Cashew Chia Oatmeal with Pear and Honey

I've had some questions from followers on how to eat for immunity building and getting over colds/flu. I'm not an expert but I do eat in a way that helps me to avoid getting sick frequently. I typically get sick zero to one times per year. Before following these guidelines, I would get sick three to five times a year (cold, flu, sinus infections, bronchitis, the works).

Here are my main tips:

Eat well. When it comes to preventative medicine, healthy eating is key. When my mind and body are over stressed or exposed to extreme environments (extreme heat, cold, humidity, dust, etc) I avoid dairy of all sorts, eggs, and reduce my sugar intake. I drink more fresh green juices. I eat more super foods like chia, hemp, blueberries, echinacea, milk thistle, spirulina, and the like. Going completely vegan for a short period of time really helps my body to reboot. Eating more alkaline foods helps me SO much; I up my intake of avocados, coconut milk & water, and leafy greens.

I also reduce my alcohol intake. I get plenty of sleep, water, and meditation time in. Eating well and making time for relaxation are the most practical, manageable steps I take towards avoiding sickness.

But when I DO get sick, I make a point to drink tons of echinacea tea with honey and lemon, steam with olbas oil, invest in fresh citrus juices with cayenne, and drink a ridiculous amount of coconut water. I avoid grains -- I find that ingesting too many grains when I'm sick slows down my recovery process. I'll still eat teff, buckwheat, and quinoa -- all excellent sources of protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium. A typical breakfast includes a huge bowl of garlicky sauteed kale over quinoa. I often find raw foods make my stomach turn when sick -- I'll steam squash and greens, carrots, celery, and the like and stir in some miso and cayenne. And I'll have that for dinner too. Chewing on ginger or muddling fresh ginger with carbonated water and honey or maple syrup is great for nausea and improving your appetite when you're feeling down.

Here's a great post from Claire Ragozzino of Vidya Cleanse on natural cold cures from her kitchen apothecary series.

My knee-jerk reaction is to say "oh it's not so hard, really, once you start!" But that's a lie. It's hard. It's really hard. The only reason I now find it so easy to adjust my diet based on these principles is because I've been eating a vegetarian, whole foods diet for years. I've failed a lot. I've made plenty of mistakes along the way. There are moments of pain and attachment associated with releasing addictive foods (and patterns) from our lives. But I've had enough success with my (painstakingly slow) journey to happy, plant-based eating that I've stuck with it. Eating mindfully and holistically is now a huge part of my daily life.

I'll talk more about eating a whole foods diet in another post. For now, check out this thorough and inspiring post by Sara B. of My New Roots on healthy vs. unhealthy sugar.

This oatmeal is more of a blueprint for making your morning meal as packed full of nutrition as possible.

This is a breakfast I eat when I'm feeling EXTRA hungry + when I'm bored of eggs and smoothies. I can eat this in the AM and curb hunger until 2 or 3 pm. This is just one riff on the oatmeal I make for myself regularly. This time it's pear, cashews, chia, honey, and bee pollen. But I often make this with blueberries, maple syrup, cinnamon, chia, and hemp. Or I'll make it with banana, cacao nibs, almonds, chia, and a dollop of goat yogurt. You can make this so many ways -- it's really up to your personal tastes.

Cashew Chia Oatmeal with Pear and Honey

Cook time: 10 mins - Total time: 10 mins - Serves: 2 servings


  • 1 cup rolled oatmeal (gluten free certified, if you're celiac)

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp virgin coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter)

  • 1 tbsp raw honey

  • 1 tbsp chia

  • 3 tbsp raw cashews

  • 1 tsp local bee pollen* omit if vegan

  • 1 ripe bartlett pear


  1. Cook oats in your usual way. I generally boil my oats for 10 minutes, until soft, and stir in the coconut oil.

  2. Once cool, stir in honey, chia, cashews, and bee pollen.

  3. I sliced my pear up and stirred that in as well.