the vampires know what’s up

My world is an interesting dichotomy. I workout like a fanatic and incorporate all manner of healthy foodstuffs into my daily diet, and yet I go to the movies and respond, “hell yes!” when asked if I want the butter-flavoured topping added to my popcorn.

I’ve embraced the healthy and holistic while continuing to indulge in the less-than-natural and not-so-good-for-you.

Yin Yang.

I call it balance. Everything in moderation.

That said, the one area I’ve tried to be pretty hard-core about is the use of pharmaceuticals. With so many interesting and purportedly effective natural remedies available, why not shun big pharma and look to Mother Nature to treat our woes?

When I started my oil pulling experiment it wasn’t to address a specific health concern, but I couldn’t help but be excited to test its effectiveness when I found myself succumbing to a head cold on Monday. I was sure that this cold wouldn’t stand a chance against 1,000s of years of Ayurvedic tradition.

I was wrong.

By Tuesday my nose had turned into a prolific snot factory. I marveled at how it was possible to produce that amount. Where does it all come from???  

And then I played the imagine-if game.

Imagine if I could produce oil, or gold, or something valuable at this rate. Shit, I would be mega rich.

Since oil pulling was failing miserably in the cold-fighting department, I turned to Dr. Google once again.

Enter Garlic Feet.

I read it on the Internet. It must be true.

I read it on the Internet. It must be true.

100 times more effective than antibiotics? Stop the presses! I had to learn more.

After much investigation on Pinterest and Google, I discovered that the process is quite simple. You rub a paste made of garlic and oils onto your feet. The garlic draws out toxins and boom, your cold is banished!

Below is a lovely info-graphic that I found on Google. This one suggests using Vaseline to thicken the garlic/oil mixture into a paste. I wanted to go all natural so I opted for coconut oil instead.



Looks simple enough, right?

Yeah, not so much.

Sure, it was easy enough to peel, chop and crush the garlic. Add some olive oil? No problemo. Mix in some coconut oil to thicken it up? Absolutely. Easy peasy.


I’ve got this.

Now put it on your own feet.


What a mess.

I suppose I could have asked Mr. Enthusiasm for his help, but he had already retreated to the man cave, cursing something under his breath. I caught ‘stupidity’ and ‘stink’. Fine, be that way.

My first mistake was attempting to do this in the living room. You know, the one featuring hardwood floors and an area rug.

I thought a few rags and some paper towel would provide sufficient coverage, completely underestimating the slippery mess that was my garlic paste.

Let me set the stage for you. I was seated in an upholstered slipper chair, area rug underfoot, with bowl of garlic paste, strips of rags (to wrap my feet) and socks at the ready. And what I thought was enough rags and paper towel to protect the mess.

Mr. Enthusiasm, if you are reading this, look away now. Stop reading!

I began slathering garlic paste on the sole of my left foot, and watched it promptly slide right off and onto the rags below. But some of it seemed to have gained an unnatural momentum and went flying well past the rags. I gasped as I saw oily chunks of garlic landing on my lovely rug. Shit. Shit. Shit. I reached for the strips of cotton rags and desperately tried to wrap up my foot, hoping to contain the damage.

That’s when I realized that gauze would have been a much, much better option. The cotton strips unraveled as soon as I wrapped them.

In a final act of desperation, I threw all the remaining rags on my loosely rag-wrapped foot, watching as oil still dripped from it. I had to get to the safety of the tiled kitchen floor. And I had to do it without having my left foot touch the rug or hardwood between my current location and my safe place.

Enter the phase of hop-on-one-foot-while-you-balance-a-bowl-of-garlic-paste-plus-one-sock-plus-a-bunch-of-rags. Not my most graceful moment.

Once I arrived in the kitchen, I plopped down on the floor, unwrapped the mess on my left foot and started all over again.

Eventually I got enough garlic paste on both feet, wrapped them reasonably well in cotton rags and then covered them in thick socks.

Pleased with myself, I stood up so I could start to tackle the mess on the kitchen floor.

That’s when I noticed the oily footprints I was leaving with each step I took. Evidently the rags and socks were no match for the power of the oily mess on my feet.

photoUndeterred, I did what any sane person would do. I jumped to the pantry in the least amount of hops possible to grab some Ziplock Freezer Bags.

I put one of those bad boys on each foot; problem solved.

Yes! Finally something goes right.

With rag-wrapped, sock-clad, Ziplock Freezer Bag-covered feet, I cleaned the oil off the kitchen floor and then sat down to watch some TV.

It was around this time the smell of garlic started assaulting my nose from inside my head.

It seems crazy and impossible, but 10 minutes in I felt as though I could actually taste garlic in my mouth. It was burning in my nostrils. I had no idea if it actually smelled outside of my body, but it seemed to permeate inside of me.

I should note that at some point during all of this, Mr. Enthusiasm had passed me on his way up to bed. He didn’t say a word.

It was getting late, so I decided to head up to bed as well.

