5 Immunity Boosting Staples to Get You Through Flu Season #flu #kids #health #immunity

Anyone who knows me, knows that kids are my life and I’m connected to them everywhere I turn.  They are adorable, hilariously honest, give the best hugs, and are full of love. Oh, and I can’t forget germs. Oh, the germs!  Unfortunately, many of these little bundles of love haven’t yet mastered the art of avoiding spreading their germs, so we’ve got to play defense!

For the most part, I steer clear of western medication and stick to natural remedies. As the temperatures change and flu season hits, I thought sharing this post listing some of my favorite natural staples to boost your immune system, was pretty timely.

It’s always good to begin building your immune system when you are well, but beginning at all is swell. All of these come in handy when traveling too!

Disclaimer: The below recommendations are solely based on my personal opinion, personal experience and personal research. I am not a medical professional. 

Here’s the list:

1. Ester-C

Now, this isn’t your ordinary vitamin C.  It has high absorption properties, it’s non-acidic, and it contains antioxidants called bioflavonoids that help rid the body of icky toxins.

Another awesome factor is that you can take these on an empty stomach. No excuses for skipping this vitamin! Seriously, it’s my #1 for a reason.

2. Traditional Medicinals Organic Echinacea Plus Elderberry Tea

If you’ve been sleeping on echinacea, I’m about to wake you up because it is a fabulous herb for building your immune system. For years I’ve been a fan of it, and also a fan of the brand, Traditional Medicinals, and their assortment of organic teas (Thanks mom!).  A friend hipped me on elderberry, and honey, let me tellllll you! Throwing elderberry into the mix makes for a deliciously fruity, lethal combination for fighting colds, allergies, viruses, and bacterial infections. This little tea bag is the truth y’all! It’s not the easiest to find, but Amazon also sells a 6-pack (totaling 96 tea bags) at a reasonable price, comparable to in-store prices.

Check out Traditional Medicinals’ Seasonal Sampler too!

3. Emergen-C

Remember Airborne? Well, swap it for 1,000 mg of this fizzling goodness instead. Jam packed with electrolytes, manganese, zinc, antioxidants, and 7 B vitamins…umm, YES! They have a wider variety of flavors than I once remembered too. You no longer have to choose between Tangerine or Super Orange…big whoop! I’m currently digging Super Fruit Pomegranate myself.

1 box contains 30 packets, and 1 packet is recommended for 4-6 oz. of water. Use your box sparingly if you’re just boosting and maintaining. I “Subscribe & Save” from Amazon and have a box shipped monthly.  Definitely don’t pay over $10 for a box of these bad boys.

4. Ricola Cough Drops

Riiiii-co-laaaaaa! If you are a singer or have a job that requires talking frequently, you can certainly benefit from stashing a couple of these in your purse or pocket before running out the door in the morning. These also help lubricate and soothe your throat while in cold climates or air-conditioned places like stores, churches, hotels, schools, hospitals, etc.

Like Emergen-C, they too have more flavors now, and even have the kind that ooze menthol and open up your sinuses if you’re into that sort of sensation. Ricola Cough Drops often range from 19 up to 130 count.

5. Mandarin Oranges

In my opinion there’s nothing like vitamins in their purest form. Mandarin oranges are a healthy and easy snack to pack on-the-go. Not to mention, the immunity boosting benefits of orange pulp continue working long after consumption.

Unless you have a citrus tree in your backyard, you’re probably heading to your neighborhood grocery store to pick up this little booster. “Cuties” and “Halos” are amongst the more popular brands of seedless mandarin oranges/clementines on the market.

You can munch on them in transit, throw them in your lunch bag, toss them in a salad, or quickly satisfy your late night sweet craving, all while boosting your immune system. They’re also pretty easy for toddlers to peel on their own too. For the win!

 

So, what’s in your stash? Comment below. I’d love to know!
Tis the season!

 

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#Kingdom #Business is Booming…

Today, I have the most amount of friends that I have ever had in my life at one time. I mean, I have had plenty of acquaintances, but the number of genuine people that have been a friend to me can be counted on one hand. The number is small, and personally, I like it that way, but I feel God stretching me.

I try to give the people and things that I care about my undivided attention. I’m the person who’s not on their cell phone at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I also don’t like rationing out my love. I like to give out as much as I can for keeps, and for free, if you’re not a pig, that is (See Matthew 7:6). Up until recently (like hours ago recently…this is fresh!), my analytical mind figured a small number of friends would allow me to strategically drop lump sums of love on everybody, resulting in happiness for all. It was a big fat burrito versus numerous street tacos kind of approach. street taco burritoIf you ask me, it’s a brilliantly inappropriate formula that works as long as the numbers don’t increase. But, Kingdom business is booming, and something’s gotta change. Times like these make me happy. They are those sweet and sour crooked path being made straight types of moments, and I’m all about it! I’m noticing that there are suddenly more mouths to feed, and I am but one chef cooking in the kitchen. There are suddenly more sheep to tend and I’m just a little ol’ sheep myself. Kingdom business is booming, and something’s gotta change.

business booming

cut the stringsMany of my friends, like myself, are probably used to my level of availability. Their level of support and maturity vary, but regardless, it comes down to me. I’ve been the kind, single friend with a different type of busyness that truthfully, I haven’t respected much. I’ve had a willingness to be there and set myself aside. Sometimes it’s a labor of love, which is great and necessary, but mostly it’s been a neglectful puppet act that displeases the Lord, and myself. It’s been an unhealthy form of bondage, like all forms of bondage are…unhealthy. My puppet strings are showing, and I can’t do it anymore.

As I sit here on this threshing floor with Jesus, looking at all the dreams and opportunities that He’s dropping on purpose for me, I realize that there is no way I can attain them with this posture. I am weak and I need His perfect strength to make me strong. I need Him to take it from here.

…He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Lord, please forgive me for taking Your place, and getting in Your way. It is not my job to meet the needs of my friends (or anyone). In fact, there is absolutely no way that I can do it, for You are their Shepherd! I see that Your family is growing. Your church is growing, and many new relationships are forming that I just can’t keep track of. Thank You for every friend, brother, and sister You have blessed me with. I submit them all to you, Father. Past, present, and future. I entrust them all in Your hands, and ask that You would appropriate each one. I am free to do Your will and mine, and I do not have to apologize or feel bad for doing either one, which are truly the same. I love You, and I thank You for bringing this up. Thank You for allowing me to come to the end of myself and recognize the err in my ways and my need of You, My Savior.

I thank You for these important life changes, and I ask that You would help me to set appropriate boundaries and help all who are affected by them to adjust accordingly . Snip my puppet strings! I remove the pressure off of myself to be someone that I am not, and I embrace imperfect me, and choose to love her. *sigh* Thank You for Your burden that is light, and Your yoke that is easy. You are such a Good Father. I ask that You would continue to do what You do, and help me to follow in Your way. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

 

Whoever you are, wherever you are, HOLD ON. #Encouragement

A couple of months ago I had a short interview with a close family friend who was writing a book on healing after painful experiences. He wanted to know how long it took for me to be healed and how I went about reaching that place of healing.  My response was something like this:

I can’t really put a number on it.  I’d love to think that I am 100% healed from x, y, and z, but the truth of the matter is, maybe just x and y…or honestly, maybe 80% of all three ha.  I don’t know.  Once you think you’re good, you undergo spontaneous triggers by something big or small…a month later…a year later…maybe even 3 years later (to each it’s own).

These triggers remind you, and may leave you disappointed or annoyed by the realization that dang, there’s still residue.  Dang.  There is still some healing, maybe even lots of healing left to be done.  In my experience, from one trigger to the next, disappointment came when I misunderstood what not being completely healed really meant.  I thought it was bad, but now I know that when you are willing to heal, the fact that you are not completely healed of something simply means that God isn’t done, not that we aren’t ready for ____________.  So, if you’re triggered by something that reminds you that you still need grace and humility, and reminds you that you’re still a human who needs God, then good!  We were created to need Him.  You are not delayed in meeting, reaching, or receiving what God has for you.  That my friend, is a lie from the enemy!

rootsOne must get uncomfortable enough to deal with the roots.  One must  get uncomfortable enough to allow God to dig beneath the messy surface where the beginning of your issues and pain lie.

In order to heal properly, you have to deal (with the pain) properly.” – Nu 

If you’re on the path to healing, then you know that you get those full circle, déjà vu, divine do-over moments when _____________________ happens again.  Except this time it doesn’t make you angry, it doesn’t make you cry, and it shockingly doesn’t affect you the way it has in the past.  You figuratively (or literally if you’re like me) leap in joy at the felt sense of accomplishment that you have finally, at last have been stamped by the Lord as “Healed!”.  Not!

I believe us earthlings (ha!) are never completely healed of any worldly ailments until we leave this world and enter into our true destination…Heaven.  Ahhh…The beautiful place of no pain, sorrow, or frustration…just love and fruits – my fave! 😉  We should know though, that while here on earth…

godlovesyou

“…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

I am convinced that healing is ongoing and not to be consistently associated with readiness for something new.  God is not a God that withholds good things from people who love and obey Him.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” – Psalm 84:11 (ESV)

Whoever you are, wherever you are, HOLD ON.  You may not be 100% healed from x, y, and z, I don’t know, but we should certainly celebrate the fact that we’re making progress.  My heart personally smiles when I understand me better than I did yesterday.  It gives me a better shot at understanding you.  By faith I am healed, today, tomorrow, and forever.  I am pleased with me and He, from whom my help comes…as should you.  So stay blessed, be encouraged, and HOLD ON!  Love you.

xo,
Nu

Naturally Me. #NaturalHair #TeamNatural

Over the years I’ve been asked so many inquisitive questions about my hair and natural way of living. People want to know when it all started, why it all started, and how I keep it going.  For too long I’ve thought that with all of these naturals sprouting up my story isn’t needed, but I realize that there’s only one me that someone can identify with and that me, is the only one who can tell my story appropriately. Let be start by saying this…

For years African-American women have had complexes about their hair. At young ages we began relaxing (or “perming” — a culturally misused synonymic) our hair to make it more manageable or presentable (whatever that means) to our counterparts. Straight was deemed as better. Hang time a bonus. I began thinking about my hair and realizing that I knew nothing about its natural state. I was the girl constantly relaxing my hair and making appointments to relax everybody elses smh.

While studying Business at SDSU (Woot! Woot!), I took an Africana Studies course to fulfill a prerequisite and quickly fell in love with the subject.  Every day I went to class I felt like I was learning something new about me, and low-key upset with the timing (but it’s all good).  You can imagine how easy it was for that 1 course to turn into 2, 3, 4, 5…and before I knew it, I was minoring in Africana Studies. I developed a strong sense of pride for my heritage, but more importantly, a strong understanding and appreciation for all who have gone before me.  I was disturbed with an overflow of facts.  I was a free-spirit learning the depth of my people’s bondage; my bondage.  I was disturbed that they couldn’t freely be themselves in allll fashions and realized the area of hair was still one lingering.  I wanted to express my freedom and love me, inside and out.  I wanted to know how Nu’s hair looked.  I wanted to know if Nu needed that creamy crack (aka relaxer).  I wanted to show other races who has been in their presence all along, and who’s not leaving.  And so, in 2005, I decided to “go natural”. I didn’t big chop, I just transitioned, straightened, rocked braids, etc…and the struggle was reaaaaal! 😉

I battled the doubts, the dandruff, the tangles, the breakage all by my lonesome. Then 4 years later, there were others like me, learning their hair and calling it naturally beautiful. I was excited for us all.  But shoot, it’s about time y’all showed up! haha

Most naturals you meet will tell you that once you become serious about your “natural hair journey”, as many will call it, the journey at some point no longer becomes about hair, but about your health.  That same energy is transferred throughout all parts of your life.  If you can stay up late and twist, invest in products to maintain, then maybe you can stay up late and work out that issue with your spouse too.  But I’m just saying!

So yea, that’s pretty much it.  Today, I still can’t braid, I still don’t know it all, and I’m still learning as I go, but I’m free, and enjoying every minute of it, naturally…me.

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R&R #Rest #Relaxation

Rest and Relaxation.

Here I am, going on 4:30 a.m. blogging about R&R. Before you tell me to take my butt to bed, let me explain…
I have a cold. I’ve pretty much been asleep off and on today. My cough just woke me up (an hour early grr) to remind me that the stupid western medication that I reluctantly took 5 hours ago has worn off and my attention is needed asap. Waaah I hate this! 😦

Being off from work due to any illness of some kind is wayyy different from just “being off”. But, I will say that even though I’m sick, I’m actually enjoying this much needed r&r that as usual, I didn’t realize I needed. I’m getting the opportunity to catch up on some Real Housewives of ATL (Guilty PLeasure)..yeaaa buddy.

