tips

Be a Flu Fighter

You can’t go anywhere right now without seeing a sign for Flu shots.  Everywhere you turn there is a clinic set up offering a simple shot to help protect you against the flu.

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I’m not going to say whether you should or shouldn’t get the shot, but I am going to say that you should do everything you can to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this mean little “bug”.

The best defense against the flu is a strong offence.  Don’t let the coughing, headache, body ache, fever, chills, vomiting and everything else virus get you this year.

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Here are some simple things-reminders you can do to help protect yourself.

1.)  Wash you hands!  You touch people’s hands, doors, railings and elevator buttons all day long.  Have you ever thought what other people are leaving behind…gahhhh can you say gross? Not near a sink…no worries, always, I mean always carry a good hand sanitizer with you.

2.)  Nutrition. Eat foods that are full of antioxidants.  Fruits and vegetables are your best bet in that department.  Think the colours of the rainbow over a dark leafy base.  You can also supplement with vitamins.  Look for vitamins A, B, C, D and E.  A good multi will do the trick.  Don’t wait till you feel symptoms…tis the season!

3.)  Get outside in the fresh air.  Just because its cold out, you need to get out and take in some fresh air.  If the sun is shining, go suck it in.  The lack of daylight hours this time of year can zap your vitamin D so why not get it the natural way to help.

4.)  Exercise!  Yes, believe it or not exercise can help fight off the nasty little virus.  Studies have shown that exercise can boost you immune system function and a stronger healthier body is better equipped to keep you going strong.

5.)  Rest.  Sleep and recovery are always essential, but as we gear up for the heavy celebration season, you really need to help your body recover and rest with sleep.

6.)  Be a considerate parent.  If your wee ones are under the weather, don’t send them to school.  Even if they don’t have the flu, you’re just asking for their weak bodies to suck up the petri dish of disease that is the classroom.  And if your child does have the flu, for goodness sakes, keep them home.  Yes its tough to keep them home that extra day, but other parents will thank you and there isn’t anything like a little extra cuddle time with your babies.

7.)  Cover your mouth when you cough.  No, this doesn’t help  you much, but when others see you doing it, they may remember to do it as well.  Cough into your elbow, not your hands (refer to point 1).

8.)  Avoid refined sugar.  Ever wonder why Flu season starts just after Halloween, ramps up over Christmas and settles down at Easter???  Sugar!!!

9.)  Mind your minerals.  Just like vitamins, minerals are best taken before the onset of the flu. Zinc, selenium and Iron have all been proven beneficial in the flu fight.

10.) Lot’s o’ liquids. Stay hydrated. Water is a must!

There is no way to guarantee yourself a flu free year, but if you take these steps, you will be increasing your odds.  Tis the season to be a germaphobe so celebrate!

 

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Halloween Tips & Tricks

Halloween is today!! It can be a scary time…….a scary food time. My former fat girl self needs to practice a lot of restraint walking up and down the isles that are lined with candy. Not to mention when it comes to inspecting my children’s candy when they get home ;(

Here are a few tips that help me and my family make our way thru this scary calorie time.
 
1.) “Fun” size candy is not food and those little bars of sugar add up–so if you think one or two wont hurt–they will!
Take a look at these numbers:
Calories Fat(g) Sugar(g)
Snickers  – Calories 72 Fat(g) 4 Sugar (g) 7
Reese’s PB Cup – Calories 80 Fat(g) 4.5 Sugar (g) 7
Milky Way – Calories 76 Fat(g) 3 Sugar (g) 11
M&M’s – Calories 79 Fat(g) 4 Sugar (g) 12
KitKat – Calories 73 Fat(g) 4 Sugar (g) 7
 
That’s a lot of sugar in a one bite snack.  Too much fat for one mouthful and a lot of empty calories that do you no good! And those are the numbers for just one little tiny bite, and stop lying when you say you will just have one!! 
 
Think about this:
 
-2 “fun sized” chocolate bars will require a brisk walk for 50 minutes: Just for 2!
-20 pieces of candy corn will require you to run the stairs for 25 minutes! Is it worth it??
-3 “fun sized” chocolate bars? You will have to jog for 30 minutes!
 
2.)  Those pumpkin seeds!!! Clean,rinse and dry them.   Toss them with 1 tbsp extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil and mix with a sprinkle of sea salt or cinnamon (get creative–any spice/seasoning will do) and put them in a tray in the oven bake at 350 for 20mins. Delicious and good for you.
 
3.) Don’t give out candy at all.  The less that is around you, the less you will be tempted.  Give out stickers, pencils, spider rings, glow sticks.  There are a lot of options other than candy! (Just watch out for the eggs for being “those people”.)
 
4.) Pack up the candy and find an organization to you can donate it to.  There are agencies that take candy and ship it to soldiers overseas.  There are also some dentists that buy the candy from you.  Great options!!
 
5.) This is a learning/teaching experience for your kids—read this one carefully: THEY DO NOT NEED BAGS OF CANDY! Do you want them to battle their weight when they are older? Do you really want to deal with kids that are spinning out on sugar???  Here is another message.  Please be nice to your kids teachers. Teachers do not need kids that have lunch boxes filled with Halloween candy who are spinning out of control all day.
 
Make this Halloween different.
 
Please do not hang on to this candy for months—you or your family do not need it.  We have “Harry the Halloween Fairy”  that comes in and steals candy after 3 days (which gets rationed while the kids have it.) Then…off to the soldiers.
 
Healthy Halloween Recipes:
 
Baked Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
 
1/2c rolled outs
1 cup water
1/4-1/2c pumpkin puree
2 tbsp of non fat cottage cheese or greek yogurt
1/4 tsp baking powder
dash of sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp vanilla
-preheat over to 350
-combine all ingredients in an oven proof bowl-mix thoroughly
-bake for 30min
 
  • Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and contains anti-aging alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs).
  • Cinnamon keeps your hunger at bay by stabilizing fluctuating blood sugar levels.
  • Nonfat cottage cheese/greek yogurt has 14-18 grams of  protein in a half cup serving.
  • Oats  soluble fiber and keep your heart healthy
Mint Monster Protein Shake
 
1 scoop of chocolate or vanilla boot camp protein powder
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp mint extract
1 handful of kale or spinach–makes it uber healthy and green!!!!
3-4 ice cubes (optional)
 
Mix, blend and enjoy