One of My Favorite New Snacks And The Recipe….

Finding snacks that are loaded with healing and beneficial nutrients, plus ones that contain the important balance of fat/fiber/protein, AND that taste delicious is a major win in my world. Because here is the thing, I love good food and I love giving my body what it needs to function as best as it can. Win Win

When considering what to eat every day for long term and sustainable health I am always thinking 1. what can we add? 2. what can we take away? And of course what is DELICIOUS.

This snack is beautifully free of all the major common inflammatory foods that can gradually lead to symptoms/disease, pain, faulty digestion, immune disfunction, mental health problems, and more . Plus, it adds tons of important nutrients our body needs to stay strong as well as that fat/fiber/protein ratio to help balance hormones (insulin, cortisol, thyroid and even sex hormones!).

What’s up with the fat/fiber/protein? This ratio of nutrients is the key to keeping our blood sugar balanced (glucose and the hormone insulin) and feeling satiated while getting important building blocks for body functions. (In our house we call fats brain food, protein muscle foods, and fiber energy/plant nutrient foods) When our blood sugar spikes from eating fast carbs, refined carbs, or carbs with out fiber (bagels or pretzels for example), it starts a cascade of hormonal events that can cause energy problems-problems sleeping, problems with sex hormones, fatigue, and more. By eating a healthy fat, a clean protein, and loads of fiber each time you eat you are doing your body and mind a huge service. It’s an easy, delicious, and satisfying way to eat!

This snack is a perfect mix of fat/fiber/protein and is loaded with nutrients. Here are all of the star ingredients-

A few of the stars-

Sweet potatoes- sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They contain loads of vitamin C, vitamin A, B6, manganese and many more healing nutrients. The fibers in them are awesome for your gut health and microbiome, which impact your entire body. Thy support immune health, brain health, hormone balance and more.

Avocados– Avocados are an awesome source of important healthy fats. They are primarily oleic acid which is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. They are a great source of vitamin K, potassium, vitamin c and folate.

Garlic– Garlic is used as medicine all over the world. It is known to boost immune function, be helpful in lowering blood pressure, heart health, cholesterol, and has tons of antioxidants to prevent free radical damage.

And here is the recipe so you can enjoy the goodness for yourself

Ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes- sliced into even rounds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea salt
  • Avocados- 2
  • Garlic cloves (smashed and chopped fine)- 2-4 depending on your love
  • Fresh cilantro- 1 tbsp plus more for garnish
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Smoked salmon

Procedure for sweet potato chips- Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or not). In a bowl, add the sweet potato rounds along with avocado oil and sea salt. Toss to combine. Place the rounds on the baking sheet, ensuring they are spread out evenly. Bake for 12 minutes, flip and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove and set aside.

Procedure for avocados and snacks- In a bowl, add the avocado and mash with a fork. Add cilantro, sea salt, lime juice and fresh garlic. Add the mashed avocado mix to the sweet potato crostini. Eat as is or I like to top it with smoked salmon and chives. Serve and enjoy!

You can make a big bag of the sweet potato chips and store the ones you don’t use in the refrigerator to use another day for a quick snack.



A few of my other favorite snacks include- almond butter with apple slices, carrots/celery and hummus, kale chips with nutritional yeast, hard boiled eggs chopped up in lettuce wraps, olives, artichokes, chia pudding, and clean smoothies with a good fat/protein. What are your favorites?

Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, yoga therapist and has her PhD in Natural medicine. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health.

Schedule a free 15 minute inquiry call today

Check out upcoming group events here

Amazing Golden Milk- 3 Ways

Everything about golden milk is good.

The smell, the taste, the color, how it makes me feel, and of course the health benefits- they are all amazing.

Golden milk has so many health promoting players including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coconut milk, coconut oil, and black pepper. It is actually the synergy of them together that helps their magic work.

First a bit on the star players, then the recipes………..

Turmeric Root- Turmeric has several anti-inflammatory agents and is used as medicine all over the world. There are many studies showing curcumin, one of the chemical constituents in turmeric, is as affective as many medications for reducing inflammation and pain. It has many antioxidant actions as well helping protect the body from free radical damage. It can be helpful in protecting agains heart disease, Alzheimers and boosting immune function (Murray, Michael.)

