We are all exposed to many different toxins, viruses, and bad bacteria on a regular basis, so it is in our best interest to support our immune systems. While this is a scary time, we should all do our best to take the proper measures in not spreading viruses or bacteria to others, especially those with compromised immune systems.
So what can we do? Here I will give you some tips and tricks that I use on a regular basis to boost my immune system. I work up close and personal with a lot of different people every day that come from all over, so I had to come up with something! That isn't to say I never get sick, but it is much less than before I used to do all of the things I'm about to share with you! Before we get started I want to mention, this does not include the obvious things that I assume everyone knows which is, washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and staying home if you are sick. So here we go...
1. Stay away from foods that cause inflammation and illness in the body, these foods will knock your immune system down.
These foods include the top inflammatory foods such as:
Now, before you freak out because you can't give up cheese or eggs, I will say this, if you are feeling healthy enough and you just want to maintain, you can try eliminating the foods you know you can live without. And maybe try eliminating them one at a time and work your way up. BUT, if you are struggling with illness or a virus you should cut these foods out so that you can actually heal for the time being.
2. Taking the proper Supplementation
Everyone should be doing some sort of supplementation daily to suit your individual needs. But here are some that I believe can benefit (with some exceptions) everyone and help to boost the immune system.
If you have specific health concerns, always check with your doctor first.
My personal fave! Getting enough sleep is crucial for our immune system. An adequate amount of sleep helps to regulate certain hormones which play a huge role in our immune system. Also when you don't get enough sleep your body doesn't have time to play catch-up on the healing process it does while you are asleep, not only that but sleep can boost your immune cells and T-cells, which help the body to attack pathogens and viruses. Are you sleepy yet?
Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells. Which are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies circulate more rapidly when you exercise, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. Exercise may also help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, which could reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. When you are physically active, the brief rise in your body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.) And we all know exercise slows the release of stress hormones, which is just better all around for you and your immune system! Which brings me to my next tip...
When we are stressed it triggers our stress hormones, like adrenaline, to flood our system due to the fight or flight response. This can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off viruses and infections . So it is important to take some time for self-care. Schedule it in your calendar if you have to! Make it a priority, because this can be a huge de-stressor and help to the immune system. Do something that brings you joy, whether that is, relaxing during a massage, meditating, painting something, reading a book, going for a walk or run, whatever makes your heart sing, do it.
To sum it all up, living a healthy lifestyle and eating the right foods day to day is the best way to ensure your immune system is ready to go whenever you need it! You can boost it even further by taking supplements, exercising, getting enough sleep and practicing self-care. Our bodies are working tirelessly to keep us healthy, so let's help it do what it does best, keeping you healthy and alive!
I'm wishing you great health and sending everybody lots of love!!!
I made these Mint Choc. Chip Mini Muffins with St. Patrick's day in mind. I always think of mint chocolate chip when I think of St. Patty's day, maybe it's the green from the mint, or just the simple fact that I love any excuse to eat chocolate! I'm not really sure why, but here we are. This is my spin on the recipe that I have altered from the medical medium's website. A slightly less healthy version but appropriate for the occasion! Plus it's gluten free, oil free, with no processed sugars, and of course vegan.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place chia seeds into a blender, and blend until it becomes a flour like powder.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips.
4. Blend until it becomes a sticky batter.
5. Pour into a bowl, then fold in chocolate chips.
6. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners and pour batter into each one, about 1 spoonful each.
7. Bake for 20-25 mins, until the tops are golden and starting to crisp.
8. Remove and let cool for about 10 mins.
***I topped some of mine with coconut whipped cream and mixed it with a pinch of spirulina to get a green color for St. Patrick's day. Or you could spread some vegan butter on top while they are still warm!
Here are some of my other St. Patrick's Day Recipes!
Turmeric has been scientifically shown to have great health benefits like fighting inflammation, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and can also help fight heart disease and prevent and possibly treat cancer.
The primary active component of turmeric is called curcumin, this is what gives the spice its amazing yellow color. Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as having possible benefits related to slowing the aging process and preventing Alzheimer's disease.
Unfortunately, the curcumin on its own, doesn’t absorb well into the bloodstream. This is why you will see that in most recipes using turmeric, the addition of black pepper. There is a compound in black pepper called piperine that actually helps to make turmeric (curcumin) more bioavailable. So be sure to use black pepper anytime you're cooking with turmeric. You can also take turmeric supplements to reap the benefits, look to see if the supplement includes pepper and always make sure to buy the highest quality supplements you possibly can.
