So, on Friday I got to thinking about foods that help your immune system stay strong. We actually think about this a lot in our house. My husband has gotten into the habit of making a smoothie for the kids every morning. And, I mean, EVERY morning...without fail. We're big believers in the power of yogurt and what it can do to keep the digestive system healthy (read: we don't want no stinkin' stomach flu!!). So, at breakfast time, Jeremy makes them a very simple smoothie of orange juice and vanilla yogurt (dreamsicle!). Lately, he's bumped it up a bit with some frozen strawberries and, every once in a while, some pineapple juice. The most recent winning recipe, as determined by the kids, goes like this:
Jeremy's Kiddie Smoothie
2 oz. Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost (we love this brand of juices)
6 oz. orange juice
6-8 tablespoons vanilla lowfat yogurt
3-4 frozen strawberries
Blend well. Makes two kid-sized smoothies.
My pick for immune-boosting foods is garlic, garlic, and MORE GARLIC! For years now, I've been making a salad that we call "Caesar Salad". But, it's not really Caesar Salad....
Caesar Salad "a la Lisa"
1 large head of romaine lettuce, or 2-3 hearts of romaine, rinsed, dried and torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup olive oil (I use extra light vs. extra virgin, because I don't like the stronger flavor of the extra virgin, but that's up to your own taste)
2-3 cloves of garlic
juice of half a lemon
fresh ground sea salt (or Kosher salt) and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or more, to taste)
To make the salad:
- Pour the olive oil into a small bowl. Using a garlic press, press the garlic cloves into the olive oil. Allow garlic to "steep" in the olive oil for 15-20 minutes.
- Put the lettuce into a salad bowl and pour the olive oil and garlic mixture over the lettuce. Toss to coat evenly.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the salad, one at a time, tossing to coat evenly after each addition.
Jeremy and I can pretty much polish off a whole salad by ourselves (have I also mentioned it's amazing cleansing properties?!), but the kids actually love it as well. We usually have it at least once a week. Just don't plan on talking to anyone else who hasn't also had the salad for about 24 hours after eating it...
When I started feeling like I was coming down with this cold, I wanted to pump up the vitamin C right away. It was like a reflex! I had some grapefruit and an orange in the fridge, so I pulled them out to use with my juice press. My OrangeX citrus juicer is one of the greatest gifts I've ever received! I love this thing. My dad and step-mom gave it to me for my birthday, probably ten years ago now. There is almost nothing better than freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice (or a mix of the two). Here's a shot of the beautiful fruit before juicing...
And, from that fruit, I got this delicious juice...
We actually discovered that the grapefruit juice also makes a great smoothie base. So, hopefully with all these immune-boosting foods, we'll all kick this cold pretty quickly. Because, I'm hoping for a week where there are no snow days, everyone feels well enough to go to school, and I make it to the gym for all of my regular workouts. That would be awesome...
How do you stay well during the winter months?