Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting Sick? Stay Home and Eat These Immune Boosting Foods


We were recently interviewing interns. One candidate came in, shook our hands, sat down and proceeded to take one of those repulsive, slurpy sniffs. “I didn’t want to cancel but I’m not feeling well” was her opener. She was smart and qualified but I couldn’t finish fast enough to wash my hands. I’m not such a germophobe, much more of a sickaphobe.
Some who are sick may be in denial or even tell sick, little lies. Whenever I hear allergies or food poisoning I can’t help but wonder if it’s really a head cold or stomach virus. Who wants to confess to that when they’re breathing all over you? If you're reading this feeling sick contemplating going to work or whether or not to break plans I say don’t be a martyr; keep your germs to yourself, stay home. And as a thank you gift for doing so, here are all the foods you should eat to feel better.

Germ Riddance Smoothie
Blend this puppy up whenever you think you’re coming down with something or if you’re feeling sickaphobic. Whey protein and every single ingredient (other than the stevia is immune boosting.

1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, pineapple or kiwi)
1 handful kale (only if in high powered blender club)
1 tsp. Coconut oil
4 ounces almond milk
Few slivers fresh, peeled ginger root- few slivers fresh ginger root or use a couple ounces Ginger Fireball juice from Juice Press
Shake of Cinnamon
Nu stevia
Note: if you use fresh fruit you'll need some ice cubes

Mid morning: 2 cups or more of White Tea. White tea is the best immune boosting tea and a killer of bacteria and viruses- love that.

Lunch: Miso Soup  and Salmon
This miso recipe from Whole Foods is the warm equivalent of the smoothie below.
Note, if gluten free some miso has barley derivatives. I like the South River miso.
Have some poached salmon in addition to the soup. Omega 3’s boost immunity by increasing phagocyte action. Think of these white blood cells as bacteria traps.

Mid Afternoon: either Kefir  or Siggis drinkable yogurt or green juice for infection ammunition
My kids have kefir most mornings and love the Evolve brand; I also like Nancy’s.


Chicken is good for immune system due to zinc content. There’s also an amino acid released as chicken cooked that’s similar to a bronchitis drug (not incredibly appetizing information but according to the University of Nebraska, it’s true). Garlic contains sulfur-based components that are both antibacterial and antifungal.

So there you have the best foods to keep you healthy. The worst things for your immune system are sugar, inadequate (less than 7 hours per night) sleep and, as we spoke about a couple of weeks ago, lying. So the next time you’re tempted to sniff the day away and call it “allergies”…think twice.
Are you a sickaphobe? What do you do when you think you're coming down with something? Have you ever told a "sick" lie?


24 comments:

  1. Hey LAuren. Great post. I looooove kefir, but I rarely buy it, I'm not sure why. I have a pretty amazing immune system, and I'm convinced it's my vitmain D and fruit/veggie intake that keeps me healthy (and of course my probiotics!).
    I have a question about DISQUS. How do you set up comments so that when you reply to people's comments it goes to their e-mail??

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  2. Knock on wood Gina, I feel diet makes such a difference. I tend to shake things really quickly even when I feel precursor symptoms. Glad you mentioned D. I didn't get into supplements but even minor D defic. affects immunity and D very important for kids. Which probiotics do you take? Um no idea about DISQUS, will as my tech expert (aka carolyn).

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  3. Great tips for the season, thanks! I never need an excuse to make chicken with garlic but glad to hear how good it can be for you!

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  4. I am a total germ-a-phobe as well...can't handle sick people. Including my husband and child who sneeze all over me (inevitable/on purpose?).


    I believe in vitamins...lots of them. As well as eating well. I (knock on wood) don't get sick too often.

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  5. what vitamins do you take Ameena, wouldn't peg you as a vitamin girl.

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  6. yes and watch the stress. PS there are many versions of this, some don't get the Foodtrainers vote, ha.

