Feed A Cold, Paleo Style

As I sit at my corporate overlords’ desk, typing away, I can hear various people around me sneezing and coughing. Ew! The weather is changing and cold germs seems to be creeping around the perimeter of everyone’s immune systems, looking for a crack to slither through.

Eating a paleo diet can help fight those nasty little bugs, but even the cleanest eaters can be struck down by a scratchy throat, upset tummy, and runny nose once in a while.

Feeding ourselves well when the common cold strikes can be tricky business. I don’t know about you, but when I feel crummy, I become an 8-year-old, and I want – in this order – a hug from my mom, a cup of tea with sugar, and buttered toast. The hug from Mom is always a good idea, but sugar and toast are not the way to pamper oneself or bolster an already-compromised immune system.

When sniffles have got you down and your tummy only wants something bland and kind, try these paleo and Whole30-friendly foods that will be both emotionally and physically comforting. A word to the wise: eat smaller portions than usual to see how it sits and gradually ramp up your quantities as you start to feel more like your superhero self.


Paleo Foods To Feed A Cold

Comfort Noodles (recipe here)
This is a friendly pile of protein and vegetables masquerading as noodle-y comfort food. Takes about 10 minutes to make, and it’s easy on your system.

Broth with Zucchini Noodles
Julienne a zucchini, place in a saucepan with a few cups of high-quality beef or chicken broth, then add a clove of crushed garlic and a pinch of powdered ginger (great for setting an upset tummy). Simmer until the noodles are tender and the soup is appropriately warm and snuggly. Add a thinly-sliced, hardboiled egg for some easy, gentle protein or, if you like egg drop soup, swirl in 1-2 scrambled eggs and simmer until they’re cooked. (To julienne zucchini, you need a julienne peeler.)

Scrambled Eggs
The simplicity, digestibility, and comfort of an egg cannot be underestimated. Protein and fat will make you feel better and help your body re-build itself. Eat alongside mashed sweet potatoes or mashed cauliflower to add some quality carbs.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
In just 7-10 minutes, you can “bake” a sweet potato in the microwave, then mash it with some Ras el Hanout and a little coconut oil. Easy on the tummy; yummy on the tongue.

Mashed Cauliflower (recipe here)
Warm and soft, mashed cauliflower cures the craving for comfort food without overloading you with starch.

Cauliflower Rice With Scrambled Eggs
Scramble a few eggs in your fat of choice and set aside. Grate fresh or defrosted, frozen cauliflower in the food processor. Put fat in a saute pan, add a cup of cauliflower rice and stir fry until tender. Add the scrambled eggs, a pinch of powdered ginger, salt, and pepper, and saute until heated through.

More Good Ideas From Smart People I Like

From Whole9 – Steal This Meal: Feed a Cold
A wonderful recipe for easy chicken soup and other tips for beating the I-have-a-cold blues.

From Everyday Paleo – 7 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies by Katie of Wellness Mama
A helpful list of stuff you probably have in your house that might help you feel better fast.


What’s your favorite paleo-friendly cold remedy?


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20 Responses to “Feed A Cold, Paleo Style”

  1. Kylie says:

    We use Neti Pots to clear out the gunk draining out of our sinuses. You look ridiculous while using one, but it works!

  2. Lisa says:

    Thanks for these great ideas! Someone I used to work with swears by fresh crushed garlic in honey a few times a day. I have since experimented with ginger. I have yet to try hot peppers. I can’t say it’s worked for me, as I took it on an as-needed basis, and not preventative, which was likely recommended.

  3. jj says:

    Chicken soup. No noodles required. I like it with lots of garlic and thinly sliced kale (and the usual carrots & celery) for an italian style soup. I keep a batch in the freezer, because I know I seem to catch cold just when I’m too stressed out and tired to be making good soup from scratch.

  4. jo says:

    Homemade Tom Ka Gai – chick stock, shiitake, scallions, chix (sometimes not), red curry paste (lots! soothes a sore throat like no other) galangal, coconut milk seasoned with lime, cilantro, and fish sauce – never fails.

