One of the benefits of living in the Southern Highlands are the amazing visual displays of colours through the seasons.
Autumn also heralds the start of the cooler weather.
And as the weather turns cool, it's easy to forget all the things that help build our immune system and support us when we are unwell.
So in the spirit of experiential learning and teaching, I have fallen prey to a bug this week, which is all for your benefit, of course.
Yes, despite our best efforts, Yoga Teachers get sick too.
I have had no voice.
I have had to cancel classes.....I can't teach without a voice.
And I'm not very good at mime.
So here is a handy one-stop reference with immune boosting foods
and practices to support us over the next few months.
And if you or your loved ones do pick up a bug or two,
hopefully these tips will help to reduce the severity and duration.
Soup is like your mega vitamin tablet. Easy to make and versatile.
It's also super easy to digest if you are unwell. It's good for the body as well as the soul.
Make a great bone broth or stock with all the ingredients pictured here.
Add all the ingredients and bubble away for 2.5 hours then strain.
Use the liquid as a base for any of your soups, adding nutrient dense vegetables, legumes and meat of your choosing.
Believe me, this is a life giving soup. Your body will thank you.
Soups also subscribe to my idea of cook once, eat multiple times.
Great for weekday lunches, and light dinners.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup:
Place stock in a pot.
a 5cm piece of ginger sliced super thin
3 garlic cloves chopped finely
one eschallot or onion chopped finely.
Boil for 10 minutes to infuse the stock
Add the shredded chicken from the stock making.
Add chopped carrots, zucchini, broccoli, turnips, parsnip
shredded spinach and cabbage.
Zinc Rich Foods
Zinc-rich foods are great to include in our diet for immune support:
Beef, Lamb and Chicken - get out that slow cooker or casserole dish.
Make some bone broths.
Legumes - Chickpeas, Mung Beans and Kidney Beans
Pumpkin, Sunflower, Chia - sprinkle on top of vegetables
Cashew Nuts, Pine Nuts
Continue to keep the fluids going in......and not just copious amount of hot chocolate.
Make your milky drinks on nut milks for that extra dose of goodness.
Drink water at room temperature, add green tea for it's anti-oxidant benefits,
and continue with vegetable-based juices and smoothies....just hold the ice.
Add these two drinks to support your immunity:
Ginger is often used for coughs, cold or flu.
Warming to the system, it aids in digestion.
Place 1 litre of water in a pot on the stove.
Add sliced fresh ginger. I usually use about 5 cm
Boil for 10 minutes or more.
I use this as a base, filling my thermos/ cup as needed.
For 1 C add:
Freshly squeezed lime juice (or lemon) - about 1/4 of a lime
2 lime slices ( limes for their Vitamin C)
A spoonful of honey for it's antibacterial and anti-fungal properties,
as well as being a great throat soothers.
Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory.
It is also said to reduce the severity of colds and flu.
In a pot on the stove add:
1/2 tspn chopped fresh turmeric
1 tsp of chopped fresh ginger
the juice of 1 lemon
Simmer away for about 10 minutes.
Strain and add 1 tsp honey
Don't ever underestimate the importance of Rest.
You don't have to devote a whole day.
When you are sick do devote a whole day.
Manage your energy during the winter.
Ayurveda teaches us to honour the seasons. Coming into the cooler months, the earth cools, hibernates, and gathers it's energy.
Work with the nature of the seasons to personally live more harmoniously.
Yes, I know I just said rest, but it's also important to keep the body moving.
Yoga is perfect as the practice encourages us to listen and connect to our body, and respond to it's needs. Yoga practices help keep the body healthy by keeping all the systems of the body working well, particularly the lymphatic system. Try one of our Yin or Restorative practices. They are more than delightful on a cold, wintery day.
Get outside into nature - hats, gloves, scarves and puffy jackets were invented for a reason. Keep that feeling of being alive and connected to nature and the earth even throughout the cooler months.
I am a great believer and supporter of Hippocrates. He said Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food. I believe in the power of a good diet with nutrient-dense whole foods. But supplements can often bridge the gap to support and maintain good health. I always have BioCeuticals ArmaForce in my cupboard and take that at the first sign of a cold. In my smoothies and juices I always add some green powder - spiralina, wheatgrass, chlorophyll. I make sure my digestion is in tip-top condition (because this is the foundation of our immunity) with probiotics - you can take them via a food source - in yoghurt, kefir or fermented vegetables, as well as a tablet form. Continue to eat good fats to support assimilation of nutrients - olive and coconut oil, avocado, fish, flaxseeds and nuts.
Make sure you continue to eat the rainbow even during winter, to get as many macro and micro nutrients as you need from a natural source, but maybe take a multi vitamin to pick up any shortfall.
It is always important to remember that anything you buy off the shelf is a supplement, not a replacement.
When you are feeling congested in the head,
don't forget about eucalyptus oil.
I pour some into a small bowl and place in the corner of my shower.
The vapours rise during the shower...it's not as overwhelming as sticking your head over a bowl of boiling water.
They are just some of my favourites.
I hope the coming season sees you healthy and free from illness.
Be kind to yourself and rest if you do become ill.
Feed yourself with great food, warm drinks, and lots of love to heal yourself and those around you, back to health.
Until next time