Unless you have been isolated in a remote retreat, you probably have heard and read all about the swine flu. Comedy Central’s programs “The Daily Show with John Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” are buzzing about it. Vice President Joe Biden angered the airline industry today by advocating that his family stay away from plane trips to avoid getting sick.
It is so important not to panic. Medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that each year 5% to 20% of Americans get the flu. Peak season is October through March.
Most people recover from the flu without serious complications. Reports indicate that folks in the US who had this latest version of the swine flu have recovered without using special medications.
3 Things You Must Do
The key is to focus on the 3 most important basic actions to maintain a healthy immune system:
- Wash your hands frequently and help your children to wash their hands. Sing (or say) the ABC’s to help your children wash for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face, nose or mouth with your hands.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Our bodies recharge and heal while we sleep. Work on reducing stress during the day, too.
- Eat well. Skip the sweets and heavy fat meals in favor of vegetables and fruit, lean protein and legumes and whole grains.
Really? Is that it?
Yes, those are the basics.
What If You Start To Feel Ill?
- Stay home. You will recover faster and will help prevent the spread to others.
- Get rest. Your body is telling you it needs rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids but not alcohol.
An herbal tea like chamomile or ginger can soothe an upset stomach. Green and black teas can help clear your throat. Chicken soup really does work to clear your sinuses. Some friends swear by spicy soups. I made onion soup without the cheese for my younger son when he was under the weather recently.
CK’s Super Fast Onion Soup
Makes 4 servings
2 medium onions, thinly sliced ( I use red onions for the milder taste)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 quart beef broth ( I use one container of organic broth that I buy and keep in the pantry. You can substitute vegetable or chicken.)
A sprinkle of Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blend or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Heat olive oil in a 2 quart pan or dutch oven over medium low heat.
Add onions. Sprinkle with seasoning.
Cook until onions are soft. Stir occasionally and add a little water if they start to stick.
Once onions are soft and translucent, add beef broth.
Turn heat to medium-high until soup starts to bubble, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Taste soup and adjust seasoning to your taste.
Here’s to your good health!
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