Okay, so I have a confession to make. I’m sure you’ve seen me in my Instagram pics looking happy and healthy and like I’m totally enjoying the heck out of life right now. While I do take joy in every moment that I can, I have been having a really hard time with my health lately. My trips to NYC in December and last week to Charleston were at times excruciatingly difficult. My energy has been completely tanked, I get sick almost every time we eat a meal out of the house, and I feel like I am walking around with a constant case of mono. By the end of the day, I typically feel like death and have to push so hard to get myself up to even brush my teeth or wash my face. Most of the time I feel like I’m dragging my body through life. I get moments where I’m excited and adrenaline kicks in and I seem fine, but I’ll crash the minute that is over. Even though my Lyme Disease is in remission or perhaps gone after the treatment I had, I still struggle with a lot of other issues. I have mycotoxins and other pathogens that have taken up in my body while my immune system has been wrecked so hard. So, when I asked my practitioner why I’m feeling so awful and why it hits me so hard when I travel, he did some tests and realized that my immune system is currently only functioning at about 50%. I knew this was the case, but it’s nice to have someone else back up that it is in fact the reason behind my struggles.
I’m kind of under the gun at the moment to get my immune system functioning at a higher level, because we are about to travel to Cartagena, Columbia in about 2 weeks! Being in a foreign country, you are always exposed to new germs that your body isn’t used to. So, it’s time to get serious about boosting this immune system! Plus, I get this question so often from so many of you about ways to do the same for yourselves, so I thought it would be a great topic to share with you!
Over the years, I’ve done so much research and studying to find ways to help myself through the worst of my health problems. I’ve read so many differing opinions about the best ways to do things. But, when it comes to the immune system, everyone pretty much agrees on the same things: vitamins, minerals, and herbs in the form of foods or supplements! These are your three powerhouses to get your immune system back into fighting shape! Of course eating a clean, and healthy diet rich in plants will also greatly benefit you and your gut. So, don’t assume that you can just get away with eating herbs on your takeout pizzas everynight, LOL. Wishful thinking.
Herbs for Immunity:
- Cayenne Pepper
- Hot Mustard
- Olive Leaf
I like to do a combination of eating herbs, and taking them in supplement and tincture form. As for eating them, you can easily throw them into your smoothies, soups, salads, and on top of other dishes. It’s best to eat them raw if you can. You can find them at your local grocery store. Sometimes they will be in small packets because a little goes a long way. Just try to get them in a few times a day. You don’t have to do them all at once either.
I take several herbs in supplement and tincture form around my meals. At differet times, I do an Olive Leaf Capsule, Cayenne Pepper capsules, Goldenseal and Echinacea Tincture, Garlic Capsules, Moringa capsules, and Astragalus capsules. You don’t want to do all of these together right off the bat. Start with one and slowly add some in if you like. You don’t want to overwhelm your system. My favorites are Garlic, Astragalus, and Goldenseal and Echinacea. You can experiment and see which one’s work best for you. As always, it’s great to work with a natural healthcare practitioner to guide you!
Foods Full of Vitamins and Minerals for Immunity:
- Leafy Greens of any kind
In addition to eating these foods, I do take vitamins and minerals in supplement form as well. I always take a good quality magnesium in tablet form (the blue bottle linked below that says Trace Minerals on it), an Ionic Zinc tincture, Esther-C capsules (I take this instead of a Vitamin C because it does not have citric acid in it, which is often made from GMOs and can damage tissue lining like the stomach, intestines, and bladder walls), Vitamin B-12 tincture, Vitamin B Complex, an Iron Patch, Maganese Tincture, and Vitamin D. I know this sounds like a whole lot, but I’m a lot sicker than you probably think! I am doing better than I was in the past few years, but I still have a ways to go and need a lot of supplemental support. If you are looking to simplify this, you could always look for a quality multi-vitamin. I would recommend shopping at a natural health food and supplement store either online or locally. Some practitioners who have established an online presence such as Dr. Amy Myers have multivitamins that are of good quality, too. Most pharmacies and grocery stores have them but they have a lot of filler ingredients that are not beneficial to you and can be harmful. If you must buy from a grocery store, I would recommend Whole Foods.
How To Incorporate These Into Your Meals:
In the morning, I’ll make a smoothie with Nutragen Pure Plant Protein Powder, water, frozen blackberries, raspberries, parsley, and mint leaves. I love to use my Vitamix Blender! It makes my smoothies so soft and fluffy! They’re seriously like a soft serve ice cream/sorbet texture and it’s so much better than my old blender could do. It can blend big chunks of frozen fruit or ice, make nut butters and nut cheeses, chop vegetables, and so much more! If you are committed to eating healthier and want to invest in something to make it easier and tastier, I’d highly recommend getting one of these!
Later in the day I will drink a glass of pure cranberry juice (not the sugary kind, the only ingredient here should be cranberries) with a scoop of Amazing Grass Berry Green Superfood Powder which is loaded with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and antioxidants! I squeeze some limes into it to add to the taste and vitamin power, stir it really well, and slowly sip it. For some reason I almost always feel better after doing this!
My practitioner recently told me that I should switch my heavier meal from dinner to lunch because pathogens eat at night. So, if we eat a heavy meal at night, especially with animal protein (which is a dead food that pathogens love to eat), it’s just strengthening those invaders and keeping our immune systems further suppressed. So, for lunch, I’m going to eat my meals with protein, either animal or plant and any vegetable form of starch if I want. So for example, I could make a piece of salmon and cover that in some dill and lemon juice (which is a delicious combo!), or I could make my grain free vegan tacos (Siete tortillas at Whole Foods are BOMB!) with tempeh or quinoa and top those with spinach (or other greens), avocado, cilantro (or parsely for those of us who have a cilantro aversion – ME!) and lime.
For dinner, it’s best to keep it light and stick to vegetables and bitter fruits. My practitioner tells me, “If you want to have a sweet life, eat and drink bitter. If you want to have a bitter life, eat and drink sweet.” I know, bummer, right?! Ugh. Well, people have differing opinions on whether or not some fruits are helpful or hurtful to healing processes. It can get so confusing and you start to feel like, who should I believe? Well, my guy has never been wrong, so for now I’m following his advice! He also says that if you eat garlic with the fruits, it will help keep your blood sugar low and pathogens under control. If you aren’t familiar, garlic is known to be very effective in killing pathogens. I once took it in very large amounts for several months, and while my breath was rancid, I felt SO MUCH BETTER!
So, for dinner, I might make something like a salad loaded with multiple kinds of greens like spinach, arugula, and romaine, topped with cucumbers, celery, avocado, and a dressing made with EVOO, apple cider vinegar, and lime. I also really love to make plant based meals around vegetables, like zucchini lasagna, where you add in orgegano, spinach, parsely, and garlic, or eggplant rollotinis adding the same. You could also make a Buddha bowl of veggies and incorporate these herbs and foods. You kind of have to get creative and find ways to add these things in that taste good to you!
After dinner, I like to make tea. Since ginger is an immune boosting food, and I happen to love it, I drink a lot of it! The best way to do it is to get a chunk of ginger from the store, grate it into chunks, or cut it into small pieces, and add it to a tea ball. That way you can boil your water and add the tea ball in without the chunks floating everywhere. I also like to add some fresh turmeric to it and some stevia, too! As you probably know, turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory. So if you’re feeling discomfort from any sickness already it can be beneficial to you, too!
I hope you’ve found this post helpful! Below, I have linked this outfit and more importantly all of the products I’ve mentioned in this post! I would love to hear any feedback and comments or questions you might have! Wishing you a healthy season 🙂