immunity

Mushroom Latte - Post-Holiday Immune Boost

The holidays are a fun time with loved ones and a much needed break for most. It's also possible that our immune system can weaken during this time due to over-indulging, emotions, and perhaps letting go of our normal self-care practices

I can say for myself that it's been an emotional time (with full moon in effect also) and my body has responded quickly and feels weaker. It's making me slow down and actually take a look at all that's arising and needs to be worked out. 

Health is so much more than just what we put into our body. Emotions, environment, and thoughts are just as important to our well-being. Although I have kept my holistic way of eating while I've been traveling and taking time off from work, I am needing to bump up my natural medicinal remedies (along with being still and looking inward) to keep my immune system strong. 

My go-to the past few days has been this super creamy and delicious mushroom latte (because you all know I love mushrooms and chocolate!), which the whole family loved too.

This morning, I partially enjoyed this latte outside while it was snowing! Sadly, it didn't stick, but it was beautiful to watch. 

Ingredients

2 cups hot spring water or tea

1 teaspoon Mushroom Immunity blend (find here)

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon mucuna pruriens powder

1 Tablespoon raw honey

1 Tablespoon ghee or coconut oil

Pinch of sea salt

Procedure

  1. Blend all ingredients together until creamy and frothy. 

Enjoy and Stay Healthy! 

Superfood Hot Chocolate

superfoodhotchocolate featured image

Every year I come home to visit for the holidays with a new favorite drink or food that I'm eager to share with my family. This year, I've been on a hot chocolate kick for about a month now, and it's been a healing and delicious journey. This has been the morning drink of choice at my house for the past few days, and I encourage you to give it a try if you're looking for a cozy nourishing start to your day. Especially around the stressful holiday season, starting with a warm pre-digested drink like this will sooth the digestive system instead of causing more stress first thing in the morning. You'll feel lighter and more energized.

Ingredients

2 cups herbal tea -Any herbal tea of choice works.I use a loose leaf mixture of dandelion root, holy basil, gynostemma, and chaga mushroom. (I order my herbs online from Mountain Rose Herbs)

2 Tablespoons hemp seeds

1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon raw honey

1 teaspoon raw maca powder - Boosts energy, balances mood, influences stamina, and aids sexual function

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha powder - An adaptogenic herb that helps the body deal with stress, strengthens the immune system, and boosts energy. 

1/4 teaspoon he shou wu - Strengthens the immune system, supports adrenals, calms the nervous system, and maintains youthful condition and color of hair. 

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 drops of vanilla stevia (Omica Organics)

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

superfoodhotchocolate
superfoodhotchocolate

Procedure

  1. Place hot tea and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy and frothy.

Note: This drink is not by all means limited to these ingredients only. My hot chocolate is never the same. I like to switch off using different superfoods depending on how I feel that day. Play around with what calls you. Other ingredients I often use: mucuna, shilajit, lucuma, stevia, dates instead of honey, tahini, cinnamon, medicinal mushroom powders (reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail, shiitake, etc.), and Everlasting Vitality & Youth.

Let me know what ingredients you try and how your specialty superfood hot chocolate turns out.

Enjoy & Happy Holidays!

x, Giovanna

Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower mash featured image

Cauliflower is often an underestimated. It seems like such a plain vegetable, yet it's loaded with nutrients and health benefits. Nutritional Highlights of Cauliflower:

  • High in vitamin C - immune support, cardiovascular support
  • Rich in antioxidant phytonutrients - help lower the risk of developing different types of cancer
  • Vitamin K - highly anti-inflammatory
  • Sulphur - anti-inflammatory, shown to kill cancer stem cells, helps detoxification
  • Vitamin B6 & Choline - two B vitamins important for brain health
  • Fiber - aids digestion

 

Cauliflower mash

 

This side dish has been one of my go-to's at home lately. My personal chef clients love it as well. It's comforting and doesn't leave you feeling stuffed. It makes a great dairy-free and low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes, especially for those watching their weight. It even tastes better, in my opinion.

I make a batch at the beginning of the week and then sauté or roast a ton of vegetables to go with it. Great for lunch, dinner, or snack.

Ingredients 

1 Tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil

1 yellow onion, sliced

1 large head cauliflower, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, mashed

1/4 - 1/2 cup water

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (melted)

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, or cilantro to garnish (optional)

Procedure

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan or pot. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add chopped cauliflower, garlic, and water (enough water to cover the bottom of the pan). Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and turn down heat to low. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking to make sure there is still liquid at the bottom of the pan. If water has evaporates, add a little more. Steam until cauliflower is slightly tender.
  3. Remove from the heat and place in a food processor or high-speed blender. Season with oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Blend until it reaches mashed potato consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning. Mix in herbs at this time if desired, or garnish with them.

Note: If you do not have a food processor or high-speed blender, you may mash cauliflower with a potato masher. Cauliflower might need to be cooked a bit more to make it easier.

Serves 2-4

What's your favorite way to prepare cauliflower?

 

 

 

9 Natural Ways to Keep the Flu Away

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The immune system is what helps us fight virus and bacteria and keeps us from getting sick. During this flu season and cold weather, it's important to give our immune system a boost. Here are 9 natural ways to keep the flu away:

  1. Drink ginger tea. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, relieves pain, and aids digestion. To make tea, simmer a 1-inch strip in 2 cups filtered water for about 10 min and then enjoy with some lemon juice. 
  2. Load up on Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system. It helps to prevent a cold/flu and also helps get rid of it. Foods high in vitamin C include dark leafy greens (kale, collard greens, chard), citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. 
  3. Garlic. Garlic is strongly an anti-bacterial and anti-virus ingredient. Eating it raw (uncooked) provides the most health benefits, but cooking with it is also good. If you can take the strong raw taste, chop it up and throw it on your salads, cooked vegetables, cooked meats, and even smoothies. Otherwise, add to pan towards the end of cooking to expose to heat for only a short period of time.  
  4. Get enough sleep and manage stress. Lack of sleep puts stress on our body and stress weakens our immune system. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night without interruptions. Things you can do to help deal with stress are: take a walk/hike, drink tea, listen to calming music, read a book, yoga, exercise, meditate, take deep breaths, draw/write, take a hot bath, and prioritize your life. 
  5. Cook with spices. Spices like cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne pepper are anti-inflammatory and help relieve pain and fight health problems. 
  6. Eat probiotics. Probiotics are live cultures that live mostly in our gut. These are good bacteria that help fight off the bad bacteria. Feeding the gut with good bacteria helps heal it and strengthens our immune system. Get probiotics by eating fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir(lactose-free), and kim chi. 
  7. Avoid refined sugar and dairy. Refined sugar (including alcohol) is what feeds the bad bacteria in our gut and allows it to replicate. Refined sugar also weakens our immune system and causes inflammation in the body. Let your sugar come from natural sources such as fresh fruit, honey (good for sore throat and cough), dates, and root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, squash/pumpkin, and beets. Dairy is also something you might want to avoid if having symptoms of a cold/flu because it creates mucus in the body and only makes things worse. 
  8. Drink unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is great for many things. Some benefits are detoxifying the body, feeding the gut with good bacteria, and curing a sore throats, sinus infections, headaches, and the flu. Mix 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with some filtered water and drink slowly. For a sore throat, gargle apple cider vinegar in the back of your throat then spit out and repeat a few more times. 
  9. My favorite remedy - "Voo-doo Juice." I learned this tea from my mom and it's what I immediately go to if I feel a cold approaching. It is packed with immune supporting ingredients and it really does the trick. I add 2 cloves crushed garlic, 2-inch piece of ginger, about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or more if you can take it), and 4 cups filtered water to a small pot and simmer for about 10 minutes. Filter tea into a mug and enjoy with a bit of raw honey. 
Don't forget to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and get lots of fluids from water, hot tea, and chicken or vegetable soup. 
 
Stay healthy.