So as we start a new week, up here in Canada where Coco is working, things look pretty different than a week ago. Not to be a doomsdayer- but this is what our life (at least when in Seattle), looks like right now- and it’s really, really weird you guys. Not panicking, not being an alarmist- but definitely taking COVID-19 seriously and attempting to prepare for a situation that we have never been faced with before.
Pia and Wilbur are with us in Canada. We drove up here yesterday as Pia’s school is currently closed until the end of April to as a means of social distancing due to COVID-19. Woah, right? I am really pleased with all of the steps her school has taken to prevent infection and spread in Seattle and in the school community- AND they are getting the school up and running on-line in just one short week. It’s pretty impressive. So Pia will be homeschooling from set for a while in the trailer. What a crazy little life we will be living this Spring! It’s a silver lining to a terrible situation, but I do not take for granted that I get to have both of my children with me all the time for a while. Also, Canada is like a breath of fresh air and normalcy to be honest. Yeah, I think that the cold supplies and toilet paper section looked a little picked over at the local Safeway, but it’s nothing like how crazy Seattle has gotten.
I am not sure how much worse it will get in Seattle. What I do know, is that absolutely the opposite of what’s on the news (“there are tests for anyone who wants one”) is happening there. There are very few test kits. I have heard this first person and second and third person from many in the field in Seattle. There are so many sick people that cannot be tested that are not in the hospital- including sick healthcare workers that have been in contact with covid patients. So as wider spread testing finally (hopefully) starts this week, we will know more about the severity of the spread.
To be clear, in response to some of the comments I have had that are telling me it’s not that big a deal to get it, and that I shouldn’t be worried- it is not me, or Pete or even Coco that I am worried about getting sick. Pia has a weak immune system, and always has- maybe it’s the celiac (she just had walking pneumonia, which puts her at an even higher risk.) Pete and I also have our parents in Seattle who are in the high-risk category, and one of whom is immuno-represed. And those are just some of the people we love that are in the higher risk category. I urge for anyone being non-chalant in an affected area to be thoughtful about their whole community, not just themselves.
In the meantime- all we can do is keep our immune systems as strong as possible and be as responsible as possible.
Supplements are obvious (everyone should make sure their vitamin D and C is up to par!!!) Elderberry is a bonus! Food is the other way to keep your immune system strong.
That’s why I am focusing on trying to use nutritious, immune system boosting ingredients that help my kids (and Pete and I) to be as healthy as possible. If you look below, you will see how I selected all of the ingredients in this tasty, creamy soup that also happens to be very comforting!
We made vegan/gf panini the other night with cashew mozzarella, basil and tomato and then dipped them in this soup and it was the best dinner!
Coconut Oil is jam-packed with lauric acid, which is a natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. Coconut oil also boosts an already weakened immune system by improving white blood cell counts, which helps the body directly fight viruses.
Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs and enhance immune function. Garlic is particularly protective against the common cold and the flu.
Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has been shown to naturally boost the immune system. It contains tons of vitamins, some of which are magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium. Ginger helps kill cold viruses and has been said to combat chills and fever.
Onions are packed with immune-boosting nutrients like selenium, sulfur compounds, zinc, and vitamin C. In addition, they are one of the best sources of quercetin, a potent flavonoid, and antioxidant that has antiviral properties as well as histamine regulating effects.
Almonds are high in vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant in your body and helps immune system function. Almonds are also high in iron and protein that are also essential for your immune system.
Turmeric is a natural way to help bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body. Try adding extra turmeric into your diet during periods of stress or during flu season to help give your immune system a little boost.
The spice has also been used in India’s traditional Ayurvedic remedies for 2,500 years. Now American and Danish scientists have found curcumin increases levels of a protein called CAMP that helps the immune system to fight off bacteria, viruses and fungi the first time they try to attack.
BAYLEAF: Eugenol also has anti-oxidant properties and bay leaves themselves are packed full of other vitamins and minerals necessary for a high-functioning body. Because of this, burning and ingesting bay leaves has the capacity to boost your immune system.
RED BELL PEPPERS:
Ounce for ounce, red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene — a carotenoid that converts into vitamin A — which helps boost the immune system and lower the risk for various diseases.
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons tumeric
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and rough chopped
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 bay leaf
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- *I garnished with olive oil, black pepper, chives and avocado chunks
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil with the garlic, ginger, onion, almonds, turmeric and curry powder and stir to mix everything well and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and sweet potatoes and add the bay leaf and then add the vegetable broth to cover everything. Bring it to a simmer and then add a lid and turn the heat to low.
- Simmer for 30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender. Set the bay leaf aside and then working in batches, puree the soup until creamy and smooth and then transfer them back to the pot.
- Add the bay leaf back to the soup and simmer for another 15 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.