The Best Ways to Protect Yourself this Flu Season

Saying this past year has been stressful is a bit of an understatement. With COVID-19 everywhere we may have forgotten about getting the flu, but it’s still out there. This year, many of us may have weakened immune systems, so protecting ourselves is more important than ever during these unprecedented times. While we are all taking precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19, here are some additional ways you can protect yourself from the flu this season as well. 

Avoid Close Contact with Others 

According to the CDC, you should keep your distance from others if you are feeling sick and from those who might be sick. Keeping your distance is important to prevent the spread of the flu and the coronavirus.

While we are all trying to avoid contact with others to avoid getting sick, this doesn’t mean life just stops. Try to see what policies your company has with work from home options during the flu season. Also ordering groceries online and picking them up curbside is a great option to avoid close contact with others.   Most restaurants now offer delivery or curbside pickup as well.

Get Vaccinated 

Every year the flu virus changes and adapts, this is why it’s important to get vaccinated every year. That way you have the most updated antibodies to fight off the virus. 

“Getting your annual flu vaccine is more important than ever this year. Although the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it does reduce your risk of getting the flu, flu-related complications, and hospitalization, explained Fidelis Care Chief Medical Officer, Vincent Marchello, MD. “You can safely get a flu vaccine at multiple locations, including your doctor’s office and pharmacies. Call ahead for more information. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season.”

Wash your Hands Properly 

Did you know that the average person comes in contact with approximately 840,000 germs every 30 minutes? It is estimated that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly, with most people only washing for 6 seconds. Always remember to wash your hands frequently and remember the basics for proper handwashing techniques.

  • This includes washing your hands with cold/warm water, lathering the soap, washing the front and back of your hands, and in between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds or if you’re teaching children the proper technique, a nice trick is to wash your hands for the duration of time it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. 
  • Of course, most of us are no strangers to washing our hands, but did you know there’s a medically proper way to do so? John Hopkins Medicine launched a video on how to properly wash your hands. This could a great tool for parents teaching their children while flu season is in full effect.

Boost Your Immune System.

Your immune system protects you from any infections, bacterial or viral, so we want to make sure it’s functioning properly. Medical News Today suggests following these strategies:

  • Take Vitamin D – This is important for a strong immune system.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Eat antioxidants – Antioxidants are compounds that protect our cells from free radical damage. The top antioxidants include: Vitamin A , Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium and the caratonoids (pre-cursor to vitamin A)-beta-carotene, lutien, lycopene and zeaxanthin
  • Exercise  – According to research, immune cell activity in the blood can increase from 50% to 400%, following exercise, based on intensity. Regular, moderate exercise is the key to maintaining this immune boost.
  • Reduce your stress levels –  Stress can lower the lymphocytes in the body. Lymphocyes are the white blood cells that help fight off infection. If lyphocytes levels are low, the body is more susceptible to infection.
  • Sleep 7-9 hour  – Sleep is very important to a healthy immune system. In one study, individuals who slept less than 6 hours were 4 times as likely to get sick as individuals who slept 7 or more hours.

The Best Immune Boosting Foods

A diet filled with a variety of whole foods including fruits, vegetables and fresh seafood, will do wonders for your immune system and help fight off the flu. Choose from all the colors of the rainbow. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Vitamin A : animal products such as cold fish, liver and egg yolks
  • Vitamin C: sweet red pepper, strawberries, kiwis, oranges, red, green, yellow peppers
  • Vitamin D: A good dose of sunshine will boost your vitamin D. Food sources of Vitamin D include: Salmon, sardines and cod liver oil.
  • Vitamin E: spinach, avocadoes, sunflower seeds, almonds, dark leafy greens
  • Beta-carotene: dark leafy greens and orange produce such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
  • Lutein & Zeaxanthin: dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, eggs, oranges
  • Lycopene: tomatoes, grapefruit, papaya, asparagus, red cabbage, red peppers
  • Zinc: legumes, seeds, nuts, oysters, beef

The Top 4 Natural Immune Boosting Substances

There are many natural substances that can boost the immune system. Vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to illness. However, there are other vitamins, minerals, herbs and natural substances that can do wonders to boost your immune system and protect you from the flu this season. Here are the four of the best substances to include in your immune boosting arsenal:

Vitamin D – Because most individuals are deficient in this very important substance, a dosage of 2000 to 5000 IU/day is advised for most people. Vitamin D3 is highly recommended, as this is the natural source from animal products and easier to absorb. A good food source of vitamin D, as well as vitamin E and A is Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

Oil of oregano – This oil is a powerful immune boosting substance. It has been used for over 2500 years as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and an anti-oxidant. The recommended dosage is 4 drops, 4 times per day for 10 days.

