ST. LOUIS - 5 On Your Side caught up with Caryn Dugan in her University City kitchen as she was rehearsing her latest recipe that she would soon share on Show Me St. Louis. Dugan is known around town as "STL Veg Girl."
Her full-time job is helping people make smarter decisions about the type of food they put in their bodies.
"The whole mission behind STL Veg Girl is to soften the learning curve," Dugan said.
Dugan is a believer in a plant-based diet. She converted to that lifestyle after a tumultuous 2008: Her father died of prostate cancer and 10 weeks after that, she was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma.
Dugan teaches classes and runs a website talking about the benefits of eating healthy. She says since she made the switch to plant-based recipes, she hasn't had so much as a cold.
"People can't believe it, but it is the truth," Dugan said.
Dugan said she would always get sick at least once a year but not now.
"If you eat the rainbow you are going to be fine. Just eat real food… eat food that doesn't have labels on it," Dugan said. "If you give your body what it needs to thrive, there's no room for sickness."
5 Foods that help prevent colds
Dr. Sonny Saggar, an internist and emergency physician, said he's been cold and flu free for four years.
"You are what you eat," Saggar said.
Dr. Saggar recommends these five foods that can boost the body's immune system and help keep you from getting a cold: garlic, oats and barley, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and black and green tea.
Dr. Saggar drinks his 'special tea' each evening before dinner. The hot drink contains ingredients full of antioxidants. The ingredients include cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, and honey.
Dr. Saggar shared his recipe for creating his 'special tea'. Although the exact measurements weren't given to 5 On Your Side, the ingredients should be combined with hot water:
- Black pepper
- Lemon juice
"I don't know if it is working, but I credit it with why I haven't been sick in four years," Dr. Saggar said.