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Fighting The Flu

Flu Shots and Antibiotics

Their merits and shortcomings

As we go into the fall and winter we also begin the “flu season”.  Drug stores and even big box stores and supermarkets advertise “free Flu shots”.  Everyone is encouraged to get theirs now but particularly those who are at risk, aged or very young are encouraged to receive the vaccination.

What are the merits of receiving a flu shot?  Or even a better question might be, are there benefits to receiving the shot?  Like any vaccination against any disease the vaccine itself causes you to get a mild case of the “flu”.  The vaccine varies each season.  The exact “flus” you are being vaccinated against determined as to what strains of the flu that are anticipated to be a threat for the upcoming season.  The shot will make you ill to some extent, ranging from mild to fatal symptoms.   The annual vaccine does not protect you from every strain of flu that might occur over the next several months.    The vaccine may have an advantage for a few, but it also carries no guarantee that you will not get the flu and may have high risks.

The best prevention is always a natural method.  Stay well rested.  Drink plenty of water.  If you experience a high-stress event in your life which might lower your resistance increase your vitamin and mineral intake, the amount of water you drink and your vitamin C and D intake.  We also have found two natural products that are very effective.   They are both from Shaklee.  One is NutriFeron- a well-tested, immune booster that helps you ward off the common cold, influenzas and viral infections.  This is Shaklee’s description: “A Shaklee exclusive, NutriFeron is a patented, clinically proven blend of immune-strengthening plant extracts. When used daily, it increases the production of your body’s natural interferon, a critical activator of the immune system. NutriFeron works at the cellular level, by rapidly activating your immune system’s defenses*

Like all Shaklee products, you will note that it is clinically tested.  You can check out the testing results online if you wish.  Our personal experience and that of our clients has been that it is far more effective than any preventative shot because it builds your own body’s defenses.  It is not protecting you from a few flu strains.  It is protecting you against all flu strains as well as other health challenges

A second product that really works if you should happen to feel the symptoms of something dragging you down is a product called Defend and Resist Complex.  This product is great to use “at the first tickle”.

Just recently everyone at my workplace has had a cold type flu that has lasted them up to 3 weeks- sometimes longer – with antibiotics.   It turns into a deep chest cold with a horrible cough and the risk of pneumonia.  I experienced a very stressful week 2 weeks ago and felt my system crash.  I got their “flu” but in under one week, I was back to 100%!  A sore throat hit me one day.  I ignored it.  Then my sinuses started pounding and I felt exhausted.  I hit the Defend and Resist and took a day off from work on day 3.  By day 4 I was pretty much back to normal and by day 6 I was 100% again.   Three co-workers continue to struggle with bad days and good days after one month!!!

Off course I used a diffuser with a mix of Essential Oils as well each evening to help clear my sinuses and relieve the pressure.  A small cotton ball with a few drops of the mixture is great for clearing your sinuses when you are away from home.  I used a Eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint combo.  You can also add a drop or two of lemon or grapefruit.  Adding a few drops of each to a roller bottle with some coconut or olive oil and rolling it over your stuffy sinus area if you do not have a diffuser is also very effective.  (The combination of roller bottle and Defend and Resist when traveling on public transportation such as flying, is very effective in keeping you healthy while you travel.)

Do you have tickles when you speak or if you speak for an extended period of time?  Rather than popping cough drops try chewing strong mint gum.  It helps the production of saliva which helps keep your throat moist and from feeling tight and dry plus the peppermint (or spearmint) will help clear your sinuses.  The gum is better for you that the cough drop.  A cup of warm, strong mint tea is also soothing and effective once you have finish speaking or before bed while breathing your diffuser emissions.

Remember if you take an antibiotic you must always use a probiotic!  Have you ever wondered why you pick up one ailment after the other particularly after using an antibiotic?  Anti-biotics kill off the good bacteria in your intestinal tract.  That good bacteria is your immune system and helps you fight off colds, flus, and infections as well as more serious diseases.  Using anti-biotics will destroy your immune system.   Use them sparingly and always pair them with a probiotic.  Once you have completed your cycle of anti-biotics it doesn’t hurt to double up on your probiotics.  Do not ever depend on the small amount of probiotics in some of the highly advertised, over processed yogurts to do the trick.  You need strong, active, live probiotics to get and keep your immune system in your intestinal tract healthy again.

Have a healthy winter and if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

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Are Your Cleaning Chemicals Killing You?

For several decades we have been made aware of the need to be conscious of things we use and things we do that may harm the universe or make our surrounding less pleasant to live in.  Gone are the black smoke belching smokestacks of the industrial areas.  Our streams and lakes are becoming cleaner.  In many states, glass, aluminum, tin and many plastics, newspapers and several other items are either sit in bins for curbside pick-up or taken to recycling facilities. We have choices for cleaning products that are bio-degradable. There are many ways we have found to help us have cleaner healthier air and water, smaller and fewer landfills and to conserve our resources.

But have you evaluated the products you personally use every day?  This hit home in our house a few days ago.  My husband decided to be helpful and clean our tile floors.  They are a white and cream ceramic tile with white grout that he likes to keep pristine clean.  His cleaning product of choice was chlorine bleach.  The doctor appointment with my 90-year-old mother turned out to be very long and complicated.  When I returned home he was so proud of his accomplishment!  Of course, since we live in Florida and it was in the 90’s out our home was closed up tight and the air was on – no ventilation.   I immediately began to feel a tightening in my chest.

It was evening so we shut down the air and opened some windows. Not enough air flowed through to avoid my having a full-blown asthma attack.  I spent 3 days hacking up chlorine flavored mucus.  It was not fun.  He felt horrible for making me so sick.

A few days later my daughter found an article on a new study entitled “LUNG DAMAGE”.  It linked the damage to many of the cleaning products that are used in our homes every day.   I am sort of a stickler for using safe products and cringe when he asks me to buy bleach.  I am aware of what it can do to me.  Because we basically use chemical free products however he had never seen what bleach or other chemical products could do to me.

So what did the article say?  It was quoting the results of a 20 -year independent study.  The study revealed that “cleaning your home with common, well-known grocery store products such as ammonia, chlorine bleach, quaternary disinfectant compounds, and other dangerous chemicals significantly damage lung tissue in women”.  It stated that using these products even “once a week was as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years”!!!  (ECRHS III Studies)

There are many “green” products out there and some of them are not very effective.  You may have tried them and found them almost useless and given up.  I did!  However, there are some great products and natural cleaners that work well and are safe.

One of my favorite choices is apple cider vinegar.  I have found it cleans white lab coats and keeps them white as effectively as bleach.  One-quarter cup in a load of laundry does wonders.  Hydrogen peroxide is another great sanitizer and whitener and it is also very effective in the laundry.  I use a Shaklee product called H2 as well for many things.  You can mix just 2 drops with water in a spray bottle and it will clean your windows and mirrors fantastically!  It cleans as well as any chemical widow cleaner.  Not only is it safer to use than the chemical cleaner, it also is far less expensive.  A bit higher concentrate of H2 is great for cleaning other surfaces such as tile, appliances, and countertops and it is also much less expensive than its chemically based counterparts. (no pun intended!)

There is another advantage to these products in that if they happen to be getting into by a small child or pet they are not dangerous or as harmful as the chemical products.   They may taste nasty, but they won’t burn their mouths or areas that they are exposed to.

You may want to check out the Get Clean products at where you can try individual products to see if you like them or you can purchase a Get Clean Starter Kit and “clean your way to a healthier home.”

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10 Ways Your Body Uses Water

10 Ways Your Body Uses Water

  • Acts as a cushion for your brain and spinal cord
  • Aids in the making of hormones and the chemicals needed to send information from your brain to your body.
  • Creates saliva – needed to start the digestive process
  • Helps regulate your body temperature through seat and respiration
  • It helps transport nutrients and oxygen through your body by keeping your blood at a healthy thickness.
  • Helps convert food into nutrients that your cells can use
  • Keeps your cells hydrated so they can accept nutrients
  • Helps cushion and lubricate your joints
  • Helps flush waste from your body
  • Helps hydrate your skin to keep it healthy and young looking

Glass of Water

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Essential Oils

A couple of years ago one of our young grandsons was being challenged with migraine headaches.  They were severe to the extent that he was missing a lot of school.  He was at risk of being held back in his grade because of inadequate attendance. My daughter researched every possible option of relieving the headaches that appear with an unknown cause. If he took some an over the counter headache remedy at the onset he could generally overcome a headache. However, if the onset occurred while he was at school that was impossible.

By the next school year, she had come up with a couple of solutions. Fluorescent lighting is one of the triggers, so he requests to sit near a window with natural light.  This reduces the effects of the fluorescent lighting. She found a possible second solution she hoped would work. She combined some essential oils in a roller bottle for easy application. He can take his roll-on to school and does not need a nurse’s permission to use it. At a headache onset, he rolls the oils over his temples, across his forehead and the back of his neck. It has been a success!

*Nanette Herbert’s essential oil formula for Mason’s migraines – 5 drops peppermint, 5 drops lemon and 5 drops of lavender in 1 oz of olive oil as the carrier oil.  Mason has very sensitive skin, so this should be “safe” for most skin types.  However, peppermint is a “hot” oil so use cautiously until you see how your skin reacts. This is also for a 12 year- old (10 when he began using the roll-on) so for an adult, we might suggest a more potent recipe.

A recent second exposure we had to essential oils was a nice bottle of lavender essential oil that we found on our pillows when staying at a 5-star resort early last fall. The instructions were to apply at our temples and/or back of the neck. We tried it and slept like babies for the whole week!  Because of the experience we have invested in a lavender spritz.  We also invested in a couple of different lavender based essential mixes that we use in a diffuser each night.  We find we fall to sleep quicker, rest better and feel more refreshed with the lavender essential oil usage.