The sound of plastic on the wood floors of the bedroom got his attention. What the fuck, Nanc? Really?, he questioned.

I calmly explained that I needed the Ziplock bags to avoid any oil seeping through the socks and onto the bedding. He shook his head and turned away.

And then I climbed into bed.

Approximately 1.7 seconds after pulling the covers up over myself, the odor wafted up and hit us hard, delivering with it the answer to my question about whether the smell was external or just internal.


My ever-loving husband threw his hand over his mouth and nose and told me to get the hell out of the bed.

I declined.

He grunted something about me being ridiculous, rolled over, threw a pillow over this head and promptly fell asleep. [Side note: how is it possible for that man to fall asleep 3 seconds after his head hits the pillow??]

Eventually I, too, conked out. It was a fitful sleep though; lots of tossing and turning. The smell was…so bad. So, so bad.

At 4:08 am the stench became too much for me to bear. I had to either get that shit off my feet or risk choking on my own vomit while I slept. I chose the former.

I crept into the en suite, perched my ass on the edge of the tub and threw my legs in. Ziplock bags came off, then socks, then rags. The Ziplock bags seemed an ingenious choice right then as I realized I could put the entire stinky mess back into the baggy, and then seal it airtight, locking the odor in.

This seemed to be the best decision I’d made all night.

I scrubbed my feet as best I could, in a dark bathroom, at 4:15 am, and crawled back into bed. As I drifted back to sleep, all I kept thinking was, this better have fucking worked. This cold better be gone tomorrow. That was Tuesday night.

By Friday my head cold had morphed into a phlem-y rattling cough. Thank you garlic feet.

I abandoned all natural remedies and embraced every over-the-counter cough and cold drug I could get my hands on. Finally, on Saturday, I started feeling semi normal.

Big pharma 1, Mother Nature 0.

Those vampires know what’s what. Just say no to garlic.


Keep moving!

xoxo nancy

88 thoughts on “the vampires know what’s up

  1. That was hilarious!! The whole process…and your husband cracks me up. “What the fuck, Nanc?” lol! I’m all about moderation too. I’ve decided I may do a cleanse in a couple weeks…but with coffee and wine of course. 🙂

  2. *like* is too soft a word for this one. bwahahahaha! TOOOO funny 😀
    I personally keep Big Pharma in business and you just gave me reason #435 for continuing to be!!!!! I think I’m going to be chuckling for a while 🙂

  3. Hahahahaha this is too funny Nancy! So sorry to hear it didn’t work, considering the effort you made. I do a lot of crazy quack supposedly therapeutic practices but I would never spread garlic paste on my feet. Too stinky! LOL

  4. Nancy, I have to say this sounds completely bonkers 😀
    It was worth a try 🙂 and I am glad you keep trying the crazy things and writing about then so I don’t have to! 😀

  5. Sounds like something I would have done! I am known to place my frozen feet on my husband’s after climbing in to bed every single night – imagine if I was wearing the zip lock garlic concoction as well! Yea, give me ’em drugs.

  6. If laughter is the best medicine, I’m pretty sure you’ve cured any sick readers with this post.
    I’ll stick with stubborness oand six aspirin at a time when I have a cold.

  7. Hahahahaha! That read like an episode of “I Love Lucy!” There is a reason mama always asks us, “Would you jump off the house if your friends did too?” Some things should NOT be tried. Thank you for confirming that for me! 🙂

  8. OMG! I’m sorry about your cold but hey, you tried. 🙂 I definitely won’t join you in this latest experiment but we did enjoy three bags of “butter flavored” popcorn last night at Captain America. 😉

  9. Eeeewww! Your experience sounds borderline traumatic. When I did this last winter, I just rubbed a bit of raw garlic on my feet and put socks on. I couldn’t really say if it worked or not though. btw I love your experiments 🙂

    • I heard that in addition to rubbing it in your soles, some also put a whole clove between their toes. I considered skipping the paste/sole rubbing the following night and just putting the cloves between toes but my husband threatened to move out. 🙂

  10. Oh I have tears I’m laughing so hard – between the post and all of the comments I’m just dying over here!!
    First off -kudos to you for going holistic first! I do a lot of holistic oils and such and love it.
    Secondly, you can’t beat a cold with anything Mother Nature made. It’s like Big Pharma created this super bug just to spite Mother Nature and sell all of their drugs.
    Third – “after much investigation on Pinterest and Google” Best. Sentence. Ever.
    Fourth – I really hope you get to feeling better!

    • Oh Kate, I’m just waiting for my husband to read this (like around 10am tomorrow). I am bracing myself for his reaction (especially to the admission of the mess on the rug…) 🙂

      Seriously on the sentence about getting my medical advice from Pinterest and Google. When did I become that person?? 🙂

      Feeling waaaaay better than I was Wed/Thurs/Fri, but still dealing with the never-ending snot factory and a cough that worsens at night. I imagine I’ll be using my store bought drugs for the next few days. Hoping my ears hold up during my flight to NYC Tues morning.

