Stop the Sneezing: 5 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

 

Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies  |  The Organic Beauty BlogThis time of year, everyone seems to be complaining about their seasonal allergies. I just got back from 5 days in Minneapolis, where the pollen count was a daily subject of conversation.

Being married to a man that takes allergy medicine year round, lest he become a sneezing menace, and occasionally having suffered from seasonal allergies myself, I know how big of a nuisance they are.  But thankfully, nature has our back here, as it usually does.  There are 5 super potent natural remedies for seasonal allergies that actually work.

Follow them to a tee, and rid yourself of all that dreaded sneezing, sniffling, and crying (the allergic kind of crying).  Do the opposite, and be a menace to those around you (and feel like crap).  The choice is clear!

The Top 5 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

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Best Natural UTI Treatment

Best-Natural-UTI-Treatment

Without getting into TOO much detail, natural UTI treatment is an area in which I have become quite the expert over the years.  UTI’s (urinary tract infections) suck, hard. And the worst part is, once you’ve had one, you are that much more likely to get them chronically.  Unfortunately, chronic UTI’s aren’t just an inconvenience — they are one of the leading causes of over-prescription of antibiotics in women, and overuse of antibiotics can lead to even greater health problems: antibiotic resistance, digestive disorders, and candida, just to name a few. I myself was once hospitalized with a severe case of colitis after using antibiotics on and off for several months, upon my doctor’s urging.

After years of needing to take antibiotics several times a year for UTI’s, and even more years dealing with the long-term effects of overuse of antibiotics, I said enough is enough.  I developed a protocol of natural treatment for UTI’s that works, and 98% of the time, eliminate the need for antibiotics.  This is big news for those of you out there who are prone to this not-so-fun affliction.  I’ve also perfected a strategy for preventing UTI’s to begin with, and am happy to say that I haven’t needed to take antibiotics for a UTI in several years!

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Whiten Your Teeth, Naturally!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Getting beautiful, pearly whites does not have to mean filling your mouth with chemicals and all kinds of carcinogenic crap.  Hopefully, by now you’re using a natural, fluoride and SLS-free toothpaste (see Get a Squeaky Clean, Organic Smile! for recommendations), but if you need a little more whitening action, there’s a natural route for you too!  Increase consumption of great teeth-whitening foods, and try a natural home whitening paste or mouthwash for amazing results, without the risk!

Teeth Whitening Foods

  • STRAWBERRIES:  These bright red babies are full of malic acid and vitamin c, which are naturally whitening for teeth.  Cut a strawberry in half and rub it on your teeth.  Leave the juice on your teeth for a minute or two, then rinse.
  • APPLES AND CELERY:  Eat these teeth-cleaning foods daily for a potent, whitening boost.  They help to remove stains from teeth, kill odor causing bacteria, and increase saliva production, which is the body’s natural way to cleanse teeth!
  • LEMONS:  Lemons are a naturally bleaching food, which works for hair, skin, and teeth!  Start your day off with hot water with fresh lemon juice for a natural whitening boost (which also increases metabolism, helps with weight loss, balances your system’s acidity, and is great for your tummy!), or try the At-Home Whitening Paste below.
  • BAKING SODA:  This is one of nature’s most potent teeth whiteners, and it is an ingredient in many toothpastes. For an added whitening boost, sprinkle some baking soda on top of your toothpaste, brush with straight baking soda twice a month, or mix with lemon juice to make the At-Home Whitening Paste below.

Natural At-Home Teeth Whitening Paste

Mix 1 tbsp baking soda with the juice from about 1/4 of a large lemon.  The paste should bubble a bit.  Use a cotton ball to remove saliva from your teeth before applying the paste with your toothbrush.  Leave on for 1 minute, then rinse.  Don’t leave on for more than a minute, as the acid can start to break down tooth enamel!

