Thursday, January 17, 2013

Screw the Flu (Before it Screws You)


I was cocky. Last weekend, my friend emailed to inform me she was a member of a flu family. Her son, came home from school Friday with the pukes, the shakes…the whole compendium of flu nastiness. She was emailing me because her son and my little guy “are attached”. I appreciated the heads up, asked my son how he was feeling but totally tempted flu fate thinking “we’ve never had the flu, never do flu shots, we’re hardly ever sick.” So you know what happened next.  I spent the night Sunday with a boy with such a high fever my washcloth-compresses were coming of his body burning hot. As Stephen King said, “there is no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.”

As determined as I was not to let the mean nasty virus near the rest of my family, I didn’t want to “fight” the flu as many articles suggest. As a germ-coward I am not interested in a “bug” brawl. Instead, I was seeking flu elusion. Below you'll find my strategy.

Astragalus- start day with a dropper of astragalus tincture in shot glass of water. Perhaps shot glasses are inappropriate for 8 and 10 year olds. I envision their first bar experience where they see shots poured and think “I wonder if that’s astragalus or E3Live? " Ah nutri-damage. Astragalus boosts your immune system to fight the flu.

Matcha is to green tea what spinning is to the stationary bike. Matcha is a powdered green tea, with a delicious sweet taste and nutrient profile. It’s contains both Vitamin C and zinc and a host of immune boosting phytochemicals. You can add it to smoothies or make it traditionally whisked into hot water. This is a great tutorial video to get you started. I love David’s tea but use an organic matcha called Do Matcha.

Vitamin D- Vitamin D3 decreases incidence of the flu in both adults and children. Carlson and Blue Bonnet are great brands; their liquid Vitamin D is very easy to take and tolerate.
looks like a smaller ginger with this beautiful orange color when sliced
Turmeric- if you haven’t used fresh turmeric, now may be the time. It has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties. Try blending it with fruit, protein powder such as Sun Warrior, almond milk and honey or stevia for a delicious breakfast. It’s also delicious with vegetables: this week I heated some Jungle Products coconut oil  (also an immune booster) added garlic (garlic can destroy the flu virus toss in your juicer or add to salad dressings), ginger an turmeric (grated with microplane) and allowed this to heat for a couple of minutes. I then tossed in some sliced bok choy, a dash of fish sauce and a sprinkle coconut flower sugar.

Other flu eluders include cinnamon, miso, papaya, leafy greens and mushrooms. And though I’m not a Purell fan, we’re loyal Clean Well customers. I don't want to say anything but there's only been one flu victim in our family so far...
How are you faring this flu season? What are your go-to flu eluders? Have you had a flu shot? 



20 comments:

  1. Great list-I'll try these. What are your thoughts on elderberry juice?

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  2. Yes I've had my flu shot and I'm still recovering from the flu, first time I've had it in decades! Normally my fanatical hand washing and avoidance of public surfaces, not touching eyes, nose or mouth keeps me healthy. Not this year. For a week the only thing that tasted good were clementines and I'm still eating 3 at a time. Stay healthy.

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  3. Hi Michelle, thanks for your comment. I believe the active ingredient in elderberry works to mitigate flu symptoms versus general immunity. This is also how echinacea works. So if feeling flu-ish these are good options. If hoping to skirt the whole flu issue the general immune boosters are preferred. I also think there was some research that elderberry worked on flu A not flu B or vice versa. Regardless it works to "fight" the flu and hasten recovery. Make sense?

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  4. well done with the hand washing. I would consider D, immune boosters so you don't get another strain of flu...can happen. So sad sometimes our best efforts don't keep us safe but most of the time they do. Do you have any flu shot-ingredient concerns?

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  5. No concerns at all regarding flu shots. What do you recommend for immune boosters?

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  6. I got my flu shot mostly because they gave it for free at my office. Not sure I would have gone to the trouble otherwise. But I saw a blurb on the news that it's only 60% effective this year? I don't think I would have put up with the sore arm had I known that. I'm also not a sickly person in general because I do what I can to eat healthy, exercise, and a lot of hand washing. It helps that I drink so much water that I have to pee about 8 times a day, built-in hand washing! I do seem to get a cold a few times a year but I've had the flu once in the last 20 years.

