January 11, 2013
Under-the-Weather Vegan Favorites
It seems like everyone I know is sick. Everywhere I go, I smell throat lozenges, hear sniffling noses and coughing fits, and see tired eyes and tissue-toting folks.
Fortunately for me, I (knocking on wood . . .) haven't gotten sick (still knocking on wood . . . ) yet this season (knocking, knocking, knocking . . . )
Maybe it's luck. Maybe it's karma for my most recent physical impairment. Or maybe it's some of my vegan tricks.
Whatever it is, here are some awesome vegan tricks, recipes, and favorite finds for you during this cold and flu season. All are things that should help you feel better and recover if you're already sick, but I've thrown in a handful that could prevent your illness in the first place.
Tea, tea, tea.
Not a prevention tool (I don't think . . .?), but my absolute favorite thing when I'm not feeling well. Why is it that tea is good no matter what ails you? Sore throat - tea. Stuffy nose - really hot tea. Queasy stomach - ginger tea. Can't sleep - sleepy time tea.
Here's a favorite find: instant ginger tea. (Shown above with a splash of almond milk.) I order this tea from a store called Bird Pick Tea & Herb near my old apartment in Pasadena. It is strong, sweet, ginger-y, and is my go-to favorite for when I'm not feeling well in any possible way. You can of course find bagged ginger tea in your local grocery store if you don't want to order this. Or go with a classic option: slice a couple rounds of raw ginger root and plop them in some hot water. Add agave for a little sweetness.
I also tend to reach for chai tea a lot if I'm sick - that warming feeling from all the spices is so soothing.
SO GOOD. Fruit-and-veggie juices can boost your immune system, helping you stay healthy during this gross snuffly time. Think about how many vitamins you get when you drink one glass of juice that contains a few cups of spinach, a carrot or two, an orange, and an apple. That's a whole lot of nutrition in one drink! Juices can also help you recover quickly. Some juices can even ease your symptoms.
Any green juice is going to be a helpful immune booster. Try my favorite green juice or cinnamon spiced kale juice. Or go with a bright orange golden sunrise tangerine juice. These fantastic elixirs are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help you stay healthy when everyone around you is running for the DayQuil.
Here's a new recipe that I'm making this sickie season:
Vitamin C Please! Juice:
1 red bell pepper
large piece ginger (and/or turmeric)
Did you know that a red bell pepper has 2-3 times the Vitamin C in an orange?! Of course, oranges just seem right when you want to fight something off, don't they? So I had to throw some in. Plus this juice is delicious.
The picture above features a blood orange version and a navel orange version - both awesome!
Obviously. Here are a few recipes to try: black bean, sweet potato, & soy chorizo soup; roasted everything tomato soup; sweet potato chipotle soup w/ avocado cream .
Take a Bath.
I know, I know, my solution to most things is food in some way or other. But seriously. Take a bath. The steam helps with congestion, the warmth ... well, that just feels cozy when you feel crappy. Add epsom salts to ease that achy body feeling (of course the hot water helps too.) Grated ginger helps your sinuses. I add peppermint essential oil because that menthol-y steam feels like it just clears out any sinus or chest congestion.
Less Obvious Favorites.
Okay, you probably expect to see tea, juice, and soup on a vegan blog post about staying healthy or getting your health back. But here are a few things you might not usually think of . . .
Smoothies. Cold! Boo! Orrr . . . soothing on a sore throat, easy to digest for a queasy tummy, and an easy way to sneak in some extra vitamins to help boost your immunity? Think about it! My favorite smoothies with more hidden healthy ingredients than you'd realize are my carrot cake comfort smoothie, secret ingredient orange julius smoothie, and mango & greens smoothie.
Salads. Alright, I definitely don't eat salads when I'm sick. But I think salad eating before you're sick has got to contribute to a healthy immune system. A bowl full of leafy greens, raw veggies on top, and some healthy vegan protein is what your body needs to stay healthy!
Spicy anything. When I'm sick, my nose always seems to be the worst thing. Thank you, chronic sinusitis, for that one. I can't pretend I don't reach for the psuedofed or DayQuil to help that out, but I am increasingly trying to stay away from medications and choose something all-natural instead. It seems even when I am taking those pills, the thing that helps with my sinuses the most is actually spicy food. Pick up some spicy curry or Chinese hot and sour soup. Or try one of my many many spicy recipes: black bean chipotle veggie burgers, slow-cooked soy chorizo & bean chili, super spicy chilaquiles. I just don't recommend that you sit at a restaurant devouring spicy food till your nose runs, cause that's pretty embarrassing. And gross.
Stay well and/or feel better!!! Hope some of this helps you this season :)
Posted by Leslie