    Quick and dirty is chicken stock made in the pressure cooker in 45 minutes then seasoned with ginger and garlic and sipped like tea.

  5. Jess says:

    Mmm…beef bone broth (made from oxtail) sprinkled with scallions and ginger tea made from pieces of real ginger steeped in hot water with a touch of raw honey.

  6. Terry says:

    My favorite cold remedy/prevention is practicing cold water dousing. (seems quite paleo to me). Been doing it for well over a year now and haven’t been ill once!

    It’s a great way to warm up on a cold day as well.

    • Amy says:

      My b-friend has been doing that and for two years (also inspired by Systema) and hasn’t gotten sick once. He’s trying out paleo because of me, so once I am over my cold, I’m going to try starting my day off with cold showers too.

  7. vern says:

    I have a Chipotle soup recipe I make when I feel stuffy. It starts with onion and garlic sauteed in bacon grease and tomatoes, chipotle chilis, and a lot of chicken stock. Puree everything together then I eat with cilantro, avocado and red onion toppings.
    Depending on how many seeds and chilis I add, I can usually burn the stuffiness right out of my head.

  8. Mel says:

    Thanks, everyone, for sharing your ideas. Holy cow! You guys are ambitious. When I don’t feel well, it’s all I can do to re-heat something. I can’t believe y’all make soup from scratch when you’re under the weather. Good on you!

  9. MelB says:

    Last winter, when I was really sick, I asked my boyfriend to go pick up some pho, no noodles, extra meat. Works like a champ. I think I asked for it 3 days in a row. Something basically compliant (I can’t say if they use something sneaky in their broth, but I don’t get stomachaches if I eat it “no noodles” style), and you don’t have to cook!

  10. Alisha says:

    MelB, I am the same way! I started getting noodleless duck noodle pho delivered my first winter in Boston. Now I ask them to sub bok choi or other veggies for the noodles. Super comforting when I feel a cold coming on.

  11. Lydia says:

    Bookmarked. Thank you!

  12. Rae says:

    mmm… I think adding Coconut Aminos to that faux rice would make it super tasty as well.

  13. Sonya says:

    French Onion Soup. So quick, easy and comforting with or without cheese.

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  17. Margaretrc says:

    Coconut ginger soup! Simmer equal parts coconut milk and home made chicken broth with fresh ginger (about 1 inch sliced for for 2 to 3 cups of liquid–more if desired) for 10 minutes, salt and pepper to taste and enjoy for a comforting fix that is sure to make your cold go away sooner rather than later. Works for stomach “flu,” too.

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  22. Sondra Rose says:

    40,000 IUs of Vitamin D3/day for 1-2 days. At this dosage, D acts like an antibiotic.

    I haven’t had a cold or flu bug in over 2 years!

    Year-round, I also keep my blood level on the high end of 50-80 ng/ml–the recommended range from the Vitamin D Council.

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  26. dana g says:

    Wow! Thanks for this. I just found this thread through the new W9 forums when a question was asked about paleo sick time foods. I thought I’d combed through all your threads, but I realize now there’s gold everywhere!

  27. Jaime says:

    My swear by cure, is simple and easy! Huge mug of hot h20, chunk of honeycomb, sliced ginger, juice of a whole lemon and 3 slices of lemon, sprinkled with cayenne pepper. 2 or 3 of those a day seem to work for myself and family. Sipping one as a type! Being paleo, i tend to not get sick nearly as much, usually by now, i’ve had 3 or 4 rounds of the flu or tonsillitis

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  30. […] some people even advocated fasting. I thought that was crazy. Fortunately, there were a few more helpful suggestions on TheClothesMakeTheGirl – she suggested zucchini noodles with ghee and mashed potatoes. Both are very respectable […]

  31. Lisa says:

    My go to comfort food has always been scrambled eggs and buttered toast. Now I eat the eggs and skip the toast. Still makes me feel better!

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