6 Days til Winter
Tip: Embrace relaxation.
Stress hormones suppress immune function and impair the body's ability to fight off pathogens, leaving you vulnerable to infection. Don't let stress make you sick, make a commitment to yourself to regularly take time out to focus on relaxation. Winter is a good time to: explore mindfulness practice and meditation, take long hot baths, pamper yourself with massage and aromatherapy or spend a wintry afternoon snuggled under your favorite blanket with a cup of tea and a good book.
Zinc is essential for the growth and function of cells that facilitate our immune defence. In addition to regulating the immune system, zinc functions as an anti-oxidant to reduce oxidative stress and supports healing and recovery.
Zinc is most abundant in animal products (beef, lamb, turkey, pork and chicken) and shellfish (oysters, scallops, lobster) but is also found in plant based foods such as cashew nuts, almonds, beans, lentils, chickpeas, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and quinoa.
Recipe of the day: Shakshuka with Cannellini Beans
Shakshuka is originally a North African dish that is now better known for it's popularity in the Middle East. It is essentially a baked egg dish that is traditionally eaten for breakfast, but this rich, warming dish can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
The inclusion of cannellini beans gives a welcomed dose of zinc to boost your immune system.
Serve it up with some crusty bread for brunch or alongside some steamed broccolini and quinoa for dinner.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (or fresh chilli)
1 pinch of pepper and salt to taste
1 large red pepper (or 2 small), cut into strips
2 tins organic crushed/diced tomatoes,
1 can organic cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
4 free range eggs
Feta cheese, crumbled (to serve)
1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped (to serve)
Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, chilli, and cook, stirring until fragrant.
Add red pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.
Add canned tomatoes and bring sauce to a simmer. Then add in the rinsed cannellini beans. Season with pepper and salt and allow sauce to come to a simmer and leave to thicken for 8 – 10 minutes.
Using the back of a spoon, make 4 indentations in tomato mixture. Crack four eggs into the pan, then place a lid on top and let them simmer for 4 – 6 minutes (or until cooked to desired consistency)
Top with crumbled feta and freshly chopped parsley and enjoy!!