Flu vs. Common Cold

17 Oct


Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and are worse than those of the common cold. They may include:

• Body or muscle aches
• Chills
• Cough
• Fever
• Headache
• Sore throat

Is it a cold or the flu? Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches. Flu almost never causes an upset stomach. And “stomach flu” isn’t really flu at all, but gastroenteritis.

Most people with the flu recover on their own without medical care. People with mild cases of the flu should stay home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical care. If you get the flu, your health care provider may prescribe medicine to help your body fight the infection and lessen symptoms.

Article Published: MedlinePlus

Tips on How to Prevent Infections

9 Oct

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• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

• If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

•Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

•Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Viral Infections

2 Oct


Viruses are very tiny germs. They are made of genetic material inside a protein coating. Viruses cause familiar infectious diseases such as the common cold, flu and warts.

Viruses are like hijackers. They invade living, normal cells and use those cells to multiply and produce other viruses like themselves. This can kill, damage, or change the cells and make you sick. Different viruses attack certain cells in your body such as your liver, respiratory system, or blood.

When you get a virus, you may not always get sick from it. Your immune system may be able to fight it off.

For most viral infections, treatments can only help with symptoms while you wait for your immune system to fight off the virus. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. There are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases.

Dental Care

27 Sep


Flossing, paired with brushing twice a day, is important for dental health. New studies show that proper dental care–including regular flossing–not only keeps your smile pretty, but can help prevent much more serious diseases.

If you have trouble remembering to floss, keep small floss picks in your car. Before you leave work for the day or next time you arrive early somewhere, get your daily flossing in.

Candice Boeck
National Breast Cancer Foundation

Shelf Life Terminology 

18 Sep


When you have to eat your food by can be very confusing so lets break down shelf life terminology!


This is a guideline for stores to be certain whether or not a food will look good. It has very little to do with whether a food is safe to eat.

Best Before/If Used By

A general indicator of a food’s look and flavor, but not necessarily an indicator of whether a food is safe to eat.

Use By/Expiration Date

This is the most important label for food safety! If you consume a food past a “use by” date you are taking a risk for catching a foodborne illness.

Food Safety Q & A with HAWA’s Nutritionist

11 Sep


Q: Where does food safety begin?

A: Food safety really begins with grocery shopping. The best approach is to save your refrigerated items (dairy, meat, eggs) until the end so they don’t sit in your cart and warm up. It is also important to quickly get them into the refrigerator or freezer once home!

Q: When you do meal prep, how do you practice food safety?

A: First and foremost, use different utensils and cutting boards for meat and vegetables! Never use the same knife or board you cut raw meat with to cut your vegetables. I always wash my meat cutting board immediately, and sanitize the counter space around it. Wash your hands frequently as well before touching anything else.

Q: How do you store your prepped food in the fridge?

A: I prefer to keep my meats away from my veggies, even if it is a mixed dish. I do this for two different reasons: 1, they have different shelf lives and 2, they heat up differently and to different temperatures. 

For more fun and helpful tips, or general nutrition inquiries, visit your HAWA Member Dashboard and schedule a consultation with Valerie today!

Foodborne Illness

4 Sep


Each year, 48 million people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated food. Common culprits include bacteria, parasites and viruses. Symptoms range from mild to serious.

They include:

• Abdominal cramps
• Nausea and vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Fever
• Dehydration

Harmful bacteria are the most common cause of foodborne illness. Foods may have some bacteria on them when you buy them. Raw meat may become contaminated during slaughter. Fruits and vegetables may become contaminated when they are growing or when they are processed. But it can also happen in your kitchen if you leave food out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Handling food safely can help prevent foodborne illnesses.

The treatment in most cases is increasing your fluid intake. For more serious illness, you may need treatment at a hospital.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases