EP02: How to Boost Your Immune System with Food


The winter season is upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking about ways to combat sickness and stay healthy. Instead of stocking up on items for your medicine cabinet, focus on stocking up your refrigerator with fresh, colorful, immune-boosting foods.


In this Checkable Podcast, Checkable’s Sr. Communications Strategist, Erica Dvorak, chats with Sarah M. Tee, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Licensed Dietitian with a Master’s in Public Health. Sarah’s mantra is nutrition from the inside out as it serves for loving and living a nutritious and fulfilled life.

Let's get the tea from Sarah Tee as she shares the top 8 essential tips on boosting your immune system.


Key Takeaways:

  • A nutritionist’s go-to list for immune-fighting foods that help you stay healthy.
  • Does organic matter when it comes to immune-fighting foods?
  • Foods to avoid during the cold and flu season.
  • Quick and easy immune-boosting snack ideas.
  • Immune-boosting dinner ideas sure to please the whole family.


So, before you grab that bottle of cold medicine, hit play on Episode 2 of the Checkable Podcast!


Connect with Sarah on Instagram or via her website.

Connect with Checkable Health:



Connect with Patty Post:



Prefer to read? A full transcription of the episode is available below! 


0:00:08.7 S1: Hello, welcome to the Wellness Essentials podcast. I am Erica Dvorak, and I am the Senior Communication Strategist here at Checkable medical, and I will be your host today on this lovely WE podcast episode. So today, we are talking a little bit about eating for immunity and easy ways to stay on track with your healthy-eating goals. This is something that I'm super passionate about. Especially since I know what you put in is what you get out of your body. So today we have an expert, Sarah Tee, who is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and licensed dietician with a Master's in Public Health. Sarah's mantra is “nutrition from the inside out,” as it serves to love and live a nutritious and fulfilled life. She believes there is no need to focus on fad diets or to restrict yourself, but to find things and food that are healthy and that you can be passionate about. So each of us is different, and it's those differences that make us who we are. Nutrition from the inside out is a way of thinking, it's not only about the food, recipes, fad diets, and things like that, but also about who you are on the inside.


0:01:28.5 S1: Behaviors, lifestyle, emotions, blood work, personality, and overall disposition can greatly impact what is on the outside, and that's only the beginning. Sarah states that when we look inside, we can successfully work on our outward appearance, and who we truly are and desire to be, it takes patience and time, but it's all worth it in the end. I love that. So, so much. So Sarah, thank you so much and to the show... Hi, thank you so much for having me.


0:02:08.9 S2: Very, very, very honored to be here and can't wait to dive into all of this delicious information...


0:02:17.0 S1: Yes, yeah, I love to play on words there. I love it, I love it. So before we dive in, I would love... So I gave a little bit about your passion behind what you do, registered dietitian, that's who you are, but tell us a little bit more about yourself personally, like your family, and then a little bit more professionally.


0:02:40.5 S2: Sure, so we are transplants to North Dakota, we moved here in 2017 for my husband's job, and I am just not... I'm not looking back. It is, it is home. All of our family is back in Illinois and there are precious memories and our family, and we go back there quite a bit, and we just are so excited to take each day as it is here, and it's beautiful and it's wonderful, but the opportunities are just amazing here. So we love North Dakota. I'm glad to be working here in serving here, but also just raising my family. I have three children, Ethan is five, and Isabella is three, and then I have a five-month-old Olivia. So time is busy, but they're worth it, and it's just... It keeps me on my toes when you're trying to do meal planning, practice what I preach, and schedules and sports, but it's everything that I've really dreamed about and it's fun, so personally might say that that kind of sums it up, we love being at home and spending time around the fire and looking at our view out west, and I'm picturing it right now, and it just sets me back in a place of calm. Just so important nowadays, which we can get into that in some of my details.


0:04:09.0 S2: But professionally, I have been practicing for about 10 years in the field, post-graduate, and it just blows my mind how fast time has gone and everything that I've been able to do, and experiences and each one was so vital, so vital to where I am today. And each had its own cornerstone and prepared me for the new people that I'm gonna meet, and I'm very thankful for that, and so, I feel a little bit well-rounded and there's all these things to learn and do and change as a professional, and we need to all be aware of that, that it's an ever-changing field, especially dietetics and nutrition, and we need to be open to those changes, and I guess I could use the word humble too, humble to change that we don't wanna be stuck in our ways, but if I can help somebody better, then it's worth every bit of that time in preparing and learning from what's changing


0:05:21.9 S2: One of the other things is that I have a small private practice here in North Dakota, and it has just been a real passion of mine to be able to do that on my own time and really not have those restrictions with my patients and clients, and I love every bit of it. The relationships are so worthwhile, and just being able to be a part of people's journeys to be healthier versions of themselves is really truly... What you said, my passion, we have a very tough world that we live in when it comes to body image and expectations, and I really wanna go against that grain, and the people that I come in contact with to just find joy, true joy in what it is to be healthy for themselves and not compared to others, so I really enjoy having that private practice, and then I'm president of our local chapter of dieticians here, and very thankful for that opportunity and just really getting to see us grow and just come together as dietitians for the state of North Dakota.


