Foods that boost immunity

I’m assuming you’ve heard of the ol’ “an apple a day….” well it takes a little bit more than that but its a good start! Whether your sick or not, these foods are good to have in your diet to not only help prevent you from getting sick but keep ya healthy too.

Here are some foods that boost your immune system.

butternut

Butternut squash- Very high is Vitamins A, C and E. Heart friendly, high in antioxidants and can help with inflammation.

mushroom

Mushrooms – Very high in protein, vitamin B and C and also full of fiber too. Mushrooms have beta-glucans which are known for boosting the immune system. Eat em’ up!!

oats .

Oats – Hello good fiber! Keeps ya regular….and they are yummy and you can pretty much add all kinds of things to it to make it taste however you’d like.

beef

beef – news flash, not all red meat is “bad” … if you get a good lean piece you really shouldn’t worry about the fat content in it since its the same healthy fat that you find in olive oil. Plus you need healthy fat so quit being a worry wart. Very high in protein (3 oz can yield about 20g + of protein), sinc and b- vitamins.

chicken

chicken- Its first off one of the most leanest forms of protein next to fish, and its very high in a mineral called phosphorus. Phosphorus helps with many things including keeping  strong teeth, bones, supporting the liver, and kidneys. Along with phosphorus its also high in selenium which helps metabolic performance (hence why so many “clean eating” recipes have it .. due to its helpfulness with weight loss. )

yogurt

Yogurt – Aww the good ol’ beneficial bugs lol. So on yogurt it says “active live cultures” meaning live bacteria! … now your probably thinking “Ew, why would I want that?” Well, because its the good bacteria. Its the bacteria that keeps your intestine and digestive track balanced. Probiotics are the same thing but in pill form too if you don’t want to eat yogurt.

fish

Fish- Full of omega-3 fatty acids, reduces inflammation and is loaded with protein.

tea

Tea- green tea is amazing hands down! Can help you lose weight because its full of antioxidants. But any tea is good too. (except the store bought sugar loaded kind…stay away from that crap.)

chorella

Chlorella- What is that your probably asking…. its algae! Yep, I’m one of those crazy people telling you to eat algae =P. It helps detoxify toxins in the body and there is chlorophyll in chlorella. Chlorophyll helps repair tissue, process more oxygen and cleanses your blood.

So with that being said, if you feeling run down, sicko r just under the weather since the sick season is here and/or around the corner. . . . load up on a few of these . it should help =)

 

Garlic Chicken Pasta w/ Spinach, tomatoes and chives!

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SOOO Good! Made this the other night and everyone in the family liked it!!

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You’ll Need:

1 box Whole Wheat or gluten free linguini.

3 large skinless chicken breasts (cut into chunks, or you can buy the already cut up kind)

1 small container of mushrooms

3 cups baby spinach

8 small cherry tomatoes (halved)

1 small can sliced black olives

3 chives (chopped)

For the sauce – You’ll need:

2 tbsp. butter ( I used Earth Balance Brand)

4 Garlic cloves (mined)

4 tbsp. Whole-wheat flour or Gluten free flour.

1 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth ( I used chicken this time) -LOOK for LOW SODIUM!!

1 1/2 cups Almond milk, or low-fat milk will work too.

3 teaspoons Parsley flakes

2/3 cup graded parmesan or mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste.

HOW TO:

  • In large skillet, season chicken to taste with some chicken seasoning (I like Ms. Dash) and place in skillet. Add about 1/2 cup water and cover. (My mother taught me this trick when cooking chicken so it doesn’t dry out! =) …)

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  • Meanwhile, in another med-large skillet, put in butter and garlic cloves till butter is melted and garlic is starting to break down. Cook for around 1 min. (this will be your sauce pan)
  • Start noodles according to package in large pot. And drain when does cooking. Set aside.

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  • Go back to sauce pan, add flour and cook for 1 min, stirring so all the flour is dissolved evenly.  After, add broth and almond milk, stirring occasionally till sauce thickens and boils. Then add parsley, salt, pepper and cheese into sauce and cook till cheese is melted and sauce is thick. Turn to simmer-low until ready to serve.

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  • Meanwhile, to keep from burning your chicken, you can always add a little more water to pan and let simmer covered. Cook chicken till done (no pink in middle of the chunks) And when chicken is done, place in bowl and set aside to chop up. In same pan (leaving some of the chicken juices), put in a little olive oil, add spinach, tomatoes, chives, mushrooms and olives into the pan and sauté.

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  • Cut cooked chicken on cutting board into bit size pieces and add to veggie mix.

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Once everything is done, pile noodles on place, add as much veggie/chicken mix as desired and top with a little sauce … YUMM!!

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The Salad Bar – Building a Kick-Ass Salad! =)

So when it comes to salads, you want to stick to somewhere around 400- 500 calories. That way its enough to sustain you but not to much to where you should have probably just of had a pizza or some pasta. . . And remember calories aren’t everything, you need your good fats in there too to absorb nutrients and adding some protein is always good too.

spinachromainespring mixmixed baby

  • Picking your Greens – pile them on!!! (keep in mind a usual salad has about 3-4 cups at least depending on how much you want.)

Spinach- Only has 7 calories per 1 cup and very high in Vitamin A, low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Romaine-  10 calories per cup. a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium.

Spring Mix- 6 calories per cup. Since this is a mix, you get all kinds of good-ness!!

Iceberg- 8 calories per cup ( not my fav, because it doesn’t have many nutrients, its basically eating a plate of water.. id skip this one, but if your not that used to salads all the time this may be a way to wean you into them. )

Mixed Baby Greens – 6 calories per cup. Since this is a mix, you get all kinds of good-ness!!

shrimpchicken sabeanssteaksalmon shard

  • Protein

Shrimp – 60 calories, 1 gram of fat per 3 oz.

