Posts made in February 13th, 2012

operation immune system


Posted on Feb 13, 2012 in Lifestyle

I’m sick. Again. That’s twice already in 2012. I’ve only had about two healthy weeks so far this year. This blows. Literally and figuratively.

And not only does it blow because, well, I feel like hell, but also because I feel like my immune system should be doing a better job than this. In college, my immune system was a broken down puddle of nothing. I had a cold every, single month and at one point, had a cold so long that I had to go to the emergency room because my body broke out into a rash. I wasn’t taking care of myself and my immune system was suffering.

Then I started on my journey to get healthy and the colds became less frequent. Eating the right foods, drinking enough water, exercising and getting enough sleep all helped make my immune system nice and strong. It became the norm for me to only get sick once a year. I liked it that way.

I’m not sure exactly when I started regressing. I’m tempted to say it was around the same time I started long-distance running, but for some reason, over the past 18 months, my immune system has been back to its college self. On its own, the frequency is ridiculous—I’m now to the point where I’ve had 4-5 colds in the past 6 months, but also the longevity. Babyface can have a cold and it lasts 3-4 days. I get the same bug and I’m out of commission for a week or more. Pardon the pun, but I am sick of this. And I’m ready to do something about it.

Below you’ll find my plan for building up my weak immune system. Honestly, most of these are just good wellness practices that I’ve gotten out of the habit of completing. Hopefully, with a little bit of work, this will be my last cold for a nice long while.

  • Drink one cup of both echinancea and decaf green tea daily. Echinancea has long been used as an herb to build the immune system. Green tea has a ton of health benefits, but one of them is to help build up the immune system.
  • Enact work-free Friday nights. Stress is one of the biggest causes of a suppressed immune system, and honestly, I feel like it is probably the big culprit for why I’ve been sick so many times in the past year. Once work is over on Friday, there is no working until Saturday.
  • Relax without technology one hour a day. No computer, no TV, no iPad. Just me and some chilling out. Maybe spend some quality time with magazine or book or just sit around talking to Babyface.
  • Take my multi-vitamin daily. I’m terrible about taking my vitamins, but I know I have nutrient gaps that need to be filled in.
  • Cut out all caffeine and alcohol. I’m not a big drinker of either (one or two alcoholic drinks a week, one or two caffeinated drinks a month) but they can both suppress the immune system. Since I’m not really “into” either, it should be easy to completely cut them out while I boost my immune system.
  • Remove almost all added sugar. Oooh, this one is going to be hard. But refined sugar is just generally bad news for the body, and in recent studies, it’s been shown that sugar does a doozy on your immune system.

What do you do to keep your immune system strong?

P.S. Want to do something to help me feel better? Go join in the Cook for the Cure Raffle! For $5 you could win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Seems like a pretty healthy deal to me!


cook for the cure raffle–win a kitchenaid mixer!


Posted on Feb 13, 2012 in Lifestyle

*Ticket sales for this raffle are now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated! If you’d still like to donate, feel free to head over to my donation page.*


As you guys know, breast cancer strikes a really personal cord with my family. My Mom was diagnosed when I was in elementary school and she’s cancer-free today thanks to the advances in research funded by organizations like the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. This summer, my two sisters and I will be walking 39.3 miles in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and we need your support to help put an end to this terrible disease. This week, I’ll be holding an amazing raffle with some of my favorite food-related goods to raise money for the cause. So open up those wallets and get ready to literally save lives with your donations! Remember, every single dime you donate will go directly to support breast cancer research and help fund programs that provide preventative screenings to women AND you might end up with an awesome prize. Win-win, right?

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

the prizes:

In this raffle, there will be nine awesome prizes to win. Each raffle ticket you purchase will give you an opportunity to win. That means if you buy two raffle tickets (and get very lucky) you can win two prizes! Let’s run through the prizes:

  • (1) KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer (retail price, $349.99), in your choice of 36 colors
  • (1) Bob’s Red Mill Gift Pack (retail price, approx. $35), you get to choose your four items
  • (1) $25 Whole Foods Gift Card (retail price, $25)
  • (1) $25 Williams Sonoma Gift Card (retail price, $25)
  • (1) $25 Crate and Barrel Gift Card (retail price, $25)
  • (4) Chobani 12-Pack Sampler Cases (retail price, $19 per case)

Big thanks to Chobani and Bob’s Red Mill for their donations. The remainder of the prizes are funded from my own pocket.

the raffle:

To participate in the raffle, you’ll buy virtual “tickets” by donating to my fundraising page. For each $5 donation, you’ll get one ticket. BUT, the more you buy, the more tickets you get for your money, here’s the breakdown:

For $5 get ONE ticket
For $25 get SIX tickets
For $35 get TEN tickets
For $50 get FIFTEEN tickets

If you want to donate a different combination (say $40) I’ll make sure to give you the “best deal” (so for $40, you’d get 11 tickets). When the raffle is over, I’ll take every name from my donation page, list them in an Excel document the proper number of times (once if you bought one ticket, twice if you bought two, etc.) and then have Babyface use the online random number generator to pick the winners. Once the winners are selected, I’ll shoot you an e-mail with the great news and we’ll get the prize out to you!

You’ll have until Friday, February 17th to buy tickets. We’ll do the drawing over the weekend.

Ready? Click the big pink button and go save lives!

official rules and legalese:

To enter you must be 18 or older and a valid U.S. Resident. Winners will be chosen by random drawing from the pool of ticket holders. To be considered for the prize, you must provide a valid email address when donating. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. No purchase necessary to win. To enter without purchase, please send your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to Only one e-mail entry per household. Raffle sales will close on February 17, 2012 at 11:59pm (EST). The winners will be contacted by email on or before February 19, 2012. If the winners do not claim the prize within seven days, the original winner forfeits the prize and a second random entry will be chosen from the pool. This contest is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill of Oregon, Chobani of New York and Cassie Johnston of Indiana. Void where prohibited by law.

Thank you so much for your support. You guys are the absolute best! Now let’s make some money for a great cause!

P.S. Blogger friends: it would mean the WORLD to me if you’d post about this on your own blog this week. I’ve even made it super easy for you and have badges you can post. Thank you!