The CDC has just declared the 2013 influenza season an epidemic. Sadly, it has already proven a potential killer. A great many people are looking for small, natural things they can do that might ward off the flu. Here are seven actions anyone can take.
Just as much as possible, and not to a degree that’s unfriendlier than is comfortable. But if you can walk the distance to work rather than using public transportation, this could be a good week to get a little extra aerobic exercise. You can fist-pump casual acquaintances rather than shake hands. While we’re being a bit antisocial, if it’s the case that you’d just as well rather watch the Playoffs and Super Bowl at home, now you have an extra excuse. Cough cough.
See? That’s two recommendations in one. I bring value, baby. It’s time to put the nachos aside for a weekend or two. And frankly, this is one way you can simply make yourself better overall: do you have vegetable oil in your cabinet? Throw it out. From now on, you’ll be spending more money on olive oil. Olive oil on popcorn, a light salting. Halfway into the first bowl you’ll stop missing butter. That, plus nuts. Mixed nuts will always be more expensive then peanuts, but that doesn’t mean peanuts ought to be considered “cheap” in any way. The fact that they’re inexpensive doesn’t mean they aren’t an absolute delicacy. Enjoy yourself.
Do I have to? Look at it this way. Even in the event that you aren’t giving yourself lung cancer, your system is expending quite a bit of its strength fighting it off of you. Give it a break during a flu epidemic as much as you can.
If you actually do like carrot slices and celery while watching the Playoffs, bless you.
Strawberries Yes, strawberries.
This is for the rest of us. Get the big bags of spinach, mixed greens, or, if you’re weak, lettuce. Now, you know that most of stuff we like the most isn’t the best for you? Throw all that on top of the lettuce. If you just have to have meat, bomb the greens with bacon. For many, it’s the cheesiness. Of course it’s better not to smother your greens in bleu cheese dressing, but if that’s the only way you can eat greens, do it.
Don’t be a baby. Take about three garlic cloves. Slice them very fine. Put them in your mouth and gulp them down with water. You’ll be somewhere between just tasting bad to viruses and being walking poison to them. Works on vampires, too-never been bitten, not once. Do this at least daily; I prefer twice a day. Also, remember what we said about olive oil? Slick your pan with it, turn up the heat, and throw that handful of garlic in. Lightly fry the garlic slices in the olive oil. There’s all you need for an excellent spaghetti sauce. Add parmesan cheese as needed (and needed,) Many of us use olive oil, but only in a gingerly way-sprinkled onto something, perhaps. It’s time to stop that. The same is true with garlic. People worry that they will stink. Well, if we all use garlic we’ll all stink the same way, all together.
Use hot water, as hot as you can stand. Hotter! Wash for 20 seconds, which very few of us really do, but should. Be sure to get your nails, and where nail and skin meet. Another thing: it doesn’t really matter whether the soap is “antibiotic.” Wash thoroughly wish soap, and that will be adequate.
7. Sleep and relax.
In ways other than how we nourish ourselves during this flu season, this is a good time to get extra sleep, plenty of rest while awake, and as much as possible reduce stress. It’s better to avoid alcohol, but it’s natural to want a drink during the Playoffs, or during any relaxing weekend. Enjoy a hot sake. Enjoy a good wine. It’s also good vodka weather. Most drinkers have some moments when, if they err, it’s on the side of drinking too much beer, and other moments when if they err, it’s on spending a little heavily on something very fine, but then they’d rather wished there were a little more to drink by halftime of the late game Sunday. A flu epidemic is a good time to err in the latter direction, if one must. Don’t drink and drive. Think how silly you’ll feel if you dodge the flu only to wrap yourself around a phone pole.
Here’s a free No. 8, just in parting. These natural ways to prevent the flu are good practices at any time. Hygeia!
By Todd Jackson