Achy, Coughy, Yucky – Flu Season

Achy, Coughy, Yucky – Flu Season

Last week I received a note from my daughters school. It was requesting permission to administer the flu shot and it dawned on me. It’s FLU SEASON!

I had the flu once in my lifetime. I was a teenager then, I think about 8th grade and I contracted the flu . I was down for about 2 weeks. When I returned to school I was a bag of bones (keep in mind I was already border line size zero). At this stage I looked like death and I felt like I had just been resurrected.

I maybe exaggerating when I say this but the flu virus has got to be one of the most nastiest infectious type contagion known to man (Yea I know AIDs exists but stay with me here). I remember my body aching, my eyes barely opening, sleeping for hours on end, not eating, not even having energy to get up and bathe. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

Now that I am a parent of two beautiful daughters I always get paranoid when its flu season. If I couldn’t handle it at age 13/ 14 years old certainly my babies can’t and worse now the strain has evolved and is much more deadlier than some umpteen years ago.

According to the flu season is proving to be a very active one this year and the vaccine is just not as effective as it use to be against the dominant strain H3N2.

While there has always been a debate on whether to get the FLU shot, how you still end up with the flu after receiving it and if it is effective at all is always tossed in the air I have no issues with the shot per say. I’ve gotten it before and so have my kids and we somehow managed to not contract the virus that year.  Though, it is a bit alarming when the CDC tells you “hey this really isn’t as effective as it use to be”.

I’ve decided to be more proactive in my approach to this deadly season. Of course we practice the norm washing hands, dousing ourselves in sanitizer,  bleach, bleach, bleach everywhere!!!! But I’m not with them 24/7.  My kids are around other kids and more than just a fruit snack is going to be shared.

Prevention is always the best cure so I over compensate when it comes to fruits and veggies especially berries that are full of natural antibiotics and antioxidants. I also give a daily vitamin. EVERY. FRIGGING. DAY. RELIGIOUSLY. Kiddie Pharmaton is my go to while there are many others on the market to choose from.  Restful bodies tend to be more healthier as well and my kids are no exception so sticking to my bedtime routine is key. Lastly let them buggers play!! Exercise and keeping that oxygen flowing not only makes them tired and preps them for bed but also helps to combat illnesses.

While I’m still on the fence with signing this note and having my child get the flu shot keep in mind that ineffective does not mean useless so there is a chance that shot could save a life.

Please share ways you and your family combat the flu virus in the comments below 🙂

Whatever you choose stay happy and healthy!

Till next time..





Quick Recipe: Mason Jar Salad

Quick Recipe: Mason Jar Salad

It’s no secret I love food. I mean I just spent the last weekend overdosing on hot cross buns and baked macaroni. But despite it all I do try to make subtle changes to my diet that will come off to some as eating healthy. Small things like replacing cow’s milk with almond milk, swearing off hot dogs and I’ve even abandoned the fire engine aka corn beef (although there is still two cans  in my cupboard as I speak).

My new project was the Mason Jar Salad.  This super quick recipe makes for a perfect lunch and can be made days ahead saving me tons of time and money! It was real easy and took me maybe 10 minutes max.

Quick Mason Jar Salad

Here’s what I used:

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • California Mix Vegetable Blend (Included broccoli, carrots and cauliflower)
  • Tuna Salad
  • Dressing of your choice
  • Mason Jar

And Voila!



Photo Cred:

There is a trick to making the Salad however so everything won’t get all brown and soggy.

Here’s how I put my salad together:

Ingredient 1: Salad Dressing.

Ingredient 2: California Blend

Ingredient 3: Tomatoes

Ingredient 4:  Tuna Salad

Ingredient 5: Lettuce

In that Order.  The strategic placement of each recipe helps to keep the salad fresh and avoid it getting all mushy.  Easy right?

Be sure to leave enough space at the top so you can shake it all up when you are ready to eat…or not entirely your choice.

I got most of my ingredients from Xtra Value Food Store and Solomon’s. The Mason Jar was from Kelly’s.

There are so many cool recipes that I plan to try in the upcoming weeks, too include fruits and nuts. What are your favorite recipes?

Till next time…





The Lunch Bag

The Lunch Bag

The average school lunch for grades 1 through 5 looks like this:

Average School Lunch
A big blob of snacks and junk food! Can you believe some kids eat this stuff EVERY SINGLE DAY..

I don’t want to be the pot calling the kettle black here cause I use to be one of those parents that packed those same kinds of lunch. Every day the staple was chip, juice, cookies and water. Those were the four must haves every day in my kids lunch bag.

Reality is we all need to revamp the lunch bag and of course here I am to offer a few suggestions:

1. Fruits, fruits and more fruits- Everyday my mini me carries some version of fruits. Whether it be yogurt, fruit cups, jello ( yup these are sugar free and pass my test) or good old fashion fruits I suggest putting at least one serving of fruit everyday in your kids lunch bag.

Healthy Fruits
2. C if for Cookie – I enjoy a little cookie every now and then and packing it in your kids lunch bag can still be done in moderation but how about replacing the cookie with a granola bar. Chewy, Nature Valley, Sunbelt or you can try this recipe here and create your own. It’s easier than you think!

3. Put the Frito Lay down! – You ever read the ingredients on a chip bag? Half the stuff I can’t even pronounce. Forget the chips all together or replace with a more healthier option like pringles, pretzels, popcorn or sun chips.

4. Always pack water- Water is important! More important than those Capri suns and Jumex. If you can, replace the juice altogether.

5. Juicy Juice- Again read the ingredients on the juices you pack. Pay attention to sugar and sodium content. Look at fruit infused water options as a juice alternative. The objective here is to be healthy.

Fruit infused water
The Lunch Lady

Aside from the lunch bag I encourage you to find out what your kids are purchasing from the lunch vendors at school or if possible pack this portion of the lunch too.

To be honest I am not sure how regulated school lunch  program is and what emphasis is made on providing healthy options.  When I was in school items on the menu included but weren’t limited to Curry Chicken and White Rice, Baked Macaroni, Burgers, Patties and Chicken and fries. Yea looking at it written down doesn’t look so healthy at all.

While some schools send a listing of what is being sold for lunch others don’t and the decision is solely up to the kids.

Look at fun ways to pack sandwiches and soups and other fun, exciting and healthy lunch boxes. . Check out fun lunch options here. They don’t always have to buy chicken and fries. You can also find out if your child class has a microwave and send along some left overs!

The objective here is to start healthy eating habits. From the home into the classroom.

So what is in your kids lunch box?

Till next time..