Get an Immune Boost

inCollage_20181114_063308609Elderberry is a very popular go to supplement to strengthen the immune system during the winter and flu season as well as recover from flu-like symptoms in rapid time.  I recommend incorporating Elderberry as soon as October hits. It’s now mid-November but its not too late!

Researchers have found that people who have taken elderberries have higher levels of antibodies against the influenza virus, showing that not only may the berry be able to treat flu symptoms, it may also be able to prevent influenza infection.

Elderberries contain hemagglutinin protein. This protein has been shown to stop a virus’ capability to replicate by inhibiting its ability to penetrate the cell wall, thereby preventing the virus from causing infection if taken before exposed. If elderberries are taken after infection, that keeps the virus from spreading, which reduces the duration of influenza symptoms.

Elderberry also contains a compound called Flavonoid which gives it its beautiful rich purple color. Flavanoids are high in antioxidants that may protect your cells from damaged caused by free radicals (oxidative stress).

Elderberry is generally safe for the entire family. You may purchase it at any health foods store or online.  It can consumed in syrup form, capsules, gummies and the whole berry to make yourself.

Here’s a recipe by Wellness Mama for Homemade Elderberry Syrup:

How to Make Elderberry Syrup to Avoid the Flu
prep 5 mins – cook 1 hour – inactive 15 mins – total 1 hour, 20 min

yield 4 cups

A simple elderberry syrup recipe made with dried elderberries, honey and herbs for an immune boosting and delicious syrup. Can be used medicinally or on homemade pancakes or waffles.

2/3 cup dried black elderberries, or 1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen
3½ cups water
2 TBSP fresh or dried ginger root
1 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp cloves or clove powder
1 cup raw honey

Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
Remove from heat and let cool until it is cool enough to be handled.
Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil.
Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.
Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
When it is no longer hot, add the honey and stir well.
When the honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a quart sized mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.


Hey, What’s “Supp”!!!?

I’d like to share with you my current supplement list.  I’m not advising you try the listed items; these are just my thoughts and top favorites.  Please know that a supplement is a SUPPLEMENT, to supply a deficiency.  If you’re eating earth grown whole foods, lean meats and healthy fats you may already be getting bountiful amounts of nutrients.  Always consult with your doc before taking supplements.  You don’t want to take too much of something and simply eliminate the excess because you’ll just waste your money.  Because of my active lifestyle of lifting, running, doing plyometric exercises and more I feel it’s beneficial for me to add these supplements to my daily regime according to my exercise program.

super food

Amazing Grass Super Green Foods – This vegan, soy free, dairy free antioxidant powerhouse helps provide you with the recommended 5-9 daily servings of fruits and veggies.  Flavors include Berry (my favorite), Chocolate, Orange Dreamsicle, Pineapple Lemongrass, ORAC and original.  With organic ingredients like Wheat Grass, Spirulina, Acai, Maca and more you can maintain natural energy levels, get a little immunity boost and detox.  Suggested use is 1 scoop 1-2 times daily.  I’ve replaced my daily multivitamin with Super Green Foods because I get what my body needs with this.  You may simply mix it with water or a in a smoothie or try it with your Oat Bran breakfast along with other fruits and almond butter!  You can find it at HEB, Sprouts, Whole Foods and Natural Grocer or order it online.  I find it cheapest at Sprouts, around $22, for a 30-serving container.

Plant Fusion

Plant Fusion Protein Powder – Finally, a protein powder that I can digest easily! I am not a vegan nor a vegetarian but THIS product is the best vegetarian protein powder, better than any other powders I’ve tried.  Plant Fusion gives you 21 grams of protein that they say is “The first plant-based protein that compares to animal proteins (like whey) in amino acid density and balance.” It also includes BCAA’s, glutamine and a proprietary blend of enzymes.  It is free of preservatives, artificial flavors and of all major allergens.  In it find ingredients like Quinoa, Amaranth, Yellow Peas and Globe Artichoke.  Unlike other vegetarian protein powders, it tastes great in Chocolate and Vanilla.  I do not plan on trying any other protein powders because I truly love this stuff.  I buy it at Sprouts, it’s been on sale for a while now, $20.

