Tips on living your best life and how to make an easy and gourmet charcuterie board!
Living life like a charcuterie board
Since the global pandemic, we’ve come to realize that we need to embrace the reality that when it’s up to us to keep ourselves and families safe and well.
Elements of immunity and how to protect it:
- You need to move!
You don’t need me to remind you that being active is just amazing! It helps us maintain a proper weight, keeps our muscles and bones stronger, sleep well and manage stress! Pretty impressive, hey?!
What else? Let’s go through some other benefits!
- Sweating helps release toxins! It also helps flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways!
- A little geek moment: it helps antibodies and white blood cells in your immune cells circular faster so they can detect pathogens and maybe even prevent infection! Okay, geek hat off.
- It turns on your internal thermostat which can prevent those pesky bacteria from growing!
- Finally, exercise can slow down your body’s release of stress hormones. Hello, natural mood booster!
- And did you know, if you hit the cardio button 5 days or more of the week, studies show you are less likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection than those who are not as active
- Sleep well!
I’m the last person to take my own advice on sleep. It’s definitely something I need to work on!
Here are some gems you gain from sleeping
- When you’re snoozing, your body is undergoing complex hormonal changes that help your immune system
- Sleep enables your T cells (specialized immune cells) to target infected cells
- And here’s an obvious: when you’re ill, sleep helps restore your body’s depleted immune cells
- Having enough sleep can be the reason between your body catching a cold or fighting it off.
- Manage Stress!!
I feel like we live in a life where we do 20 times the things our parents did when we were small. Between juggling our busy lives, managing stress is a vital factor to keeping well.
When you have acute stress, your body signals to the brain to release a cascade of hormones. When the stressor is gone, the body then signals to the brain to stop the release and your body goes back to normal.
However! Under chronic stress your body is basically ready to fight a bear at all times. This depletes your body and affects your immune system. It will cause high blood pressure, digestion issues, sleep issues and headaches
Let me know if you have any ways you like to handle stress or if you’d like a separate email on this 🙂
- Staying social:
Being social helps reduce our stress levels for sure! I’m not in any way a social bird but I do love the connection of being surrounded by people who just glow and bring you up.
- People who are more connected to people have less anxiety and depression
- If you do have an illness, being around people can help you recover faster and may even lengthen your life! Wahoo!
- Gratitude, altruism and being kind to others helps trigger the release of stress reducing hormones which will aid the immune system!
- Staying heathy with food!
Food is natural art that appeals to all the senses. The smell of freshly peeled clementine. The crunch of an apple. The taste of a juicy pineapple. The touch of a pistachios while you peel them open. Food can bring comfort, satisfaction and togetherness.
We eat to live but we also eat to nourish and heal. Choosing foods wisely will help our immune cells be well nourished so they can circulate constantly throughout your body. Also, they need to be primed and ready for any onslaught or hint of invading pathogens that can lead to damage or illness.
Designing a charcuterie board is much like designing art.
It’s a blank canvas you can fill with colour, texture and patterns
Here are some ideas on creating your next gourmet charcuterie board:
Big? Small? Bamboo? Marble? I personally love the look and feel of wood. I have special boards JUST for display and I won’t use it for cutting onion and garlic. The residual juices from this will leak into your fruits and vegetables you make for your dismay and taste just awful! I’m not saying you don’t wash your boards properly but I’d keep your regular cutting boards separate from charcuterie board ones. I don’t treat them with oil and I definitely don’t wash them with soap. I just wash with some water and wipe clean with a dry towel.
If you want to place parchment paper down you can before you add your things, but it slides everything around and doesn’t look very nice!
Size does matter
I wouldn’t have a huge board for my kids who pick their favourites off only. For a crowd of 20 people or more I’d definitely take out your biggest board. I’d keep it small for your kids and I would double that for when you have a group of 5 people. Remember, it’s a grazing board and not meant to replace a meal!
Stick to what you know
Since I eat plant based, it’s such a beautiful opportunity to display what I love to eat, besides fruits and veggies. It gives local vendors an opportunity to shine on your board and give a bit more awareness to what’s out there.
As a final note, one beautiful friend suggested in my DMs to add small pieces of wax paper, tongs or perhaps gloves too to respect people’s level of tolerance for COVID 19 and the spread of germs. The pandemic has shown us we all have different levels of tolerance and we should be respectful just in case!
Something small: Berries
Bioflavonoids are an incredibly plant chemical found in colourful foods like berries, tomatoes, cabbage and some tea! These are readily available antioxidants and can cut infections as much as 33 percent!
Use berries to fill up “holes” in your board, add familiarity to a big board, and add a pop of colour!
I love adding kiwi berries, passion fruit or something unique to get a bit of conversation going. Sometimes it may be the first time someone has tried that particular fruit and it can be a portal to exploring something new!
Examples: guava, fresh dates, kiwi berries, and passion fruit
I’m vegan so my boards are naturally vegan. But I also love flowers so I’ll add a personal touch with a garnish of flower petals or add whole flower heads in between all the goodies.
With a plethora of vegan cheeses, I have an unlimited array of cheeses to choose from. Cheeses made from nuts are like having a super star on your board! They have high amounts of vitamin E and healthy omega 3 fatty acids that is good immunity and overall good health! PLUS a good source of iron and protein! Shine, superstars, shine!!!
Whether it’s store bought or done at home, dips are so much fun to have with your veggies and crackers.
Adding garlic to your dips can help ward off infections by increasing natural killer cells, macrophages and lymphocytes. Hummus with chickpeas can offer huge immune heath! They contain zinc, selenium, and vitamin b6! As a bonus, pulses are sustainable because they review less energy and water. Score for the environment!!! Let’s add those lentils and pulses!
I mean who doesn’t love some chocolate!? Dark chocolate has phytochemical theobromine and helps boost your immune system, deliciously! Theobromine is way more effective in relieving a cough than codeine! It does that by blocking the action of nerves that trigger the cough! Dark chocolate also has flavonoids, which is an antioxidant that slows cell damage and supports immune health.
Circles, squares, rectangles, pretzels, sticks are great way to add some textures and flavours to a food board!
Pomegranates and cranberries: the deep red seen in these fruits are from a flavonoid pigment called anthocyanin. It helps with your vision, neurological health, and is: antioxidatve, antiviral and antimicrobial!
Citrus fruits and red peppers:
Citrus and peppers are superstars! They have wonderful amounts of vitamin C which is so needed to immune system maintenance.
Bell peppers have Vitamin E as well which is great to boost your body’s immune system.
Let’s not forget these beauties! Orange vegetables are usually rich in beta carotene, which is an antioxidant that helps produce vitamin A, which supports health eyes and skins and strong immunity!
Greens are also very rich in phytonutrients as mentioned last week.
How to make a Kiwi Flower
Hope you enjoyed these tips!
Graphics done by @maisiesghost
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