Thursday, December 6, 2007

O.P.C. (other people's cooties)

As the weather turns cold and people spend more time indoors, the chances of catching and/or passing along any number of germs increases. There are obvious, well-known measures you can take to try and avoid catching these nasty cooties...

* Wash your damn hands! Most colds are transmitted from touching someone or something infested with the cold virus and then touching your face. Plain soap & water is fine. Just wash them often.

* Don't touch! The thing you learned in kindergarten is correct. Other people have cooties! Don't shake hands (see above). This common practice is a sure way to get a whole office sick. (I guess you could "air kiss" and pretend you're European if social situations dictate some type of formalized greeting.)

* Clean up your mess! Be sure to wipe down counter tops, door knobs, sinks, etc... Cold germs can live on surfaces for hours just waiting for you to happen by. Be extra careful of shopping cart handles, ATM pads and other public areas.

* Be selfish! Don't share drinking glasses or utensils with family, coworkers or friends. (This is a problem at my house. Whenever I pour myself a drink, either hubby, the kids or the cats find it necessary to taste my drink in case it is something they think they need more than me! Note to self: Make fake PRUNE JUICE labels to place on all of my drink containers.)

A less well known cold and flu fighting technique is avoiding sugar. That's right. SUGAR KNOCKS OUT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM! A can of Coke or a Twix bar does more than make you fat and rot your teeth. It can actually make you sick.

"Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of one 12-ounce can of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours."

" adults, cell mediated immunity is significantly depressed after sugar ingestion (75 grams). A 100g portion of sugar can significantly reduce the capacity of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. Maximum immune suppression occurs one to two hours after ingestion and remains suppressed for up to five hours after feeding."

Since finances make it impossible for most of us to hide on a desert island away from all the germ infested people, following these tips should help get you through. There is no guarantee you wont get sick, but you seriously do NOT need to put yourself at a disadvantage by indulging in sugar, starches or other carbohydrates. Low carb eating is a great way to take care of yourself since you are forced to expose yourself to other people's cooties. If you do run in to me during this cold and flu season, just don't get offended if I wont shake your hand, it's not personal (and can't have a sip of my diet soda).

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