In the shadow of the H1N1 scare, I am frightened of the flu, but I think I am more scared of the vaccine. So I wonder..HOW did they know that H1N1 would be so prevalent this fall. I've been hearing for months that it's going to be bad this fall. What's changed besides the kids going back to school? They were in school in the spring...when it all started. Still..I think..what an excellent way to stimulate the economy..Everybody get the vaccine..but only if you can PAY for it. Also..be sure to stock up on your hand sanitizers, Kleenex, pain relievers, and cold remedies. Don't forget your Lysol or your multiple trips to the doc to be tested to see if you actually have H1N1. More stuff to pay for..Idk..seams odd to me, that's all. And even Dr. Oz is not going to vaccinate his children...
So, in lieu of possibly vaccinating ourselves unnecessarily, our family has put together a health plan. I have been researching for months, consulted with several holistic experts as well as a doctor. Here is my plan.
First, I can not stress enough the importance of a well balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The immune system can not function properly if your diet consists of mainly refined sugars or flours, boxed foods or foods served to you through a window. Serve whole grains whenever possible....purchase all natural and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) free whenever possible. Buy organic when you can. Also, fresh is best, but when fresh is not available, buy frozen fruits and vegetables. They have more nutrients than canned...however, canned is better than none. Try your hand at making food from fresh ingredients instead of buying the jarred or boxed variety. It takes time and planning but it's worth it.
Parents...you'll have to be sneaky if you have picky eaters. Some of my favorites are ground up cooked broccoli or spinach in spaghetti sauce. Or mashed bananas or cooked apples (and a dash of flax seed) in pancakes. And don't forget to stick to your guns. Most kids will have to try something as many as 2o times before they will except it and eat it. It will take a while for them to stop craving the sugar laden/starchy foods...but if all you offer is healthy foods, they will eventually eat it. It took my son several months before he would eat a sand which on whole grain bread but now...he doesn't even flinch.
Have you actually looked at what they are feeding our kids at lunch time?? There is some truth to "You are what you eat" Pay attention to people who seem to be sick all the time...see how they eat. Do they eat fast food a lot? Do they eat a lot of refined sugars and packaged foods? Maybe it's their diet that is suppressing their immune system.
Health plan #1: We are eating healthy. Oh sure, we'll have special treats but they will not be the norm. We will have healthy snack options (fresh fruits, veggies, all natural yogurt, hard boiled eggs...etc.) Also, I pack our kid's lunches almost every day.
Take a multi-vitamin every day. I realize that if we are eating correctly, we shouldn't need vitamins but I am not taking any chances. I want to be sure that we aren't lacking any vitamin that our body may use to ward off illnesses. In addition, especially in the winter time when vitamin c laden fruits are scarce or too expensive to buy..get some extra Vitamin C. Either by making sure that you ingest it or pop a pill. Either way...getting ample Vitamin C is an excellent way to help your body stay healthy.
Health Plan #2: We are taking a multi-vitamin daily as well as ensuring that we are getting enough vitamin c..either by ingesting it or by chewable tablets.
Sweeten with Honey. Not only is honey a great natural sweetener, it is also a natural energy booster. It is full of vitamins and antioxidants plus has antibacterial properties. My family has been eating honey almost every day for years. Also, there is has been some evidence that if you ingest honey made by local bees, you will have less of a reaction to seasonal allergies.
Health Plan #3: We are eating honey every day. Either by putting in on toast, sweetening our oatmeal with it or by mixing it with peanut butter for dipping apples in it.
Echinacea is a herb that comes from purple cone flowers. It has been proven to boost the immune system. Echinacea has so many great benefits and is easy to get. It's at the local drug store. As far as children are concerned, it's on the fence. You'll have to do your own research and talk to your own doctor. There has been some concern that it may cause reproduction problems in pre-pubescent children. However, there hasn't been any studies on the effects of this herb on children that I can find. So you'll have to use your own judgement. As for us, I don't feel safe giving it to my children knowing that there is even one iota of a possibility that it could harm them later in life...But as for Greg and I, we'll be taking it.
Health Plan #4: The adults in my house are taking Echinacea.
We all know that hand washing is of extreme importance. Remind your kids to wash their hands at every restroom break..even IF they are not actually using the restroom. They must use as hot as water as they can stand and use soap. I tell my kids to sing "happy birthday" twice while they are lathering. You also need to do the same. A very wise neighbor once told me that having the kids remove their shoes at the door and wash their hands immediately upon returning home from school goes a long way toward keeping germs out of your home. Think about how gross the bus is?? Sticky floors, snot smeared on seats..it's a cesspool.
We don't rely on hand sanitizer but I keep it with me to use in a pinch (like when the nice old guy at Sam's Club who obviously had a cold coughed all over his hands before he took my receipt to check it. When he handed it back, I tossed the receipt and then used sanitizer) I also ALWAYS use those alcohol wipes to wipe off our cart at stores. I also don't allow my children to drink from drinking fountains.
Health plan #5: We are going to keep our hands washed, keep our surroundings washed and stay out of large groups of people if possible.
There you have it...my health plan for this flu season. I don't know if it will keep up from getting the flu or H1N1 but it makes me feel better to know that I am giving our bodies everything they need to effectively fight off viruses.
What's your health plan??
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