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NEWS

Filtering by Category: nutrition

Reset your diet to reboot your health, 30 days to healthy living

Jennifer Oechsner

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It's that time of year again...the time of year we open the windows and spring clean our homes. Well, our bodies need it to.

A diet high in refined sugar, coffee, processed food, fried foods and conventionally raised meat can wreak havoc on the body and cause toxic build up. Here are a few signs you might be experiencing toxic build-up. 

  • sugar cravings

  • blood sugar issues

  • skin issues (rashes, acne)

  • moodiness

  • insomnia

  • increased belly fat

  • autoimmune conditions

  • inability to lose weight

A build-up of toxicity in the body can indicate a sluggish liver which is an important organ for detoxification. When we give the liver a break for 30 days it can catch up and help to rid the body of toxins. This can also help the body to shed stubborn fat stores. (fat tissue is a storage facility for toxins that keeps them away from vital organs)

Want to give yourself the gift and health and give that poor over-worked liver of yours a break? Then its time to embark on the Arbonne 30 days to healthy living plan! This IS NOT a crash diet. This IS NOT a starvation diet or liquid diet. This is a whole foods, complete body reset. Yes, it is recommended that you give up some things for the 30 days but I assure you that you will feel better for it. This amazing body reset includes the following:

  • Complete meal plan including recipes

  • daily support email

  • bi-weekly email or text check in (calling is tough since I'm in India)

  • access to a private Facebook group to recipes, successes and failures with other people on the program  

  • vegan, gluten free toxin free supplements to support your body reset. 

For an overview of the program as well as more info about why you might need a detox check out this short VIDEO I made. 


If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out! I would love to hear from you.

Commit to self -improvement and forming better habits...

Jennifer Oechsner

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Hello friends ☺️
To help people embrace their best self, I am leading a 30 Days to Healthy Living Group and would love to have you jump on board or spread the word! Do you or anyone you know looking to have more energy, sleep better, reduce bodily pain, or lose weight?

The 30 Days program is a simple wellness plan and will deliver everything you need to reboot your system in a way that is healthy and safe. It is about detoxing on a cellular level to eliminate ‘addictive’ and allergenic foods, beverages and ingredients and eat WHOLE, REAL, UNPROCESSED FOODS to increase nutrient intake and help you look and feel great from the inside-out.  

With daily emails, recipes, and group support, we will follow an eating regimen which eliminates the most toxic and sensitivity-causing foods and beverages, we will use a combination of Arbonne's 100% gluten-free, vegan certified nutrition!

Arbonne has an awesome deal on nutrition right now! It’s the Arbonne Essentials ASVP with free Prepwork Gel Eye Masks and free shipping! Normally it would be $444 for all of this but with PC discount ($29), it’s just $266.40! This equal to less than $10 a day (that is a coffee and muffin at Starbucks!).

Call me and let’s get yours ordered before it’s gone! Please refer any friends or family who really are looking to feel healthier in 2019! They will forever thank you! AND theres strength in numbers. Committing with a friend or loved one increases your chances of success!


Who wants to add to this commitment to health and jump on board with me for a pushup challenge? Im committing to doing 100 per day for 30 days! New to pushups? Start with 10, 25 or 50. I do mine in sets of 10 and vary the type of pushups. Spme i have to do on my knees but that's ok! Ill get there. Forming one new healthy habit can be a catalyst for adopting many more (more on this later). Need suggestions on types of push ups? Let me know and i would be happy to send you some ideas! Lets do this together!

Its time to plan that January clean-up!

