Thursday, April 30, 2009

CHILL-OUT SECRETS to Fighting Flu, Naturally


Fighting Swine Flu, Naturally

by Cal Orey, M.A. Health Author

As a health author, I am watching people on TV and at home in a tourist town bracing for the worst. The "worried well" are stocking up on food, face masks, money, and more. As a kid, tween, and teenager, I recall the contagious polio epidemic, tuberculosis, and mononucleosis hitting my neighborhood, my friends. At 25, my mom died of pneumonia.

Later, as a magazine journalist living in San Francisco, I wrote about the frightening AIDS outbreak, which we learned can affect all people of all ages. After penning books such as Doctors' Orders: What 101 Doctors Do to Stay Healthy, and The Healing Powers of Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Chocolate series, I know that good nutrition with supplements and healthful lifestyle changes are the best prevention plan to bolster the immune system--whatever the "vicious" monster virus may be. The glitch is, while this virus may not be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu--it doesn't discriminate. People with healthy immune systems are not immune.

But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you get and stay healthier and you end up contracting the virus from getting infected by another person, your body will be in better shape to fight the symptoms of the flu and get well faster.

So, here are ten natural flu-busters that Southern California-based Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., recommends to his patients to keep from getting influenza, straight from my book Doctors' Orders. Plus, the CDC also touts practicing good health habits and "social distancing" during this contagious swine flu virus outbreak.

Currently, there are two prescribed anti-viral drugs. One vaccine is in the works for what is now technically called "influenza A(H1N1) virus"--and continues to spread around the globe. And the good news is, this virus doesn't have the deadly nature as other pandemic viruses in the past.

1. Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking water, herbal teas, and vitamin C-rich liquids can flush out any toxins that you accumulate.
2. Wash your hands frequently. Viruses can be transmitted by shaking someone's hand and then touching your face, nose or mouth. (This is probably the most important strategy. See previous blog for the Four Thieves Formula--apple cider vinegar and herbs.)
3. Eat right. "There are many plant chemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids that have antiviral and antibacterial activity," he says. So eating nutritious produce daily will help keep your immune system strong. He also eats fish, whole grains, onions and garlic which help stave off flu, too.

4. Treat yourself well. "I try to minimize junk food, but I do succumb to chocolate or calcium-rich ice cream once or twice a week," he says. "It's possible that lots of sugar can interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system."
5. Take vitamin C. Most of the research says that it improves the immune system.
6. Take echinacea. This herb is touted to have both antibiotic and immune-stimulating properties. But note, it's best used as a preventive measure before you get the flu.
7. Zinc yourself well.. "Zinc lozenges are the most powerful," he says. Zinc is a potent virus-fighters that can cut the time you spend in misery.
8. Drink herbal teas. "Warm liquids help loosen mucus," explains Dr. Sahelian.
9. Exercise, exercise, exercise. "It helps me sleep more deeply at night. Deep sleep is a time when the immune system has a chance to regroup itself and get revitalized," notes the good doctor.
10. Chill out. By keeping your stress levels down, you can keep your immune system up and healthy.

* Swine Flu Infections Around the World

* FYI: ; ;

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vinegar Rx to Prevent Swine Flu?

Can apple cider vinegar really help us--the "worried well"--to stay healthy and get peace of mind during the ongoing outbreak of Swine Flu? It's possible, according to history. In my book, The Healing Powers of Vinegar, I document the amazing therapeutic formula used by four savvy robbers who escaped the bubonic plague...

During the Middle Ages, vinegar made its mark, too. Four robbers in the French town of Marseilles preyed upon the homes and belongings left behind by the people who fell victim to the bubonic plague, or "Black Death" of Europe. Eventually they were caught and brought before French judges, who wondered how these four thieves had protected themselves from the deadly plague while looting plague-ridden possessions.

The legend is that the four thieves bargained and exchanged the famous Four Thieves Vinegar for freedom, explaining that they washed themselves with the infection-fighting liquid every few hours. Upon learning about these immunity-boosting qualities, the formula was used by priests and doctors who treated the ill.

