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How to look like you can cook (well) if you don’t know how, don’t want to, or don’t have time (or all three)

June 3, 2015 in Healthy Eating Inspiration Physical Health Published & Press

This post also appears in the Huffington Post.

Last week a client came over for dinner with her family. She is a law firm partner, a graduate student, a mother and totally clueless in the kitchen. This post is for her and for those of you who also want some kitchen literacy, if only to be able to use it in a pinch. I promise this is all easier than you think, takes less time, and like everything else from Curated Wellness, is cherry-picked to give you maximum impact with minimal effort.

The day of the dinner had been a hectic one for us, topped off with a teething toddler who didn’t sleep much during the previous night. Work was busy, the house was a mess and I didn’t think twice about putting a gorgeous dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. I’m not Martha Stewart, but I know how to make dining a nearly effortless pleasure. In about five minutes from now, you will too.

There are no recipes here but my top 10 tips for being able to make a healthy beautiful meal easily and without going for a big shop, because who needs to add that to a busy day…

  1. Fresh herbs. Always buy them, or plant them in your garden if you have one. Anything except rosemary is easy to add to most dishes. Rosemary can taste like spicy twigs, so unless you have a specific plan for them, chose something else. With a little salt and olive oil, you can add instant flavor, colour and phytonutrients to anything from plain pasta to a sprinkling over any dish. You don’t have to fuss about which one — tarragon, basil, mint, chives — no idea which they are when you see them? Assume that the trend of combining unusual flavors applies in your home as it does in a fine restaurant and go to town. Instant upgrade.
  2. Fish filets. You can choose whatever kind of fish you like, but high quality organic salmon and rainbow trout freeze well because of their high fat content and cook under the broiler in less than eight minutes (once thawed). An easy sprinkling of herbs mixed with butter or oil and salt and you have a restaurant quality dish in under 10 minutes. Add pressed garlic and you’re in the Mediterranean.
  3. Condiments. Pick them wisely and use them freely. I always have three key condiments in the fridge that make everything tastier. A good pesto or tapenade, like the ones from Sunflower Kitchen in Toronto. Put this on fish or pasta and it looks like you can cook. A good mustard, like the ones from Kozlik’s. Spread this on meat or fish with some fresh dill or other unidentifiable herb, or mix it with olive oil and balsamic for an easy delicious homemade dressing. I always have a wild card preserved food on hand — preserved lemons or caper berries are current favorites. They keep forever in the fridge and can be added to cooked grains, salads, or even an appetizer plate (imagine if you had time to make an appetizer plate…).
  4. Pre-cut veggies. We live in a time and place where beautiful organic produce is available washed and prepped for you. No need to let that squash sit on the counter until it’s time to throw it out! Have whatever veggies you like on hand in the fridge and freezer so you can grab them and steam them or roast them with any of the above for instant plant-based perfection.
  5. The oven! I have a secret. You don’t have to cook anything; the oven does it for you. You just need a wee bit of planning because it takes some time. Fish takes under 10 minutes, root veggies take about an hour and all other veggies are ready for you in 30 minutes. Add five more minutes to preheat the oven, and always make the oven thing the first thing you start when making a meal. This means that if you’re making a meal with roasted root veggies, you can put them in the oven, make a salad in about five minutes, prepare fish to broil in another five and have 40 minutes to do something else while your “assistant” makes the rest of dinner.
  6. Salad. I’m a staunch salad liberal, a wild woman, really. You can put anything on salad and it can be your main course or a great way to fill up half of a plate. As a basic, always have greens you like that you don’t have to do anything to — no cutting, no washing — on your shopping list. Then see above — add herbs, your wild card preserved food and one other fresh fruit or vegetable or cheese. You are now a gourmet salad maven.
  7. Home-made dressing. Bottled dressing is full of preservatives and tastes like it. It is the one condiment that is out of bounds. For a versatile basic dressing, mix equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a spoonful of honey and a spoonful of Dijon mustard. Shake it up in a little jar and keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks. It makes your roasted veggies, salads and even cooked grains into “dishes.”
  8. One exotic seasoning. Eating should be a pleasure. Trying one new spice from time to time keeps your meals creative and, if you’re a foodie (in which case you’re likely not reading this anymore) — exciting. I love Middle Eastern food and currently have sumac and zatar in the cupboard. They go on salads, grains, meat and cooked vegetables. You can sprinkle some on store bought hummus and transform it into a different, and much better, snack. They are readily available in the “ethnic” aisle of many mainstream grocery stores.
  9. Nice olive oil and salt. You don’t need to break the bank, but having good quality extra virgin olive oil and sea salt or Himalayan salt adds wonderful depth and flavor (and some great fats) to everything.
  10. The found object meal. This is better than it sounds. This is what happens when there is “nothing to eat” in your fridge or cupboards — that grain you have never tried cooking, half a block of feta, an endive, a can of beans. If you have those herbs, condiments and olive oil listed above — you have potential. Before opting for toast or take-out, consider yourself on a private episode of Top Chef and put the unexpected together. Some of our favorite staples have been born this way. As with everything, confidence will take you a very long way.

You’ve got this. Bon appetit!

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Let it be easy.

November 26, 2014 in Healthy Eating Inspiration Physical Health Special Offers Wellness for Lawyers

Around this time of year, there is a race to that December 31 finish line. Projects to complete, targets to meet, people to see, cards to write, presents to get, holidays to organize, summer clothes to put away, winter clothes to find…the list goes on. It’s only November and already my to-do list and wine consumption have both doubled.  At the same time, there is less daylight each day, and around us, hibernation abounds.  We knew this when the leaves transformed into fall splendour, and yet we kept going at full pace.

Other than summer, which is rightly a religion in Canada, we pretend that we don’t have seasons.  Somehow, we think, heated seats and other modern conveniences, like lightbulbs, will allow us to continue as if nothing is happening.  Then the first flurry comes, and it’s undeniable.  We trudge on through winter in our parkas, and try to get to Florida, or farther south.  Some of us even delight in the crisp air and silvery snow, getting out into the cold to ski or take the kids out sledding.  You winter people – you really live in the right place!

Our needs are different at this time of year than they were just a few short months ago, and paying attention to them can make the difference between a cozy winter and a marathon of colds and overwhelm.  Vitamin D levels dip as sunshine hours are a distant memory, hydration plummets as heating use increases, and we start to really feel the weight of things in our lives that we don’t love.  Targeted self-care that supports the seasonal transition is a great way to ease into winter, with grace.

This list of practices to support yourself is meant to be read like a menu; in the spirit of letting it be easy, I invite you to choose from it what you like, instead of trying to do it all.

  • Get that sunshine vitamin.  In summer we get 20,000 international units of vitamin D from only 20 minutes of sunbathing.  The 400 international units found in your multivitamin is a relic of the days when the only goal was to prevent rickets.  While the science of optimal levels of vitamin D is still inconclusive, there is consensus that optimal levels of this vitamin contribute to a broad range of health benefits, from lower rates of cancers to decreased joint and muscle stiffness. The dose deemed safe for unsupervised consumption is 4000 international units daily, provided you are over 9 years old.  Depending on your vitamin D levels, which you can find out with a simple blood test, you may want to take more (with medical supervision).
  • Give yourself a water drinking challenge.  Dehydration is a shockingly common cause of fatigue and fogginess.  The simple challenge of pouring yourself two litres of water in the morning and finishing it by 8pm provides much needed hydration, and also information about your habitual water consumption.  Please note that water is water.  Juice is not water.  Tea is not water, and coffee is basically the opposite of water, because it is dehydrating.
  • Exercise differently (formerly known as cross-training).  On this matter, forget the winter slump.  Give yourself the energetic opposite of your usual exercise style, and enjoy the physical cross training and mental shift that result.  If you are a regular yogi, try a team sport or something that cultivates and directs aggress energy, like squash or kickboxing.  If you’re a cardio junkie, experiment with a long walk or a restorative yoga class.
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.  In lieu of hibernating, give yourself some extra rest.  This one is likely the toughest on the list, because it requires that you break what you will soon discover are serious habits, habits that probably involve a computer, television, or smartphone.  None of these things is contributing to a good night’s sleep.  Take the opportunity to cultivate a bedtime ritual that supports healthy sleep, such as a bath, reading, or taking a few minutes to count the things that you are grateful for.
  • Go on a technology vacation.  Decide on an amount of time – an hour when you are awake, a weekend – and release yourself from the habitual connection to technology.
  • Try Aryuvedic self-massage.  This practice, called Abhyanga, is a winter favourite.  It is inherently warming, and offers an incredible range of benefits including increased circulation, lymph drainage, lubricated joints and skin, and relaxation.  First, choose your oil: almond, olive, Aryuvedic-grade sesame or a dosha-specific oil.  Before showering, warm about 1/4 cup of the oil by putting a jar or cup of it in hot water.  Gently massage the oil into your skin from the soles of your feet up to your scalp.  In the shower, soap only your groin and underarms, rinsing the superficial oil residue from your body and leaving the bulk of it to nourish your skin throughout the day.

