Everyone I speak to or meet is either coughing or sneezing and I am desperately trying to avoid catching a cold. I have to much to do with christmas shopping, decorating, cooking, and when it is all over on the 26th, I don’t want to spend my week off in bed with a cold.
I know we can’t control it, but there is definitely a difference I notice when I really take care of myself and do things to support my immune system rather than weaken it, If I do get sick, its usually milld and passes through me quickly.
Here are some of the thing I do to keep my immunity up:
Sleep: I make sure I get at least 6 nights a week of 8 hours of sleep and that I have a good bed time ritual in place that supports that.
Food: I eat warming home cooked food, with lots of veggies.
Alcohol intake: Luckily I am not a drinker so this one is easy for me, but if you are, drink lots of water in between drinks and stop drinking alcohol close to bed time. You may think it helps you get to sleep but it really affects the quality of your REM sleep, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired the next day. Try having alcohol free days so your body can recover.
Supplements: There are so many supplements out there, it can be overwhelming. Whatever you take you should research the quality. Here are some vitamins and herbs that will help to support your immunity. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Selenium, Astragalus, Chaga Mushroom, Ginger, Turmeric. I've put these all into my Phyto Nectars I AM RESILIENT, which we specifically designed to help support immunity.
Cold water exposure: You may live by the sea or a lake but if you don’t, not to worry. You can get the same benefit by turning your cold water on at the end of your shower. This will improve your immune response and your resilience to inflammation.
Exercise: Doing at least 30 mins a day of moderate exercise can boost your immune system by making you more resistant to infection and better equipped to deal with infectious agents
Managing stress levels: Learning wellbeing techniques can help to reduce stress levels. Stress causes a release of cortisol which suppresses your immune systems effectiveness,
Here is a lovely warming recipe for you. I love this recipe when I’m not feeling well.
I often double the ingredients for the katsu sauce and freeze it in batches. Then you only have to heat the sauce and make the tofu and rice, and you have a quick home cooked supper for nights when you don’t have much time. I always like to add something green to my meals, so would add a bunch of wilted spinach to this curry when serving.
Serves 4 (with a couple of extra portions of curry sauce for next days lunch)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic gloves, roughly chopped
1 small thumb ginger, grated
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small sweet potato potato, peeled and roughly chopped
4 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
4 tsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp honey
360 g of rice – soaked overnight
Breaded tofu or chicken schnitzel
1 packet of firm tofu, approx. 280g (I prefer organic) or 2 chicken escalopes breaded
150g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
150g panko bread crumbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
3 tbs olive oil
A bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
(Optional 2 packets baby spinach sautéed in a pan )
Sauté the onion and garlic on a low heat until soft. Then add all the other ingredients and stir well to make sure everything is coated. Add the stock and bring to a soft boil until all the vegetables are soft; this should take around fifteen minutes. Take off the heat, and allow the mixture to cool down before blending until smooth. If you’re making ahead of time, freeze the sauce once it is cooled
Put the rice on to boil, according to the instructions on the packet.
Slice the tofu into rectangles about a centimetre thick. I usually get around 12 slices out of a 280g packet.
Take three shallow bowls and lay them on the kitchen counter in a row. Place the flour in the first bowl (the one on the left). Then add the beaten eggs to the middle bowl. Finally, put the breadcrumbs in the third bowl and season them with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and smoked paprika.
Carefully take each piece of tofu and coat first in flour, then dip into the beaten egg, and finally dip into the panko crumbs until evenly coated on both sides and place on a plate.
Once you have breaded all the pieces of tofu, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan until you can see smoke rising from the surface of the pan. The oil needs to be very hot so that the tofu fries and crisps up instead of just absorbing the oil. Fry your tofu pieces until golden brown on both sides.
Fit as many as you can in your pan. If you are doing a few batches you can put your oven on a low heat to keep warm until you are done.
To serve, divide the rice between 4 shallow bowls. Add slices of golden tofu to each bowl, and then pour over the katsu sauce. Top with coriander leaves, and add your spinach to the side if you’re using it.