Disclaimer: I'm sorry to all those out there who are really feeling quite ill and totally puking their guts out. My whining about feeling icky does seem a bit self-indulgent. But at a week of feeling off, I'd rather just get the flu and be done with it!
Ever since we have cut back on our meat, killed preservatives, and really cut down on our bread eating, our health seems to have skyrocketed up. We just don't get full blown ill anymore. With Jules teaching at-risk kids who don't have the greatest access to medical care or the ability to stay home from school with parents, and the Barracuda and I frequenting so many homeschool gatherings filled with disgusting children (Barracuda included), the germs are still flying around but apparently we can fight them off better.
However, even though we never get full blown sick I don't know if this feeling is much better. When we do get sick, it is like extending the couple days of exhaustion without reason and the full-feeling in your head. It is the sinus pressure, slightly scratchy throat, the occasional raspy cough here and there, and weird break outs of acne that you get those couple days before the disease hits. You never actually come down with anything; you just feel gross without any reason to really relax or stay home from work.
Though I realize we are never going to be completely without sickness, and sick (in my opinion) is a good thing to help keep the immune system healthy, I am still left thinking that our diet is missing something important. For this reason, I have been scouring the Internet and library sources for foods we should add in to help our bodies out even more.
Here is what I have found:
These little buggers can be purchased at our local co-op for really cheap in the bulk foods section. They contain all sorts of goodies like: low cholesterol, almost complete proteins, amino acids and Omega 3's, vitamin E, calcium, dietary fiber and are extremely anti-inflammatory foods. My favorite part is how tiny they are. They can hide well on salads, in granola bars, and lots of other places where neither Jules or the Barracuda will look.
Pumpkins and Sweet Potatoes
These foods are high in carotenoids. That is a fancy word for good stuff which turns into Vitamin A and reduces free radicals. Beta-Carotene is the major diva of this group, but there are many others which are just lesser known. Science can't really explain how these carotenoids help us or where exactly they come from, but they are pretty sure that supplements of beta-carotene and the like are useless. It is something about the ways the carotenoids react with other foods or nutrients which does the trick. I'm rather excited about these as well because they provide a sense of sugar but mush down well to be hidden in lots of tasty foods.
Broccoli, Beets and Cabbage
There are supposedly lots and lots of bioflavenoids in these foods. That basically means they have nutrients which are good for you. Again, science doesn't really understand them. Apparently, they work really closely with vitamin C and are thought to actually be companion nutrients which aide the immune system. This means that the vitamin C supplements and the bioflavenoid supplements are both rather useless unless some unknown balance of the two is magically stumbled upon. Broccoli is a hard one to disguise, but success has been found with mixing in cabbage and beets undetected.
Part of me feels slightly guilty for being so deceitful and sneaky with my unsuspecting family. Then the moment passes and I realize that if they like the food, I'll sneak just about anything I can into it with a pleased feeling of accomplishment!