A Nutritionist’s Top Picks For A Sick Day

We’re right in the middle of the cold Melbourne winter right now. But as a business owner and wellness expert, I don’t have time to stay sick for weeks at a time. So here are my favourite go-to tips on a sick day to boost my body back to health.

Top Picks For A Sick Day

Bone broth and soup

I don’t remember the last time there was no soup or bone broth in my house. Whether it’s the gut-healing amino acids, the dose of salt, or the warmth and steam of a hot bowl, it does the job.

My favourite soup this winter has been a Thai spin on pumpkin soup. Just add some red curry paste and some coconut milk or cream. It keeps you warm and helps to clear out the sinuses.

Herbal teas

My house is notorious for the tea collection. We have a tea basket and a tea shelf in the cupboard. So it’s no surprise that I love herbal teas when I’m sick.

I tend to go with instinct when it comes to picking a herbal tea when I’m unwell. But often it will include warming spices like ginger and turmeric, immune-friendly herbs like echinacea, and fruity flavours like elderberry.

I’ll also add a spoonful of The 3 Bees honey. I use the Jarrah honey for medicinal properties if my throat hurts. Otherwise, it’s a teaspoon of Messmate – my fave for herbal tea.

Magnesium/Epsom salt bath

Being sick can hurt. Sometimes it’s a fluey ache, sometimes it’s a subluxed rib from coughing. No matter what the cause, a bath is the answer. It also ensures that I sleep well, which is essential for a quick recovery.

When I pull a sick day, I make sure I have plenty of Epsom salts. I add up to a cup of the salts to a nice hot bath, and sink in for at least 30 minutes. This is ideal to combine with a cup of herbal tea and a good book!


Other than magnesium, zinc is probably my favourite mineral. I have dealt with a lot of zinc problems in my life, including copper toxicity. Zinc plays a big role in immunity and keeping the bugs at bay. So if I’m sick, it’s most likely partly due to low zinc levels.

I go twice as hard when it comes to zinc when unwell. I do include a practitioner-level supplement to boost my levels right up. But I also make sure I’m getting zinc-rich foods such as eggs and pumpkin seeds.


I love garlic. Maybe a little too much. Cheese and garlic toast, garlic mushrooms, garlic soup – these are all on my menu when I take a sick day. When I cook it, I cook it quickly to minimize the loss of the therapeutic properties.

A basic rule of thumb I follow is that I eat it until I can feel it oozing out of my pores. Sometimes that’s only a clove or two. Other times, I can have a tablespoon or more each day. I trust my body to know how much I need.


There are some days that it’s really good to have a kombucha-brewing mother. A sick day is one of those days! A big piece of the immune system is in the gut. So I make sure I love my gut up with some probiotics.

Fermented foods like kimchi, coconut yoghurt and kombucha are a must-have. If I’m not feeling up for food, I’ll take a practitioner-level probiotic supplement.


Something that infuriates me is that we’re encouraged to work through illness. A sick day is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. And rest is top of the list when you are unwell.

Rest can vary depending on how sick I am. Sometimes it means working from bed when I can’t miss a deadline. Other times, it means sleeping 16 hour days in front of the fire. The important thing is that I tune into my body’s needs – it knows better than me!


What are your favourite ways to survive a sick day? Share with me below!

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  1. Pingback: Hey Health Experts: Are Your Blogs Sabotaging Your Biz? | Samantha Gemmell

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