Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Flu Bug Bites!

Four days of the worst flu bug ever! I'm sad to say the flu hasn't flown the coop yet but, I'm hopeful that with a few more days rest I'll be as good as new. I miss the days when my Grandma used to bring me a tray of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, cinnamon toast and rub Vicks on my neck when I was sick. Of course, now that I'm gluten free, I can no longer use some of the remedies I remember from childhood. I do miss Grandma's loving care, but thankfully, I have my loving husband and children to see me through this nasty bug.

Though Grandma's remedies were great, here are a few alternatives:

I try to drink a green smoothie every day. It is the ideal fast food packed with tons of nutrients. I typically replace breakfast or lunch, since they are pretty filling. A nutritionist friend of mine recommended sticking to yellow, orange and green fruit and vegetables while I was sick. Yellow and orange fruit and veggies are high in vitamin C and help fight free radicals. She especially recommended pineapple for it's anti-inflammatory properties for body aches associated with flu. Pineapple contains the enzyme Bromelain, which is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory. Pineapple also contains Vitamin C, which has been proven to reduce the severity of an infection.

Tropical Green Smoothie
Active 5-7 min, Inactive 1 min
1 cup frozen tropical fruit (pineapple, mango, papaya)
1 banana, peeled
1 tbsp raw coconut creme
10oz cold water, coconut milk or rice milk
1 large handful of greens
4-6 ice cubes
*Optional (I like mine on the "earthy" side, but if you don't try adding these)
1 packet of stevia
1/4 tsp vanilla

Add all ingredients with the greens on the top to your blender, preferably a vitamix or blendtec for the best result. Blend on medium at first and then on high until completely liquified. Add more liquid if necessary.

My recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup is loaded with orange and yellow veggies. I also use a great deal of fresh cilantro. Cilantro is an excellent source of vitamins, including vitamin C. It is an anti-oxidant and it may help you to have more restful sleep. It has also been shown to help those with cardiovascular issues and diabetes.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Active 15-20min, Inactive 4 hours
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
4 cups homemade chicken broth
(I also like the Costco organic chicken broth)
1 can organic diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz
1 can red enchilada sauce, 10oz
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup canned black beans
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaf
Juice of a lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with tortilla strips, diced avocado and cilantro

Place all ingredients in the crockpot except last four into crockpot. Next, add cumin, bay leaf and lime juice. Cook for 3-4 hours on high, 6-8 on low. Remove bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and garnish with tortilla strips, cilantro and diced avocado.

Whenever possible, I try to use more natural products. Especially since I have had a particularly difficult month with illness and asthma yuk. I have used way more western meds than I normally would (which may be why I have been sick 3 times in 2 months, but that is another story). After reading all the unnatural chemicals in the commercial vapor product, I decided to make my own.

Homemade Vapor Rub
Active 5 min
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
10-20 drops eucalyptus oil
5-10 drops peppermint oil

Add the eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil to the melted coconut oil. Start with the least amount of drops of each oil and make the mixture as strong as you are comfortable. Be sure to test the strength by rubbing a small amount on your skin and smelling it. Pour mixture into a small lidded container.

Although, I hope you don't need these recipes because you are under the weather. I hope they will help anyone who may need them. Flu season is almost over!! Yay!!

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