Natural Mouth Wash

Mix 1 tbsp water with 1 tbsp hydrogen peroxide and swish around in your mouth for 1 minute.  Leave on teeth for another minute before rinsing with water.  This is great for whitening as well as

How to Naturally Prevent the Flu… (Plus, Should You Get a Flu Shot?)

Seeing as we live in what CNN recently dubbed “Flu York,” where almost everyone we know is currently coming down with the flu virus, I thought I would share some natural flu prevention methods that will lower your risk of contracting this year’s rather severe flu bug.

But first, a word on flu shots…  Are you considering getting a flu shot? Read on to make sure it’s the right decision for you!

There is currently a 35 minute wait at all our neighborhood pharmacies to get the flu shot, obviously due to the pretty severe outbreak we are experiencing.  Now I know this is a bit controversial, but I am typically not a huge proponent of flu shots.  Due to the natural mutation of the virus, each year’s flu shot gives you only partial, if any, protection.  A review of 51 research studies involving 260,000 children ages 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo. Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, the flu vaccine is chock full of harmful toxins like mercury, formaldehyde, and detergent.  These toxins lower immunity (ironically making you more susceptible to illness), and have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. One report showed that people who received the flu vaccine each year for 3 to 5 years had a 10 times greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s than people who never received any flu shots.

As far as I’m concerned, this is reason enough to avoid the flu vaccine… the benefits just don’t outweigh the risks!  My husband, my family, and I have rarely gotten a flu shot, and have only come down with the flu a handful of times in our lives.  That said, the flu virus, especially particularly rough strains like 2013’s, can be really hazardous to people with already compromised immune systems.  Pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with an immunity-compromising illness should consider the flu shot.  But again, make sure to weigh the risks for yourself and your family!  As I stated above, the flu shot can actually lower your immune response, and could potentially be harmful to a developing fetus.  Think carefully…

How to naturally prevent the flu!

There are many ways to naturally decrease your risk of getting the flu, and whether or not you get the flu shot this year, I strongly recommend making the tips below a part of your everyday routine for the remainder of the flu season!

  • Wash your hands.  When you get to the office, when you come home, and throughout the day, especially after coming in contact with particularly germy areas like the subway, schools, communal office supplies, and (duh!) people showing signs of illness, wash your hands with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Moisturize.  With all this hand washing, your hands will naturally be inclined to dryness and cracking, which gives germs a direct pathway into your body.  Keep a travel-size bottle of natural moisturizer in your bag (I love Burt’s Bees Farmer’s Friend Hand Salve, which comes in a cute and portable little tin!), and lube up after every hand-washing, or throughout the day as needed.
  • Clear out your nose.  Yes, yes, you’ve heard me tout all the benefits of the Neti Pot a million times before, but I’m telling you, it is a vital part of flu prevention!  Your nasal passages are full of mucous and tiny little hairs that are designed to trap germs and bugs to keep you from getting sick.  But they can only do so much!  You need to help your nose out by cleaning and lubricating it, and getting all those trapped bugs out of there!  There is no better way to do this than regularly using a neti pot.  It’s safe to use everyday, but if you feel like your nose is easily irritated, every other day will do the trick as well.  Make sure to follow each neti session with some sesame oil or olive oil in your nose, to moisturize and soothe everything!
  • Get plenty of sleep!  Flu season is no time to start partying and staying up until all hours of the night. Your body naturally needs more rest in the winter months, and when the flu bug is running rampant, getting at least 7-8 hours up’s your body’s first defense against illness.  You need to do whatever you can to boost your natural immunity!  If getting to bed early is hard for you, check out How to Sleep Better, Naturally!
  • Supplement smartly.  Even if you’re not big on supplementation, flu season is definitely a time to fortify your system with some strategic vitamins.  Vitamin C is of course a big one (opt for 500-1000 mg 2-3 times a day, and make sure to get a formula with rose hips for maximum absorption!).  Another immunity powerhouse is vitamin D, which we all need to be taking year-round, but especially in the winter months.  Opt for 2000-4000 IU of a liquid, sublingual vitamin D (like this one) every day.  Lastly, North American Ginseng (panax ginseng) has been shown to reduce incidence of the flu, as well as duration if you do become ill.
  • Stay warm.  Although being cold doesn’t actually make you sick, it can definitely lower your immune response, making you more susceptible to contracting the flu virus.  So bundle up, and make sure to drink lots of warm liquids throughout the day… Green or ginger tea with raw, organic honey actually does a lot to boost your body’s natural defenses against the flu, due to the honey’s anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties!
  • Eat for health.  Flu season is definitely the ideal time to get serious about healthy eating.  Shoot for having as much of your diet as possible being made up of dark leafy greens, brightly colored veggies, sea vegetables, mushrooms, plant proteins, and fish to boost your immunity and not give your body any other toxins to contend with!  Keep alcohol, which compromises your immunity, to a minimum, and drink tons of water!

