Recipes For Staying Healthy and Feeling Better Faster!

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For the final installment in this series I am sharing the recipes I use to keep my family healthy during cold, flu and even allergy season. I try the best I can to avoid using over the counter medications if there is a natural homemade remedy that will work. Mostly though, I use preventative measures to ensure that we get sick less and therefore don’t need as many medicines or trips to the doctor.

Health Juice:

There is no actual juice in this drink but when you call something juice, my kids are sure to want it. I found this recipe on the back of theĀ  Bragg Organic Raw-Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar bottle. They call it Bragg Vinegar Health Drink. My kids ask for it every morning as soon as they get out of bed. They love the flavor and they know it keeps them healthy, so it’s a win win situation. Here’s the recipe below.

1-2 tsp of apple cider vinegar (I actually use 1 Tbsp)

1-2 tsp of local honey (again I use 1 Tbsp to keep it balanced)

8-10 oz room temperature water

Stir together until completely blended and drink once or twice a day!

Elderberry Syrup:

There are many recipes on-line for homemade elderberry syrup and I guess the best way to find the one you like is to just try a few and see which one your family likes. Unfortunately elderberries can be expensive, so make a small batch at first to see if you like it. This is my variation on one I found by Wellness Mama during my own search.

3/4 cup dried organic elderberries

3 1/2 cups water

1 Tbsp powdered ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

4 cloves

1 cup local honey

Bring water, elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for at least 45 minutes. The contents of the pan should have reduced by almost half. Let the mixture cool. Strain through a strainer in to a tall glass jar. Add the honey andĀ  stir until completely blended. This keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

My kids take one tsp in the morning and one at night to maintain a strong immune system. My husband and I take a Tbsp each day.

Super Duper Tea:

When my oldest is sick with a cold or upset stomach he always asks for Super Duper Tea. It’s a very simple and yummy way to make anyone feel better when they are under the weather.

1-2 bags of chamomile-lavender tea

1 tsp local honey

Heat water in tea kettle til warm, not hot. Pour over tea bag/s and brew for 5 minutes. Stir in honey and enjoy.

For more information on staying healthy year round, check out my previous posts in this series. Have a wonderful and vibrant holiday season!

http://enlightenednourishment.com/2014/10/17/get-well-soon/

http://enlightenednourishment.com/2014/10/20/rock-those-antioxidants/

http://enlightenednourishment.com/2014/10/22/anti-inflammatory-foods-and-respiratory-health/

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Rosebud

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This afternoon I am introducing my taste buds to sweet rosebud tea. I was given a small sample of this lovely organic tea by my friend Figen at Fig Botanicals in Somerville, NJ. First of all, can I just say, WOW?! The entire first floor of my house smells like I just got a surprise delivery of fresh roses and it’s not even my birthday! Secondly, how did I wait this long to drink rosebud tea?!! I feel like a pretty, pretty princess lounging in her boudoir or a fine lady enjoying a lavish high tea with her high society chums. In reality, I’m listening to ‘Dinosaur Train’ playing in the next room while typing a blog post. Hey, at least I’ve got some awesome tea to drink! I’m actually enjoying it iced today, since it’s so warm and humid.

Not only is sweet rosebud tea sensationally aromatic, it is said to aid in mental clarity. I could sure use that right now with everything I’ve got going on in my life. Couldn’t you?

Loving the Lemon Verbena!

Lemon-Verbena

If you’ve never sipped a lovely cup of lemon verbena tea, here’s a little nudge from your friendly neighborhood health coach. Lemon verbena is well known for it’s amazing sedative properties. It not only helps to encourage relaxation for your mind and spirit, but for your body as well. It does wonders for women suffering from the symptoms of PMS including cramps, indigestion and mood swings (ladies, you know the ones). Lemon verbena leaves are also a blessing if you suffer from chronic digestive distress such as IBS, Celiac Disease and even Crohn’s Disease. It soothes the digestive tract, just as it soothes our stressed out minds. It has a light refreshing lemony flavor which is wonderful in the spring and summer months and you can drink it hot or iced.

<Just like with any herbal tea, if you are pregnant or nursing it is wise to consult with your doctor or midwife before drinking.>

Homemade Pink Limeade

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I always seem to stumble upon nummy, refreshing drinks when I least expect it. This was a total stumble upon moment.