Tangent…

I’m cracking up right now. My friend who lives in Japan just texted me (It’s tomorrow evening there). She says she’s getting squished on the train right now and cannot move her arms, only her fingers. I just had to share how I love how she’s not letting anything get in the way of our communication. Nope. She has clearly grasped hold of this thing called friendship. Willing to lose a finger for me and all! Now that’s dedication ya’ll! Take notes. I don’t normally like to use names when blogging, but, Shoutout to Keiko! haha. She’s earned this one. *still laughing*.

Now, where were we…?? Ah yes, rest.

Like many people when I don’t rest I get either delirious (just plain goofy-er) or turn into a delicate little crabby patty (beware of unexpected tears lol). That’s rest used interchangeably with sleep. I’m not talking about that kind of rest though, I’m talking about…

    rest
    Verb:
    Cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
    Remain or be left in a specified condition: “rest assured”.Noun:
    An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.
    The remaining part of something.

Even the Lord rested after creating the heavens and the earth, remember? So that alone tells us it must be pretty important. I remember… one tiime… at band camp…

No, really…I remember one of my most difficult seasons (ok, maybe not MOST) I was in a “waiting zone” where I had to be still and well, wait for the Lord’s guidance in what to do next. I loved (and still do love) working with youth. At this time I was working with 7th graders as an Instructional Aide at a charter school in a low-income area. The principal of the school wanted me to go back to school and get my teaching credential so that he could hire me as a teacher for the following school year. It made sense, but the The Lord made it clear to me that was not something that He wanted me to do. The school was going through a lot and in the process of possibly getting shut down by the district for tons of both relevant and irrelevant political issues I’m not even gonna get into. Politics suck, ugh.

I couldn’t attend the last board meeting, which always fell on a Tuesday, I had to pack for my new life.

I’m in the airport and I get a phone call from my wing-woman (the teacher I worked with) informing me that it’s over. The school, my school, their school was being shut down and was no longer going to have the honor of impacting the lives of those little people. I wasn’t gonna hear “Good Morning, Ms. Grayson” or “Wassup , Ms. G!”. I was no longer going to be handed random bouquets of ivy leaves or attacked by hugs with little germy booger picking fingers (ok maybe I won’t miss the fingers haha). I was gonna miss a lot, but I was ready for this, whatever this was, and I knew I was in God’s will.

Mind you, this is August. School let out in June. The entire Summer I had no idea what was next. People would ask me questions that I too wanted to be answered. All I could say was I don’t know. That answer just led to more annoying questions. Even those that love you can sometimes make you feel pressured to be or do something when really it’s just your season of R&R. I graciously had my hustles. The school asked me to come in and work the office for a bit which fit in with a little bit of modeling, that fit in with a little bit of house/dog sitting. God had my back for sure and I never missed a pay check.

I’ll never forget watching Karate Kid and Jackie Chan’s character, “Mr. Han” sharing this Chinese proverb with Jayden Smith’s character that:

    “There is a great difference in being still and doing nothing.”

Aha! That was it! All this time I’d been feeling the need to do something when I was supposed to be being still, resting, and waiting on the Lord. Do something so I could have an answer to everyone’s questions including my own. Doing something just so that I wouldn’t be doing nothing! When you’re a person who is always doing something, and functions best with a full plate, trust, “being still” is a job in itself.

When you are still you position yourself to hear from the Lord. You’re saying my attention is yours, what’s up? You’re not really multitasking. Some of us have been waiting for answers to prayers or questions we’ve asked God but we won’t simply be still long enough to hear what He has to say. Trust, I know its hard, but make a reservation for your Savior – He’ll keep it and you’ll be glad you did. There’s nothing like being in His presence.

So get some R&R saints, and spend time with your Jesus. I’ll do the same. Be still. Wait. Trust, and know that He is God. You may not be working, but if you let Him, He will – and moreover, He wants to! Let Him.

    …those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

Don’t jip yourself of a blessing. Rise to another level and come soar up here with us eagles 😉