sfh omega 3

Super Omega 3 by SFH (Stronger Faster Heathlier) – Their website is loaded with information about their products. Check out the  “Education” page to learn more about their ingredients, amino acids, energy systems and studies on the benefits of Omega 3’s.  I am currently taking the vanilla flavored Super Omega 3 (SO3).  It’s got a great taste, way better than the lemon flavor.  I take the suggested 1tsp 2 times daily, AM & PM.  With this I get 2,204mg of EPA & 990mg of DHA, Omega 3 active anti-inflammatory fats.  Taking Omega 3 oils show positive benefits for general health issues and helps control inflammation. A 6oz bottle costs $39.99. I got mine over Black Friday and saved a few bucks.  Let’s see how long this lasts.  My husband ordered a 10oz bottle in the lemon flavor last time and it lasted quite some time.

bone up

Bone Up by Jarrow Formulas – This stuff provides you with a multinutrient bone health system.  Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite (MCHA), also known as Micro-crystalline Calcium Hydroxyapatite Complex, is derived from raw bone (of free range New Zealand cows) and prepared by a special low temperature process to preserve the protein content. The calcium thus provided is in an extremely bioavailable form. This product includes Vitamin D3 because it’s required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus.  I began taking this supplement when I experienced a tibia stress fracture, pretty sure from running, to help along with the healing process.  I had also been on Depo Provera, a birth control, for about 10 years which can increase the chance of osteoporosis.  Just today I finished the bottle of 240 capsules, about a 40 day supply, and I’m back to running.  I ran over 15 miles this week pain free and free of pain from foam rolling compressions.  I buy a 240ct bottle at Sprouts for $16.29.

NOW Foods Glucosamine Chondroitin & MSM – I chose this product to help support and maintain joint health.  I don’t have osteoarthritis but I’d like to prevent it and due to rigorous exercise, I sometimes experience inflammation.  This product combines three effective nutrients; Glucosamine and Chondroitin (both 100% sulfate) and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) .  This product doesn’t have the additional Vitamin C and Manganese that helps with absorption but I get that from my super foods.  NOW Foods is a brand I trust.  I usually buy a 90 count bottle at Sprouts for 24.99.  The suggested use is 3 capsules daily.

Alpha Brain by Onnit – Alpha Brain is a nootropic, the “smart” drug that improves mental functions such as cognition, memory, attention and concentration.  The text below was taken from the Onnit website:

“The idea behind Alpha BRAIN was to create a fully-balanced nootropic. Our Alpha GPC and Huperzia Serrata contain nutrients that help your body turn up acetylcholine levels full throttle, while other ingredients assist in elevating neurological components vital to remaining calm, focused, and mentally driven. Our Vinpocetine can help the body deliver oxygen and nutrients to the brain, and the combination of neuro-specific antioxidants, led by our proprietary AC-11®, assists your system in clearing away mental fog and free radicals. The result for our thousands of satisfied customers is an extraordinary combination of lucid dreams, mental drive, focus, and mental acuity.”

If I have the dough for it, I’d take it every day.  I usually take it when I’m feeling a little “foggy” or would like a little mental boost or go for a dream ride.  I love daytime naps when I’ve taken Alpha Brain that morning!  Onnit is based in Austin, lucky for me, so I get to walk in and stock up.  A 30ct bottle is $34.95 but if you mention the Joe Rogan podcast, they’ll give you a 10% discount.  The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast rocks!

ShroomTech Sport – Another winner from Onnit, the combination of cordycep mushrooms, B-12, antioxidants and other ingredients provide energy with an enhanced production of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate-important for your body to “work” during exercise!), reduces fatigue and provides better oxygen utilization.  I take it when training for a race, race day and metcons or boot camps.  I’ve never felt jittery on this stuff either.  Read the suggested use carefully.  It’s $24.99 for a 30ct bottle.

I’ve been extremely satisfied with these products!  I’d love to hear if you have also tried these guys and your experience with them.

Be well.