YogaBeCPD

There are a few spaces left in the YogaBe + CPD Skinny on burnout workshop happening next Wednesday!  This December 3, 11am-1:30pm at YogaBe, the first yoga studio on Toronto’s PATH, located at MetroCentre, 200 Wellington Street W, PATH level.  $185+HST secures your place, and includes a 45-minute yoga class led by studio director Laura Baron, a delicious vegan and gluten free lunch from Kupfert & Kim, and a 90-minute CPD-accredited workshop with yours truly about the Skinny on Burnout (1.5 Professionalism Hours for Ontario Lawyers).   You can reserve your spot online right herePlease join us, and pass this information on to a lawyer in need – he or she will thank you.

Notice anything different?  The updated look and feel of curatedwellness.ca is thanks to the creativity and tech savvy of development and communications expert Elyse Power.  In the spirit of letting it be easy, have her create or recreate your website, a.k.a. portal to the world.  For a taster (literally) of her unique brand of user-friendly what-you-didn’t-know-you-needed, try this robotic meal designer that finds recipes for the three random things in your fridge.

Enjoy! May the best of the season shine in your life.

RS

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Relax! Announcing a collaboration with YogaBe

November 18, 2014 in Inspiration Physical Health Special Offers Wellness for Lawyers Workplace Wellness

One of the best perks of the work I do at Curated Wellness is getting to co-create with inspired entrepreneurs.  The passion that goes into birthing a new venture brings us some of the most enriching experiences and products – and YogaBe, Toronto’s first yoga studio on the PATH, is one such creation.  Its founder, Laura Baron, is a former Bay Street litigator, whose yogi tendencies compelled her to create the studio that Toronto’s financial district can now enjoy.

Together, we are offering an exceptional experience for Toronto lawyers to rejuvenate, learn, and earn those end-of-year CPD professionalism credits.  The program will be hosted at YogaBe’s convenient downtown studio in the MetroCentre, on Wednesday, December 3rd.  It includes a 45-minute, all-level yoga class led by Laura, a healthy lunch from PATH eatery Kupfert & Kim, and a 90-minute Curated Wellness workshop on practical strategies to manage stress and promote wellbeing called The Skinny on Burnout.

WHAT:  YogaBe + CPD: The Skinny on Burnout

WHEN: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: YogaBe Studio, 200 Wellington Street West, PATH Level, MetroCentre

COST: $185.00 + hst

Reserve your space online: yogabe.ca/CPD

We hope to see you there!

Pass this on to a lawyer friend in need, they will thank you.

 

 

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Project back relief #3: Let food be thy medicine.

March 22, 2013 in Physical Health

There are powerful anti-inflammatories on the market, and I hope you never have to take any of them.  You may be able to decrease inflammation by changing your diet.

backFood

Now you’ll notice if you look at just about any diet around (with the exception of Atkins), that they all suggest eating more fruits and vegetables, less meat, and even less processed carbohydrates and refined sugars.  That’s because these are excellent guidelines, whatever name the diet is given!  If you remember nothing else, start there.

An “anti-inflammatory” diet adds on a few more specific recommendations:

  • Eat more Omega 3 essential fatty acids.  These are found in walnuts, flax, hemp, and oily fish.  They are “essential” because we can’t make them, so we have to ingest them.  They are also literally essential for brain health, and are known to be anti-inflammatory.
  • Reduce – and I mean dramatically reduce your consumption of sugar and processed carbohydrates (I feel like a broken record with this one).   When glucose is high, protein and sugar react in the body to create pro-inflammatory “AGEs” (advanced glycation products).
  • If you’re an omnivore (and especially if you’re a carnivore), try replacing animal proteins with vegetable proteins, such as lentils, legumes, and whole (not processed) soy products.

As ever, the only way to know if this will work for you is to try it.  Here’s a sample daily menu to give you some ideas about how to try on this anti-inflammatory way of eating.