Ginger Root- Ginger has been used historically for gastrointestinal distress as well as many other medicinal uses. It can help with relieving gas and nausea. Ginger also has many anti-inflammatory agents including gingerols adding to its ability to ease pain and modulate immune function (Murray, Michael).

Cinnamon- I love that cinnamon comes from the inner bark of an evergreen tree. It is not only delicious but it also has many wonderful health benefits as well. People have used cinnamon to help ease many inflammatory conditions including menstrual pains, arthritis, psoriasis and more. It is helpful as a warming digestant but also has proven to help regulate blood sugar (Davis, Paul).

Coconut milk and MCT oil- Coconut milk is loaded with healthy fats that we need for hormones, brain health and for the integrity of every cell in our body. It contains many medium chain triglycerides that are easier to digest than other fats and can be used more easily for energy. Coconut milk has anti-inflammatory properties as well as antiviral and antibacterial benefits (Murray Michael).

Black pepper- Black pepper is warming and is helpful with digestive disorders. It aids in digesting fats in particular but also boosts digestion as a whole. Piperine is one of the components in it that has several benefits including boosting the liver’s detox function and helping increase the absorption of nutrients (Murray, Michael).

Now, let’s get to that golden milk! My mouth is watering already.

Yes, the ingredients in golden milk are healing and health promoting, but what I really love about it is the taste and as well as the ritual of enfolding my hands around my mug, taking a deep smell, admiring the golden beauty, and slowly sipping and savoring this elixir.

Golden Milk Recipe #1- The Longer, Heart Melting Delicious Way. Making a Golden Milk Paste From Whole Turmeric Root

Golden Milk Paste

This one is my favorite and I love when I remember that I have the paste made already! I really love that it has some fiber in it and that along with the fats from coconut milk and MCT oil make it better on blood sugar regulation as well as satiation. Ymmmmm

Ingredients

  • Turmeric Paste:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon water, or as needed
  • Golden Milk:
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon MCT oil or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
    1. For the Paste- Combine 1/2 cup water, turmeric, and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon water. Continue cooking until thickened into a paste, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour into an airtight glass jar.
    2. For the drink- Whisk 1 teaspoon turmeric paste with the almond milk, coconut oil, ginger, and cinnamon together in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in honey.
    3. Strain milk mixture into mug. Drink. Enjoy! Ymmmmm.  ( I like to sprinkle on cinnamon and turmeric on top

Golden Milk Recipe #2- The Scoop Scoop Scoop and Go

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp MCT oil or coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp raw honey
  • heavy pinch of black pepper
  1. Blend all the ingredients (excluding honey) together in a blender until it is smooth
  2. Put mixture into saucepan and heat over medium about 4 minutes or until desired temp.
  3. Take off heat and add in honey. Drink and enjoy

Golden Milk Recipe #3- Quick Version

So this is technically chai but it feels close enough to me that when I want a cup and want it fast this is an awesome choice. One scoop in warm nut or coconut milk, splash of honey and you are on your way golden bliss. The Golden Masala Chai from Blue Lotus Chai does have black tea in it, so be aware of that if you are wanting it later in the day. It still features turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper making it very similar. For an added benefit it has Maca as well which is a powerful adaptogen that helps modulate stress.

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However you make your golden milk, enjoy it. Cheers. Janel

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References-

Davis, Paul. Sept 2011. Cinnamon Intake Lowers Fasting Blood Glucose: Meta-Analysis. PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21480806/

Murray, Michael and Pizzorno, Joseph. 2005 The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. Atria Books. New York NY

Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, and yoga therapist. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health. Schedule a free 15 minute inquiry call today

Check out upcoming group events here

Spring Cleanse With Us!

It is happening! Bring in the fresh and light energy of the spring so your entire body functions better. Nourish your body and your soul during this natural time of year to cleanse. Set or reset new habits that move you towards feeling your best. Connect with community.

Join Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Herbalist, and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Janel Ferrin Anderson on this AWESOME and unique spring cleanse and deep dive into detoxification, your liver, gut health and optimizing how you function.

