Paying more attention to our eating habits and self-care routines has never been more important than now, as the recent global pandemic paralyzed the world with uncertainty and fear. It’s in times like these when we have to dive deep into ourselves and really only do what’s best for us, in order to boost our immune system and stay safe. Take control of your life by being mindful of your lifestyle and make the necessary changes. Whether you decide to move for an hour every morning, make more effort in the kitchen, start a meditation practice, or implement better sleeping habits, it all counts towards optimizing your overall health and wellbeing. Food is medicine, that much we know for sure, but it can also be our worst enemy, as we consume overly processed ingredients and various artificial add-ons. Let this time be your teacher of how to properly fuel your body and make it thrive with energy and power. Eliminate famous inflammatory factors such as processed sugars, flours and vegetable oils, chemical fillers, flavors and colors, pre-packaged “ready-to-eat” meals and those containing ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Instead, focus on real, whole foods such as raw colorful vegetables and fruit, fiber-rich beans and legumes, healthy fat-filled nuts and seeds, powerful spices like turmeric and ginger, and incredible superfoods in the form of medicinal mushrooms, adaptogens, and antioxidant-rich berries, and let food heal and protect you from the inside out. It might be a little bit intimidating and daunting at first, especially if you’re making a big change in your current lifestyle, so here are a few quick and easy immune-boosting recipes to get you started! One of my favorite places to shop for fresh and healthy ingredients is PCC Markets. PCC has even created an easy resource for healthy recipe ideas, head to https://www.pccmarkets.com/healthy-eating/recipes/ for more info.
Recipe 1: Ginger-Carrot Soup
Ingredients: (Serves 2)
-1 medium onion
-1 garlic clove
-thumb-sized piece of raw ginger, minced
-1 pound of carrots, cut in cubes
-1 cup vegetable stock
-2 cups water
-pinch of salt and pepper
-1 tsp turmeric powder
-(optional) toppings: avocado slices, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, sage
Directions: Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil (or avocado/coconut oil) in a pot on medium heat, dice up the onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 min or until they start releasing juices and softening up. Add the ginger and turmeric and fry off for a minute before adding the carrots. Pour in the vegetable stock and water, add salt and pepper, and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 20 min, gently stirring every 5 minutes or so, making sure nothing sticks to the pot. Once the carrots have softened up, turn off the heat and transfer the contents into a blender. Blend on high speed (or soup function if your blender has one) for 2 min, or until smooth. Transfer between two plates and serve with sliced avocado, sage, sunflower seeds, or any other kind of topping you like. Enjoy!
Recipe 2: Hazelnut-Chocolate-Maca-Cardamom Cookies
Ingredients: (Makes 12-15 cookies)
-1 cup hazelnut flour
-1 tsp maca powder
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
-1 tbsp chocolate hazelnut butter
-⅓ HuKitchen hazelnut bar, chopped up
-¼ cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
-2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup for vegans)
-2 egg whites (or aquafaba)
-pinch of salt
Directions: Preheat the oven at 350℉ and place a sheet of baking paper onto a shallow cookie tray. In one bowl whip the egg whites until solid and gently fold in the honey and hazelnut butter. Add the rest of the ingredients until they form a dough. Don’t overwork it as it will lose the “fluff.” Scoop out 1tbsp-sized balls and place them on the baking sheet, gently pressing down so they form cookie-shapes. Since there is no flour in the recipe, they will not rise. Therefore it’s important to shape them before they go into the oven. Bake for 20-25 min, or until the toothpick comes out dry. Transfer to a cooling rack and let them firm up for at least 10 min.
Recipe 3: Blueberry-Kombucha-Passionflower Elixir
Ingredients: (Serves 2)
-1 bottle kombucha of choice
-½ cup frozen blueberries
-1 dropper of the nerve-calming and anxiety reducing passionflower extract
Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until the blueberries have dissolved. Serve between two glasses and enjoy!