No one seems to know who wrote the formula, which differs from recipe to recipe, but it is basically the same and it works in various ways. It can be used to disinfect sick rooms. If diluted with water, if can be used as a body wash. Taken by the teaspoonful (consult with your doctor for the safe amount), it can be used as a preventive measure to stave off viral infections, such as the flu.

Therapeutic Formula of the Four Thieves

Basic ingredients: Combine 3 quarts apple cider vinegar; 3 tablespoons each of rosemary, lavender, sage, mint, rue, and plantain; and 6 cloves of garlic. Let it sit in a covered container for at least 24 hours.

For more information on antibiotic and immune-boosting benefits of vinegar, turn to The Healing Powers of Vinegar, Revised and Updated.

One more thing: Will I put together my own natural Four Thieves "vaccine"? Most likely. As the adage by Benjamin Franklin goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." (The Healing Powers of Vinegar's Four Thieves legend is noted. Article written a year ago. Talk about keen insight!)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Simple Salmon

Ah, seafood. Fish contains the omega-3 fatty acids (which are found in salmon), potassium, and only a small amount of sodium. And it's these ingredients that help keep your blood pressure in check during the ups and downs in life.
What's more, when you include heart-healthy vinegar, garlic, onions, and olive oil with fish, as in this fish recipe, you'll be on track to keeping a healthy heart.
I love this recipe because it's easy to make. It's simple as that. It's keeping it real. And these are the ingredients that help keep me petite--size 4 and 122 pounds--and healthy. Vinegar Bon Appetit!
P.S. Enjoying a 3 1/2 ounce serving of Simple Salmon with vegetables is the right road to allowing ample room to savor a plain but scrumptious dallop of French vanilla ice cream drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Remember, fine food is like a fine friend.
Simple Salmon
Marinate and Bake the Salmon in the Same Pan

6 filets, 6 ounces each 2 ounces olive oil
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced 2 ounces red wine vinegar
4 ounces yellow onion, sliced 2 ounces dry red wine
2 ounces carrots, sliced 2 bay leaves
1 lemon, sliced into rounds 3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 cloves garlic, sliced 4 fresh tarragon leaves
8 ounces vegetable broth salt and pepper to taste

Place the 6 salmon filets in an oven-proof glass pan. Add all the other ingredients. Marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator. In the ssame glass pan, cover salmon loosely with a piece of foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. When salmon is done, remove to a service plate. Strain liquid from baking pan and reduce to less than a cup using a whisk. Adjust seasoning and pour over salmon. Serves 6.
Recipe by Chef Salvatore J. Campagna

(from The Healing Powers of Vinegar, by Cal Orey)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Balsamic Vinegar with a Cool French Twist

Balsamic vinegar as a treasured gift? Absolutely. Chef Sal Campagna, who is of Italian descent turned me on to an unforgettable anecdote. His parents were born in Sicily. And for their seventy-fifth wedding anniversary, Sal turned to Italian balsamic vinegar. It's true. A bottle from Modena (priced at $120 for 8 ounces) was part of the anniversary dinner package. At his restaurant, the former Salvatore's in the San Francisco Bay Area, which specialized in Continental cuisine, he provided an extravagant celebration dinner. For dessert, the creative chef drizzled the rich vinegar over French vanilla ice cream for forty people.

What's more, when he told me this story, I agreed to give the Italian treat a try. After my dinner at Salvatore's (salad with
red wine vinegar and olive oil, French bread dipped in EVOO, grilled salmon with onion and garlic, and steamed veggies), I indulged in the balsamic vinegar decadent delight. And to my surprise, while it wasn't chocolate the Italian dessert was magnifico!

One more thing. To this day, I will treat myself to a scoop of gourmet French vanilla ice cream and team it with the balsamic vinegar gift that gets better with age--like charming homes, companion animals, men, and yes, women.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fight Spring Fever 'n Fat with Oil & Vinegar!

