Flu Shot Time!

Hard to believe that flu season is upon us again. Seems like just yesterday we were disposing of our leftover flu vaccine from last season. Since I started giving flu shots back in 2009, our store has done anywhere from 1200 to 1500 flu shots per year. It is very important that people get their flu shot especially children 6 months and older, the elderly, and pregnant women. The only reason not to get the shot is if someone may have an allergy to a component of the shot.

What is the flu?

When someone has a case of the flu, they are suffering from their body being attacked by the influenza virus. The flu is responsible for many doctor and hospital visits each year. For the 2018-2019 flu season, it was estimated that over 20 million people got sick from the flu and over 25,000 died from the flu. It is especially dangerous in the elderly and young children due to complications that can occur from the flu weakening their immune systems.

The virus is passed along from person to person due to tiny droplets that are exhaled when people cough, sneeze, or talk. At times, someone may come into contact with a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and infecting themselves by either touching either their mouth, nose, or eye.

Treatment of the flu

When it comes to treating the flu, there is an abundance of over-the-counter medications that can be suggested. These range from pain relievers like Advil and Tylenol to saline nasal sprays and cough formulations such as Delsym and Mucinex. While there are also prescriptions medications to treat symptoms of the flu, there are only a few anti-viral medications to help treat and shorten the duration of the flu. The most common one I see prescribed is Tamiflu. Last October saw the approval of Xofluza. These are both used to reduce the duration of the flu and are best taken with 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Consult your doctor or healthcare professional before taking any of these medications.

Non-medical treatments include:

  • drink plenty of fluids
  • get plenty of rest
  • use a humidifier
  • eat foods easy on the stomach (bland foods)
  • increase zinc intake
  • use essential oils
  • drink herbal tea

Why get the flu shot?

While the flu shot is not always 100% effective, you are increasing your chances of not getting the flu by getting the shot. If you get the shot and still get the flu, often the illness will not be as severe as if you didn’t get the shot.

If you have a family with children or elderly living with you, it is best to protect not only yourself but also your family as you wouldn’t want to bring the virus into the home.

It has become very convenient to get the flu shot. You no longer have to go to the doctor and get the shot. Most pharmacies carry the shot now and are covered %100 by most insurances. All it takes is about 15 minutes of your time to get a shot.

When to get the flu shot?

Flu season is generally said to occur during the fall and winter months. There is usually an increase in activity starting in October and November and peaking between December and February. The season sometimes can last until May.

It is recommended this year to get the shot by the end of October. In previous years, the recommendation was to get the vaccine as soon as it was available. Some pharmacies were receiving the vaccine as early as the end July or the beginning of August. This year, they no longer recommend getting the vaccine that early as it may not provide adequate protection through the duration of flu season.

How to prevent the flu?

While the obvious answer is to get a flu shot, again it is not 100%. Some measures of precaution that I recommend involve hygiene. Washing hands often is very important. As mentioned previously, the flu can be acquired by touching a surface contaminated by the virus. Having hand sanitizer handy is also a good idea. If you know someone is sick, it is best to keep away from them. If you live with them and are unable to quarantine them in the house, it is best that you both wear a mask to prevent the the spread of the virus. Tamiflu can also be taking as a preventative.

The following items I recommend to help prevent the flu. These are available at your local pharmacy or most supermarkets.

PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Gel Infused with Essential Oils, Scented Variety Pack, 9 – 1 fl oz Travel Sized Flip Cap Bottles with included JELLY WRAP Carriers (Pack of 9) – 3900-09-ECME17

PacingMed Disposable Medical Mask – Face Mask for Dust, Flu, Mouth, Surgical Dental, Cleaning, Construction, Travel, Allergy Mask – Hypoallergenic, Antiviral Anti Pollen, FDA (50pcs, Blue)

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes 320 ct, 2 Lemon + 2 Ocean, (4x80ct),Packaging May Vary

The following items are good immune system boosters.

Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 16 oz (1 Pack)

Onnit Vitamin D3 Spray

Read about the study done on vitamin d and flu here:


Save 10% on this and all Onnit products with code STANDUP10

They are already predicting a very bad flu season this year. There has already been one flu related death. Protect yourself and your loved ones by getting the flu shot and practicing good hygiene. Stay safe!

*Products listed on this page are recommendations I believe to be beneficial in fighting off the flu. Consult your physician or contact the manufacturer of any of the products before using.


Gut Health

I often get asked by customers what they should take for their ailments with regards to their stomach. This may include bloating, diarrhea, upset stomach from taking antibiotics, regularity, etc. The answer I usually give is probiotics. Probiotics are an essential ingredient for maximizing your total gut health.


Whether you like it or not, your body is made of many bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. These comprise your microbiome and are very important for not only your digestion, but also for brain function, immune system, maintaining healthy skin, and other functions.

There are many factors that can hurt our gut bacteria. The following is a list of some of them:

If any of these factors apply to you, you are a likely candidate for probiotics even though you may feel like you are healthy.

What are Probiotics

Probiotics are often considered the “good bacteria” in our bodies. Some forms of yeast also act as probiotics. These are live microorganims that can potentially restore the gut’s normal flora.

There is belief that many of the body’s functions are linked to the gut. Thus, having a healthy gut results in an overall healthy body.

You can get your probiotics through different types of food or supplements. Some foods that contain probiotics are:

  1. Kimchee
  2. Kombucha
  3. Pickles
  4. Yogurt
  5. Sauerkraut
  6. Miso
  7. Olives

When taking a supplement, there are several factors you want to look for in a good probiotic.

  1. High number of Colony Forming Units (CFU)
  2. Wide variety of Strains
  3. Tested by a 3rd party lab
  4. Refrigeration not required

There is still much to learn about probiotics. While there has been much research regarding different strains and their benefits, it seems as if we are just scratching the surface of just how beneficial probiotics can be.


Not to be confused with probiotics, prebiotics are also an important component in maximizing gut health. Prebiotics are a special form of dietary fiber that help probiotics grow in your body. So while you do not necessarily need prebiotics for probiotics to work, they may enhance the health benefits of probiotics. Some common foods that you can find prebiotics in are:

  1. garlic
  2. onions
  3. leek
  4. asparagus
  5. apples
  6. underipened bananas
  7. barley
  8. oats

Onnit Total Gut Health

One product that hits all the checkmarks for a good probiotic are the Total Gut Health Packs sold by Onnit. Each packet contains in addition to probiotics and prebiotics, digestive enzymes and betaine hydrochloride as digestive aids. The betaine hcl breaks down foods while the enzymes break down fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber. Remember good nutrition comes from absorbing nutrients, not just consuming them.

To learn more about this product click on the image below.

As always, before taking any supplementation, I recommended consulting your doctor or the manufacturer for any questions you may have.


Count On Me T-Shirt

Sorry everyone. I have been away for the long Labor Day Weekend and have not had much time to update the site. I just want you to know that I will be looking to add more content and recommendations in the near future. You can count on it!

With that being said, I am excited to share another T-Shirt I have designed. They will be available at Redbubble.com and Teepublic.com

Links to shirts are the following:

White Graphic on Redbubble

Black Graphic on Redbubble

White Graphic on Teepublic

Black Graphic on Teepublic

Let people know that they can count on you like you do with counting trays. They also make great gifts for your friends or colleagues that work in a pharmacy setting. Get them while they’re hot!!