Smart Nutrition Notes — January 2015
Happy New Year – Welcome to Winter
Happy Belated New Year and welcome to winter. Outside my window, a pretty significant winter storm is wrapping up and the first month of 2015 is coming to a close. Many of us started out this year with great intentions to make changes in 2015 and a good percentage of us made goals around our health.
For the most part we start out gung ho at the beginning of the month and by now our motivations is starting to dwindle a bit. That’s natural. Just keep your eye on your vision of how your life will improve as you make these changes and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Like anything else, it’s a process. One idea that has helped me with my goals for the year is to think through the specifics ahead of time around obstacles that can get in the way of reaching my objective. That way I have a plan in place when the inevitable happens. At the same time, I am keeping my attention on my vision and it seems to be working. My wish is that this idea will help you too.
And to keep us in the best shape possible, this month’s newsletter article is focused on how to survive the cold and flu season with ease.
There is lots going on for Smart Nutrition this winter. Hoping you can join us for one or more of our events!
Beating Colds & the Flu
The cold and flu season is definitely upon us. Many of you have heard by now that the vaccine that was developed in anticipation of this season has substantially missed the mark leaving many people wondering what they can do to protect themselves.
Food and targeted supplements can be important tools to keep your immune system strong this flu season. Let’s start with food because food has the power to heal us. Here are some steps to keep our immune system at its best:
• Protein is part of the body’s defense system. It’s a good habit to have protein with every meal including wild seafood, grass fed lean meat, free range poultry and eggs, beans and peas, non GMO soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.
• Make sure you stay well hydrated. Plenty of fluids support all of the body’s functions particularly your immune system. Filtered water and herbal teas like ginger tea are great choices. Sugar is challenging to the immune system so avoid sweetened beverages and concentrated fruit juices.
• Avoid simple sugars and white foods like flour because they can suppress your immune system.
• Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C stimulates antibodies and boosts immunity while vitamin A helps to regulate the immune system and maintain the integrity of important membranes.
– Good sources of vitamin C: citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice
Good sources of vitamin A: sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs, winter squash, and green leafy vegetables
• Choose foods high in vitamin E for its antioxidant effect and its ability to modulate immune function.
– Good sources of vitamin E: wheat germ oil, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, avocado, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus and olive oil
• Add garlic, onions, ginger and spices such as allspice, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, cumin, cloves and cayenne pepper because they offer antimicrobial properties.
Beyond food and nutrients there are some great natural remedies which are very helpful during the cold and flu season. My usual go to for cold symptoms is 1000mg of Vitamin C along with some Echinacea and Goldenseal a couple of times a day for several days in a row which tends to kick the virus right out of my body. This works best if you catch the cold symptoms early. You can beef this up with Astralagus root extract and a consistent source of supplemental vitamin D particularly if you live in the northern latitudes where we don’t get enough sun in the winter time.
For the flu, Oscillococcinum by Boiron is very effective. Taken at the first sign of flu-like symptoms(whether you have the flu or not), this homeopathic remedy can help temper some of the worst symptoms, including the fever and body aches. You can also add Elderberry syrup by Gaia. This high antioxidant fruit extract, has anti-infective properties against the flu virus. It actually prevents it from spreading from cell to cell. In studies that looked at its efficacy against influenza strains A & B, Elderberry was found to shorten the duration of the flu from the typical 7 days to 4 days. That’s 3 days less of flu-like symptoms! In comparison, the medications on the market to treat the flu only shorten its duration by a mere 1 day. Combine it with Vitamin D3, and you’ve got a power combo that will get you well fast.
In closing one of the best things to do to protect yourself is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly if you feel you have had contact with someone who has a cold or flu. If you live with a loved one that is sick, it’s always best to sleep in a separate room, especially if they are coughing all night (unless you want to get sick as well). Of course, many times it’s hard to avoid people that are sick around us. An atomizer with essential oil of eucalyptus can help sterilize the air of viruses traveling in droplets.
A few simple preventive measures can go a long way toward keeping you healthy this cold and flu season.
Recipes of the Month
This month we’re featuring some recipes that will make for great and healthy Super Bowl fare(Go Pats!).
For Starters a Red Pepper “Cheese” Dip and delicious Mushroom Pâté followed by a hearty and healthy Black Bean Soup (more like a stew).
Click the name of each dish above to download the recipe.
Beat the Sugar Blues
14-Day Sugar Detox Program
Free Intro session February 11
Program Starts February 18
Intuitive Eating Program
Contact Ruth for Details
For further information on these events, visit the EVENTS page.