Jennifer Oechsner

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It's that time of year again...we are bombarded with holiday treats and sweets and at the same time right around the corner will be the call for New Year's resolutions. (yes, I know some of your don't make New Year's resolutions so you can call it something else. lol) 

Even though I am a health and fitness professional I am not going to tell you to skip the holiday parties, or fill your plate with veggies to avoid the treats. Let's be real, does this really work for people? I believe in balance and I think that balance means treating yourself sometimes. Balance does not have to mean an austere life. (not that I'm condemning anyone who chooses that path, its just not the one for me) Life ebs and flows with the change of seasons. Sometimes we find ourselves in a season of overindulgence and its time to hit the reset. For many this time of year is stressful and hectic and this can also result in bad food choices and putting self care on the back burner. These habits can cause a build up of toxins in the body. Here are a few signs you might be experiencing toxic build-up. 

  • sugar cravings

  • blood sugar issues

  • skin issues (rashes, acne)

  • moodiness

  • insomnia

  • increased belly fat

  • autoimmune conditions

  • inability to lose weight

A build-up of toxicity in the body can indicate a sluggish liver which is an important organ for detoxification. When we give the liver a break for 30 days it can catch up and help to rid the body of toxins. This can also help the body to shed stubborn fat stores. (fat tissue is a storage facility for toxins that keeps them away from vital organs)

Want to give yourself the gift and health and give that poor over-worked liver of yours a break? Then its time to embark on the Arbonne 30 days to healthy living plan! This IS NOT a crash diet. This IS NOT a starvation diet or liquid diet. This is a whole foods, complete body reset. Yes, it is recommended that you give up some things for the 30 days but I assure you that you will feel better for it. This amazing body reset includes the following:

  • Complete meal plan including recipes

  • daily support email

  • bi-weekly email or text check in (calling is tough since I'm in India)

  • access to a private Facebook group to recipes, successes and failures with other people on the program  

  • vegan, gluten free toxin free supplements to support your body reset. 

For an overview of the program as well as more info about why you might need a detox check out this short VIDEO I made. 

My colleagues are also hosting an event on December 13th, 6-7 pm at Tea Chai Te on NW 23rd. Kimi and Amy will give you a breakdown of the program and will also have samples of the products for you to try. Unable to attend? The event will also be a facebook live to watch later. Let me know and I will get you added to the private group.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out! I would love to hear from you.

Aligin with nature this spring

Jennifer Oechsner

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Spring seems to finally be here in Portland. I know some of my friends here and around the country had a tough time with the drawn out cold and wet weather. As I write this the sun is coming up on what is sure to be a gorgeous day. Seeing the sun is even more magical when its been hiding for a little while.

The change of seasons brings an energetic shift. Its easier for me to get up when my alarm goes off (even on those 5am wake-up days), I feel more energized for my workouts and the food I crave is lighter and healthier. I feel myself shifting from the sluggishness of winter and I love it. This leo has missed the warm sun!

I believe that part of being our best selves is aligning with nature. Part of this is eating with the seasons. In Ayurveda (yoga's sister science), there is a strong emphasis on the energetics of food, the impact this has on the constitution and how this impact shifts as the world around us shifts. 

Spring is a time of re-awakening, a time to release the stagnant energy of winter. In the winter months moisture builds up in the body and we need to clear that moisture to help rid the body of toxins and reset our health. In Ayurveda, this means eating food that helps to stimulate your digestive system and avoiding food that cause water retention. Here are a few tips to align your nutrition with the season this spring:

  • Avoid sour and salty foods

  • Use herbs and spices that heat the digestive system like cayenne, garlic, ginger, cumin and black pepper

  • Eat warm and lightly cooked meals. Cooked food is easier to digest than raw

  • Include plenty of high fiber foods such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and (soaked) beans that act as a chimney sweep for your digestive track. 

  • Drink herbal teas that include herbs such as clove, cinnamon, licorice, dandelion, hibiscus and cardamom

  • Avoid heavy and oily foods

Yoga can help connect you to the energy of any season. In spring, I recommend emphasizing twists in your practice to help stimulate the digestive system. Twists compress your mid section and limit blood flow. When you release the twist, it stimulates flow of blood and energy to those areas. A short yoga practice is a great way to start your day. Here's a short sequence you can practice daily to to help bring you into the flow of spring. I recommend holding each static pose for 5-10 breaths per side

Need help with this sequence? Reach out to me at warriorflow@gmail.com and we can arrange at time to walk you through it step by step. Visit my Facebook page for healthy lifestyle tips and recipes.