Sign up by May 10th and get 20% off code- shelterathome

Previous group participants and clients get 35% off code- alumni

Previous Detox alumni get 50% off! code- detoxalumni

Yes this is an awesome cleanse but it is so much more! Learn new habits and recipes to nourish your body for decades to come, empower yourself by learning the ‘why’ behind cleansing, connect with like minded community, learn what herbs and lifestyle practices aid us in detoxing, get the chance to work with Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Herbalist, and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Janel Ferrin Anderson, and eat delicious food while nourishing your entire body.

THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL COOKIE CUTTER CLEANSE

Choose what level you want to participate depending where you are at in your life and with your health needs. I will help you choose what is best for you. This cleanse is appropriate for anyone because of this flexibility.

Get helpful handouts, lists, recipes, support from me during the week, lifestyle practices to enhance detox, daily guided breath work practices, and more.

What have people said in the past about this cleanse?

“Spring Cleanse! Oh my. What an incredible experience. I’ve never done something like this in a group. I’ve cleansed before but doing so in a group was so uplifting and encouraging. I LOVED the recipes, the online support, and the WHY! It all made it so much more feasible. Janel shares amazing, obtainable, knowledge on not only the “how” but the “why”. I’d definitely do it again!”

“Working with Janel was a great experience. I felt supported and educated about why this was a good thing for my body. When I believe I am benefitting my health it is easier to stay committed to the cleanse. I feel really good and I will move forward having gained some healthy habits and a better understanding of why nutrition is key to not just my physical health but also my emotional well being. Thank you!”

Click Here To SIGN UP NOW!

Dates- Live 1 hour classes at 730pm on May 17th, May 24th, May 31st and June 7th. Cleanse the first week in June after having plenty of time to learn and organize.

Let’s Do This!

Cost of the entire program is $120 But Sign up by May 10th for 20% off (code shelterathome) and save $24. Previous group alumni and clients get 35% off (code alumni) and save $42.

DON’T WAIT! SIGN UP NOW AND JOIN THE MOVEMENT TOWARDS EMPOWERED HEALTH!

This is NOT about depriving ourselves but instead about NOURISHING ourselves with specific cleansing foods. If you have done 20 cleanses or if this is your first one, this is for you! You can choose which level you participate at because as I always say there is not one size fits all plan for everyone. I will be available to help you decide.

Learn how to activate your systems of elimination, give your body a chance to reset, restore depleted nutrients, reduce inflammation, reduce the stressors on your gut so it can do it’s job allowing all your body systems to function better. Awesome!

SAVE 20% (sign up by May 10th) or 30% (for people who have worked with me) when you sign up now! Apply promo code when purchasing.

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Janel Ferrin Anderson. Hello. I am Janel. I am pumped to dig into a spring cleanse with you. Empowering people to understand how their body works and how the choices we make impact that is my passion. Optimizing how we function through food and lifestyle choices affects every part of our life including emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. Join us this spring and optimize YOU. Learn more about me here

Get To Know Your Immune System So You Can Boost Your Resilience.

Most of us want to take care of our immune system but we don’t understand how it works well enough to know how best to support our unique system. It is empowering to learn a bit of the physiology so we can better understand why the choices we make with diet and lifestyle impact our body the way it does. It drives me nuts to be told what to do with out understanding why, I find most people I work with agree.

The Immune System is a complex and dynamic system, which changes with our environment and diet.

Here are the basics to help you start thinking around what might impacting your immune system. Add what you need to boost it and consider what you might need to remove that might be reducing its effectiveness.

IMMUNE SYSTEM 101

According to the National Institute of Health the purpose of the  Immune system is to have a network of cells, tissues and organs working together to protect the body against foreign invaders. The immune system has three very distinct jobs that need to be executed as intended for the whole system to work properly.

These jobs are

  1. Identify an invader. This includes properly identifying self from non self and harmful from friend.
  2. Communicate with other immune cells. So, the watch guards start talking and informing other immune cells about what is happening. They may call in back up cells or alter the biochemistry to set the stage for defense (aka inflammation).
  3. Attack the invader. The immune cells need to launch an appropriate attack to kill the invader without doing excessive damage to the host, aka you. This includes shutting off the attack when appropriate.

