I Believe in Magic! Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

I Believe in Magic! Home Remedies for Cold and Flu

“Healthy people eating healthy food should never need to take an antibiotic.” -Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Tis the season for colds, flues, viruses, sinus congestion and just feeling plain yuk! Many run to the doctor at the first sign of illness, which usually is not necessary and simply spreads your germs or sends you out only to pick up some more.

For a virus, antibiotics do nothing but mess up your normal good bacteria in your digestive tract (mouth, stomach, intestines).

When I get sick there are a few things I do that seem to shorten my days on the couch, but I try to start my natural regime at the first sign of a depleted immune system (scratchy throat, achiness, fatigue, or what I call the eewy geewies when I just know there is a bug in me).

If you have incredibly horrible symptoms like a high fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing and blowing out green or yellow gunk for more than a week – you may need to make an appointment with your doctor but generally rest, stress management, and supporting your immune system with a healthy diet and natural remedies will decrease your time on the couch or bed.

Before you try any of these remedies, although you probably don’t need the doctor, I would at least ask what he or she thinks of the magic. More than likely your doctor will say “whatever works” or “there is some research to show…” or “never heard of it but it can’t hurt” or just take some Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or Aleve and rest. That’s all good advice but is there anything else you can do? Yes! Here are some home remedies you can try.

Natural remedies

First and foremost eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants-vegetables and fruits, green smoothies and soups with added healing herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, onion, and turmeric. Apple cider vinegar added to your food or taken as a drink has long been known to heal sore throats, colds, and viruses. Horseradish root is an excellent natural antibiotic and decongestant great for loosening mucous or encouraging a blocked sinus to drain. Avoid sugar except for raw honey, which has long been used for its antibiotic properties. Honey added to a cup of ginger tea and sprinkled with a pinch of cayenne pepper is an excellent sore throat remedy.

My favorite natural remedy is garlic. I carry garlic with me when I travel and at the first sign that I feel like there is a bug in me. I eat raw garlic chopped up on bread or mixed with my food. When I am dining out, I don’t hesitate to ask my waitress or waiter to bring me a side of chopped garlic. And yes sometimes you do reek to those around. There is a famous quote “Since garlic then hath powers to save from death, bear with it though it makes unsavory breath.” – Salerno Regimen of Health.

I can remember a time when I was traveling and while at the airport waiting for a flight, I felt like I was coming down with something. I went to one of the airport restaurants and ordered hot soup and a side of garlic. I ate it all. While on the airplane I heard the people in the seats behind me saying “ I smell garlic. Wow! I bet she just ate Italian food!.” It seemed my garlic ingestion was noticeable.

And speaking of garlic, check out my recipe for Garlic Soup.

MARY’S GARLIC SOUP

Start with Chicken or Vegetable Broth (You can use any clear soup or make your own with bullion cubes). Bring to a boil

Add Several cloves of fresh garlic cut up. (I add as many as 10 cloves to about 4 cups of broth) Use as much as you can stand and don’t over cook the garlic.

Simmer the soup with the garlic for a minute or two. (Another variation is to sauté the garlic in the pan before adding the broth. This makes the garlic more tolerable if you don’t like it raw.) I eat garlic raw so I cook as little as possible.

Remove from heat and add: 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar. Sprinkle with Cayenne pepper. (According to taste -a dash can create quite a tang so add according to what you can tolerate).

Other helpful spices are Turmeric, Cumin and Ginger which all have healing properties.

Another variation is to add a beaten egg to the boiling broth like egg drop soup.

If you want to make a more hearty soup, go ahead and add some cooked chicken, turkey or sautéed vegetables. Onions are always good for healing.

Be sure to chew the garlic pieces when you eat the soup.

Enjoy! And Be Well!

 

 

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Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Yellow Zafu Buddha Wine

“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” -The Dalai Lama

This year I thought a great idea would be to give my grandchildren (ages 8, 8, 6 and 3) each their own meditations cushions – known as zafus, a large square cushion topped with a zabuton, a puffy little pillow to sit on. Anxiety is an epidemic in children and adolescents and it would benefit more promotion of mindfulness and meditation. I was so excited. They picked their colors pinks, greens, blues, and yellows. I ordered accordingly. I carefully reviewed children’s books on the subject of mindfulness and chose a different book for each child based on their individual personalities. I also gave them each a meditation CD and in each of their gift bags was a small little Buddha-each a different color representing various spiritual aspects-faith, hope, peace, and love. I carefully laid their cushions side by side in our lower rec room and imagined they would see them, sit on them, enjoy their books and begin their practice.

