nutrition

Supporting Immunity in the Kitchen

By on December 1, 2020

The seasons are changing again and the cold/flu/and pandemic season is raging. When the seasons change, I like to do all the things to keep our immune system strong. Today I am going to share how we support our immunity in the kitchen.

Filling our diet with nourishing foods is one way we support our immune system. There is so much value to eating whole foods and choosing nutrient-dense items. They support gut health and immune function with necessary vitamins and minerals.

Immune Supporting Vitamins in Food

  1. Vitamin A is the #1 protection against viruses. Not just COVID-19. Foods that are vitamin A rich are egg yolks sourced from pastured hens and grass-fed butter.
  2. Vitamin D and Vitamin A work hand in hand to support immunity. Ways to receive Vitamin D nutritionally is through fatty fishes, red meats, and egg yolks. Another easy way to receive Vitamin D is to opt outside as much as possible to receive Vitamin D from the sun. Avoid sunscreens so that you are able to absorb the vitamin. 10-20 min twice a day is an adequate amount of time. The thing about vitamin D is that we do not store it or have reserves, so it is necessary to receive it each day.
  3. Vitamin C is used to prevent and address viral infections. Vitamin C has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to reduce the severity and symptoms of colds. I always make sure to have an absorbable form of Vitamin C on hand, but a wonderful food to add to your diet is sauerkraut or other fermented veggies. Sauerkraut has 10 times more Vitamin C than fresh cabbage. Fermented veggies are also great for the gut microbiome. Increasing your green vegetables are essential. They provide Vitamin C, as well as B-vitamins, Vitamin K, and other important nutrients.
  4. Healthy Fats— Coconut oil is our best natural source of these healthy fats. Also, the lungs can not work without saturated fats, so grass-fed butter, avocado oil, olive oil, and ghee are great sources of healthy saturated fats. Just make sure to avoid all industrial fats and oils.
  5. Hydration— Staying hydrated keeps the pipes flushed, so to speak. Water is wonderful, adding an ionized mineral supplement is ideal and you can receive additional minerals in your kitchen by making herbal infusions.
  6. Bone Broth–is another one of my favorite ways to receive nourishment. Roasted bones leftover from a previous meal or picked up from your favorite butcher. I make sure to use grass-fed or pasture-raised meats. I often make it in my Instant Pot. However, I have been loving making this on the slow cooker function– I use the same proportions, just slow cook for 24 hours instead.

Sugar & Immune Support

With the holidays we start “sugar season”. It all starts with Halloween, then it seems to go until January. Sugar feeds inflammation and the “bad guys”, so being mindful of sugar consumption is a simple way to support immune function.

There are many healthier alternatives that we use in our kitchen. These sugar alternatives also prevent sugar highs and lows and the insanity that comes with sugared-up kids, lol. I use coconut sugar, monkfruit sweetener, and sometimes Swerve for baking. Maple syrup and honey are also natural alternatives.

Immunity Begins in the Belly

Since about 70% of our immune system begins in the gut, it only makes sense to start supporting it in the kitchen. Being mindful of what you are eating and drinking goes a long way in addition to the other germ-fighting techniques we have! Having essential vitamins, minerals, and a healthy gut aids in fighting illness and improving recovery.

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diet

New Year, New Focus

By on January 6, 2020

Let’s call 2020 the year of clarity. I think everything I have been doing over the past few months has brought me to this point. Yesterday was the day of decision, today is the first day of action.

Postpartum is tough for me. This time it has been “easy” mentally but physically I am having a tougher time bouncing back. I have been sedentary, and exhausted (remember my last post?) and our dietary habits and physical activity habits have gone to the crapper. I have known this and keep saying I’ll get there, etc. but time goes to my work and kids 99.9% of time time.

Yesterday, I ran into my OB who hasn’t seen me since my 6-week appointment, I realized I am exactly the same size and physical condition I was then and it’s 7 months later, and I saw a photo of myself that jerked me awake. I have reached my point of knowing I not making good choices and the habits are hurting me. My confidence is low, my energy levels aren’t optimal, and aches and pains are occurring more often than they should.

I blog these things to keep myself on track. I feel if I’m not transparent and showing my own struggles and changes how can I help others who read this blog and are looking for answers or inspiration. You, the reader, are my accountability partner. I will keep you updated on progress and habit changes over the course of this year– along with whatever goes on in my family that could be useful for others.

So– 2020 brings me back to a grain-free, sugar-free, traditional diet existence, with 30 minutes of exercise daily, and more blogging (it’s good for my health). I am adding in a couple of new gut-health supplements and a fat-burning, energy increasing natural supplement. Everything I am doing is breastfeeding friendly, so Mira is all good.

The other pressing things in my home life is that Gus is now working more out of the house so I am with all 3 kids alone, so my strategies and time management skills are going to have to be strict, Keenan has now started virtual school from home, and I am adding a new piece to my business puzzle. It is all fun and exciting and I’m ready for my soon to be 40th year of life. Crazy stuff!

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