Our body is constantly exposed to invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites, and it is our immune systems job to keep us safe. That is when it is functioning properly, anyway. When it is over working we may experience allergies, autoimmunity, or chronic inflammation and eventually the downstream diseases that come from chronic inflammation (Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s and many more). When it is under functioning we may get sick often or cancer cells may grow. So again, we want our immune system to function how Goldilocks likes things, juuuuust right.

We have 2 distinct parts of our immune system

  1. The Innate Immune System– This is the part of our immune system that we are born with. There is no specificity or memory. It is all about identifying all invaders and killing. This includes
    • Our Physical barriers such as our outside skin and the internal ‘skin’ of our respiratory tract, digestive tract, and urogenital tract. This also includes the acidity in our stomach, the mucous membranes on all our internal ‘skins’, our microbiome or the good bacteria that covers our skins. Around 70% of our immune system is in our digestive system alone. Anything that reinforces these barriers will boost our immune system, and vice versa.
    • The cells of the innate immune system- This first layer of immune defense also includes several white blood cells- monocytes, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, and natural killer cells. All of which play key roles in keeping us safe from invaders.
  2. The Adaptive (Specific) Immune System– This is the part of our immune system that develops over time and involves a great deal of specificity. These are the more highly trained cells of the immune system and include our B cells (immunoglobulins come from B cells) and T cells. B stands for Bone Marrow and T stands for Thymus, which is simply where they each get their advanced training. The adaptive immune system is how we more easily fight off invaders after being exposed previously, it is why vaccinations work, and it is these immune cells, IgG or IgA or IgE antibodies, that we look to for certain foods or body parts that the immune system may be overreacting to.

Whew. Okay. We did it. That is the basics and it is from there that we can identify what food and lifestyle choices increase or decrease our immune function. The specific jobs of the immune can be impacted as can the various layers. Our immune function is dynamic and the food and lifestyle choices we make directly impact it. Some things decrease its effectiveness making them important to remove. Other things enhance how they function making them important to add.

You can skip below to the lovely infographics if you want the lists. Otherwise keep reading if you want the why.

10 THINGS THAT MAY NEGATIVELY IMPACTING YOUR IMMUNE FUNCTION

  1. Sugar- Sugar suppresses white blood cells and how responsive they are. Also, white sugar depletes our body of key immune nutrients
  2. Eating foods you are sensitive to or allergic to or foods that are hard to digest– These foods can decrease immune function in different ways. Hard to digest foods can damage the intestinal tract (damage the barrier function aka leaky gut), cause inflammation, and can distract the immune system in this way. Foods you are sensitive or allergic to activate antibodies and again can cause the immune system to be on chronic attack, using up valuable resources and attention. (Foods that are often hard to digest include anything not chewed well, foods eaten while stressed, trans fats, dairy, gluten, soy, processed foods, beans that are not soaked prior to cooking, and more)
  3. Alcohol- Alcohol reduces white blood cell count like sugar does and impacts the flow of oxygen at a cellular level preventing the body from functioning optimally 
  4. Nutrient Deficiency- Nutrients such as vitamins A, D, C, zinc, selenium are critical building blocks for immune cells.  From either lack of consuming them but also from lack of digesting and absorbing them a person can be depleted. Make sure digestion/absorption is functioning optimally so you can get the nutrients from your food.
  5. Toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, pollution, smoking, chemicals, etc- can inhibit antibody formation, depress T cell and B cell function and Natural Killer cells. Pollution can Damage protective mucus membranes (line of defense) as well.
  6. Chronic stress –  Psychoneuroimmunology (big new area of study on immune system and nervous system interaction). Natural Killer cells are impacted by high chronic cortisol and this is a critical and aggressive cell for fighting viruses as well as cancer.
  7. Lack of sleep- During sleep your body releases immune cells that fight inflammation and infection. Lack of sleep reduces immune cells and hinders the protective response of the immune system.  Melatonin (sleep hormone) helps protect our lungs as well as activates natural killer cells.
  8. Trauma from surgery or accident including over exercising- Inflammation may be tying up the immune response
  9. Frequent Antibiotic use or other medications- antibiotics can damages important bacterial balance in the gut which is a line of defense while certain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin can damage the epithelium or inner skin of our digestive tract.
  10.  Exposure to chronic infections from the inside or outside- Epstein Barr, candida, lyme disease, etc, or with people working around kids all the time or on airplanes may be exposed chronically to bacteria and viruses, depleting immune function.