Elderberries – Elderberry is a flowering plant native to parts of Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. Elderberry syrup is one of the most studied due to its benefits as a powerful immune booster. The berries contain compounds called anthocyadnidins, which have “immunostimulant effects”. Studies show that people treated with elderberry vs a placebo recover faster from flu symptoms. The recommendation is one teaspoon of syrup per day, which can be increased to 3x/day in cases of illness. Elderberry tea, powders and capsules are also available.

Colloidal Silver – Colloidal silver is electrically charged silver nano particles suspended in pure distilled water. Silver has been used to treat disease for more than 6000 years. In fact, it was commonly used as a natural antibiotic as recently as the 1940’s, when modern antibiotics arrived on the scene. It is scientifically proven to be effective against most organisms and pathogens. The recommended dose for immune support is one eye dropper per day.

Soup, Chicken Soup, Eat, Food, Court, Cook, Vegetables

In Conclusion…

There’s an old wives tale that says eating homemade chicken soup when you’re sick will help you get better. While a bowl of soup won’t kill the flu virus, the broth, chicken and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, which will help boost your immune system. The hot soup will lift your spirits, help you destress and may even help you sleep. All of this combined is a recipe for healing.

If you or a loved one does start to feel sick, it is suggested you stay home and quarantine yourself. Whether it’s just the flu or a little cold, with the current state of the pandemic, you wouldn’t want to take a risk.

Just thought you should know…Sobering information on Drunk Driving: Think before you drink.

With COVID, I’m not sure just how many people will be going to a party. However, if you are planning on ringing in the new year, please have a plan!

THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK!

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!


This is a repost of a previous article. Here’s the original article.

Have you ever done this? You’re sitting with a group of friends at a bar, drinking. Then, when it’s time to go home and there was no designated driver, you decide who’s had the least to drink, and “probably will be okay” to drive. You volunteer and say…”I’m fine, I’ve only had a few. I’ll drive…”

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One night almost 26 years ago, on St. Patrick’s day, on a highway in Colorado, my best friend from childhood, Bobbie Pfeiffer, was killed in a drunk driving accident, a head on collision, along with her fiancee and their 2 dogs (and the drunk driver). So, the issue of drunk driving is an important one for me. I decided to put together an article, highlighting some drunk driving statistics, as well as some things you can do, along with designated driver information.

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Here are some drunk driving statistics. (3, and MADD)

  • Drunk driving costs each adult in the United States almost $800 per year
  • Drunk driving costs the United States $199 billion a year
  • Each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested.
  • Every 90 seconds a person is injured in a drunk driving crash
  • An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest.
  • Males were more likely than females (15.1% vs. 7.9%) to drive drunk
  • Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes, one every 53 minutes.
  • Almost half of all drivers who were killed in crashes and tested positive for drugs also had alcohol in their system.
  • Alcohol levels above the legal limit were found in 21% of such drivers.
  • Each day, people drive drunk more than 300,000 times, but only about 2800 are arrested
  • About one in seven teens binge drinks, yet only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks.
  • Over 40% of all 10th graders drink alcohol.
  • Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
  • The rate of drunk driving is highest among 26 to 29 year olds (20.7 percent).

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Here is some information courtesy of drinkinganddriving.org.

  • If you’re arrested for drinking and driving, it will cost you anywhere from $4500 to $18,000 just for fines, insurance increases and legal fees. This does not include crashes and hospital bills. For more information, follow this link.
  • Most of the planet is in agreement that driving with a BAC of .08 is too dangerous to allow.
  • A common guideline is that after each typical drink, you must wait 45 minutes before attempting to drive.
  •  You’ve had a drink and must wait 45 minutes before driving. A quarter hour later, you have another drink. Now you must wait 45 minutes PLUS the 30 minutes left over from the first drink. That’s one and a quarter hours before you should drive. Got time for another? For more information, follow this link.
  • Cold showers, coffee or getting some fresh air have absolutely no effect on getting sober. How about eating a large meal before drinking to “soak up” the extra alcohol? NOT! Maybe you will gain a few pounds but otherwise this only DELAYS the alcohol being absorbed. For more information and other myths, follow this link.

