Max Wellness Wednesday

Welcome back to Max Wellness Wednesday.  This week we’re taking a look at supporting a healthy immune system – your first line of defense against illness.

Supporting the system that supports you

Your body’s immune system works day and night to fight off alien invaders – not the green men from Mars, but viruses, bacteria, and toxins that can damage cells and tissue when they infiltrate the body.

It’s an amazing system that all of our bodies have – but sometimes it needs a helping hand. While some of us are unfortunate to be born with immune deficiencies that need to be adjusted for, everyone will suffer from age, disease, poor diets, and injuries that will hamper and degrade their immune system.

There is no “magic bullet” or special medicine to take that will boost everyone’s immune system – the simple rule is that a healthy body will contain a healthier immune system.  Steps you can take to take care of your immune system include:

  • Maintaining good “gut health” by eating whole grains and plant-based foods
  • Managing a responsible amount of alcohol consumption (and quit smoking!)
  • Fitting in as much as two hours (ideally) of activity (even just brisk walking) every day
  • Planning for an average of 7 hours of sleep every night
  • Eating less sugar
  • Prioritizing healthy fruits and vegetables

You can’t take pills or supplements that will super-charge your immune system. It just doesn’t work that way.  What you CAN do is give your body the elements it needs to build up its levels of white blood cells, healthy bone marrow, and your levels of Glutathione.

Start the Day Right with Stretches

So, two hours of exercise SOUNDS like a lot when you think about work and home life, taking care of kids, commuting, errands to run, etc etc etc.  In fact, the key isn’t necessarily to block out 2 hours of “exercise” time – but to find times when you can squeeze in activities that will get your blood pumping and body moving.

One of the BEST ways you can get some quick exercise in is if you stretch the first thing in the morning. You’ve just spent all night laid out, chances are your body might be a little stiff and hard to get moving at first.  Some quick and simple stretches before anything else (yes, even before coffee) are a great way to start your day.

Here are some of the best stretches you can work into your wake-up routine.

  • Stand at arm’s length from a wall
  • Place your right foot behind your left foot
  • Slowly bend your left leg forward, keeping your right knee straight and your right heel on the floor
  • Hold your back straight and your hips forward. Don’t rotate your feet inward or outward
  • Hold for about 30 seconds
  • Switch legs and repeat
  • Bring your left arm across your body and hold it with your right arm, either above or below the elbow
  • Hold for about 30 seconds
  • Switch arms and repeat
  • Bend your head forward and slightly to the right
  • With your right hand, gently pull your head downward until you feel a slight stretch along the back left side of your neck
  • Hold for about 30 seconds
  • Repeat on the opposite side

Start light at first, but lengthen your stretches as you continue and feel free to add in more to your routine.  It’s not only a great way to wake up the body, it’s key to getting in that daily activity.

Healthy Salad that Punches with Flavor

We know that vegetables aren’t everyone’s favorite thing to eat, but that’s because they have a bad reputation for no flavor.  You can dress up even a salad with enough kick to make it a favorite dish.  Here’s one of our favs – an Asian inspired burst of savory and spicy.

Sesame Ginger Miso Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large english cucumbers
  • 1½ cups frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 carrots
  • 2½ tablespoons white miso
  • 1 medium piece of ginger
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted white or black sesame seeds
  1. If edamame is frozen, defrost overnight or in the microwave.
  2. Slice off the ends of the cucumber and then slice it in half crosswise.  Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and then thinly slice. If you own a spiralizer, spiralize the cucumber halves.
  3. Peel and grate ginger. Thinly slice carrots. Juice lemon.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber with the edamame and carrots.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the miso and 1 ½ tablespoons of water together until completely smooth.
  6. Add in the rice vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten-free option) to the miso and continue to whisk. Add salt or sweetener to flavor.
  7. Toss the dressing with the vegetables, sprinkle sesame seeds on top and enjoy.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

We’re still facing challenges all over the world. Let’s do our part to stay healthy, stay safe, and look after each other.  Come back next week for more Max Wellness Wednesday tips.

#TogetherWeAreMax

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