By Maggie M, Editor, and, Sara Nicholson, Food and Health Contributor, the wedge.LIVE
It is with great pleasure that the wedge welcomes a new writer who hails from Brockville, Sara Nicholson (see bio below). We are co-writing in a format we hope you find engaging. We are working quickly because of the urgency of the topic.
Be “the fly on the wall” and discover what we think and do about the flu.
Maggie: Why are we getting sick?
Sara: Among many things….lack of sun!! We get sick more in the winter…hmm…because days are shorter.
Maggie: But I don’t want to go outside when I’m sick, I’m already freezing and achy.
Sara: If you can muster up the courage to dress up warm, and take a short (brisk walk) not only will the physical exercise help, but just stand in the sun (on a sunny day of course) AND if not, go crazy on the vitamin D.
Maggie: How crazy?
Sara: Well most people only take one capsule of vitamin D a day (which is normally 1000 IUs) but we can be taking up to 4000-5000 IUs a day (in the winter, when we aren’t getting enough sun). Liquid form is best. Now your body is already in shock…so don’t shock it with vitamin D if you aren’t used to taking that much, but definitely up your vitamin D intake.
Maggie: How does it help? (give me the science)
Sara: Prof. John White at McGill just did a study on how vitamin D up-regulates our body’s production of antimicrobial peptides (the body’s OWN antibiotics). Many viruses are encapsulated…vit. D actually helps poke a whole in the cell wall and kills the cell.
Maggie: I looove that. I do know we have to break their envelope. Any vitamin D?
Sara: Vitamins are not regulated! So what the bottle says may not be what’s actually in the bottle (if the company is a sister company of some big pharma company…you might want to avoid those brands) so go for USANA or Thorne Research – D3 1,000iu .
Maggie: Ok, what else?
Sara: Well how about switching out your morning/afternoon coffees and teas (which actually dehydrate you when all your body needs is water and fluids to help flush things out) with some beef bone broth.
Maggie: Like granma’s chicken soup.
Sara: Chicken soup on steroids! (not to be taken literally…no steroids or antibiotics or what not involved) filled with potassium, calcium, magnesium.
Maggie: ok, ok. I don’t need to be bored with the details. (kidding) Just tell us how and where to get it.
Sara: So we aren’t talking packets from the superstore. We are talking slow boiled bones, from healthy, grass fed, physically active cows that are free of antibiotics and hormones. Cooked up by yourself if you’ve got the energy, or your local farmer. Agape Gardens through here it comes, By the Seasons .
Maggie: Shameless plug, but I’ll let one go ’cause you’re so cute. I don’t know if I could drink it like coffee?
Sara: You don’t have to. You definitely don’t have to drink a bowl. Just a small cup here and a small cup there. If you’d like, throw in some onions and garlic…which brings us to garlic.
Maggie: Ya, more and more people are talking about broth…and garlic.
Sara: It’s potent as a “___”, and not too many are a fan…but if you had to choose between 2-3 weeks of sickness or a few mornings of raw garlic, or garlic honey drinks…I’d go for the latter.
It’s in abundance…so easy to grow. Don’t buy garlic from China though!
Maggie: So why does it work?
Sara: It’s all about the allicin (which is only released when you crush it, so crush it good!) It’s not just anti-bacterial and anti-fungal; but, anti-viral which is what we need to kick this virus.
If you really mean business, eat it raw every 3-4 hours. If you have to go to work (which you shouldn’t be) or you need to interact with others (again, enjoy sometime to yourself if you are sick) then take it as a FLUBOMB (our recommended kick-the-flu-in-the-pants drink, inspired by Elderberry Creek Farms.) Recommended by a farmer (they know what’s up, they can’t afford to be sick, like many of us.) So I’d listen up. FLUBOMB goes like this:
1 whole garlic clove minced as small as possible + ¼ to ½ tsp of minced ginger grated + juice of whole lemon + tsp of honey + ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper (1/2 cup of hot water to melt honey and blend…some room temp water so you can drink it, stir well (even shake in mason jar)
ENJOY, it might be potent, it might not be your favorite drink, but in comparison to that flu bug that’s got you down, its WAY better.
Maggie: Can we use just any ingredients?
Sara: They say, If you’re going to do something, do it right. It doesn’t have to be labeled organic, it doesn’t have to be expensive…but you want it to be local, so you know it’s fresh. You don’t want it to be laden with pesticides…and you don’t want it to be processed or pasteurized. So go for raw honey (whose good stuff hasn’t been heated away.)
Take the FLUBOMB in the morning for a kick! And take it at night (another kick to the sinuses and system, but the honey helps your brain release melatonin) and heck if you get sleepy in the day, then stay home and sleep.
Nutrition is a BIG player, but it’s not the only player. Give your body a rest, so it can do what it does best (take care of you!!)
