Tag Archives: garlic

8 Things You Can Do to Boost Your Immune System

Immunity collage 800x800

I covered two super ways to build and strengthen your immune system in this post and this one. Here are eight more ways to give your immune system what it needs to keep you well. All of these ten items are from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and her ground-breaking book Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia. Dr. Campbell-McBride is a pioneer in the field of gut, brain and immune system health.

1. Onions and garlic

Onions, garlic and other closely related foods like leeks, shallots and scallions, contain amazing nutrients that have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. They are also full of polyphenols, special nutritional compounds found in fruits and vegetables in addition to the more well-known vitamins and minerals. Garlic, according to The Herbal Home Remedy Book, garlic is one of nature’s best antibiotic and antiviral agents. Jo Robinson, author of Eating on the Wild Side, gives this important tip to maximize the nutrition we get from garlic: “ If you just chop, dice, slice or press that garlic, set it aside for 10 minutes before you expose it to heat. That garlic is producing all that allicin. When that reaction is complete, you can do whatever you want to it at that point. You can broil it, you can fry it and you get all of the allicin. It’s just press, rest for 10 minutes.”

2. Freshly Juiced Vegetables and Fruits

No juice boxes or bottles here, just the pure juice from fresh vegetables and fruits consumed as soon as they are extracted. Fresh juice contains all of the valuable enzymes and micronutrients that canning and pasteurizing destroy. Juicing makes the nutrition easier to digest, especially for anyone already suffering from digestive issues. It’s also easier to get a wider variety of vegetables in your diet when you combine less favorites ones with others that you really like. If you don’t have a juicer at home you can usually find fresh juice at many health food stores. Try mixing bitter greens, beets and celery with the sweeter flavors of apple or carrot and then add some spice with ginger, cilantro, lemon or lime. Boost the nutrient absorption even more by stirring in a little raw cream or coconut milk.

3.  Regular Consumption of Greens

Parsley, dill, cilantro, green onions, dandelion, kale, and many other strong tasting, dark green vegetables support the healthy functioning of our immune system organs. Healthy people are efficient at detoxing. It happens every night while we sleep. Our liver and pancreas kick into detox mode, and by the time we wake up these organs have filtered out all the bad stuff and sent it on its way out. Leafy greens, especially those bitter greens listed here, offer just the right ingredients to give the liver and pancreas a boost so they can do their job even better.  Raw, cooked or juiced – be sure to include a little butter, bacon fat or other fat to help absorb the vitamins.

4. Fermented Foods and Probiotic Supplements

Maintaining a healthy gut flora is super important for good digestion, clarity of mental function, and supporting the immune system. The majority of our immune system resides in our gut, so having healthy levels of beneficial bacteria can give us more energy and help us to manage stress appropriately. Fermented foods have been an important part of every culture all throughout history. Fermentation preserves food while at the same time making it more nutritious. Add sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, kvass, kefir, kombucha, and lacto-fermented pickles and vegetables to your daily diet. When you can’t get fermented foods probiotic supplements can step in and help. There are also certain strains of probiotics that can help target certain conditions and provide therapy to aid specific concerns.

5. Contact with Animals

Have your kids been begging you for a pet? It’s probably a good thing. Several studies link increased immune system strength to growing up with pets in the home. Having dogs, cats or even a horse can help us in many ways including lowered blood pressure, stress relief, combating depression and even aiding Alzheimer’s patients.

6. Swimming in Unpolluted Natural Lakes, Rivers and the Ocean

When you need to disinfect germs in your bathroom toilet or dirty laundry you often reach for bleach. The active ingredient chlorine is designed to kill germs, but it doesn’t distinguish between infectious germs and beneficial bacteria. So why do we want to spend hours swimming in a big chlorinated swimming pool? Chlorinated swimming pools have a strong effect on asthma and respiratory allergies. In fact, chlorinated pools have a five times stronger effect than secondhand cigarette smoke. Contrastingly, swimming in the ocean is restorative and healing helping you to detoxify naturally and take stress away from your immune system. Similar benefits are found to a lesser extent with swimming in natural, unpolluted lakes and streams. If you have a backyard swimming pool consider switching your chlorine filter for one using ozone or ultraviolet light, or copper or zinc filters. There are also safer “shock” treatments using baking soda rather than chlorine.

7. Physical Activity in the Fresh Air

Exercise can create at least an additional 50% boost in your immune system’s chance of preventing cancer, and can cause improved function in your entire metabolism.  Doing this exercise outdoors gives you the added benefit of breathing in clean air and taking a break from indoor pollutants lurking in carpets, furniture, cleaners and dirty ventilation systems.

8. Exposure to Sunlight and Sensible Sunbathing

Our greatest source of vitamin D lies in our body’s ability to create Vitamin D in our skin using cholesterol during exposure to the sun.  Let me repeat this – vitamin D is made from cholesterol in our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight. With all of our modern cholesterol fears and manic sunscreen use is it any wonder we have a rise in vitamin D deficiency and all of the vitamin D-related health conditions including heart disease, mental illness, auto-immune disease, osteoarthritis, cancer and high blood pressure?!  According to Dr. Campbell-McBride “The skin cancer, blamed on sunshine, is not caused by the sun…it is a fact that skin cancer (just like any other cancer) is caused by our modern processed foods and our modern toxic lifestyles. Trans fats from vegetable oils and margarine and other toxins stored in the skin are a particular culprit.”  Being outdoors year round is important for all living creatures, human and animal. So much has been written about the importance of vitamin D. Here is a great place to read more.