1. In a small pot, combine all ingredients and whisk together.
2. Heat on medium heat until the mixture starts to simmer, then turn off and remove from heat.
3. Give it another good whisk until it becomes frothy.
4. Serve warm.
5. For an iced latte, pour 1/4 of a glass full of cashew milk over ice, then fill the rest of the glass with the golden milk, once it has cooled off.
1. Cut cauliflower into bite sized florets and add to a large mixing bowl.
2. Add bbq sauce and mix well until all florets are covered.
3. Air fry cauliflower for 15 minutes at 360 degrees. (or 20-25 minutes at 450 degrees in the oven)
4. After 15 mins, stir cauliflower and air fry for another 5-10 mins until crispy.
5. While that's cooking, make your creamy cilantro lime dressing. Recipe below.
6. Scoop the Bbq cauliflower onto tortilla wrap with the remaining toppings and drizzle with creamy cilantro lime dressing.
Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
Superfoods can be very beneficial to add to your diet, especially if you are suffering from an illness or any minor health concern. They are considered "super" because they are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants for a small amount of calories in one food source. This is important because the more nutrients and antioxidants you consume, the better your body is able to rid of toxins and replenish its cells.
In this post I am sharing my top 5 favorite superfoods that are easy to add into any diet. You don't have to do them all at once, you can pick one, do it for a while and then slowly add the others in.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green microalgae that's grown and harvested from very alkaline water sources. This algae has been around for about 3.5 billion years and was used by the Aztecs as a healthful resource.
Why you should add this to your diet:
Spirulina contains a lot of nutrients and antioxidants, including protein, iron (which is why it is so great for vegans) vitamins A and K, as well as B complex vitamins. It also contains a ton of beta-carotene which is amazing for skin, eyes, and immune support. Spirulina is also great at fighting inflammation in the body and removing toxins such as heavy metals and detoxing the liver!
**You can add this to smoothies, coconut water, or recipes like my Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream Recipe !
2. Wild Blueberries
Blueberries are an amazing food, specifically wild blueberries.
Why you should add this to your diet:
Wild blueberries have super high levels of antioxidants. They have the highest proportion of antioxidants of any food on the planet. (according to Anthony Williams the Medical Medium.) They have been shown to protect against inflammation, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases. Several studies suggest that blueberries reduce DNA damage, which is a leading driver of aging and cancer. Wild blueberries are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
Bottom line is, you want these in your diet!
**You can add blueberries to your smoothies or put them in oatmeal, chia pudding, protein muffins, or pancakes. Yum!
3. Goji Berries
Goji Berry, otherwise known as the “Wolfberry,” contains 18 kinds of amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, up to 21 trace minerals, high amounts of antioxidants, iron, polysaccharides, B and E vitamins, and many other nutrients.
Why you should add this to your diet:
Goji berries contain large amounts of vitamins A and C, which are vital for building immunity and preventing illnesses, ranging from the common cold to cancer. According to David Wolfe, goji berries are known for their longevity and strength-building potency and have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years. Research indicates that goji berries can help with managing liver health and preventing the progression of fatty liver disease. They also contain Beta-carotene, which is vital for eye health, bone health, skin health, and cell development. The amount of beta-carotene in goji berries is among the highest of all edible plants.
**You can enjoy these as a snack, put them in smoothies, salads, trail mix, desserts, raw chocolate, chia pudding or as a topping for oatmeal.
4. Chaga Mushrooms
Chaga is a type of mushroom that grows mainly on birch trees in northern Europe, Asia, Canada, and the northeastern United States. High in polysaccharides and super immune enhancing components, medicinal mushrooms are some of the most intelligent adaptogenic herbs on the planet!
Why you should add this to your diet:
Chaga is high in fiber and essential nutrients, including vitamin D, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Chaga is high in melanin, helping to protect the skin from sun damage, skin cancer, wrinkles, or aging. Chaga may also help prevent or slow the progression of certain liver problems, fight inflammation, lower blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, alleviate arthritis, and even prevent or slow the progression of cancer.
** You can find Chaga most commonly sold in a tea form. You can also buy bottled tinctures and extracts, which some believe are better absorbed by the body.
Sprouting plants is known to increase the nutrient levels in those plants, and because they contain lower levels of anti-nutrients making it easier for your body to absorb those nutrients.
