Oh, winter. Just when we’ve finally recovered from school starting…you slip in quietly, practically undetected. You bring with you all sorts of foul beasts–primarily viruses!
Knock on wood! (I knock gently on my head as I type this.) My kids have infrequent and short-lasting illnesses during the tumultuous cold and flu season. What’s my secret? I let food be the medicine!
Are you eating to fill or eating to nourish?
Our food mindsets have shifted significantly in the last 100 years from one of eating to nourish to a mindset of eating to fill. I could eat pizza every night of the week (no, really, me and pizza go way back.) But, I am intentional in what my kids and I consume. I’ve come to recognize that we make a choice with food. We are either eating something that is nourishing us or harming us. The important piece is finding that balance so the scales are tipped more towards nourishment!
Over the last 30 years or so I’ve been on quite the ride with health issues and awareness. It began with my single mom being diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her mid-thirties. Then came my own struggles with PCOS and infertility. Lastly, learning how to manage stress and anxiety with gut health. I’ve learned the connection between body health and the food we consume is powerful. My conscious food lifestyle didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a journey. And, the best first step is just that. The first step!
Here are my tried and true tools for nourishment and family winter health defense:
Having healthy gut health reduces inflammation in your body and allows it to function optimally! But don’t stop at the probiotic capsules and gummies at the market. Introducing fermented foods of various forms introduces a buffet of healthy bacteria, not limiting you to JUST those found in probiotics.
The gelatin (and collagen) found in bone broth seals your gut healing past damage (so great for inflammation). Bone broth also introduces healthy minerals that support not only your immune system but also your mental health. This can be a big deal when you are exhausted and supporting your sick family as well as when you need to stay cheerful during those long and sunless winters!
Nettle and Thyme Tea:
If nature made its own multivitamin it would be stinging nettle. Chock full of beneficial vitamins, a daily nettle drink supports your immune system like none other. Thyme can be brewed like tea also and is a powerful force against colds. Antiseptic and clearing, it can make short order of nasty respiratory viruses and symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
If there were a cult dedicated to the use of apple cider vinegar I would be all in! Getting the brands “with the mother” allows this fermented kitchen essential to benefit your gut health. It also is an acid so a great tonic to sip in warm water in the morning, as well as great for soaking grains to improve their digestibility and reduce their phytic acid. Adding a splash to your crockpot of bone broth helps draw out all those great minerals. Don’t get me started on the long list of ways you can use it in your medicine cabinet or beauty regime.
With all of these tools, a holistic approach will give the you the greatest effect. That is, by using them consistently over a long period of time your body builds up its defenses, reduces its inflammation and has its best chance at fighting school-time sickness.
Thanks for reading! This food nerd is out!
Disclaimer: When using content created by Leah Recor it is not a substitute for medical care.
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