Fight the Flu & Cold with these 4 Natural Home Remedies

It’s time to check-in and give you a couple tips and tricks to help you succeed at the January Fitness New Year New You Challenge.

This past week, you followed the January Fitness Challenge Workout Program and you hit the gym (or home gym) to work on toning and building a foundation by doing compound exercise movements, such as the Deadlift and Barbell Squats. You are probably a little sore, so please make sure to utilize the active rest day and give yourself a physical and mental break so that you can #gohardorgohome for week #2.

If you don’t let those muscles rest, you will just keep yourself from making any progress (such as strength and endurance gains). So get that rest! What’s a good active rest activity? Shopping at the mall! Reward yourself with a new workout outfit!

What’s one of the top 10 reasons a person stops working out? They get sick! And once they take a week off, because they got the flu, they have a really hard time getting back into the habit of working out regularly. So what is a good solution to this problem? Do everything you can to ensure you don’t get sick.

Easier said than done, right? The key here is your immune system. You need to keep that immune system functioning at its highest capacity during flu season. How? Consistently consuming a healthful diet (little-to-no alcohol, no smoking, avoid processed food, low sugar intake, LOTS of dark green leafy vegetables, lean proteins, LOTS OF WATER). Eating as “clean” as possible is the key.

But let me share a few immune system boosting tips, including a little natural home remedy secret concoction that I take daily during cold and flu season (or even when I’m traveling in “high risk” areas like airports/planes/buses).

#1 – Taking a Probiotic and taking Magnesium for optimum digestive health [yes your digestive system health directly affects your immune system]

#2 – Taking Vitamin D3 and Zinc

#3 – Taking Bee Pollen before going on a trip where I will be in “high risk” areas, like airports/airplanes/buses/trains or if you’re starting to feel a cold coming on taking bee pollen can help keep the cold at bay.

#3 – My Secret Concoction – drinking 8 ounces of filtered water with 3-4 drops of 100% Pure Oregano Oil stirred in – this not only helps improve your digestive health but it seriously helps fight off the cold and flu (even if you’ve already contracted a cold, it can help your body fight it off faster) [please make sure to dilute oregano oil, take it according to directions on bottle]. I take it every night, right before going to bed.

That’s it, quite simple, but it REALLY works to boost my immune system so that I can stick with my workout regimen and keep hitting it hard at the gym!

Rock on and stay strong this week during week #2 of the January Fitness New Year New You Challenge!

I am not a doctor.  Any recommendations I make about weight training, nutrition, supplements or lifestyle should be discussed between you and your doctor because working out involves risks. The information provided on BraveAngel.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website or from our products or services.  Never rely on information on our website, from our products or services, in place of seeking professional medical advice.

Chocolate Pudding? Superfood? Why Yes!

I had an epiphany today about food, nutrition and how EVERYONE should start viewing the ‘eating process’. The macrobiotic challenge has greatly helped me to have this ‘epiphany’. I changed my eating habits A LOT, from what I eat, how often, when, why, how and so on. I’ve cut out all animal products (gone vegan) and for the most part have cut out anything that is processed, meaning everything I prepare or cook is truly a ‘whole food’ in its natural state. At first it was really challenging to make these changes…I didn’t know what to eat, how to prep meals, I got a little frustrated but pushed through and am SO GLAD I stuck with it 100% because the experience has been life changing.
EVERYTHING I eat or drink is to ‘fuel’ my body. Each ingredient in my meals and snacks serve the purpose of contributing the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbs, fats, proteins, etc that my body needs to function at optimal capacity. AND THIS IS THE REASON I FEEL AMAZING. For the last 20 days, everything I have eaten has had some purpose in feeding my body what it needs to function, when you do this amazing things begin to happen. And it has only been 20 days, imagine what 3 months will hold.

My epiphany: Every meal or snack and every ingredient in that meal or snack should have a purpose, fuel for Raw Zucchini & Pesto Lasagnaoptimal performance.

When I wake up, my tea energizes me to start my day and my 16 ounces of water I chug first thing in the morning hydrates me. My breakfast of buckwheat groats gives me the sustained energy I will need for work and my exercise routine. Each meal/snack also has cooling or warming effect depending upon the season (warm/cold/winter/summer). Food, my meals/snacks, fuel me for the next few hours of activity. BUT…the big change, the epiphany…these meals & snacks are so much more fun to make, more satisfying, delicious, have variety, can be ‘sweet’ or ‘savory’, and are SO easily digested because there aren’t any animal products, artificial ingredients or highly processed crap & they are in their natural and ‘whole’ state so that I can receive ALL the nutrients from each ingredient. In turn…the outcome is a clear mind as I’ve never experienced before, energy like I had when I was a 5 year old, weight-less feeling, joy, and as my new friend Kara says ‘seeing the deepest, coolest, most vivid color blue as you’ve never seen it before’.

