March 30, 2013

The Rule of Three Fifths

I have a theory, in respect of my immediate family's health, I call it the "Rule of 3/5".  This theory goes something like "if there is a common cold/virus/plague to be had one of us will inevitably get it and share it with a minimum of 3 out of 5 members of the family."   I base this theory on experience. This has been the story of our winters for the past couple of years and, quite frankly, I am sick of it! (Pun intended.)

I think we are a normal active family.  The kids are in public school and participate in a couple of extra curricular activities each.   Scott and I both work outside of the home. We are all active and social without being obsessive about either. We know about the Canadian Food Guide and eat pretty healthfully.  We take vitamins. We have access to good and free healthcare and visit the doctor and dentist when required and for regular check-ups.  We have good hygiene. We sneeze into our elbows and all wash our hands, with soap, often. (I may be a little militant about those points.) And still we have been perpetually plagued with colds and viruses all winter. It is so frustrating.

I've always joked about home school or sending the kids to school in Hazmat suits. All it takes is for me to have a week where someone has been feeling sick, for Scott or I to have missed some work and to watch one tv show or movie about a superbug that kills the majority of the world population or turns us  all into flesh eating zombies.  I start doing the mental math and see US, or at least 3/5 of us, as the family of flesh eating zombies. I don't know about you but that gives me a frowny face.   I would like to think that I am the type of mother who would prevent, if she could, Georgia being known as Patient Zero of the start of the zombie apocalypse.

Albert Camus` book The Plague, admittedly not an actual medical reference source, suggests (I paraphrase, of course) that the return of cold weather will kill a plague*. Well, we live in Manitoba and it has been winter and FFS it has been plenty cold.  Yes, we've had a rough winter but I border on hyperbole when I describe our health as a plague.

I cannot help but think about our environment and what is unique to the 5 of us... our house.  I will be on a campaign this spring to clean out our ducts, the HRV unit, deep clean the carpets and furniture, vacuum the cats, install a purifier, or whatever else needs to be done to try keep us healthy. I am even contemplating an air test. Am I cray-cray?  (Sorry, that is Finn's new favourite word.)

I had complained to a friend about our family's lack of immunity this winter and she gave me a recipe for a vitamin packed smoothie that she feeds to her family.

Leigh's Green Smoothie
1 cup coconut milk (Coconut Dream- original)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 handful of fresh spinach
fresh pineapple
frozen mango
banana  (or 1/4 avocado*) 

Put this all in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

The only substitution I have made on Leigh's original recipe is to leave out the banana (yucky!) and to sometimes use an avocado instead.  This add a creaminess to the smoothie and is super tasty. I've been drinking these for breakfast and can attest that it is delicious.  Does it work?  Well, since I have been drinking them I have been in the 2/5 group  so I suppose that does say something.

I know the season is changing albeit slowly.  Soon we will all be outside more and getting more vitamin D from the sun. I hope that helps. I hope that we can go more than 2 continuous weeks without someone being sick.  And it would be quite refreshing to take a road trip or visit a restaurant without having someone vomiting. I'm just saying...

Happy Easter. We hope the Easter Pig finds YOU in good health.

* Yes, I do understand that I should not be looking for actual medical advice from fictional literature. And, if i am being honest, I should also acknowledge that this was the one book from high school english class that I never finished in full. I may have skimmed a few, or a hundred, pages there. So, if this book book really does have the solution to solving health pandemics could someone please send me a text or an email. And, if you could, maybe let the WHO  or the U.N. know too.  Don't be selfish, dude.