About a week or two ago (I’ve been thinking of posting this for a while, but lost track of time.), I was making my morning cup of hot water with lime juice and I took a little detour. The first odd turn was deciding to pour the hot water into a tall mason jar (to make it more portable) instead of my usual coffee mug. After adding the lime juice, I of course realized that the glass jar would be WAY to hot to handle, so I decided to add a couple handfuls of frozen cranberries to try to cool it off a bit. As I stirred and watched the pretty little red ribbons of color snake their way down the glass, I knew there was only one thing to do. So, I added about a teaspoon of maple syrup and Voila! Homemade pink limeade! Yes, I had to let it cool for a while before I could enjoy it, but it was worth the wait. What a great springtime refresher!

Pretty Little Thing

IMG_1617 Just a quick post to show off my pretty little smoothie that I made this afternoon. Not all green smoothies come out looking so vibrant and lovely. Many times, I’ll end up creating an incredibly delicious yet completely revolting looking concoction. Today was different, thankfully.

Recipe:

1 cup original almond milk

1 cup water

1 medium banana

2 pitted dates

2 handfuls chopped kale

1/2 medium cucumber

Haaaaave you met my friend cinnamon?

Yup, cinnamon is one of my best friends, especially in the fall. Of course I love the flavor, but it’s what cinnamon does for me that keeps me coming back for more. Cinnamon regulates blood sugar, reduces LDL cholesterol levels, reduces arthritis pain, it’s an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s not just a latte topper anymore.

Because of all of it’s lovely healthful qualities, I take it daily as well as give it to my children when cold and flu season comes around. A little sprinkle here, a pinch there and we are good to go. It’s wonderful for avoiding getting sick when everyone else around you is hacking up a lung and sneezing all over you. It is also fantastic if you have managed to catch what’s going around, to shorten the span of the sickness.

Like I said a little goes a long way with cinnamon. No need to over do it. It’s wonderful in plain yogurt, since it adds a natural sweetness. I put it in my coffee and my kid’s oatmeal or grits in the morning. But I wouldn’t have more than a teaspoon a day. There’s really no need.

So, if you like the flavor as much as I do, give it a try. Here’s another tasty way that I’ve been adding cinnamon to my diet:

 

My fall maintenance drink.

My fall maintenance drink.

 

Don't even get me started on how awesome turmeric is.

Don’t even get me started on how awesome turmeric is.

 

So, one day I was getting sick of drinking plain water and was also getting a little scratchiness in the throat. I decided to add some lime juice to get some vitamin C in me. Then I thought, why not add a little cinnamon (2 shakes) to take the sour edge off? Then I was like, well I’m right here in the spice cabinet, why not throw in some turmeric (again, 2 shakes) and shut this cold down before it starts?! It totally worked and tasted great doing so. Now I try to have one of these a day. So far I’m feeling terrific and getting my autumn spice fix!

Sore Throat Crushing Limeade

My throat started feeling a bit sore yesterday afternoon and it’s been bothering me all day today as well. I have a week long camping trip that starts next weekend, so whatever it is, I want it gone! I’m pulling out the big guns to try to stop it before it turns in to a full blown cold. This is it. If this doesn’t help, I’m not sure what will. I will warn you, it’ll put hair on your chest.

2 oz lime juice (Vitamin C!)

2 tblsp local raw honey (Strengthens Immune system and soothes sore throats)

2 pinches of cayenne pepper (Anti-bacterial, soothes soar throat, detox support)

1/2 tsp powdered ginger (Soothes sore throat, helps in absorption of essential nutrients)

8 oz water (Um, it’s water. We need it to live. Also, it keeps us hydrated and our throats lubricated)

Throatcrusher

It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.

Homemade Apple Lemonade

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a recipe that I make in the summers when my son starts asking for lemonade. Sometimes I substitute limes for lemons, either way it’s not too sweet and very refreshing. The raw honey and lemon boosts the immune system and helps greatly with seasonal allergies. You can add more or less apple juice to your liking.

 

4-average size organic lemons

1/3-cup raw honey

8 ounces organic apple juice

1-tall pitcher full of filtered water