Immunity Boosting Recipes for Winter

Hello All!

I hope that you are all having a great week! I wanted to share a few new recipes that are great for boosting the immune system. It is that time of year when we need to do all that we can to give our immune systems a little help. 🙂 These are all paleo recipes. I don’t follow a paleo diet (I find that too many rules make me a little crazy), but all of these ingredients sounded delicious and super cozy for cold weather. Enjoy!

First of all, what vitamins and minerals are helpful for immune system support?

Vitamin C: Yellow bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and oranges are all high in vitamin C.
Zinc: Oysters, beef, lamb, pork, and pumpkin seeds are great sources of Zinc.
Vitamin D: Cod liver oil, Fatty fish (trout, salmon, mackerel), mushrooms, pork, eggs
Vitamin A: turkey and beef liver, cod liver oil, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots
Probiotics: I like to eat kimchi or different varieties of sauerkraut for probiotics. You can rotate different kinds for different strains of probiotics for a happy, healthy gut. 🙂
Garlic has also been found to have immune-boosting effects

Here are a few delicious recipes incorporating these ingredients:

I found this recipe on one of our favorite Paleo blogs, paleomg.com. This is a Denver-based blog that is packed full of delicious paleo recipes.

Beef Bulgogi “Rice” Bowls

Prep time: 8 hours (marinating beef)
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 8 hours 30 mins

Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
For the bulgogi

  • ÂĽ cup coconut aminos
  • 3 tablespoons freshly minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ pear, grated
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1½ pounds flank or hanger steak, thinly sliced against the grain

For the spicy pickled cucumbers

  • 1 cucumber, sliced very thin with mandolin
  • 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce or sriracha
  • pinch of salt

For the rice bowls

  • 1 batch of cauliflower rice
  • 3-4 eggs
  • black sesame seeds, to garnish
  • green onions, sliced, to garnish
  • sriracha mayo: ½ cup paleo mayo + 2 tablespoons chili sauce or sriracha

Instructions

  1. Mix together all ingredients for the bulgogi and place marinade in a shallow dish. Add the thinly sliced beef, cover and place in the fridge overnight or at least for 4 hours.
  2. Remove beef from fridge 30 minutes before cooking. While the beef comes up in temperature, place cucumber along with the rest of the pickle liquid in a jar, shake, then place in the fridge for about 1 hour.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of ghee or coconut oil then remove then beef from the marinade and cook beef in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and once browned and slightly crispy, cook on other side. About 2 minutes per side. Continue until all beef is cooked.
  4. While beef is cooking, make cauliflower rice.
  5. Lastly, place a small skillet over low heat, add 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil, and crack each egg into the pan. Cook low and slow until white are cooked through but yolks are still runny.
  6. Make each bowl: cauliflower rice, beef bulgogi, egg, pickled cucumbers, sriracha mayo, green onions and sesame seeds.

Short on time? Try this Pan-Fried Salmon with Leek and Mushrooms recipe that I found on blog.paleohacks.com.

Pan-Fried Salmon with Leek & Mushroom

Prep Time:3 minutes
Cook Time:5 minutes
Yield:2

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine-nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small leek, finely sliced
  • 10 button mushrooms, sliced
  • ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add the salmon fillets. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until browned, then turn and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
  • To make the leek and mushrooms, heat the olive oil in a separate frying pan on low-medium heat. Add the leek and fry until they begin to soften, then add the mushrooms and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes or until the mushrooms have warmed through. Season with pepper.
  • Place the leek and mushrooms on a plate and top with a salmon fillet, sprinkle with pine-nuts to serve.

I found this delicious recipe at www.thepaleosecret.com. Delicious!

Acorn Squash with Ground Lamb and Kale

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squash halved and seeds removed (cut ends off both sides so they sit on a flat surface)
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs of ground lamb
  • 2 bunches of kale (washed, de-stemmed and chopped)
  • 2 large onions (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • cumin
  • coriander
  • 4 Tbsp coconut or palm oil for cooking

Preheat oven to 400 deg. Place acorn squash halves upside down in a baking dish and fill dish with a little bit of filtered water. Bake for 40 minutes or until soft and fork goes through easily.

While squash is baking, heat oil in a large skillet and sauté onions. Add kale and cover until it cooks down. Stir frequently. Heat oil in a second skillet and brown the ground lamb. Add salt, pepper, cumin and coriander to lamb while cooking. When kale is cooked down, add ground lamb to mixture with a slotted spoon. Stir and spoon into acorn squash bowls (once the squash halves are cooked). Drizzle with olive oil and serve. If you want extra meat, add a helping of meat mixture to the side of the bowl.