 

SLOWING IT DOWN. READY FOR TAKEOFF.

Jennifer Oechsner

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As a holistic wellness professional I coach people in various aspects. I teach people how to eat better and give their bodies the fuel they need to thrive. I teach people how to move to improve body awareness, lose weight, gain strength and improve balance. But the coaching doesn't stop here. What we eat and how we move our bodies is only part of the equation. The mental emotional component is a huge aspect of overall wellness. Our internal dialogue, our self care habits and our relationships all have a huge impact on our daily lives. These aspects of wellness are often the trickiest part for people to navigate and most difficult to change. The same goes for me.

Towards the end of the year I decided it would be the best for me to reset. In September I embarked on a 30 day health reboot and I felt great. With the holiday indulgences, ongoing injuries and some personal hardship weighing me down I decided it would serve me to do it again. Giving up things like alcohol and dairy for 30 days is only a part of the commitment I made for the program. Its also about paying better attention to how my habits effect my overall sense of well being. Just like my clients, that mental emotional piece is challenging to navigate. Even more so than eliminating coffee for 30 days. 

Part of my struggle in this realm is dealing with my inner critic that rears its ugly head when I don't exercise hard enough. And to be honest, this inner critic wins even when I know the hard workouts have been preventing an injury from fully healing. However, I am happy to say that I have been taking my own advice. 

Over the summer and into fall I was training hard for various events and really enjoying challenging myself at the gym. I thrive on physical intensity and it empowers me both physically and mentally. However, I fell away from my yoga practice during this time and my body suffered because of it. Not only that but I wasn't spending nearly enough time in stillness. 

At the start of this 30 day reboot I re-committed to my yoga practice. A big part of this is forgoing some harder workouts in exchange for time on my mat. I already feel better for it. A couple of days ago I was getting ready for my day and it normally would have been a day for circuit training. My mind told me to push through and do it. But my body and my deeper energy told me to skip it and take a 90 minute yoga class instead. That little battle inside my head ensued. In the end yoga was victorious. It may not seem like much of a victory, but it is for me. 

In addition to getting my butt back on my matt I have committed to getting more sleep too. (which I have to say is easier and of better quality when there is no wine with dinner). Sleep effects everything. When I don't sleep enough it shows  around my eyes, my mood suffers, I am more likely to make bad food choices and it is harder to focus on my work. I'm sure you can all relate. It took a couple of long nights of sleep to remind me just how important it is. Taking better care of myself means I can better navigate the busy season in my business and put myself into position for up-level my life and businesses in 2018.

It's one thing to coach people on their health and wellness. It's a whole different ballgame following some of my own advice. But hey, I'm only human and the struggle to stay healthy and strong is real for all of us. Where those struggles lie varies. We all need some support to help stay on track. 

Do you need help finding a path to better health? Its not too late to put yourself in place to up-level your life for 2018. For more information on my 30 day health reboot or health coaching contact me at warriorflow@gmail.com. I would love to chat with you about how I can help you become healthier and stronger. I am also available for on site corporate wellness consulting. 

Hard Work Pays Off!

Jennifer Oechsner

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Over the years I have had the pleasure of helping people become stronger and healthier. I love what I do and take great pride in guiding people to realize their full potential. I believe that a big part of connecting to internal and external strength is the ability to connect to the physical self. Just as we are a product of our thoughts and mental habits, we are a product of our physicality as well. To be healthy inside and out we must move our bodies. To know ourselves is to know all aspects of the self. Know the life you want to live and take steps to get there. Know the way you want to feel in your body and give yourself the appropriate food and exercise habits to get there.