That morning, I sat in meditation for 20 minutes on my own new set of yellow cushions and what came to me was a small voice stating I had expectations and needed to let them go. But of course I did not listen to the inner voice and this is how it played out.

Instead of my vision of four excited children sitting on their cushions and enjoying their new books and little Buddhas, they started arguing about which books they liked better and then my grandson decided to make up a game called “let’s hide the Buddha.” His sister, my granddaughter, started crying because she did not like the rules he proposed and wanted to play a different way. The result was great conflict, screaming and lots of chaos.

Tiny buddha in the glass I had a glass of wine as their mother patiently listened to each of them and attempted to help them manage this conflict. One stated their case and the other stated her case to no avail the crying continued. My daughter-in-law kept trying to get them to negotiate a solution. Meanwhile, the Buddhas were being thrown in the air. I had another glass of wine and finally started yelling and saying insane things like “ what everyone needs is to sit and contemplate this conflict. These cushions are for mindfulness and I am so sad that there is all this fighting when I am trying to promote peace.” Steve, by now walked away saying, we would not have spent all this time negotiating and this is all ridiculous. I went upstairs to make sure our dinner, which was sill in the oven and on the stove was not burning.

The crying continued. My son went upstairs also exasperated by his children, but when Steve came up and said he couldn’t take anymore, my son yelled “ Mom would you like me to bring my children back when they are 18?” That statement broke my heart and I started crying and said how this is not how I had anticipated the evening I had so judiciously prepared for. “ Well, that’s ridiculous Mom. They are kids.” He berated me and Steve and we both felt like ridiculously failing grandparents. Somehow I raised my voice and my son raised his voice and it was a mess. My daughter ended up pushing us in the back bedroom to continue our fight as our grandchildren were disturbed by our argument.

How did it end? My son and I both agreed we were wrong. We continued to yell and cry and really had a darn good talk. I was humbled and put in my place, and he realized he had expectations too- for us as grandparents to be more perfect, more patient, and less human. I did see the folly in my great expectations and we then talked about other pent up feelings not expressed including just simply missing talking to each other and stating our mutual love, respect, and appreciation. It just all turned out different than expected.

We came out of the bedroom and resumed family time. The kids were downstairs enjoying their books and cushions and the family was once again at peace.

The moral of the story and what I had to learn was to let go of expectations. It was a set up for disappointment but in the end, I had a great talk with my son and all was well.

I’ve checked in with my grandkids and they are enjoying their cushions and meditation books and tapes.

 

Sip More Drink Less

Sip More Drink Less

Wine of the Month Club selection, our holiday gift from our daughter.

Wine of the Month Club selection, our holiday gift from our daughter – Served with grilled artichoke hearts and French Bread.

I love wine. I loved cigarettes too, but all the research and the physical feelings I experienced all pointed to QUIT. I could not justify that habit and my body did not like it either. I quit smoking 30 years ago right before my third child was born.

But oh how I like wine. I usually have at least one glass a night with dinner.

There is something about putting it in a pretty tall stem glass and sipping it that feels good. I hate wine like the Italians drink it – in short glasses and I hate wine at parties in Styrofoam or plastic glasses. It is just not the same. Part of the joy of wine drinking is the glass.

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Mary’s Garlic Soup to Help You Beat Cold or Flu

Mary’s Garlic Soup to Help You Beat Cold or Flu

 

Garlic is a magic food. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Garlic has been known to be antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal. It is full of antioxidants and in a nutshell or in a garlic clove is anti-disease. I love garlic and wanted to share my recipe for Garlic Soup. Click here to learn more about garlic.

I don’t know where I got the original recipe for Garlic Soup, but I have been making it for years every time I feel like I am getting a cold or flu symptoms.

MARY’S GARLIC SOUP

Start with Chicken or Vegetable Broth (You can use any clear soup or make your own with boullion cubes). Bring to a boil.

Add Several cloves of fresh garlic cut up. (I add as many as 10 cloves to about 4 cups of broth) Use as much as you can stand and don’t over cook the garlic.

Simmer the soup with the garlic for a minute or two. (Another variation is to sautee the garlic in the pan before adding the broth. This makes the garlic more tolerable if you don’t like it raw.) I eat garlic raw so I cook as little as possible.

Remove from heat and add:

1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with the ‘Mother”) for each serving.

Sprinkle with Cayenne pepper. (According to taste-a dash can create quite a tang so add according to what you can tolerate).

Other helpful spices are Turmeric, Cumin and Ginger which all have healing properties.

