PUT UP YOUR DUKES

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Super Cold Busting Recipes
carrots and hijiki

Carrot/Ginger/Onion/Hijiki/Yum.
1/2 cup of dried hijiki
1 cup warm water
2-3 carrots, diagonal sliced (~2 cups)
1 large onion
2 tsp grated fresh ginger (~1/2 inch)
2-4 T Tamari
2 T Olive Oil

Soak hijiki in warm water for 10-20 minutes, until soft. Crescent slice onion and cook over medium heat until nicely browned and caramelized. Add ginger and lay carrots in an even layer over onions and top with hijiki. Add a small amount of hijiki soaking water and tamari and cover. Cook until carrots are tender. Why is this a cold buster? Of all the sea vegetables, hijiki is the richest in minerals and it has an abundance of trace elements. It is ridiculously high in calcium (gram for gram, about 14 times more than milk) and is rich in iron as well as protein. Onions are supposed to be great for coughs and colds*, and the buckets of beta carotene found in carrots keeps your mucous linings good and strong. (That’s a good thing??) Yeah, because they’re your first defense against germs, kids. Ok, let’s be honest. Nutrition aside, this shit is delicious. *

Miso Healthy Soup
5 cups water
2 dried shitake mushrooms (or a handful of fresh shitakes)
1/4 oz Atlantic wakame leaves
1/8 head napa cabbage, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick strips
1 piece of daikon radish, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 japanese yam, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped into 1/4 inch slices
1 small onion, cut in half and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 + 1/8 white or yellow miso
2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally (white and green parts)

Soak wakame in 2.5 cups of water and shitakes in remaining 2.5 cups for an hour or until tender.* Remove each using a slotted spoon and slice into bitesize pieces (remove center vein of wakame). Strain soaking liquid into large heavy stockpot. Add mushrooms, wakame, cabbage, radish, celery, carrots, yam and onion. Cover and bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Remove from heat. If you’ve made more soup than you’ll eat in one day, take out whatever part you’ll keep for later at this point (once you add the miso, you won’t want to bring it to a boil). Take a cup or so of liquid into a separate bowl and mix the miso in, diluting it, until smooth. Add miso mixture to soup, being careful not to boil the soup once miso has been added (the extreme heat will destroy some of the nutrients in the miso). Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

*(If you want to make soup quickly and forgo soaking time, you can substitute fresh mushrooms for dried, added with the rest of the vegetables, and use a 1-inch piece of kombu instead of wakame – putting kombu and all 5 cups of water directly into the stockpot). Wakame has many of the same nutritional goodness of its cousin, kombu. Both are especially rich in calcium and contain high levels of vitamins B and C.

A Tall Green Glass of Vitamin C
6-8 kiwis
3-4 pears
1″ fresh ginger

You’ll need a juicer (or a friend with a juicer) for this recipe. But boy is it ever worth it! I have an Omega 8005 Masticating Juicer. I heart it. Juice all ingredients (skin and all, if you don’t mind a little color…peel ‘em if you’re feeling finicky). Because vitamin C breaks down quickly, fresh-squeezed juice is a great way to get it, and this juice is YUM. Almost a puree, you can thin it with a little water to make it go farther, or add it to sparkling water for a refreshing spritzer. (schwa!)

Warm Gingery Green Tea Goodness

2-3 thin slices of fresh ginger
2 cups water
2 tsp. green tea
honey to taste (~2 T)
optional: fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine water, ginger and lemon juice (if using) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add green tea leaves and steep for 3 minutes. Strain into glass and add honey to taste. If this doesn’t just make you feel all warm and snuggly inside, I don’t know what will. And better yet, everything in the glass is working for you. In some studies, the EGCG found in green tea dramatically inhibited influenza virus from replication.0 L-theanine (also in green tea) also promotes relaxation (but not drowsiness), and prepares the immune system to fight invading bacteria. Ginger is one of mother nature’s antiviral herbs – it is pain relieving, antiseptic and antioxidant. And on top of being sweet and tasty, a new study shows that honey might even be better at reducing coughs and soothing sore throats than the over the counter stuff! 1. If you don’t want the caffeine from the green tea, this recipe is JUST as tasty and soothing (just not quite as stimulating) without it.

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Okay, I know that this is going to sound annoying, but I really can’t remember the last time I got sick. (Don’t hate me because I’m healthy – trust me I’ve paid my dues.) Colds, flues and the like swirl around me constantly – people sneeze and cough in my general direction, and I travel more than any sane human should, but my body really seems to fight off most external buggers that manage to squirrel their way in within a day or so, and my symptoms rarely if ever really develop.