If you do get sick, STAY HOME!!!  The biggest cause of the flue epidemic spreading so rapidly is sick people walking around infecting everyone!  Don’t take the risk, and stay home to rest, which will also help you to recover as quickly as possible!  Make sure to read my article, 5 Tips to Beat a Cold in Two Days Flat for some great self-care tips to help you get healthy fast!

Do you have any other natural flu prevention tactics or remedies that work for you? Share them in the comments below!

Magical Natural Cough and Sore Throat Remedy!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

It seems like everyone is walking around hacking up their lungs these days, so I thought what better time to share my amazing, all-natural cough and sore throat remedies remedies!  Unlike Robitussin and other over-the-counter cough medicines, these remedies are perfectly safe to take throughout the day, are safe (and healthy!) for kids, and are also super yummy.  And they’re ridiculously easy to make!  Below are my recipes for the cough syrup as well as sore throat tea.

Natural Homemade Cough Syrup

¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp raw, grated ginger
1 tbsp raw, organic apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s is my personal fave)
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (for maximum potency) or filtered water for a mellower potency
1 tbsp raw honey (organic, if possible)

Dissolve cayenne and ginger in cider vinegar and water. Add honey and shake well. Take 1 Tablespoon as needed for cough. Always shake or mix up before using.  If you’d like, you can add more honey to make it palatable for the kiddies!

Or, if you’d prefer a more warming version, which is also amazing for any cold or flu, try the tea!

Natural Cough and Cold TeaHoney-Lemon-Ginger Cough and Cold Busting Tea

Juice of 1/2 of an organic lemon
2 tsp fresh grated ginger (or about 3/4 inch of ginger thinly sliced)
1 tbsp raw organic honey
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

(optional) Add 1 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar for even more healing!!

Combine ingredients in a teapot and pour boiling water over the mixture.  Cover and let steep for 3-4 minutes.  Strain, sip and enjoy!  This recipe makes 2-3 cups.

Holistic Treatment of Migraines and Headaches

Headaches and migraines are among those pesky and debilitating health concerns that are more often than not a sign of an imbalance in the body. A healthy body may get an occasional headache from stress or dehydration, but when it’s a regular, frequent complaint, action needs to be taken.
If you’re getting headaches consistently once a week or more, the first step is to rule out anything neurological.  See your doctor for a CT Scan or MRI. Once these causes are ruled out, it’s important to identify your triggers and get to the bottom of your headaches.  Migraines are actually more often caused by gastrointestinal or environmental factors. Common causes and triggers of headaches and migraines are:

  • Alcohol, especially beer and red wine
  • Certain foods, such as dairy, chocolate, peanuts, some fruits, sugar, foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG), onions, meats, some cooking oils
  • Poor diet or nutritional deficiencies
  • Blood sugar imbalance (skipping meals)
  • Inflammation
  • Environmental toxins
  • Fluctuations in hormones — for example, during pregnancy, before and during your period, and menopause
  • Certain odors, such as perfume 
  • Stress, physical or emotional 
  • Too little or too much sleep
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Some medications
  • Heat, high humidity, and high altitude