Helpful For Proper Immune Function

  1. A healthy lymphatic system, which houses many immune cells – Using your skeletal muscles helps move lymph as does deep breathing and bouncing.
  2. Appropriate nutrients- we make 2000 immune cells every minute, the better nutrition the better we are able to make those cells. Specific foods listed in infograph below but think colorful vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds.
    • Vitamin A- supports mucus membranes throughout the body, is needed for white blood cell production as well as thymus and spleen health. 
    • Vitamin D-  The sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D, aids monocytes and T cells. Vit D triggers and arms the body’s T cells, the cells in the body that seek out and destroy any invading bacteria and viruses. It also reduces inflammation
    • Vitamin C- protects white blood cells from the enzymes they release to kill microbes, it’s an antiviral, it makes interferon, is antibacterial, and is an antihistamine. Supports innate and adaptive immune function.
    • Vitamin E- strong antioxidant  protecting cells from oxidative damage.  Boosts immune cells and enhances immune response
    • Zinc- Zinc is part of a wide range of immune functions. Needed to activate immune cells
    • Selenium- Antioxidant, boosts immune response and decreases inflammation
    • Quercetin- antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and aids in immune cell communication
    • Supporting digestive system-  Tools to help include fiber, microbiome support, hcl, mucus membranes, chew (releases growth factor which helps improve barrier)
  3. Sleep- See above. Sleep is hugely beneficial to our immune system and we need between 7-9 hours a night for our immune system to function optimally.
  4. Decreased stress and anxiety- Excessive cortisol (stress hormone) depresses immune function by decreasing Natural Killer Cells and diverting energy towards fighting a pressing or perceived ‘danger’ instead of fighting an immune invader.
  5. Appropriate exercise increases NK cells and other infectious fighting immune cells, it also decreases stress and increases circulation.
  6. Sauna or hot/cold therapy- This has been shown to increase both T cells and Natural Killer cells impacting both innate and adaptive immune function
  7. Microbiome- Important in barrier function and immune activity. Some bacteria in your gut spend their lives making antibodies!
  8. Proper Hydration and herbs that sooth and nourish the mucous membranes such as aloe, licorice, slippery elm, and marshmallow root.

So what can you add? What can you remove?

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REFERENCES

Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, and yoga therapist. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health. Schedule a free 15 minute inquiry call today
Check out upcoming group events here

My Favorite Granola Recipe With An Immune Supportive Boost!

Okay, this was already my family’s and many of my friends favorite granola recipe, we just gave it an immune boost by adding specific Immune nutrient rich foods.

Our Immune system is not static and it changes its effectiveness in relation to many lifestyle and nutrition factors. What we eat and do everyday can help boost our resilience and immune function or decrease its ability to fight off invaders. This recipe offers healthy fats and protein as well as many immune nutrients to give your immune system what it needs to function its best.

Zinc- There is a lot of research showing that zinc has anti-viral properties against many different viruses. Pumpkin seeds and oats are loaded with zinc.

Selenium boosts our immune response and decreases inflammation so our immune system can focus on fighting bacteria and viruses. Brazil nuts and oats are rich in selenium.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, protecting cells from oxidative damage.  It boosts immune cells and enhances immune response. Almonds and Sesame seeds are loaded with vitamin E

You could add gogi berries at the end with the dried fruit for a vitamin C boost too.

You can make any variations that you like really. Omit nuts/seeds if you don’t have them or like them or add others like walnuts or flax seeds. This is the base we use though that disappears in just a couple of days. We love it with homemade almond milk, on a banana with nut butter, or with coconut yogurt. Store what you don’t use in a mason jar or give a jar to a friend.

Stay well! xo Janel

Link to Blog about eating and lifestyle to boost immune function

References- Bauman, Ed.  Friedlander, Jodi. (2016) Therapeutic Nutrition Part 2. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College. 

I am doing all consults via telehealth or online counseling during the coronavirus isolation. Please call or sign up for a free 15 inquiry if you would like support at this time or to learn more how we can work together.

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Janel is a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Board certified holistic nutritionist, herbalist, and yoga therapist. She works with people using food and lifestyle to help them function their best today and for decades to come. She believes in empowering people to understand their body and take charge of their health. Schedule a free 15 minute inquiry call today

Check out upcoming group events here

Sprouts For Health! Easy Peasy. Start Today

Sprouts are crazy good for your overall health! Plus they are easy, cheap, delicious, and super fun to grow at home. Win, win, win, win.

It may be one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase the nutrients you are eating and the nutrients you are able to absorb. Wowser!

Sprouts are seeds that have germinated and become live plants. They have woken up, so to speak. Sprouting seeds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes dramatically increases their nutritional value and how easy they are to absorb. Although the specific nutrients vary according to variety, sprouting increases the amount of protein, fiber, the amount of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and especially vitamin C!

Many plants and seeds we eat contain antinutrients that serve to protect the plant but also make them harder for us to digest. Antinutrients can lock up the vitamins and minerals in plants. Some antinutrients include phytic acid, lectins, and tannins which keeps nutrients in foods such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and chickpeas tied up. Sprouting appears to reduce these antinutrients, allowing us to digest them easier.

The phytonutrients (aka plant nutrients) in sprouts are outrageous. My favorite seeds to sprout are broccoli and alfalfa seeds. They contain awesome phytochemicals and antioxidants such as sulforafane. I also try to soak or sprout my almonds and beans before I cook with them or eat them to make them more digestable.

Don’t stress about it though. Just start! Grab some seeds, soak them, drain, water, watch them grow, and enjoy the nutrient boost. Watch my 2 minute video that will show you how.

Places to get seeds-

Tools you might want

References

  1. Bauman, Edward. Foundations of Nutrition Textbook. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College, 2012.
  2. Murray, Michael, N.D. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/alfalfa#section4
  4. https://draxe.com/nutrition/sprout/

Fighting The Coronanvirus (or ANY Virus) With Food And…….

I am not into all the fear and frantically grabbing for a miracle supplement but I am into staying updated on the current situation and taking practical everyday science based action steps where I can to boost the resilience and immune function of my family, no matter what is going on.

What simple things can we do everyday to help boost our immune system and shift the terrain in our body towards resilience and health? Well, as it turns out, a lot. And don’t wait to get sick, start these now!

  1. Eat brightly colored fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack (yes, every one). They contain many important vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants to support our immune system. For example bell peppers, strawberries and oranges contain vitamin C which is antiviral, antibacterial and boosts antibody production. Camu Camu, inca berries, acerola cherries, and gogi berries are awesome sources of vitamin C also!! Vitamin E, vitamin A (also found in fermented cod liver oil and liver) and B vitamins are important too and many come from all those brightly colored foods.
  2. Reduce consumption of processed sugar. Sugar consumption robs our body of minerals such as zinc which is crucial for our immune system, it reduces the ability of our white blood cells to fight invaders such as viruses, Dr. Sears teaches that 1 tsp of sugar suppresses the immune system for 5 hours, high blood sugar is an immune suppressant, and glucose competes with vitamin C. Yuck!
  3. Reduce the overall inflammation in our body so our immune system can focus on what is important. Eliminate or reduce dairy, gluten, sugar, soy, all processed foods, toxins, pesticides, food coloring, and any foods you are personally sensitive to. Add foods like turmeric and omega 3 fats to reduce inflammation. These changes, as well as healing a ‘leaky gut’ (think bone broth) and optimizing your microbiome (think probiotics and fermented foods) will help your immune system focus on fighting invaders like viruses and bacteria instead of dealing with hard to digest foods and unnecessary inflammation.
  4. Make sure you are getting enough sleep (Shoot for 7-9 hours) every night and do what you need to support this. Ideas include reducing caffeine, eliminating screen time before bed, using calming herbs such as camomile, passionflower, valerian and lemon balm, getting blood sugar under control, taking magnesium before bed, or taking a magnesium and lavender bath. Ahhh. My family has a pre-bed tea time ritual around the fire, which I love.
  5. Vitamin D is important for immune function because it activates monocytes (an immune cell) to kill viruses. We get Vitamin D from the sunshine, fatty fish, grass fed butter, egg yolks, and fermented cod liver oil. Eat up or supplement if needed with D3.
  6. Consume important immune minerals, including zinc and selenium. Foods rich in immune boosting minerals include pumpkin seeds, oysters, brazil nuts, lentils, cashews, shrimp, salmon, sesame seeds, and lamb. Eat some of these foods every day.
  7. Super Immune Plants- Other plants to include that are supportive to our immune function include elderberry, garlic, ginger, turmeric, astragalus, mushrooms (chaga, shiitake, reishi- I like these in tincture form), echinacea, goldenseal and more! Any and all herbs and spices will help too. Eat, drink, or supplement when desired for an extra immune boost.
  8. Laugh, rest, relax and get some playful exercise outside everyday. Stress depletes B vitamins, vitamin A and zinc and lowers immune response. I love guided imagery, breath work, or restorative yoga to chillax at home too.
  9. Stay hydrated. Drink 1/2 your weight in ounces of water every day. Bone broths, mineral broths, and herbal teas all help.
  10. And off course, wash your hands with soap and water often!

