Pure Intention : Immunity

Simple Suggestions Full of Goodness

February 1, 2021

Simple Suggestions Full of Goodness

It is hard to believe that an entire month has come and gone. This morning, I took a quick peek to remind myself of my plan to embrace 2021. 

When I think back to January 1, I know that a part of me honestly believed that flipping the calendar to the new year would miraculously bring with it, a total feeling of renewal and change of reality. I told myself that we had all suffered enough and were ready to move on from this crazy COVID 19, taking the lessons learned as we moved forward. 

Although my dream of full recovery from the virus has yet to become my reality, I continue to discover new ways to adapt and my main focus right now is immunity. With the harsh realization that the virus has indeed mutated, I am pouring my energy into researching different things that I can continue to do for myself in hopes of reducing the odds of getting sick again. 

Much  of what I wrote on December 31, 2020 still holds true and I am doing my best to stay on track. What I am discovering is that this healing process takes a lot of time and energy! At times I find myself feeling overwhelmed because I want to do everything, every day and am totally preoccupied with my checklist, far from living in the moment. There are so many resources and my checklist is getting longer! Meditation; breathing exercises; yoga; walking the dog; planning and cooking healthy meals; cross- country skiing; reading; journaling; watching my series. Oh and I can’t forget about my job; Sergio and my girlies, two of whom still live at home due to COVID and everything that comes with that. I have come to the realization that in order to check everything off of my list I would have to get up at 5am daily and go non stop until falling into bed at the end of the day. This of course totally defeats the purpose.  In fact just the thought of it increases my level of anxiety which does little to speed up the healing process. 

So what to do? I am still learning to embrace each day as a new beginning and with no expectations. I allow myself to feel sad when I’m not feeling great but I do get over it and move on. Shifting into a new lifestyle has its challenges and I refuse to give up. This week I took a vacation day.  The old me would have cleaned the house, cooked, skied, cooked some more, cleaned some more and taken old Jackie for a long walk. The list goes on and on. No more of that! Why do most women tend to think the top priority should always be to clean the house? I actually woke up, meditated, enjoyed a cup of coffee (I am hopeful that my taste is slowly returning after suddenly disappearing over the last few weeks of December) , made a really nummie soup (Incredible Hulk Detox soup referenced below), while I grooved to some funky tunes (my new go to is FKJ Radio on Spotify – I absolutely love it !) ; cleaned the kitchen and bathroom instead of the entire house and did a restorative Yin yoga class which left me feeling totally re-energized 🙂 Instead of going skiing myself, I loaned all of my equipment, including my favorite pair of icebreaker socks to my youngest daughter who apparently no longer suffers from PTSD associated with this sport. You need to understand that all of my kids started skiing at the age of 2 whether they liked it or not.  At the time we lived in Chelsea and everybody who was somebody,  joined the Chelsea Nordique Ski Club. Those were stressful times! A bit like soccer but more intense because of the equipment and everything that entails getting three young children ready for something that they really didn’t want to do. It gave me great joy to see my daughter drive off to the local ski trails where she enjoyed her first ski in many years. This means there is still hope for my other two. 

Magnolia Journal Inspiration for Life and Home Issue 16 – rhythm pg 66

The reason I share all of this is because my vacation day turned out to be nothing like what I had “planned” for the day and you know what ? It felt great 🙂

I recently read an article by Kate Waitzkin “Sacred Space” – Finding room in the day to simply be, and personally this is what I need to make sure I do every day if nothing else.

“When we are in the supportive rhythm , reenergized by time we have gifted ourselves , we can show up in our lives with greater clarity, ease and the capacity to make the most of all that comes our way”

As promised, a few immunity booster ideas that you may want to check out.

  1. Foods and Recipes : Incredible Hulk Detox Soup – also pictured in photo, slices of gluten free bread fait a la Sergio and Juniper Farm Ferments organic Beet Sauerkraut https://juniperfarm.ca
Incredible Hulk Detox Soup

Years ago,  raising a young family,  I always thought that I didn’t have time to focus on healthy food. I went for whatever was easiest. One must keep in mind that I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when processed food and TV dinners were all the rage.  

