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Fight the Flu Naturally

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If recent hype about flu season has left you in a frenzy, now’s the time to take a deep breath and relax. You don’t have to sit in a bubble or raid CVS for a box of surgical masks. Dr. Tina Zigo, naturopathic physician at the Center for Natural Healing in Monroe, shares her tips for staying well without the worry.

1. Nourish yourself with fruits and vegetables. Consuming local produce is one way to strengthen the immune system. Dr. Zigo recommends kale, an antioxidant-rich, anti-cancer leafy green plant, which is great in salads and soups. Dr. Zigo bakes kale leaves in the oven with sea salt and olive oil (she calls them “kale chips”). Other veggies such as broccoli, asparagus, carrots and tomatoes, and fruits such as apples, oranges, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, peaches and pears offer great health benefits, too. These natural foods are high in vitamins like A and C, which are essential in fighting viruses and infections.

2. Pack in the protein. Don’t believe the myth that you’ll stay healthy just by eating your veggies. Dr. Zigo says lean protein (from local, chemical and hormone-free poultry, beef, fish, eggs or soy products) is also necessary for maintaining proper immune function, building lean muscle growth and keeping up your energy level. 

3. Wash your hands frequently. You’ve probably heard this one a zillion times. And now, we’ll make it a zillion and one. But contrary to popular belief, you do not need to use antibacterial soap. It can actually weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and may eventually, after long-term use, cause the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. Washing your hands with regular liquid soap for 30 seconds is just fine. If you can’t get to a sink, Dr. Zigo suggests a natural hand sanitizer with lavender and grain alcohol, available online or in local nature stores. 

4. Try immune-enhancing supplements*. Add a bonus to your daily multivitamin; take a daily probiotic. Probiotics are active cultures or live microorganisms known as the “good” bacteria that fight the germs that cause illness. Dr. Zigo recommends acidophilus capsules, which you can find in any supermarket or drugstore. Also, Dr. Zigo suggests goldenseal, a natural antibacterial agent used for many years to help strengthen the immune system. A daily multi-immune vitamin with goldenseal and echinacea would be ideal.

5. Be sure to get your ZzZs. Most of us know that adults usually need anywhere from six to eight hours of sleep to function clearly and feel their best during the day. Having trouble falling asleep? A nice cup of warm chamomile or caffeine free herbal tea should do the trick.  

6. Invest in oil of oregano. No, we’re not talking about olive oil mixed with oregano flakes. This is not the stuff you soak up with bread. Oil of oregano is a very powerful herb that has been known to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi. It’s even used on cuts, burns and sores to prevent infections. I take a bottle of it everywhere, especially on vacation (just in case I feel like I’m getting sick). You can find it at any nature store (or on Amazon.com if you want to save money) in the form of capsules or liquid. Dr. Zigo says to take two capsules twice a day, or three drops of the liquid form under the tongue twice a day to prevent illness. The taste of the pure oil is extremely bitter, but you can mask it by mixing it in juice or tea. Trust me, it’s worth it.

7. Watch your stress load. Stress, to a certain extent, is good for us. It’s our reaction to life’s changes, and forces us to perform necessary daily tasks (e.g. our job!). But too much stress can wear us down and harm the immune system. So, what can you do to reduce stress? Exercise! Meditate! Laugh! Find the “funny” in every situation. Chuckle at yourself; don’t take yourself too seriously. When life seems too tough, turn on Nick at Nite and watch an “I Love Lucy” episode. There’s nothing funnier than watching Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance stuff their mouths with chocolates. Above all, Dr. Zigo stresses the need to relax and take some time each day to unwind. “Breathe. always take a step back and be in the moment. Give yourself five minutes a day to meditate,” she says. 

Dr. Tina Zigo is a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of Connecticut. Visit her Web site, www.ctrnaturalhealing.com for more information on her practices, for some healthy recipes and for a list of events and health seminars at the Center for Natural Healing.

 

*Know your body and talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. 

 

