The ‘flu’ is exceptionally virulent this season, especially hard hit are young children and adults older than age 65.
Everyone should be vaccinated, exceptions are those individuals who have a severe egg allergy and those who have had Guillain-Barre' syndrome within 6 months of a previous influenza vaccination.
Persons, previously vaccinated or not, who do contract the ‘flu’ should receive a 5 day course of Tamiflu 75 mg twice a day, beginning no later than and preferably earlier than 48 hours following the beginning of symptoms. Tamiflu is not over the counter, but is a prescription medication.
Percautionary measures that will help protect from the ‘flu’ include:
Heat grill to medium-high. Stir 2 Tbsp. each olive oil and lemon juice with 2 garlic cloves (minced) and 1/2 tsp. paprika (smoked or regular). Halve 4 zucchini lengthwise; sprinkle cut sides with 1/2 tsp. coarse salt, and season with pepper. Brush both sides with some of the oil mixture. Grill, cut sides down, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, and sprinkle with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Cover and cook until bottoms are browned and cheese has melted, 2 to 3 minutes more. Garnish with 1/4 cup shredded basil and more Parmesan ( this is optional).
Calories per serving: 131
Tomatoes with Yogurt and Mint
Heat grill to medium-high with a grill basket on grates. Toss 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and transfer to grill basket. Grill until beginning to char, 4 to 5 minutes. Shake basket, and continue to cook until tomatoes soften and are starting to split, 3 to 4 minutes more. Spread 1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt on bottom of a serving platter and tumble tomatoes on top, Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp. coarse salt, season with pepper, and garnish with 1 Tbsp. whole or torn mint. Drizzle with 2 tsp. more olive oil.
Calories per serving: 116
Green Beans with Sesame
Heat grill to medium-high with a grill basket on grates. Toss 12 oz. green beans (trimmed) with 2 tsp. vegetable oil. Slide green beans into grill basket, and cook, tossing occasionally, until lightly charred and crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from grill, and toss with 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil and 1/2 tsp. coarse salt. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. sesame seeds (toasted).
Calories per serving: 84
1) 3 1 1/4-lb. acorn squash, halved and seeded
2) 2 TBSP. Canola oil
3) 12 oz. 93% lean ground turkey
4) 3/4 cup chopped sweet pepper
5) 1/2 cup chopped onion
6) 1 1/4 cups cubed yellow summer squash
7) 1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
8) 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Fiesta Lime Seasoning
9) 6 TBSP. crumbled queso fresco
10) 3 TBSP. snipped fresh cilantro
A) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour 1/2 inch water into a large
roasting pan; add acorn squash, cut sides down. Bake 30 minutes.
Turn acorn squash halves cut sides up; coat with nonstick cooking
spray and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Bake 25
minutes more or until tender.
B) In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 TBSP. of the oil over medium
heat. Add turkey; cook until browned. Remove turkey.
C) In same skillet, heat remaining 1 TBSP. oil over medium heat.
Add sweet pepper and onion; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add summer squash; cook and stir 3 minutes or until vegetables are
tender. Stir in turkey, 1/2 tsp. salt, the tomatoes, and fiesta lime seasoning;
C) Spoon mixture into acorn squash. Bake 10 minutes. Top with queso
fresco and cilantro.
SERVINGS: 6 (1/2 squash half each)
1) 1 TBSP. white wine vinegar
2) 2 tsp. olive oil
3) 1/2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
4) Dash of black pepper
5) 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach
6) 1/2 cup thinly sliced apple
7) 2 oz. roasted turkey breast, thinly sliced
8) 1 3/4 oz. slice Havarti cheese
9) 2 slices reduced-calorie whole wheat bread
A) For dressing, in a small screw-top jar combine the first four
ingredients; cover and shake well; cover and chill overnight.
B) For sandwich, layer spinach, apple, turkey, and cheese between
bread slices. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a sandwich container;
cover and chill overnight.
C) To serve, drizzle dressing over sandwich filling.
SERVINGS: 1 sandwich
Blood Glucose is the amount of sugar in the blood. The goals for a person with diabetes:
A) Fasting: 80-130 mg/dl
B) Before a meal: 80-130 mg/dl
C) 1-2 hours after a meal: less than 180 mg/dl
A) Complications: Diabetes side effects such as damage to heart, blood vessels, eyes, nerves, and kidneys.
B) Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar. Occurs when blood glucose is lower than normal, generally <70 mg/dl.