0:06:34.3 S1: Cool, very cool. I have to say that I love that your outlook on life just all around. When you were painting that picture of looking out west and talking about your children and your family, I was like, Oh, I love that. I love that, it sounds like you've been very intentional about building your life, which is very cool, and I love how you said that we're always changing and humble, and we have to be humble to change, and I think that goes so well into the topic that we're talking about today, we have to change the way we do things to help our body and help our mindsets, and it's a whole 360 approach, and today we're gonna talk a little bit more about the food part about it, but you had said it's also that mental part too. So I think we'll talk a little about that as well, but today, we wanna talk about food and how it helps with immunity, and that's top of mind right now is sickness and going into the winter months, which I can't believe we're talking about that now, but I mean, the snow up here, up north will be flying sometime soon.


0:07:46.8 S1: Yeah, it could even fly tomorrow. So I just wanted to talk about what are some of those foods that we could eat to really prepare our body to help us when we are... We've just had our kids go back to school, how to prepare our bodies against colds and flu, and there's Covid as well, there's things that you can't really prevent, but you can help make yourself feel a little better during it, so talking about some of those foods, what is your go-to list for immunity-fighting foods that help prevent sickness or help you while you are sick to improve a little bit faster.


0:08:35.6 S2: Sure, I'm sure the Google doctor, right, people can go and look and read things, but as a registered dietician, it's really our goal to be that resource and I want to be that resource, so this is just amazing and it's personal, I have my favorites and other dieticians have their favorite.


0:08:55.6 S1: So really putting a list on it.


0:08:59.2 S2: I would say it's difficult, I'm not a one answer gal. Everybody that knows me knows that I will tell you a story for a one-word answer with that being said, I'm gonna start with a scary one and I'm gonna tell you why. Oysters. So I don't know if you've ever had them, but I have been eating them for years. A meal I shared with my husband not too long ago, I said, You know what, either I've never looked it up, or I don't know what is the nutrition content, but just some of the vitamins and minerals that are packed in it, zinc, vitamin D, B12, those are some big key fighters when it comes to immune system, I guess I should say inflammation, and really helping us be proactive with getting sick, so that's a scary one. And I'm sure some people listening, you're thinking, well, she is crazy, I will not be the... But what if it gave you that pack for two seconds.


0:10:06.3 S1: Again, that's not bringing you total joy, but it brings me joy.


0:10:10.6 S1: But so full of nutrition: crab, lobster and mussels, those are some of the food groups in the shellfish category that really help provide that good nutrition. And I know from some diet aspects, people might be avoiding some of those... Let's just say maybe their doctors told them the fat content, I'm not scared of that. So if it's once in a while that you're having it and it's giving us good nutrition, go for it. Peppers, colorful peppers, believe it or not, on a list, they rank higher than some citrus. So colorful, rich peppers. And my motto, when it comes to vegetables and fruits, they all have great nutrition value, but the darker, the deeper, the richer the color, think you're gonna get more bang for your buck. So red peppers, that's one that you find a lot more being stated for its vitamin C, let's just say that that one's a big key player there for that. And I love them, they're sweet, great for kids snacks, packing lunches, amazing to put in. And when we talk about some recipes, I'll show you how I use those. Dark leafy greens, kale, is this another scary one, but stick with me. Kale chips are life-changing, I can make so versatile to spread on any meal, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


0:11:43.2 S2: Deep dark rich nutrients, vitamin K, the Cs, spinach, broccoli. Again, there's broccoli gets a bad name when it comes to gut health sometimes, for it being maybe a little gassy, even thyroid health. Broccoli is actually beneficial for that. Also an immune-boosting food: strawberries. We eat that a lot, but maybe there's different ways that we can incorporate that in if you don’t want to just sit and eat a bowl of strawberries. I mentioned citrus fruits, yogurt, believe it or not. And if you're struggling with dairy sensitivities, let's find another pathway, maybe it's just cow dairy, we can focus on sheep and goat. Almonds, turmeric, ginger. So I kinda wanted to start with some foods and then you can get into seasonings and adding turmeric and ginger root is huge. You can do fresh turmeric, you can do fresh ginger, you can do ginger powder, you can do turmeric powder, it changes a little bit of the color, but you're adding in more immune-boosting power to that meal, whether it's a soup, maybe it's spaghetti, whatever it is, it's just consciously saying, you know what, I’m gonna throw a little bit of magic in. That's kind of how I picture it.


0:13:00.9 S2: I think it's on Ratatouille or some Disney movie where they're like, Oh, look! That's how I picture it in my head when I'm cooking with my spices.