  • Try identifying which of these factors play a role in your headaches, and eliminate them for at least two weeks.  Keep a symptom journal or tracker (I like Chart Myself) to help keep track of the factors that influence your headaches.  The specific holistic treatment approach you’ll take will be dependent on what your triggers are.  For example, if you primarily get headaches around your period, focusing on balancing your hormones through diet and supplementation will be key.  Or if your headaches come on when you are stressed or overworked, you’ll want to focus on stress management, relaxation, and, of course, a diet that supports your adrenals and immune system.

    That said, there is definitely a holistic headache treatment protocol that can help all sufferers…

    • DIET:
      • It’s important to balance blood sugar with regular, filling meals, particularly in the first part of the day.
      • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, fast food or processed food, artificial or chemical sweeteners, preservatives, additives like MSG and artificial flavors and colors, sugar (which headache sufferers will want to cut out completely), dairy, gluten, excessive animal products (particularly red meat and any meat containing nitrates) and hydrogenated oils
      • Opt for a clean, whole foods, mostly plant-based diet of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats
    • LIFESTYLE:
      • Stress management is vital for headache sufferers.  A relaxation practice like yoga or meditation are HUGE and non-negotiable for living headache free.
      • Regular breathing exercises
      • A consistent exercise routine 
      • Quality sleep
      • Quit smoking and avoid being around cigarette smoke
      • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day
      • Rid your home of toxic chemicals
      • Naturalize your beauty regimen
    • SUPPLEMENTATION:
      • Supplementing your diet is vital to filling in the nutritional blanks left by food.  Consult a my supplement guide for some great general supplements everyone (especially headache sufferers) can benefit from.  Of particular importance are:
        • Magnesium (200-600 mg a day) — a deficiency in this nutrient is a common cause of headaches
        • Vitamin B2 (400 mg a day) or B Complex — another supplement especially beneficial for reducing the frequency and duration of headaches
        • Omega-3 Fish oil (2 g a day) — the most vital supplement to combat inflammation
        • Chlorophyll (1 tbsp in water twice a day) — a cleansing, purifying and detoxifying supplement
        • Apple Cider Vinegar (2 tbsp in water twice a day, or at onset of headaches)
        • Feverfew (50-80 mg a day) and Butterbur (50-75 mg twice a day) and two herbs known for markedly decreasing intensity and frequency of headaches when taken regularly for up to 4 months.
    • ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES:
      • Acupuncture
      • Reflexology
      • Massage
      • Chiropractic
      • Homeopathic treatment

    Feel free to contact me for a consultation to develop your own holistic headache treatment protocol and to get healthy!

    ——-
    Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
    {Photo from My House Called MD}

    Nutribullet — A Healthy Kitchen Must-Have!

    By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

    I was home with a terrible virus for over a week not too long ago, which led to a lot of regrettable television choices.  As I was making the rounds of afternoon infomercials, one in particular caught my eye, and honestly, revolutionized my kitchen!  David Wolfe, raw food guru (and one of my instructors at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition) was speaking on behalf of Nutribullet — which, at first glance, seemed like a souped up MagicBullet (a tool I knew I didn’t need).  I really respect David Wolfe’s take on food, and count him among my favorite nutrition experts, so I thought I would see what he had to say.

    Mechanically, the Nutribullet isn’t that different from the MagicBullet.  It’s a compact single or double serving blender that can smooth, chop, blend, or liquify pretty much anything.  But that’s the key!  It has a super powerful 600 watt motor that literally liquified fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds into an incredibly potent, concoction that is neither juice nor smoothie, but some magical hybrid.  It’s basically a mini-Vitamix — which is pretty much my dream come true.  (Though the Vitamix is a phenomenal kitchen tool, its bulk and generally unfashionable design–not to mention its hefty price tag–have been keeping me from investing in one)

    Though I am an enormous fan of juicing (and base a lot of my cleanses on it), the amount of wasted food and fiber has always been a big issue for me.  Plus, a juicer doesn’t allow me to add nuts and seeds, which are key to created a superfood, detoxifying health cocktail.