Breakfast:

None other than my favorite “brown” smoothie, which if you are not hooked on yet, you will be soon.  Swirl in some lemon fish oil (I know that sounds awful, but if your back really hurts, why not try it for a week and see how you feel?).

Lunch:

Hearty salad with roasted root vegetables (diced, tossed in olive oil and sea salt, and roasted the night before, or even a few days before, at 375 for 45 minutes), your favorite raw greens, whole cooked spelt or quinoa, walnuts, and an olive-oil based dressing (olive oil, lemon and a little dijon make a great home made dressing).

Dinner:

Mediterranean lentil soup, wild salmon or black cod with maple miso and oranges, love my greens salad with hempseeds and olive oil-flax oil dressing.  This menu calls for some recipes…

Excellent Lentil soup

Ingredients: 1 onion, 1 shallot, 1 cup red lentils, ½ cup short grain brown rice, 4tbsp olive oil, 6 cups vegetable stock, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 lemon.  I think the shallot takes this one over the top.

  • Sautee chopped onion and shallot in olive oil over medium heat, until translucent
  • Rinse lentils and rice well, and add them and the cumin to the pot, stirring for a minute.
  • Add stock and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 35-40 minutes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste, and add the juice of one lemon.
  • I should have said this up front…make a double recipe and freeze half.  This is a keeper.

Maple-miso glazed fish

Ingredients: fatty fish filet of your choice, 1/3 cup miso, 1 tbsp maple syrup, ½ shallot, 1 inch piece of ginger, 1 orange.

  • Turn the broiler in your oven to high.
  • Blend miso, maple syrup, dices or grated shallot and diced or grated fresh ginger with a hand blender, blender, or fork.
  • Rinse fish filet and place on parchment paper or foil on baking tray, then pat dry.
  • Spread miso mixture on fish, and cover with thinly sliced orange rounds.
  • Broil fish on medium rack for 7-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filet.
  • Impress anyone.

Love me and my greens salad

Ingredients: your favorite salad greens, microgreens, sprouts, avocado, baby cucumber, hemp seeds, flax oil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, fresh cilantro, fresh mint.

  • Rinse your greens well and mix them in a proportion that makes you excited to eat them.
  • Slice the avocado, baby cucumber, mint and cilantro, and throw them on top like Picasso.
  • Mix 1tbsp flax oil, 4tbsp olive oil, 2tbsp balsamic vinegar, and a few shakes of salt and pepper together in a glass jar (by shaking it), or in a cup using a fork.
  • Pour home made dressing on greens, thereby reinventing “salad” for you and anyone who has the pleasure of joining you for this micronutrient rich, memories of Southeast-Asia, “salad”.

If you’re paying attention, you know that this is installment number 3 of 5 on back pain.  I’ve got two more practices that I hope will have a positive impact on your back, your mood, and your life.  In that order.

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…and the runner up is (back relief practice #2)

March 20, 2013 in Physical Health

#2 Sit on an exercise ball at your desk. 

stability-ball

Wait! Before you succumb to the picture in your mind of your colleagues laughing hysterically as they walk by your office (or cubicle), consider this.  I was that woman at a large financial institution in New York City.  My colleagues had come to expect this type of health voodoo thing from me, so it was just a matter of degree.  I shamelessly sat on my exercise ball, enjoying tremendous relief from back pain, strengthening my core, and doing what only the strong do best: starting a little health revolution by example.

When it’s obvious that you’re feeling good, people become curious about how and why – they want to feel good too! I ended up running their health and wellness program, and you can read some testimonials on my website about how that changed lives and organizational spirit where I worked.  So…read on and get ready to work with healthier, happier people (and be one too).

Spending long stints at your desk is a primary cause of low back pain, however good your posture is, or expensive your chair is.  We tend to slouch at our desks, relaxing core muscles, collapsing into the hips and low back, arching our shoulders and neck forward, and keeping hip flexors compressed for extended periods of time.  While a post-it style reminder to yourself to maintain good posture may help a little, sitting on an exercise ball provides a physical reminder so that you can focus on your work, and not on a clutter of post-its.  It’s also better for your body.

