The past few days have been pretty rough at The Ethel Homestead.

The 3 year old woke up very early one morning throwing up. His older brother (4 years old) woke up a couple of hours later, same thing.

When it comes to mothering and taking care my kids, I become “Amy 2.0.” Everything else stops. In between washing bed sheets and sanitizing EVERYTHING, I started to feel queasy myself. Then my husband started to get sick. The Ethels were dropping like flies.

I hopped on Facebook and went to my friend (and trainer) Mel’s page, to send her a message. I needed advice quick! Let me back up for a second….

I met Mel at our local gym back in May and we connected immediately. We met at Panera for smoothies the very next week. I told her about my journey so far,  my health/fitness goals, and the bad habits (ahem, Alcohol just to name one) that I have overcome by participating in Celebrate Recovery and the 12 steps. As I told her my story, she had tears in her eyes and I knew I had met a fellow soul sister.

Mel is my GO-TO for all things health, nutrition and fitness. (If you don’t have someone like this in your life, I suggest you get one,  ASAP!)

Mel is one of the most positive, energetic people I have ever met. Not only does she live and breathe health, wellness, and exercise in her own life, she has the desire for others to have it as well.

Back to the current situation at hand…..

Sickness was in our house..and I wanted it gone NOW!  I always love the way that God works and how He knows what we need, WHEN we need it. When I went to Mel’s page, I ended up not even having to send her a message, because her current Facebook status was about (you guessed it) the stomach flu. I asked her permission to share this advice and she said “OF COURSE!” I love this gal! I wish I had known this information BEFORE we all came down with the bug, but now I will be prepared in the future. Thank you Mel!!!!!

Stomach flu graphic


Are there ways to keep yourself from getting the stomach flu?

Other than washing your hands until they bleed???

…the answer is YES!

1. Eat your probiotics.

Yogurt is full of bacteria but it’s “the good kind” that your stomach needs to combat the “bad” kind that makes it want to turn itself inside out in your toilet. The latest research shows that not only can probiotics help stop vomiting and diarrhea 1-3 days earlier but that they can also help prevent colds and improve the body’s response to the flu vaccine. Children given probiotics missed fewer days from daycare due to stomach flu than children who got a placebo (although the AAP notes that more research needs to be done and hence official recommendations can’t be made yet). To reap maximum benefits, avoid yogurts with a lot of added flavoring, colors and sugars as all of those things can exacerbate an irritated gut. Personally I like eating plain, whole yogurt.

2. Stay hydrated inside and out.

One of the reasons people get sick more in the winter is because dehydrated skin means more tiny cracks which means your body’s largest organ and best immune system defense is compromised. While you can’t change the weather you can drink extra fluids, protect your skin from cold weather and use extra lotion. Also, sadly, long, hot showers are not your friend as they dry out your skin too. On the inside, upping your fluid intake makes sure your body has all the H2o it needs to run properly.

3. Stress less.

Cortisol, the “stress hormone”, works partially by suppressing your immune system. When you’re in a true crisis that’s a good thing, but constant stress over time just hangs a “vacancy!” sign over the germ motel of your body. Meditate, take a walk outside, surf for craft ideas on Pinterest that you love or whatever you do to relax.

4. Colon cleansing.

Your body needs a certain balance of minerals and electrolytes to work properly. When you’re healthy, this balance is maintained partly through the colon as it absorbs what your body needs. If you upset the balance in the colon or irritate the walls too much, eat processed foods often, not passing or clearing the colon holds onto these chemicals. Thus affecting the colon to properly absorb the electrolytes and minerals your body needs.

Wow! Thanks again to Mel for this awesome advice!

It was too good not to share.

Until next time,  BE BLESSED!!!!