Home ยป keeping a salad healthy & flu shots: yay or nay?

keeping a salad healthy & flu shots: yay or nay?

I was talking with a new patient at our clinic yesterday and when I started asking his food preferences he immediately confessed that he didn’t like salads, or most vegetables outside of corn, potatoes, and peas…and I hadn’t mentioned a peep about anything fruit or vegetable-related…yet. I could sense that he was slightly defensive and definitely preparing himself mentally for the “Vegetable Police” to start raking him over the coals. Fortunately for him (and myself and others), I am far from the anything police and I definitely take the approach of meeting people where they are in order to make small, meaningful, and lasting changes in their diet.

Same goes for myself, promise. It’s funny to me how many people think dietitian = salad fiend. To the contrary, salads are an item I rarely “crave” and if given an option between a salad and another entree at a restaurant, I’d likely prefer the other entree. In addition, many restaurant salads are loaded with calories and fat. My general rule of thumb for salads is to choose ONE of the following high-calorie salad toppings: nuts, seeds, cheese, or dried fruit. It’s not uncommon to see ALL of the above additions on many salads offered at dining establishments, making them a not-so-healthy option.

I had a perfect fall salad last night featuring some of my favorite in-season fresh fruits: figs, pomegranate, and honeycrisp apple…along with my high-calorie (nutrient-dense) sunflower seeds all atop a huge bed of arugula and drizzled with Girard’s Apple Poppyseed dressing.


And because Mr. Prevention passed along his cold before heading out of town for work, I also had half of a can of good’ol tomato soup…

Being sick in warm weather is the worst!! At least it was down to 70° last night when I ate my soup outside! And I must admit, not cooking a meal OR exercising last night made for a relaxing evening with Lily, TV, and then a great book 😀

Speaking of exercise (or lack thereof) and illness…

I get asked a lot if it’s “bad” to workout if you’re ill. In my opinion, unless you’re running a fever, it’s perfectly okay to workout so long as you listen to your body. However, taking a few days off to recuperate from an illness can be more beneficial than pushing through a workout that’s either too much physically or mentally. No one knows your symptoms and body better than yourself so I firmly believe that you have to give the body what it needs, and often times that is rest during illness.

Question: What’s your opinion of flu shots? Do you typically get one each year…why or why not?

Flu shot clinics are popping up EVERYWHERE here in central Ohio and I am not well-versed on the topic. I have personally only received one flu shot in my adult life. Why? Because I haven’t had the flu in my adulthood. *KNOCK ON WOOD* I (probably falsely) rationalize that I’ve fared well thus far during flu season, why jinx it? Impart on me your flu shot wisdom and opinions, please!

Be well,

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  1. October 12, 2010 / 6:42 am

    I love figs! That salad looks so delicious to me!
    I used to get flu shots when I worked in the gym, mainly because they offered them. I really have no opinion on them!

  2. October 12, 2010 / 6:59 am

    That salad is gorgeous! And, I can completely relate to the “oh, you must eat a lot of salads!” comment. Seriously, everyone thinks that’s all we eat. While I love salads, they definitely aren’t a main staple in my diet. I go threw salad fazes though, mainly in the summer.
    Oh, and sorry you’re not feeling good. Yuck. But hey, I think it’s better to be sick when it’s warm because cold weather is no fun.

    I hate flu shots, and I refuse to get one. They are offering them free at my work and I won’t do it. I haven’t had the flu (knock on wood) and I’m not worried about dieing if I DO get it….

  3. October 12, 2010 / 7:39 am

    I’m the same as you- I’ve gotten the flu once in the last 10 years. And I’ve only gotten the flu shot once in that time. I’m not sure if I believe in them or not- people always say it’s only for one specific strand of flu- so what’s the point?

    I say all this and will probably get my worst case of the flu yet… haha

  4. October 12, 2010 / 7:41 am

    What a beautiful salad – I cannot wait to buy pomegranate – I haven’t seen them yet. I also do not think I have had a fig – ever.

    Feel better and I am anti flu shots – the one year I got one, I felt miserable for about 48 hours afterwards AND I got the flu. Bad.

    I’m a fan of hand washing!

