Avoiding “The Plague”

Let’s be honest here, we all get sick, well at least most of us. And sometimes sickness plagues us at the most inopportune times, like finals week. Times like these, call for extra measures. Being sick during finals week just makes everything harder, but there are some things that you can do to help keep your immune system healthy and ward off any inklings of sickness.

  1. Drink Water. I cannot stress this enough. Dehydration can cause a myriad of issues, including lowering your immune system.
  2. Eat Healthier. Again, I say this all the time, it’s not about eating completely healthy and clean, it is about balance. Yeah, you can totally stress eat some cookies and chips, but make sure to have plenty of fruits and veggies to off set those treats.
  3. Garlic Pills. Garlic has been shown to help your immune system fight off colds and my Calc Professor always told me to eat raw garlic if I was getting sick. If raw garlic isn’t your thing, I would recommend taking Aged Garlic Pills if you think you are catching a cold.
  4. Oregano Oil. It has been shown in some preliminary research to be an anti-viral agent, so once again, if you feel a cold coming on, then it worth taking. I put two drops into a glass of warm water and drink 2-3 times a day.
  5. Vitamin C. I never really have a problem getting enough of this in my diet, but if you think that you are low in Vitamin C, it might not hurt to take a supplement or two.
  6. Vitamin D. If you live somewhere like Washington, you probably aren’t getting enough of it. You have two options, get outside on those sunny days and/or supplement with a good vitamin D supplement.
  7. Exercise. It is good for your body and for your overall mental health. Stress = higher cortisol levels, which in turns means a lowered immune system. But exercise has been found to be a really big stress reliever due to the endorphins released.

Now the trick to these things, is that they aren’t quick fixes. Yes, start them as soon as you think you are getting sick, but things like healthy eating, exercise, and staying hydrated are things that you should try and incorporate into your lifestyle. It isn’t easy, but slowly it will become part of your daily life. And taking one dose of oregano oil or garlic pills won’t cure your cold, but studies show that taking them consistently can help reduce the duration of the cold.

Also take all this info with a grain of salt, I am not a health professional and the things that I have told you are based off of personal research and personal experience. So yeah, don’t come after me with pitch forks if you find it doesn’t work for you.

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trash panda’s delight

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Trash panda’s delight, a vegan’s take on the garbage plate. So it is pretty far from the actual ingredients of a garbage plate, but I like to think the concept is similar. And in all honestly I didn’t know what to call this. So trash panda’s delight it is. An ode to my favorite neighborhood alleyway trash pandas.

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baked potato slices + vegan “meat” + broccoli + avocado + cashew cream + avocado 

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the vegan “meat” in the making [tempeh, mushrooms, onions, garlic]
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Serves 2-4

  • 1 sweet potato + 1 russet potato (or two smaller yellow potatoes)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 2 crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup tempeh
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews*
  • 1/2-1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 avocado diced
  • 1 green onion sliced

Preheat oven to 425°F, clean and slice the potatoes, leaving the skin on for added nutrients. Toss the sliced potatoes in a pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of olive oil, then spread evenly on a lined baking tray. (I like to use my Silpat because it’s reusable.) Then place in the oven for 15-30min until soft and slightly crispy.

While the potatoes are baking, dice the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Add the mushrooms and onion into a pan with around a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt + ground pepper. While that is sautéing, crumble in the tempeh and continue to cook for another 2mins, then add the minced garlic and cook for another few minutes. Set aside.

Cut up the broccoli and steam until tender. (Don’t overcook!) Set aside.

Next, add lemon juice, soaked cashews, 1/2 cup water, and a pinch of salt into the blender. Blend until smooth, adding more water to achieve desired consistency. It should be creamy, but not too thick.

Now time to build. Start with potatoes, next broccoli, then tempeh mushroom mixture, drizzle over sauce, and top with the green onions and avocado.

*If you don’t have a high speed blender, I would recommend soaking overnight. Otherwise 30mins to an hour in boiling hot water should work just fine.

Green Smoothie #1

When I really think about it, I drink a lot of green smoothies, but the truth is most my green smoothies don’t look so green, and that’s ok! Yeah, it is super cool to take an instagram of your bright green smoothie, but I got a little bored of not being able to put berries in my smoothie for fear of turning it brown. Well I fear no more, because lately I’ve been making this not so green, “green” smoothie daily.

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The ginger and the juice in this smoothie isn’t really optional, unless you would like to taste the full earthiness the kale and spirulina have to offer.

Ingredients

  • 2 stalks of kale
  • 1 cup of juice (orange or apple)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1-2 cups frozen berries (blueberries + strawberries)
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1 tsp barely grass juice powder
  • 1 tbsp homemade coconut yogurt*

Blend the kale, juice, and ginger until smooth. (You can skip this step, but be forewarned, you might find pieces of kale in your smoothie.) Then add in the berries and green powders and blend until smooth. If needed, add more juice or water to reach desired consistency. Top with coconut yogurt + enjoy!