We are so unique. What gets me up in the morning might be very different from what motivates you. Some people thrive on short and intense physical activity, while some prefer slow and steady. Some prefer the heat, and some thrive when it is damp and cool. Some people thrive on a vegetarian diet and others do better including animal products in a plant based diet.

Part of the beauty of being a health and wellness professional is that I have the opportunity to work with so many different kinds of people. One client I have had the great pleasure of working with since the beginning of 2017 is Kara Hockersmith. She came to me because she needed guidance in her workouts and motivation to stay on track. It has been a great journey so far. 

When Kara and I started working together she balked when I handed her 8 or 10 lb dumbbells. One day I handed her a kettle bell and she said with a laugh "this is the heaviest thing I have ever lifted". She didn't believe me that she could hold 2 of them and do squats. But she did. When she was able to do push-ups she was genuinely surprised by her own strength (but I wasn't). She comes into each session committed to working hard and gives it her all. As with all of us, some days are harder than others but she's always willing to try what I put before her and is sometimes surprised by her abilities to squat heavy loads and do my crazy push ups.

It has been such a pleasure to be a part of the gains she has made in her strength, agility and balance. But she gets all the credit. She's the one who does the hard work. I nudge her to her edge and she takes the steps to growth. Kara's most recent development is adding miles and speed to her runs. Now SHE is inspiring ME to work hard. Sometimes the teacher becomes the student. Get it Kara! It takes commitment and perseverance when we want to improve and nobody said this was easy. But it sure is rewarding.

Want to get in on personal training in 2018? I have a few openings in my schedule and I am now available for personal training in 2 locations. Me Fitness Studios (Alberta and MLK) and Body Balance Techniques (121 SW Morrison). Contact me for available times and to discuss your wellness goals for 2018.

Fall into the rhythm of the season

Jennifer Oechsner

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Fall is a wonderful time of year. The vibrant changing leaves, the crip air, and the abundant harvest define the changing season, one that many of us welcome after the heat of summer. I find fall to be such a nurturing time of year. Just like many of us, I LOVE summer and everything that comes with it. But let's be honest, all the activities and heat can be exhausting. With the change of season I feel called to settle in and take action. Time to clean out the closet and drawers and get rid things I don't need anymore. Time to set new goals and determine a plan of action. Time to cook thick, spicy soups on Sunday afternoons. Time to get out in nature and walk rather than run. 

This cold and windy time of year can also bring with it more sickness. According to Ayurvedic tradition this "vata" or air dominant time can be balanced by our diet and lifestyle choices. 

To find more grounding to balance the vata energy of fall establish a routine. Try to wake at the same time and give yourself ample time to set the tone for your day. Moisturize after your shower, spend 10-15 minutes in mediation as many days as you can. If you are new to the practice start with 5 minutes and work up to more. Get your body moving with more gentle exercise.

As you might guess, hearty and heavier foods are great for fall. Winter squash are abundant, delicious and so versatile. Other optimal foods to include during this season are oats, quinoa, beans, beets, carrots, chilis and garlic. Limit intake of raw foods as they are more difficult to digest, particularly during colder weather. 

Follow these simple tips this season and keep your body healthy, strong and balanced.  Contact me for more suggestions or for healthy fall recipes. 

Fuel your body, fuel your life.

Jennifer Oechsner

My private clients and class members often ask me what they should eat in the morning. People also wonder whether they should eat before a morning workout and if so, what is best?

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is important. This doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming but I do believe that certain components are integral to give your body the fuel it needs to thrive.

All too often the go to for breakfast is simple carbohydrates. Pastries, bagels, fruit juice, pancakes and some cereals all fall into this category. These types of food spike the blood sugar and while this can give you a burst of energy first thing in the morning it is a recipe for an energy crash later. Put very simply, over time this cycle can disrupt your body's natural ability to regulate blood sugar levels. This potentially causes insulin resistance and makes weight loss difficult.   