  5. October 12, 2010 / 7:55 am

    That salad is a work of art!! Beautiful!

    I’ve never gotten a flu shot…and I’ve only had the flu once or twice in my adult life, knock on wood!

  6. October 12, 2010 / 8:04 am

    Gorgeous salad. I think figs make everything look prettier.

    I haven’t gotten a flu shot as an adult and I probably won’t. I probably would get one if I were ill, had diabetes, or was really old. But aside from that, I get sick, but not with the flu. (Knock on wood.) I think I’ll just stick to my obsessive compulsive hand washing.

  7. October 12, 2010 / 8:56 am

    Beautiful salad. I actually just ate some figs for breakfast. I’ve been thinking about using them on a salad, but I’m pretty sure they’re going to make it in my stomach before they have a chance to get to the salad!

    I’ve never gotten a flu shot. I’m not sure why. I know some people who have had pretty bad reactions to it…I guess in some ways I don’t want that to happen to me and would rather take my chances on the flu.

  8. October 12, 2010 / 8:57 am

    Such a beautiful salad!!!

    Last year, my hospital actually made employees wear a mask if they refused the H1N1 flu vaccine! I’ll be getting the flu shot this year.

  9. October 12, 2010 / 8:58 am

    Lovely salad! If salad is the only thing I’m preparing for a meal, I go ahead and top it with satiating foods such as nuts, dried & fresh fruit, edamame or beans, cottage cheese etc. True, all of these toppings are calorie-dense, but that’s what I need in order to feel full on just a salad.

    I steer clear of the flu shot, opting instead to wash my hands as frequently as possible, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and obviously to eat well. I rarely get sick, so it must be working for me :).

  10. October 12, 2010 / 9:21 am

    I am a very strong advocate for flu shots. First off, I am an RN…but I haven’t worked as one for many years. I think anytime you are exposed to many ppl on a daily basis or you travel, it is worth getting the flu shot. I have gotten it for myself and my children now for about 5 years in a row, and never suffered any ill effects from it. Actually, I believe it helps “bump” up your immunity for the season…keeping colds at bay too…but this is absolutely just my opinion. Of course, you can never forget your first line of defense, which is handwashing. Proper handwashing is SOOOOO important.

    Your salad looks wonderful. I have been eyeing up pomegranites at the store now for a week or so. I might break down and get myself one this week. I like the honeycrisp apples…but I LOVE the jazz apples even better! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. October 12, 2010 / 9:28 am

    I love figs and have a really hard time finding them here! As for the flu shot- big nay. I do not get them because I had a bad reaction one year and it wasn’t worth feeling that bad when I probably would have felt better if I had the flu.

  12. October 12, 2010 / 9:50 am

    I have no real opinion on the flu shot. I actually just got it yesterday, but only b/c I happened to be at the doctor and she suggested it. I haven’t had any negative side effects yet!

  13. aria
    October 12, 2010 / 10:19 am

    I’m pro flu shot. As a healthcare provider working with immunocompromised patients, I think I owe it to them to protect myself (and them) from the flu.

  14. October 12, 2010 / 10:22 am

    I used to get a flu shot when I lived at home because my grandmother lived us and I didn’t want to get sick and pass it along to her.
    Now I don’t get the flu shot.

  15. October 12, 2010 / 11:24 am

    I’ve never had a flu shot either but also never had the flu. I rarely get very sick so like you I don’t want to jinx that. I am so loving everything you put on your salad!

  16. October 12, 2010 / 11:56 am

    Thats a lovely salad which is beautifully garnished..

  17. October 12, 2010 / 1:24 pm

    I haven’t gotten a flu shot since I was a kid and your parents decide for you. However, I might get one this year just because I’m around a baby three days a week and I don’t want him to get sick (he got a flu shot). So, I’m still undecided. I did get the flu last year (Swine flu.. and didn’t have a shot then).. so I’m not sure!

  18. October 12, 2010 / 2:18 pm

    Oh wow, is that salad beautiful! Great combo of flavors with the fresh figs and pomegranate arils! I hope you’re feeling better soon!

