Sunday, January 27, 2013

What is Norovirus?

Image via NPR

Norovirus is a virus that we should all be watching out for in the next couple months. A new strain is causing many to get sick with the "stomach flu." In fact, this virus is the most common cause of the winter stomach flu. Norovirus does NOT cause respiratory symptoms but can be a result of food poisoning.

You can catch norovirus by a number of ways: person to person contact, indirect contact by touching contaminated surfaces, and even through air droplets. Norovirus can live on surfaces for a LONG time, making it even harder to avoid. You only need to be exposed to a few particles to catch the disease!

So what can you do? Just like with the flu- WASH YOUR HANDS. When you are in public, avoid touching your face (mouth and eyes especially) after touching random surfaces. Carry around hand sanitizers and wash your hands before eating or right when you get home. If you are sick with the stomach flu- PLEASE stay at home, rest, and stay hydrated. Clean surfaces with LYSOL disinfectant as this will kill norovirus.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cancer fighting foods: Kale and Brocolli

It is always difficult to force ourselves to eat healthy foods, when we don't have a taste for it. I for one can not stand the taste of cooked carrots unless it is masked in some kind of sauce. I recently discovered this simple and easy recipe for kale and broccoli: two powerful cancer fighting foods,  and plan to make it a staple in my diet. Baked kale satisfies the crunch and salty cravings I get that make me dream about potato chips or french fries.

Both Kale and Broccoli contain sulforaphane: a powerful chemical that can block the formation of cancer cells.

Kale is also packed with
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Manganese

Recipe for quick and delicious Kale chips

1. Curly kale is the best for baking. Remove stems by ripping of cutting them off.
2. Cut Kale (by ripping) into small pieces. Wash and dry thoroughly in a salad spinner.
3.  Place dry kale on a flat pan.
4. Dribble olive oil on top. Use hands to rub oil on all leaves.
5. Sprinkle with seasoning of your choice! Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Parmesan, Chipotle, Old Bay etc!!!
6. Bake in oven 15 min at 350!
7. Let cool in oven.

Brocolli recipe from Barefoot Contessa:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Doctor's Advice: Flu Shot 2013

If you have not received a flu shot this year- now is the time to do it! It is NEVER to late - until you catch it that is! Flu shots are available at your local CVS, primary care physician, or at the hospital. The flu is making a big appearance this year especially in the Mid- Atlantic area.


You can NOT get the flu from the flu vaccine. Some people may feel a little under the weather for a day or two after getting the shot, but trust me - this is NOT the flu. The flu will keep you out of action for a week or two with symptoms like : fatigue, aches, fevers, diarrhea, vomiting etc.

If you do have flu like symptoms : REST, drink water/ 100% juices and STAY HOME!

In public, carry around hand sanitizers as you can not always access a wash room.

Stay healthy! 

                     Dr. Lisa

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to lose weight in 2013!!

When the New Year comes around, and our bellies are stuffed with holiday food, it is time to get reminded about our goals. A common goal for everyone should be to stay fit and healthy. It is time to pull out those gym pants and tennis shoes and get back to working hard. As much as the media tries to sell us easy fixes for staying in shape - no such thing exists. Just like anything else in life that is worth it - being healthy involves dedication and hard work!!!

I've noticed that the hardest part of taking an initiative to get fit is just that --- taking the initiative! So start slow - commit to a 15 min work out, switching from coffee to tea, not buying junk food etc. Start slow and work your way up. We are all human so we WILL stumble every so often - but the key is to recognize when we get off track and get back on it!

Start incorporating healthy food back into your diet - substitute all the fried fatty foods of the holiday with fresh spinach, broccoli, yogurt, green tea, granola, nuts, fish etc.

Find an exercise that works for you! Invest in an elliptical ( my personal favorite), join a rec team, take your dog for more walks etc. You want your heart to be challenged! Get that blood flowing!

Good luck to everyone. I know 2013 will be a very lucky year!

          - Dr. Lisa