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.

whitney at loblaws

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!?


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This post is sponsored. I’m part of the #SuperstoreFluCrew this season. Get your shot and be #Fluless!

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  1. Gillian Morgan November 14, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Get the flu shot as soon as possible

  2. Heather Lynne November 14, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Soup & herbal tea with honey are my go-tos when I’m sick!

  3. ivy pluchinsky November 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    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.

  4. Nicole Jubleew November 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Lots of handwashing and getting plenty of sleep are my best tips. Homemade chicken soup is my favourite comfort food while recovering.

  5. Josh S November 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I wash my hands frequently and eat lots of fruits and veggies.

  6. Stephanie November 14, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Always wash your hands, eat healthy and drink lots of water!

  7. Jonnie November 14, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    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.

  8. lori galbraith November 14, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    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.

  9. Jenn Erin November 14, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    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!

  10. Tainan Lu November 14, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    My best advice is to wash your hands.

  11. Lisa L November 14, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    My best advice is to wash your hands thoroughly and often. As for my favourite meal for recovering, I love egg drop soup.

  12. Maryanne November 14, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Lots of sleep and drink lots of water!

  13. Melinda November 15, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Wash hands frequently helps to not get sick. I like to eat chicken soup when I am ill.

  14. Joni November 15, 2017 at 7:15 am

    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

  15. Marlene J November 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Keep up a healthy lifestyle, Multi – vitamins, Vit C & echinacea

  16. Jenness M November 15, 2017 at 9:51 am

    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!

  17. Robyn Bellefleur November 15, 2017 at 9:52 am

    My advice is to get a flu shot and wash your hands frequently to avoid getting sick.

  18. TJ Turnbull November 15, 2017 at 10:23 am

    My advise is to always always wash your hands and the best meal is a great bowl of chicken noodle soup

  19. Juliee Fitze November 15, 2017 at 10:49 am

    I take double vit C&D to help stay healthy . If I get sick I have to have chicken noodle soup.

  20. Angela September Smith November 15, 2017 at 11:33 am

    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

  21. sarahe November 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    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!

  22. Lucy November 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    We wash our hands frequently and follow a healthy diet.

  23. joy November 15, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    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.

  24. Katrina November 15, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    To help getting sick I drink lots of water.

  25. Jenny B November 15, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    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.!

  26. Lushka Smith November 15, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Frequent hand washing helps me to keep healthy. Chicken noodle soup is a fave when I get sick.

  27. Glogirl November 15, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    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.

  28. Florence Cochrane November 15, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    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.

  29. Anne Taylor November 15, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    We always get our flu shots, we eat well, we get lots of rest, wash hands all of the time and laugh a lot!

  30. Michel November 16, 2017 at 9:49 am

    I make sure to have lots of antioxidants

  31. Natalie November 16, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Handwashing is key to preventing the flu (and a lot of other things!)

  32. Maritess S November 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    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.

  33. Brenda Penton November 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Staying active has been the best thing for me. Since I started exercising consistently I rarely get sick.

  34. Dave November 16, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Lots of hand washing and eat healthy.

  35. Yuen C November 16, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Wash your hands often!

  36. Shane smith November 17, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    we wash our hands all the time and i love to have a nice warm hearty stew when i’m under the weather

  37. Elaine G November 17, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    To avoid getting sick I drink lots of water,exercise and eat healthy.Wash hands often. To recover I like home made soup.

  38. Tina L. November 17, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Best advice is frequent handwashing. Love soup and tea when recovering.

  39. Mary November 17, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    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!

  40. Karla Sceviour November 17, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    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!

  41. Sab Edwards November 18, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    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)

  42. Mandy November 19, 2017 at 5:14 am

    When I’m recovering, my favorite food is congee with ginger and chicken.

  43. Jennifer Wilson November 19, 2017 at 9:36 am

    We always get the flu shot but if we do happen to get sick, chicken noodle soup is our go to meal.

  44. SUMMER PLEWES November 19, 2017 at 10:07 am

    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!

  45. BlessedTA November 20, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Wash your hands frequently.

  46. Lisa bolduc November 20, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    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

  47. Julie bolduc November 20, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    We always wash our hands more and we love soup when we are sick

  48. Amber Y November 20, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    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.

  49. Krista M November 21, 2017 at 9:15 am

    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!

  50. Jana Liu November 21, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    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

  51. Rebecca Roberts November 21, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    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!

  52. Alayne Langford November 21, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    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! 🙂

  53. Theresa Michalik November 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Take extra vitamins in the winter

  54. crystal porter November 22, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I’m all about soup and herbal tea and water when I am sick

  55. BobbiJo Pentney November 22, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow and eat tomato soup.

  56. tracy k November 23, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    get enough rest and wash your hands often!

  57. caryn s November 25, 2017 at 9:14 am

    I wash my hands religiously when the kids are sick and make lots of chicken soup!

  58. Maggie C November 25, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Lots of rest, water, and exercise. If I am sick, I love to have veggie soup with crackers!

  59. sara rai November 26, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Cover yourself up no matter how you look lol. I always have a scarf around my neck even if its not that cold.

  60. Erica Seaman November 27, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Get lots of rest and take a multivitamin. When I’m sick I like a chicken noodle cup a soup.

  61. Andrea November 29, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    My tip is to wash your hands often!

  62. Meg A November 29, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    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.

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