It seems rudimentary, but I think it’s sort of hard to deny that the best flu prevention strategy is also the most basic – good nutrition, regular exercise, and enough sleep. As Erica Brownfield, MD, a professor of internal medicine at Emory University School of Medicine says: “I really believe your immune system takes care of a lot of things, even if you’ve been exposed to the flu, you don’t have to get it.”2

But what to do if you feel a cold coming on? Try this on for size:

Move Your Body.
More and more studies are linking moderate, consistent exercise with a strong immune system.3 During exercise, your increased blood flow helps to circulate antibodies along with white blood cells necessary to fight infection more quickly. The increase in body temperature as a result of physical activity may also aid in inhibiting the growth of bacteria, allowing the body to fight infection more effectively. That being said, don’t go overboard. Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself. As a general rule of thumb, if your symptoms are neck-up and you have no fever, it’s probably okay to do a gentle workout. If your symptoms are neck-down (deep chest cough, etc.) or more flu-like (fever, muscle aches, swollen lymph glands) rest is probably a better choice. 4

Rest. No, Seriously.
Your body is doing it’s best to fight off this virus – it’s hard work! Give in and allow yourself to get the extra rest and sleep you need. This alone could make all the difference in your recovery time. During deep sleep, our bodies release potent immune-enhancing substances and growth hormone that strengthen your immune system function. Plain and simple, when you’re not getting enough rest your immune system is not functioning at its full capacity. You are more susceptible to illness and have a harder time fighting off whatever you’ve got. Go on, take a nap, you know you want to.

Don’t Do This Stuff.
Anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact that I really don’t like saying “no” to anything. I recently tried to come up with a list of 5 things I would never do, and frankly, it was a challenge. That being said, there is a time and a place for everything in this world, and when you’re feeling under the weather there are simply some things you should avoid. Yes, all the fun stuff. Coffee, sugar, alcohol and cigarettes are the big 4. I could get into all the nitty gritty, but can you just trust me on this one? Don’t kick your body when it’s down.

Drink, Drink, Drink.
Okay, we already established that you’re not going to be doing whiskey or espresso shots, so that leaves all the more room for the stuff you should really be drinking. First of all, and I cannot emphasize this enough, DRINK LOTS OF WATER. No really, like you should be running to the bathroom every 30 minutes. You should be peeing clear. You should be talking less and drinking more. Yes, that much water. Warm beverages are also good for relieving nasal congestion, preventing dehydration, and soothing the inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. Try the ginger tea above, or any of the great cold-busting herbal teas on the market right now (Traditional Medicinals and Yogi Teas make some good formulas. Throat Coat is one of the best things I’ve found to soothe a sore throat) .

Tricks, I want Secrets and Tricks!
Yeah, I know – you already know all that stuff. Your grandma could’ve told you that (probably did). You want secrets. An easy way out. You want to kick this cold in the pants and still work a 10 hour day and catch up with your friends afterwards. First of all, just face it: it ain’t gonna happen. You can mask your symptoms with cold medicine and bolster your energy with caffeine, and you’ll limp along for a few more days in a snotty haze, infect your friends and coworkers, and succeed in prolonging the length and severity of your illness (Congratulations!). That being said, I definitely like to pull out all the stops when I feel a sniffle or a tickle in my throat.

And let’s be honest: today is one of those days (why the heck do you think I’m blogging about it?). I felt dehydrated all day yesterday, exhausted after yoga last night and my throat was suspiciously sore this morning. So what am I doing about it? Well, basically I’m doing all the stuff I just wrote about. I slept a half-hour later than normal today. I exercised this morning – nothing too extreme, but I got my blood flowing. I had a double shot of wheatgrass (it’s strong stuff – if you’ve never had it before, start with a single, or even a half-shot). Wheatgrass is pretty much a cure-all. I don’t drink it as much as I used to, but pull it out in times like these. I’m staying warm and dry. I made the recipes at the top of the page (carrots and hijiki for lunch with some leftover tempeh, miso soup for dinner with some toasted mochi. I’ve been sipping tea and juice throughout the day (I made both the kiwi juice above and a green juice with celery, cucumber, ginger, kale or spinach and sunflower and pea shoots) in between glasses and glasses and glasses of water. I picked up some Wellness Formula Cold & Flu (Homeopathic Tablets with Echinaea) & Dr. Shen’s Yin Chiao Honeysuckle and Forsythia Pills. This is my standard 1-2 punch. I have no idea if they actually work or if it’s just placebo, but I feel like I’m being proactive and it does *seem* to have an impact. I also took some extra zinc this morning and keep Emergen-C Immune Defense Formula and Sun Chlorella on hand to throw in with my water when I think about it.

I’m a Health Counselor, not a doctor, so this is just what I feel works for ME. Take it or leave it. But I’m telling you, I’m feeling better already…

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Listening to:
Meklit Hadero, CéU, Plan B


One Response to “PUT UP YOUR DUKES”

  1. 1 Cat 

    Hey there! Good suggestions and just what I was looking for. I usually never get sick and I’m usually on a pretty tight diet but last week I travelled all week, boy it was exhausting (but fun). I started getting a littel throat tickle last week and then a cough, but you know how it is when yr with relatives, things just move really fast and there’s all kinds of food that I would NEVER eat on a regular basis and stressful situatuations that I would never normally get into. Oh well, just wanted to say thanks. Cat

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