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Winter Wellness - Medicinal foods in your garden, pantry and fridge

Winter is here. That means the season for coughs, cold, snot, ear infections, tonsillitis, upper respiratory sickness, croup, you name it! How well prepared are you??

The germ, bacteria, bug, virus, whatever you want to call it is not the problem, it is the host in which it is living. The germ can only thrive in the right environment, that is our immune system. When the immune system is not as strong and resilient as it should be, it will really struggle to fight off these bugs and more often than not will succumb to them.

There is so much goodness in our garden and pantry that is truly medicinal in nature and  have stood the test of time. Wouldn't it better to use these than feel helpless and use over the counter medication which do have a damaging effect on our eco system, the MAIN hub of the immune system?

With a little education and a little preparation, you can be fully prepared for whatever is thrown your way.

Harnessing the medicinal properties of readily available herbs:

  • Rosemary – It’s aromatic smell has been known to help improve memory tasks. Great for upper respiratory tract infections and is anti-microbial

  • Oregano – This herb is highly antimicrobial and is very effective at treating chronic & acute infections. Add it to food regularly or have as a medicinal tea with a little raw honey

  • Lavender – who is not a fan of the smell of lavender, me actually, but that is a story for another day. Not only is the fragrant soothing and helps you fall asleep, it also contains anti-oxidants called polyphenols that fight belly bloating

  • Thyme – This has to my favourite herb for medicinal purposes and is my go to when the dreaded cough kicks in. This is a great herb to use for respiratory problems and is also very antiseptic. I will share an easy cough tea recipe in the download below. My daughter loves it when I make this tea.

  • Basil – This little beauty is great at calming the nerves and also has a detoxing effect on the liver

  • Parsley – This common garnish is packed full of nutrients. It contains Vit A & C and just teaspoon offers nearly half your daily intake of vit k

  • Chives – A member of the onion family that can help boost the immune system. Admittedly I don't use this herb as often I could do.

  • Coriander – This is my go to herb for stirfries and salads. It provides iron and fibre and is also known as a great chelator of heavy metals to help draw them out of your tissues

  • Mint – A rich source of Vit A and useful for the breath, digestion, nausea and headaches.

In short, add a variety of herbs daily where ever you can in your diet and reap the benefits, a little really goes a long way.

Suggestions – Garnish, salads, add to stirfries, casserole, soups and make your own brew of tea

Medicine in your pantry:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Rich in it’s own probiotics, it has been known to be great for detoxification, supporting digestion, anti-microbial and supports the immune system. It is also known to have benefits of topical applications for dry skin, as an anti-fungal agent, whiten teeth and relieve rashes. One little product and so many uses.

  • Honey – no pantry should be without a good quality local if possible, raw honey. It is definitely my go to for the first sign of sore throat or cough, taken straight off the spoon. It is very useful as part of a gut healing journey harnessing the prebiotic benefits, however still to be used in small amounts. Also fabulous a moisturiser for dry skin, acne and wound healing.

  • Olive oil – Firstly make sure it is a good quality. Not only it is wonderful as a moisturiser for hair and skin, it is a great source of good fats which are essential for the immune & gut cells, not to mention the brain.

  • Good Quality ORGANIC tea bags – These are fabulous to have on hand during sickness and a good selection will be found in any good health food store. My favourites are:

    • Rosehip & hibiscus

    • Ginger & lemon

    • Chamomile

    • Peppermint or mint

    • Immune tea

    • Digestive tea

What's hiding in your fridge that can serve as medicine?

  • GINGER – This little innocent unassuming vegetable is so potent. Really get creative how you can incorporate it into your diet as much as possible. It is known to be useful for treating:

    • Inflammation

    • Remedies motion sickness or an upset tummy

    • Cold & flu prevention

    • Assists digestion

    • Assists common respiratory conditions that helps break down and remove phelm and mucous

    • Strengthens the immune system

  • TUMERIC (fresh) or spice from the pantry - It’s the compound curcumin in this food that makes it so magical and gives it the amazing anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. I love adding to broth to pimp it up and a few shakes of the spice where ever I can.

  • LEMON – This wonderful citrus fruit so readily available and has many health benefits such as:

    • The juice of a lemon is useful in assisting indigestion and constipation

    • It is one of go to treatments for fever and works a charm breaking a fever by increasing perspiration.

    • Soothes respiratiory disorders

    • Helps to flush out bacteria and toxins from the body

    • With it’s antibacterial properties, it’s a fabulous choice for sore throats

Here you can download a few DIY recipes using the ingredients above to get yourself all ready for winter:

Included in the EBOOK are recipes for the following, however they all have multiple uses:

  • Immune System

  • Cough

  • Resiliency Tonic

  • Digestive

  • Tummy Upsets

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Chantal Khoury is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping mum's implement Healing Wholefood & transformational wellness practices to improve the health of their family one personalised step at a time.

4 Steps to keeping the family's immune system & gut healthy over the holiday period


Yay, school is out, it's the festive season and it's summer holidays. So much to look forward to!

Let’s not be fooled into a false sense of security just because the weather has warmed up. The truth be told, the bugs are just as rampant in the summer.

The primary reason why the immune is weakened is through poor nutrition & STRESS!

For this reason, we don’t want to let our guard down in terms of nutrition & wellness.

Let's be honest, for the few days over the festive period, all eating standards will go out the door (WITHOUT GUILT), but we definitely not for the WHOLE of the holiday period. This is just counter productive longer term.

It is best to maintain ideal nutrition & wellness 80-90% of the time. My preference is 90% because at 80%, this leaves room for up to 4 meals in a week that can slip and personally I think this is too much. At the end of the day, start where ever you are, and improve one step at a time.

The main focus during the holidays and just about EVERY day of the year should be on the following:

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  • Plenty of vegetables – get creative how you can get this into them. This time of year is perfect to have the rainbow cut up and served with your favourite dip
  • Healthy fats – think nuts, seeds, olive oils, butter, oily fish, avocado and full fat dairy if tolerated
  • Minimal fruit - remember to eat seasonal. So many awesome fruits this time of year such as watermelon, peaches, cherries, berries, mango
  • Pasture fed protein
  • Clean Water
  • Fermented foods & drinks
  • Broth & gelatin

Steps to keeping the family's immune & gut healthy:

  1. Wholefood ONLY 80-90% of the time.
  2. Include gut healing foods DAILY. In this blog I detail how you can easily include gut healing foods daily without even trying
  3. Make Healthy Swaps 80-90% of the time:
    1. Margarine =====> Butter
    2. Vegetable Oils=====> Olive oil
    3. Flavoured, preservative laddened crisps =====> plain chips, better quality or air popped popcorn
    4. Sugary Yoghurt =====> Greek yoghurt topped with your favourite fruit, granola and a swirl of maple syrup or honey if you need a sweetener
    5. Soft drinks =====> Water, make your own fermented drinks or flavoured coconut water (you still need to check the ingredients and sugar content of these)
    6. Commercial ice-creams ====> Make your own with 4 easy ingredients or make a smoothie and freeze into popsicles. Even better, add a quality probiotic and then you will have a probiotic smoothie/popsicle
  4. Keep hydrated with clean water mainly. The body is 60-70% water.

Just keep in mind, food is medicine and it is lways fueling one of 2 things , sickness or health. What do you you choose?

Relaxing the rules every now and then is unlikely to have a detrimental effect longer term, provided you know how to press the RESET button. Enjoy the summer, choose wisely and most of all be peaceful, happy and grateful.


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Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness coach with a special interest simplifying and implementing gut healing nutritional protocols using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.