    Smoothies have been my standby for a long time.  I love making delicious morning creations out of fruit, greens, nuts, and almond milk, but am always annoyed when my smoothie comes out mealy, overly thick, or not completely blended.  Especially when blending fibrous greens like kale or swiss chard, having those stringy pieces still in the smoothie really makes it less palatable even for me (who LIVES for greens!).  And I never hear the end of it from some of my pickier clients, for whom eating greens is already a huge challenge.  I end up adding cups and cups of liquid to my smoothies to get them even close to smooth enough, and still, I find whole, unmilled flax seeds and food particles at the bottom of my glass.  Not ideal.

    So you can imagine how pumped I was when I opened my Nutribullet, and made a delicious, super-potent, completely liquified drink, chock full of tons of greens, fruit, nuts and seeds… in under a minute.  I knew mornings would never be the same!  The benefit of a super powerful motor combined with a specialized extractor blade is that it completely breaks down the food for you, pulverizing stems, seeds, and skins of foods to maximize the amount of nutrients you can derive from it and make the whole process that much easier on your digestive system.  We definitely don’t want to liquify all our meals — making our system break down fibers is a good thing! — but being able to efficiently deliver so much nutritious goodness into our bodies for one or two meals a day is amazing.

    Everyday for the past two weeks, I have started each morning with a powerful, mega-nutrient drink that leaves me feeling full (but not weighed down after I do after a thick smoothie), energized, and just plain awesome.  Since the blades are so powerful, I can throw whole fruit and veggies into my Nutribullet without having to chop anything up, which saves me tons of time, and with the super fast motor, the perfect consistency takes just a few seconds to achieve.  My favorite part is coming up with new, delicious fruit and veggie combos to try… My new favorites are watermelon/cucumber/apple/lemon/flaxseed and pineapple/kiwi/spinach/sunflower seed.  The recommended proportion is 50% fruit and 50% greens, with a good solid handful of nuts or seeds to top it all off.  Though I’ve always rocked smoothies blended with almond milk, I use spring water with my Nutribullet, which gives the concoctions a consistency more like juice, and less like a heavy smoothie.  Check out my favorite Nutribullet smoothie recipes!

    This little gadget will also make doing my seasonal detox/cleanse that much easier!  I’m going to recommend it to all my cleansing clients.  Bottom line… I’m in love!

    Benefits of drinking just one full size concoction made up of organic fruit and veggies a day include:

    • Decreased risk of cancer and other diseases (provided you use organic fruit and veggies!)
    • Weight loss (replace breakfast and/or dinner with an amazing Nutriblast, and you’ll reach your target weight in no time!)
    • Increased energy
    • Better skin and hair
    • Increased longevity
    • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
    • Relief from joint and muscle pain
    • Balanced blood sugar
    • Increased immunity
    • Relief from chronic inflammation
    • Improved mood and concentration

    You can get your Nutribullet from nutribullet.com for about $120, or you can purchase it from BrandsMart for $99.98, complete with all the bells and whistles!

    Check out our delicious and healthy Nutribullet Superfood Smoothie recipes, and please share your favorite recipes and amazing results below!