Sleep and good quality sleep is important as that is the time when our bodies regenerate. If you currently use a drug to fall asleep you may want to try this remedy: *1 drop of lavender essential oil with 1 teaspoon of fractionated (liquid) coconut oil – massage over your abdomen (most absorbent part of your body) before going to sleep. (recipe from The HEALING POWER of ESSENTIAL OILS BY Eric Zielinski, D.C. )

After attending an online seminar by Eric Zielinski, D.C. we incorporated a few other essential oils usages into our home and everyday life. As a SAF Practitioner, I also decided I need to learn more about the oils and their effects on our moods and medical condition as they are often recommended as part of the therapy for my clients. Since each of us is biochemically different there is no exact science or perfect solution in essential oil usage for everyone for one specific condition. However, through shared experiences on this blog, it is my hope that we can come up with possible solutions that may help better the lives of some of our blog viewers.

Essential Oils

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Why is obesity a major problem in our society today?

There are multiple factors that contribute to the obesity epidemic today.  We will talk about a few of them in this blog.

When I was in school a fat or overweight child was almost never seen.  I remember 1 girl in our class in our rural community who was obese.   She seemed to have an eating disorder.  Her mother had to lock the fridge and freezer because she would eat everything!   But I dare say if you check a class of 80 students today you would find several children that could stand to lose a bit of weight!

The same is also true of adults.  It was rare 50 years ago to see someone that topped the scales at 300 pounds but today we talk about people who weigh 400 or even 600 pounds.  How did we get into such a huge (pardon the pun) weight problem?

Several issues are to blame.  Lack of exercise is one of those.  But there are many others.  Look at our food pyramid recommended to us by our government.  It is quite askew.  I weigh more thanObesity I should but if I ate 6 to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta each day I would weigh 600 pounds! Those items are extremely over processed and mostly nutritional empty except for their carbohydrates and calories (a HUGE cause of insulin resistance!).

What should our meals be built around if not carbs?  Protein, vegetables cooked and raw, green leafy and root, some fruit (never juices- just berries) and healthy fats.  We have spent the last 50 years to avoiding most of the healthy fats– butter, real cream, real whipped cream, olive oil, avocado, coconut and coconut oil, well marbled, grass-fed beef, cheeses and full-fat dairy products, real bacon, eggs and the list goes on.

One little part of the pyramid is correct.  Use sweets sparingly.   Also, cut out the sugar, sugar substitutes, soft drinks and other high caloric beverages and you will become much healthier.  Many of our clients are shocked at how much weight they have lost by just by changing their beverage of choice from soda or diet soda to water.

Ask yourself, “What does my family’s food pyramid look like?”

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Drinking Water for Better Health

Did you know that our bodies are 70 percent water?   They are and therefore keeping properly hydrated has many health benefits. Today we have many sources of water available to us.  In this blog we will discuss some of the benefits of drinking water, how much water should we drink and what our best sources of water are.

  • How much water should we drink? The general rule is to divide your body weight by 2.  That will give you the estimated number of ounces of water you should drink each day.  About 1/3rd of that amount should be drunk early in the day.  Example:  A 120 pound person should drink 60 ounces, or just shy of 2 quarts of water per day.  20 ounces should be drunk in the first few hours with 8 to 10 ounces of that drank on rising.  The objective of this early morning quantity is to two-fold: it is to flush the toxins that our body has processed for elimination and to replace the 6 to 8 ounces of fluid we lost while sleeping.   There are some circumstances that may require us to drink additional water.  If you work out, work a job that is heavy labor, play sports, spend time in the sun, live or work in a dry or windy climate, have a fever or are pregnant you will require additional water to replace the water you are losing through the skin.
  • What are the benefits of water? As stated before water hydrates the body.  It helps keep your skin supple, it cleanses your blood from toxins and keeps it from being too thick or Glass of Waterconcentrated, it helps regulate blood sugar levels, it aids in digestion and the elimination process.  Water also helps keep the joints lubricated and the brain oxygenated; aiding also in brain function and mental clarity.  Water can help lower your blood pressure, relieve constipation, and aid in weight loss.
  • What are the best waters to drink? Spring water and good quality well water are the healthiest waters to drink.  They have natural trace minerals in them which actually help our cells absorb the water and transport oxygen in the blood.  Water from an Osmosis filtering system is the second best as the impurities have been removed and a few of the trace minerals remain.  Bottled water in plastic bottles should be avoided as the plastics can give off harmful gases if they are exposed to temperatures above 85 degrees while in storage.  Vitamin waters and flavored waters may alter the molecular structure of the water and lessen its cleansing and rehydrating abilities.
  • Adding electrolytes to your water: There are times that you may want to add electrolytes to your water.  This is particularly true if someone is ill or recovering from illness if you have perspired heavily from work or sports participation or been in extremely warm conditions.  Stay away from electrolyte added beverages that have artificial sweeteners or sugars added, high fructose corn syrup, added colors or dyes.  We recommend Shaklee’s Performance Low-Calorie Electrolyte Drink – an enhanced electrolyte drink additive that is available in 2 flavors.  Not only is this product used by NASA for our astronauts but is used by many professional athletes and Olympians.

Check out other Shaklee products here.