Flu season may be late, but it’s here…

As someone who darkens the door of 40-60 doctors’ offices per week, I’m here to tell you, the flu has arrived in Texas.  Ever since mid-week last week, I keep hearing the same things over and over again when visiting my customers…

“It’s only Monday and we’ve already had 3 positives for flu!”

“Too bad you don’t sell Tamiflu, you’d really be banking this week!”

“Sorry Lola, I don’t have time to talk, we are understaffed because all of our nurses caught the flu and called in sick today!”

Yep, I thought that perhaps this year just wasn’t a bad year for it, but evidently I (and anyone else who thought that) was wrong.  My work territory stretches roughly 110 miles and it seems like every office is dealing with flu patients.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to chance getting the flu.  I opted out of getting the flu shot this year and so did Oatmeal.  I think that most people would do the following to avoid getting sick:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Drink orange juice for vitamin C.
  • Take a multivitamin.
  • Sanitize their homes/wash hands regularly.

But – even these obvious precautions are not a guarantee, as I overheard today in a waiting room.  A girl about my age sat in an exam room with her 3 year old little boy and I heard her say to the doctor, “But we got the flu shot in October!  And I make sure he takes his vitamins every night before they brush their teeth!

Since we didn’t get the shot, and I REALLY do not need to get the flu when pregnant, this year we are taking extra precautions other than the normal orange juice + multivitamin + hand washing that have worked for me every other year.

Do you think there is anything else I could be doing??

  • Multivitamin – I’ll start with the obvious – yes, we take a multivitamin. I am taking a prenatal, and Oatmeal is taking a basic one from his doctor’s office.
  • Vitamin C – another obvious preventative measure – only we don’t drink juice because while it does have vitamin C, it doesn’t have the fiber.  And, you end up with a lot more sugar than if you just ate the piece of fruit.  So, we eat lots of berries (frozen because they are cheaper than fresh), and we also eat lots of oranges.  And, lately I’ve been on a “cutie kick” because they are so tasty and easy to peel!

  • My favorite!  Elderberries – I kept finding more and more articles/info on elderberries and how they are so good for boosting immunity.  I discovered how to make a preventative syrup here, and made it out of elderberries, cinnamon, and a small amount of honey to taste.  (I did not have all of the ingredients listed on that link but I still feel confident knowing that I am getting good natural elderberries.)  I keep it in a mason jar in the fridge and take it each morning. It is actually REALLY tasty!

I get my elderberries at Mountain Rose Herbs (online) and also just recently saw them at a health food store in Houston called A Moveable Feast.  Last I checked, Whole Foods did NOT carry elderberries.

  • Garlic – I often cook with fresh garlic cloves, and if I start to feel as if I’m getting sick I take a garlic supplement.  (I’ve been told that pregnant women aren’t supposed to overdo the garlic, although I don’t know why that is.  So at most I take the supplement a few times weekly).
  • Sleep – my goal has been to be in bed by 9pm!
  • Cinnamon – I have read that cinnamon is a great sugar metabolizer, and I know that excess sugar in the body lowers immunity.  So I take a few capsules weekly (and it’s also an ingredient in my elderberry potion).
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – I swear, what does this remedy NOT do?  It helps kill viruses, it eats up excess yeast/sugar in the body, and it’s a natural anti-bacterial.  When I do get sick, I gargle it.  And a few times a week I take a tablespoon or so as a preventative measure.  (Although, I can’t lie to you, it does NOT taste good.  Anyone who tells you that apple cider vinegar is delicious is lying in my opinion!)  And it’s so easy to find – right there in the vinegar section of any grocery store.

  • Coconut Oil – again – what does this remedy NOT do?  Another great immunity booster.  I put it in smoothies sometimes.  Or, instead of using olive oil or butter I will cook with it.  (No, it does not make meat taste like a pina colada.)

  • Water, water, water….
  • Zinc – my mama always told me to take zinc at the first sign of a cold or sickness.  So, I listen.
  • Vitamin D – it’s not always in a multi, so if it’s not, I take it separately, especially during the colder seasons when I don’t get much sunshine.
  • Salads (and thus all the vitamins & antioxidants that come with them) – we try to eat a raw salad every day, aiming to include real greens such as spinach, kale, cabbage, etc.  This is a picture of a really delicious salad that we ate all week last week – it included kale (2 varieties), spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, jicama, and orange slices.  I dressed it with olive oil, salt/pepper, and lime juice.  (I confess it was an extra special salad because all the veggies came from Oatmeal’s uncle’s organic garden!)  We don’t even remember what kind of meat we had that night because we both loved the salad so much!

So is there anything else?  Anything else we could be doing to prevent the flu this year?  Toss me any remedies that your mom or grandma taught ya…. we need it this week!

🙂

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