RSV (or respiratory syncytial virus)

Once again we’ve arrived at that time of year where some sacrifice their sanity and personal space in exchange for deals in department stores that go up to as much as 75% off. While most are thinking about the deep discounts that are available this Friday, I’m thinking of something completely different. I’m thinking of the tons of bacteria that will invade the malls, department stores, and restaurants this weekend. Weird? Perhaps, but with the increase of RSV in children this year, you can never be too careful.

If you’re a parent, you know there’s nothing worse than seeing your baby suffering from something that they can’t explain because they’ve yet to learn how to talk or how to express themselves.  I experienced this when my son at 4 months old, contracted RSV. RSV or, Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a  nasty virus that attacks the lungs and respiratory system of  infants, on up to 2-year-olds and it is currently on the rise, especially in the states of Texas and Kentucky. At first, it presents itself like the common cold would in kids or adults but things begin to take a turn for the worse when the scariest symptom for a child, labor intensive breathing, kicks in. This happens because the lungs become inflamed with mucus, restricting their little airways and this is the part where some are left feeling helpless because they notice their child is struggling and there’s nothing they can do to make it better at that very moment.

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When my youngest son had RSV, we were in the hospital for one whole week.  The doctor wanted to  do a scope on him, which involved placing a nasogastric tube in his nose and down his throat for further testing but right away, I refused. For a four month-old, I considered this to be an extremely unnecessary and invasive procedure. I also didn’t allow any medications because RSV is a virus, not a bacterial infection and there isn’t one conventional medicine that cures viruses. During that week, I just continued to nurse my son. I kept him in the hospital room, away from other sick people and just like that, my son was cured naturally without any meds or invasive tests to further diagnose him. As a matter of fact, he is my healthiest kid yet!

While we can’t keep our children in a bubble and lock them away from the rest of the world during peak RSV season (Nov – April) we can decrease their chances of contracting the disease by doing everything we can to keep ourselves healthy, especially while we’re out and about shopping this holiday season. RSV is spread the same way the common cold is for the most part. As adults we can make sure we do the basics like washing our hands regularly and thoroughly, covering our mouths and noses when we cough and sneeze, and disinfecting surfaces and objects (toys, doorknobs, countertops, etc) that are frequently touched.  Not only will these methods prevent the spread of RSV, they will also decrease the chances of cold and flu contraction in adults.

In addition to washing our hands and other preventative methods, we can also incorporate immune boosting foods into our diets. These recipes are great for the immune system and gut health of older kids and adults. You know I have to share them with you because this wouldn’t be Cleangoodeats if I didn’t give you a good immune boosting, gut-health supporting solution!

 

RECIPES

  • Red Cabbage, Apple and Cranberry Sauerkraut (From the cookbook, “Heal Your Gut”)
  • 1/2  head of red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 handful of organic cranberries
  • 1/2 apple grated
  • filtered water

Directions:

Thinly slice the cabbage. Mix the salt and cabbage together.  Blend until the juices begin to come out of the cabbage.  This should take about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add in apple and cranberries.  Put in one quart size jar, fill with filtered water.  Leave about 1/2 inch room at the top for fermentation.  Place on counter for 3 to 4 days.  Open to release fermented air and liquid, then place in the fridge covered.

  • Easy Peasy Butternut Squash Soup – 1 serving
  • 2 cups butternut squash diced
  • 1/2 cup nut based milk (I use almond milk)
  • 2 pinches of clove
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp orange peel

Garnish: Cilantro

Steam ingredients together in a large pot. Stir when squash has softened.  Add seasonings and stir. When done, blend well, garnish and serve.

  • Easy Peasy Pea and Corn Chowder – 2 servings
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 pinch clove
  • 2 pinches garlic
  • 2.5 cups water

Garnish: Cilantro

  • Place corn, peas, and water in a small slow cooker
  • Cook on high for 3 hours
  • Separate water from veggies and blend. Add water for chowder consistency.
  • Add clove and garlic blend for 10 seconds more, garnish and serve.
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