Caroline said that her teacher was talking about the flu this year-- it's now reached the epidemic category. I just happened to have read half of a great little booklet on flu last evening. Flu viruses are nasty little cells that are constantly mutating into something new, which is why it's hard for the medical community to come up with a vaccine that will be correct for the current year's outbreak. They have to decide which flu vaccine to make 9 months ahead of time and this is only based on the migratory patterns of birds, mainly in Asia and some other factors. Basically it's an educated guess. (I won't go into all the types of HN viruses.) If there's an actual pandemic, like in 1918, then we will be in desperate times. There are not enough vaccines to vaccinate everyone, and anyways, vaccines have a very low effective rate in our older population. The effectiveness in children and babies is almost 0%!
So, what's the best thing to do? First build up your immunity! I think that we are seeing this epidemic because the basic American diet is deplete of nutrition and full of sugar. All you have to do is observe a person who gets sick very frequently. They tend to eat a lot of simple carbs (which is basically sugar), and eat a low-fat diet (which means they probably aren't getting enough protein either). This is just my personal observation. Even at my house where we try to cut out a lot of non-nutritious food, I think Nathaniel eats the most desserts and snack foods, and he's the first one who gets sick. Regular exercise helps a lot too and enough sleep each night. I tend to be the next one who gets sick because of that.
My farmer (did I tell you that I love my farmers?!!) just sent an email about building up your immunity today, and I thought I'd share it with you. It's concise and there's links to recipes. I wish you all could get food from my farmer, but since that's not possible, with a little googling, you may be able to find someone similar close to you. Mine is two hours away but has a drop point here. If you can't get organic or raw, then at least do these things with regular food (though pasteurized milk won't work). I would look for plain yogurt that doesn't have anything added and has on the container that it's full of probiotics, then make your own smoothie!
If you do come in contact with someone who is sick, the best thing you can do is rest and take some precautions. From a homeopathic view, the best thing to do would be to take a dose of oscillococcinum. (I just sent one along with Craig on his business trip since he'll be flying in planes right next to lots of people!) Oscillococcinum is the darling of homeopathy because even allopathic doctors have recognized how good it is at fighting the symptoms of flu. If you take multivitamins, then making sure you're getting a B-complex (for energy) and extra D is good (especially in the winter when there's not much sun), and even C (to fight off colds). That isn't homeopathy but it's what a lot of natural doctors and regular family doctors recommend. Of course if you're eating and drinking the things below, then you're getting a lot of this in your food.
If you or someone you care for comes down with the flu, and you want to know what homeopathic remedy would work to help them, then write to me or consult a good book on it. The best thing to do is to pay attention to any symptoms, especially those out of the ordinary: is the person very thirsty or not at all, do they have a dry cough or wet cough and when does it come on, high fever or low fever, chills or not, delusional dreams, do symptoms appear more on one side of the body than the other, what makes them feel better, what makes them feel worse? I have several charts that make it easy to find the remedy best matched to the symptoms of the patient. And next, the best thing you can do is have them rest! I keep saying that but you'd be surprised at how many people ignore the first signs of flu. And if they seem really bad, please call a doctor or get them into the ER! This is usually not the case but some flu strains have killed a person in an 8-hour time frame. If they are having trouble breathing, this is a bad sign because it's attached to tissue in their lungs.
I hope that none of you get it this winter! And the suggestions below are not only healthy but yummy!!:
It takes Flu Sickness to remind us of Wellness?
Last week, health officials reported that deaths for the current flu season have officially crossed the line into "epidemic" territory... And suddenly we notice an sharp increase in kefir and soup bone and stew hen orders!
We all know we should feed our families immune-boosting super-foods all year long, but reality is that many of us wait till we see others falling ill to jump-start our wellness plan. This panicky, last minute stab at immunity-boosting yields puny results compared to a real pantry commitment. But at least it's a start and may yield better food plans for stronger family vim and vigor the rest of the year.
This morning I asked Dawn to write out preparation instructions for some of our family's favorite super-immune boosting foods based on her years of experience and traditional wisdom passed through her mother and grandmother. She always says, "Oh, the ladies all know how to do this without me telling them." I assure her that even if you do know, you will still be glad to learn new tips from her. She is such a feeling woman... She doesn't want to offend your intelligence! The links below take you to Dawn's instructions. Be Well!
- Raw Milk Itself: This is the most basic and easiest to understand of all the super-foods, yet I sometimes forget that not everyone has grasped the basics. Raw milk is a prebiotic as well as a probiotic. It contains 50 to 60 living essential-for-life enzymes and is one of the only sources for crucial raw fats and proteins.
- Raw Milk Kefir: Our family has observed that we very rarely get winter-time flues, viruses and colds when we each drink a pint of kefir per day. Raw milk kefir is in truth super-charged raw milk. It has all the same nutrients but it is maybe 100 times stronger with probiotics and enzymes and it is even low to no sugar since the lactose has been consumed by the lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria and turned into lactic acid.
- Beef Soup Bone Broth: This one you know, I’m sure. If you are not familiar with the health benefits here is an article you may like. One money saving tip: most recipes and instructions online tell you to use marrow bones. We have found that any bones will do the trick. And the actual beef soup bones are a lot cheaper since most everyone else is buying marrow and knuckle bones!
- Chicken Backs and Necks and Stewing Hens: Also know as Jewish penicillin. If you buy 20 lb or more backs and necks we have a special volume discount for $1.50/lb.
- Whole Chicken: with all the fat and broth. Remember, these chickens are soy-free and raised on organic pastures and moved three times a day to new grass so you do not need to be afraid of the fat. It is quite possibly the most nourishing part of the broth... chock full of omega-3 and CLA.
- Beef Roast Stew: This is my favorite Sunday Lunch. Dawn starts one of our organic grass-fed roasts (Chuck roast is my favorite) in the crock pot at about 8:00 Saturday evening. After simmering all night and up till we come home from church at 12:00! Oh wowzers! With nothing but a little salt and pepper, The best steak you ever tasted can just go fly a kite. It cant hold a candle to the chuck roast. But remember, this is only if you follow Dawn instructions to the tee!
Our Large/Extra large soy free Eggs are not limited this Winter. So eat to your heart's content. They have not been marked "limited" for a long time, but someone just asked us over the weekend if they dare buy more than 2 dozen per week so I thought I better be sure you all know that there are no limits.
Kick-Start your Family's New Year's Resolution! If you haven't watched Genetic Roulette, now is your chance. You owe it to your family and children. Their health and wellbeing depends on your awareness and action! Do not allow Monsanto to use your children as lab rats for their "Playing-God-Gamble." Dawn and I and our children watched this documentary right after it was released. We were stunned...and we thought we knew a lot about GMO's!
The Unpasteurized Organic Cider is Seasonal. Yes, sigh, all good things come to an end. Oyler's tell me that they will be done pressing cider sometime soon. We have some frozen too so it may last for a little after that, but I just thought to pass on the advanced notice. You may want to buy extra and freeze your own if it is important to you.
We sincerely wish you and your families the best for the new year. Working together in 2013 we can make great food even better!
~Edwin and Dawn Shank and Family
"It's a sad commentary on a civilization's idea of health care when it's collectively considered normal to know your family doctor and your family dentist but considered strange and revolutionary to know your family farmer." ~E.S.