love holly

“Shock-the-Pants-off-Your-Man (or Woman)” Sauce
There’s nothing sexy about brown rice pasta (when you can’t have gluten, there aren’t many options). But cloak it in a warm, spicy red sauce and it’s like slipping into a smooth, silk gown and saying, “Look at me, baby. Give me a whirl. Give me a twirl with your fork.”
Today, I took Grandma’s meat sauce recipe and va-va vamped it into my own version of smoky arrabiata with bits of shredded pork tenderloin. That’s right. Mama’s got a brand new man-grabbin’ sauce.
Arrabiata means “angry” in Italian, but this crushed red pepper-and-tomato sauce is the gastronomical equivalent to world peace, or simply, make-up sex.
Try this recipe tonight. It’ll blow stars out of the sky, and absolutely, positively stun your guy (and if you’re a guy reading this, make the sauce for your lady and you’ll have an Herbal Essences commercial waiting to happen).
What You Need:
    * 2 cans crushed tomatoes (preferably from San Marzano)
    * 1 large white or Vidalia onion, diced
    * 1 fresh pork tenderloin–1 lb. (can serve up to 4 people)
    * 1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    * 1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
    * fresh basil (dried, if you must)
    * fresh parsley
    * 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine (good, drinkable quality)
    * brown rice pasta (or any other pasta if you’re not gluten intolerant)
What To Do:
   1. In a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, sear your pork tenderloin in olive oil and brown it on all sides.
   2. Then, you can choose to: (a) wrap the tenderloin in foil and bake at 325° for 45 minutes per pound or (b) set the tenderloin aside to rest, then add to sauce in a few minutes so it cooks in the sauce for a few hours. Choose (a) if you’re short on time.
   3. Add a bit more olive oil, then add the onions and some of the red-pepper flakes. Allow the onions to become soft and translucent.
   4. *I don’t use garlic in this sauce. To me, there’s nothing too romantic about garlic breath on a date night. But if you must, you can add a few crushed garlic cloves to the onions as they’re sweating in the olive oil.
          Grandma’s Tip: Chew on sprigs of fresh parsley to neutralize garlicky aftertaste.
   5. In order to de-glaze your pan, turn down the heat and pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine in the pot. Turn the heat back up.
   6. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley and a few more red pepper flakes (if desired).
   7. Cover and simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
   8. You may allow the sauce to simmer while the pork bakes, and then once the pork is completely cooked, shred it and add it to the sauce.
   9. OR let the seared pork finish cooking in the sauce for 1-2 hours on medium low-to-medium heat. It will become tender and fall apart in the sauce.
  10. Cook your pasta in boiling water until al dente (about 12 minutes).
  11. Ladle some of the sauce onto a skillet over medium heat, adding the cooked pasta and a bit of the pasta water to prevent it from sticking. Then toss in some extra basil and parsley. To make it hot-hot-hot, sprinkle even more pepper. Mix everything together, then turn off the heat.
Serve on a clean, warm plate with a glass of red wine. Jaws (and perhaps pants) will be dropping right about now.”Shock-the-Pants-off-Your-Man (or Woman)” Sauce
There’s nothing sexy about brown rice pasta (when you can’t have gluten, there aren’t many options). But cloak it in a warm, spicy red sauce and it’s like slipping into a smooth, silk gown and saying, “Look at me, baby. Give me a whirl. Give me a twirl with your fork.”
Today, I took Grandma’s meat sauce recipe and va-va vamped it into my own version of smoky arrabiata with bits of shredded pork tenderloin. That’s right. Mama’s got a brand new man-grabbin’ sauce.
Arrabiata means “angry” in Italian, but this crushed red pepper-and-tomato sauce is the gastronomical equivalent to world peace, or simply, make-up sex.
Try this recipe tonight. It’ll blow stars out of the sky, and absolutely, positively stun your guy (and if you’re a guy reading this, make the sauce for your lady and you’ll have an Herbal Essences commercial waiting to happen).
What You Need:
    * 2 cans crushed tomatoes (preferably from San Marzano)
    * 1 large white or Vidalia onion, diced
    * 1 fresh pork tenderloin–1 lb. (can serve up to 4 people)
    * 1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    * 1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
    * fresh basil (dried, if you must)
    * fresh parsley
    * 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine (good, drinkable quality)
    * brown rice pasta (or any other pasta if you’re not gluten intolerant)
What To Do:
   1. In a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, sear your pork tenderloin in olive oil and brown it on all sides.
   2. Then, you can choose to: (a) wrap the tenderloin in foil and bake at 325° for 45 minutes per pound or (b) set the tenderloin aside to rest, then add to sauce in a few minutes so it cooks in the sauce for a few hours. Choose (a) if you’re short on time.
   3. Add a bit more olive oil, then add the onions and some of the red-pepper flakes. Allow the onions to become soft and translucent.
   4. *I don’t use garlic in this sauce. To me, there’s nothing too romantic about garlic breath on a date night. But if you must, you can add a few crushed garlic cloves to the onions as they’re sweating in the olive oil.
          Grandma’s Tip: Chew on sprigs of fresh parsley to neutralize garlicky aftertaste.
   5. In order to de-glaze your pan, turn down the heat and pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine in the pot. Turn the heat back up.
   6. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley and a few more red pepper flakes (if desired).
   7. Cover and simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
   8. You may allow the sauce to simmer while the pork bakes, and then once the pork is completely cooked, shred it and add it to the sauce.
   9. OR let the seared pork finish cooking in the sauce for 1-2 hours on medium low-to-medium heat. It will become tender and fall apart in the sauce.
  10. Cook your pasta in boiling water until al dente (about 12 minutes).
  11. Ladle some of the sauce onto a skillet over medium heat, adding the cooked pasta and a bit of the pasta water to prevent it from sticking. Then toss in some extra basil and parsley. To make it hot-hot-hot, sprinkle even more pepper. Mix everything together, then turn off the heat.
Serve on a clean, warm plate with a glass of red wine. Jaws (and perhaps pants) will be dropping right about now.

5 Responses

  1. Danielle Travali says:

    Thanks, Big Tony!

  2. BIGTONY says:

    holly for govenor!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. BIGTONY says:

    holly you are the best!!!!!

  4. I was really amazed with the Oil of Oregano for I have not known it to be that effective until I tried it. A friend of mine told me once that Oregano is really good for the health but I just ignored it until one time I saw an info on the internet about the antibacterial effect it gives to our body. And then again I saw this blog when browsing about Flu remedies since I am down with flu this time.

    Thanks to this info! I have tried it this morning and I feel a lot better this time.

  5. “Oil of oregano is a very powerful herb that has been known to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi. It’s even used on cuts, burns and sores to prevent infections.”

    Yes, we’ve spent many years researching oil of oregano and its properties and it is a great way to combat a wide variety of maladies. However, it is important to distinguish what type of oil of oregano you are taking as one is more concentrated than the other.