0:13:08.5 S1: I love that. So


0:13:10.5 S2: I would say for sake of time and just a list that those are some of my favorites that you can add in. And then there's garlic, and all the other different fruits and vegetables you want to add in, but when it comes to some of the top ones that contain those vitamins and minerals like D, zinc, C, B vitamins and E, that would be great. Vitamin D, food sources, I think is really important when it comes to being deficient in it, and if we are listening up here in the Northern Midwest, I want to tell you “get your vitamin D checked” because when it comes to immune system and mental health, you don't wanna be missing out on that. And the foods like salmon, herring canned tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, which is a plant-based source, fortified foods like cow milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereal and oatmeal, that's where you're gonna get it from food. And then let's talk about supplementation on an individualized level, but we wanna focus on what it's going into our mouth if we can, and then take that step back and look at what we might be missing. So I feel like I need to have a handout and send it, but...


0:14:29.7 S2: Oh, I'm gonna plug my website, I might just eventually stick one up there and we can reference it later, but such important foods to get to support what's going on in the inside, 'cause our outside is not gonna change if we're not feeding it and taking care of it. So it's a loaded question, I will say, because I have a can of worms that I've just opened, but for time sake, when it comes to immune-boosting foods, I do want to just mention that it is a full picture within our immune systems. It's the food we eat, it is sleep, it is hydration, it is our gut health, which is a very popular topic now, it's up and coming in the dietetics field even more and being looked at more and how you can implement it. It's the foods we ingest, the stress, our lifestyle, our environment, and nutrition deficiencies, all of these things work together to contribute to our immune function and should be in sync with one another. And if they're not, something's going to be off and impact each other. And each one of those areas that I listed off, all link together to help us fight what's coming at us on a day-to-day basis, not necessarily if it's covid or the flu, or we're feeling run down, we need to evaluate each piece of that puzzle, and that's something that I do do with my clients privately, is look at that, but keep those in mind, guys, as we're fighting this immune battle on a day-to-day basis, just with everything that's going on around us.


0:16:17.5 S1: Yeah, I love it. It's a holistic approach. Totally holistic approach. So with these foods, a question I had, so oysters, going back to oysters, the super scary one for me, when you were listing all of them off, I was like, Oh yeah, everything else is like my jam. I eat that stuff, I love that stuff. But the oysters thing, I'm like, Oh, they're slimy. And so this... So this question goes for all of them, I guess, can you cook them and still have the same benefits and it may change for each of the foods themselves, but for oysters, I could probably do those cooked rather than the raw... The raw, I just can't do, I will, I'll get that up. But if they're cooked, I'm more likely to eat it. And that might be the same, or I know some people just really don't like fresh raw vegetables, but they're fine with them cooked. So does that make a difference at all?


0:17:15.0 S2: I would say like an overall blanket... Have I done a case study side by side? No, but the overall goal is to get the most that we can out of it, and my motto is, let's just say fresh, frozen, canned. It'd be the same thing. Fresh versus cooked, you are still going to get nutrition out of that, will things change based on the heat structure, based on what else said you're adding to it, sure, you might be adding more sodium to that so that you're getting cooked. But if you're mindful about it, you can still get a hefty amount of nutrition out of that, so I don't know if that explains it very well, I don't have the data and the numbers showing, Okay, you're gonna get this much of your B vitamin when it's raw versus when it's cooked and that's something that I can look up and go farther, but for instance, like vitamin B12, it's in the 300% of an RDI. So if you're gonna cook something and it's gonna decrease that value, think you have that percentage to go down...


0:18:21.8 S1: Does that make sense?


0:18:23.8 S2: You're still not maybe getting that 300% of the daily intake of that B12 from that oyster, but you might be getting 250, so to think that to ingest something in a raw state and you're not gonna do it, but to adjust something in a cooked state, I eat both. But not everybody can. It could be a medical thing, it could be a taste thing, you're still getting nutrition. And that's what I care about at the end of the day. So it's not a specific, it's not numbers, but it's that whole concept of taking it in and knowing that maybe you're not gonna get the full amount of something, or it's the type of cooking method that you might use as well, that will change that if you're boiling something in water, you're gonna lose a little bit of into that into the water. So think of your water-soluble vitamins, you're gonna lose a little bit of that in ,into that water, and I don't drink my water, but you can... Maybe you can make a broth out of it, and therefore use some of that nutrition that still got into the water, so..


0:19:32.1 S2: That would be one way to address it. And think about it.


0:19:35.4 S1: To make it work for you. Whatever it works for you. Don’t let it stop you. Do what’s gonna work. I like that a lot. And I noticed on this list too, and I've been learning about this as well, I'm pregnant right now, and so I'm on the prenatal nutrition stuff, but what really surprised me with the books that I've been reading is... It's all about you know, and I'm learning this too, prior to being pregnant, they'd been telling us for years, No fat, low fat, but all of that was just heavy laden with sugars. And in this list of the things, fruits and vegetables aside, 'cause those usually don't have a lot of high-fat content, more on the curb side, but those fishes that you were talking about like... That's okay, like eating fat is Okay. Adding avocado to my eggs for breakfast and having it be a higher fat meal is actually, 'cause that's a good fat and so, is that part of the composition that helps with fighting with immunity or is that just kind of an added plus benefit..