Another variation is to add a beaten egg to the boiling broth like egg drop soup.

If you want to make a more hearty soup, go ahead and add some cooked chicken, turkey or sauteed vegetables. Onions are always good for healing.

Be sure to chew the garlic pieces when you eat the soup.

Enjoy! And Be Well!

 

 

It’s Holiday Time – The Joy of Mindful Eating

It’s Holiday Time – The Joy of Mindful Eating

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It's holiday time starting with the treats of Halloween and celebrating through New Years.

I love the holidays, the food, cooking, baking and celebrating. Having just taken a class on Mindfulness, I thought this would be a great time to share a teleclass I did around the holidays on Mindful Eating. You will hear about my the "diet" book that changed my life and how to eat with joy instead of fear.

   

Listen and Learn-Grab a cup of tea or download the podcast and listen later. Enjoy!!

 

Mindful Eating

Cincinnati Restaurant Review

Cincinnati Restaurant Review

Last night we tried a new Cincinnati restaurant-actually a new restaurant for us, a new location for them. We also went out with new friends, who suggested we all try something new. "How about Local 127?" I read some reviews and then went to my favorite source, Trip Advisor, and this restaurant was rated as a Cincinnati favorite.

The restaurant is known for its eclectic menu of small and large plates. They are also known for creating the menu based on local foods. That sounded interesting. I was a little leery when I checked out some sample menus and they seemed to serve a lot of pork in their menu options.

My husband, Steve and I don’t eat pork, nor do we red meat. We do eat poultry occasionally and fish at least once a week. We call ourselves flexitarians, having been strict vegetarians for years and now being occasionally inclusive of meat.

This widening of our diet has also widened our choice of restaurants and our ability to socialize with non-vegetarian foodies.

So we had an open mind. We had reservations for 7:30 and were seated within 10 minutes of our arrival. I wondered if we were in the right place when I saw the large red pig sitting above the rafters. There were also posters from the Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham. Hmmmm-they do like pork.

We had a perfect table, not too close to the front door or the kitchen. Our friends said the restaurant reminded them of a Paris Bistro, and the location used to be the home of a bistro. It was an open restaurant with decorating as eclectic as the menu.

We started with a round of water and each ordered a glass of wine. I ordered the house red. A glass of the house red was $5.00 and it was actually quite good- a red zinfandel. Steve ordered a pinot noir, which was also nice. I always like bread with the wine while ordering. Their specialty is corn bread and it was sweet and delicious.

The menu had several choices of appetizers. Our friends ordered the smoked trout aperitif. The next course was soup and salad. They ordered the beet salad. Steve and I ordered French Onion Soup and a simple mixed greens salad.

We all tasted the trout, which tasted like lox that was cut up in very small pieces. I am not a fan of lox so was glad I did not order it. Our friends also said they would probably not order that again because even though it said pickled, they did not anticipate what pickled really would taste like. Their beet salad looked delicious, but it was made with prosciutto so we passed on tasting it. They loved it. The French Onion Soup was decadent and I would guess, not light weight. The salad was nothing extraordinary. The greens were fresh and the presentation was nice with the large croutons and blue cheese sprinkles. There was also goat cheese spread on the side of the salad bowl.

Our friends ordered scallops and duck. We ordered scallops and the char. The scallops were very good. The plate came as three scallops on top of a small serving of mashed potatoes and garnish. The duck was a breast, cooked medium rare and sliced with vegetables and garnish. I took a bite of the duck and it was good but we all agreed it could have been cooked a little more. Having eaten chicken several times this week with the High Holidays, we decided to order fish. The char was excellent. It was served over the mashed potatoes with a garnish of green beans and topped with a gourmet version of potato chips and onion rings.

To finish off our meal, although we were all quite full, we chose two desserts to share. We ordered the chocolate cream, which tasted like a rich chocolate mouse. Our other choice was the cheesecake made in a mason jar. The cheesecake mixed with fruit and graham cracker crust was very good. The coffee was served with whipped cream, natural sugar and chocolate chips.

Needless to say, this was not a light dinner, but it was what Saturday night dinner with friends should be. Great food, in a great atmosphere, and great conversation.

We all share the love of exercise and a healthy lifestyle, which affords us the pleasure of enjoying a great meal knowing we would go back to eating in moderation during the week.

I would recommend this restaurant. The food was delicious, and I should also mention the service. Our waiter, Taylor was delightful and was able to explain every aspect of the menu and answer all of our questions.

I would be interested in your own review or recommendations of new places to dine in our area.

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