I've been doing a little reading about ways to build immunity and things to avoid as well, made easier by some of the comments you left guiding me in the right direction. I haven't talked in detail about my children's health issues, but I will share that my daughter started life (and toddlerhood) with a very compromised immune system. She's taken antibiotics more than half the days of her life because of medical issues from birth. That takes a toll on a body. She and I tend to get sick at the same time; usually she is sick first, then I am caring for her/losing sleep and stressed and a week later I get whatever she had. The other kids don't get sick nearly as often... it just seems that way when there are a lot of kids!
So, we're focused lately on eating more fresh fruits and veggies (which is a challenge for my sweet girl, but she is trying hard!). We have a chart in the kitchen where she writes down the names of all the fruits and veggies she tries and whether they are a "yes", a "no" or a "maybe." And since taste buds change, we revisit the maybe's frequently. I got her some new, better multivitamins today (Animal Parade) and some immune support supplements for us both (Black Elderberry Syrup and another supplement I never heard of before called Sinupret). We're both using saline nasal rinse and tonight for dinner I cooked up several things that are supposed to be good for the immune system: black beans with onions, garlic, peppers, homemade chicken stock, and oregano. We ate it over brown rice and it was very good. I also bought several kinds of fresh berries to have for dessert.
I would really like to be healthy enough and have the energy to focus on weight loss *and* health. I am pretty sure if I wait for that to happen, I will just end up fatter, so I am doing what I can to eat good wholesome foods in smaller amounts so that maybe the weight will come off even while I am not feeling well. We'll see. I do find it interesting that in the first 8 months I was strictly on Medifast, I did not get sick once. Not once. And when I started messing around going off plan, I started getting sick occasionally... just colds and such. Makes me wonder what, exactly, I was eating that supported my immune system so well or what, exactly, I added back in that lowered my immune system.
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