0:20:41.0 S2: Think about what do you know... Let me come at you with a question, what do you think fat in your body is beneficial for...


0:20:49.6 S1: Well, after I've been doing research and learning, I mean, for overall brain health, your brain does have fat in it. In order to operate, it needs fat to consume for your brain to work. And your brain, it is the master of everything in your body. Right.


0:21:06.8 S2: And you feel better. And I think a lot when it comes to omega-3s and omega 6s, we need both, however, in our society, and we tend to overeat Omega-6 and those aren't as beneficial as say, Omega-3s like the fish oil. So there's links of Omega fatty acids to heart disease that's going around, but don't fear fat. We need it, our cells need it. Vitamin D, our fat-soluble vitamins need A, D, E and K. So if you're restricting your fat, you're missing out on key vitamins and minerals that need that fat to work for our immune system.


0:21:58.3 S1: So it is extremely beneficial in the serving size, so when you have... I think there's about five grams of fat in an egg yolk, so don't leave those out, my egg white lovers. Put 'em in.


0:22:09.2 S2: Don’t fear the egg


0:22:10.3 S1: The media can just take it away. Yes, in that cholesterol doesn't matter. That doesn't affect your real cholesterol. It’s good Cholesterol, you need that, you need the choline. You do. And


0:22:23.5 S2: Even some surgeons, I remember practicing, I worked for Lifetime, seems many years ago, but I just remember when those news posts were coming out about the eggs and just surgeons going into these patients and finding... And maybe it wasn't just fat, it’s our lifestyle, and stress, it’s inflammation in our body. So we want to look at the fat type: omega-3, Omega-6s. Or the fatty fishes that I've listed verbally spoken on here, and so when it comes to that pregnancy list, tuna they tend to say, watch, just 'cause the mercury, but if you're having it once in a while and I love to actually bake mine, whether it be on a delicious piece of crusty whole grain bread, and you can sprinkle a little bit of cheese on top and cook it and have it portioned out, that'd be wonderful. But some of the oils and the fats that have Omega-6 is that we tend to over-consume a lot of the times they're in refined products would be in soybeans and corn, safflower, sunflower oils, they're also found in nuts and seeds, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs and so balance, guys, it's all about balance and getting rid of this mindset of restriction. That's toxic, that's bad for your body, and that is also my goal is to help you just find this relationship between these foods and navigate it so that you can choose and then eat what you love.


0:24:01.4 S1: So good. So good, thank you. I love that clarification. So when talking about all these foods, this I think is another hot topic as well in the world of nutrition: organic versus not organic, and that comes with a hefty price tag. And there's some... They have, I think, the dirty dozen and all of that, but what does it matter for the immunity cause? And maybe you're just passionate about a few, that you're always telling your clients, yes, you need to buy these organic because it's putting bad things into your body. Give us a little insight into your thoughts on organic versus not in terms of the immunity fighting, and then also... You just gotta do this.


0:24:47.8 S2: You got it. It is such a hot topic, but I've been practicing from day one, and my motto is food first, right? If I am working with somebody who's in a food desert, and I'm not sure if our listeners understand what that is, and that's somebody who doesn't have access to all of these grocery stores that are around us, and maybe not farmer’s market, but what if they don't have access to that organic or locally grown, were even frozen sometimes, and they... They have canned... At the end of the day, when I'm working with someone, I wanna know what they’re eating. Where it's coming from. Then I can build you back up and say, Okay, you know what, you're eating. Let's talk about it. Where can you get it? Organic. Organic is a word, right? And it's one that can be used... I'm just gonna say it for a marketing benefit at times, because people will see it and buy it and just think, Oh, I gotta get it. It's organic, right? And that's not the mindset I want you to have, because yes, they do tend to be more expensive, which shopping around is really key on where you're getting your food...


0:26:02.9 S2: Let me tell you that. I just wanted to let our listeners know really what organic is, so the US Department of Agriculture, they define being organic as crops that are produced on farms that have not used most synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizer for three years before harvesting the food. There needs to be significant buffer zone, so think if you get a really windy day and there's a non-organic farm and an organic farm very close to each other, more than likely there's gonna be contamination, so we all need to talk about that. To decrease contamination from adjacent farmland. Farms also have to be free from any genetic engineering, ionizing radiation or sewage sludge. As it relates livestock animals must be fed organic feed, live on organic land and be raised without routine antibiotics or hormones. So another thing is free range doesn't mean organic, it just means animals weren't kept in such small enclosures, and the natural label on food means that there's no artificial flavoring or coloring ingredients, but it doesn't mean it's organic or free of pesticides. So I could do probably a whole session on label reading and just educating and these claims, there's even numbers found on stickers on your vegetables.


