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October, 2012:

Like Playing Tennis with a Golf Ball

I had a thought the other day when I was talking with a group who were interested in having better health.  Several had started to take a basic natural multi-vitamin & mineral supplement called Vita-Lea.  Others were not taking anything, relying on their diet for all their nutrients.  Concerns were about the cold & flu season heading this way as the fall pollen is dwindling.  Many had had a sniffy spring and fall due to last winter being so warm.

As I was talking about the need to boost our natural immune system’s production of Interferon, I thought about the flu shots that several of the group had taken.  Then the image of playing tennis with a golf ball came to mind. Think of all the many games that involve some type of ball.  Football, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, ping-pong, bowling, hand-ball, soccer, volleyball and more.  The list is long.  Each of the games requires a specific ball with specific qualities and properties to successfully complete the game.

Now imagine trying to play a game of tennis with a golf ball instead of a tennis ball.  The balls are similar in several properties such as size, with the golf ball being a bit smaller.  They both bounce well and are easily seen on grass or dirt.  But there is where the similarities end.  The tennis ball is soft to the touch, lighter and filled with a gas to help with the bounce.  Golf balls are hard to the touch, dimpled on the surface and filled with a special, hard core that allows for distance travel through the air and certain behaviors on the greens after they land. Similar but different doesn’t really work here now does it.

Playing a game of tennis with a golf ball would be a bit dangerous.  The golf ball would probably break the strings on the racket when hit.  And the bounce from the golf ball would be fierce and erratic since the dimples are not meant for the hard court surfaces.  The match would be short and probably dangerous!

Now how does all this connect with flu shots?  Well the flu shots created by the pharmaceutical companies are targeted to a few specific strains of the flu.  A guess as to which strains will be the active ones in a certain season.  An educated guess, but still a guess.  There are many types of flu that mutate as they move from population to population.  So what is made to work on one type of a specific strain might not work in a few weeks as the strain mutates. I realize that this is a simplistic explanation, but without getting into complicated science, this will suffice. Read more on this in a article about the University of Minnesota study on the flu vaccines and how ineffective they are, especially to the population who needs the protection the most.

So back to our tennis game with the golf ball.  The flu shots that we are offered each year sometimes is a effective as playing tennis with a golf ball.  The shots are aimed a specific flues but you may be infected with a entirely different stain of flu that is not covered by the vaccine.  So it is much like playing tennis with a golf ball.  It just won’t work!

How can you increase your odds of having a healthy flu season? Want to have a full arsenal of appropriate “balls” to use for the”game” you will play?  If you choose to take the vaccination or not is your choice.  I choose not to for many reasons.  Boosting the natural production of the interferon in our bodies is important.  Scientists and medical communities have identified interferon as critical to healthy immune function.  World-renowned immunologist Dr. Yasuhiko Kojima first discovered interferon in 1954, while he was conducting research at Tokyo University. After 40 years of painstaking research, testing hundreds of natural compounds, he developed a unique blend of four powerful plant extracts that boosts the body’s natural production of interferon.*

Interferon signals neighboring cells into action and also interferes with how foreign cells grow and multiply.  Interferon is also considered essential for optimal health because it can boost the immune system’s ability to recognize foreign invaders. It is because of this special role that interferon is used in drug form as an anti-viral agent to treat many different diseases.  Researchers have shown that interferon, given by nasal spray in daily doses, can prevent infection and illness. However, pharmaceutical forms of interferon cause side effects such as nosebleeds, fatigue, headache and aches, and may not be useful in treating established colds.

I don’t want nosebleeds or headaches on top of the flu or a cold, so I use a natural way to boost my natural production of interferon from Dr Kojima.  His discovery of the blend of 4 powerful plant extracts that boosts the body’s natural production of interferon has given the world a product called NutriFeron from Shaklee.  I take at least 2 of the caplets each day and have found them to be of great help in staying healthy throughout cold & flu season!  Try it yourself to all more options in staying healthy so you won’t have to play tennis with a golf ball!  Stay well.

Mysteries of Your Refrigerator

If you are like me, then you know what I mean when I refer to those mysterious plastic containers that live in the back of your refrigerator!  We all seem to collect them for some reason, even though I have clear glass containers with snap-on seals.  Sigh… we have to get a handle on these boxes and discard them.  Life forms from not so healthy


strains of who-knows-what could be living in your refrigerator right now.

Refrigerators are convenient since they allow us to store foods at the proper temperatures and humidities.  Keeping your refrigerator at 40degrees Fahrenheit will keep bacteria from growing on your food.  According to the USDA FactSheet on Refrigeration, ” Bacteria exist everywhere in nature. They are in the soil, air, water, and the foods we eat. When they have nutrients (food), moisture, and favorable temperatures, they grow rapidly, increasing in numbers to the point where some types of bacteria can cause illness. Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 °F, the “Danger Zone,” some doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. A refrigerator set at 40 °F or below will protect most foods.”

The doors of newer refrigerators are made with all kinds of storage.  However, every time the door is open, these shelves are blasted with the warm air of the house! So place more stable items on these shelves such as condiments, not leftovers or beverages such as milk. 

Put milk and raw meat (well packaged) on the shelves close to the freezer unit or in the coldest part of the refrigerator.   Store raw meat in covered containers such as glass, and no more than a few days.  Below is a list from the USDA concerning food storage times so you and your family will stay healthier.  Don’t waste food and money by improperly storing your food!

