You’ve likely spent the winter of our discontent hibernating in sweatpants, existing on banana bread and quarantinis, while you impatiently wait for Pfizer or Moderna to call your number.
Wouldn’t this be a great time to Namaste healthy, and unconsciously uncouple from some bad habits? Whether your pandemic diet of choice has been vegan, pegan, or free gin, we’ve got some science-backed tips to fire up your immunity.
SPICE GIRLS STILL ROCK
Tell me what you want, what you really, really want. If you wannabe healthy, then welcome back to Spice World and try rocking these 5 girl power spices daily.
In ancient times, cinnamon was so posh, it was the go to gift for monarchs and gods. In modern times, we use cinnamon to sprinkle on yogurt, fruit, and oatmeal to help lower blood sugar.
Cayenne helps power down your post workout by easing muscle pain, with a feisty flavor that’ll give your immunity a kick. So lean in to the hottest, sportiest spice around and feel the burn.
Ginger is the classic immunity booster that’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and has been warding off nausea and stomach ailments for thousands of years. Oh snap, Ginger, you go girl.
Garlic, baby. One little bulb a day can help keep inflammation and heart disease at bay. Maybe vampires were onto something that doesn’t actually suck.
Don’t be afraid of neon yellow turmeric and its curcumin power source. Sure, turmeric can turn your hands, teeth, and Tupperware yellow, but all those health benefits like fighting inflammation and reducing oxidative stress are so worth the bad dye job.
THE FAD FOUR
Confused by all the internet wellness waifs hawking endless smoothie cures in mason jars like a subculture of homesteading hotties? Us too. So let’s separate scientific fact from Insta gratification to find out what really makes you well, and what’s just, oh well.
This pale green elixir has been anointed manna from heaven to cure whatever ails you. But is the internet’s trendiest tonic really all that? Yes, celery can help reduce inflammation and boost cardiac health. But no, it’s not the magic bullet train to the detox nirvana you were waiting for.
Zinc is one of those popular panaceas that every Whole Foods shopper stocks up on at the first sign of a cold. But do ya think we really need all that zinc? Zinc definitely helps with immunity, but if you’re eating a healthy diet that includes your choice of whole grains, organic meat (if you partake), nuts, beans, and seafood, there’s no need to OD on this wellness classic. Too much zinc can be harmful and actually lower your immunity. Sometimes, enough is enough.
MATCHA GREEN TEA
Matcha is like green tea on steroids. This emerald whole leaf tea powder is said to contain ten times more antioxidants than regular green tea, six times more than the goji berry, and sixty times more than spinach. It also contains L-Theanine, which is a natural mood booster and relaxant. So, for an antioxidant supercharge chased with a mellow vibe, you’ve met your Matcha.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Can you call something a fad that’s been around for centuries? Apple Cider Vinegar has been the It Girl of wellness boosters since Ancient Greece. Like the coolest of cool girls, she even has her own acronym, ACV. Think of ACV as the AOC of wellness. She’s a progressive kickass in the pro wellness and antioxidant movement with her squad of antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic benefits that can help regulate blood sugar, allergies, diet, and detox. Editor’s evidence alert:
Though ACV is purported to offer a seemingly endless bevy of benefits, the scientific support for apple cider vinegar is thin in many cases, including weight loss. We consider vinegar to be in the camp of “probably helps, definitely won’t hurt,” and welcome community input, particularly if you’ve seen reputable research we haven’t.
HERB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Not just lyrics to a folksy Simon and Garfunkel song from back in the day, but an anthem for modern wellness. Parsley is packed with Vitamin K, which can improve bone health.
Sage is a powerful healing herb that’s antimicrobial and antifungal.
Rosemary helps support your immune and circulatory systems, and Thyme has been celebrated since Roman times for its antibacterial properties.
And you don’t have to go to Scarborough Fair dripping in crystals to reap the immunity benefits of all this herbal essence. You can grow your own wellness garden.
Use the fresh herbs to brew up a pot of healing tea packed with all of these powerful herbal antioxidants and yada.. yada.. yada..feel better.
THE INCREDIBLE EDIBLE
If you prefer your herbs with an edge, or even better, herbs that take the edge off, CBD can help with the trifecta of modern malaise: anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Taking the stress off your immune system, with supplements that bring you bliss? I’ll have what she’s having.
And when your mood goes low, you can go high. Because CBD packed with THC is now readily available in many states and some dispensaries even deliver. So whether you’re a Sativa Sister or identify as an Indica Girl, prefer a yummy gummy or a cannabis chocolate, there’s an app for that and, bonus, you can get your groove on without leaving your couch.
WE SWEAR BY IT
Polite language? F*ck that sh*t. Swearing is the wellness tip you never knew you needed. Just ask the connoisseur of curse words, Nic Cage, who hosts a Netflix show devoted to the fine art of four-letter words. Did you know that swearing denotes intelligence and profanity can improve pain tolerance? Truth. So hell, yeah, get creative with your f-bombs and let ‘em fly.
FIND YOUR FOODIE BFF
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of food goals, and just want a go-to happy meal for healthy grownups, why not create a nutrient dense salad packed with flavor, color, and crunch? Choose your fave greens, add a citrus twist, get a little nutty with walnuts or almonds, and finish it off with a dash of avocado. Toast optional.
TAKE A HYDRATION STAYCATION
Water and Vitamin C. Two essential wellness workers your body needs on the job daily to ward off scurvy and stay alive. Why not combine the two? Everyday can be a spa day when you zhuzh up your water with an orange, lemon, or lime twist. You can even use frozen organic cherries, mango, or pineapple, instead of ice cubes, to flavor your water and quench your thirst for the tropical island vacay that’s just one herd immunity away.
WHEN IN DOUBT, PEACE OUT
Nothing saps your life force faster than draining relationships. Time’s up on anything or anyone who’s more likely to annoy than spark joy. If you’re the constant gardener to your significant other’s prickly pear, it’s time to throw away the manure and pull up roots. Ditto for vampire friends that suck all your energy with their me, me, me-ness. We’ve all been through too much crap in the last year to spend another second with a bad vibe boss, thankless relationship, or one-way friendship. Reality check. If someone in your life makes you feel bitter, not better, there should be no doubt. Get the hell out.
So what to expect when you’re expecting the vaccine that’s on everyone’s 2021 Bucket List?
Keep your immunity fired up and ready to go when it’s your turn. Mask on, arm out, eyes wide open. Badass women are never afraid to take their best shot. And this one is the 21st Century’s must-have jab, unless you’re a science denier, vaccine defier. If that’s you, please return to Fox News. You took a wrong turn somewhere. (This is OA, not QA.) The rest of you, hang tough.
V-day is coming.