0:27:27.5 S2: Four is usually conventional, three usually means conventional, but kind of modified, I don't know if you've seen some of these before, and then nine is usually that organic code, so I learned that a long time ago when I was doing grocery store tours right out of my internship, and even that was kind of eye-opening for me. So think about that for a second, all of that has to take place for something to truly be organic, and I just hope in this day and age that people are truly, truly following those standards, if they wanna do that because there are gonna be people that will buy their label because it says organic, because they're trusting that that's what it is. So in relation to the immune system, think of that body environment, that's what I want you to envision yourself as right now, what are we putting into that environment? That's gonna work for ourselves, our gut health, everything goes through the digestive tract, and if that's not healthy and functioning, you're really not gonna get the best nutrient absorption from it, and that those environmental stressors coming from those foods, the pesticides that's wreak havoc on our bodies as well.


0:28:41.6 S2: So if you can change some of what they call the Dirty Dozen, and I will give you some of those foods, that would be a really great place to start. That things that tend to be a little bit dirtier would be a great way to make a swap and start there, but other food groups that don't tend to maybe have that... That's a popular label, it would be great to just get in in any way that you can, so it's really important to shop and to look at those labels. So things like strawberries, I will tend to buy on the organic level, spinach is on that Dirty Dozen list. Kale collard and mustard greens, nectars, apples, grapes. So a lot of fruit, celery, tomatoes, some bell peppers, maybe that would be a great list to start, if you're gonna look at changing that composition, but think of things that grow on trees and in the ground and what comes in contact with that. I want listeners to know that as a dietician, I see that it can be overwhelming, and it can be... It really can be overwhelming, but you have to start somewhere and start small and maybe pick a few ones organic.


0:30:12.3 S2: You're still making an impact. Right, but fresh, frozen, canned, please just start increasing your vegetable and fruit intake if you can, that's where you need to start, and then you can gradually make those changes to cleaning up a little bit about some of those food types.


0:30:35.6 S1: Again, just making it work for you. Just make it work for you. I love that. Awesome, thank you. Thank you, thank you. So we've been chatting about the things that you should eat to help with immunity, what are some of those foods that we should avoid, that don't do us any good when it comes to fighting sickness or preventing all those icky little bugs from entering our body and wreaking a little havoc.


0:31:03.6 S2: So I want you to think processed foods, think fast foods, think sugary foods, and you all know what I'm talking about. Salty fried foods, and what really has that impact on our gut health because it's all going in through there, and... How many times are we tired and maybe there's a certain drive-through that we like to go through, or we're going to someone's house and we just wanna have fun. There's a difference. I have never wanted you to eliminate something that you love it when it comes to food. That's not healthy, and you know what? You're gonna want it more. If I say, do not do processed foods, so like the lunch meats and the hot dogs and all the hamburgers and the sausages, and think of anything that goes through that plant that maybe that company might not be investing quality food and ingredients into, you're gonna consume that and you're gonna consume the kind of junk stuff that comes along with it. But how many times is it, we just wanna have it and maybe that's our treat... That's okay. I want you to know that that's okay. I'm not here to tell you, no, but just be mindful that it is impacting what you crave, those taste buds.


0:32:29.8 S1: Don't tell me that you've had one Cheeto, and that one Oreo.


0:32:36.2 S2: There is a reason why food scientists know what they're doing when you eat one, you just get that taste for more. Pringles has “once you pop, you can't stop.’ Goodness gracious. Yes. I'm not a Pringles girl, I will tell you that I do enjoy a Cheeto once and a while. But I have found other brands that are, I hate to use the word cleaner, but just better ingredients, and it allows me to still feel like I'm having a treat, and that's pretty fantastic, and I don't really miss the bad stuff. So I practice what I preach. I really need to do it too, because mom of three, busy working mom and taking care of your home. I have learned we have to take care of ourselves if we're going to take care of our family, and that comes with what goes into our body. So that is my list, and it is a very big list, but take that time to really step back and I encourage you to get a sheet of paper out and start logging that food and seeing what's going on during the week and on the weekend, and then maybe taking one thing and making a change...


0:33:53.7 S1: I love that. Yeah, what goes in is what you get out. I think as I get older, I start to realize how foods are affecting me, and so I will notice, like the other day I had just a little bit of a tickle and I ended up... 'cause it was on a weekend and I'll eat pretty healthy during a week and allow myself some indulgence on the weekend, and I ate some ice cream, and then literally within hours, that little tickle became into a full-blown deal, and it was just like... It was another reminder of just what you're putting in is what you're getting out, all that sugar that I put in my body, although it was delicious, and then you should be able to enjoy it, when you're starting to feel something coming on and be mindful and start treating yourself from the inside and start adding in those like the garlic and the ginger and eating peppers, even though you kind of don't want to... I would prefer to eat that ice cream cone and relax a little bit on the weekend, 'cause I've done so good during the week, but it's like that's gonna affect me the whole next week having the cold and so being mindful of what you put in your body, so yeah, so good.


