immune health

The Best Cold + Flu Remedy

the best cold and flu remedy

You wake up feeling a little cold coming on. Your throat is a little scratchy. You feel more sensitive to temperature. Ugh. The timing couldn't be worse. You have so much to get done this week. 


You know if you don’t address that little whisper of a cold right now, it’ll take you out for the rest of the week. Or longer...


For those times when you feel that little bit of achiness or that feeling of needing more sleep, have this homemade cold + flu remedy as your aid. 


Whether you have a juicer at home or place a custom order at your favourite juice bar, this recipe is what I turn to on those days when I need to chase a cold away. 


It’s this and making time to rest. The powerful combination.



Why This Recipe Works

Ginger. It’s good for many reasons. It improves the good to bad bacteria ratio in your gut. You need plenty of good bacteria for a strong immune system as over 60% of our immunity is produced in the gut. It also adds some heat because of its spicy taste. This heat encourages you to sweat (a little) which helps your body fight off whatever bug it’s dealing with. Ginger also has great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, both help support a healthy immune system. 


Turmeric. I’ve talked about my love of turmeric before. In addition to it being a terrific source of antioxidants, turmeric is also powerful at reducing inflammation. So it’s definitely handy to have when you’re feeling less than your best.


Lemon. Is a great source of vitamin C. A lot of the vitamin C is in the pith (the white part just underneath the peel), so I always try to leave the pith on when juicing. You can leave the peel on too, but it will create more of a bitter taste. So if you’re cool with that, leave the peel on.  


Apple. The slight sweetness makes the juice taste yummy. There’s also some vitamin C in there, But mainly I added this for the taste. ;)



Immune Booster

makes about 2 oz (serves 1)


4-inch knob ginger

1-inch piece fresh turmeric

1/2 lemon, peeled, with pith on

1/8 of an apple

pinch of sea salt

pinch of black pepper (optional)


How to:

  • Add first four ingredients to a juicer and juice. 
  • Pour into a shot glass or small glass jar. Garnish with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • Enjoy. 



Black pepper has been shown to increase the bioavailabilty of turmeric's nutritional benefits. It’s optional to add to the juice but it does work really well in this recipe.

To peel or not to peel ginger and turmeric? If buying organic, I leave the peel on. Otherwise I’d peel both. 


Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favourite ways to tackle that whisper of a cold or flu? I’d love to know. Share with me in the comments below. 

rena williams wellness

The Power of Herbs: Look + Feel Amazing All Summer

They're one of the reasons I look forward to summer.


How do you keep that feel good vibe going all summer long? Support your insides and you'll radiate gorgeousness on the outside. 


Some of the greatest foods to reach for to get + keep that summer glow are fresh herbs. They're incredibly easy to grow, even if you don't have a green thumb. (Hand raised over here.) Growing them in your garden, on your balcony or deck, means they'll be as nutrient dense as possible. Why? Because it's farm to table at its finest.


Nutritionally, produce is most valuable as soon as it's harvested. So having herbs go straight from your garden to your table means you end up with dishes that not only taste amazing, but that are also amazingly good for you. That influx of nutrients means supporting good health all summer long. Leaving you looking and feeling amazing.


How Herbs Help You Look + Feel Amazing

They're nutritional powerhouses. They support your immune, eye and cardiovascular health. They're great sources of amino acids like tryptophan, which we need to make serotonin (our happy brain chemical).


They also have protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A (skin + immune health), vitamin C (immune health, incredible antioxidant, wound healing + anti-inflammatory) and vitamin K (bone health, blood health + builder, cardiovascular support + wound healing).


Some of my favourite herbs to use during summer and why I love them:


  • Basil - it's anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and incredibly high in vitamin K. We use vitamin K for the health of our bones and our blood, from clotting to forming our red blood cells.
  • Cilantro - the little herb that's won me over. I used to loathe it and now I can't get enough of it. It contains limonene which is excellent for supporting liver detoxification. It's also really good for pulling heavy metals like mercury from the body.
  • Dill - gram for gram, it has more calcium than milk and more iron than beef liver or spinach. It also has limonene which is incredibly supportive in helping the liver detoxify.
  • Mint - has incredible relaxing properties. Because it relaxes your stomach muscles, it becomes really soothing to the tummy. It's great to use for indigestion. My ginger mint tonic is an excellent go-to for indigestion or stomach upset.
  • Parsley - gram for gram, it also has more calcium than milk and more iron than beef liver or spinach. It's loaded with antioxidants, which helps reduce free radical damage to our cells. Free radical damage is the cornerstone of aging + disease. Parsley also supports the health of our liver and kidneys. 


How to Get More Herbs in Your Day to Day

If you can sneak herbs into your daily regimen, especially during summer when they're fresh and easy to grow, you're doing your body and your mood some good. Some of my favourite ways to get more herbs into my day to day are in pestos, herb crust marinades for fish, added in salads, vinaigrettes or salad dressings.


Herbs will make any salad sing, I'm telling you. Fresh dill with some grated lemon rind over a salad is a true party for your palate. Next post, I'll share some of my favourite recipes that are loaded with fresh herbs.


How to Buy + Store Herbs

  • If you're at the market or grocery store, look for fresh, crisp leaves that are rich in colour.  Avoid bunches with leaves that are limp or discoloured with brown or yellow spots. 
  • Fresh herbs typically last just a few days. It's always dissapointing to buy them one day, then go to use them a few days later only to find out they've gone bad. So store them in an airtight container in the fridge to keep their crispness.
  • Herbs are fragile, so I find it best to wash them as I use them. It helps keep the rest of the bunch fresh + crisp. 
  • Because they are fragile, if you are cooking with them, add herbs right before serving to keep most of the flavour + that nutritional goodness intact. 


Now I'd love to hear from you. Share with me in the comments below some of your favourite ways to use fresh herbs in the summer.