C) Hyperglycemia: When blood glucose is above target range
1) Blurry vision
2) Frequent peeing
1) Fruity breath
2) Dry mouth
4) Stomach pain
9) Risk for coma
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
A1C: ÅVERAGE BLOOD GLUCOSE: This test shows glucose control over the past few months. A normal A1C is Below 5.7%. GOAL: Based on the individual. In general, for a non pregnant person with diabetes: <7
BLOOD PRESSURE: The force of the blood flow in your blood vessels. GOAL: <140/90 mmHg. Be certain to have yours checked at every health care visit.
CHOLESTEROL: A waxy, fatlike substance in all body cells. GOAL: <200mg/dl.
LDL (Bad Cholesterol): GOAL: <100mg/dl.
HDL (Good Cholesterol): GOAL: Women >50mg/dl.
TRIGLYCERIDES: A type of fat that circulates in the blood. Elevated levels increase risk for heart disease. GOAL: <150mg/dl.
WHAT ARE CARBS: 1) Sugars; 2) Starches: 3) Fibers: Sugars and starches make blood glucose rise. Some fibers slow the absorption of sugar postmeal. How much should you consume? GOAL: Women; Meal 45-60 g; snack 15g
Men: Meal 69-75 g; snack 15-30g
The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan based on typical foods and recipes of Mediterranean-style cooking.
The Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of healthy eating-plus flavorful olive oil and perhaps a glass of red wine-among other components characterizing the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Most healthy diets include fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limit unhealthy fats. While these parts of a healthy diet are tried-and-true, subtle variations or differences in proportions of certain foods may make a difference in your risk of heart disease.
BENEFITS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces
the risk of heart disease. The diet has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol - the "bad" cholesterol that's more likely to build up deposits in your arteries.
A meta-analysis of more than 1.5 million healthy adults demonstrated that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality as well as overall mortality.
The Mediterranean diet is also associated with a reduced incidence of cancer, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
For these reasons, most if not all major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adapt a style of eating like that of the Mediterranean diet for prevention of major chronic diseases.
KEY COMPONENTS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:
A) Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and
vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
B) Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
C) Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
D) Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
E) Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
F) Enjoying meals with family and friends
G) Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
H) Getting plenty of exercise
FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS AND GRAINS
The Mediterranean diet traditionally includes fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice For example, residents of Greece eat very little red meat and average nine servings a day of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
Grains in the Mediterranean region are typically whole grain and usually contain very few unhealthy trans fats, and bread is an important part of the diet there. However, throughout the Mediterranean region, bread is eaten plain or dipped in olive oil, not eaten with butter or margarines, which contain saturated or trans fats.
Nuts are another part of a healthy Mediterranean diet. Nuts are high in
fat ( approximately 80 percent of their calories come from fat), but most of the fat is not saturated. Because nuts are high in calories, they should not be eaten in large amounts--generally no more than a handful a day. Avoid candied or honey-roasted and heavily salted nuts.
The focus of the Mediterranean diet is to make wise choices about the types of fat you eat. The Mediterranean diet discourages saturated fats and hydrogenated oils (trans fats), both of which contribute heart disease.
The Mediterranean diet features olive oil as the primary source of fat. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat - a type of fat that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated or trans fats.
Extra-virgin and virgin olive oils - the least processed forms - also contain the highest levels of the protective plant compounds that provide antioxidant effects.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, such as canola oil and some nuts, contain the beneficial linolenic acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acid). Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, decrease blood clotting, are associated with decreased sudden heart attack, improve the health of your blood vessels, and help moderate blood pressure. Fatty fish - such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon - are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is eaten on a regular basis in the Mediterranean diet.
The health effects of alcohol have been debated for many years; however, alcohol - in moderation - has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
The Mediterranean diet typically includes a moderate amount of wine. This means no more than 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine daily for women (or men over age 65), and no more than 10 ounces ( 296 milliliters ) of wine daily for men under age 65,
If you have a personal or family history of alcohol abuse, or if you have heart or liver disease, refrain from drinking wine or any other alcohol.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Here are some specific steps to get you started on the Mediterranean diet:
1) 1 TBSP. sugar ( a sugar substitute is not recommended)
2) 1 TBSP. water
3) 1 TBSP. reduced-sodium soy sauce
4) 2 tsp. cider vinegar
5) 1 - 2 tsp. sriracha sauce
6) 2 tsp. olive oil
7) 1 8oz. package whole fresh button mushrooms
8) 8 miniature sweet peppers
9) 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
A) For sauce, in a small bowl stir together the first five ingredients.