0:34:59.5 S1: So good, yeah, stay away from the processed as much as you can, but give yourself a treat 'cause we all gotta live... I gotta live a little bit. We do...


0:35:07.1 S2: And the word that I'd say my friends and I talk about, especially as women. And if this is the group that we're focusing on, ladies and gentlemen, if you listen on, awesome, you deserve grace too, is we need to give ourselves grace in this very busy season of life. Whatever season of life that's in, and know that that's part of it, but I'm not my best person if I don't feel good and I can't do things, and so I might want that cup of coffee one morning if I'm not feeling good, but one of my favorite go-tos and I'm not making a claim for this, I just feel like it really helps me, I do a little bit of our locally raised honey, I love Three Bears, honey, there's a plug at that. I love local anything. If I can support our people, I try, but I do a little bit of honey and some hot water in Apple Cider Vinegar and that's just kind of in my little concoction and maybe put some ginger in there when I'm starting to feel picky and it's not my favorite pick me up in the morning, but I know that that helps me and gives my body a break from even that caffeine that can play on those adrenals and the anxiousness, and when you're not feeling good, you wanna take that step back and give your body that rest that it needs, and it could be rest from fun foods, it could be rest from going out, it could be rest from staying up late and watching that favorite show, so think of it as that too, is you just need to give your body that rest in all aspects, not just food, but everything, that it will all impact that immunity too.


0:36:45.6 S1: And I'm right there with you on the Apple Cider Vinegar drink, like I do this same exactly thing with like a cold coming on or nothing. I will do that. And for those of you that don't like apple cider vinegar, there are gummies that exist, and I'll give a little plug for Checkable, we have some awesome apple cider vinegar gummies. And that you could buy those and have two of those, that it has the same effect as a little cup of episode or vinegar. Mix with water and honey, to get any way you can, but... That's a big helper. It is for sure it's a natural cure for good benefits, I would like to say, I can’t probably can't say cure, but I will say from experience, it has helped me and benefited me, so I'm not gonna make any claims, but I just... When I drink it, I feel like it kills whatever is down there. Yeah, yeah, totally. I know, like a little burning and you can see the live culture... Yeah. With the mother. Yeah, I do the Bragg like, Okay, I just feel like it's killing it and in a field of practice for really evidence-based, and I don't like making claims, but even talking with my endocrinologist, if something's going to work, why not do it


0:38:04.6 S2: That kind of like a motto and in my own private practice, I will be evidence-based, but I am so all about trying things for you on myself that are gonna work and help you be better and be you... And if it helps, why not? So why can't both of those marry together, and I really feel like nutrition is evolving to that with the Integrative and Functional Medicine aspects of nutrition.


0:38:34.2 S1: That makes me so happy. I love it, I love it. Okay, so... you gave the list. Awesome, awesome list. That made me kind of hungry 'cause the delicious food of what we can eat for immunity, but what are some quick snack ideas, some people, they look at the list and they're like, Okay, great, but then they go to the fridge and they're starving, and they're like, Well, I don't wanna just throw a pepper in my mouth, what are some quick snack ideas or some good dinner ideas that will help maybe those who have children as well, that are kinda good for the whole family.


0:39:08.3 S2: Awesome. I am not a short-order cook, I swear that comes from hearing my Mom say it because we were not given whatever we could, and so my motto with my children was to eat, so I aim to try and serve my snacks and my meals for my children and family. So some of my favorite snacks and get your pens and papers out, make a grocery list, or I challenge you to take your computer and your phone to your fridge and go open it up, I am all about application. So mini peppers, we talked about peppers, but what about some of that tzatziki. I mentioned yogurt, it has good benefits to it as well, so you can buy them or you can even make a quick one for the whole week with a little bit of garlic and dill and lemon juice and pinch of sea salt, and cucumbers and mix that around, or you can get your famous hummus sprinkle some hemp or flax seed on top to get those nuts and seeds to get that protein, to get that fat... All good things that we need to help our bodies fight and dip those veggies, and it could be not just mini peppers, it could be...


0:40:18.2 S2: If your game is cauliflower or broccoli, raw, you could do it cooked, I'm all about a good roasted vegetable that you can eat hot or cold, so that would be a wonderful snack, and my kids love mini peppers dipped in hummus. But for kids, I might do a little bit of the chocolate hummus, the nutrition value isn't insane, it's not extremely different, but maybe your kiddo will only do something with that, so then that's where I might do a strawberry dipped chocolate hummus and that might be a treat and a fun treat for an adult where you're still getting good good nutrition and protein. Frozen blueberries and slivered almonds. I have been saying this one for years, so what the frozen blueberries will do and there's the antioxidants in there, and that plays on our bodies as well, but they're gonna melt in the fridge, so if you're prepping to go to work or you just wanna prep some snacks, or you leave it out, the blueberries will melt a little bit into the slivered almonds and then kind of flavor those almonds, and so it's a little bit of a juice in there, and you could sprinkle all the hemp, the flax or the chia on top as well, just to get a little bit of nutrition, but that one's a fun one and a quick one and one you can get with the spoon, 'cause I love eating with utensils when I can, it just makes me feel like I'm slowing down and taking my time.