    5 Ways to Stave Off Winter Colds, Boost Immunity and Energy!

    Winter really is the time to go a little extra distance in terms of self-care.  But committing to take these few simple, holistic steps will cut down on those sick days, help cure winter blues, and get you through these cold, dark days in one, happy, healthy piece!
    1. Sleep: This is where we should take a page from the books of our large furry mammal friends.  Our bodies use a lot of energy to keep us warm in the winter, and that, combined with more bugs floating around, and the lack of sunlight equals a need for a LOT more sleep.  Even if you’re a “I’m fine with 5 hours” kind of person, really opt for 8 hours of sleep a night MINIMUM during the cold months.  You’ll have more energy, higher immunity, and less tendency toward seasonal blues! Opt to sleep between the hours of 10pm and 7am, which is the most restful time in the body’s cycle, and also ensures the most exposure to those scant daylight hours.  I promise, the party life will still be there for you come spring!
    2. Bundle Up: Contrary to some misinformation floating around out there, you really can get sick from exposing yourself to the elements (and I don’t even mean the full monty kind of exposure).  Wearing clothes that aren’t sufficiently warm, leaving your throat, head, and nose exposed to cold winds all can affect both your body’s ability to retain it’s heat and your mucous membranes’ ability to keep out nasty bugs.  
      • Aim for dressing warm enough so that when you’re standing outside, you’re pretty comfortable (i.e.: not shivering, hunched up against the cold, and cursing the gods of winter).  This means sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves.  Worried about looking like an abominable snow-person?  Opt for layers that go a long way, like thermal undergarments, tights or leggings under your jeans, and warm top layers that you can peel off once inside.
    3. Stay Lubricated: Once you’ve got your giggles out of the way, consider this: Dry, cracked skin on your hands, face, and in your nose is like leaving big gaping holes for germs to get in through.  In the winter months, it is even more important than usual to stay moisturized, inside and out.  This means using a humidifier a night (to keep your nasal passages, throat and skin moist), using a good quality moisturizer on your face and body every day (I like Desert Essence Organics Sweet Almond Moisturizer), and drinking lots of water and hot teas throughout the day.  
      • Water hydrates and lubricates your system from the inside, and also flushes out toxins to keep you from getting sick.  Opt for warm or hot water instead of cold in the winter months… it is much easier on your system, warming and psychologically more comforting, and also very detoxifying for the lymphatic system!
      • Hot teas can have a similar effect, and many herbal teas like ginger, echinacea, slippery elm bark, and elderberry have wonderful immunity boosting effects!
      • I am also a fan of Emergen-C or Airborne during the winter months as well, especially if you find yourself in crowded areas like trains and airports, or if you’ve been in contact with a sick or sniffly person.
    4. Let Food Be Thy Medicine: Especially in the winter months, don’t underestimate the power of great diet.  Eating antioxidant and nutrient rich foods, healthy plant proteins, and lots of quality oils in the winter will go SUCH a long way toward keeping you healthy.  Stock up on garlic, dark leafy greens, all kinds of beans, and hearty root veggies for the winter, and try to eat home-cooked food as much as possible.  Not only is eating this way going to ensure the biggest nutrient-bang for your buck, but home-cooked meals are also substantially more nourishing, which has positive psychological effects as well.  
      • Opt for hearty soups and stews (like this Thai Sweet Potato Soup), and increase your intake of healthy fats, like nuts, olive, coconut, and sesame oil, fatty low-mercury fish, and avocados .  These foods will nourish you from the inside out, give you much more energy to burn, warm your body, and heighten your immunity!
      • If you start to feel a little sniffle or tickle in the throat, chow down on some major immune-boosting foods, like this Yummy Cold-Busting Salad, jam packed with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial nutrients!
      • The one vital winter nutrient you just can’t get enough of from food is vitamin D, which is super important for immunity, mood, and energy.  Supplement with a high-potency sublingual vitamin D drop like Bio-D-Mulsion Forte to make sure you get enough, especially if you live in cold climates where you can’t get 15 minutes of direct exposure to sunlight every day.
    5. Keep Moving: It’s easy to let your typical workout routine fall by the way side when it’s 25 degrees outside, but it’s important to find ways to keep moving and fit some exercise into your routine every day.  This might mean finding a workout video (Netflix has some great ones!) to do at home, or finally getting your courage up to try bikram yoga if getting to the gym fills your with thoughts of shivering torment.  If you do get yourself to the gym, make sure to finish your workout with a steam in the sauna, which helps to raise your body temp, sweat out those toxins, and nourish you to the core.  Even if you only do 20 minutes a day, maintaining a regular exercise routine in the winter will boost your energy, increase serotonin levels, and help keep your immune system on top of its game!
      • For an extra mood and energy boost, pick a sunny weekend afternoon to bundle up and get outside for some skiing, a snowball fight, sledding, or just a brusque winter walk.  The sunlight will boost your mood, while the heat from moving around while layered up will help warm your body and burn off extra calories.  