It so happens that our neighbours were vegetarian and the kids would love to come over to our place for hotdogs and Kraft Dinner! I always felt like they were tofu and we were processed cheese but was too tired to care. Yikes. 

It’s not that I didn’t love to cook, I’ve always enjoyed cooking. My husband often reminded me of the pre children days when I would create these wonderful dishes from Bon Appetit for him, the love of my life. Oh brother. 

As the girls got older I did discover Anne Lindsay cookbooks and attempted the odd dish and I absolutely loved Fine Cooking magazine. I even remember wandering around Chapter’s trying to find a “healthy” slow cooker recipe book but there were none to be found. Hard to believe for sure when we compare this to our world today when there are so many healthy cookbooks to choose from.

Twenty five years later I am finally embracing the joy of cooking healthy wholesome food and everyone is loving it…even Sergio. 

I wanted to start with a list of some foods identified in a few articles I have read.

 15 foods to boost the immune system – Medical News Todaywww.medicalnewstoday.com › articles

Boost Immune System: 10 Foods That Boost The … – 10FAQ10faq.com › health › foods-that-boost-the-immune-syst…

 7 foods that boost immunity (plus those that fight it) – Healthy …www.healthyfood.com › advice › 7-foods-that-boost-i…

5 Spices to Boost Your Immune System – Public Goods Blogblog.publicgoods.com › 5-spices-to-boost-your-immun…

21 Superfoods For Boosting Your Immune System — Fitbodwww.fitbod.me › blog › superfoods-for-immune-system

10 antioxidant-rich foods to support your immune system …www.carmanskitchen.com.au › 10-antioxidant-rich-foods…

Whole Grains and Immune Health | The Whole Grains Councilwholegrainscouncil.org › blog › 2020/03 › whole-grai…

11 Healthiest Whole Grains You Should Be Eatingwww.goodhousekeeping.com › healthy-whole-grains

The 19 best prebiotic foods suitable for veganswww.medicalnewstoday.com › articles

Physiological role of antioxidants in the immune systempubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › …

Health Benefits of Beets www.goldengateorganics.com

15 health benefits of pomegranate juice – Medical News Todaywww.medicalnewstoday.com › articles

 Incorporating some of these foods into your diet, may strengthen your immune system. 

  1. Fruits
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Limes
  • Apples
  • Berries (Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • Papaya
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Elderberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Mangoes
  1. Vegetables
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • asparagus
  • Microgreens
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Red pepper
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms (reishi; lion’s mane; turkey tail; chaga) 
  • Garlic
  • Root vegetables (Jerusalem Hearts…)
  1. Dairy Products
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir

4. Herbs and spices

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric 
  • Astragalus root
  • Burdock root
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Black pepper

5. Seeds

  • Sunflower
  • pumpkin,
  • Chia
  • Flax
  1. Poultry
  2. Shellfish ( oysters, clams, mussels, lobster,clams)
  3. Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring)

9. Whole grains

  • Whole wheat
  • Whole oats
  • Brown rice
  • Whole rye
  • Freekeh
  • Whole Grain Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat couscous

10. Beans (red, pinto, navy, black) and legumes (chickpeas; lentils)

11. Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, Brazil, pistachios)

  1. Fermented food and beverage
  • Kimchi
  • komboucha
  1. Tea (green and black) 
  2. Oils 
  • Olive
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Camelina
  • Hempseed
  1. Dark chocolate

A few other products that I am using right now to boost my immune system :

The Vox shop Elderberry flavour Syrup

“Elderberries are a powerful source of antioxidants and vitamins and are traditionally taken to boost immunity ….”

Apothecary kitchen ottawa

  • Vegan mushroom broth “boosts Immunity” and tastes amazing 
  • Lemongrass Ginger Tonic – Preventative – soothing, antibacterial properties, and packed with Vitamin C.

More suggestions:

Probiotics such as Chicory root; Dandelion greens; Leeks; onions; shallots; seaweed…the list goes on and on!

There are so many recipes I would like to share with you that combine many of the items mentioned above. 

For today I am going to focus on two things and will share more in weeks to come.

