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Keep immunity strong with these 9 gut-boosting tips

I’m back from Peru for the 2nd time this year. My decision to attend a this most recent workshop (Jungian Psychology & Amazonian Shamanism in Synthesis) was actually a surprise to me as I made the decision to go 2 weeks prior to it! I had an incredibly enriching experience that I will continue to integrate into my life and my counseling practice. And the food! Here’s a picture of one of the lovely dishes ordered at Dawn on The Amazon, my favorite restaurant in the area. I wonder if we metabolize our food a little differently when it’s shaped in a heart… I tried this with a sweet potato pancake this morning. It didn’t turn out quite the same

Anyways, I got really sick while I was away. Relatively early in the trip I got walloped with intestinal challenges that are not uncommon with travel to third world countries. Despite all my holistic measures, from local amazonion herbs, to fasting, to eating raw garlic, to getting massive amounts of rest, I had to give Western medicine credit where it was due, and got on a 3-day anti-biotic as soon as I got back to the states. Within a day my symptoms were nearly 100% relieved, thankfully. As you know, anti-biotics are powerful substances. But they can also play a major role in gut and immune challenges if gut flora not properly restored thereafter. So I am taking good measures to support my gut. As we step into the last sixty-ish days of 2015, it’s wise to see our immune systems are supported, so come that pesky little week between Christmas and New Years, you STAY healthy (this is a wildly common time that people get sick) From a physical perspective, a huge portion of immune strength is rooted in maintaining gut health, so I’m happy to share some of my own favorite strategies to keep your belly feelin’ fine as we journey through our darkest months and busy holiday season. 1.) Probiotics – My most recent favorite: Women’s Raw Probiotic per recommendation by one of my favorite naturopaths, contains loads of supportive strands of bacteria plus raw veggie nutrition and the equally important Vitamin D we are so in need of through our darkest months. 2.) Raw fermented veggies – My recent favotire: Dill Raw Sauerkraut. If you are a health wiz in the kitchen you may already make your own, but for everyone else, make a trip to your local health food store and be delightfully surprised by the varieties available. Have a forkful with each meal. If you are brand new to fermented veggies, start small and work your way up. 3.) Bone Broth – I first learned of the benefits of bone broth in 2009 while studying with Sally Fallon in NYC. According to Fallon, the gelatin found in bone broth helps heal and seal the intestinal lining. It’s also rich in minerals and amino acids. 4.) Prebiotics – Prebiotic foods are like food for good bacteria. They have certain carbohydrates that nourish the good bacteria and help it grow. These include foods like: asparagus, bananas, onions, garlic, beans, artichoke, root vegetables, and apples. 5.) Cooked foods and nourishing fats – Both pacify the dry, cold nature of the season. We want to decrease the amount of cold, dry foods and enjoy cooked, brothy meals as well as ample fats like pastured butter, ghee, coconut oil, nut butters, and avocado. 8.) Coconut oil – Yes, I mentioned this above, but it’s specifically the lauric, capric and caprylic acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. (Source and more on coconut oil here) 9.) Watch the sugar – Excess amounts of sugar can act as immune suppressants. If you are taking good care with some of the strategies above you certainly do not need to swear off sugar. But if you are feeling run down, consider steering clear of the white stuff for a while. What are you already doing? Anything you’d like to start implementing? Anything you’d add to the list? I hope you have a beautiful start to November and take care to shift your evening rituals in ways that feel aligned with the increase in darkness. Like this article? You might also like: Are you Addicted to foods you are actually allergic to? With love & respect, Laura

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