0:41:38.3 S2: Another one, half of a sweet potato, there's a lot of good nutrition in that, don't be afraid of the carbohydrates, people please get off this keto kick. There's a reason why Keto was invented, and more than likely, the population doesn't have what it was made for. Granted, that's a whole nother conversation. And it's a time and place for that. But anyway, half a sweet potato with some cinnamon, a little bit of a nut butter on top, whatever, like I'm not against a peanut butter, but choose wisely, and I love a little bit of pecan, so keep your serving sizes, everybody, about an ounce if you right now cup your hand and you look inside that little part, right underneath where your fingers are in that cup, that's about an ounce, is your serving size of nut to go on there and you could drizzle a little bit of honey on top... Now, that one is a little bit more luxurious, I should say, but still a wonderful nutrition-packed snack, that's also gonna keep you full and then tuna. So what you could do is make some tuna ahead of time, I'm okay, it doesn't have to just be a firm meal, you could do a couple of ounces of tuna on a big pepper, or you can do like a butter lettuce leaf, or with a few crackers I love...


0:43:07.5 S2: I'm not like a huge brand, but I am into... Right currently, I'm dairy-free and gluten-free. In whatever way, shape or form that I can. And I love the Simple Mills plus, I just was realizing that their sunflowers are from Minnesota... so I have a mission to reach out to them. But I do like a seedy Cracker with it, if I would like a little bit of a carb again, portion one to two ounces and that's okay. You can do Smoked Salmon with a little bit of tzatziki on a cracker or however you wanna take it, or maybe you just stick it in the bowl, mix it all together, you can even throw a hard boiled egg there, whatever your jam, right? And that might not be everybody's cup of tea, but some people don't mind funky snacks at certain times a day, and so I'd say those are a few that came to mind when I was brainstorming these, but you could do anything to compress with a little hummus in avocado, so do about an ounce or two of each one stick it in a little bowl and eat it, and you're getting something right from a bunch of food categories, so those are some snacks...


0:44:24.8 S2: I hope you guys took some notes. So hungry too. It's not even lunch time. So some meals... We love Asian cooking. We have Asian in our family. My husband's actually half Chinese, and if he listens to this, there's my plug, but cooking is very important in our family and just exposing that culture, my children also love ethnic food. So last night for supper, this was not on purpose, but I made a black pepper tofu, is what it's called, dish. But the recipe that it was inspired by, I tend to look at a recipe a lot of the times, and then I will stem off and I just kind of make up my own and customize it to what I need it to be, so it had some tofu and red pepper and green onions, so I had... I used tamari as a gluten-free soy sauce, so you can do the low sodium and just cook it that way with fresh ginger and fresh garlic. So again, lots of immune boosting foods for my family. I do steam rice, but you can do quinoa whatever you'd like, to put that on top, but traditionally would do a steamed white rice and again portion.


0:45:49.8 S2: So half a cup to a cup, if you are trying to be mindful and maybe we're working on deficits to help with weight loss healthfully, but you're not starving yourself.


0:45:59.9 S1: You've can have a little bit, that's fine, because I'm about to give you a heck of a lot of fiber in that meal, and then I served bok choy, it looks like celery I guess what I could give you a vision to it, but I do baby bok choy.


0:46:17.3 S2: So the bottom reminds me of celery, and the top has this leafy green, and I cut off just that bottom nub part and you can either saute it with this adorable little stock or I chop it up so that my kiddos, will eat it. And I served that in a bowl, and same seeds have a little bit of nutrition in it, you can sprinkle that on top, and you've just given yourself this beautiful plant-based Meatless Monday is what we do in our house a lot of the times, plant-based high-nutrition, great immune-boosting meal that tastes wonderful, that's one of my favorite dishes to cook, I cook with tofu quite a bit. Another one I would say, Let's lighten it up with a strawberry salad, so I was thinking, Okay, what can we do to lighten it up? Rotisserie chicken. Please make this a part of your routine. If that is your game. cut it up while it's hot, it shreds easily, stick in a tub or you can use it for everything, keep the bone, fill it up with some water and herbs and make yourself a broth... You can either sipon that or use it for a soup dish, which I will talk about next. Rotisserie chicken, you can shred it with some slivered almonds, fresh strawberries, spinach and kale.