Magic Mineral Broth

Immune boosting Magic Mineral Broth – from Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen – November 12, 2015 

This broth was created by Rebecca Katz From My Kitchen to Yours https://www.rebeccakatz.com. I will be featuring her new book The Power of Yum in a future blog. Tried it a few weeks ago and drank a cup every day. It was really nummie. Lots of ingredients but so worth it in the end. I couldn’t find Kombi so I replaced it with Nori. Delicious!

Over these past few months I have been starting to create my own recipes. Here is my first attempt. I have modified Deep Detox Cilantro, Spinach and Sweet Potato Soup Naturally Nourished – Sarah Britton referenced in a previous blog and called it Incredible Hulk Detox soup. My daughters came up with the title. I love it! It reminds me of the tv show I watched as a kid! 🙂

  • 1 tablespoon Olive , camelina  or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion 
  • 6 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 large sweet potato 
  • 4 – 6 cups Immune Broth *different than magic mineral broth
  • 2 cups spinach 
  • 2 cups kale
  • Handful of parsley
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Splash of lemon is optional 
  1. Chop onion and sweet potato.
  2. Heat oil in large pot and add chopped onion and cook until transparent (3-5 minutes)
  3. Add crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add sweet potato followed by immune broth. *
  5. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer until sweet potato is tender (approximately 20 minutes) 
  6. Add spinach and kale. Cook until spinach is wilted and kale becomes bright green.
  7. Add cilantro and parsley. Let cook for a few minutes and remove from heat.
  8. Add cayenne, salt and pepper.
  9. Blend and add a splash of fresh lemon before stirring. 

* This broth requires a lot of ingredients but again, it is so worth the time and effort. Nori is an excellent replacement for Kombu. 

It makes a lot of broth and you can freeze it until you need it!

  1. Yoga – If I can do yoga…anyone can! I am the least flexible person I know. From the beginning of my blog I have been singing the praises of yoga.

Check out these articles:

Support Your Immune System with Yoga – Yoga

Yoga helps lower stress hormones that compromise the immune system, while also conditioning the lungs and respiratory tract, stimulating the lymphatic system to oust toxins from the body, and bringing oxygenated blood to the various organs to ensure their optimal function. … “Yoga works on everything.” Aug 28, 2007 by Angela Pirisi

Want to Strengthen Your Immune System?

“the anit – inflammatory and anit-stress effects commonly associated with yoga, meditation and pranayama may be an effective adjunctive treatment for COVID – 19”

My latest greatest discovery…

“During the dark season of winter it is a time where the natural world becomes still and quiet. Focusing on the hips and low back, our longer held yin postures will promote vitality and a feeling of inner calm. This seasonal practice is a beautiful way to weave intention + wellness into your life as we slow down and embrace the quiet winter months ahead.”

*I absolutely love this 54 minute class. The effects of this class are life changing…check it out!

  1. Meditation Benefits of Meditation on Immune Health | Ranch Creek …ranchcreekrecovery.com › blog › meditation-for-the-imm…

New research suggests that mindfulness meditation can have benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function…” 

My two go to’s for meditation are Ayya my friend, the buddhist nun and Eckhart Tolle. Ekhart’s wife Kim Eng,  leads a guided meditation on acceptance, helping us cultivate alertness to our present surroundings and experience, let go of resistance, and be fully here in this moment. This guided meditation introduced me to the benefits of this practice which I continue to experience on a daily basis.

  1. Acupuncture – Improving your Immune System with Acupuncture

 Acupuncture stimulates the body’s immune response and strengthens your body to improve your resistance to infection…

I continue to go to see my acupuncturist, once a week. Right now Bruce is focusing on my Triple warmer (more to come on that topic in future blog) 

In closing today I have discovered more words of wisdom that reinforce everything I have been sharing on my blog to date:

Ayurvedic Wisdom for the New Year by Rachelle Williams

  • Check in with yourself
  • Have an attitude of Gratitude
  • Spend time in nature
  • Cultivate Good Eating Habits
  • Tap into the Power of Breath
  • Be of Service
  • Meditate
  • Get Plenty of Rest
  • Keep Moving
  • Implement a daily Routine 

Coming soon…

Pure Intention: Family Time

Karen’s first pick: The First Mess / Vegan Recipes and Wholesome Meals 

More suggestions on how to boost your immunity.

Be well!

K.

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