Maxine Johnson from TempleFit Talks About the Amazing Immune System and How To Keep It Strong


The immune system. Nutritional Therapist Maxine Johnson explains it as “A very complex system that is made of multiple sub-systems containing: the innate immune system (the one you were born with), the acquired/adaptive immune system (remembers and catalogues pathogen exposure), the lymphatic system (re-circulation and waste disposal), the gut biome with trillions of beneficial bacteria, the virome containing trillions of viruses in us and on us, and the gut brain axis.”

Maxine Johnson uses nutritional therapy to help her clients achieve optimal health. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis

If you’re thinking that sounds like a lot, you’re not alone. In her nutritional therapy practice, TempleFit, in Olympia she helps you make sense of the body’s complex systems and can help you bring them to optimal health, holistically, through a whole foods diet and exercise, among other things.

“Nutritional therapy is part of the growing field of alternative medicine,” says Maxine. “Like acupuncture, naturopathy, chiropractic, and biofeedback, it is holistic in nature, meaning that the whole body is acknowledged while supporting the strengths and strengthening the weaknesses rather than just chasing symptoms.”

Nutritional Therapy protocols were developed from the work of pioneer thinkers and practitioners of the past century, such as Dr. Royal Lee, Dr. Weston A. Price, and Dr. Frances Pottenger. Maxine’s own work includes her certification as a nutritional therapist, and NRT Practitioner, but also as a fitness trainer and coach. Her extensive background of over three decades in fitness, and as a former NPC Figure Champion, uniquely positions her to have a deep understanding of diet and exercise.

Immune Health

“The body knows full well how to protect itself,” she says. “It just needs you to give it the tools to do it with.” However, when it’s weakened, it will continue to respond to invader viruses and bacteria, but the problem here is that it will often over-react, attacking healthy tissue anywhere that it thinks it’s finding pieces of the invader. Maxine says. “Whether caused by genetics, epigenetics, nutritional deficiencies from eating fake food most of your life, too much sugar, some other underlying health condition, or your age, all of those factors can compromise your immune system.”

She further reports that “As we age, our thyroids don’t produce enough vitamin A, which acts like a hormone and literally builds “walls” around our cells to protect them from invaders trying to get in. Additionally, if you’re not getting enough vitamin D from the sun (best source), or fish fat, your body is not able to create “cathelicidins” which are like little bullets that blow holes in viruses and destroys them.”

Supporting Your Immune System

Eating healthy can help your immune system work properly. Local and organic are especially desirable. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis

Fortunately, there are many ways to support this very complex and vital system. Maxine gives her best tips for supporting our immune systems:

  • Raw vegetables every day of many different colors. A big colorful salad – one a day, every day, with oil and raw apple-cider vinegar-based dressing.
  • Foods containing vitamins A, D, K, and E. These are fat-soluble vitamins found in fatty foods. We cannot absorb minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, etc without the presence of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 available. Fat-soluble vitamins are found in fatty foods like fatty fish, real whole butter, whole milk not ultra-pasteurized (UHT) or homogenized, all whole dairy products not UHT or homogenized, eggs, sunflower oil, olive oil, nuts and nut-butters, and fatty grass-fed meats.
  • Stay away from sugar. Sugar makes us fat and raises cholesterol due to the damage it does to arterial endothelial cells, which then causes systemic inflammation. Sugar also suppresses the immune system by increasing candida and pathogenic yeast and fungus in our bodies. Sugar affects brain chemistry, causing anxiety, hormonal swings, and sleep disorders.
  • Eat raw, fermented foods. Raw sauerkraut found in the refrigerator at the grocery store, not on the grocery shelf. In Olympia, Oly Kraut is perfect! Bubbies Pickles and Bubbies Sauerkraut is great, kombucha, yogurt from local farms, not commercial yogurts, are great options also. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try fermenting foods at home. Start with the homemade yogurt recipe on the TempleFit website, (so easy – Mother Nature does all the work), or visit the Queen of Fermentation herself, Donna Schwenk at Cultured Food Life.
  • Eat animal products from animals that were properly raised and harvested. These would be grass-fed beef, lamb, bison, pastured/free-range chicken, pastured eggs, raw cheeses, real butter, whole – not low-fat or non-fat – dairy products. Raw milk products are best or slow/vat-pasteurized milk products. These foods come from local farms in the Thurston areas. Avoid “ultra-pasteurized” dairy products.
  • Filtered water or water from artesian wells. The point here is do not drink unfiltered tap water. It’s full of chemicals and in some cases, heavy metals and prescription drugs which cannot be neutralized. Whole-house water filters or just water filters for the kitchen faucet and the shower head will get most of the toxins out.
  • Exercise! Even if all you do is a long brisk walk four days a week, then do that. Exercise moves lymph, and makes you sweat. Our skin is the largest detoxifying organ of our body and when we sweat, we give it a workout. Other detoxifying activities are:

Life is stressful. If you need help getting on track, staying on track, losing weight, or you have an underlying health condition that won’t go away, contact Maxine at TempleFit. She is now providing virtual visits for long distance clients, and those who cannot make it to the office.

“Your body is your temple,” Maxine says, “Keep it fit for life.”

Maxine Johnson, CCWFN
605 11th Avenue SE, Suite 202, Olympia
206-276-3534 voice/text


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