By Chef Sara

Eating well can be a challenge on an average day–but throw a cold or the flu into the mix, and the idea of even boiling water can feel utterly overwhelming. Our bodies need extra support and kindness when sickness strikes, so even if our instincts might be to retreat under the covers and hide until the unpleasant symptoms subside, it's worth it to take a little time to make some easy, nourishing foods to help our bodies heal. But what to choose?

I've done the work for you by picking five of my favorite Compassionate Cuisine recipes that would be great choices for a sick day. They're easy to make, packed with plant-powered ingredients to help your body heal, and easy to eat even if your appetite is a shadow of its former self. And all these recipes have a high water content, which will help you stay hydrated and flush out toxins while you refuel.

Berry Delicious Smoothie Bowl

Tucking in to a big breakfast isn't always appealing when you're under the weather. As a light, nourishing alternative, try our Berry Delicious Smoothie Bowl, which looks and tastes fresh and lovely and brightens up even the dreariest morning.

Not feeling a sweet breakfast? Try our Easiest Miso Soup for One. It comes together in minutes flat and packs in loads of nutrition alongside delicious, savory flavors. Feeling really congested? Add some cayenne pepper or chili sauce to spice up your soup, clear your sinuses, and improve your circulation. Of course, this soup makes a wonderful lunch or dinner, too.

Mushroom Barley Soup

Looking for a bowl of comfort for lunch or dinner? Our Mushroom Barley Soup is just the ticket. It's great to keep on hand in the freezer for days when cooking is the last thing on your mind: just freeze in single-serving containers, rinse the container of frozen soup under hot water for a minute or so, then pop the frozen soup block into a pot, cover, and heat gently until melted and steaming hot.

Kale

Eating greens on a sick day can feel like a pipe dream – that is, until you've tried our “Get Your Greens In” Soup. Packed with nourishing greens and cleansing cilantro, this easy pureed soup is surprisingly delicious and loaded with nutrients. Once you've tried it, you'll find yourself craving it year-round.

Dried Chaga Mushrooms

And I'd be remiss if I skipped over my favorite sick-day indulgence: Chaga Hot Chocolate. Chaga mushrooms (which can be conveniently purchased in dry chunks, as pictured above) are simmered with water to make a “tea” that is believed to have immune-boosting properties. Because the infusion is rather bland on its own, it makes the perfect addition to a cup of vegan hot chocolate. This is medicine you'll love taking!

Feel better soon!