Elizabeth M. Ward, MS, RD, is a freelance writer and nutrition consultant. She is the author of MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better: Decoding the Dietary Guidelines for Your Real Life; Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy; The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Feeding Your Baby. She regularly writes for several publications including Men’s Fitness magazine, WebMD, and USA Today.com.
As a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association for nearly 10 years, Ward was featured in nearly 1,000 print and broadcast interviews, including CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe. She has also been a guest on the Today Show on NBC and regularly appears on the Morning News on Fox 25 in Boston.
Ward has been a speaker at more than 100 professional meetings, including The American College of Nurse-Midwives, The American Dietetic Association, The Massachusetts Dietetic Association, The Florida Dietetic Association, The National Association of Catering Executives, The Pennsylvania School Food Service Association, and the International Congress of Dietetics in Paris.
Ward created and conducted corporate nutrition education programs for five years at Medical Care Affiliates in Boston, where she also counseled patients. She has worked at the Joslin Diabetes Center and the American Heart Association, and for seven years counseled children and adults about healthy eating and disease prevention at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston.
Ward completed her undergraduate degree in human nutrition at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a one-year dietetic internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and a master's degree in mass communication at Boston University. She is the recipient of the 125 Alumni to Watch Award from the University of Massachusetts and the 2011 Media Excellence Award from the American Dietetic Association, and she was named Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year by the Massachusetts Dietetic Association.
Ward serves as an expert advisor to the California Raisin Marketing Board and H.P. Hood Inc., and is on the Healthy Living Council for Jamba Juice. Ward lives in Boston with her family.
It can be tough to stay well when you're in close quarters with someone battling coughs, fevers, and sniffles. Germs spread more easily in tight spaces and can cause colds and the flu to hang around your house for longer.
You can protect yourself, though, if you know the right and wrong ways to deal with someone at home who’s under the weather. Give these simple strategies a try.
You can take all the precautions in the world, but sometimes the flu sneaks around your defenses. So what do you do when someone in your house has the flu -- or even swine flu?
To give you an idea, here's a countdown of five average days with the flu. Keep in mind that this rundown is based on a typical case of seasonalflu. There's still a lot we don't know about swine flu. But so far, its symptoms seem to be pretty similar to those of common seasonal flu viruses.
Wash your hands often. And you have to do better than a quick rinse under the faucet. Rub your hands together with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget to wash between your fingers and under your nails. And remember to keep your hands away from your nose, mouth, and face.
Sanitize surfaces. Stopping the spread of germs means making sure you clean and disinfect hard surfaces such as countertops, tables, refrigerator handles, doorknobs, and faucets. And don't forget TV remotes, computers, laptops, and phones, too. Some germs can live in these spots for up to 24 hours, so make sure you clean with a disinfectant or disinfecting wipes, or quarter-cup of bleach mixed in 1 gallon of water.
Steer clear when you can. It can be tough to completely avoid a sick person in your house, especially if you're the one taking care of them. But sometimes the best thing you can do to stay well is to keep your distance. If you can, give the sick person their own room for sleeping and relaxing. Stock it with the items they’ll need, like tissues, a trash can, medicine, and bottles of water. And limit their guest list. The only person who should go in and out of the sick room is the person taking care of him.
Pamper your immune system. Your body does a remarkable job protecting you from illnesses most of the time, especially when you keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Keep eating lots of fruits and veggies, and make sure you get plenty of rest. Daily exercise, keeping stress in check, and limiting alcohol also help.