    Yummy Cold-Busting Salad

    I finally broke down and got my first cold of the season last week, and though it thankfully only lasted two days, my poor fiancé caught it and has been suffering for a good 4+ days. In an attempt to make him something comforting and immunity boosting, while making use of the relatively meager contents of our fridge, I concocted the following super healthy dinner salad for him. Low and behold, today he’s on the mend!  This recipe is a perfect example of how we can use food as medicine.  There are more essential vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients in this salad than you could ever dream of getting from a supplement, and being in whole food form, the delivery system to the parts of your body that need it are much more efficient.

    This delicious salad features:

    • Kale, which is full of SUPER high in vitamins C, A, and K, as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory flavanoids which boost immunity and the body’s natural detoxification.
    • Fennel, which is loaded with vitamin C, and immunity-boosting phytonutrients, including anethol, which has major anti-inflammatory qualities.  Plus fennel has antimicrobial qualities, which are perfect for beating colds!!
    • Orange or grapefruit, whose unique citrus flavanones combine with the super high levels of vitamin C which produce extraordinary antioxidant and immune-supportive results.  Plus, the zest ensures that you get the amazing benefits of herperidin, an incredibly anti-inflammatory flavanone that is only found in the peel and white pith of the citrus fruit.
    • Garlic, which is an anti-inflammatory, ant-bacterial, and anti-viral superstar, and is one of the best foods to eat when you’re sick. It’s also very high in selenium, B vitamins, and helps your body to metabolize iron!
    • Flaxseed oil is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are very anti-inflammatory, and is also high in thiamin and manganese.
    • Raw apple cider vinegar is a true wonder tonic that helps your body beat just about anything.  It’s loaded with potassium, which helps cure sinusitis and runny nose symptoms; and it has massive antibacterial and anti fungal properties, which are obviously hugely beneficial for beating a cold!
    • Himalayan salt supports respiratory health and clears up congestion, is a strong natural antihistamine, eliminates persistent dry coughs, and provides your body with all the necessary trace minerals it needs to heal and be healthy!

    Cold-Busting Fennel, Kale and Orange Salad

    Ingredients:
    Serves 2

    About 5 leaves of organic kale, ripped apart into pieces (or about half a package of washed and cut kale)
    One large organic fennel bulb, sliced into 1/4 inch thick strips
    One large (or two medium) organic orange, cut into small chunks (a grapefruit will also work)
    Zest of the above orange (make sure it’s organic and washed!)
    3 cloves of organic garlic, pressed or minced
    2 tbsp flax oil
    1 tbsp raw organic apple cider vinegar
    Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Pour flax oil over the orange zest and pressed garlic while you prepare everything else.  This helps to release some of the super healthy compounds that speed recovery!  While the oil is infusing, rip up your kale and combine with the sliced fennel and orange.  Try to use a cutting board that has those little gutters around the sides so you can reserve the juice from cutting the orange and pour it over the vegetables.  When your veggies are ready to go, pour the flax oil with orange zest and garlic over the salad, along with the vinegar.  Feel free to add more vinegar if you like your salad a little heavier on the dressing.  Season liberally with himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper.

    I served this salad with a bowl of vegetarian matzo ball soup (the ultimate comfort food).