Why you should add this to your diet:
Sprouts are great for digestion by increasing the amount of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Sprouts are high in antioxidants (aka anti-aging), protein, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamins C and K. Sprouting magnifies the nutritional content of the seed, more than tripling vitamins A, B-complex and C. The vitamin content of some seeds increase by up to 20 times the original value after just a few days of sprouting! Some sprouts contain 100 times more than the mature version of itself such as broccoli, alfalfa, and radish sprouts. Which means that just a handful of broccoli sprouts can provide you the same nutritional benefits as a few heads of mature broccoli would. Eating sprouts means you can get A LOT of nutrients in a small amount of calories.
You want to eat these raw. You can add them on top of salads, grain bowls, veggie burgers, stir-fry, avocado toast, or even blend them into smoothies!
Remember when adding superfoods into your diet, it's important that you also eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle to see the changes you want. This is not an overnight thing, like with anything else, it might take some time to see improvements in your health. So be patient and trust your body!
1. Drain tofu, gently wrap in paper towels and press to remove excess water, let sit for about 10 mins.
2. Add onions to a heated pan and sauté in vegetable broth (using small amounts at a time, enough to coat the pan.) until translucent.
3. Add mushrooms and tomatoes. Sauté for another 3 mins.
4. Unwrap tofu from paper towels and break apart with your hands until you get the desired scramble size. Add to the mixture and continue cooking.
5. Stir in turmeric, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 3 mins.
6. Add spinach.
7. Continue cooking a few more mins until everything is cooked through.
8. Transfer to a plate and serve with avocado toast, roasted potatoes, or whatever you like.
**Store leftovers in the fridge up to 3 days.
I've created this mini recipe roundup featuring four of my favorite desserts that you can make for your Valentine this year. It's nice to indulge on this holiday and not feel super guilty about it, so like always, these recipes are gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and contain no refined sugars. So indulge guilt free and spread the love!!
1. Chocolate Avocado Pudding
1 ripe avocado
3 Tbsp maple syrup or agave
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Place everything into a food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Serve chilled.
2. Sweetheart Brownies
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine peanut butter, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and coconut oil.
3. Slowly stir in cocao powder, until mixture is thick.
4. Add in vanilla extract, salt, flax eggs, and almond flour. Mix well.
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. Line a 8x8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, folding the corners so it lays flat.
7. Pour your batter into the pan and spread evenly.
8. Bake for 30 minutes. Check the center with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. ( it might be a little gooey due to the chocolate chips, that is ok.)
9. Let cool before adding icing and cutting.
For the Pink Icing
1. Once coconut milk has been chilled, the coconut cream will separate to the top of the can from the water in the bottom of the can.
2. Open then can and scoop out all the coconut cream that has settled on top and discard the water from the bottom of the can.
3. Add the coconut cream to a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients.
4. Mix coconut cream with a hand mixer until fluffy.
You can leave it just like this and add it to your brownies, cookies, or whatever you want to add icing to. Or if you want to get a pink colored icing continue to the following steps.
5. In a small pot bring about 2-3 inches of water to a boil.
6. Add your chopped and peeled beets to the boiling water and simmer until the water turns bright red.
7. Strain the beet chunks and save the water as you red dye.
8. Very slowly add the water to your icing to get a pink color.
** If the icing gets to runny place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then mix again using your hand mixer.
9. Spread on top your brownies, cut into squares, and enjoy!!
3. Berries and Cream Smoothie
1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender, except coconut whip.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Place in a jar or glass and top with coconut whip and extra fruit if desired.
4. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs
Dark Chocolate Coating
1. Combine filling ingredients into a large mixing bowl & mix well.
2. Form into 1 inch egg shapes and lay on a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
3. Place in freezer for 25-30 mins.
4. Break up the chocolate bar into equal size pieces.
5. Place chocolate bar pieces and coconut oil in a small pot, on very, very low heat.
6. Once chocolate is melted, dip each egg and coat with the chocolate.
7. Place them back on the wax or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
8. Sprinkle the tops of each egg with some sea salt or coconut flakes. Any left over chocolate can be drizzled over top.
9. Place back in the freezer for another 30 mins.
***Store in the fridge.
Mango Cherry Nice Cream
1. Place cashew milk and dates (for the chia pudding) into a blender and blend until dates are mixed through.
2. Pour into a glass or jar. Add chia seeds and mix well.
3. Cover and store in fridge overnight, or at least 2 hours.
4. Once your chia pudding is ready to eat you can then make your nice cream.
Place all nice cream ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
(If your blender won't blend due to lack of liquid, you can place your ingredients into a bowl and using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients to get an ice cream consistency.)
