New Orleans might be the hub for Mardi Gras parades and celebrations on Tuesday, March 8, but you can easily get into the spirit of this holiday no matter where you are. Mardi Gras, also called Carnival in some countries, is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday in the Christian faith.
The kickoff of Mardi Gras is known as “Fat Tuesday,” which for some, might imply that it’s hard to celebrate without loosening your belt or spending some extra hours at the gym. Instead of overindulging, recreate some of your favorite Cajun and Louisiana recipes for Mardi Gras this year — but with a healthier twist.
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Along with fall comes the seasonal flu. It’s inevitable. People at high risk of catching the flu should protect themselves first and foremost with a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has great information on steps you can take to prevent a flu infection. It includes the basics like washing your hands and avoiding people who exhibit flu-like symptoms. But I’m going to focus on an area that is often overlooked – your immune system.
The job of your immune system is to protect your body from bacterial and viral infections, such as the ones that cause the common cold and seasonal flu. The immune system protects you in three different ways:
- It creates a barrier that prevents bacteria and viruses from entering your body (your skin).
- If a bacteria or virus does enter the body, the immune system tries to detect and eliminate it before it can make itself at home and reproduce.
- If the virus or bacteria is able to reproduce and start causing problems, your immune system is in charge of eliminating it.
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