Greetings friends! First and foremost I hope this post finds you all healthy, sane, and eating all the immune-boosting foods you can find. If ever there was a time to take care of ourselves and look out for each other, it’s now.
To say that the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of crazy emotions and stress is an extreme understatement. News about the coronavirus seems to change by the minute. Whether you’re worried about yourself or family members coming down with it, you’re quickly running out of toilet paper, you’ve logged into your retirement account, or worse, your job has been put on hold because of it – things are very scary for everyone right now.
I tend to be one of those glass half empty people. Although I prefer to think of myself as a super-prepared realist. Always planning for the worst, just in case. However, despite the fact that it seems at times the world (as we know it at least,) might be coming to an end, I can’t help but notice some bright spots out there.
Maybe there is a silver lining to this whole thing…
The other day I was at the grocery store and yes, LOTS of shelves were bare. But, it struck me how friendly everyone was suddenly. Neighbors were stopping to chat in the aisles. People were concerned about each other – even offering to share food and supplies that they had at home. Families are planning for more family time, hikes outdoors, and even BOARD GAMES!
People are checking in on their neighbors and offering to run errands since they’re off from work. I’ve heard people say they’re sleeping in and eating breakfast since they don’t have to commute for a few weeks. I’ve seen more families outside walking together than I have in the 5 years I’ve lived in my neighborhood. People are baking brownies!
It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic to make everyone slow down, make do with less and live in the moment. But, since we’re all in this together, let’s try to heed the CDC’s advice and stay healthy, so we can enjoy the good parts of this thing while it lasts.
Here are 4 Immune-Boosting Tips to keep yourself healthy so you can pick right up where you left off:
- Wash your hands! The CDC recommends 20 seconds with soap and water. It’s not just for the coronavirus though – this is something we should all be doing multiple times each day 365 days a year. If you’re out running errands, at the gym, grocery store, etc. WASH YOUR HANDS when you walk in the door! And while you’re at it, wash your steering wheel.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep puts a major strain on your immune system.
- Get outside. Not as in – to a crowed store, but outside in the sunshine. Go for a walk, hike or bike ride. Not only will you feel more energized after being stuck inside all day, but also, the sunshine will boost your vitamin D. It’s an essential vitamin for your immune system.
- By all means, eat some comfort food if that’s what you’re craving! But also, try to eat lots of immune-boosting foods, and especially those that nourish your gut’s microbiome. Most of your immune system is in your gut, so give it some extra love. Load up on fruits and vegetables. They’re high in fiber (as well as vitamin C and disease-fighting antioxidants) and that fiber is “food” for your healthy bacteria. In addition, add some probiotics from kefir, yogurt, fermented vegetables, or kombucha. If you don’t eat or drink those foods, take a probiotic supplement.
I’m loving this Immune-Boosting Citrus Fennel Salad because it’s packed with color, flavor and lots of vitamin C from gorgeous blood oranges, mixed baby greens, and crispy fennel. It’s also full of probiotics from my favorite Lemon Herb Kefir Dressing.
Plus, it’s just so pretty to look at. It makes you feel like your eating out someplace special, even though you’re practicing your social distancing skills from your very own kitchen.
I don’t know about you guys, but I haven’t felt much like cooking lately. I’ve been relying on quick and easy salads like this.
If you can’t find blood oranges (they have quite a short season), you can easily substitute Cara Cara oranges, navels, tangerines, or even red grapefruit here. All citrus fruits are good immune-boosters.
Citrus Fennel Salad
- 1 large blood orange
- 4 cups baby greens
- 1 small fennel bulb sliced thin
- 1/4 cup Lemon Herb Kefir Salad Dressing
- 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
- Cut about 1/2 inch off of the top and bottom of the orange, and then slice the peel off from all sides. Place the orange on its side, and cut it into 1/2 inch slices.
- Place the blood orange slices, baby greens, and fennel slices into a mixing bowl.
- Add the salad dressing and toss well. Top with sunflower seeds.
How are you and your family holding up? Stay safe and healthy friends and as always –