Posts Tagged ‘article’

I live in Michigan, and the latest health scare in the Midwest has been the Enterovirus D68. This virus seems to affect children in particular and has landed many kids in the hospital. In the words of the popular YouTube video from a couple of years ago, “Hide yo kids, hide yo wife” from this highly-publicized illness. I read an article tonight that made this frightening statement: “While there isn’t a specific vaccine or medication to treat the Enterovirus, Michigan does have access to a federal strategic national stockpile of vaccines and other medical supplies to deal with a potential outbreak.” See Fox 17’s article here: What on earth?! You’re just going to shoot random vaccines into people without even knowing if they will help? Thanks, health officials.

I know they mean well, but seriously, as scary as they’re making this virus sound, you can do a lot to prevent contracting it (along with preventing other illnesses). If you receive my monthly e-newsletter, you have read many of these things before around cold and flu season time, but here’s a reminder. Here are some things you can do to boost your immune system to either prevent getting the Enterovirus D68 or to lessen its symptoms if you’ve already contracted it:

1. Hand-washing…Even the traditional medical field will tell you it’s important to wash your hands, and it’s also important to ONLY TOUCH YOUR FACE IF YOUR HANDS ARE CLEAN.

2. Healthy diet…Anything with refined sugar in it will lower your immune system. Try to eat a lot of fruit, vegetables, and protein. Dairy products and grains will worsen any congestion you may be experiencing. Choose water over sugary drinks. Drink a lot of water, regardless of whether you’re healthy or already sick. It will help to flush out toxins and will loosen your congestion.

3. Cod liver oil and calcium…These supplements will boost your immune system to fight off viruses and will also lower a fever. They work particularly well in children. It may be a little painful for your wallet, but try to buy high-quality versions of cod liver oil and calcium so that you’re not getting a bunch of additives, food coloring, and preservatives along with the good stuff. I like Calcium Lactate from Standard Process and cod liver oil from Nordic Naturals (which comes in lemon flavor, by the way, so it actually tastes pretty good).

4. Elderberry tea…This tea does not have the best taste, but it is well-known as a virus-fighter. Make sure you drink plenty of water to wash out all of the toxins it will kill in your body.

5. ViruStat and BacteStat…These are homeopathics from Energique that fight what their names suggest–Virustat for viruses and Bactestat for bacteria. If you’re sick, take some. If you’re not sick, take some to prevent getting sick. These are currently my main go-to when I’m around sick people or if I’m starting to get a sore throat.

6. Acidophilus…Probiotics are becoming more and more popular, and they are a good thing to take year-round. The healthier your digestion is, the healthier you will be overall.

7. Thieves oil…Thieves oil is a combination of essential oils that fight germs. You rub a little on your wrists like perfume and let it work its magic. It does smell pretty strong, so only use a drop. You can also put it in a diffuser to purify the air in your house (PLEASE choose this over spraying Lysol–Lysol use can have some bad side effects). Legend has it that thieves wore this mix of essential oils while robbing dead bodies during the bubonic plague and consequently were able to avoid contracting it themselves–hence, the name “Thieves’ oil.”

8. Garlic…Garlic has been used for centuries to fight germs. Drop a bit of garlic in as many things as you can–soup, spaghetti sauce, etc.

9. Sleep…The proper amount of sleep will do wonders for many health ailments (Look at me, saying this as I write this blog entry at 3 a.m. Yes, I know it’s not smart for me to be up this late.).

10. Lemon juice…If you’re coughing, lemon juice works amazingly well as cough syrup, plus it’s cheaper AND it tastes better. You really can’t go wrong. On top of this, it gives you a vitamin C boost. My family and I like Minute Maid’s frozen lemon juice concentrate; it’s just lemon juice and water with no preservatives or anything extra. It runs around $2.00 a bottle here in Michigan, and one bottle will be good for several uses. Fill a glass with water and squirt some lemon juice into it (let the bottle thaw before trying to use it). Super easy.

Overall message: Don’t be scared of getting sick, but please take care of your health so that you can have a strong immune system and can hopefully AVOID getting sick! Let me know in the comments below what other natural cures you like to use.

