CORONA VIRUS! INFLUENZA B!! ALLERGIES!!!
So many “boogey men” out there! Everyone’s talking about masks, gloves, supplements. Those may help, but if your immune system isn’t functioning well in the first place, the rest is just a
We invest a lot in things to keep us healthy, don’t we? I don’t know about you, but I have a drawer full of herbs and supplements. Sometimes it’s doctor visits (time and money), including naturopaths, chiropractors, functional med. doctors, and massage therapists. Some of us have medicine cabinets full of prescriptions.
With talk of influenza, pneumonia, debilitating allergies, and now CORONA VIRUS, it’s no wonder we are working at it!
What’s the number one thing you need to stay healthy? The best herb? The most effective health professional? The most potent vitamin supplement?
There is no magic bullet (or vaccine, for that matter) that you can buy to replace the integrity of your immune system. That integrity isn’t for sale in a bottle, either. You’ve been given the tools to strengthen your immune system and avoid or lessen the impact of many, many diseases for free. That’s how nature works.
So many times we look for a pill or a person to fix us. Nature has built in cycles of daily detox, and other daily practices that keep our bodies running clean, clear, and strong. They also help us fight off and recover from illnesses and other life challenges. Many times, these practices run counter to our cultural practices. Culturally we eat our main meal at the end of the day, often after 7 pm. We stay up watching Netflix or facebook until 11 or 12. We get up at the last minute and race out the door in the morning. We grab what’s convenient to eat, which is often heavy on meat and bread and light on veggies. And on it goes.
I can sympathize! Even living on a farm like Baker’s Green Acres, where we have a lot of great food, we lived in that cultural rhythm. I didn’t know the tools of self care that I know now to take care of my mind and body. My thyroid went crazy, allergies became a pain in the butt, aches and creaky joints were the norm.
Not so much anymore. My body and mind are more stable. My immune system has integrity to deal with seasonal allergies and to fend off, or deal quickly with, viruses that come around. Is it perfect? No. But I have a fighting chance now and don’t wonder with dread how the pollen season or cold & flu season will go.
In the Abundant Living Course we experience 10 habits that build your system to be resiliant. Here are three of them that will hack your immune system:
1. Earlier, Lighter dinner
Your stomach is designed to eat a bigger, better lunch and a supplemental meal in the early evening. This allows your stomach to do it’s work so your body can rest and clean house while you sleep. Plus, you’ll digest your food better so that you are better nourished. Better nourished and less stressed adds up to a better immune system.
2. Go to bed!
By 10:00 at night, your body’s cleaning crew is ready to come on duty and deep clean (read that: daily detox) your body. If you are still up, the crew can’t go to work and be efficient. The result is a back-up of garbage in your system, meaning your immune system is trying to do battle with dirty, junky equipment in a cluttered field. Having an earlier, lighter dinner and a relaxing bedtime routine enables your immune system to function in prime form.
3. Hydrate and move in the morning
When you get up, a glass of water helps to flush the toxins your body cleaned up overnight out of your body. It also rehydrates you after a night of no fluid intake. Water is essential to keeping your blood and tissues mobile so that the white blood cells can move quickly and efficiently to do their job. By flushing the toxins first thing you keep them from accumulating. Getting some sort of exercise first thing also helps your body replenish it’s fresh oxygen supply and moves your muscles to pump the toxins and wastes out. This allows your immune system to have plenty of tools and a clean, clear area in which to function at its best.
Check out a bigger, better video explanation of how to hack your immune system and support it here:
CCF spice blend
- 2 Tbsp corriander seeds
- 2 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 slice fresh ginger, sliced to taste (dried can be substituted)
- 2 Tbsp CCF spice blend
- Mix CCF spice blend ingredients in a jar and label it. Can make more at one time, or adjust amounts to suit your tastes. Useful for tea, and to grind and season food for flavor and better digestion as you eat.
- Add tea ingredients to your tea ball, press pot, or a reuseable tea bag.
- Add boiling water to fill your container. Steep for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to drink.
- Remove tea bag or ball, or leave in cup as you prefer, and enjoy!
- 1/2 c. local, raw honey
- 1/3 c turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1/8 tsp cloves, ground (optional)
- Put all ingredients in the bowl. Mash and stir with the spoon until thoroughly mixed.
- Store in a jar on the counter where it's easily accessible. *Melt a pinch on your tongue.*Stir into tea or hot chocolate.*Add a little to the honey on your toast.
Healthy Hot Chocolate
- small whisk
- 1/4 c cacao powder (can substitute cocoa, see note below)
- 1 Tbsp Maple syrup, or other sweetener of your choice
- 2 c milk of your choice (can use 1/2 milk, 1/2 water)
- 1 tsp spices: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves
- 1 tsp Ashwaganda
- Combine cacao and sweetener in a saucepan.
- Add milk and the rest of the ingredients. Beat with whisk until smooth.
- Warm, stirring frequently with whisk, until steaming. For a little latte-like foam, blend with a hand blender for 30 seconds or so.
- (Optional) If "bulletproofing" your drink, add ghee or coconut oil as you blend it just before serving. If you heat the hot chocolate with the oil in it, it can become a burn hazard.
- Cocoa or Cacao? There is a difference. Cacao is the raw, more vibrant and alive version of cocoa. Both will work in the recipe, and cocoa is more readily available, so don't not make this over the issue. However, you'll notice your body appreciates the more alive cacao if you can get it.
- The spices are part of the medicinal magic. They each have their own benefits to bring to the table. All of them promote good digestion, though ginger is the queen of digestive spices. Turmeric is renowned for helping with joint issues. All of them help to warm and soothe the system in the rigors of "hot chocolate season." What ones sound really good? Use them. Play with quantities till you find what you like.
- Ashwagandha is a balancing, warming ingredient that soothes the nerves. It lends a thicker, malty texture to the mix. It's optional, but a blessing to a stressed out nervous system in the holiday season!
- Play with the cacao to sweet ratio to find what suits your tastes. And it may vary with the season, time of day, and mood. Take some creative license as you nourish your body and soul with this drink!
- Recipe is adapted from The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O'Donnell
Are you already eating lots of good healthy food, but the colds, flu, and allergies still plague you?
What are your goals for your body? your life? Do you experience abundance of life, or does life feel stingy to you?
Let’s get real and get clear on what you want, your dreams for yourself. Let’s talk about what your life could be like. Let’s connect about what your future could look like!
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Get more information on Ayurveda and eating, plus lots of recipes that will help you use food to build your body, mind, and spirit!