Sunday, October 20, 2013

Smoothies for Sickies

Earlier this week Millie was running a fever. It was a lower fever (101-102) and I let it burn while spending the better part of the day holding, cuddling, reading books and watching a few favorite shows with the little hot box. The next day the fever was gone and no illness actually developed. The fever did what it needed to do and fought off whatever it was fighting. The body amazes me. 

I'm a big believer that food is medicine. I often reach for the kitchen cabinet before the medicine cabinet. When we've got colds or fevers, smoothies are our go-to. 

Here are a few of our favorite (and simple) smoothie combinations when we're fighting colds.

Kale and Pineapple Smoothie  (we call this one a Crocodile Smoothie for it's awesome green color)
*modified from this Orange Pear Kale Smoothie
-about 1 cup pineapple (fresh or canned in pineapple juice, not heavy syrup)
-3 or 4 small leaves of kale (stems removed and torn into pieces)
-half a cup to 1 cup frozen peaches or mango 
*fresh pears or oranges are also really great to throw into this one
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more liquid (water or pineapple juice, even OJ) as needed.

Strawberry, Orange, Pineapple
-about 1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed (organic is best)
-1 orange or a few clementines or tangerines, peeled
-about one cup of fresh or canned pineapple
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add pineapple juice or orange juice if more liquid is needed.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Smoothie (especially great for when the appetite starts to come back)
*modified from this Apple Banana Cinnamon Smoothie
-1 red apple (washed, cored and cut into chunks. Leave peel on. I use organic Gala)
-1 banana
-1/2 cup cooked steel cut oats
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. 

Smoothies are versatile and super kid-friendly. You can play around with the measurements, use what you have on-hand and switch up the ingredients to your personal preferences :)

*Things I like to keep around for smoothies:
-organic steel cut oats (I cook them and store them in a container in the fridge)
-frozen bananas (wait til they're good and ripe then peel, cut in half and store in a ziplock in the freezer)
-almond milk, unsweetened (great, non-dairy subsitute)

Interesting things I've learned about fevers:
-It's good to avoid dairy, protein, refined sugars and heavy food. It's especially helpful to avoid protein as your body needs energy for  a healthy immune response, and protein in a diet requires more energy for digestion than other foods.
-Drink water at room temperature as opposed to cold water. The body uses less energy to "heat up" tepid fluids as opposed to cold fluids.

Interesting things I've learned about colds
-It's good to avoid dairy products since they have a tendency to increase and thicken mucus.
-Onions are an awesome way to help relieve congestion in babies. I used to put a few slices of onion on a plate near the crib when my babes were stuffy. Not the greatest odor, but it works.

The information above can be found in Natural Baby and Childcare by Lauren Feder, MD and Smart Medicine fora Healthier Child by Janet Zand (N.D., L.Ac.), Robert Roundtree (M.D.), Rachel Walton (MSN, CRNP)

Both of these books do a wonderful job of describing and giving general information on the illness as well as providing conventional treatment, dietary guidelines, nutritional supplements, herbal treatments, homeopathic treatments, general recommendations and preventative methods. I appreciate the well-balanced, multi-faceted look at illness as opposed to a bunch of random and questionable advice that can come from a Google search.

As far as over-the-counter meds for kiddos, I really like Zarbee's All Natural Cough Syrup and Hyland's Homeopathic Cold 'n Cough. I've found these products at Kroger and Meijer. The kids love them and I think they help them rest better for naps and bedtime.

Would love to hear your cold season tips and tricks!

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a nurse, nor do I claim to be. These are just simple, natural ways that I have found helpful  to me and my family when battling the sickies :)

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