What’s most important to you concerning this COVID epidemic? I bet it’s protecting yourself and those in your household: creating a barrier to keep germs away. It’s the same for me, especially because I have a medically fragile son who’s high-risk. We’ve been living in lock-down mode every winter since he was born. I’ll share my insight on that in a future post.
For today I’d like to focus on revving up our immune systems. How can we do this?
Eat more nutrient dense foods (aka whole foods) and less of the processed kind.
This is a subject of much depth that’s specific to each person, but there are basic things we can all do to for2fy our immunes.
God designed our our body sytems to work in harmony together. We throw that harmony off by consuming highy processed food and drink. I am personally taking this time in life to focus attention on what’s fueling my family–what’s going into their bodies that will build defense against invaders? I’m generally a healthy person but have realized, especially since having children, that there are items needing attention. I can do a few things to for2fy, as I’m certain most households can.
So–how can we do this in practical ways?
1. START WHERE YOU ARE.
May I suggest this great book I ran across years ago while studying naturopathy–I couldn’t write better words on the subject. I felt the concepts and implications of this book were so powerful, I scooped up ten copies for extended family and close friends. I think you’ll connect, as I did, with the beautiful gift the author is offering her readers–the gift of better choices and better health.
I’m certain you’ll find the advice on these pages beneficial if you need practical ideas for “moving away from refined food to more wholesome eating.” It’s a great reference to have in your home library and easy enough for children to read too.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the areas Allison calls Shifting Summary offering ideas on how to start shifting, what to shift to and finally what’s most nutritious–kind of like low, medium, high steps. This collection of knowledge should inspire you to make good nutritional choices for whoever occupies the walls of your home, young and old.
2. PACK YOUR CART WITH FRESH PRODUCE
Recently I took a trip to Harmon’s Grocery Store–specifically for their splendid produce selection. (May I add, totally of my own merit, that their efforts to protect employees and customers at this time are unprecedented and very much appreciated.)
I wanted to start juicing again for my son because it’s a great way to get lacking nutrients into his diet. I ended up with a cart FULL of fresh, vibrant fruits and veggies. I took the following picture to remind myself that these nutritious gems are of major importance to my family’s defense. These foods will nourish and strengthen our immunes against COVID (and like viruses) if and when it enters our home.
When you go to the grocery store and the toilet paper and sanitization isles are empty, don’t feel panic or defeat–go to the produce department! You’ll find an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that God created to for2fy our bodies.
No fancy techniques are required to assimilate their goodness. Some can be eaten in their raw form or gently steamed, shredded, juiced, grilled, sautéed or baked. The list goes on. When you don’t have the ability to scrub your hands with soap, take advantage of your body’s inner workings to flush out toxins and fight off germs by adding more of this good stuff to your diet.
3. TRY SMOOTHIE MAKING OR JUICING
2-3 large kale leaves (stem removed)
1-1 1/4 c frozen mango
1/3 c plain yogurt
3/4 c passionfruit juice (no sugar added)
Place all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. For thicker consistency, add ice. For thinner consistency add more liquid. For an extra health kick add flax seed or chai seed.
I came up with this recipe trying to recreate one I had at a smoothie shop. Smoothie making is not an art, it’s a matter of taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works for you. Remember though, you can cross over to the unhealthy side by adding too much fat and sugar. Know what your health goals are and monitor what goes in to your delicious concoctions. Don’t be afraid to adjust measurements or substitute ingredients. And go heavy on the greens–they are good for you!
Smoothies are an easy way to incorporate foods that you wouldn’t otherwise eat. You can mask less favorable veggies like kale with fruit superstars like mango and strawberries.
When it comes to juicing, downing a lot of straight juice from vegetables can be somewhat unpleasant at times. I’ve found some clever ways to incorporate juice into smoothies, fizzie drinks and meals. For example, on St. Patrick’s day I made Shephard’s Pie for dinner and colored the potatoes green with spinach juice. Everyone loved it and I got away from artificial color which is a great thing! I keep a small pitcher of juice in my fridge so it’s on hand to use as needed.
Juicing is so healthy but one complaint is that it produces A LOT of waste. If you don’t compost, that’s a bundle of pulp added to the garbage pile. The good news is you can use pulp in all sorts of ways. I’m always experimenting and trying to add more nutrients to the food I serve. Here are some ideas you might like to try too:
- carrot pulp–use fresh or frozen in carrot cake or substitute for zucchini in sweet bread (I’ve also used pineapple pulp as a substitute or addition in carrot cake)
- kale pulp–add fresh or frozen to meatballs or meatloaf
- spinach pulp–freeze and add to an omelet, quiche or frittata
- any of the above are great added to homemade mashed potatoes (with skins)
Pray–really? Yes, really! After all our effort, there are miles to go. If we do our best then take it to God and ask for His blessing, it is enough. Through prayer, I include God in all my decisions, especially about what to take into my body and those I’m responsible for. I know he watches over me and I know He watches over you. He is the Master Physician and is the only one with perfect knowledge to direct us in our individual circumstances.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for ameat. —Genesis 1:29
And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome aherbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man. Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and bthanksgiving. —D&C 89:10-11
Hopefully these ideas will encourage you to build up your defenses against micro invaders. I hope by trying these methods, you’ll gain confidence in for2fying those whom God has entrusted in your care.
May you find a simple way to for2fy your home. —Jeni
I will always end with a question in effort to collect your response through commenting or email so I can address it in a future post.
If you have a home protection plan (written or in your head–like mine is) what are some weaknesses you’ve noticed during this stay-at-home initiative?
For example: do you want to have more food storage, do you need things to be more self-sufficient, do you need ideas for germ-proofing your life? Along with this question is an invitation to share your strengths. What makes you home a strong hold against external opposition?