What you can do: (For the pamphlet, follow this link)

  • Know where and why you are going out to party. What’s the setting? After you drink, will there be an opportunity to wait for alcohol to wear off before driving home? Can you spend the night where you are going? Should you be extra cautious about how much you drink?
  • Know how much you are drinking and how it affects you.
  • Get a second opinion. You are NOT a good judge of how drunk you are!
  • Know when to stop drinking. If you must drive, leave enough time for the alcohol to wear off. Realize this can take at least 45 minutes per drink.
  • Wait as long as possible before driving.
  • Do not wait in your car. It is possible to be arrested for DUI even if you are sleeping it off in the back seat.
  • Remember the contact in your phone for the taxi.
  • If necessary, get a room. Hopefully you checked out what was available before partying.
  • Put a contact in your cell phone for the local taxi. Make the first character of the contact name a SPACE “ “ so it will appear first in your contact list.
  • It costs around a buck, but dialing #TAXI from your cellphone will get you connected to the nearest taxi anywhere in America and Canada.
  • Write your address down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket to give to your Taxi driver. Have cash ready to pay for your ride.

If you’re the designated driver: (For the pamphlet, follow this link)

  • Make the decision on who will be the Designated Driver before going out, and then stick to the plan
  • Designated Driver swears off alcohol for the event and promises to get everyone home safely
  • Designated Driver cannot just be whoever is the least drunk
  • one drink could be ‘one too many’
  • The Designated Driver gets possession of the car keys first, before going out.
  • Take turns being the Designated Driver on different occasions, so it is not always one person who is responsible.

If you’re having a party: (For the pamphlet, follow this link.)

  • Remember your potential liability if anyone leaves and crashes on their way home.
  • Have taxi phone numbers handy.
  • Make sure you know who the designated drivers are, that they don’t drink and that they have the keys.
  • Don’t let anyone leave without your knowledge.
  • Ask your designated drivers to call you after they drop everyone off just so you know everyone made it OK.
  • Offer to help reunite any guests with their cars the next day if necessary.

Drunk Driving Sources:

Here’s some other information & things you can do:

Take the DRIVE SOBER pledge HERE

$20 off coupon code: DADO with UBER

National Directory of

Designated Driver Services HERE

Responsibility.org – Virtual Bar

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The Virtual Bar

“The Virtual Bar uses the latest science to help you not only get a better understanding of how different factors affect your blood-alcohol concentration – or BAC – on an individual level, but also can help you see how your night could go depending on the food you eat, the water you drink throughout the night, and other important variables.”

With the Virtual Bar, you enter in your gender, age, height, weight, what you’ve had to drink, what you’ve eaten and time since you’ve had the drink.  It then gives you an estimate of your BAC, and how long until your BAC is back to zero (it even tells you how you should be feeling). For smart phone apps, follow these links: IPHONE and GOOGLE PLAY. I have also placed a link to the Virtual Bar on my left side panel.

Here’s how it looks:

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Fair warning,

the following videos

are not for the faint of heart.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Drunk Driving Awareness Video (2:18)

Choices: The Dangers of Drunk Driving (2:52)

Drunk Driving- Car Crash Compilation (21:04) – this one is long. You don’t have to watch the whole thing to get the idea.

Closing thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to look through this important article. I hope it gave you something to think about the next time you are out having fun and drinking with your friends and family. Remember, choose a designated driver…THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK!