Master Macrobiotics in 10 easy steps!Depending on how much time I have, I can whip something up that’s good for my mind and body. Or take my time to make an elaborate meal. I HAVE MORE VARIETY NOW THAN I DID BEFORE! Some people may say that I’m on a restricted diet…this is incorrect actually. Look at my pinterest boards, the vast array of recipes and options for all meals of the day is endless and in NO WAY restricted.

In fact, I find the ‘macrobiotic way’ more satisfying. I can even have dessert now! If you stick to the ‘macrobiotic way’ you will shed any excess weight, feel amazingly energized and clear minded and get to enjoy in a variety of satisfying and delicious meals and snacks. I don’t know about you but this is way better than eating oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch and chicken and broccoli for dinner every day!

I made my new favorite dessert today, I call ‘Superfood Chocolate Pudding’. So easy to make and tastes AMAZING! Perfect for this time of year (Spring/Summer), has healthy fats, low G.I., loaded with vitamins/minerals and cools you down while satisfying that desire for something sweet and tasty.

“Superfood Chocolate Pudding”

Makes 1 serving.

  • 1/2 Organic Avocado
  • 2 TBSP Raw Cacao
  • 1-2 TBSP Lacuma Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla bean or alcohol-free organic vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup filtered water
  • Optional- 1 TBSP organic shredded coconut

Put all ingredients in your magic bullet, blender or food processor and blend. Enjoy! Add fresh mint leaves to the blender for mint chocolate pudding! Or fresh squeezed orange juice. Options are endless!

I encourage anyone to do their research and give the ‘macrobiotic way’ a real try, give it 100%, give it 30 days, it will be worth it.

Health & Happiness,

Natty Mac

Ginger & Miso Tea: Calm, Relax, Re-energize & Soothe

Day #9 here on the Macrobiotic/Vegan challenge and I finally made THE TEA! (Yes, Kara…it took me this long). Kara, is the wonderful lady leading me and my group in our macro-vegan adventures this fabulous month of May. So this tea that I made up today is all thanks to her!
Miso is fermented soybean paste. I got Organic Chickpea Miso, so to avoid soybeans. I like the taste of it! Never bring the water to a boil if you’ve added Miso to it because it will kill the active enzymes and goodies in Miso! Whenever you add Miso to a soup or for tea, let the water heat up to the point where Miso begins ‘pillow’ up to the top of the water. Why Miso?

“Fermented foods and drinks help build your inner ecosystem. When your inner ecosystem is healthy, it is full of friendly microflora (beneficial bacteria in your intestines), that help you digest and assimilate nutrients and boost your immunity. In fact, healthy microflora actually go to work for you, creating the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay strong and energized.”
“Miso has been eaten in Japan and China for many centuries and has been attracting the attention of many of us because of its health and anti-aging benefits. It’s also quite delicious. When you aren’t feeling well a bowl of miso soup can be especially soothing.”
 
“Making miso is an art form in Japan. It is made of soybeans and koji, a culture starter made from beneficial molds, yeast and lactic acid bacteria. As long as you choose unpasteruized miso, you will be getting the benefits of live friendly microflora for the health of your inner ecosystem.
 

Miso Benefits:

  • Reduces risks of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.
  • Protection from radiation
  • Immune strengthening
  • Antiviral — miso is very alkalizing and strengthening to the immune system helping to combat a viral infection.
  • Prevents aging – high in antioxidants, miso protects from free radicals that cause signs of aging.
  • Helps maintain nutritional balance – full of nutrients, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, miso provides: protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, tryptophan, choline, dietary fiber, linoleic acid and lecithin.
  • Helps preserve beautiful skin – miso contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps your skin stay soft and free of pigments.
  • Helps reduce menopausal complaints – the isoflavones in miso have been shown to reduce hot flashes.

The other ingredient in this fabulous tea (or soup), is ginger. FRESH ORGANIC GINGER ROOT. ‘Peel’ skin off small piece of ginger and grate ginger. Deposit about 1-2 tsp of the grated ginger into the bottom of your tea cup. Ginger is SO fabulous too! Use on salads in a ‘ginger vinaigrette’ dressing, in cooking or in your tea! It soothes and calms not only your digestive tract and your body, but your mind too! Use ginger root to “heal digestive troubles and decrease inflammation”.

