Saturday, January 26, 2008

A few tips on getting rid of that cold.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed, that I don’t catch a cold this winter. So far, so good!! While reading my ladies magazines, First and Women’s Day, I came across a few tips for getting rid of that cold.

For Congestion and Coughs - Chicken soup with a twist:
Family physician Cathleen London, M.D., fights chest congestion with homemade chicken soup. But to make it extra effective, she adds a whole head of unpeeled garlic (sliced in half crosswise) and two to four unpeeled onions to the broth before cooking. “Quercetin, an antiviral compound concentrated in the skins of garlic and onions, fights the rhinovirus that’s causing the cold”, she explains. (Skins can be strained out before eating since the broth will have been infused with quercetin.) Another perk: Chicken soup (homemake and canned alike) blocks the activity of neutrophils, inflammatory cells that trigger coughs and congestion.

For sore throats and stuffiness – A salt rinse:
To sooth a sore or scratchy throat, Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., gargles a solution of ½ tsp. of kosher salt and 1 cup of lukewarm water. The mix also works as a nasal rinse to clear stuffiness. “Each rinsing washes away 90 percent of germs causing the infection,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. To treat nasal passages: Pour a bit of saltwater into your palm, block one nostril with the other hand and gently sniff the liquid into the open nostril. Repeat on the opposite side.

For Sneezing and Water Eyes – This kind of Echinacea:
A daily dose of Echinacea can shorten a cold by up to four days, say University of Connecticut researchers. But not just any Echinacea will do. “Look for a product containing the active species purpurea and pallida,” suggests Dr. Holly Lucille. A brand she likes: Esberitox ($12.00 for 100 talblets, at, made by Enzymatic Therapy, for which Dr. Lucille serves as an adviser. “These natural immune boosters ensure much milder symptoms,” she says.

Here are a few tips to help keep your family cold and flu-free this season.

Talk a walk: “Moderate exercise like walking for 30 minutes a day can help prevent colds”, says Cornelia Ulrich, Ph.D. Researchers think exercise boosts your immune system by flushing bacteria out of your lungs and sending antibodies through your system more quickly.

Give your toothbrush a smart rinse: Soak it for a minute in Listerine or another antiseptic mouthwash daily. It’ll kill any germs left on your brush from sitting out or cleaning your mouth. No mouthwash? Rinse brushes in hydrogen peroxide, another proven germ-killer.

Skip the hot water: You may think it gives you more germ-killing power when you wash your hands, but hot water dries out hands – leaving them cracked so more viruses can enter through the skin. Instead, use lukewarm water, and soap up twice to remove germs.

Watch for this germ spreader: Doorknobs, especially in public places, where lots of germy hands touch them. To be safe, open doors with a paper towel, or use a hand sanitizer immediately after contact. At home, you can sanitize doorknobs and any other shared items.

Eat the proven germ-fighting foods: “Antioxidant-rich foods boost your immune system and help improve lung function, so you’re less susceptible to germs,” says Dr. Norman H. Edelman, of The American Lung Association. Try Vitamin-C-rich citrus fruits like oranges, or salad greens like arugula, which have anti-viral properties…

Go easy on yourself: Studies show that folks who put too much pressure on themselves get more colds than those who don’t! The reason: Stress can lower your immune system, making you an easy target for germs.

Tip: Reach for zinc at the first sign of sniffles. Studies show that it can shorten the duration of a cold by almost 50%.

Stay well everyone, have a great week!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Two of my favorite low carb recipes.....

For those of you who just don’t get along well with carbs, here are two recipes that are delicious and very low carb. I like snacking on these when I get slightly hungry between meals.

Warm Spinach Cheese Dip:

2 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened, and cut into 1-inch blocks.
1 – 10 oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed, drained.
½ cup – heavy cream or sour cream. ( I use sour cream.)
½ cup – grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 clove – garlic, minced

Combine the ingredients in a food processor or beat with an electric mixer. Spoon into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Serve warm with low-carb vegetables and enjoy!

Crepes in a minute

Ready when you need them, these quick-fixers turn any low-carb leftover into a grab-and-go treat. It can be used to fill with tuna salad, a little grounded hamburger with shredded lettuce and cheese. Yummmm I have also used this with left over chicken or beef, lettuce and cheese.

4 eggs
4 TBL. Heavy cream
Salt and pepper, oregano, or sweet dried basil as desired, depending on the low carb stuffing.
2 TBL. Butter or olive oil

Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat a small amount of butter or olive oil in an 8-inch non-stick frying pan. Pour about ¼ of the mixture into the pan, swirling quickly to cover the bottom with a thin layer. Cook for only a few minutes, until the bottom is brown. Flip gently and lightly brown the other side. Remove from the pan. Repeat for each remaining crepe.

These recipes come from the book: The 7-Day Low-Carb rescue and recovery plan. This is a great book and it has some great recipes. These two recipes are two of my favorites, they are simple and there when you need it.

Have a great weekend everyone.