Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Goodbye, Germs!

Dear Friends,
There’s always that one girl who is sniffling, piling a mountain of tissues on her desk, constantly coughing up a storm in the corner. Yes, I am that girl, and I’m starting to realize that’s how people see me. I’ll admit, I’m often suffering from the common cold or some illness, but I actually can be a healthy, normally functioning, and cheerful person. My friends tell me getting sick is “psychological”, and it’s all in my mind. Please explain to me why I feel awful and am truly experiencing symptoms. I’m not making it up, I swear. The maker of Lysol wipes, Reckitt Beckiser, reports that Americans suffer from about 1 billion colds a year. Now, before this becomes a rambling list of my ailments, let me explain. I’m writing about more than just my personal preference of throat lozenges (HALLS Breezers, if anyone was wondering). My blog, Vitamin Z, is where I will document my lifestyle change. I’m determined to get healthy by making simple changes to my diet, such as eating a new “superfood” each week and seeing how it makes me feel. Maybe my body is just different, and it’s possible I have something wrong with me physically that causes me to have a weakened immune system (that’s my theory). Some experts out there really do believe that there are magical types of food with super powers that make our bodies instantly healthy. All right, that has to be a bit of an exaggeration. There are many factors that affect how often we get sick, length of recovery time, and severity of illness. For example, I might become sick more often because I’m living in a college dorm environment where people are always in close contact. Does our food of choice really make a significant impact on health level? Julie Morris, author of Superfood Kitchen: Cooking With Nature’s Most Amazing Foods, wrote her own cookbook to describe her individual nutrition regimen, crafting over 100 recipes, so there are no tricks there. It’s all real nutritious food such as goji berry smoothies and coconut teff-grain porridge. There are plenty of doctors out there who will argue that a class of “superfoods” really does have a positive impact on our health. People are continuously encouraged to increase their intake of every vitamin in the alphabet through real unprocessed food. In fact, Oprah’s trusted health expert, Dr. Perricone, also considered the Father of the Inflammation Theory of Aging, believes numerous superfoods exist and do provide dozens of medical benefits if incorporated into a daily diet. Well, I’ll have to test it out myself to believe it. 
I’m a student at Santa Clara University, and I try to keep myself involved. I’m a member of the APB Promo Team, a club that organizes campus wide events, and a participant in Greek life. When I’m not running around with extra-curricular activities, I’m in the library. Yes, I am usually found there (I’ve been kicked out at closing time, 2am, too many times…) pursuing my path to major in bioengineering. I keep myself occupied, but I do squeeze time for exercise into my schedule. A healthy diet and active lifestyle are important to being the best person I can be, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Asthma is my only officially diagnosed lung disease. If one were curious to know more about asthma, he/she should watch my video here that I created last year as a participant in the Student BioExpo Event in Seattle sponsored by the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research. Including all variations of diseases, health in general should be a significant matter for everyone because of the troublesome persistence of pathogens. In recent news, the U.S. has been afflicted with the flu epidemic, and at least 20 children have died from it this season (CNN). I’ve decided to proactively protect myself from harmful diseases like the flu before it strikes first.
Let me describe my current log of feelings and what I would call “health level”. I’ll record these statistics every time I post with a new experience. As of right now, I am suffering from what I believe to be acute bronchitis. My symptoms include a sore throat, wheezing cough, and difficulty breathing. I feel like a 7 on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being absolutely fantastic. I could doze off at any moment, although it is late and that’s typical of a college student. I’m ready for the virus to leave my body, and eager to start my journey to blissful healthiness. Consider your own health level. So you’re feeling a little under the weather too? Misery loves company. Even if you’re not ill, join me in this detoxification of germs, and hopefully we can track our changes in well being together. 
Get well soon, friends.  Feel free to share thoughts and any tips you find on the path to healthiness.


  1. Hey Zina, I don't think something is wrong with you like you say in your post. I think it is perfectly normal for someone coming to a foreign environment like college to be sick frequently. With that being said, your blog will be very helpful for the many students like you who are getting sick. The super foods you talked about such as a "goji smoothie" sound crazy, good luck with them. I hope to see you healthy soon!

  2. Zina, you are always sick. I remember asking you in the beginning of the quarter if you were feeling better, and you said you had gotten another cold. It doesn't help that someone is always sick in our dorm. I guess that could also be due that we never sleep, especially if you've been kicked out of the library so many times. I'm not feeling too well right now either, probably at a 5. Anyway, I look forward to seeing what foods you can find.