From USDA site


Storage Times For Refrigerated Foods
Ground Meat, Ground Poultry, and Stew Meat
Ground beef, turkey, veal, pork, lamb 1-2 days
Stew meats 1-2 days
Fresh Meat (Beef, Veal, Lamb, and Pork)
Steaks, chops, roasts 3-5 days
Variety meats (Tongue, kidneys, liver, heart, chitterlings) 1-2 days
Fresh Poultry 
Chicken or turkey, whole 1-2 days
Chicken or turkey, parts 1-2 days
Giblets 1-2 days
Bacon and Sausage 
Bacon 7 days
Sausage, raw from meat or poultry 1-2 days
Smoked breakfast links, patties 7 days
Summer sausage labeled “Keep Refrigerated” Unopened, 3 months;
Opened, 3 weeks
Hard sausage (such as Pepperoni) 2-3 weeks
Ham, Corned Beef
Ham, canned, labeled “Keep Refrigerated” Unopened, 6-9 months;
Opened, 3-5 days
Ham, fully cooked, whole 7 days
Ham, fully cooked, half 3-5 days
Ham, fully cooked, slices 3-4 days
Corned beef in pouch with pickling juices 5-7 days
Hot Dogs and Luncheon Meats 
Hot dogs Unopened package, 2 weeks;
Opened package, 1 week
Luncheon meats Unopened package, 2 weeks;
Opened package, 3-5 days
Deli and Vacuum-Packed Products
Store-prepared (or homemade) egg, chicken, tuna, ham, and macaroni salads 3-5 days
Pre-stuffed pork, lamb chops, and chicken breasts 1 day
Store-cooked dinners and entrees 3-4 days
Commercial brand vacuum-packed dinners with/USDA seal, unopened 2 weeks
Cooked Meat, Poultry, and Fish Leftovers 
Pieces and cooked casseroles 3-4 days
Gravy and broth, patties, and nuggets 3-4 days
Soups and Stews 3-4 days
Fresh Fish and Shellfish
Fresh Fish and Shellfish 1-2 days
Fresh, in shell 3-5 weeks
Raw yolks, whites 2-4 days
Hard-cooked 1 week
Liquid pasteurized eggs, egg substitutes Unopened, 10 days;
Opened, 3 days
Cooked egg dishes 3-4 days

The Wonders of an Ice Cube Tray

Going up as a kid in the 50’s meant that refrigerators did not have ice makers.  There were no fancy buttons and doors on the front of the refrigerator to dispense ice to the hot and dusty children.  No, back then we had metal ice cube trays that were fun to operate since there was a lever in the middle to release the ice.

It made a wonderful cracking noise when you finally got the ice to release.  The lever was attached to a grid section of metal leaves that was separate from the tray.  The grid section was put in the tray, water was added, tray with grid was placed in the freezer section, hours went by and the frozen tray was removed.

Now the fun part was getting the lever to release the ice. If you put a bit too much water in the tray, as I always managed to do, the ice was up and over the grid, making it hard to release the ice cubes.  After much tugging, groaning and maybe a little run under some water, the lever would move, ice would shatter from the top of the cubes and drinking cool water and iced tea would begin.  Wonderful time!

Now that we have automatic ice makers, we have almost forgotten how wonderful ice cube trays are.  When we were kids, Mother would add orange juice or apple juice and occasionally Kool-Aid to the trays for a cold summery addition to water, juice or sweet iced tea.  Remembering those flavored cold additions to our beverages as a child got me to thinking about what we could do today.  Kids are still kids when it comes to liking cold drinks after play.

I went to the store, found some plastic ice cube trays, and have been making my own filtered ice all summer!  I had forgotten the fun of popping the ice from the tray, even in plastic.  My favorite benefit of not using the in-freezer ice maker is the taste of the ice, or should I say, the lack of taste of the ice.  I use a Shaklee Get Clean Water Pitcher which is an amazing filter system, getting out a multitude of pesticides, herbicides, 99% of the lead and more, leaving me with water as it should be, clean and “taste free”.  The automatic ice maker, with the puny in-refrigerator filter always gave the ice a “whang” (Southern for icky taste!).

Now that I make my own ice, with my 3 ice cube trays, I fill the dispenser each day and let the crusher on the freezer do it’s magic as I really like crushed ice.  The true flavor of my iced water,  iced tea and iced coffee come through each time.  Yummy!

But even more fun are the additions to the clean, filtered water in the trays!  Mother was always adding juice to the trays so her punches for parties would not water down.  Same thing with iced tea.  Now I suggest that you make a pot of your favorite tea and then make several trays of frozen tea cubes for use in your iced tea.  Make tea, freeze, remove from trays to store in a freezer bag or container with air-tight lid.  Makes the tea even better.

Freeze your favorite lemonade to add to iced tea or other beverages.  Think of all those “adult” beverages that are make in the fall and winter at the various tailgate, harvest and holiday parties we throw.  That little extra touch makes the drink that much more special and the ice cube tray an essential in any kitchen!

Just think of all the things you can freeze in the ice cube trays!  Cut little pieces of strawberries and blueberries in orange juice for use in morning protein shakes or other beverages.  For a savory cube for some of those adult beverages you could add celery or small onions, yellow & red peppers.  And for those fall stews, fill those trays with you chicken, beef or vegetable stocks for a quick infusion of flavor in future meals.  Freeze and store most any liquid for use at a later date in convenient, easy to use cubes!  Just label the containers since frozen broth in iced tea would not be ideal.

Let your imagination run wild!  What will you freeze for your next party?  Your next family reunion?  Your Thanksgiving dinner?  Miniature frozen salads?  Miniature ice creams?  Miniature pop-icicles?  You can find the metal trays from my childhood online at several retailers.  Or look in your favorite kitchen shop or variety store for the plastic versions.  Enjoy the Wonders of the Ice Cube Tray!

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