Boosting your immune system is always a great idea. November tends to be a transition month. We’ve been through Thanksgiving and Halloween, we’ve lost an hour of daylight, and we are now preparing for other major holidays in the month ahead.
Most of us are driving home from work in the dark and finding the motivation to get things done after work hours can be challenging.
One thing that we should be particular mindful of as we enter a busy season is how we are fueling our bodies to ensure we are boosting our immune system and keeping energy levels up.
Here are 5 Tips to Boost Your Immune System in November:
1. MAKE A LARGE BATCH OF GOODNESS
Take a trip through the bulk section and spend 15 minutes throwing together a high energy snack to grab quickly throughout the day to keep everyone happy. A mix of nuts and seeds, dried fruit, dark chocolate chips, salted popcorn, and/or coconut chips is sure to please and will leave you less vulnerable to over eating and feeling ravenous at meal time.
Serve Up Some Warm, Healthy Comfort Food
Large batches are also great when making soup and chili. Load them with lots of hearty vegetables and warming spices for an extra health kick. Tumeric, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, and ginger all add a complexity of flavour to your meals and will keep you toasty on a cold day. Turmeric is especially great for boosting your immune system!
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE AND NARROW DOWN YOUR CHOICES
Find it overwhelming to think about what to make for dinner every night? The problem is that we have too many choices and it makes you want to throw your hands up and go for takeout. When the grocery stores are loaded with endless options and your cookbook shelf is staring you in the eye you’re not even sure what you feel like having.
Choose Your Star Ingredient
The solution to this problem is to limit your options by choosing one ingredient you already have or one that is in season. Once you have committed to the star ingredient it’s easy to narrow down recipe options.
3. TRY WARM AND HEARTY SALADS
It’s hard to wrap your head around a cold salad as the weather gets cooler but they make complete meal preparation a breeze. You can really add everything in the fridge to a salad, add a protein and you’re done.
Add Some Warmth to Your Salad
To accommodate the cooler weather but maintain the simplicity, top your greens with roasted vegetables and potatoes, crispy chickpeas, toasted nuts, heated grains like rice or quinoa, and warm chicken or beef. The warmth of food will provide your body with the same feeling of comfort food with all the nutrients you need. “Eating the rainbow” is always great for boosting your immune system.
4. NOTHING LIKE A GOOD SANDWICH
There is nothing easier than a meal between two slices of bread. I love a good sandwich and I’m not ashamed to have for one for dinner and call it a day. It’s a blank canvas for loads of nutrients and is equally as satisfying.
Always have a good quality bread on hand and keep in the freezer to maintain freshness.
Some fridge staples that make for an easy sandwich are:
- Eggs (I personally love breakfast for dinner)
- Variety of cheeses
- Spreads like hummus, pesto, roasted red pepper dip
- Sprouts and micro greens like arugula and spinach
- Condiments… Dijon mustard, hot sauce, anchovies, caramelized onions, pickles and pickled veg.
5. END WITH SOMETHING SWEET
Looking forward to a treat at the end of the day will leave you less likely to indulge or eat aimlessly throughout the day. I’m not implying a piece of rich chocolate cake every night, but having your favourite cookie after dinner or a few squares of chocolate is the perfect way to cap off a meal and cover all the senses.
Try a Homemade Dessert
If you can have something homemade that’s even better. Baked apple slices with cinnamon and maple syrup topped with some full fat yogurt is simply delicious. Or try making an avocado mousse, you won’t believe how decadent it tastes all without the guilt.
What are your go-to early-winter meals? We’d love to know and you can share them in the comments below!
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To our health & wellbeing,
In-House Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.)
Natural Chef, R.M.T.