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  7. Love these tips - it seems like everyone in my office has been sick over the last month (except me, knock on wood!) Speaking of kefir, I'm a big fan of Tula's Cocokefir!

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  8. love these recipe ideas...when i'm sick i normally get into "operation get better mode" & eliminate almost all "added" sugar (not counting the natural sugars in fruits) and dairy (not including yogurt) from my diet. i try to load up on green veggies, water & make sure that I get plenty of rest. also, chicken soup w/garlic is a must.

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  9. I'm def a sickaphobe...shouldn't we all be? I hate when others, especially those at the GROCERY STORE are out and about with a nasty cold! And you know they aren't washing their hands properly! Ug, I'm even worse now that I have a baby! Keep germs away!


    ps. I added kale to my morning smoothie and although it didn't blend perfectly, I still added it even without a Vitamix and thought it tasted great!

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  10. Interesting about the Vit. D--I am so torn/confused on vitamins! Definitely a SICKaphobe. Especially now that I work in an office... gross. Love these recipes!

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  11. well done with kale, throw some ginger or kefir in there too, take that supermarket sickies.

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  12. I take anything and everything my miracle-worker Jay tells me to take. And that includes a lot of vitamins. He has helped my eczema enormously!

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  13. I love your 40 garlic idea! How about tons of roasted garlic spread? Your name tag had me literally laugh out loud.

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  14. Great round up of immune boosting meals! When I feel a cold coming on, I take a large dose of Vitamin D and it often does the trick. If not, my favorites when I'm sick are tea w/ manuka honey, Thai Coconut chicken soup, and kale smoothies-love Terra's whey too!

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  15. FUNNY oops EA, I think of manuka as a great recovery food for marathoners. Thai chicken soup- where's that recipe?

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  16. I want to wear the name tag, is it rude? Roasted garlic-yum. I know raw garlic is best but only so much of that one can take before you're healthy and friend-less/stinky.

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  17. Love "operation get better" I take it seriously too. Funny you take out sugars, I don't think most people make that connection.

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  18. Jay? Sounds sketchy does Ali know?

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  19. knock only if clean wood. Tulas, must google. I don't know. Excitement builds...

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  20. I am a germ-a-phobe as well...I hate when people say it's allergies and you just know it's a lie...roasted garlic is good for you..:) Thank you for your kind words. So sad to lose Daisy :( She was a part of our family and she will be missed.

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  21. I am still sad about Daisy as I felt I "saw" her every day. I wish there was something to do for you...sending virtual hugs Ayala.

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  22. Lisa_earlymorningrunOctober 24, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    I agree, I can't stand it when people come into work, where the air just turns all day long, when they're sick. I have seen illness spread like wild fire and it's so frustrating. It's absolutely worth it to take one day off to sleep and get better.


    Thanks for sharing these tips!

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  23. Thank you, Lauren. xoxo

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  24. Definitely a sick-a-phobe because I'm a horrible patient! I try to wait it out a day or two, up the Vitamin C&D, lots of homemade chicken garlic soup, lots of liquids and lots of hand washing, wiping down desk, phone, laptop - anything I touch - multiple times a day with alcohol wipes. If it's a fever, raging sore throat etc. I head to my doctor for appropriate treatment and spend a lot of time at home sleeping (where I stay until I'm not contagious).


    Most people don't. Either because they think it's a badge of courage or the workplace doesn't encourage sick days. A few weeks ago, I was at an interview which started with the interviewer not wanting to shake hands because of "a bit of a cold". What she really meant was severe bronchitis, upper lower respiratory infection, early season flu...she was coughing so much she couldn't even conduct the interview. Envisioning the microscopic particles of bateria I was inhaling, I suggested that perhaps we reschedule when she was feeling better (no, I listened to her cough for 30 minutes - literally). I can't imagine her colleagues or clients wanted to be in the same room with her either. It really did make me question her professionalism and respect for those around her.

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