What's the alternative? I recommend always including protein in your breakfast. I get up and go first thing in the morning so I need something quick. Most days I have a smoothie that includes protein powder. I resisted using protein powders for a long time and thought I didn't need supplements to get the nutrients I need. While that might be true, I found that adding protein powder to my morning smoothie kept me full much longer. Here's one of my favorite go to smoothie recipes:

  • organic frozen Cherries (about 1 cup)

  • 2 tbsp ground flax

  • Arbonne chocolate protein powder

  • large handful baby spinach

  • unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Just like any meal of the the day, keep it balanced. Include some healthy fat and complex carbohydrates like whole grains or vegetables and you are good to go. As to the question of what/if you should eat before morning exercise, I think this is an individual thing. Some days I wake up hungry and know I want to practice yoga or run in first thing. On these days I have a banana or a couple of mandarins and save my main breakfast for after exercise.

The body digests fruit quickly so it will give you energy more quickly without spiking the blood sugar like fruit juice does on an empty stomach. Most of the time I just have some water or a cup of tea before morning exercise and I have plenty of energy. If you are exercising in the morning and feel weak or get light headed, this is a good indicator that you should eat before exercise.

Another great breakfast that is easy to make and grab n' go is the omlette muffin. This recipe is grain free and dairy free. Make a batch and they are ready to go for busy mornings. You could heat them up but I thing they are great cold too. 

  • 8 eggs

  • 8 ounces organic sausage 

  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper

  • 1 cup diced onion

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is preheating, brown sausage. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Beat eggs together in a large bowl. Mix cooked sausage, bell pepper, onion, salt, black pepper, and water into the beaten eggs. Pour egg mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven until muffins are set in the middle, 18 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy! I'd love to hear your feedback. And feel free to reach out if you have questions about other healthy breakfast options (or any other meal for that matter)

Make Friends with Fat

Jennifer Oechsner

As a wellness professional, I am passionate about helping people navigate their way to better health.  Naturally, part of this process is developing new patterns of eating. I don't believe that a "one size fits all" approach is the way to go and I work with each individual on a case by case basis. Recommendations vary based on age, gender, activity level, dietary preferences and level of health.  Within these broader parameters there are several constants that hold true across the board. One of these is that dietary fat plays an integral role in health.

Even if you are only mildly paying attention to nutrition buzz words, Im sure you are all familiar with the term "healthy fats". Healthy fats include nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, coconut and oils derived from these foods. I recommend you include these items in your diet on a daily basis. Focusing on the whole food (avocados versus avocado oil) is the healthiest way to go. Even though you may be familiar with the term "healthy fat" , do you still find yourself shying away from these items when trying to be healthier? If so, there are numerous reasons to adjust your mindset around dietary fat. Here are just a few of the reasons you should be including sufficient fat in your diet.

  • Nutrient Absorption. Fat is essential for your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins A,E, D and K. These essential nutrients are important for all of the body's systems.
  • Skin Health. Without sufficient dietary fat our skin can become dry and irritated. It also helps produce collagen which helps keep skin supple and smooth.
  • Hormone production. Dietary fat plays an integral role in producing all of our hormones. Our hormones are responsible for metabolism, blood sugar control, energy levels, quality of sleep and sexual vitality. 
  • Fat increases satiety.  Meals that include fat better satisfy hunger and help us feel full longer. Fat contains more energy per gram and is broken down more slowly in the digestive system so it stays with us longer. 
  • Fat burns fat: For anyone trying to burn through stored fat, dietary fat is also your friend. To put it simply, the liver is stimulated by dietary fat. This organ is integral to burning stored fat.

When looking for ways to integrate more fat into your diet, it is important to keep in mind that not all fat is created equal. There is a lot of debate around this topic, but I do believe that  saturated fat has its place in a healthy diet. Healthy saturated fat includes butter from grass fed cows, coconut oil and animal fat (including eggs) from hormone free/free range/grass fed animals. Steer clear of deep fried foods. 

