Many of you probably know by now, but I wanted to let my blog followers know the exciting news. Eric and I are expecting our first child March 22, 2012. I’m 14 weeks tomorrow and am thrilled to finally be in my 2nd trimester. We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the 1st time yesterday, and that sound was truly music to my ears. My husband and I feel truly blessed for this amazing gift. We also can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. The big gender reveal is October 27, so stay tuned!
Also, since this is my nutrition site, I will be blogging all things baby over at my personal blog if you want to follow our journey through pregnancy and parenthood.
Check out “Baby Makes Three.”
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC
via Blooming Natural Health
As most of you know, cold and flu season is just around the corner. Unfortunately, it seems as if the “stomach bug” has already shown its face in many people’s homes. I’m sure you’ve also seen all the signs for flu shots in your area. While I won’t be getting a flu shot, I will be practicing preventative tips to protect myself from the flu. Here are ways to keep your immune system strong this season:
Tips for Protecting Your Health During Cold/Flu Season:
- Get plenty of Vitamin D: Most people are deficient in vitamin D. Unfortunately, one wouldn’t know this unless they got their vitamin D levels tested. I know, I say this a lot, but it is extremely important to know your vitamin D levels. I get mine checked at least twice a year. Optimal vitamin D levels are: 55-65 ng/mL. A deficiency of vitamin D triggers infections, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease), cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Optimal vitamin D levels are known to be more effective in preventing the flu than a flu vaccine. The best source of vitamin D: sunshine! It’s important to get out and enjoy at least 10-15 minutes of sun per day (without sunscreen). As winter approaches, and it becomes harder to get natural sunlight, it may be necessary to take a daily vitamin D supplement. Many people even need a supplement during the summer; again, why it’s so important to get your levels checked!
- Eat Healthy: Everyone knows it’s important to eat healthy, but I think that most people underestimate the power that food has on the immune system. If you’re eating healthy and are exposed to certain illnesses, you have a great chance of not catching it. Foods to enjoy are:
- Organic fruits & vegetables
- Fermented foods such as kombucha, yogurt, etc.
- Organic, pastured meats & eggs (including 100% grass-fed beef)
- Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts.
- Avoid sugar, especially refined sugars. Sugar weakens the immune system. If you need sweeteners, use raw honey, maple syrup, & stevia.
- Raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal, & antiviral properties (LOCAL raw honey is best, especially for allergies)
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar per day
- Supplements: Vitamin D (depending on your levels), probiotic, elderberry, fermented cod liver oil or another purified source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Get plenty of sleep: 7-8 hours per night is ideal
- Exercise: Increases your resistance to illness
- Stay stress-free! Find ways to manage your stress to keep your immune system strong. Try yoga, prayer, meditation, talking to a friend, whatever works for YOU.
Even if you still get sick doing all of these tips, your symptoms will be a lot milder than if you weren’t following these healthy guidelines.
Praying your family enjoys a sick-free fall and winter!
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN,CLC
Whole Foods will have their grass-fed beef on sale tomorrow, September 2, 2011 for $4.99 per pound. This is a good price for grass-fed beef, so make sure you don’t miss out on this deal! Cows were meant to eat grass, not corn. Unfortunately, most beef in the U.S. are fed corn. Corn allows cows to get fatter faster and be ready for slaughter sooner. But there are downsides, including the fact that cows have trouble digesting corn and must be fed antibiotics to prevent them from becoming ill. What’s more, beef from corn-fed cows tends to have more fat. Grass-fed beef also contains three to five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has many health benefits. The milk from grass-fed cows is also higher in many nutrients, including CLA, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fats.
Have fun grilling and enjoy your Labor Day weekend!
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN