In our May/June issue, we interview Adriana Gatti Liberatore of @getfitmom_ on Instagram. A certified integrative nutrition health coach, she’s also board certified by the American Association for Drugless Practitioners (AADP). We asked her to help us during this stressful time—think of it as a sneak peek at what she shares in our print edit.
Read on for her top tips for keeping your immune system up during this uncertain and, yes, scary time. (Check with your own doctor about herbs and supplements, especially if you take medication regularly.) Don’t miss the immune-building recipe at the bottom of the article. Also, consider signing up for her monthly newsletter at getfitmom.com for more of her lifestyle and nutrition tips.
Here are her top picks right now:
Get Your Shuteye: Seven to eight hours of sleep. Get back to somewhat of a schedule in this new reality of ours. Try taking magnesium, a very important mineral for both men and women. It’s also a natural way to relax and enables better sleep.
Reduce Stress: Incorporate short, guided meditations into your daily routine. Take baths, especially ones with magnesium-rich Epsom salts and those containing lavender to relax and calm you. A great relaxation tea would consist of either lavender, chamomile, kava root, or valerian root.
Eat Immune System-Boosting Foods: Avoid processed foods and sugar and focus on increasing your intake of dark leafy greens, citrus fruits and ginger, and you can even make yourself a tea with ginger, lemon and thyme for respiratory health. Cruciferous veggies (think broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage), in particular, contain glucosinolate, which helps the liver’s detox function. Also, grab healing bone broth to make soups!
Practice Hydrotherapy: This immune supporter dates back to Ancient Rome! I’m not just saying this because I’m Italian! It works. You can practice this in your shower. Always start with the hot temperature—as hot and as long as you can stand it without getting burned, and then switch to the coldest temperature. It can’t hurt you, so do it for as long as you can stand it. Alternate seven times and always end with the cold temperature. Make sure your body is fully submerged under the rain fall the entire time.
Maintain Good Gut Health: The good bacteria in your gut works hard to keep your whole body feeling healthy and in balance, beyond your digestive system. Take a probiotic every day that contains at least 20 billion CFU (colony-forming units) of a variety of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Must Take Vitamins and Herbs: Focus on vitamins C, E and zinc. Increase your intake of leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, sprouts (not if pregnant) and fennel. Take zinc lozenges or spray.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC): This supplement found also in food is especially helpful in preventing respiratory issues (this virus attacks the lungs). It’s flown off the shelves recently, so if you can’t find it, get it from the following foods: eggs, oatmeal (minimally processed), lentils, pork chops, chicken breast and tuna.
Herbs: Consider taking Astragalus root and Mushroom Extracts, specifically those found in Reishi, Maitake and Shiitake varieties. Please check with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Get Moving: If you’re feeling a little stir crazy, then why not try one of the many streaming workout videos available online? Most of them have 14 to 90 days free. Sweat it out and you may even find yourself trying something different!
IMMUNE BOOSTING AND COMFORTING SOUP
Vegan options included. The last thing you need to do these days is complicate your life. That’s why this recipe is so easy to make and includes some items that are shelf-stable and found in the frozen section. BUON APPETITO!
Yields 10 servings (perfect for freezing leftovers!)
50 minutes — cooking and preparation time
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or how much you like)
1 tsp turmeric
Kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
2 lbs organic boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into one inch pieces
(Vegan version use 1 glass container or can of cannellini beans, strained & rinsed)
½ cup fresh carrot, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
32 oz. chicken bone broth (frozen version works great!)
(Vegan version use low sodium vegetable broth)
6-8 cups water, depending on dilution preference
1-2 cups fresh organic spinach & or kale
Heat olive oil in a stock pot.
Add fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and onion.
Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add cayenne pepper, turmeric and salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
Add the chicken broth, water, chicken (or beans), carrots, and celery.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes (feel free to cook on low for up to an hour).
Add spinach and let cook for 5 minutes just before serving.
Pro Tip: Add in cremini, reishi, or shiitake mushrooms for extra antioxidants when you add in the carrots and celery.
Top with fresh chopped parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano (low lactose content due to lengthy aging process).