28 Aug Winter Prep – Stocking up for Illness Season
A lot of you have been asking me for advice on what to do now that illness season has struck. So, as my oldest woke up yesterday with a sore throat, I figured why not just give you our treatment-menu of choice.
But before I do that, let’s take a few steps back. Why do we even want to treat ourselves and loved ones naturally? Aren’t the meds we get from the doctor faster and more affective? Well, in all honesty, no, not at all. The medication we often get (no matter if it’s over the counter meds or prescribed), will suppress the symptoms for the time being, but in no way will it support our bodies to overcome the illness. When we’re ill (and yes, I’m generalizing it, because this is true for almost any illness), or immune system is low, and can not fight the invaders. What we want to do at this point, is not weaken it even more by pumping drugs into our body, but rather support our immune system in healing the body. Our bodies have amazing abilities to cure themselves from almost everything, even cancer! But that’s for another post…
Why do we even want to treat ourselves and loved ones naturally? Aren’t the meds we get from the doctor faster and more affective?
“So what now?” you ask. Well, now we need to understand what will help our bodies help us. First, let’s focus on the obvious: fruit and veg. I know some of us find it really hard to eat enough fruit and veg every day, but when our bodies need help, we want to give them the best there is. Focus on organic fruit and vegetables (if you don’t already), as you want to skip any chemicals which might have the opposite effect on your body. Get as big of a range as possible, trying to eat a rainbow of colors. Try to focus on at least three different vegetables with each meal you have, and have around three different fruits a day.
I’m vegetable-obsessed, but I find that some days I don’t eat any fruit at all. When I feel like my immune system is down (or when I’m craving something not so great) this little trick I do, to get myself to eat enough fruit: I get 3 different fruits in a bowl alongside a handful or two of nuts. Only then do I allow myself to eat whatever treat I was eyeing. Most often I’m full and settled, and don’t even go for the chocolate/cookie/whatever it was, and often I feel so good about what I just ate.
Now back to our immune system… eat the rainbow. To that rainbow you want to add other boosters such as: Ginger, curcuma (turmeric), garlic, onion, honey, thyme, berries (when in season), nuts of all shapes and sizes, oats, legumes, and probiotics (in the form of yogurt/kefir if you’re not suffering from mucus or stuffed nose, or sauerkraut/fermented food not including milk products if you are). Aloe vera is also a great one my husband swears by!
Focus on organic fruit and vegetables (if you don’t already), as you want to skip any chemicals which might have the opposite effect on your body.
These are a few of the things we make sure to have at home, as soon as someone shows the slightest signs of illness:
#1 Onion Honey
I know, it sounds odd, but it’s both delicious, and it helps! Both onion and honey have great antibiotic and antibacterial properties, and together they make wonders. Just cut an onion into four pieces and place in a bowl, drizzle a heaps tablespoon of good quality local honey (makes a HUGE difference, I promise you), cover, and let sit for at least 2 hours or better yet, overnight. By morning, you’ll see a syrup form on top. Take a couple of tablespoons every couple of hours. I usually make it with 2 onions already, as we all end up taking it when one of us is not feeling well. Just remember to cover well!
#2 Curcuma (Turmeric)
Everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE! In the porridge first thing in the morning, in tea throughout the day, in whatever you prepare for lunch and dinner. Everywhere. Curcuma has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Check out some recipes at the bottom of the page, using turmeric. And don’t forget, you need to add a pinch of black pepper in order to help the body absorb the goodness of the turmeric.
Again, pretty much everywhere. In tea, soups and other recipes we end up making. Ginger, closely related to turmeric, cardamon and galangal, possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects.
#4 Onion Skin Tea
Whenever I buy organic onions, I make sure to save the brown skin in a closed tupperware, for a rainy day. Recent research confirms that the outer skins of onions provide an exceptionally rich source of plant compounds called flavonoids, especially the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, quercetin. Simply take 4-5 skins, place in a pot with cold tap water and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and let cook for about 30min. Then discard the skins and drink the tea. It tastes like a weak black tea is you ask me, which I love, as I haven’t had black tea (or any form of caffeine) for years now.
#5 Apple Cider Vinegar
Oh, I could talk about ACV for hours! One of those miracle drugs if you ask me. Good for practically anything, and saved my life a few years ago when I finally found out about it. You can read more about it in my other blog post AVC Miracle.
#6 Essential Oils
My friend, Next Breakfast, got me hooked on essential oils. It’s incredible how fast and efficient they work. If you want to read more information about how essential oils saved us, check out my blog post Easy Breathy.
As promised, here are some recipes I load with turmeric in order to get as much of it into our bodies when our immune system is compromised:
Turmeric, Lemon, Ginger Tea
Sounds suspiciously not delicious, but it’s really not that bad!
- Thumb size ginger, peeled and sliced
- A thick slice of organic lemon, squeezed and tossed in the cup, including the peel
- A teaspoon of ground turmeric or more
- your favorite tea bag. We always use the Erkältungstee (cold tea) by Klostergarten (Migros) which has thyme and other herbs that will help as well
- Local honey
Place everything except for the honey in a large cup, and pour boiling water on top. Let sit for at least 10-15min before drinking. When the tea is not hot anymore, you can add your desired amount of honey. Don’t add it while the tea is hot, as honey looses it’s antibiotic properties when heated. Drink this at least twice a day for best results.
Pumpkin, Ginger, Turmeric Soup
This is a quick and easy soup the whole family will simply love. FYI, this amount is huge… It lasted us for 3 meals, and we’re big eaters…
- Your choice of pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3-4 carrots
- A big piece of ginger roughly chopped
- 1.5 tsp dry thyme
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- Organic bouillon
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- Optional upgrade: cooked or roasted chestnuts peeled and served instead of croutons
In a good heaped tablespoon of coconut oil, sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes, then add the rest of the veggies, herbs and spices. Mix well, and let soften a bit and get some color, then add the bullion and mix well, before covering with a good 4-5 cups of boiling water. Cover and let cook for a while until all the veggies are soft. With a hand mixer thingy, wiz up the soup, until you get a nice, thick consistency. You can always add water if it’s too thick.
Morning Health Bomb Porridge
You can add the following to your regular porridge recipe, or get one of the ones we’re obsessed with at home, for example Chufli Tibet (sooooo good!).
- 4 tbsp Chufli Tibet or your choice of porridge (homemade is perfect as well of course)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
- chia seeds, soaked
- goji berries/dried sandorn berries/dried physalis
- hemp seeds
- local honey
Make the porridge according to package detail (or as you’d make your homemade version usually). Add the spices and keep cooking for a two more minutes. Add berries and seeds of choice (we usually add whatever we have at home, for a nice mixture). Let the porridge cool off a bit before adding the honey.
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