Tips to Prevent the Flu


The media has reported of a record number of people hit with the flu. Around 4 million people in England has been reported suffering from flu this year, the worst flu season in seven years. (BBC, 18 January 2018).   

Here are some tips on how to boost your immune system naturally to prevent the flu or provide relief during the flu. 

1. Drink plenty fluids. Drink plenty fluids. In 2003 research (Dr. D. Lewis) found that people drinking just 3 glasses of water a day were 5 times more likely to get a stuffy nose or a sore throat than those who drank 8 glasses. Drinking plenty water helps to keep the mucus membranes moist and trap bugs. Drink water, herbal teas such as ginger and lemon tea.

2. Eat plenty fresh vegetables. Although you may not have much of an appetite, make sure you eat vegetables daily. Eat easily digestible foods such as soups or sip on bone broth to boost your nutrient intake.  

3. Eat vitamin C-rich foods. Oranges, mandarins, peppers, kiwi, berries.   

4. Use face steam.  I use Olbas oil (eucalyptus oil) before bedtime. Boil 2 cups of water and add few drops of the oil.  It helps to open sinuses and help with congestion.

5. Get plenty rest. Sleep helps to keep the immune system healthy and is vital to the body’s ability to fight off infections.

Spicy Roasted Chickpea Salad

I love chickpeas and have been obsessing about these little gems since I was pregnant with my first daughter. Chickpeas are versatile and I use them when making hummus, in stews and pasta sauces and salads.  

Chickpeas are good source of protein and just one cup (200g) contains 39 grams of protein! They also contain fibre which is good for gut health, helps to balance blood sugar and are good for health health.  

This recipe is so easy and gives a spicy twist to my usual chickpea salad.

Spicy Roasted Chickpea Salad

  • 1 can of chickpeas (400g)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • Sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • half tablespoon olive oil
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Handful of salad leaves
  • Dollop of hummus

Preheat oven to 180C.  Drain and rinse the chickpeas and put in a bowl.  Add spices and tomatoes. Mix well.  Put on oven tray and roast about 35 minutes.  Rip some salad leaves to your plate and pour chickpeas and tomatoes on top.  I love serving this with dollop of hummus.  You could also add some sliced avocado.



Summer Berry Pie

The berry season is at full swing here in Finland.  You can pick your own blueberries from the forest or from raspberries from bushes or buy a variety of berries from the markets.

Blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses containing vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese and fibre and raspberries are great source of vitamin C, fibre and manganese.   Perfect for a sweet tooth! 

This summer berry pie is easy to make and tastes heavenly!

  • 2 big handfuls of blueberries
  • 2 handfuls of raspberries
  • 250g gluten-free flour
  • 200ml organic butter, melted or use melted coconut oil for dairy-free version
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150ml runny organic honey
  1. Melt the butter in a pan.  Mix baking powder with flour.  Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Whip butter and eggs together.  Once foamy add the honey.  Mix the mixture with the flour.  Mix in and pour into a pie dish.
  3. Drop in the berries and bake for 30 minutes.


Healthy treats

Our youngest daughter turned 4 today!  As part of the Dutch tradition, parents usually prepare 'traktaties' for pre-school, birthday treats to share with all the kids.  We made raw cacao, nut and date energy balls which were a huge hit.

These little balls are sugar, dairy and wheat-free and packed with protein. 

Makes about 20 balls

  • 1 mug of almonds
  • 1.5 mug of pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoon of raw cacao
  • 1.5 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon of peanut butter (good quality, try to choose sugar-free)
  1. First put almonds in a food processor and grind until fine consistency.
  2. Add dates and rest of the ingredients.  Let it process until it looks quite sticky.
  3. Make little balls and refrigerate for a few hours. 
  4. Take out of the fridge before serving to soften.

Great as treats or as a snack!