Fight Spring Fever and Fat with

Spring is a time when love is in the air. I can feel it. Rather than sing the blues (especially if you're carrying unwanted winter weight) when couples seem to be blossoming like olives everywhere you look, let the sun shine on you--like I do.
Whether you're enjoying the season of renewal in the U.S. or getting ready to travel somewhere new and exciting like Europe, you want a leaner, fit and fab beach and pool body, right? Here are six tried-and-true tips from me who has mastered the art of weathering spring fever and staying skinny year-round (fall is my fave season) for both health and vanity's sake.

1. If you are solo, hug or adopt a companion animal. Caring for a pet can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Remember, walking the dog (or cat) can rev up your metabolism. I guarantee it.
2. Talk to a human. Feeling lonely? Pick up the phone and call someone you know. Or better yet, make a social call in person. Keeping active and in touch will keep you from overeating. I sip water while chatting it up.
3. Visualize an oasis. Whether your “peaceful place” is in a Long Island garden, a museum in Manhattan, or some other calming place, simply close your eyes and picture it. If you're centered you won't want to overindulge in food. I imagine a swimming pool like the one in the photo -- Umbria, Italy (
4. Get adequate shut-eye. Ever notice that when you don’t get enough sleep, you get cranky, or overeat sugary foods? Eight hours is the amount of sleep recommended by experts to help replenish your body and mind. I snooze with my two Brittanys--great cuddlers, no snoring.
5. Don’t forget the oil and vinegar. While you’re waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right to come into your life, visit your local health foods store (a good place to meet good people) and purchase eco-friendly white vinegar and olive oil for spring household cleaning (you'll burn calories as you declutter). I love going green--no chemicals. Feels PC.
6. Commit to exercise regularly. Join a local health club, gym, or indoor pool, to get and stay in shape. Use olive oil or olive oil-based products to help keep your skin smooth from head to toe. I swim four times a week, at least. Hope I am a fish in the next world.

This slimming, healthy jump-start meal plan, from my book The Healing Powers of Vinegar, Revised and Updated (Kensington, 2009--new mass market edition), can help you shed up to five whopping pounds or more of unwanted winter weight and body fat. I promise you this plan works like charm.

Breakfast: Fresh berries (no limit)

Lunch: 4 ounces fresh white-meat turkey
Greens with dressing made of fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon each virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and spices to taste
1 cup fresh berries
6 to 8 ounces fresh flounder, sole, or salmon

1 cup fresh berries
• Drink a minimum of six 8-ounce glasses of water with fresh lemon throughout the day.
• Check with your doctor before starting this or any diet.
• For an extra healthful edge to this diet plan, every day before each meal, drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in an 8-ounce glass of water. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey, if desired.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



It's April at Lake Tahoe...snow, yes, snow is forecasted (30 percent probablilty) for the upcoming weekend. And I find myself fantasizing about going to breathtaking Umbria and Tuscany. After all, I am Cal Orey, the author of The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, The Healing Powers of Vinegar, and The Healing Powers of Chocolate -- all have European roots. It's my duty and pleasure to go to olive and vinegar land and chocolate heaven.

But the time isn't quite right just yet. Perhaps, autumn--harvest time--would be ideal for meeting and mingling with Italy's olive oil producers and chocolatiers.

Still, today I did got a delightful note from La Rogaia's owner...And I feel that much closer to traveling to my dream spot. This villa has a strong Mediterranean flair and a swimming pool--a must-have for me. When I swim (so envious of water-loving whales) at Tahoe's resorts I often fantasize about this very place, a place I will hopefully visit within the year.

Meanwhile, I'd like to share some info, straight from La Rogaia, for you in case you just happen to get the urge to travel to Italy before I pack my bags and catch a jet plane to utopia--a place for authors who pen books about olive oil, vinegar, and chocolate.

