The tell-tale signs are all around us: coughing, sniffling, and kids and colleagues taking sick days. It’s flu season, gang.
Flu season is from November to March, but fall is the best time to get vaccinated as protection can last roughly six months.
If you want to stay #Fluless, there are a number of ways to tackle it. The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations recommends everyone get a flu shot, but it is especially important for at risk individuals (elderly, children, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions).
Still, getting the flu shot is just one piece. Keeping your body’s immune system in top shape is a key defense to avoid getting sick.
I spent some time with Whitney, a Registered Dietitian at Loblaws City Market to get the ins and outs on other things we need to know about staying healthy through the winter.
Making an appointment to see your dietitian is easy. Loblaw Registered Dietitians are available at various Loblaw stores across the country. Check online to find a Registered Dietitian near you.
The most important thing I learned is that flu season is NOT the time to go on a drastic diet. If our bodies were to notice a change in calories, our metabolism would slow, which puts stress on the body making us .. you guessed it .. susceptible to flu!
So, instead of radically changing things, it’s best to have a consistent plan that you implement year round. You know, a balanced diet where your plate is filled 1/2 with vegetables, 1/4 with grains, and 1/4 with proteins. Proteins build and repair our cells, whole grains are great for digestion, while vegetables bring along vitamins and zinc.
After chatting for a bit in her office, Whitney took me for a walk around her store.
The first thing she did was dispel the guilt anyone might have about bag salads being bad. She loves them (I do too). They’re quick, they’re easy, everything you need is right there, and if there’s a better way to have vegetables become fast food, she hasn’t seen it.
We need to eat our veggies, and if having them precut, prewashed, and ready-to-go makes more of us have them, she’s all for it.
Then Whitney walked me over to a part of the produce section I had never seen before. It’s a big book with nutrition information for all the things lying loose in the baskets. Apples, pears, onions, and .. corn.
We all know about the nutritional information labels on the boxes of pizza or bags of chips, but what about the good stuff for us? This book breaks everything down telling you carbs, proteins, sodium, etc.
Here’s a good rule of thumb for these nutrition guides: more than 15% of your daily intake of something is a lot (that can be good or bad depending what it is), less than 5% of your daily intake of something isn’t significant.
See how that knowledge plays on this pizza box. There’s a lot of vitamin C in there, but lots of sodium too. And remember, that’s just for 1 slice! Could you stop at one slice?
Spending an hour with Whitney really had me get my head wrapped around all the healthy habits that I knew I had to follow, but really hadn’t thought about for a while.
Getting on the right track with a colourful, balanced diet is a great way to attack the flu season.
Here are some other ways to strengthen your immune system:
Get adequate sleep (at least 7 hours a night)
Drink plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day)
Practice good hygiene (singing Happy Birthday while you wash your hands is the right amount of time)
Most importantly, get vaccinated! 70% – 90% of flu cases can be averted through vaccination. Spending a few minutes could save you 14 days of misery! Loblaws City Market makes it easy by offering in-store Registered Dietitians to get nutrition tips and your flu shot.
If you’re a little needle shy for getting a shot, I have a foolproof way of getting my flu shot: don’t look. I look the opposite direction of the needle so I have no idea when it’s going to happen.
Sure, I squirm and squint a little (a lot), but in the end it’s worth the big smile for getting the deed done.
BUT .. I got it done! Mix in the knowledge I got from Whitney and I’m prepared to be #Fluless this season. How about you!?
Terms and Conditions:
The prize is for one (1) $100 President’s Choice Gift Card. The contest is open to Canadian residents with a Canadian mailing address only. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. No cash substitute. Do not to use generic, contest bot Twitter accounts, please. This is a great prize, please share it genuinely with your followers instead of using anonymous contest-only accounts.
This post is sponsored. I’m part of the #SuperstoreFluCrew this season. Get your shot and be #Fluless!
Get the flu shot as soon as possible
Soup & herbal tea with honey are my go-tos when I’m sick!
I make sure I drink lots of orange juice, eat garlic, and drink Kefir. Also take vitamins, get the flu shot, and try to stay away from sick people.
Lots of handwashing and getting plenty of sleep are my best tips. Homemade chicken soup is my favourite comfort food while recovering.
I wash my hands frequently and eat lots of fruits and veggies.
Always wash your hands, eat healthy and drink lots of water!
To avoid getting sick, I use hand sanitizer and make sure to sanitize door knobs and lightswitches because they’re touched so often. It’s odd but when I am sick, a greasy burger always helps me feel better. My dad used to cook them for me when I’d stay home sick from school and now it still makes me feel better.
My best advise for not getting sick is to wash, wash, wash your hands. Wipe down door knobs and light switches or other very touched surfaces. No special food here, just eat a balanced diet.
My best advice for not getting sick is to maintain a strong immune system by exercising, eating healthy, and drinking a lot of water. My favorite meal for recovering is pho!
My best advice is to wash your hands.
My best advice is to wash your hands thoroughly and often. As for my favourite meal for recovering, I love egg drop soup.
Lots of sleep and drink lots of water!
Wash hands frequently helps to not get sick. I like to eat chicken soup when I am ill.
I try to wash hands a lot. Wipe everything a lot. Drink a lot. Get Vitamin C. I love chicken soup when I DO get sick
Keep up a healthy lifestyle, Multi – vitamins, Vit C & echinacea
I try not to touch door handles and always have hand sanitizer around. I love wonton soup when I’m sick or greasy fast food!
My advice is to get a flu shot and wash your hands frequently to avoid getting sick.
My advise is to always always wash your hands and the best meal is a great bowl of chicken noodle soup
I take double vit C&D to help stay healthy . If I get sick I have to have chicken noodle soup.
we take our vitamins, wash our hands regularly, try to not touch our faces and eat raw garlic!
my fav food if we do happen to get sick is veggie and rice soup
I make sure to keep hands washed, try to keep surfaces clean, and take vitamins in an effort to keep healthy during flu season. When we are sick I like a homemade chicken noodle soup with lots of vegetables. Thanks!
We wash our hands frequently and follow a healthy diet.
i don’t think i know anything that everyone already knows — washing hands, sneezing/coughing into elbows (dab!), drinking water, eating healthy foods, lots of sleep, avoiding shaking hands, get a flu shot.
To help getting sick I drink lots of water.
My best advice is to bring hand sanitizer with you to sanitize your hands after touching germ-prone surfaces like door knobs, shopping carts, banisters, etc.!
Frequent hand washing helps me to keep healthy. Chicken noodle soup is a fave when I get sick.
My best advice for not getting sick is frequent hand washing and when that is not possible, use hand sanitizer. I like soup when I’m sick as well as a cup of hot tea.
My advice for not getting sick is to always wash your hand, take vitamins and get the flu shot. I love homemade chicken soup when I am recovering when sick.
We always get our flu shots, we eat well, we get lots of rest, wash hands all of the time and laugh a lot!
I make sure to have lots of antioxidants
Handwashing is key to preventing the flu (and a lot of other things!)
The best advice I got was from my doctor – Get some good sleep. My favourite dish when sick is a cup of hot soup that has some ginger in it.
Staying active has been the best thing for me. Since I started exercising consistently I rarely get sick.
Lots of hand washing and eat healthy.
Wash your hands often!
we wash our hands all the time and i love to have a nice warm hearty stew when i’m under the weather
To avoid getting sick I drink lots of water,exercise and eat healthy.Wash hands often. To recover I like home made soup.
Best advice is frequent handwashing. Love soup and tea when recovering.
I seem to get colds whenever my little ones get them but I love any spicy Thai soups…they seem to clear my stuffed up nose!
Try to eat healthy,drink your OJ or make sure you are getting enough vitamin C, and always wash those hands!
Chicken noodle soup helps when sicks!
Get plenty of rest, you get sick because you are not well rested, stay hydrated, take vitamins if you feel you are lacking (I gobble up a V c&d that I have when I feel a cold coming)
When I’m recovering, my favorite food is congee with ginger and chicken.
We always get the flu shot but if we do happen to get sick, chicken noodle soup is our go to meal.
For us we avoid getting sick by getting our flu shot and using our sleeves to open public doors as well as avid hand washing!
Wash your hands frequently.
Does hibernating count??? OMG with kids in preschool we get sick all the time. Man colds are the worst so when we are sick I send the hubby far away so he doesn’t get it… lol
We always wash our hands more and we love soup when we are sick
I try to get as much sleep as i can and i wash my hands plenty to try to avoid getting sick. I like soup in any shape and form when I am sick. I also like spicy foods if I’m not too sick to eat.
Hand washing and using hand sanitizer after touching public surfaces. Taking vitamins & eating fruits/veggies to boost immunity to avoid colds & flu. I like to each chicken sandwiches & vegetable soup when I’m recovering!
For me it is eating lots of fruit/veggies, getting flu shot and getting lots of rest. Chicken noodle soup is the best when you have colds
To not get sick, I do the obvious things like hand washing and getting a flu shot. But when I do get sick, I tend to eat a ton of hot curries and spicy foods. I say kill it with fire!
My best advice is to make sure you get enough sleep and to frequently wash your hands! Nothing beats homemade chicken noodle soup, especially if someone else is making it for you! 🙂
Take extra vitamins in the winter
I’m all about soup and herbal tea and water when I am sick
Wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow and eat tomato soup.
get enough rest and wash your hands often!
I wash my hands religiously when the kids are sick and make lots of chicken soup!
Lots of rest, water, and exercise. If I am sick, I love to have veggie soup with crackers!
Cover yourself up no matter how you look lol. I always have a scarf around my neck even if its not that cold.
Get lots of rest and take a multivitamin. When I’m sick I like a chicken noodle cup a soup.
My tip is to wash your hands often!
I get more sleep when my body is stressed as prolonging it can make me susceptible to getting viruses from people who cough or sneeze indiscriminately in my Toronto commute. I already have all the hygiene items in my purse and at home, so, really, it’s the habits of other people that I have to beware of. As for nutrition, I eat mostly plant-based (gluten and dairy free) including, coconut yogurt and miso & have an iron supplement with B vitamins as my test showed my levels were low.