No matter how much counter-stretching and counter-strengthening you do at the gym or in yoga, you spend a lot more time at your desk. Spend it well. Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to keep your core engaged instead of collapsed, and encourages constant gentle movement (since the ball rolls) so that hip flexors, low back, hips, and thighs stay mobile throughout the day.  Some people even find that their nervous snacking habit turns into a subtle movement one, meaning that mindless desk-snacking is replaced with a core-strengthening and hip-liberating movement practice.

It’s also pretty fun, and having fun generally leads to being more creative.  You may find yourself rocking out from time to time, taking a sponteanous movement moment.

I don’t recommend abandoning your desk chair entirely right away, because it takes time to build up the endurance to be able to sit up straight all day.  As often as you can, slide that desk chair over and sit on your shiny new exercise ball.  When you need to slouch, switch back and take a rest.  Eventually you’ll be sitting up straight for longer, standing taller, and noticing that your abdominal muscles are more toned.

Go for basics. Do not get the exercise ball with a chair attachment, but a firm exercise ball that is free to roll, without a lumbar support, at the height recommended for your height (all the websites that sell exercise balls have height guidelines).  I suggest getting an “anti-burst” one, not because of burst rates for regular exercise balls, but because they are only marginally more expensive, and it seems worth the extra few dollars to not embarrass yourself at the office (or in front of yourself if you work from home).

Finally, if you’re in a private office or particularly collegial work environment, enjoy the ultimate desk-stretch of walking your feet forward and arching your back over the ball (see photo).  This is the opposite of how you position your body at a desk and should feel excellent – just in case you can’t make it to yoga or the gym that day.

Did this tip help you?  Please let me know!  I would love to hear from you by email: rachel[at]rachelschipper[dot]com.

Could this information help someone you know?  Please pass it on.

This is part 2 of a 5-part series on back pain relief, offering one practice a day for 5 days.  

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Looking for relief from low back pain or muscle pain?

March 19, 2013 in Physical Health

Unpleasant as it may be, back pain is your body’s way of letting you know that something isn’t working.  Figuring out what that something is, though, is a lot easier said than done.  No one likes to hear this about physical sensation or illness, but the idea that you can tune into your body and live with greater harmony and ease is incredibly empowering.

lowerBackPain

I struggled with back pain for a decade, and it started to creep into other muscles in my body.  It was scary.  It was also kind of embarrassing, because here I was an early embracer of “new age” wellness practices, teaching and practicing a vigorous style of vinyasa yoga, and committed to the idea of the emotional body – meaning that unexpressed feelings create blockage or sensation in the body, needing expression to restore a fluid flow of energy in the body.  So those days when I woke up, in my late twenties, and felt too stiff to elegantly get out of bed, hurt both my ego and my sense of wellbeing.  I also felt helpless, as I know those struggling with chronic pain often do.

I tried everything.  More yoga.  Less yoga.  Regular massage.  Epsom salts baths.  Acupuncture.  Working through emotional issues I thought might be manifesting in low back spasm.  Free movement to let my body decide how to move itself to heal.  High heels.  Flats.  Orthotics.  Dietary changes.  Sleeping positions with multiple pillows as supports (very sexy).  Ointments and oils.   Heat and cold packs.  Back-pain guru books.  Taking short regular walks at work, limiting my sitting time to 30-minute increments.  An orthopedic chair cover.  Painkillers.

Sometimes I’d have relief, but I was always flirting with the resurgence of such incredible discomfort that it might put me in a bad mood or make it difficult for me to concentrate, or even send shooting pain up my spine one day when I just wanted to get up from my desk.  There were some days when it wasn’t just my back – my whole body felt stiff and brittle.  I didn’t want to go though one day this way, never mind the rest of my life!

I now have no back pain or muscle stiffness.  Not monthly, not after or during exercise, not when I wake up.  Every body is different, and the only way to know if something will work for yours is to try it.

I’m so excited to share this series of practices to alleviate back pain with you.  In this mini-series I’ll be focusing on five practices that had the biggest impact on my back pain and muscle stiffness.  Tune in daily to learn about the next practice, or sign up for Curated Enlightenment to get it delivered to your inbox.

#1: Heading the list is taking magnesium glycinate, twice a day, every day.

(A side note about vitamins: They don’t work if you buy them and don’t take them.  They also don’t work if you only take them some of the time.  You need to take them daily to see and feel the results.)

We associate magnesium with old age and bowel regularity, but this key supplement, brought to my attention by the absolutely brilliant biochemist, immunologist and cell biologist Aileen Burford-Mason, contributes to much more than your morning bathroom routine.  Among its many essential roles in your body, magnesium relaxes your muscles, countering calcium, which causes muscles to contract. Magnesium is also a key player in the production of collagen, in metabolism, and contributes to improved sleep quality.  In her excellent book, Eat Well Age Better, Burford-Mason calls this mineral an “energetic multi-tasker…the most important mineral in the body.”

Magnesium is also quite difficult to get enough of in your diet, and is generally not in the ideal proportion for your body in calcium-magnesium supplements or in multivitamins, making pure magnesium supplements essential.  About 65% of Canadians are magnesium deficient, with symptoms ranging from muscle soreness or cramping, to constipation, to high blood pressure.

To find your base dose, Burford-Mason suggests “titrating to bowel tolerance”.  This involves starting with 100mg of magnesium glycinate (not citrate) in the morning, and then increasing your dose by 50mg every three days, alternating adding the extra 50mg morning and night every three days.  For example, days 1-3 take 100mg in the morning; days 4-6 take 100mg in the morning and 50mg at night; days 7-9 take 150mg in the morning at 50 mg at night…and so on.

Continue until you have two to three healthy bowel movements per day (you read that right!).  That is your base dose.  It’s not the same for everyone, and it’s not the same for you all the time.  Your body leaches more magnesium when you’re stressed (measurable in your urine), so you might need to increase your dose if you have a big project or meeting, or other heightened stress in your life.  However, seeing the impact that magnesium has on many body functions, from metabolism, to stress, sleep and muscle spasm at your base dose will give you a great base line from which to read your body to know if you need more or less in special circumstances.

Consult your doctor for concerns about any interaction with other medications or specific questions about magneiusm and your body.

If you think this might help someone you know, pass it on!

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Cold and Flu 911

January 22, 2013 in Physical Health

So many people have asked me about this subject this season!  Home remedies to the rescue.
The good news is that getting sick a couple of times a year means that your immune system is working.  Hallelujah!  You just don’t want to be sick for more than a couple of days – it’s a drag.  You already know that if you’re reading this.  Here are a few practices that make a big difference:
1) Garlic and honey
Done right, this will not give you garlic breath – or make you smell like garlic at all!  Crush a few garlic cloves in a garlic press and leave it until it bubbles, which should be about a minute. This releases garlic’s own defense mechanism against attacks by pests, called allicin.  That’s the compound that is antibacterial and anti-fungal, and it only comes out if you mash that garlic up.  It’s a defense mechanism, after all.  Mix the pressed garlic with some raw honey (or whatever honey you have at home) to make a paste.  This is your magic remedy.  Take a baby-finger-nail size of it on the back of your tongue, washed down with a glass of water that isn’t cold (you should have stopped drinking cold water by now…).  Repeat every couple of hours.  Go ahead – do it at work, your co-workers will thank you for this tip, and for getting rid of your cold so they can stop being afraid of you.
2) Body scrubbing
Your cardiovascular system has a pump (your heart), to keep things moving.  Your lymph system doesn’t.  This is where body scrubbing comes in (exercise too, especially yoga).  Using either a dry brush before you get in the shower, or a wet one in the shower, go to town on your skin from head to toe, until you’re red and tingly.  Give extra attention to your lymph nodes, which are on the sides of your neck under each ear, in each armpit, and in that deep crease where your thigh meets your torso.  This helps your lymphatic system move and drains out toxins, kind of like a good sweat. It also gives you glowing skin and improves the appearance of cellulite!  Repeat daily to boost immunity.  I do it every morning, and it’s totally invigorating.
3) Hot ginger tea
Use the fresh stuff.  If you happen to have a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, throw about two inches of peeled ginger in with some hot water and honey, blend, and enjoy the most soothing spicy drink of all time.  If not, boil the same amount for at least 15 minutes to make a tea. You can add some honey if you like, or some fresh lemon juice.  Ginger has been used for so many things in Eastern medicine for thousands of years – from colds and flu, to menstrual cramps, to digestive issues and nausea.  These days people are even linking it to improved cardiovascular health!  It’s always in my kitchen.
There are so many immunity boosting tips, but these three are my favorites.  Obviously rest, vitamins (more on those later) and plenty of water go a long way.
Let me know how it goes!  Here’s to your good health.
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