How to get to La Rogaia:

By car:
If you would like to visit places of interest in Umbria and Tuscany during your stay at La Rogaia we recommend to bring your car or to rent a car. If you want to rent a car we recommend that you book in advance and pick up the car upon arrival at the airport. Inquire about budget rates at your travel agency at home or via internet. If you fly to Perugia there are special rates by Hertz car rental starting at EUR 190 all incl. (insurance, free milage etc.) per week for a small car (FIAT Panda) when booked through the RyanAir Web site (see below). Directions how to get to La Rogaia by car will be included in the confirmation of your booking. You can also find a map and a detailed description at

By plane: From Europe: There are direct flights with Ryan Air to Perugia (at only 35km distance from La Rogaia) from London Stanstead 4 times a week (also onSaturdays). Please check prices and availabilities at . If you depart from other destinations than London Stanstead:Florence Airport is 1 1/2 to 2 hours drive or train ride away from La Rogaia(regular flights). Budget airlines from European destinations fly also into Pisa, Roma Ciampino, Forli, Pescara and Ancona. Pisa, Rome, Ancona, Pescaraor Forli are all at a distance of 2 1/2 to 3 hours drive or train ride. From overseas: we recommend to fly to Rome and to come to La Rogaia by caror train.

By train: If you wish to come by train (to Passignano sul Trasimeno) let us know aboutyour date and time of arrival at least one week before. Informations abouttrains to and within Italy at (also in English). Please click on the "international" button and enter your city of departure and "passignano" as arrival and the date and time of your departure. For purchasing your ticket it might not be possible to do it online so please go to the next train station or a travel agent. We will be happy to pick you up at Passignano train station. Please be awarethat there is nopublic transport at La Rogaia. The next village Castel Rigone is 4 km away, the next train station at Passignano sul Trasimeno is 10 km away.

We would like to welcome you to La Rogaia one day!

With kind regards,

Annette Greifenhagen La Rogaia

So, until I book a flight, and get the moxie to leave behind my two beloved orange and white Brittanys Simon and Seth (with a French origin), and black cat, Kerouac, the two photos above (courtesy of La Rogaia) with an awesome splash of earthy Italy amid a Mediterranean backdrop and directions will have to appease my Italy trip fantasy. And, drizzling California's finest EVOO on fresh whole grain bread and savoring dark chocolate truffles and sipping a cup of hot chocolate (made with European-style dark shavings) will have to suffice for now. One more thing: Annette, keep the pool warm for me!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Olive Oil Is Your Pet's Best Friend

4 Purr-fect
You Need to Know

By Cal Orey

Can you really use olive oil to clean your kitty’s ears? Ever use olive oil to remove ticks from a indoor-outdoor cat? Can you add olive oil to your cat’s shampoo? Yes! Yes you can use this ancient remedy—a powerful golden liquid—as a versatile and natural helper for both dogs and cats. Here, take a look at a few secrets, straight from my own pets' experiences and book, The Healing Powers of Olive Oil (Kensington, 2009).

Clean Tabby's Ears. Cats (and dogs) can get ear mites, small parasitic creatures that take up residence in their ears, causing itching and inflammation. Olive oil or a natural product that contains it, whether you use it to prevent a case of ear mites or to treat it, may help ease the itch and fight the infection. Secret Rx: You can dab olive oil on a cotton ball and rub gently inside and outside your pet’s ear canal.

Smooth a Kitty’s Nose. As a Lake Tahoe pets author who knows what dry air and high altitude can do to a human’s skin, I can tell you that oil may be helpful to dogs’ rough noses. My two Brittanys, Simon and Seth love the outdoors. If their paws can become red, dry and cracked from long walks on the ground, their black noses -- and cats' paws and noses --aren’t immune to the outdoor elements--especially if they prowl the hood day or night, all four seasons. (FYI: Facts show that outdoor or indoor-outdoor cats lower the odds of their longevity versus indoor companion animals.) Secret Rx: Use a small amount of extra virgin olive oil (it contains vitamin E with healing benefits) on your cat or dog’s nose and gently massage in.

Fight Pesky Ticks. I know in mountain regions, a tick or two can find their way into a cat or dog’s coat. Rather than try lighting a match to the pesky tick on your best friend, there are safer, natural remedies. Secret Rx: In my fave film City of Angels, Maggie (Meg Ryan), a surgeon, must remove a tick from her yellow Lab. Her doctor boyfriend’s first recommendation is alcohol. When Maggie claims she doesn’t have any hospital stuff in her home, he inquires about olive oil. She offers jalapeno or rosemary. It was a dab of rosemary olive that was the oil of choice and did the trick to remove the tick. I love that scene.

