited — this isn’t one, either. But since you paid my Valentine a visit last month, I’d like to get a few things off my chest.

Our story was tricky enough without you. We met toward the end of our senior year of high school and really hit it off, only to leave for colleges hundreds of miles apart just a few short months later. We tried the long distance thing, which I’m sure even you would say was a bad idea. It only ever got harder. We tried keeping in touch while we dated other people without much luck, and we eventually drifted into what we now fondly refer to as “radio silence” before reconnecting at a mutual friend’s wedding (cliché, I know) in 2011.

Read the rest on The Huffington Post.

The Best (And Worst) Foods For A Cold

Last week, I came down with what I now think is becoming my annual early-September cold (if two years in a row makes a trend).

I tucked myself in Monday night with the beginnings of a sore throat. After a restless night, I found my symptoms had escalated by Tuesday morning to a stuffy, runny nose, watery eyes and that telltale pressure headache unique to mucus-logged sinuses (sorry).

While it’s not even technically autumn yet, this is a prime time for colds: When the humidity drops, cold viruses can survive better, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the past couple of weeks have really felt like fall, not summer, and the sneezes sounding off all around our newsroom are proof enough for me.

I holed up in my bedroom for a couple of days, armed with tissues and tea. But even with nighttime meds, it took longer than I was expecting to get some much-needed relief from the sniffles.

There are over a billion colds in the U.S. every year, according to the National Institues of Health. Yes, a billion. So it’s not surprising that we all think we know what to do to kick a cold. Everyone I spoke to over the past few days asked me if I was eating or drinking something different — but what really works? Click over to The Huffington Post to find out.

Are You Too Sick To Work Out?

I had the opportunity to speak with David Nieman Ph.D., director of the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University, a pioneer in exercise immunology research, as part of my reporting for a quiz on how to know if you’re too sick to work out. This nugget didn’t make it into the final version, but I find his research and the field in general particularly interesting, not only as a journalist, but also as an athlete, as someone who hates getting sick, and as someone who believes exercise is basically the best medicine.  Continue reading