Ginger Benefits:

  • Osteoarthritis. Ginger is an effective osteoarthritis treatment, specifically for the knee.
  • Inflammation. Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory agents called gingerols.
  • Nausea and vomiting. People experiencing motion sickness often use ginger to alleviate their symptoms.
  • Morning sickness. Pregnant women have found relief using ginger to eliminate morning sickness.
  • High blood pressure. Ginger can decrease blood pressure and acts as a blood thinner.
  • Digestion. Ginger promotes the production and secretion of bile from the liver and gall bladder, helping to improve your digestion of fats.
  • Free radical damage. Ginger is an amazing antioxidant and offers considerable protection against free radicals.
  • Radiation exposure. Ginger has been shown to protect your body from radiation, possibly in conjunction with its antioxidant capabilities.
  • High blood sugar. Ginger can help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • High cholesterol. One study found that ginger can lower blood cholesterol levels, possibly pointing to ginger as an effective treatment for heart disease.
  • Cancer. In lab tests, ginger extracts were found to destroy ovarian cancer cells. Another study found that the gingerols may inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer.

If you’re trying to overcome a craving for something sweet or salty, making this tea is a great way to get past grabbing for that twinkie!

Ginger & Miso Tea:

1-2 teaspoon freshly grated organic ginger root. Put grated ginger root in bottom of tea cup.

Pour 1-2 cups of water in a small pot, place on stove top, turn on burners to medium-high.

Grab your Organic Chickpea Miso, add 1-2 tablespoons to the pot of water.

Stir in Miso and wait for water to heat up. Again, DO NOT BRING WATER TO A BOIL! You’re just heating it to be hot water for your tea or soup.

Once the Miso starts ‘pillowing’ up to top of the water it is ready! Pour Miso tea water over top the freshly grated ginger root that is in the bottom of your tea cup & enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Nat

Lunch with Kara Mejia – Macrobiotics Chef – SO GOOD!

I met with an amazing woman yesterday. Her name is Kara Mejia and she is a macrobiotics chef/natural health advocate. She recently moved to the area from NC where she used to offer cooking classes to groups of people as large as 50 – 100 per class and has helped so many people get over disease, illness, overweight, or just feeling crappy all the time.


For lunch yesterday we had an Open face brown rice and lentil grain burger, Garden slaw with a kiss of red lady slipper apples… And sinfully delicious, chocolate, date truffles dusted in cocoa, coconut, and pecans…Sorry, no picture. We ate them all:) Next time …

After having lunch with her today (she prepared a meal for me personally in her very own home, what a treat!), I totally 100% can say I agree with her approach to nutrition and health and would recommend her to anyone looking for answers to their health & wellness dilemma’s or questions in general regarding nutrition and how macrobiotics can help.

She follows a vegan diet that consists of whole foods/unprocessed/prepared to avoid disturbing the enzymes/nutrients they contain that our bodies need. Her website is www.cookingwithkara.com and email is cookingwithkara@gmail.com. If you’d like to contact her in regards to your health or macrobiotics or whatever, she is amazing!

This Thursday she is offering (to anyone willing to commit & lives in the general Baltimore area) a 30 Day Cleanse/Challenge to get themselves on track and on the path to wellness. It will entail 6 consecutive Thursdays from 7-9pm in which she will teach cooking/prep/rotation know how & questions/answers and is supplying with a grocery list/plan to get you through the 30 days. It is similar to the ‘raw’ approach to diet in that you prepare foods in a way that your body can digest and obtain the vital nutrients it needs to function properly, but there is ‘cooked food’, look up ‘macrobiotics’ to get a better understanding or check out her website. If there was anything I’d ever suggest someone try out and give a go-ahead for 30 days, it would be this. She is ‘rolling out’ her business here and offering this 6 week (30 Day Challenge) FOR FREE only once. If you want to join me in this challenge, contact me a.s.a.p. so I can send you the details so that you can decide on whether you’d like to commit to this. Or contact Kara Mejia at the email I listed above.

Info, share with friends & family: 30 Day Natural Body Makeover beginning Thursday, April 26th, from 7 -9pm. This will be a 2 hour Introductory cooking and weight loss program re-introducing folks to the deliciousness of whole foods. It will run for 6 consecutive Thursday evenings and the best part…. It is absolutely FREE!!! For further details they can get in touch w/Kara directly by calling (706) 970-9505.

Kara also shared a book with me, in which I’ve already read a good amount of it, and I’d recommend to ANYONE and EVERYONE. It really helps spell out all the improvements/changes/ways to go about eating/diet to assist someone in becoming very knowledgeable on what is good and bad for the body! It’s called, ‘Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition” Third edition, by Paul Pitchford.

Health & Happiness!

Natty Mac