Cat Shampoo. Olive oil in your pet’s shampoo? You bet. The olive oil may keep the skin healthy and leave the coat shining. Also, it may help maintain good skin hydration and even prevent matting on a long-haired feline. (Yes, I have shampooed a former cat friend who was infested with fleas in Santa Cruz mountains. Do it s-l-o-w-l-y with warm trickling water and it's possible. At Tahoe--zero fleas, multiple spiders.) Secret Rx: Mix 1/2 teaspoon with your pet’s recommended amount of natural shampoo. Massage in, then rinse. But note, always consult with your vet before you turn to an alternative remedy such as olive oil or vinegar for your pets.

And once you get the paws up, as I did, you'll discover that the healing powers of olive oil and vinegar can be your pet's best friend.

P.S. DIY green home cures for God's creatures' minor ailments is good karma for you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Knew It! I Knew It! Mediterranean Diets Are "In"!

It's snowing... Lake Tahoe in the springtime. Oh it's cold outside. The fire is crackling. My two dogs are cuddling up with me. And hot information gets a paws up. My health books (which tout the wholesome European diet and lifestyle strategies I've practiced and preached for a decade) are right on target (again), according to a new study released in the Archives of Internal Medicine. More than a half century worth of research on diet and heart disease proves that it's the natural Mediterranean diet--including whole grains, vegetables, and olive oil that are the healthy stuff. Forget the processed foods such as red meat, trans fats, and butter. And that's not all...

During economical shake-ups, author-intuitive Cal Orey predicts her new mass market books that praise ancient remedies such as olive oil and vinegar (part of the heart healthy Mediterranean diet and lifestyle) will be the cheap ticket to good health and good spirits...

Lake Tahoe, CA (PRWEB) February 19, 2009 -- Author-Intuitive Cal Orey, a health-nutrition journalist who has accurately forecast earthquakes to the current recession, believes vinegar and oil which contain polyphenols (disease-fighting antioxidants) may help lower the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity -- three major health woes that may increase during shaky times and financial turmoil.
"But staying healthy on an unhealthy cash flow can ease costly medical bills -- an important issue since ongoing news reports claim 47-million Americans do not have health insurance," Orey said, adding that an economic tsunami is in the works.
The sensitive disaster preparedness expert said, "As we mostly likely will plunge into a deeper recession, and possibly even another Great Depression, it's budget-wise to have one (or two) foods such as olive oil and vinegar that are recession-friendly for home cures, house cleaning, beauty uses, and pet care. These natural remedies that our grandparents used during the Great Depression are making a comeback."

"As people cope with layoffs, weak wage growth, soaring food prices, losing life savings, going back to Mother Nature and embracing Depression must-haves like vinegar and olive oil (and chocolate) will save money and help people feel better from head to toe," according to Orey, the author of 'The Healing Powers of Olive Oil: A Complete Guide to Nature's Liquid Gold' and 'The Healing Powers of Vinegar, Revised, and Updated' (both published by Kensington and released in budget-friendly mass market editions, $6.99, January 2009).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Olive Oil Book Contest: Free Liquid Gold!

it's good as gold
By Cal Orey,
author of The Healing Powers of Olive Oil
April 12, 2009
Yes, I am giving away my latest book, The Healing Powers of Olive Oil: A Complete Guide to Nature's Liquid Gold. It's a perfect and practical gift for this season and during the economic shake-up. Staying healthy is as good as gold...

And olive oil teamed with the good for you Mediterranean diet and lifestyle can help you to shed unwanted winter weight this spring...Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer...And Live Longer, Healthier and Happier... It's time to discover how the powers of olive oil can be your best friend--always a constant like a beloved pooch--especially in shaky times.

Contest: The 5th poster who leaves a comment why they love olive oil (be original!) will win a free signed, sealed, and mailed copy of a new mass market edition. Check back to see if you're #5--if so, just go to my Web site (listed on this blog, see Email Me on top of the homepage) and send me your address. It's that easy.