green super soup (and other winter wellness weapons)

Posted on December 22nd, 2014 by mountain girl  |  4 Comments »


We’ve been fighting colds here for the past few weeks.  It hit Caleb first, then Zia, then Cash, and now me.  In the fight, I’ve found a few helpful products worth mentioning.  I’ve also devised a recipe for a savory, immune-boosting soup that has really hit the spot and made me feel better (others around here would rather suffer than drink something green).

Here are some of the helpful tips/products I’ve found:

For a strong immune system:

Probiotic supplements are great, but honestly, most of them aren’t worth taking.  They are eaten up by your stomach acids before they can actually help you.  I’ve heard even the ones with an enteric coating are not always reliable. The best I’ve found so far is Bio-Kult. The reviews are amazing and it has been know to help vanquish candida, relieve irritable bowl syndrome, keep urinary tract infections at bay, heal leaky gut syndrome, help with traveler’s diarrhea,  and strengthen immunity against sickness in general.

For coughing:

My favorite standby is apple cider vinegar with honey and cayenne.  I don’t measure the ingredients, but it is about 1/2 cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a good dash of cayenne and a teaspoon or two of raw honey.  Mix until honey is dissolved, take a small sip and gargle.  Repeat as needed.  I’m practically living on it, these days.

Another amazing cough remedy is Wyldewood Cellars Elderberry Concentrate.  We used to buy it in Kansas City, but recently Whole Foods stores in Colorado have been carrying it.  You can also buy it online (the link above has a decent price), and it is so worth having on hand.  Zia had an awful cough at the end of her cold, and couldn’t stop coughing for several nights.  I gave her the elderberry concentrate with stevia and water, and she immediately stopped coughing.  It lasted a couple of hours at a time before she needed more.  I also gave it to her in the morning before school.  After just a couple of days of taking it, her cough was completely gone–no lingering on and on.  It tastes good, too–especially sweetened.  I like it plain, though it’s a little bitter, and I love that it’s a juice, not a pre-sweetened syrup like most elderberry products.

TriLight Health (for sore throat, etc):

I’ve recently discovered a small online company called TriLight Health.  I tried them only because I had a coupon code for a free product, and after reading some reviews, chose ViraMune.  I also got a free sample of LymphaRub for signing up for their newsletter.

This week I had a really painful sore throat (which I almost never get) for a night and a day.  Finally I realized I could put a couple drops of LymphaRub in the back of my throat.  It helped within ten minutes.  You can also rub it topically on a stiff neck or sore muscles.  It’s made of essential oils and eases pain pretty quick.

ViraMune came  in the mail later, right in the middle of our being sick.  This was our second bottle–I bought the first a few months ago and had Zia take it when her whole class was sick and she was started to come down with something.  She started feeling better immediately and never came down with what her class had.   This second bottle helped us, but it would have been more effective if we had taken it earlier.  It seems best for knocking out colds and flu early on.

For stuffy noses, large and small:

The kids and I use Coldcalm, a homeopathic decongestant made by Boiron. (This isn’t a new find–we’ve been using it for years.) They make a variety just for kids, but I like giving Cash and Zia a smaller dose of the adult kind–it works better.  It also helps keep your ears from plugging up.

For plugged ears:

Since I mentioned plugged ears, I’ll just say that garlic oil is the greatest thing.  It’s best if you take it right when they first start closing up, but it has worked for me even after they are plugged.  We haven’t had a problem with plugged ears this year, but in the past I’ve used this brand.  I’ve heard that garlic oil also helps heal ear infections in kids.

For flu:

Oscillococcinum works really well if you get the flu.  You can usually find it at Walmart, Walgreens, Whole Foods, or your local health food store.


Some things seems obvious, but I’ll mention them anyway.  If you want to get better fast (or stay well in cold/flu season), stay away from sugar!  It brings your immunity waaaaay down and hinders you from fighting off sickness.  It’s also best to cut down on carbs in general, especially grains.  Especially wheat: it’s a great breeding ground for colds.

Dairy is kind of a no-brainer, since it creates lots of mucus and can lengthen the duration of a cold.  Unfortunately, I learned the hard way.  I know enough to stay away from milk and cheese, but surely fermenting organic homemade yogurt for two days has to build up enough probiotics to outweigh all the nasty effects of dairy.  Long story short: I don’t have a voice, y’all.  I had gotten almost completely better after a day on ViraMune, and then I had to go and eat two cups of yogurt.  I got a stuffy nose, a hoarse throat, and a cough  (hello again, a.c. vinegar and honey).  I can’t be sure it was the dairy, but it was a bad enough experience for me to stay away from all dairy the next time I have a cold.

I’ve found some of the most helpful things to consume are: raw or lightly cooked veggies–especially carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and onions–good fats (coconut oil has awesome immune-boosting properties), and (surprisingly?) lots of protein.  I heard about protein from an old Japanese nutritional healer, and of course I had to try it out.  I thought the stress of digesting proteins would hinder my body from fighting effectively, but now I think the opposite might be true.  Also, bone broth is full of minerals and it helps keep you strong and healthy.  I make mine from turkey legs and wings.

And finally, here is my immunity soup recipe.  I hope all this has been at least a little helpful–and I’d also like to hear what natural-health weapons you have in your arsenal to combat winter sickness.  Leave a comment and let me know!

Green Super Soup

2 cups hot bone broth

4 cups fresh spinach or kale

2 medium carrots, peeled and quartered

2 stalks celery

a slice of onion

1 garlic clove

1 T coconut oil

1 orange-flavor vitamin C tablet (or fizzy packet)

1″ chunk ginger root (or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger)

Dash cayenne

1 T nutritional yeast (optional)

2 T chia seeds

Sea salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and process till smooth.  If you have a Vitamix or something similar, you can blend till it is heated through; otherwise heat gently on stove top.  Add more hot water if you prefer thinner soup.  Pour into a mug and sip to your health!

4 Responses to “green super soup (and other winter wellness weapons)”

  1. Your Lion says on :

    I noticed there was no mention of Dadda getting it, must be the Snickers and Dr. Peppers. That, or living in a constant state of sickness has its benefits. Or maybe it’s all the hard manual labor I put in……. /:O)

  2. mountain girl says on :

    Or could it be the red chile flowing permanently through your veins? Whatever it is, I love it….;)

  3. Jennifer Miller says on :

    i found out about leaky gut this summer and how much the gut area is responsible for immune problems. I started taking ProBio5 from Plexus in September. So far not a sniffle. We’ll see how the Christmas travel season goes but I’m thinking it’s a winner too.

  4. mountain girl says on :

    That’s awesome. I just checked Probio5 out and it sounds like great stuff. So it must help heal leaky gut syndrome?