Healthy Habit Series Tip 2: Health and Immunity Boosting Recipes
Creating healthy eating habits or learning new healthy and immunity boosting recipes isn’t as difficult as it seems. We follow simple immunity boosting recipe principles about nutrition that studies show reduce the risk of disease, help shed pounds and can help you feel your best.
This list of healthy habits will help you feel great and boost your immunity-
1. Drink plenty of filtered water every day
To be hydrated, it is recommended that you drink half your weight in ounces every day. This usually adds up to about 70 – 90 ounces a day for most of us. Also, for each caffeinated drink, we need to add 2 more, 8 ounce glasses to that equation. Studies show that most Americans do not get enough water, and are chronically dehydrated. Water is vital to our health, necessary for clear thinking, for proper organ function and helps with weight loss. We recommend you start with a glass of water when you wake up in the morning. You can add lemon juice, some greens like amazing grass or vitamin c such as emergen-c to your morning water for a nice boost if you like. Make sure your water is filtered and free of chlorine and contaminants. You can purchase a Pitcher with filter like Brita or invest in a water filter for under your sink in the kitchen. A tip to remind you to drink enough water is to keep a pitcher of water on your kitchen counter, you can add frozen fruit or sliced oranges if you like, and drink it every day.
2. Avoid sugary food and refined grains.
Refined foods like white bread, rice and pasta, crackers, sugar cereals, refined baked goods, soda and candy. These are all considered highly glycemic foods, causing an insulin spike in the body and creating systemic inflammation. Inflammation works against your health and your immunity. It is a big factor in driving most disease so we definitely want to keep it in check. Some seemingly healthy foods like fruit juice and raisins or other dried fruits, are problematic even though they contain only naturally occurring sugars. With these, we can easily consume a large portion of fruit sugar, in a concentrated way. We recommend avoiding commercial fruit juice altogether and limiting dried fruits. On the other hand, vegetable juice is wonderful and a low sugar choice with plenty of vitamins and anti oxidants. So, when it comes to juice, “juice your veggies, but eat your fruits”. commercial foods, usually packaged.
3. Avoid highly processed foods that are no longer recognizable as their original plant or animal sources
These items are the packaged, convenience foods that fill the center isles of the supermarket. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, and there are some frozen meals, soups, salsas, sauces etc that are organic and made from simple, whole food ingredients you recognize. We suggest you check the ingredient list and keep your choices to a list of 10 ingredients or less, and of ingredients you can recognize as food. Highly processed foods to avoid include things like hot dogs, cold cuts with preservatives, Doritos and such, pre-packaged meals, orange drinks, frozen dairy desserts, pancake syrup (usually corn syrup), sodas etc.
4. If you eat grains – Use only 100% whole grain and avoid the white, refined grains listed above. Keep serving to about 1/2 Cup.
Grains in general are packed with carbohydrates so it is recommended that you keep the serving size to about 1/2 C and to combine them with foods like healthy fats and protein. Combining with fats and proteins helps to moderate the insulin spike that grains can create due to their large sugar load on the body. We recommend avoiding gluten, but if you are not sensitive to gluten, go for whole grain. Healthy grains to look for are whole grain oats (not instant – look for long cook types), barley, brown rice and quinoa (actually a seed). Look for 100% whole grain in these items as they will have more nutrition including more fiber.
5. Include more plant derived foods like vegetables, legumes and fruits into your diet. Fill most of your plate with veggies. Eat about 5 fruits per day.
These are your disease fighting powerhouses. Make sure you include foods high in Vitamin C like kiwi, red bell peppers and citrus fruits. Include superfoods like berries, broccoli, cauliflower, chia seeds, and spices like turmeric, ginger, curries, cinnamon, oregano, garlic, onions and cayenne pepper. Variety is key here, so include red, white, orange, yellow, blue and purple fruits and vegetables to be sure you are getting all the different antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals needed to help protect you from disease. For convenience and long shelf life during the COVID-19 social distancing, we recommend frozen organic vegetables, dried or canned beans (look for BPA free cans) and organic dried spices as staples in your kitchen.
6. Trade out bad fats for good fats.
Fats have had a bad wrap, and studies now show that they are incredibly healthy and actually necessary for our health. Healthy fats to bring into your diet include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, raw or lightly toasted nuts, and omega fatty acids in fish, flax and chia seeds. Virgin coconut oil is a medium chain saturated fat, that has wonderful nutritive qualities and Dr. Harpe recommends can be used in moderation especially for high heat cooking. Fats to avoid include trans fats (any ingredient that says hydrogenated oil), vegetable oil, canola oil, corn oil, and animal fat (especially from commercially raised animals)
7. Bring in naturally raised/ wild harvested protein sources into your diet and avoid commercially raised.
When you have chicken, you are eating what that chicken was raised on. For instance, industrial chicken farms raise their chickens on GMO feed including soy and corn in inhumane environments that promote disease in the chickens. Often, they need to be medicated to be kept healthy. GMO food is often doused in pesticides as it grows so it contains high residues of these poisons. Commercially raised animals and the beef, chicken, pork, turkey, eggs and dairy we derive from them will be of poor quality, will have a fat profile with more omega 6 and 9, and will have toxins in their fat derived from the way they were raised. We recommend purchasing grass fed and finished beef, naturally raised chicken and turkey, pastured pork and wild caught seafood such as Coho Salmon. Free range and organic eggs are much healthier than their commercial counterparts. By buying these more humanly raised meats and products, we also support these farmers and their practices.
Getting Access to our Health and Immunity Boosting Recipes
These are general principles in creating a healthy nutrition plan for yourself. This is not meant to be a fad diet, but new habits/choices to add to your lifestyle and with time, become routines that are sustainable. I will be focusing on posting healthy and immunity boosting recipes with ingredients that really boost your immunity and overall health during this time. Check out our stories on FB and Insta for these recipes and tips, classified in the highlights section for this series. Good luck and please let us know how you are doing, comment, ask questions and tell us about your journey.
Sending love and wishing you health,