5. Pour nice cream over the chia pudding and top with any extra toppings of choice. Enjoy!
Cream Cheese Frosting
1. Place everything in a blender except for the coconut cream.
2. Blend until you have a super smooth consistency. (This will be very thick, I used my immersion blender to get the last few chunks smooth.)
3. Place in the fridge for 15 -20 minutes.
4. Remove from the fridge, add coconut cream. Using a hand mixer, mix until smooth.
Pretty much everyone has digestive distress at some point in their lives, for some it may be all the time! I can honestly say this is the number one issue I run into when helping people with their health goals. So much of our health relies on this digestion process, not just "Gut Health" but through all the steps of digestion. Below I am going to walk you through the steps of digestion and how we can maintain health in each one. I also want to mention that "gut health" or digestive health, as I like to say, is wayyyyy more complex than just this one blog post. I plan to do a series of these to really dive deep into all of the things we can do for digestive health. But this is the starting point that will get you on the right digestive track! ;)
1. Chewing your food properly
This one is important. Chewing your food is the first part of digestion. I think lot of people overlook this, especially if you are in a hurry or you are talking a lot while eating a meal. This first step breaks down the food into pieces that are more easily digested, while saliva mixes with food to begin the process of breaking it down into a form your body can absorb and use. If you aren't chewing your food enough, it is harder for your body to break down to digest. This can cause indigestion, bloating, heart burn, and acid reflux.
2. Stomach Acid
A lot of people have been misguided on this one and I'll explain why. Stomach acid is a digestive fluid formed in the stomach in aid of food digestion. It is composed of mostly hydrochloric acid which is designed to transform a large solid meal into a semi-liquid soup, among other things such as, absorption of vitamins and nutrients, destroying harmful bacteria or invaders, etc. When this it too low, it causes a lot of distress, such as excessive gas, boating, burping, indigestion, heartburn, IBS, diarrhea, or constipation. See, most people think when they have these issues that they have too much stomach acid, but when researched over acidity is almost never found, especially in those over age 35. The usual findings are under acidity. Most doctors will not test you for this and usually just prescribe an anti-acid drug, which can make thing worse in the long run! But you can increase your hydrochloric acid by eating a healthy diet and taking supplementation. Betaine hydrochloride is a nutritional supplement that has been used for over 100 years to safely restore normal gastric acidity and to support healthy gut function, they also help restore the digestive system, which enables better absorption of nutrients, especially minerals, folic acid, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, and vitamin B12.
**Try doing this at home Burp Test to see if you might have low hydrochloric acid.
3. Intestinal Health (small intestine)
After reaching the stomach your food will then move onto the small intestine where the nutrients you consumed are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream. It is important to maintain a healthy diet with lots of good bacteria to protect the lining of the intestines for maximum nutrient absorption. You can do this by eating foods rich in fiber. This helps stimulate the muscle contractions that help the small intestine do its job. And by avoiding foods that cause inflammation and harm the intestinal lining.
Be aware of high-fat diets, researchers have found that high-fat diets can cause nerve damage, which may cause muscle dysfunction in the small intestine associated with type 2 diabetes.
4. Healthy Organs of Digestion
This is where you liver, pancreas, and gall bladder come into play. The pancreas releases digestive juices that help break down food into carbs, proteins, and fats. It also releases insulin to help regulate blood sugar.
The liver creates bile, which is stored in the gallbladder, that is then sent into the small intestine to help break down foods containing fats. (Having sufficient hydrochloric acid, like I mentioned above, also helps stimulate bile production.) The Liver also cleanses and purifies the blood coming from the small intestine containing the nutrients just absorbed. So it is crucial that we keep our livers healthy and our blood clean. If you want more information on how to do that click here.
5. Intestinal Health (large intestine)
Now what is left of the food you ate is handed over to the large intestine. The large intestine is where your stool is created and bacteria can ferment and break down some undigested food, absorbing electrolytes, vitamins, and water. Then emptying its contents into the rectum to eventually begin the process of elimination. It is important that we populate our intestines with good bacteria and healthy digestive enzymes, through diet and/or supplementation, to help the break down of our food and to keep this process moving easily.
This all goes back to eating a whole foods diet with as little processed food as possible, taking the proper supplementation, lowering or eliminating consumption of alcohol, and maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.
Supplements that can aid the digestion process. (Make sure you get high quality supplements!)
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