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  7. Sam @ Mom At The BarreJanuary 17, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    This was one of the worst flu seasons in our home. Unfortunately we all got sick and we had visiting grandparents who acquired a different bug and reinfected the 2 year-old. Turmeric is great. I generally use Zicam (zinc). I used it this year and although I wasn't able to completely evade the flu, mine was milder. I am super impressed that you have managed to keep your home as flu-free as possible. I am intrigued by astralagas.

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  8. Great tips. I'm actually drinking a cup of matcha green tea right now! One of the friendly tea baristas at David's Tea told me he never, ever gets sick and credits a daily cup of matcha for that. You should also try the Honest Company's Hand Sanitizer...it doesn't dry your hands out at all! I've actually never had the flu shot in my life and didn't get one this year. I figure if I do get it, I'll suffer for a few days but build some natural immunity to it (I hope..)

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  9. Also - watching that video just made me realize how horribly wrong I've been making my matcha. Thank you!!

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  10. My husband swears by Emergen-C. I swear by not touching anything remotely germy and washing my hands every 5 seconds.

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  11. When I was little, I had the flu once a season. Puking, fever, you name it. It sucked. As an adult I havent had the flu since my freshman year of college when literally every girl on my floor got it! I didn't get it until the night I came home from xmas break...I lasted through a week and a half of everyone getting sick. Thought I was in the clear. Not so much. I'm not much of a germaphobe, never have been. I'm also not much of a "potions" type person either (referring to healthy teas, herbs, spices, etc). When I get sick (which hopefully is never), I just do what I can do rest, keep fresh air in the house, use a humidifier, hydrate, drink some tea, eat some soup, and wait it out. Your suggestions remind me I need to add more turmeric back in to my life though!

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  12. sleep, hydration, soup seem like good "weapons" to me. I find the supplements do make a difference but only if everything else is in order or who cares...try fresh turmeric if you see it Erin, yum.

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  13. I think you are a gold star germ avoider. You have scared me off hotel remotes for life Ameena. Tell ALi about Eboost, I like it even better than emergen-C if he's not caffeine averse.

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  14. OH my goodness I never made the pee/hand washing connection but so true, they go together (for some people anyway).

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  15. I would, at least for winter, use astragalus. It really makes a difference.

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  16. Great and very timely post! I deal with a very different population then you do so for MOST of the patients I really recommend the flu shot. I do, however, have concerns about the ingredients in the shot. I am so glad you have pointed that out instead of saying the shot causes the flu or autism-which is untrue.
    People with serious underlying medical problems, people who work in health care and pregnant woman really should get the shot. That is who gets really sick and the benefits of the shot out ways the risk.
    I NEVER get sick! I don't know if it is my healthy life style or because all my exposure to sick people. I like to think I have a "super" immune system.
    I will be using your tips though. Even though I got the shot, I am very high risk because of my late pregnancy and because I am getting cough on, vomited on and sneezed on by flu patients everyday (sorry germaphobes!).
    Hope your son is on the mend. Glad no one else is sick.
    Some tips from the doc...exercise! Exercise is one of the best immune builders. However, if you are sick be kind and stay away from the spin classes and gym and enjoy some couch time with a cup of tea. Also, the all mighty z-pack will not help the flu and will just kill your good bacteria and avoid the ER unless you are REALLY sick. The waiting room is basically a petrie dish these days!

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  17. Dr O, no baby yet? Always amazes me doctors are rarely sick. Perhaps the best argument for exposure to germs being good...to a certain extent. Thank you for the MD advice. And yes, at risk populations are different. My kids are vaccinated but we initially avoided flu b/c egg based (one child was allergic) and when I looked at the full ingredient list was scared.

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  18. Early in my sales career I learned not to touch my face and if I truly must, I use my left hand (we shake with our right) and I think that helps because touching my nose and eyes is no longer a habit. I haven't had a flu in years. I am dismayed how many people I know are taking a z-PAC this season. Even if a doctor prescribed it, I wouldn't take it. Lastly, I am not a germaphobe, but love the hydration/handwashing connection mentioned below.

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  19. Another good thing to do is to increase daily intake of Zinc - either as pills or zinc rich foods.

    Whenever I am around people suffering from cold, coughs or flu, I drink more herb teas with antibacterial properties - such as Thyme tea.

    I also increase the amount of mushrooms I eat - as they are packed with natural medicines that fight such conditions.

    To boost my immune system, nothing is more valuable than the Chinese mushroom Ganoderma.

    Nnuola at http://blog.saintandsmith.com

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  20. This comes so easy to operate. Are they available somewhere online?

    Air Temperature Specialists San Diego

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