B) Add oil to a non-stick 10 inch skillet and heat until medium hot. Add mushrooms and sweet peppers; cook 8 - 10 minutes or until vegetables begin to char, stirring once or twice. Add sauce; cook until slightly reduced. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute more, stirring to coat vegetables with sauce. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Note: This may also be done over a campfire or grill using a cast- iron skillet.
Servings = 4
Calories per serving = 1/4 cup each = 64
1) 1 1-lb. pork tenderloin trimmed of fat
2) 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3) 2 cups chopped sweet onions
4) 2 cloves garlic, minced
5) 1/4 cup apple cider
6) 1/4 cup cider vinegar
7) 2 medium apples (Granny Smith or Honeycrisp), cored and cut into eighths
8) 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
9) 2 bay leaves
A) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle meat with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. In a 12-inch skillet heat 1 TBSP. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Take meat out of skillet and put on plate.
B) Add sweet potatoes to skillet and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onions and garlic; cook 3-5 minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in cider and vinegar. Return meat and any juices to skillet. Add the remaining ingredients.
C) Transfer skillet to oven. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in center of meat reads 145 degrees F. Turn and baste meat occasionally. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
D) Transfer meat to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let stand 5 minutes. Slice meat into 1/4 slices and serve with potato mixture.
Servings = 4
Calories per serving = (3 1/2 ozs. meat + 1 1/4 cups potato mixture each = 342
1) 4 7-8 oz. bone-in pork center cut rib chops, trimmed of fat
2) 2 firm apples such as Gala or Fuji, cut into 1/4 slices
3) 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
4) 2 cloves of garlic, minced
5) 1/4 cup dry white wine
6) 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
7) 1 - 2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
8) 1 tsp. butter
9) 1 1/3 cups hot, cooked brown rice
10) 1 TBSP. fresh thyme leaves
A) Sprinkle chops with 1/2 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Coat a
12-inch non-stick skillet with nonstick cooking spray; heat the skillet
over medium-high. Add chops; cook 4 - 5 minutes or until browned
on both sides. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
B) In the same skillet combine apples, onion, and garlic.
Stirring occasionally, cook over medium-high 6 - 8 minutes or until
apples are golden. Carefully add wine; cook 1 - 2 minutes, stirring to
scrape up any brown bits. Stir in broth, mustard, and butter.
Return chops to the skillet. Simmer, covered, 4 - 6 minutes or until
a thermometer inserted to chops reads 145 degrees F.
C) Serve chops and apple mixture with rice. If desired, sprinkle
Servings = 4
Calories per serving ( 1 pork chop + 1/2 cup apple mixture each) = 321
A) 1 5-lb whole chicken, giblets removed and fat trimmed
B) 1-2 lemons
C) 1 bunch fresh thyme
D) 1 TBSP. light butter
E) 1 bunch fresh rosemary
F) 4 cloves garlic, minced
G) 4 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
H) 6 large carrots, cut into thirds; halve thick pieces lengthwise
I) 1 medium red onion, cut into 1" wedges
J) 1 TBSP. olive oil
1) Rinse chicken body cavity and dry with paper towels.
2) Place one oven rack in center of oven and place a second oven rack
in bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a
roasting pan with foil and place a rack in prepared pan. Zest some of
the lemon peel and squeeze juice from one of the lemons; set juice
aside. In a small bowl combine lemon zest, 2 TBSP. snipped fresh
thyme, light butter, 2 tsp. fresh rosemary, and garlic. Rub this
herb mixture over the meat that is under the breast and leg
skin. Sprinkle chicken with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper
3) Place chicken, breast side up, on the rack in roasting pan; place
on middle oven rack. Roast 55 minutes.
4) Line a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick
cooking spray. Combine in a large bowl, potatoes, carrots, onion, and
oil with 1 TBSP. snipped fresh thyme, 1 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary,and
1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Spread vegetables in prepared
pan and top with 6 sprigs fresh thyme and 1 sprig fresh
5) After the chicken has roasted 55 minutes, place vegetables on
bottom oven rack. Roast 25-35 minutes more or until chicken is done
(at least 175 degrees F. in thigh). Remove chicken from oven and roast
the vegetables 10 / 15 minutes more or until tender.
6) Cover chicken with foil and let stand 15 minutes. If so desired,
remove zest from remaining lemon. Remove and discard the skin
from chicken. Carve chicken and drizzle with reserved lemon juice
and pan juices. Serve with vegetables.
Servings = 8
Calories per serving = (3 oz. chicken + 1 cup of vegetables) = 296
Dr. Gerfin blogs about all kinds of medical issues and provides healthy recipes.