Maggie: Well you sure have the flu in check with this story. Let’s continue tomorrow. We gave everyone a lot to chew on (yuk yuk.)
Maggie: OK so here we are on Day 2 of the Flu. Hey! that rhymes.
Sara: It does. Mind if I open with another awesome drink? I thought I’d open with something I have created and love.
Sara: Alright. So lots of people like to end their nights with a tea, or a warm glass of milk. Well this is the perfect combination of both without any caffeine or dairy, it’s often referred to as “Golden Tea.” There’s lots of different recipes out there, and I tend to play around with the combinations, but it basically goes something like this:
½ cup coconut milk ( you don’t need too much)
mix with water
throw in some cardamom pods!
Throw in some cut up ginger
Throw in some cinnamon (sticks)
And a dash of turmeric
Bring to a boil (pay attention tho! The coconut milk will quickly boil over)
And then let simmer (for as long as you wish, the longer the merrier)
Then sip, enjoy, and lay your head down to bed.
Maggie: I am drooling. Gonna try to find all those ingredients. It sounds like a cup of health.
Sara: It is!
Maggie: Alright, let’s add Apple Cider Vinegar with mother to our list of flu-fighters
Sara: with mother???
Maggie: (mother is a term for fermentation—not your maternal mother!) I am a huge fan. I purchase Braggs ACV with “mother” always. Never without it. The malic acid in ACV is anti-viral which is perfect for this story. The vitamins, enzymes and nutrients in a tablespoon is almost without equal? Just add it to your drinking water et voila. For some people a teaspoon might be more tolerable. Always better to get some than none.
Sara: Love apple cider vinegar. Especially in salad dressings, and as a change from my lemon water in the morning. Just a dash of apple cider vinegar with some warm water is a great way to wake up and start the day.
Maggie: Exactly! Nuke those viruses before they can say, “jack rabbit.” Which brings me to Oil of Oregano–it knocks ’em dead! Actually, I use it every day on my toothpaste. Everyone should have this in their natural medicine cabinet. No bacteria, virus or fungus can survive Oil of Oregano. Period. When I feel something developing, I put two drops under my tongue so it goes into my bloodstream fast—and I swallow slowly. Then I chase with clean water. It burns but it’s doing its job. It kills everything in your gut where 80% of these critters live. Then I follow with probiotics to replace the good guys I might have wiped out several hours later—collateral damage (tee hee hee.)
Sara: I have a hard time doing it straight, but the water also makes it last longer. So I think from now on, I’m going to take a tip from you and just put it under my tongue. Plus, they say you can get used to anything!
Maggie: Now, let’s talk “probiotics.” If you are sick as a dog howling at the moon, get your hands on a bottle of probiotic capsules. These are live, good bacteria in caps with up to 100 billion in each. They will repopulate your gut with good “flora”. They are the reinforcement at the front line that will decapitate those viral, bacterial and fungal intruders.
Sara: I don’t think we could stress enough just how important the gut is! They don’t say ‘listen to your gut’ for nothing.
Maggie: Fermented foods are chock-full of good bacteria too. Foods like kimchi, miso (fermented soy), kefir (fermented dairy), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)—any foods that are fermented are extremely good and combative for your immune system. I keep organic sauerkraut and kefir in my fridge at all times. Not a day goes by without me having kefir—plain, no sugar or flavors. Even a tablespoon will do.
Sara: I’m glad you brought sugar up again because eating sugar will make your body acidic—viruses love that. We aren’t that different from viruses, we all love us some cake! So eat the cake when you are healthy, but when you ain’t, stop feeding the beast!
Maggie : Got that right! All junk food, processed foods, sugar, MSG, pesticides, empty foods—all without exception—will lower your PH and terraform your body for them to squat in bliss. But if you starve them with healthy foods, raw, homemade, you will recover quickly. 7.4 to 7.6 is a healthy pH. If you become more alkaline with a higher PH it’s not bad. But a lower PH in 6s is really bad. So many people are walking dead with a low, acidic PH. They are first in line for viruses and disease.
Sara: Ya, pH is a subject that I am still learning about, but I know that having an acidic stomach, can cause an acidic mouth, which isn’t good for your teeth. And I would say your teeth are second in command (after your gut) when it comes to your health.
Maggie: I’ve got more but let’s give our readers a rest shall we? I know you’ve got more Sara.
Sara: Oh definitely! but if people just did half of what is written here, they’d be dancing in no time. Woot Woot!
About Sara Nicholson
BSc graduate of McGill University, Major in: Ecological Determinants of Health. Certificate of Nutrition from Shaw Academy. Holistic Health Advocate and Organic Gardener. Recent Founder of By the Seasons: an online grocery in the Brockville area that offers delivery of fresh and sustainable produce from local farmers. Tagline: Feel Good with Fresh Food By the Seasons!