Chicken (breast, skinless) – 179 calories per 4 oz. 4g fat. 35g protein.

Beans-  calories, 0 grams of fat per 1/2 cup. (there are SOOO many different kinda too! My fav ?, black, kidney, and chickpeas)

Steak – 162 calories, 9 grams of fat per 3 oz.

Tofu- 34 calories per slice (around 84g). 1g fat. 5g protein.

Tuna (canned, in water)- 179 calories per cup. 1g fat. 39g protein. Good source of Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Niacin, Vitamin B12 and Selenium.

Salmon (Wild, Atlantic) – 281 calories per 1/2 Fillet. 13g fat. 39g protein.

Hard Boiled Eggs- 78 calories per Med. egg. 5g fat . 6g protein.

fetacheddar   blue c       ameri

  • Cheese

Feta- 99 calories, 8 grams of fat per 1/4 cup.

Cheddar- 114 calories, 9 grams fat per 1/4 cup

Blue- 119 calories, 10 grams fat per 1/4 cup.

American- 94 calories per 1 oz. 6g fat.

Dairy-free (G0-Veggie Brand) – 90 calories per 1/3 cup. 6g fat.

straw         apples     grape     pear

  • Fruit

Strawberries- 24 calories, 0 grams fat per 1/2 cup.

Dried Fruits  (Apricots) – 34 calories. 0g far per 4 pieces.

Dried Fruits ( Cranberries) – 123 calories per 1/3 cup.

Grapes- 52 calories. 0g fat per 1/2 cup.

Pears- 1 pear 86 calories. 0g fat.

Apples – 95 calories per 1 medium apple.

Mandarin Oranges-103 calories per 1 cup. 1g fat

cucumber          tomato      bell       mush     olive    brocl

  • Pile on the VEGGIES! – and they pretty mush all have 0g fat.

Cucumber- 8 calories per 5 slices.

Broccoli- 20 calories per 1 cup.

Olives-  63 calories per 4 jumbo olives, slice them up, they will go a long way!

Cauliflower- 27 calories in 1 cup

Onion- 8 calories on 2 tbsp.

Carrots- 50 calories in 1 cup of shreds.

Tomato – only 3 calories in 1 cherry tomato.

Bell Peppers- 5 calories in 10 strips.

Mushrooms- 22 calories in 1 cup

Sugar Snap Peas-  41 calories in 1 cup

Radishes- 9 calories in 1/2 cup

corn       avo       whater

  • Other Random Goodies!

Corn- 16 calories per 2 tbsp. o g fat.

Avocado- 23 calories per 1 tbsp. 2g fat.

Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin ,etc.) –  depends on what kind you get – be sure to read label and look at serving size.

Mixed Nuts –  depends on what kind you get – be sure to read label and look at serving size.

Water chestnuts- 60 calories per 1/2 cup

Croutons- 122 calories per cup

  • To Top it Off — Dressings. (ALL PER 2 TBSP. )

Oil and Vinegar- 81 calories. 7g fat.

Light Balsamic- 20 calories. 1g fat.

Fat-free Italian – 13 calories. 0g fat

Thousand Island- 111 calories. 11g fat.

Honey Mustard- 139 calories. 12g fat

Ranch- 149 calories. 15g fat.

Caesar- 163 calories. 17g fat.

Salsa -depends on what kind you get – be sure to read label and look at serving size.

salad 1       salad 2       salad 3         salad 4

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs, Mushrooms and Spinach

spaghetti

You’ll Need :

1 spaghetti squash

lean ground turkey ( around 4 oz)

1/4 cup onion – chopped

1/4 cup shredded carrots

2 cups of spinach

basil

oregano

1 cup of mushrooms

and your choice of marinara sauce.

Preparation:

Cut 1 spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds.

Place 1/3 cup of water in a glass dish (or a dish that’s microwavable) And place the squash inside the dish so they are facing with the cut side down. Microwave for about 12-15 min (until squash is soft. ) When you scrape out the Squash it should look like spaghetti noodles =)

Meanwhile, In a large bowl, combine4 oz ground turkey (the leanes you can find preferably), 1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, a dash of basil and a dash of oregano together. Mix. And form into meatballs.

In skillet, sauté meatballs in olive oil until cooked all the way though. Add marinara sauce of choice, add mushrooms and spinach and cook till warm and basically sautéed .

and dish up! YUMMM

Chicken Cacciatore (WW)

chi ca

You’ll Need:

8 pieces of chicken, skinned (I used 8 small thighs)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1/4 lb of mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup of chopped celery or fennel

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Pinch if cayenne

2 cups of prepared marinara sauce

  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in large non-stick skillet and set over medium heat. Add chicken, and cook until browned on each side (about 4 min) Transfer chicken onto plate and set aside.
  • heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in the same skillet. Add onion and garlic , cook, and stirring occasionally until tender. add bell peppers, mushrooms, celery, oregano and cayenne.  Cook, stirring occasionally until tender.
  • Return chicken to the skillet, add marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered. Cook until chicken is cooked all the way through and veggies are tender (around 20 min).

chicken c

cat

chicken ca

    • I made this dish with 2 sides (you can find both of these in my recipe index, or click on links below):

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Chives (WW)
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes (WW)

All together (with both sides = 8 points for Weight Watchers)

For just Chicken:
SERVES 8     WW points 4    PER SERVING 1 piece of chicken, 1/2 cup of veggies with sauce.

(Note: I took this out of a Weight watchers cookbook, I did not make this recipe up on my own…. besides recipes are meant to be shared 🙂 )