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Sources:

  1. http://www.drinkinganddriving.org/tools/?gclid=CjwKCAjw-NXPBRB4EiwAVNRLKv3g7Q9WWsKrBieLahy-AuhLWJwz8aGQWxABDpHbUfnDQey_U_j1WhoCB_8QAvD_BwE
  2. https://www.responsibility.org/get-the-facts/research/statistics/drunk-driving-fatalities/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwvuDPBRDnARIsAGhuAmZTJuis7fRtgHQUl7ryYp786JNNMyWEu2NWFkuY64F93P29foqkkBgaAlNvEALw_wcB’
  3. https://www.intoxalock.com/ignition-interlock-devices/statistics/

 

Spend Time in the Quiet Each Morning

Try to spend a little bit of your morning in the quiet when you can. This can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which peaks first thing in the morning. It also gives you some time to think to yourself before the busyness of the day begins. You might like to write out your thoughts, to-do’s, prayers, concerns, or whatever else comes to your mind first thing in the day — do whatever suits you. Taking just 10 minutes each morning, perhaps over coffee, is a great way to take care of yourself in a small way each day.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

I’ll be back on December 7, 2020

I have decided to take the next two weeks off. I will be spending quality time with my family during this week of Thanksgiving.

Organizer, Calendar, Schedule, Appointments, Diary

Next week, December 2, 2020, I am scheduled to have cataract surgery and will be taking that week off as well.

See you all in 2 weeks.

Until next time, God bless and Namaste my friends.

Giving Thanks Is More Than A Holiday

“It’s how happy people live…”

This video shows a man as he reminisces about his life and the things for which he’s thankful. It is a wonderful reminder that giving thanks should happen more than just once a year. It should happen everyday. It’s the little things that are important.

Happy Thanksgiving

from

Purple Almond Wellness!

This will be my final post until December 7, 2020. I will be spending quality time with my family during this week of Thanksgiving. Next week, December 2, 2020, I am scheduled to have cataract surgery and will be taking that week off as well. See you all in 2 weeks.

Until next time, God bless and Namaste my friends.

Do Something Nice for Someone When You Can

Doing something nice for others doesn’t just benefit them but also you too. We’re meant to be giving creatures, yet many of us see giving as a form of sacrifice. This is simply not true. When we give, we get so much more in return in more ways than one. It doesn’t have to be related to money at all either, but could be a simple as sending a card, an email, making a dish for someone, running errand for a friend, sending flowers, taking someone to lunch, or even just letting someone ahead of you in line at the grocery store. Or, give to an animal organization, volunteer at one, or just do something to promote cultural awareness and animal welfare. Doing small things for the good of others on a regular basis is an important part of long-term wellness.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Learn to Love Sleep

Sleep is a gift, something that’s just as important as the food on our plate and our exercise habits. It’s the time of the day that our body resets itself, detoxifies, and allows us to be able to conquer the next day ahead. Depression, weight gain, stress, and even food cravings can all occur when we don’t get enough rest. For some of us, our sleep needs may be 8 hours, and others it could be 9 or 10… get enough until you wake up at the same time each day without the need for an alarm clock.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Eat Good Fats

Healthy fats are like fuel for a good mood. They’re one of the most important things to include in your diet to promote a healthy mood (and a balanced metabolism). Healthy fats also promote good heart health, reduce cholesterol, and contain none of the harmful side effects associated with animal-based saturated fats. Go for raw coconut, avocados, almonds, walnuts, acai fruit, flax seeds, cashews, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or tahini, pecans, and olives. 

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Eat for Your Hormone Health

Our hormones completely control how we feel, act, think, and even how we treat others. And guess what controls our hormones for the most part? Aside from sleep and our lifestyle, our diets do. Though rest, stress management, and staying active play a part, nothing acts like directions for your cells like your food does. Certain foods can disrupt hormonal function and possibly even lead to mood disorders, anxiety, or depression. Some of the most common foods to avoid are: dairy, gluten, processed foods, and sugar.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/

Don’t Over Sit Your Welcome

We need to stand more throughout the day, even if that’s while chatting with friends, talking on the phone, or just getting up in between nightly relaxing activities before bed. If you like to watch television, be sure not to sit there for hours on end while doing so. If you work at a computer all day, get up and move around or try to stand and work however possible. Sitting too long makes you tired, can cause brain fog, increases your insulin levels, and slows down your metabolism. It can even lead to a bad mood, and antsy nature. The body likes to move; give it what it needs.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/thirty-days-to-a-healthier-you-a-daily-checklist-of-wellness-tips/