There is a sea of nutrition information out there and it can be overwhelming to try to navigate through it. We need to find balance. Finding the right balance for you is key. If you need help finding the right path, let me know. I am passionate about helping people become healthy and vital, to become the best version of themselves they can be. Contact me at warriorflow@gmail.com to set up a free health consultation.

Eating with the Seasons

Jennifer Oechsner

Even before the solstice marks the official start of winter, the change of season is definitely here. The air is brisk, the mornings are dark and the heavy rain is upon us. It's time to nest, snuggle under a blanket and take time to prepare warming, nourishing meals for you and your loved ones. 

Eating with the seasons is optimal to be at your best and keep your body in tune with nature. As the temperature drops, I recommend leaning toward more warming foods. These foods include winter squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic. Check out sustainabletable.org for a list of seasonal foods in Oregon. It's a great resource to help you eat seasonally. Eating seasonally nourishes you and our environment. Here are some great reasons to look to mother nature when making your weekly shopping list.

  • Seasonal foods can be locally sourced. Eating locally sourced fruits and vegetables means they have been harvested more recently and at a ripened state. Produce that is picked when it's ripe is more nutrient dense. When we eat produce shipped from thousands of miles away it has to be harvested long before it is at its peak. 
  • Seasonal foods provide our bodies with what we need at that time of year. For example, in winter we need more vitamin C and A to keep out  immune system strong. Winter squash and carrots are great sources of both of these nutrients. These vitamin C rich foods are also warming for the body. Cooling foods such as melon, berries and peppers are at their peak in the summer months, when we need them most.
  • Eating seasonal produce is good economics. Provide financial support for our local farmers rather than buying produce shipped from southern states and countries. And seasonal produce can save money on your grocery bill too.
  •  Seasonal eating also helps to protect the environment. Locally harvested food travels less to get to you, therefore using less fossil fuels. Produce like tomatoes and strawberries are often shipped from Central and South America to fill the shelves in Oregon during the winter months.  Help to reduce your carbon footprint by choosing seasonal items and freezing your summer fruits to enjoy in the winter.

Staying healthy all year round is about giving your body the nutrients it needs. But do you want to merely stay healthy or do you want to thrive and live with vitality? I believe that to being at our best means putting effort into nourishing our bodies. Filling your plate with seasonal vegetables all year round is the foundation of good health. From this foundation, a strong body and spirit can grow.

Allergy Relief at Arm's Reach

Jennifer Oechsner

"Food is thy medicine and medicine is thy food."-Hippocrates

We all have heard about how to eat when you are sick. Many families have their own traditions of what to eat when we are under the weather; eat oranges to get plenty of vitamin C, fiil up on home made chicken soup, get plenty of liquids. But did you know that the right nutrition can also help you if you suffer from seasonal allergies? Does the sight of this field filled with pollen make your eyes start to itch?  I have some tips for you that can help keep you comfortable during allergy season. 

For some of us, pollen from various types of plants triggers an allergic response in the body. Exposure to these elements causes a histamine response, triggering runny nose, itchy throat and itchy watery eyes. For those of you who dont suffer from this, count your blessings! For some it is a minor annoyance but for others it means staying indoors until the pollen storm passes. No matter what your degree of suffering, there are steps you can take to minimize this histamine response in the body. Here are my top 10:

  • Use a Nettie pot daily. Rinsing the nasal passages with clean water helps to rinse allergens from the sinuses and with regular use, can provide relief for even the worst symptoms.
  • Eat organic produce. Pesticides on fruits and vegetables can worsen histamine response.
  • Eat wild salmon. Due to its Omega-3 content, wild salmon is a great anti-inflammatory food
  • Enjoy nettle tea or tincture. Nettle is a natural anti-histamine that can be taken throughout the day for allergy relief.
  • Try celery juice for an acute reaction. If you are having an acute allergic reaction juice some fresh celery (enough for about 6 oz of juice). Its flavor is strong but so are its medicinal properties. 
  • Avoid inflammatory foods. Dairy, gluten, corn, soy and processed sugar all fall into this category. Avoiding these foods during allergy season can help alleviate your symptoms.
  • Eat local honey. Bees that make honey from local plants provide the body with a sort of vaccination against allergens. For best results, start consuming honey several weeks before allergy season begins. 
  • Avoid wine during allergy season. Wine contains sulfites, which has been shown to increase histamine response in allergy sufferers.
  • Eat Indian curry. Dishes such as Indian curry that include ginger, garlic, onions, as well as tumeric and black pepper are great anti-inflammatory dishes.
  • Take probiotics daily. 80% of the immune system resides in the gut and ensuring healthy gut bacteria is an effective way to strengthen the immune system.


All of these recommendations will support overall health and wellness too. Sticking with these practices all year round will help the body fight whatever comes its way. Good nutrition truly is nature's best medicine.

Fighting Winter Fatigue

Jennifer Oechsner

This cold and flu season seems to have hit especially hard. I feel like everyone I know has succumb to some sort of illness the winter. Just when I thought I was invincible, I too am nursing myself back to health after a run in with the flu.  It was no small feat for me to stay put at home for 4 days sleeping, sipping tea and watching old movies. But I knew that rest was imperative so I settled in and did my best to embrace the downtime.

When I felt illness coming on my first thought was to wonder where I went wrong with my self care.  I'm pretty sure the answer to that is insufficient rest. Sleep deprivation aside, I do make a concerted effort to eat my greens at every meal, drink plenty of water, and stay active. Yet, I still had to remind myself that it's natural for the body to fall ill now and again. When you are getting sick 2 or more times per year, thats when really you have to take a closer look at how your diet and lifestyle may not be properly nourishing your immune system. 

Whether your body is trying to repel this season's virus or fighting an illness that has taken hold, your immune system is hard at work and needs some extra TLC. Avoiding illness all together is part luck. How fast you can kick it out is up to your immune system. 

As you know, it is the job of the immune system to fight off foreign invaders and keep systems running free from interference. But did you know that 80% of the immune system resides in the digestive system? The food we eat has a direct impact on our ability to fight disease and stay healthy. Here are some of the best ways to nourish your immune system simply using your diet:

  • Munch on fermented veggies. Fermented foods including unpasteurized kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and miso are rich in probiotics that help nourish your digestive system.
  • Avoid sugar. Excess sugar encourages growth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut and disrupts its natural balance.
  • Eat beta-carotene. Carotenes are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes and leafy greens. Foods in this category help activate the thymus gland, an important source of immune protection.
  • Pile on the cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables (including cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts & kale) help boost the liver's ability to flush out toxins.
  • Serve up some Japanese mushrooms. Enoki, maitake and shitake mushrooms are great sources of antioxidants and boost white blood cell production which help you fight off infection. Add some to a pot of soup or your favorite stir fry.
  • Add avocado. Avocados are rich in antioxidants, amino acids and healthy fats. All essential to keeping the immune system healthy.
  • Spice it up with ginger. Ginger is used in Indian traditional medicine to clear toxins from the lungs and sinuses. Make your own ginger tea by simmering a few slices for 10 minutes. Add lemon, honey and echinacea for a tasty immune boosting treat.
  • Stir in some garlic. Eating garlic helps fight infection and bacteria. Garlic is most potent raw but adding crushed garlic to cooked dishes will also give your immune system a boost.

Keeping all of your body's system running strong means eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, getting 7-9 hours of sleep and drinking half your body weight in ounces of water (150 lb=75 oz)per day. Including each of these elements in your life on a daily basis will help you stay healthy and strong this cold and flu season. For more ideas on how to eat for immune health contact me.