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Prior to opening CROP Juice, Karen Odierna was a registered nurse and fitness instructor. Now her day-to-day consists of bringing organic juices, smoothies and eats to Sarasotans via CROP Juice's three local locations.

We decided to ask Odierna for some of her best immunity-boosting tips during this high-stress time—her knowledge runs the gamut from food to herbs to essential oils. She also agreed to share the recipe for CROP's popular Incredible Pulp smoothie, so read on for the details. (Please note that these recommendations should not be considered medical advice; consult your doctor before starting this or any nutrition program.)

What are your go-to herbal remedies?

Elderberry has been said to assist in fighting colds, allergies and inflammation. It comes in a variety of forms, from supplements to syrups. Astragalus root is a powerful adaptogen, said to boost immunity and counteract stress. And ginger is anti-inflammatory and said to cleanse the lymph system of toxins.

How do we improve our immunity?

Get outside! And not just because your gym is closed—it's because we are mostly living inside, which can lead to Vitamin D deficiency. Studies say that even if you spend just a few minutes outside midday, without sunscreen, you will get your daily dose of Vitamin D.

Also, there’s a reason we’ve heard so much about probiotics—they are good bacteria that assist in detoxifying your colon and boosting immune system support. Getting probiotics from fermented foods—like Fermentlicious kimchi and kraut, and probiotic Coconut Cult Yogurts—is my favorite way to do it.

What about foods that we should focus on?

I always say to consume raw, living nutrients. Here's the recipe for our Incredible Pulp smoothie:

5 oz. organic orange juice 

5 oz. organic almond milk

3 oz. organic mango

2 oz. organic peaches 

1/2 organic banana

Handful of organic spinach

Organic protein powder of your choice

Do you use essential oils?

Based on a reflexology theory, I rub one of the following two essential oils onto the soles of my feet every night: a blend of wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary; or Thieves Oil, which is crafted of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary.

Oregano is also a potent essential oil, said to be a natural antibiotic with anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. Our Citrus Fire juice contains organic grapefruit, organic orange, organic ginger, organic turmeric, oil of oregano and organic cayenne, and is one of our most popular drinks.

CROP Juice is currently offering a call ahead and pre-order/pre-pay curbside pick-up at its Gulf Gate and University Park locations; downtown Sarasota is temporarily closed. Odierna is also offering delivery. Interested? Text (941) 405-9611 with your name, preferred contact info and order, her team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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