How many of these tips do you already practice? Which are your favorite? Which are you going to try to incorporate next? Let us know in the comments or visit our Facebook page and share with us there.

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This article was shared on Wellness Wednesday!


Lamb Stew with Rosemary, Garlic and Leeks

Lamb Stew with Rosemary title

Several years ago, I honestly can’t remember how long ago, I bought a little rosemary plant. It grew and grew and grew and occasionally I would remember to transplant it into a bigger pot. Then I decided I needed as much edible landscaping as possible so one of the things I did was to plant that rosemary into the ground by the front door. Now it’s gotten so big it reaches out into the walkway and brushes against you as you pass. It smells so good! But recently my husband commented that he felt like it was going to grab him and not let go , so I decided I had to trim it back. I filled a half-gallon jar with branches and gave them away at last week’s farm foods/raw milk pickup, but still that rosemary reaches out.  That’s where this recipe comes in – anyway to use more rosemary is a good thing!

We love lamb and I have a freezer full of lamb right now, but if you like beef better you can certainly substitute some nice grassfed beef stew meat for the lamb.

Lamb Stew with Rosemary, Garlic and Leeks
Recipe type: stew
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Fragrant rosemary permeates this comforting stew. Serve it over garlic mashed potatoes for an easy supper.
  • 1½ lbs. lamb stew meat cut into bite-size chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 Tblsp fresh rosemary needles, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 large leek, washed and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1½ cups beef broth, preferably homemade
  • 20 olives, green or black, pitted and halved
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley for garnish, opt.
  1. Drizzle the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle the lamb with salt.
  3. When the oil is shimmering add the lamb to the pot and brown it on each side for a few minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in the rosemary and garlic stirring well and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the chopped leek and celery continuing to stir, and cook for two or three minutes until everything is fragrant.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes and broth, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer, covered, until the vegetables and meat are tender.
  7. Stir in the olives and sprinkle with fresh black pepper and cook another ten minutes.
  8. Taste and adjust for salt if needed.
  9. Garnish with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

a bumble bee visits my rosemary bush

a bumble bee visits my rosemary bush

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Roast Leg of Lamb

carving lamb

tender slices of medium-rare roast lamb

Lamb has a long, rich, worldwide culinary history. Enjoyed in ancient China, Greece, Italy, Iraq and Romania, sheep were one of the earliest of the domesticated animals. Even today the Romans claim they have the best pastureland in all of Italy and therefore the best tasting lamb. The roast leg of lamb is traditionally found on the Sunday family dinner tables in France, but it makes a wonderful main course for any holiday or family gathering.  Not only is roast lamb delicious, it is thankfully also easy to prepare.  Roast leg of lamb will grace our family table this Easter, and I hope you can enjoy it at your house too.

A whole leg of lamb usually weighs anywhere from 4 to 8 lbs. Choose the size that best fits the number of people you will serve, and be sure to get enough for leftovers. Roast lamb stew, sandwiches, and stir fry are all delicious.

For the richest flavor schedule your lamb preparations for the day before you plan to serve so the meat can absorb the flavors of the herbs and seasonings.  In the recipe below I give you two options for the herb blend. The oregano and lemon blend will give you more of a Greek-style flavor, while the rosemary blend is more Tuscan/French. I give measurements for a 5-6 lb. leg of lamb. If yours is larger then just scale up the seasonings a bit so you’ll have enough to cover the whole thing. Roasting the meat at high heat and then reducing it to finish at a lower temperature will give you tender, juicy meat even with grassfed, pasture-raised lamb.

Roast Leg of Lamb
Recipe type: Main Course
Fragrant roast lamb makes a festive main dish for any family occasion.
  • 1 leg of lamb with the bone, about 5-6 lbs.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tblsp fresh rosemary needles pulled from the stem
  • 1 tsp each of Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • OR for Greek-style flavors replace the rosemary with 3 Tblsp fresh oregano leaves plus the zest and juice of half a lemon
  1. For best flavor season the lamb the day before, or at least several hours before, you plan to serve.
  2. Place the garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small food processor and process into a finely minced puree.
  3. If you don't have a food processor you can mince the rosemary as finely as possible and then use the back of a large spoon to crush and mix the rosemary, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl until well combined.
  4. Use the tip of a sharp knife to make a dozen or more 1" deep slits all over the surface of the meat.
  5. Insert ½ tsp of the herb mixture into each of the slits, pushing it down into the meat until you've used it all up.
  6. Wrap the lamb tightly and refrigerate for up to one day.
  7. To roast, remove the lamb from the refrigerator an hour before roasting time to allow it to come to room temperature.
  8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  9. Remove the wrap and place the lamb in a roasting pan with the fat side facing up.
  10. Place the lamb in the preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  11. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  12. Continue to cook the lamb for another 50 minutes, basting with the accumulated juices from the bottom of the pan.
  13. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.
  14. Medium rare is an internal temperature of 145 degrees, medium is 160 and well done is 170.
  15. When the meat is done to your liking, remove the lamb from the oven and tent with aluminum foil allowing it to rest about 15 minutes to absorb the juices and be ready for slicing.
  16. If your lamb is over 5lbs plan on an extra 30 minutes of cooking time per pound.


lamb before

leg of lamb with rosemary garlic herb rub


leg of lamb

golden roasted leg of lamb








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This blog has been liked to Allergy-Free Wednesdays at Whole New Mom and Wellness Wednesdays at Richly Rooted.