I have come to the conclusion that there are several people out there who envision me as satan spawn because I have refused the H1N1 vaccination and have been quite vocal regarding my concerns with it. Now, don't get me wrong, your body is private property and because I firmly believe that I can't necessarily be anti-H1N1 vaccine. Although I am. For myself, anyway. Do what you will with your own body; I understand the complexity of scary issues like this. However I strongly urge you to do as much research as possible prior to committing to a side and do not let the criticism of others sway your decision. And as an FYI, this shot is not vegan and while I understand that for many people their veganism is a diet-only circumstance, I am first and foremost an animal rights advocate and environmentalist and this vaccination is neither vegan, nor green. For myself, I am avoiding this flu the same way I attempt to avoid every cold and flu, and that is by not panicking and doing what I can to take care of myself.
It's really very simple. Take care of your body so it can take care of itself. This means eating properly, resting properly, and exercising properly. It's funny to me how we will try absolutely everything to avoid diseases (big pharma is so high-fiving right now), to lose weight and get healthy (there was one time in my life that I paid money for an ab-tronic because I was so lazy. SERIOUSLY!). Our bodies suffer, our health suffers. Now, I don't think it's fair to completely knock the medical industry...there are folks out there with serious issues and I do not want to make light or victim blame, or claim that eating right and exercising will cure all disease. A girl can dream, but I am aware that this is not the case and there is real suffering going on out there that I cannot begin to fathom.
However, the hard, fast truth is that for the vast majority of us, eating properly and going for a walk every once in awhile will work wonders for boosting our immune systems and helping us naturally avoid the viruses so common at this time of year.
This means not only eating vegetables but eating a wide variety of vegetables (what many websites are so cutely referring to as "eating the rainbow"). Vegetables high in beta carotene are especially important for fighting viruses because they increase the number of naturally occurring infection-fighting and virus-fighting cells in your body. A good rule of thumb when looking for veggies high in beta carotene is consulting their colour - foods that are orange typically have significant amounts of beta carotene. Hence the butternut squash soup pictured above.
Miso is also believed to promote a healthy immune system and help the body bounce back from a run-in with a virus. Plus, on top of everything else, it tastes awesome.
This recipe is from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas. I really do recommend this cookbook, especially for the chilly months ahead...a big pot of soup is good for the soul and good for the body too. Maybe there's something to be said about, when possible, letting your body do the work for itself prior to resorting to man-made concoctions.