Updated 2013-09-24 23:09:13 ID=676:0

© 2013 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

What Your Immune System Needs to Guard Your Body of Winter Ills

Worried About this Year's Cold and Flu Season? Need to beef yourself up with Good Healthy Vitamins and Minerals?

Have you been to the BEST health-food store in your town yet? It's found just around the corner --your favorite grocery store's well-stocked produce aisle!

Like any army protecting its territory, the immune system army "marches on its stomach." Immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment, and nothing can help you ward off winter's colds and flu like Nature's superfoods. You don't need any one specific food for specific ailments. You need to eat a well-balanced cornucopia of the right foods, they will join resources together to help build your "immunity army" into a force that will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer --as well as lower your grocery bills!

So what ARE these so called superfoods? They're foods such as mushrooms, bright red peppers, oranges, broccoli, blueberries, tomatoes, spinach, walnuts, pumpkin, walnuts, apples, strawberries, carrots, yams, oats, quinoa, dark chocolate and cinnamon, just to name a few. One thing that they all have in common is that they're all "real foods" --ones that are unprocessed. They've either been grown in the vegetable-fruit patch, grain field, or on a tree, and hopefully untreated chemically.

Now a lot of you out there probably think I'm a little too simplistic in my thinking. Such unprocessed (or organic) food can be expensive, especially with a large family. But Heavens! Have you ever priced buying several bottles of vitamin supplements for a whole family on a routine basis? Those are REALLY processed and expensive!

©2013 The Romantic Table, The deeper and brighter the color of the produce, usually means that it has a higher level of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids 2013-09-24 23:05:09:357
©2013 The Romantic Table

The deeper and brighter the color of the produce, usually means that it has a higher level of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids
We all know "health gurus" swear by their diet of supplements and powdered drinks as a way to "beat the illness-trap." Perhaps for them drinking powdered drinks might make them feel like they're cheating Father Time. But WHAT KIND of a life is that? If you go through life just having "powdered drinks' as your diet, you're missing out on a lot. Variety is the spice of life!

Besides what help vitamins DO contribute, they work best in combination with eating a healthy super-food-laden diet. So start with a healthy diet to begin with! As I have said many times before, strive to find the most wholesome superfoods, as your budget can afford. Be creative--and a little adventurous in finding news ways to incorporate superfoods into delicious, healthy and eye-appealing meals. This web site can help!

When trying to adhere to a healthier diet, use some common sense! If you occasionally eat some foods that are NOT on "the ideal healthy foods list" (and we ALL venture off our healthy diet paths once in a while), don't beat yourself up about it! Just compensate by getting back on track and resume eating more healthier foods. It will all balance out in the end. It's called "Living an enjoyable life!"

That's why I believe we all need to enjoy a little of life's best pleasures. So once in a while I WILL enjoy a delicious grilled lamb chop, or a hamburger. But when I do eat those things, I try to buy the item in its purest form and "process it" in my own kitchen, such as grinding my own hamburger meat that I've picked out so I know exactly what my hamburger is made of. Plus when I DO eat things that are not quite as healthy as "superfoods," at the same meal, I add complementary side dishes that ARE superfoods. For instance, when serving home-ground and grilled hamburgers, I also serve freshly cooked organic corn on the cob with Classic French-Style Country Potato Salad or my homemade Cole Slaw-Paso Robles Style and then fruit for dessert. Moderation is the key to an enjoyable diet!

In general, when looking for superfoods that will help you stay well, feed your family as well as help lower your grocery bill, look for brightly-colored vegetables and fruit. The deeper and brighter the color of the produce, usually means that it has a higher level of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids -compounds that protect our bodies from stress damage --and in today's modern living we all DEFINITELY need to find more ways to compensate for the stressors our bodies' systems endure!

OK, now that you've got the message about eating more superfoods, HOW do you realistically adapt them to your meal plan as something you'd REALLY like to eat that looks, smells, and tastes as appetizing as "the naughty junk-food," and are not a pain in the neck to prepare? Building the main course around vegetables is a smart start because they are the most antioxidant-loaded, lowest calories as well as the cheapest food source and very adaptable, and prepare them minimally to preserve both flavors and vitamins.

©2013 The Romantic Table 2013-09-24 23:08:03:358
©2013 The Romantic Table

Start by choosing whatever looks good in season. It will almost automatically be inexpensive and really good quality.
Start by choosing whatever looks good in season. It will almost automatically be inexpensive and really good quality. If you want to build a meal say on collard greens, kale or Swiss Chard, you can prepare them classic Mediterranean style with a little extra virgin olive oil, a little garlic, a little onion and a little pork sausage, then saute them down and add to a luscious pappardelle pasta for example or an unusual and interesting pasta shape. Top the dressed pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and you've got a really delicious meal! Here are a couple simple recipes examples in that style Collard Greens with Italian Sausage and Pappardelle Pasta, Rotini with Swiss Chard and Fresh Sausage. When they try it, even kids find "it's not as bad as they thought it would be!" (Or trick them to WANT to try it by saying "no it's NOT for you--it's just for us grown-ups--you're too young to enjoy it! Works every time!)

But remember, you DO need some form of protein as well for a healthy diet-especially if you've got growing kids that need their nourishment. Just remember to add complementary superfoods to maintain a "healthy cornucopia!" For more information, please read the article About the Romantic Table’s Recipes. That article is the "raison d'etre" for this web site and what I'm all about when it comes to food. Just scroll down this website's recipe Index -and you'll get some ideas of all the fun and delicious ways to eat yourself healthy.

So get a little creative and adventurous and help your family have some fun eating their way to good health and bolstering their immune system "warriors!"

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Past News and Article Archive Directory

A tip from Sue!

A good cook should control the salt and spices!

Do not use salted butter, garlic powder, or heavily salted canned foods. Instead, if you need butter, use unsalted butter and then add in the salt separately so that YOU control the amount of salt you need. The same goes for spices. Using commercially salted and seasoned products will homogenize the taste of your recipes. When you eat something, you should be able to taste all the individual.flavors of a dish.