How I reduced my sick days and stayed healthy by boosting my immune system.
In the past years, I normally get sick two to three times or more in a year because of my allergies. I get sick from cold, flu and upper respiratory infections. I was getting tired of being sick. I have learned to focus on what I put in my body. Last month, I saw my allergist doctor for a follow up, he asked me what I was doing because I have not been sick in a while.
The foods that has help boost my immune system
- Tomatoes are high in vitamin c and antioxidant.
- Garlic helps boost the immune system.
- Bell peppers are high in vitamin c and rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Blueberries are full of antioxidants to help your body fight off infection
- Teas are great for the body to warm up the body and thin mucus and help with hydration.
- Green vegetables such as kale or spinach is an excellent superfood packed with vitamins and nutrients to help the body prevent or fight infection.
- Onions are full of antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory.
- Thyme herbs help boost the immune system and are packed with antiviral properties. My mom likes thyme herb to add any dish.
- Drinking water is a good way to boost the immune system because water removes toxins from the body.
- Eating a balanced diet and eating less processed foods.
Vitamins that has help boost my immune system
- Vitamin D3 – For bone and immune system.
- VitaFusion Women’s supercharged multivitamin for energy metabolism, bone and immune support.
- VitaFusion Omega-3 helps support heart health and your body.
- Elderberry –Packed in antioxidants and help boost the immune system.
- Vitamin C 1000 mg – help support the immune system.
- Keep your bedroom, bathroom and kitchen clean because most of the time in these places without proper clean germs can spread to other areas.
- Exercise- learns to move more, any kind of exercise is a benefit to your life.
- Sleep boosted the immune system and helps you recover from being sick more quickly.
- Wash your hands to prevent germs from spreading.
- Dress according to the weather
- Using essential oils regularly such as lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint.
- No matter how bad things are right now
- No matter how stuck you feel
- No matter how many days you’ve spent crying
- No matter how many days you’ve spent wishing things were different
- No matter how hopeless and depressed you feel
- I promise you won’t feel this way forever
- Keep going
- Yellow and red pepper- ½ cup
- Onion – couple of slices
- Garlic – 1 crushed
- Chickpea -½ cup
- Spinach- 1 cup
- Leftover cooked chicken or meat of choice
- Dash seasoning – Sprinkle
- Spaghetti squash -use as much you desired See spaghetti squash blog
- Olive oil – drizzle
- First drizzle some olive oil in a frying pan, saute mixed red, yellow bell pepper, onion, garlic , chickpea and sprinkle dash seasoning. Cook this until it is brown or chickpea is brown. After that add the spinach and squash . Sprinkle more dash seasoning, mix it up and cook for 1 minute.
- Serving the chickpea with leftover chicken or the meat of choice. Eat and enjoy.
“Everybody cannot go where God is taking you. Thank God for all the people who left you. They had to go. They couldn’t handle your elevation”. Kiss 2019 goodbye and step in your greatness.
Sleep is very important for our wellbeing but a lot of people are struggling to get enough sleep. Every year, new research comes out saying that lack of sleeping is leading people to chronic health care problems such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and getting sick easily because of weaker immune system.
I have been working the night shift (7p-7a) for more than five years. In the beginning of my nursing career and for years I struggled with sleeping. When I worked nights I sleep an average of 6-7 hours. When I am at home, I get 7-9 hours of sleep at night. The tips below as help my sleeping routine tremendous.
My sleeping tips:
- Get blackout curtains because it prevents the light from coming inside your bedroom.
- Wear an eye mask for sleeping to bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark, less light is better when it’s time to sleep.
- Limit caffeine use during the day.
- Limit naps during the day.
- Turn off your mind by focusing on your breathing or meditation.
- Exercise regularly (I always sleep better when I exercise regularly).
- Make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable.
- Go to bed at the same time each night – (set a bedtime routine).
- Watch a comedy show (when you are laughing you are more relaxed and easy to fall asleep) laughing is the best medicine because your body release endorphins. I love watching I LOVE Lucy or The Jefferson’s or The Golden Girls.
- Use Lavender essential oils ( see herbal tea blog)
- Favorite new essential oil is Clary Sage because it promotes feelings of relaxation and calming. It reduced stress and anxiety
- When it’s to relax or sleep, I drop some of Lavender and Clary Sage essential oil on a cotton pad or cotton ball I sniff it and take some take breath in and out. I really feel relaxed after a couple of minutes.
- Take melatonin pill at night to help you to sleep.