Functional Nutrition is all about taking steps towards optimal overall function, in this case immune function. I consider the terrain as important as the virus. These are the things we can do to impact the terrain that health or sickness take root in. Stressing out over the situation is certainly not going to help, so we are all about action steps instead of stress.

Take a deep breath and eat up (but wash your hands first, did I already say that?)! Happy Optimizing, Janel Ferrin Anderson

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An “Oh shit what’s for dinner” Recipe and Mindset

Oh you know you have them too. Those evenings you get home from work, shuttling kids, crushing the chores, and all that you do just to realize “Oh shit, what’s for dinner?”

If only we had a magic fairy that was home taking care of that all day everyday.

Alas, we need to be our own damn fairy.

I love it when I am all organized and have all my meals planned out for the week and shopped for. I actually enjoy preparing nourishing meals when my day allows for it. However, the reality of working, having a family, and a life of my own is why some nights I completely space dinner until we walk in the door after dark, famished, with little eyes looking at me like I know what to do.

Luckily, I have a back up plan for those nights that usually works (and I am not talking about pizza delivery, ok, well not always anyway).

Feeding my family nutritious food is crazy important to me. I know how it directly impacts our hour to hour health as well as our long term resilience, mental capacity, and vitality So, I have a back up system in place for these nights so we can keep our meals nutritious and avoid the inflammatory white food nutrient depleters.

Although not perfect or optimal, I always have a few things on hand in the house that allows me to cook a nutritious and delicious dinner when I totally space it.

I always prefer fresh foods but emergency staples to always have in the cupboard for last minute dinners- non bpa canned beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, pinto, lima, etc), organic brown rice, quinoa, pasture raised grass fed chicken bone broth (lots!), organic coconut milk, ghee, dried herbs/spices, jarred tomatoes, jarred artichokes.

Emergency perishables I try keep in abundance- onions, garlic, ginger, celery, carrots, eggs, nuts/seeds. avocado.

I also always make extras at meals to have Quick leftovers for lunch, dinner, and oh shit moments.

So, tonight this was my miracle recipe.

  • Extra virgin olive oil to sautee
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 celery sticks diced
  • 4 carrots diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic diced
  • about 45 ounces of bone broth
  • 1 28 oz can organic garbanzo beans drained
  • 10 ounces of organic canned diced tomatoes
  • left over diced chicken from last night
  • left over roasted asparagus diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Seeds to sprinkle on top (I keep salted and roasted pumpkin and or sunflower seeds on hand)

Directions- Sautee onions, carrots, celery for a few minutes in the olive oil on the stove in a stainless steal pan. Add the garlic and sautee a couple of more minutes. Take a moment to enjoy the smell:) Add the spices, broth, beans, and tomatoes. Cook together about 20 minutes until veggies are soft. Add the pre-cooked chicken and asparagus for the last few minutes to warm up. Ladle into your favorite soup bowls, gather around the table, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if desired and enjoy a quick but nourishing Heck Yes This Is For Dinner meal.

