Are You Prepared for Flu Season?

Flu Shot Blog Graphic-01We may be in the heart of summer, but it won’t be long before fall-the start of flu season. Peak flu season can begin as early as October and last through May. The best time to get a flu shot is in September or October. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be most effective. Mark your flu shot on your calendar so you’re protected for the upcoming flu season.

What else should you know about flu shots? 

  • Flu shots offer valuable protection. A flu shot doesn’t guarantee you won’t get the flu, but it helps. In fact, it provides you with up to 60 percent more protection than if you don’t get one. 
  • You don’t get the flu from flu shots. Modern flu vaccines don’t use live viruses, which means you can’t catch the flu from a flu shot. 
  • You can get a flu vaccine at no cost to you. Most of our health plans allow you to get the flu vaccine at no cost when you get it from provider or pharmacy in your plan’s network. Visit PacificSource.com/flu to find providers and pharmacies near you. 
  • Pharmacies offer convenience. Most pharmacies offer drop-in flu shots with little or no waiting.

If you have insurance through PacificSource and you’re not sure the flu shot is covered, please contact our Customer Service Department. For more information, visit  PacificSource.com/flu.

Tips to Fight the Flu

  • Cover your cough with a tissue. This is a simple way to help keep the virus from spreading. Feel a cough or sneeze coming on, but don’t have a tissue? Cough or sneeze into your elbow-not your hand.
  • Wash your hands frequently. You should do this even when it’s not flu season, but it’s especially important when viruses are in the air. Wash your hands with soap and water for a full 20 seconds.
  • Get a flu shot. This is a great way to protect yourself and look out for others who share space with you at home or at work.
  • Encourage your family members to get flu shots. Fall and winter season family fun is more enjoyable when everyone is well enough to participate in activities.

What We Eat: Fiery Beef Satay Skewers

Marinades are great as they add tons of flavor without a bunch of unwanted calories typically included with cream sauces, butter, or oil. Also, there are many different marinades out there to keep your dinners different through the weeks.

The below marinade we included in the recipe for fiery beef satay skewers is one we really enjoy. The sweet heat and fresh lime make this a perfect summer day meal, but good enough to enjoy any time of the year. I made the dish  with peppers and turnips. The green peppers really complemented the beef nicely. I’m still working out the kinks with the turnips! And please use any veggie you prefer, or have left over in the fridge.

Fiery Beef Satay Skewers

Serves 4

Ingredients
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  • 1-1/2 lbs top sirloin steak
  • 5-6 green onions, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs ground Cayenne

Instructions

  • In large bowl, combine mustard, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, garlic and cayenne.
  • Remove and reserve 1/2-cup of this marinade mixture for basting.
  • Trim fat from beef steak. Cut into 1-1/2” cubes.
  • Add beef to remaining marinade in bowl. Toss to coat.
  • Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • Remove beef from marinade. Discard marinade.
  • Alternately thread an equal amount of beef and green onion onto each of four 12” metal or bamboo skewers.
  • Place skewers on grill over medium ash-covered coals.
  • Grill, uncovered, 10-12 minutes for medium-rare to medium, basting frequently with reserved 1/2-cup marinade and turning occasionally.
  • Let sit for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 264
% Calories from fat: 27
Fat (gm): 8
Saturated fat (gm): 3
Cholesterol (mg): 85
Sodium (mg): 1011
Protein (gm): 30
Carbohydrate (gm): 16

 

What We Eat: Wholesome Tomato Soup

Usually, when I go for tomato soup, I am feeling quite lazy. Resulting from my meal coming from a can or box. I never considered making tomato soup another way, until our wellness team passed us this recipe. The benefits? A much fresher, tastier soup that doesn’t contain an excessive amount of sodium.

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Wholesome Tomato Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs fresh tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 green onion stalks
  • 1/3 cup 1% or fat free milk
  • Pepper to taste
  • Optional: Fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, and thyme
  • Optional: Veggies such as squash, zucchini, and carrots

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Quarter tomatoes, shallot, garlic, and optional veggies.
  2. Drizzle 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil into an oven safe dish. Place quartered veggies, shallot, and garlic in dish, and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top.
  3. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Add green onion stalks. Broil on low for 10 minutes. Add the optional herbs for the last 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove dish from oven. Pour all contents into blender, including the liquid. Add milk.
  6. Liquefy ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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PS, this recipe was also featured in our 31 Healthy Recipes Challenge.