Category Archives: wellness

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally | Bloom & NourishDuring cold and flu season, or really anytime of the year, there are certain foods, supplements, and natural remedies that can help give your immune system the boost it needs to build a strong foundation for the future.  This means you will get sick less frequently, and if you do get sick, your body should be able to better fight whatever virus invaded your system and recover more quickly. Continue reading

Immune Boosting Pink Lemonade Smoothie

Immune Boosting Pink Lemonade Smoothie | Bloom & NourishAs the cold weather is upon us now here in Nashville, I’ve been thinking of ways to boost my  immune system, as it tends to be compromised more during this season.  So I created this refreshing immune boosting smoothie!  However, you can drink this smoothie any time of the year, even while trying to strengthen your immune system during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It’s actually smoothie month at Williams-Sonoma and this week’s theme was “Not Your Average Smoothie” so I thought turning a smoothie into something that boosts your immune system and wards off colds would be a good place to start.  It’s a nice tart smoothie with an optional kick that reminds me of the green lemonade juices I’ve been drinking, but instead it’s beautifully pink from the bright red raspberries.

Immune Boosting Pink Lemonade Smoothie | Bloom & Nourish

Here’s what I threw into my blender + why it’s good for you:

  • Greens: Greens like kale, collard, swiss chard, and spinach are nutritional powerhouses packed with vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, that strengthen your immune system and ward off colds.
  • Orange/Tangerine: Oranges are full of vitamins A + C which help promote production of white blood cells to fight off any foreign invaders, and folate which you need for healthy cell growth. Those looking to get pregnant or are already pregnant will benefit from including folate into their diet as it essential for healthy development of the baby in the mother’s womb, particularly the formation of the neural tube.
  • Lemons and berries: Both are rich in vitamin C and immune boosting antioxidants.
  • Ginger: Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Turmeric + Cayenne (optional): Both turmeric and cayenne are very nutrient dense spices, which support your immune system through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

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DIY: Cold Tonic + Immune System Booster

DIY: Cold Tonic | Bloom & NourishI am excited about this cold tonic and immune system booster! If I ever feel a sickness coming on, I often reach for a clove of garlic, so this blend of garlic, raw honey, and probiotics sounded perfect.  I think of garlic as nature’s antibiotic-it boasts antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and even anti-cancerous properties!  Garlic is a powerful immune system booster that stimulates the multiplication of white blood cells, which fight off infection in your body.  This is due largely in part to the sulfur containing compound allicin, which I discovered is even more easily assimilated into your body after fermentation!  And if that’s not enough, the raw honey added to the tonic is full of natural vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants!  Just like garlic, raw honey is also antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and it’s great for coating sore throats and reducing irritation.  Combine the power raw honey and garlic with benefits of probiotics from the fermentation process and you have the perfect immune boosting, kick-your-cold-in-the-butt team!

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DIY: Homemade Kombucha + Gut Health

diy homemade kombucha | bloom & nourish

I have been making kombucha for a couple of years now, and I love that I always have some on hand whenever I want a refreshing drink and a good boost of probiotics.  If you know me, you probably know I am a big proponent of probiotics, especially from fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, etc.  Good bacteria is essential to our health.  Did you know that 70-80% of our immune system is located in our gut? That’s pretty huge! Even more of a reason to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies.  Probiotics, or good bacteria, kill off bad bacteria that are hanging out in our intestine, which leads to a more balanced gut, and in turn a stronger immune system.  Probiotics have also been shown to decrease inflammation in the body (think arthritis, asthma, Chrohn’s disease).  What’s really interesting to me is how a woman’s gut health during pregnancy and birth can influence the health of her child.  All the more reason to drink up this fizzy drink! Continue reading

10 Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays

10 tips for staying healthy during the holidays | bloom & nourishOh, the holidays—the home-cooked meals, recipes and traditions that have been passed down for generations, parties, cocktails, dinners with friends, thoughtful gifts, relaxing with family, running around checking things off your to-do list, glistening snow, twinkling lights, and treats, lots of treats!  Staying healthy during the busy holiday season can seem daunting, but if you follow these simple suggestions it’s as easy as a slice of homemade apple pie. Continue reading

Guide to Gluten Free Travel {Guest Post}

guide to gluten free travel

{Today we have a guest post from Sarah Nicholls of Nutritional Bliss.  Sarah is a holistic nutritionist, registered nurse and all-round wellness lover. She helps soul-centered women to create glowing health, get bounce-out-of-bed energy, and generally feel more awesome.}

The Holiday season is here, and many of us are getting excited about a break in work and possibly a little holiday somewhere.  Whether it be, overseas or just locally, travelling while having to be gluten free can be really daunting.