Note- all ingredients can be exchanged for other similar ones you have one hand. The basics are onion, garlic, celery, carrots, bone broth, protein, veggies, and herbs/spices. You can add brown rice or quinoa if you have them too.

Boom! Way to rock it, last minute unplanned dinner fairy.

Breakfast In a Flash That Works For The Long Haul- Teen Approved

Make even the most rushed breakfasts loaded with nutrients so you and/or your kids can function your best! 

My 13 year old gets picked up at 715am for school (note- he is NOT a morning person) which makes delicious and nourishing breakfasts tricky sometimes.  

Not with this gem that we pull out a few days a week when he needs nourishment in a flash. 

It’s loaded with the macronutrients he needs to stay sharp and energized without crashing later and the micronutrients so his body can function optimally. It’s anti inflammatory and gut healing to boot.  Oh, and it takes about 3 minutes to make and tastes delish. 👊🏼

  • 1.5 cups of milk (we use homemade almond, full fat coconut milk with a little water, or raw whole milk)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate bone broth protein powder (we use ancient nutrition brand)
  • 1 organic banana
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • optional scoop of chocolate multi vitamin (we use amazing grass kids superfood, chocolate flavor here)
  • optional tsp chia, flax, or hemp 

Put all ingredients in the blender and blend. 

Pour into cup and watch your kiddos devour it

Tweak portions to match your tastes. You can add more liquid, less, add ice, whatever floats your boat.

Don’t let rushed mornings dictate the quality of the nutrients you put into your body. Rock it in a flash with nutrient dense smoothies!

The Perfect Chai to Warm Your Soul

The smell of homemade chai brewing on the stovetop is definitely one of the things I love most about the fall.

My kids start asking for chai as the temp gets chilly and the pumpkins start to appear. We have made it a family ritual to drink chai in the fall and it feels good for so many reasons. The chai teas that you get out are way too sugary for us so making it at home keeps the deliciousness but skips the scoops of white sugar that make us sick.

First off the spices in chai- cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, and ginger are all herbal stimulants, which mean they enliven and warm the body. This is perfect for the fall when things are getting cold and slow. They are all also herbal digestives and carminatives which both help with overall digestion and gas. Cloves also have antibacterial component which is perfect for this time of year when colds are common. There are many phytochemicals, or unique plant constituents, that are powerful health allies in each of the herbs in chai.

I am not one for a recipe per say but here is our basic formula that I tweak daily depending what we want more of that day (spice, caffeine, etc). You can start here and vary things as you and your family like.

  • 20 cups of filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons of whole cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoons of whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon of whole peppercorns
  • 1 inch of sliced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of loose leaf black tea or rooibos tea if wanting caffeine free (you can use tea bags too)
  • honey to taste
  • your favorite milk if wanted (we use full fat organic coconut milk, homemade almond milk, or raw whole milk)

Put the water on the stove on high.

When this is heating up grind the dry spices in a spice grinder briefly, just to break them down a bit not to powder. You can use a coffee grinder designated just for spices/nuts (this is a crucial tool I use almost daily in my house). I usually snap the cinnamon stick in half first or grind it separately.

Reduce heat when boiling to medium and add spices.

Add sliced ginger.

Let this brew on the stovetop on medium low anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour (because sometimes I need to wait for the right time with busy mornings).

Take off heat and add black tea (or rooibos). You can also skip tea and just go with herbs. Let steep an additional 5 minutes or so if adding tea.

I strain this into a large bowl using a large muslin herb bag (see photo). You can also put the spices into this kind of bag before you add them to the water so you can take it right out. That is much easier I just like watching the herbs float around in the pot. A third option is a mesh strainer like this one at the end.

Pour into cups. Add honey to taste. Add warmed milk to taste (I add a heavy splash but not too much). You can make it fancier by steaming your milk but we don’t find it necessary. ENJOY

Keep extra chai tea in mason jar in the fridge to warm up when someone needs a soothing cup of fall goodness.

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