0:47:35.1 S2: Got cheese crumbles. I tend to do alternative to cow milk, so goat cheese crumbles or you can do some fresh parm and then dressing, you can do a simple olive oil with seasonings, I tend to poppy seed because it's on that dairy-free, there is... It's an oil-based, but I don't overdo it, or you can find a strawberry balsamic or something like that and drizzle it over, and that would be great for dinner, my kiddos eat salad, not perfectly every time, but that would be something that you could maybe prep all of your ingredients and then grab it, put it together for the work week or lunches, and bam, you're done. All those ingredients tend to store pretty well in your fridge. Then my last one, I'm gonna say soup, we're coming into a chilly fall, right. It’s cold. Thursdays are gonna be soup days in our house, and so one inspired... My mother-in-law always made the chicken, a simple chicken soup, so using that rotisserie and even the bones from the broth, if you're bold enough and have time, you don't have to do it, make that base vegetable. So your carrots, your celery gets an onion, fresh garlic, fresh ginger.


0:48:54.6 S2: Again, you're gonna just saute that in a little bit of olive oil. And then you're gonna build that up, put in your broth that you've either just made or another broth, and then you could put in a rice, quinoa or a noodle at the end. But I tend to leave it, this is what we call a kanji, you can either make it like a chicken noodle soup, for lack of a better word, or a kanji is more of an Asian-based soup. I make this for my kids, so browning your rice at the bottom, adding in these fresh vegetables, building it up with your broth and then letting it simmer and cook, it's gonna be a thick, comforting, creamy without the dairy soup that you can add in your chicken too if you have more rotisserie chicken and it's full of garlic and ginger and vegetables, you can cut up green onions on top, sprinkle sesame seeds, maybe a little crunch from water chestnuts and even throwing a little bit of egg on top and that will just give you this comforting, and I guess I use the word healing soup when we're not feeling good or even preventative...


0:50:18.2 S2: And you can get that same aspect from a chicken noodle soup, you can omit the noodles and just have the vegetables and the broth and the flavors to really help soothe as it goes down. And I actually kinda find that it's stress-relieving because it's just this warm sweet soups, and it just allows you to slow down and enjoy all of those intense flavors coming from those dishes...


0:50:43.9 S1: Oh my goodness, Sarah, stomach is rumbling right now, it really is just... Like starving right now, I love all these writing them down, I'm like, Oh my goodness, I want all of these right now, they sound so tasty and delicious and achievable, super easy to actually go in and make some of them might be a little more... take a little more time like this soup... But then there's some super easy ones, so you can pick and choose what mood you're in, what time, the amount of time you have in a day, and then make it work for you. We've been saying this whole time, but so good, so good. And we'll be teasing some of these probably on our social, some of these little recipes, so you wanna take a look at Checkable Medical on Instagram to make sure that you get some of these recipes if you missed them and weren't able to write them down, so I know that we promise that we would talk about some tips and tricks to staying on track with eating healthy. I'm wondering, Sarah, if you would be open to either like an Instagram Live or another little mini-podcast to talk about that.


0:51:53.6 S1: I would... And


0:51:55.8 S2: For time's sake, be realistic, be individual and make a few small goals and don't tell yourself you can't, because you will... That was the first one that I had on there. I love that, and I would love to do that if you wanna do Instagram Live. I'm game for that too. I tell you, I'm a chatty Cathy, but my relationship with food is strong and real, and I wanted to paint... Those recipes have been... I’ve been told my relationship with food is a bit intimate, and it is...


0:52:29.2 S1: I love it, it's so good. I... That I was gonna cuddle up with a blanket and talk delicious food all day. It's so nice. But yeah, we'll do that. So that's a teaser. So you'll have to stay tuned on when we're gonna dive in more with Sarah on the tips and tricks for staying on track with healthy eating, but Sarah, before we go, where the heck can listeners find you...


0:52:51.1 S2: Yes, so I have a new website that just went live, this has been in the works for a little bit. You'll find me under Inspire Nutrition, that is my private practice name, but my site is kind of housed with a bunch of the things that I love. So my website is and then you'll find me on Instagram at Inspire_nutrition_nd, and I would love to have you guys reach out, spread the word, my email is on there as well at Reach out, I'd love to be a resource for you and if there's goals that you have, but check it out, check out my website, get to know me a little bit more, leave me a comment, reach out and my Instagram is where I like to do goofy videos and post when I'm cooking and there's drool worthy things on there, I am not a photographer, I'm real life. Let me just take a picture of my food before I put it in my mouth.

0:53:58.2 S1: But I will have to say They look delicious, I did take a sneak peek and she’s not a professional photographer, and they would still make you drool. So good. Thank you so much for being on today. I just really appreciate your knowledge and your heart towards healthy eating and people just helping themselves from the inside out, that's a passion of mine and passion of ours, a Checkable Medical is so very thankful to having you on today. And then I also wanna say for listeners, if you like what you hear, make sure that you subscribe on your favorite platform and then do give us a follow on your favorite social media, you can find us at most of social media platforms at Checkable Medical. So don't hesitate to stay in the know, 'cause we'll have lots of goodies, just like all of Sarah’s info today, so again Sarah, thank you so much.