**I am not a doctor. Please consult your healthcare provider if you want medical advice, and please also READ THE LABELS on these natural products to make sure they will not interfere with any medications you may currently be taking or with any health problems you may have. Please also follow any directions that may be on the labels. If you are nursing or pregnant, you DEFINITELY need to consult your doctor before you try many of the above-named products.**

On an unrelated note: You still have a few weeks to submit your short story, poem, article, or creative nonfiction piece to my writing contest! Five people will each win a $15 gift card and will be published in my January 2015 e-newsletter. Check out the rules for the contest here:

If you like the field of alternative health, you may be interested in checking out my book, Illegally Innocent. It’s available in both paperback and eBook. Learn more about it on my website,, or watch the book trailer here:

Every month I send out an e-newsletter, and the past two years the January issue of that newsletter has been the “Reader Issue.” In the “Reader Issue,” I publish a poem, short story, creative nonfiction piece, or article from five different people. The past two years my friends, Claire Kaemmerling and Kaitlin Marshburn, have been co-judges to help pick the winning submissions.

The third annual “Reader Issue” writing contest is here, and I am currently accepting submissions. There will be five winners again this year, and each of those five winners will receive a $15 gift card as well as having his/her winning submission published in my January 2015 e-newsletter.

There are a lot of writing contests around, and many of them require you to pay an entry fee. THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE FOR MY WRITING CONTEST, so you have absolutely nothing to lose if you submit a piece.

If you already subscribe to my e-newsletter, then you received the rules for this contest in my July 2014 newsletter (sent out a couple of weeks ago). If you are not a subscriber and would like to be, please visit the homepage of my website,, to submit your email address and sign up. Regardless of whether you subscribe or not, check out the rules for the writing contest below! 🙂

1. I will accept submissions beginning August 15, 2014, through October 15, 2014. If you submit something AFTER October 15, it is not a valid submission and will not be considered for this contest.

2. Whether you are five years old or 105, you are welcome to submit a piece for this contest. There are no age limits.

3. If you were one of the five winners who appeared in the January 2014 newsletter, you must take a year off. However, if you were one of the five winners the first year of the contest (meaning your winning submission appeared in the January 2013 newsletter), you are eligible to enter the contest again this year.

4. I will accept poems, short stories, creative nonfiction pieces, and articles for this contest. Whichever category you choose, your submission must be no longer than 4,000 words.

5. When you submit your piece, please send it to In the subject of your email, put “Reader Issue.” In the body of your email, list your name; home (or mailing) address; email address; phone number; and the title and category of your work (article, poem, short story, or creative nonfiction) and then provide the work as an attachment.

6. Each person may submit up to two pieces.

7. Before you email me your piece, consider the following:

A. How is the grammar and overall sentence structure of your submission?
B. Did you follow directions regarding how to submit your piece–including your name, address, etc. in the body of the email?
C. Is your submission 4,000 words or fewer? If you’re submitting two pieces, each piece can be up to 4,000 words.
D. Is your submission appropriate? If you would rate it worse than PG, there is a strong possibility that much of my e-newsletter audience (which covers a wide range of ages and belief systems) will be offended, and I most likely will not print it.
E. Is it well-written? Did you spend a significant amount of time on it, or did you just throw it together in a few minutes?
F. Entertainment value–I am looking for something that holds my interest and will make me want to keep reading after the first page (or in the case of a shorter piece, it will make me want to keep reading after the first few lines).

Have any questions? Ask me in the comments below, and I will gladly answer them. The five winners will be notified by email on or before January 1, 2015. I can’t wait to read your submissions, so start working on them and send them in soon! 🙂

I have been absolutely horrible about keeping up with blogging lately, and I hope to get back into the swing of things this winter. However, I just wanted to post that TODAY is the last day for you to submit your story/poem/article/creative nonfiction piece for my writing contest! Five people will have their winning submissions printed in my January 2014 e-newsletter and will also receive a $15 gift card. You can see the rules for this contest here: Make sure you submit your piece by 11:59 p.m. TODAY!!!  🙂 Can’t wait to read your work!