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Good Bugs, Bad Bugs - Chicago

by Chef J. Hugh
(Chicago!)

12.16.2008


Good Bugs, Bad Bugs?

Tis the season - for holiday parties and travel. Along with the fun comes eating and greeting. This introduces us to all sorts of new people and new germs!

This winter protect yourself and your family from the inside out. First give yourself a digestive makeover. If you find you are eating out more, take the time and wash your hands more often. When enjoying a holiday party, after shaking everyone hands take a quick trip to the wash room to freshen up. Then wash your hands! (you can't wash everyone else's.) Be sure to pay attention to what, and where you are eating. Food borne illnesses are rampant this time of year. You do not want to find yourself in bed sick with a 24 hour bug? or a cold. Keep your immune system strong.

Start by adding some good bacteria into your diet. Probiotics are good bugs?! Probiotics lactobacillus acidophilus have been in the news lately. They bring positive benefits to your digestive tract. Our GI tract is home to billions of live good bacteria. The "good" guys are found in foods, such as yogurt, or one of the new cereals that contain probioitcs like Kellogg's Kashi Brand Vive cereal. We can also get them from acidophilus supplements. You can build up a strong digestive system by crowding out the "bad" guys!

Another good remedy for a healthier holiday is getting plenty of rest. This can be hard to do with party after party. Make it a point to try and maintain your sleep schedule. Maybe take an afternoon nap. However, always try to get 8 to 10 hours of good restful sleep. Make sure you watch your alcohol intake. Drinking too much can derail a restful night of sleep. Alcohol is a toxin. (That's why its "intoxicating") Stick to the golden rule; one drink for women per day and two drinks per day for men. One more tip. If you do over indulge with the spiked punch or vodka cosmos; take a vitamin B pill and a large glass of water. It really will help ease the hangover in the morning.

If you do feel like you are starting to come down with something try Oscillococcinllan. It's a homeopathic supplement. Take it at the first signs of feeling "funny". Yet, you still might find yourself with a common cold. Good old chicken soup and hot tea with honey actually does make us feel better. These natural herbal teas and remedies really do work - especially if you believe they are working!

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