Here is an extract from my up and coming eBook, about my tips for staying healthy and travelling gluten free this Christmas time!

First step: I want you to sit down and learn how to say “excuse me, is that gluten free?” in every language.

Okay, I’m just joking. But you have to admit that the idea of travelling gluten free can be a little overwhelming when you start out.

I love to travel, but I completely understand that it can be somewhat daunting to travel into the unknown and not know what you will actually be served to eat.

But the good news is that I have traveled quite extensively, and eating gluten free abroad has not been as challenging as I thought it would be.

Here’s what I do:

Where are you going? What is the local cuisine in that area?  This is best to know before you go!  For example, if you are going to Italy, what is the traditional diet? Pizza, pasta and gelato! Can you eat this? Probably not, but instead of being disheartened when you get there, start looking for other traditional Italian foods that you can try while you’re on holidays.  For example, say you’re going to Japan. Can you eat Japanese food? Soy sauce is a very common condiment in the Japanese diet. Can you eat this? No. So pack your own GF soy sauce or tamari. Easy, right?

Another option is to jump online, with the majority of the world being pretty internet savvy these days, a simple Google search can go along way.  Have a search for the area you are going, and what they have to offer.  Other places online, which may help, is Facebook.  I have found just putting the word out on Facebook can be helpful, “travelling to Fiji, does anyone know of any resorts that are gluten savvy” or also jumping onto online travel forums.

Some websites which may also help: – predominately a vegan/vegetarian guide however it also has links to health food stores and gluten free restaurants from around the world.

A little research can go a long way when holidaying! Depending on where you are going, you can also look at booking a self-contained apartment, sussing out the local markets and buying your own food. This can be especially handy when making breakfasts and snacks during the day.

Flying gluten free!
I have some awesome news for you: airlines now carry gluten free meals.  Pretty good, right? All you have to do is double check that GF is available when you book your flight. Then, add in a note to the special dietary requirements segment of the booking form (being sure to use the special word ‘severe’!).

But, the bad news is that airline food is pretty dismal. It’s highly processed and unhealthy. So, the best option really is to pack your own food for the flight.  Pack yourself a little lunch box with a meal and some healthy, gluten free snacks. It is completely fine to take food onto a flight, but remember that the food you don’t eat will have to be thrown in the rubbish bin at the airport of your next destination if you’re flying overseas, or state to state. You will notice food disposal bins in the airport lounge or ask the flight attendant where you can dispose of the food. When taking foods onto a flight, be mindful of the liquid limit and keep water, juice or salad dressings to a size appropriate for this.

When arriving at your destination.
Your first stop is to speak to the hotel. This can be very helpful in terms of finding out local restaurants to eat at, or at least finding out how to say gluten in their language!

Until you become comfortable in your new holiday destination, eat with caution. Be mindful of sauces, packaged foods in languages you can’t understand, and foods you have never heard of.

The last thing you want to do is to become unwell on your holiday, but also, you don’t want to feel stressed either. You are on holidays, so relax and enjoy your trip!

Rescue remedies to pack:
1) Hot water bottle, to soothe any abdominal pain & discomfort.
2) Herbal tea, to aid in digestion and to soothe the stomach, I always travel with peppermint, ginger and fennel.  Another great tea’s to include are green and liquorice.
3) Essential oils, peppermint rubbed on the stomach externally is great to soothe pain.
4) Natural anti-nausea tablets (ginger is the best for this)
5) Slippery elm powder.  This is a super herb, which lines and stomach and protects the digestive tract from mouth to anus.  You can purchase this from any health food store, it is great to talk travelling and to use daily.  Start by taking ½ teaspoon daily, mixed in 1 glass of water, and you can increase this dose up to 1 teaspoon, twice daily if your pain and bloating persists.
6) Probiotics, to restore gut health, I recommend a high strength probiotic

I hope this helps!!  And have a beautiful and safe holiday season

sarah nutritional bliss

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