This year has been the worst year of the flu since…. The bird flu? The swine flu? I don’t know, actually, but judging by the flu propaganda on every news channel, the flu is the worst ever this year. I guess the flu has mutated, which pretty much makes the flu shot ineffective. Whomp whomp.
I think a lot of my immunity is due to the foods I eat when I am not sick, and the foods I eat when I am. There’s this idea, and I have no idea who first said it, but it is that everything you eat either fights disease or aids it. I’m a big believer in this, and while I still make sure to take my vitamins, I personally have noticed an increase of immunity when I make sure to get a variety of vitamins and minerals within my food; the vehicle in which these nutrients are delivered to your body is vital to ensuring good health. It just isn’t enough to assume that a few pills can alleviate poor dietary choices, or that taking some supplements can take the place of essential foods.
Although the paleo diet emphasizes real, whole foods with minimal toxins, I still do make sure to incorporate certain things into my diet, especially during the flu season, to help boost my immunity. Typically, I make sure to eat a lot of bone marrow, incorporate fermented foods (like homemade kombucha), lots of greens, sulfur-rich vegetables (brussles sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli), fresh ginger, raw honey, cinnamon, and garlic. These things are easy to incporporate into my day (And yours too!), but I sometimes still do get sick. (I work around kids, most under the age of 9. Its inevitable.)
When I do come down with something, I immediately up my intake of these immunity-boosters, but I also add in a few goodies. I really do believe that this is the reason why I am never really sick (Even with the flu!) for longer than 48 hours. What are these things? Bone broth, grated fresh ginger in tea, and brightly colored fruits and vegetables. (Think: pomegranate seeds, berries, and fresh greens. Don’t want to curl up with a salad while you’re sick? Can’t blame you. Try a green smoothie.)
Bone broth is very simple to make, most people are intimidated by it, and is actually making quite the comeback. In NYC, there are even places where you can order a cup of bone broth the same way you can order a latte. I hope this is a trend that keeps going. The world will be a much healthier place.
This recipe I’ve created is actually one that I never intended to post, but after rave reviews, I decided to anyway. I really, honestly thought that I’ve been posting too many soups this year, but I’ve been told that this is my best soup yet. I actually think its similar to Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, but definitely healthier.
Trust me on this one. If you’re sick, it won’t be long before you’re back up on your feet. Stirring in fresh greens in this soup is a way to get some serving of veggies in, without sitting down with a plate of the things. The spiciness of the soup (its very spicy!) will clean out your sinuses better than any decongestant in your medicine cabinet.
Finally, this soup uses a bone broth base, which means you’re getting a whole bowl full of immunity boosters. I’ve linked to an article below about bone broth, and not only does it have a recipe, but it’s a really good read. Generally, it’s a good thing to have bone broth on hand stored in your freezer, since it does take some time to make. At the very least, make sure that you store leftover bones from meals in your freezer so you don’t have to run out to the store on a bone-quest.
Plus, nothing is creepier than telling your neighbors that you store bones in your freezer.
Spicy Power Greens Soup
- 8 Cups bone broth
- 4 cups fresh greens, any kind
- 3 cups unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
- 2 lbs. organic, spicy Italian sausage
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 tbsp. bacon fat
- 2 tbsp. crushed red Italian pepper (or less, to make it less spicy)
- 2 tbsp. fresh ground pepper
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- Salt to taste
- Heat bone broth on medium heat until boiling. Add garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir.
- Add white rice, and reduce heat until a simmer.
- While white rice is cooking, brown Italian sausage with bacon fat in a pan on medium heat. Add browned sausage to broth.
- Add in almond milk, and stir thoroughly. Continue to heat on low until soup is heated through.
- Ladle hot soup into large bowls, and place 2/3 cup of fresh greens on top of each bowl. Stir greens into each bowl so that they begin to wilt.
- Serve immediately.
*This soup keeps very well frozen, just omit the greens before freezing and add them once defrosted.