      • I’m a big fan of Alka-Seltzer. The plop-plop-fizz-fizz kind. They make one for congestion that is a Rock Star! Well, everything they make is awesome – I know you mentioned you’d found some good ones you were using, but those get my vote!
        I’m sure the flight will be fine and your ears will hold up just fine!

      • Oh..interesting Kate! I used to use Alka-Seltzer “Morning After” for hangovers when I was on work conventions. Don’t ask. I didn’t realize they had something for congestion. I’ll buy some tomorrow. Let the pharma floodgates open!

  11. And not once did you think of recording this and putting it on you tube? it would have gone viral in a day. just from me alone. I enjoyed reading every step of this unbelievably ridiculous remedy. And less alone knowing if I would have found this online, I would have done the same damn thing. Exactly the same.

    • Girl, I would totally have embraced worldwide ridicule by youtubing this shit, but I would’ve needed a supportive accomplice. Mr. Enthusiasm was having no part in this shit, and I could barely handle the garlic, rags, socks and freezer bags, forget an iPhone to video the mess. Regrets, I have a few. Sing it, Frankie.

  12. There really are no words to express my sympathies for what you just went through in the name of health. It’s clear you are dedicated. It’s clear you are determined. And it’s kinda clear that you might be in need of a vacation.

    Regardless, glad you’re beginning to feel more your self. Hope your husband hasn’t gone off what is one of the most essential food groups known to mankind. And more importantly, I hope he’s not gone off you.

    Be well and keep at it! Cheers

    • The best laid plans…

      The cold is still dragging me down, but at least I no longer smell badly.

      Hubby is down with ebola-like virus that I’ve been dealing with. I’m just waiting for him to ask me to wrap his feet in garlic. 😉

  13. I’m surprised you’re still married! Do you have any friends other than bloggy ones like me who are thankfully thousands of miles away from your experiments? Have your considered befriending Timothy Ferriss? He is a human guinea pig as well. You could exchange notes. O_o

  14. Nancy, I knew this post was coming, and it was better than I could have hoped! I too prefer to use the natural method, of, well, anything! I am so sorry this didn’t work, especially since you tasted garlic…that stuff was working it’s way up, too bad it didn’t fix the cold.

    And, I am with you on everything in moderation. We can’t do every thing healthy or there wouldn’t be any fun, right?

  15. I remember my father taking garlic capsules and sweating it out, like moldy italian bread. Supposedly they have “odorless” supplements now, but who wants to take that risk?

  16. Oh god! Give me the drugs any day over this! You’re hilarious! And your poor hubby haha! Did you know that when you fart and then hold the duvet over your partner’s head so they’re trapped inside with the stink, it’s called a Dutch Oven. No idea what this fresh hell is called though 😉

  17. I’m sorry. I laughed so I cried! But the simple truth is that we need to try, right? My hubby accused me of bleaching my favorite patterned jeans on a trip to the hardware store to get a story for my blog. They always do THAT.

  18. I give you props for being so willing to give things a try! I thought at first you might be mentioning digesting garlic capsules, and I wonder if in the end that might have helped with boosting your immunity. I actually think that many of the holistic and homeopathic methods are probably best at bolstering your overall health and most of the time making it easier to ward off these colds and bugs. Of course, sometimes we just get blindsided. You gave it your best. And I hope you’re finally feeling better. My husband has that same cold, from the sound of it. He’s pretty miserable. Maybe I’ll ask him if he wants me to put some garlic on his feet. He’ll think I’m suggesting something pretty kinky. LOL! That’ll make him feel better. 🙂

    • Oh your poor husband! Today is day 12 for me and I’m FINALLY starting to feel better (not well, just better).

      Don’t traumatize him with garlic feet; the poor man is suffering enough with the cold! 🙂

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  20. Omg, that was hilarious! It sounds like something I’d do although not the garlic. I haven’t been able to stand the smell in general since I became pregnant with my son. For some reason, it stayed that way even after he was born. Good on you for trying though! I’m all about natural if I can avoid pharmaceuticals. Seriously, I’ve been on all sorts of scary narcotics and such for my neuro problems and nothing really worked (especially without a ton of side effect). I found some natural supplements for the brain and would you believe they actually work?! They are life savers. 🙂

    Great post. Thanks for the laugh.

    • I felt like a total doofus for trying it, given the mess, the smell and the lack of results. But, hey, it *might* have worked. Then who’d be laughing. 🙂

      I try to go natural as much as I can but sometimes you just gotta bust out the ol’ sudafed.

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  22. I can take garlic in tiny amounts, and maybe a bit more in scampi, but that’s it. I see my reflection, so I know that I’m not one of the un-dead, so it’s just a sensitivity to garlic. One thing about the OTC cold remedies, in particular the one that helps you sleep – I wake up with the worst hangover and can’t full regain my consciousness until after noon. That stuff knocks me out.

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