- Drinking ½ cup of cherry tart juice ( Cheribundi natural tart cherry juice) because it contains naturally melatonin to help you sleep more. Cherry tart juice is full of other benefits such as boosting immunity and reduces soreness.
- These are my favorite body wash from Bath and Body Works: Stress relief (Sandalwood and Eucalyptus), Sleep (Lavender & Cedarwood) and Sleep (Black Chamomile). I use one with favorite soap when I take a shower and it helps me feel calmer. Also, I like to use relax (lavender & Cedarwood) with natural essentials scented candle.
- Drink sleepy time tea or chamomile tea to help me sleep ( See Herbal Tea blog)
- I have learned to combine two different types of sleepy time tea to help me sleep better. Also, I have learned that when I drink same sleepy time tea for longer time my body get used to the tea so I don’t get the same results.
- Also, I drink celery juice in the morning or evening, I have noticed I slept longer, deeper and I did not wake up every two or three hours. I woke feeling rested and hydrated. (See celery juice blog on how to prepare it).
My sleep tips video #1
My Favorite products that has help me to sleep video #2
Bath/ shower products that help me to sleep video #3
“Every next level of your life will demand a different you!” I hope my sleeping tips have helped you achieve better sleep because sleep is essential to our well-being.
I recently started using a face toner in the summer and I have to say it was best beauty decision I have ever made. It helps close pores and reduce the impurities from your face. Also, face toner kills the bacteria and removes excess oil on the skin so you get less acne on your face.
The face toner I have been using is Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar With The Mother toner. I like this toner because it’s full of natural ingredients has good health benefits, and is very simple to make.
The benefits I have received from using Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar With The Mother toner is shrinking of my pores and reduce acne scars. I have been using apple cider vinegar toner and it has restored my natural skin ph balance. Apple cider vinegar PH is 3. Also, apple cider vinegar toner has refreshed my skin because it removes the dead skin. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar With The Mother is rich in natural alpha hydroxy acids, which promote collagen and blood flow ,improve the appearance of surface lines and wrinkles, and increase product absorption. This toner is lightening my dark spots and leave me with a nice glow appearance.
Instructions to make apple cider face toner:
- 1 Spray bottle
- Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With Mother
- Cotton pads
- Get a spray bottle and pour half water and half apple cider vinegar, closed the lid and shake.
- Put some Apple Cider Vinegar toner on a cotton pad or cotton pads, and go over my entire face and neck. I normally do it daily some morning, but every night before bed.
- Allows your face to be completely dried before adding other products to your face.
P.S. If Apple cider vinegar is too strong on your face, add more water. Also, if you are not getting the results, you can add more Apple cider vinegar as tolerated.
“Life is not a race.You don’t start in the same position and everyone isn’t going in the same direction. You have your space, your own pace and your own place you want to get to”. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Stop comparing yourself and run your race.
- Broccoli Egg White Wrap
- 1 Whole wheat wrap (Xtreme wellness wrap)
- Egg white
- Hummus – 1 Tablespoon of Bell peppers hummus or the desired flavor
- Cheese- l slice ( daiya cheese or desired flavor )
- Whole wheat wrap ( use a frying pot to warm up the wrap on both sides until brown).
- Add 1 Tablespoon of hummus on the whole wrap , spread it out
- Add the cooked egg white
- Add sliced cheese melts.
- Add cooked broccoli ( after the broccoli is cooked , rinse with cold water ,pat dry and break broccoli into small pieces)
- Rolled wrap, sliced and eat
- Taste delicious
2. Peanut Butter Whole Wheat Wrap
- 1 Whole wheat wrap
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 Tsp ground powder cinnamon
- 1 yellow banana (sliced)
Whole wheat wrap ( use a frying pot to warm up the wrap on both sides until brown). Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and spread it out. Also, add yellow banana ( slice) and sprinkle ground cinnamon. Rolled wrap, slice and eat.
3. Egg White and cheese wrap
- 1 Whole wheat wrap
- Egg white
- Hummus – 1 tablespoon ( desired flavor)
- Cheese 1-slice ( daiya cheese or desired flavor )
- Whole Wheat wrap ( use a frying pot to warm up the wrap on both sides until brown)
- Add 1 Tablespoon of hummus on the whole wrap , spread it out
- Add the cooked egg white
- Add melt cheese
- Rolled wrap, sliced and eat
4.Tuna whole wheat wrap
- 1 Whole wheat wrap
- Mix bell peppers – Used as much as you like
- Onion- half pieces
- Garlic -1 crushed
- Spinach – Used as much as you like
- Kale – Used as much as you like
- Dried cranberries 50% less sugar – Hand full of
- Hummus- 1 tablespoon ( desired flavor)
- Whole wrap ( use a frying pot to warm up the wrap on both sides to brown)
- First drizzle some olive oil in a frying pan, saute red, yellow bell pepper, onion, garlic, spinach, kale and cranberry. Sprinkle dash seasoning, stir and saute for one minute.
- Add one tablespoon of hummus to the wrap, spread it out.
- Add sautéed veggies on top of hummus
- Tuna (Dash seasoning , with light mayonnaise and mix)
- Add tuna on top of the wrap , rolled or eat it
“God isolates you so you can get yourself together. It may seem like you lose friendships and relationship but a better you is worth more”. I love eating sandwich wraps because it’s a good substitute for eating bread. Not all wraps are created equal, some are very high in calories and not good for you, but I love that this wrap is good in calories and high in fiber that keep me full.
Did you know watermelon can reduce oil production in your skin so you get less acne and breakouts? Also, watermelon help heal old acne. Watermelon is packed with Vitamin A, reducing skin pore size and the amount of oil that your sebaceous glands secrete.
Benefit of eating watermelon
- Improve Heart Health
- Lower Inflammation
- Oxidative Stress
- Helps Prevent Macular Degeneration.
- After a workout, reach for watermelon instead of a Gatorade drink because watermelon help relieve muscle soreness.
Use as much of the ingredients you want, no right amount of it. Combine in a bowl with chickpea, corn, kale, beets, watermelon, cucumber and red cabbage. In the salad add your favorite dressing and mix up and eat it.
(See my salmon blog for the salmon recipe https://loseweightnotfaithblog.com/2019/04/09/salmon-blog/
Tuna Watermelon Salad
Red pepper and yellow bell peppers
Tuna (light mayonnaise and sprinkle original blend -dash seasoning)
Use as much of the ingredients you want, no right amount of it. Combine in a bowl with chickpea, corn, kale, beets, watermelon, cucumber and red cabbage, carrots and bell peppers. In the salad add your favorite dressing and mix up and eat it. I normally add the mix tuna with seasoning on top. ENJOY!!
Having a good core prevents me from muscle injuries and helps me perform daily tasks. Also, a good core protects my back against the pulling, lifting , pushing and bending I do as a registered nurse.
A plank is an exercise that helps sculpt your waistline and improve posture. Plank helps tone the abdomen areas and increase flexibility. When I first did a plank, I would shake a lot because my core was so weak. I started from 20 seconds and now I’m able to do 2-3 minutes straight. If you have never done a plank, I suggest you start with 20 seconds and increase up as time goes on. I have used the Pinterest plank challenge for 30 days to help strengthen my core.
Pinterest Plank hallenge for 30 days
Directions For Plank:
While in a plank, make sure your back is perfectly straight. Go down on your elbows and come up till your butt is in line with your back, head in neutral position, hold your hands and hold for minutes and engage your core. People always tell me they cannot do a plank, if he or she is not strong enough for a full plank, try doing the modified plank, go on down on your knees and you can hold up your legs or keep them on the ground.
Modified Plank (I do not own the right to this video, this video is showing you the correct way to perform planks).
Regular Plank (I do not own the right to this video, this video is showing you the correct way to perform planks).
2. A bonus core move when you master the plank is the side plank. Side Plank helps reduce fat on the sides of your stomach. Side plank strengthens the shoulders and arms too.
Direction For Side Plank
While lying on your side, put feet on top of one another, shoulder over the elbows and make sure your hips are straight, lift up or you can keep hands on the floor.
Side Plank (I do not own the right to this video, this video is showing you the correct way to perform side planks).
- Russian Twist
Russian twist engages all the abdomen muscles. I like the Russian twist because you can use one 5 or 10 lb. weight or a can of soup or ball or no weight with this exercise. This exercise helps trim down your abdomen and waistline. I am using Pinterest Russian twist challenge for 30 days. You start from 25 twists and work your way to 200 twists.
Direction For Russian twist :
Lay on your back then sit up with your knees bent. You can use 1 weight, a can of soup or ball. You just twist from side to side. For more advanced moves, keep the feet off the ground with legs crossed, hold stomach and contract the muscle as you twist side to side.
Russian Twist (I do not own the right to this video, this video is showing you the correct way to perform twist).
4. My favorite core body workout is the hollow body holds. This is great for strengthening the core and works out all abdomen muscles.
Directions For Hollow Body Holds:
This is how to do hollow body: lie down flat on your back and contract the abs, pulling the belly button towards the floor. The arms and legs should be held straight out from the body with hands and toes pointed. Slowly raise the shoulders and legs from the ground.
Hollow Body Holds (I do not own the right to this video, this video is showing you the correct way to perform Hollow Body Holds).
5. Abs roller /Ab Wheel
For anyone with chronic back problems or lower back problem should not do the ab roller.
kneel on the floor and grab the handles of the Ab Wheel. Your shoulders start over the wheel. Brace your core (suck in your stomach) and slowly roll the wheel forward, extending your body as far as you can. Use your abdominal muscles to pull the wheel back to the starting position. If you are having trouble with ab wheel work on planks to strengthen your back.
Ab Wheel (I do not own the right to this video, this video is showing you the correct way to perform Ab Wheel).
- Slider discs/ Core slider
I have increased my balance and strengthen my core by using the slider discs/ core slider/glider . I like that with the sliders disc/ core sliders he or she can do a full body workout with just using them. The workouts I like to do with the sliders are slider mountain climber , slider burpees and slider plank to pike one leg to engage my core. If you do not have sliders you can use paper plates.
- I do abs workout 3 days a week, I rotated the days so I can give my core rest days.
- I did Planks daily for one month to build up my core strength.
- I do strength training 30min 4 – 5 days a week.
- I eat a balanced diet.
My abs workout video is a 30 second interval workout challenge
Workout equipment need
- Weights 8-10 lbs or any weights or soup cans or water bottles for the Russian twist
- sliders or paper plates
- AB roller
- Resistance bands
- All of the products can be find on Amazon or in stores.
The video started with me doing the following for 30 second:
- Planks 30 seconds
- Hollow body holds 30 second
- Russian Twist 30 second
- Sliders 30 second
slider plank to pike one leg
- AB roller 30 second ( Do as much ab roller you can do in the 30 second with proper form. If you do the ab roller without proper form he or she can injure their back).
- resistance band squats ( Place resistance band in the center of your thighs and squats, side to side).
P.S I wear a sweatband to help engage my core more. I purchase it from amazon, plus I use it with my workouts, great sweat.
“If you feel insignificant, you better think again.Better wake up because you’re part of something way bigger. You’re part of something way bigger.Not just a speck in the universe.Not just some words in a bible verse.You are the living word. Ahh, you’re part of something way bigger. Bigger than you, bigger than we.Bigger than the picture they framed us to see.But now we see it and it ain’t no secret”. I love Beyonce new song “Bigger” because we are created for something bigger than ourselves. I believe that God has a purpose for us.
For more ab workout please check out Sworkit Ab & Core Workouts App its free. I like this app because your practice from the lowest five minutes to the highest 60 minutes.
I have realized that when I was very stressed out my hair would fall out. My hair falls out to the point I have to cut my hair shorter. I’ve found other ways to deal with my stress, such as exercising and practicing more self-care.
Hair loss can be caused by
Genetics – Hereditary hair loss.
Stress – Emotional, physically and illness.
Poor diet – Deficient in iron (anemia), B12 and protein.
Hormone -New mothers and menopausal women may experience hair loss due to drop in estrogen level. Also, thyroid imbalance can cause hair loss.
Medications – Antidepressants, anticoagulation, hypertension and cholesterol, oral contraceptives and chemotherapy.
Immune system – Alopecia.
Hair loss can occur by excessive use of heat styling tools.
The treatments that have helped my hair growth
- Trimming my hair when needed; help removes damaged and split ends.
- Hair growth supplements such as Sugar Bear Vitamins or Hair, Skin and Nail Vitamins and Biotin supplement. I normally take biotin supplement everyday, but now I take it once a week or not at all. Some people have experienced acne breakout from taking a biotin supplement.
- Deep conditioner is a great way to prevent breakage of hair because it helps nourish, strengthen and moisturize your hair.
- Having balanced diet has a huge effect on the health of your hair. It also depends on what you put into your body .If you lacked vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, B vitamins, iron, biotin, protein and essential fatty acids it may slow down hair growth or even cause hair loss.
- I like to oil my scalp 2-3 week because my scalp is dry, but if you have an oily scalp once a week is enough. Oiling the scalp helps increase circulation, which helps make your scalp healthier.
- Hydration – If you want good hair please drink your water. Our body is made of 65 percent water. When we drink water it travels to our brain, lungs, blood, skin, bones, stomach, muscle, liver and kidney. Water support vitamins, which contributes to hair growth and reduce dandruff. If he or she is not drinking enough water the problems that can occur are hair thinning, split ends, brittle hair and stop growing. Your hair like a flower, without water the flower will not grow it would just die. If you want to know how much water to drink daily, you can use your weight in pounds and divided by 2 = numbers of ounces.
My hair type
What I do to my hair
For my hair I normally do a relaxer 2-3 times a year or less. The more often you relaxer your hair can cause hair loss because it weakens the hair. When my hair is not relaxer I get wash and set (Dominican blowout) with a deep conditioner treatment. I love to give my hair a break by getting my hair braid two times in a year. When my hair is braided for about two- three months, I make sure to oil my scalp regular which gives my hair nutrients to grow. Hair braiding can cause damage to the hair by pulling out your edges if it’s done too tightly.
Please take care of your hair when it’s in a protective style
The problem is when we have our hair braid or hair weaver we forget to take care of our own hair underneath. We need to take care of own hair with oil the scalp or washing the hair regular because hair left unattended will lead to breakage and hair loss. When it comes to my hair I make sure there are less hands in your hair meaning , when I relaxer my hair its only one person and know her by her name same goes with my hair braiding one lady.
Rosemary Essential oil for hair growth
You know my love for essential oils, so I have incorporated rosemary essential oil in my hair routine. Rosemary essential oil is an anti-inflammatory: it triggers hair growth, increase hair volume and help relieve itchy scalp. To make rosemary solution just dilute 10 drops in a carrier oil (coconut, jojoba oil, almond oil or use other oils. I normally buy Doo Gro Mega thick oil, the liquid version, add half to an empty spray bottle and add ten drops of rosemary essential oils and shake it up. You can use that oil on your scalp weekly or as needed. Also, you can add rosemary essential to your shampoo by adding a few drops in it.
My daily routine
After my routine wash set (Dominican blowout) , I normally oil my scalp with Doo Gro and rosemary essential oil mixture to moisturize my hair and help my hair grow and then I wrap my hair and put on a silk scarf. Once a week I would apply the rosemary mixture to my hair because I don’t want to over oil my hair or just use it in my shampoo.
I use a little hair lotion (Fantasia Carrot Growth Oil Moisturizer) and style and go. When I do not use the lotion, I used coconut moisturizer. When it comes to hair growth you have to try and see what works for you, but those are the things I have used to help my hair growth. Please be patient with your hair growing and just be consistent with what you are doing.
“Focus on one thing, make it your priority, and stick with it no matter what!”. My current hair is below:
I am Healthy and Happy !!!!
1 butter squash
Meatball – see my pasta blog for the meatball recipe https://loseweightnotfaithblog.com/2018/07/03/keishas-pasta-dish/
Drizzle of olive oil or spray olive oil
Dash seasoning (use any seasoning you like) or salt and black pepper to keep it simple.
- Follow my meatball recipe from my pasta blog for the meatball section.
- Wash and dry the butter squash .Use a sharp knife to cut the butter squash in half. Use a spoon to remove the inside of the squash and put it in a baking pan. Drizzle the olive oil or spray olive oil on the top on the squash and sprinkle desired seasoning (dash seasoning or black pepper and salt). Bake at 400 for 15- 20 minutes or until the squash is brown and soft in the inside. You can check if the squash is done by sticking a fork in the squash and the fork comes out smooth it’s done.
- Remove squash from the oven, let cool off 5- 10 minutes, and then use a fork or your hands to pull the strands of squash away from the peel.
- Serve the squash with meatball and sprinkle parmesan cheese.
“Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times, they can only make your stronger”. Sorry I have been away the past couple months. I have been battling two sinus infections because of my allergies. During that time, I realized that it’s in the night season (difficult times) we grow. He or she may feel like a caterpillar but your wings are coming in and your transformation is coming, so praise the Lord because your breakthrough is coming. Amen!!
“God, grant me the compassion to give patient, loving care, to help the sick and injured, and bring comfort to despair. At the end of every busy day, as I lay my head to rest, Please give me peace within my heart to know I’ve done my best”.
Happy Nurses Week to my CCU Family and please remember to practice more self-care. God Bless you!!
Believe in yourself and you will be unstoppable. Trust in God.