Recipe by Brenda Walding, DPT, FDN

I’m sure that bone broth is a familiar recipe to all, but here is a nice recipe that I found at wellnessmama.com.

Bone Broth

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours 10 mins

Author: Wellness Mama
Serves: 16+
Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
  • 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • You’ll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.

Instructions

  1. If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350.
  2. Then, place the bones in a large stock pot (I use a 5 gallon pot). Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
  3. Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
  4. Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done.
  5. During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
  6. During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
  7. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.

*Fun tip: Use a pressure cooker to make your bone broth! This is a great way to extract the nutrients and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium, and other trace minerals. Also if you include the ligaments and cartilage attached to the bones, you can extract  glucosamine and chondroitin which are great for joint support. I know that’s a little gross to think about, but I am all for getting your nutrients from natural food sources if possible.

Also, check out my blog post “Love Letter to a Green Smoothie” for a great immunity boosting breakfast

I hope that you enjoy these immune boosting recipes! Please take into account any specific dietary restrictions that you may have and skip the ingredients that are inflammatory to your system. Enjoy!

xo Lara

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Hello Beautiful Friends!

This week, I wanted to jam about inflammation for a moment. I feel that there is a bunch of information out there and I wanted to clear up a couple of things, and add my two cents. 🙂

Inflammation is the body’s totally healthy response to injury and infection. It is a way of defending ourselves by sending immune cells and key nutrients to the areas that need them most.

 
Acute Inflammation:
Acute Inflammation is a necessary component of our immune function and is also part of a built-in protection and healing process for most tissues. It has a relatively short duration and it is a part of the 
body’s defensive response to bacterial and viral infections. Basically, when we have an acute injury, our white blood cells rush to the scene causing a short-term inflammatory response to fight back against either a foreign invader (infection), or to heal a wound (broken bone or torn ligament.
Chronic Inflammation:
When our biochemistry gets out of balance, immune
 processes aren’t reined in, inflammation becomes continuous and long-
lasting. It known as “silent inflammation”
 because it does not have the same obvious characteristics as acute inflammation.
Chronic inflammation leads to the most deleterious and damaging effects on the body.

Chronic Inflammation

Causes of Chronic Inflammation:

  • Inflammatory diet
  • Obesity 
  • High stress
  • Environmental toxicity 
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of sleep

 

Inflammatory Foods:
All artificial, processed, high sugar, and fried foods may cause inflammation in the body. Diary, gluten soy, and corn can contribute to inflammation. It is important to note that we all process foods differently. There may be some foods that you can tolerate that others aren’t able to and vice-versa. A couple of great examples of this are dairy and gluten. Some bodies are intolerant while others are able to handle cheese and bread without an issue. Regardless of how you process these foods, I do still recommend that you limit your exposure.

Below is a list of some foods that can be inflammatory triggers:
Bagels, breads, baked goods, candy, cake, cookies, sugary cereals, cornstarch, corn bread, corn muffins, high fructose corn syrup, crackers, croissants, doughnuts, egg rolls, fast food, french fries, fruit juice with added sugar, fried foods, flour, high sugar processed granola, cheese, milk, honey, hot dogs, ice cream, frozen yogurt, margarine, molasses, muffins, noodles, pancakes, pastry, pie, pita bread, pizza, pasta, popcorn, white potatoes, potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, rice and corn cakes, soda, sugar, flour tortillas, waffles.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

  • Tea
  • Herbs and spices- Turmeric, curry powder ginger, garlic, cilantro, basil, cinnamon, rosemary and thyme are some of my favorites
  • Cooked Mushrooms
  • Fish and Seafood (Low Mercury) –  Wild Alaskan salmon (especially sockeye), herring, sardines, and black cod (sablefish).
  • Grass-Fed Beef
  • Healthy Fats
 – Avocados, Flaxseed Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Nuts, and Seeds
  • Vegetables
- dark leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, beets, onions, peas, squashes, and sea vegetables are a few examples. Try to include a variety of colors each day!
  • Fruits
- Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, oranges, pink grapefruit, red grapes, plums, pomegranates, pineapple, blackberries, cherries, apples, and pears, bananas
    **Note** As a general rule, organic is best! If you are budgeting, veggies and fruits with thinner skins are more important when it comes to purchasing organic. For example, I would focus on organic apples before organic bananas and oranges. 🙂

Anti Inflammatory Lifestyle Tips:

  • Sleep at least 8 hours a night. 
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes 5 times a week.
  • Limit or avoid sugar, caffeine and alcohol.
  • Take Epsom salt baths
  • Receive massage whenever possible

Happy anti-inflammatory eating! Until next time…
Lara