  19. October 12, 2010 / 2:32 pm

    I have the same “rules” about salad – trying to stick to just one, maybe two calorie-dense ingredients. Your salad looks seasonal and delicious! I have never had a flu shot – I am fortunate to have a really strong immune system because I rarely get sick. I’ll keep playing my cards this way for now!

  20. Tricia Adams
    October 12, 2010 / 2:40 pm

    I try to get a flu shot every year. Unless you have an egg allergy they’re generally safe for everyone and most people don’t have any adverse reaction, aside from maybe a day of stiffness in the arm where you got the shot.

    If I get the flu, I’m young and healthy and will be over it soon. But what if I get the flu and pass it along to someone with an impaired immune system, or an elderly person or a baby?

    It’s worth it to me to just pay for a shot to eliminate almost all chance I’ll get it and pass it on to someone else.

    That’s just my $1.02 on the subject I guess ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. October 12, 2010 / 2:46 pm

    I cant remember ever getting a flu shot. I rarely get sick, so Im not concerned about it. I would rather just eat extra healthy and wash my hands lots. It seems to have worked so far.

  22. October 12, 2010 / 3:05 pm

    I’ve had the flu twice actually since being in college but never before that. I try to be diligent about sanitizing now. I’ve never gotten a flu shot and I’m not sure if I want to get one or not……

  23. October 12, 2010 / 4:18 pm

    I’ve gotten a flu shot every year since college and haven’t had the flu in that time, but before that I would get miserably sick with it… My OB highly recommended it this year since I’m pregnant and if what I’ve been told is true, my baby will be protected for 6 months after he is born.

  24. October 12, 2010 / 6:04 pm

    I was told I really should get a flu shot since we work with a lot of older patients in the hospital. I still haven’t decided though!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  25. October 12, 2010 / 10:05 pm

    I got one last year because my old company paid for it. I don’t know if I’ll get one this year. I guess I’m just cheap!

  26. October 12, 2010 / 10:46 pm

    what a BEAUTIFUL salad!!!
    I get flu shots- my mom is BEGGING me to get one this year! (she does every year) she is an RN and has done research on them.. she recommends it!

  27. sunshine608
    October 13, 2010 / 7:41 am

    Love the salad!
    It sad how restaurants have turned many salads into the worst things on the menu.

    I’m asthmatic ( high risk) and complications from the flu has landed me a nice weekend stay in the hospital. For that reason, I always get a Flu shot. Before I was diagnosed asthma in college I never got one. These days however when I spend nights away from home, I prefer they be on the beach or at least some other fun location. Not one that requires open in the back gowns and being poked and proded every hour.

    I typically still get an abbreviated version of the Flu once a year, but the shot greatly diminishes complications and the duration.

    DH on the other hand has never gotten the flu shot or the flu. Lucky him.

  28. Liz H
    October 13, 2010 / 8:16 am

    Hey Nicole – the salad is INCREDIBLE!
    I, too, resisted flu shots…until I had my first child. Then you could not get me to the doctor fast enough! I have had 3 years of shots now and Jeff, Anne Marie, and I have never had a bad reaction. Usually we are a little more tired on the day of the shot than usual. None of us has gotten the flu in 3 years, either. This year the H1N1 vaccine is in with the regular shot, so you only have to get one. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the powers that be picked the right strains for the shot!

  29. October 15, 2010 / 9:03 pm

    When I was working as a nurse we were supposed to get the flu shot b/c we are in the “high risk group”. I got it several years in a row with no problem. Then I quit working, but was supposed to get when I was pregnant – also high risk – and that is the only time I had any effects from the flu shot ( i think b/c my immune system was low). Now it is recommended that I get it b/c my little boy CAN’T get it (b/c he is allergic to eggs) and obviously, he lives in the house with me. And my dad is immuno-compromised due to a bone marrow transplant – so everyone around him has to get one. WHY am I telling you all this….not sure, I got off on a tangent and telling my life story. My point was…if you are in a high risk group (and since you work with diabetics, and they are high risk – that may include you) then I recommend them. The shot is not a live virus but the nasal spray is…this makes a difference for some people. *sigh* sorry, this is the longest comment ever.

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