I wanted to bring you something a little different today. Not quite a recipe, more like a peek into my pantry.
We have been blessed not to get too terribly sick this winter. Its hard to say whether preventative measures have been working or if we’ve just been lucky. While I’ve never thought of myself as a “crunchy” mama, I have been looking more and more into natural ways of healing. I believe that the food we eat can either be medicine or poison. We can either choose chemical laden, highly processed foods that will cause our bodies to work harder than they’re meant to and tear us down or we can choose real, unprocessed food that God created to help our bodies work at peak efficiency. Here are a few of the regulars around our table this winter that have kept us feeling good.
Pineapple – Easily my favorite fruit, this sweet treat is known to help boost immunity. I try to buy one every week. If for some reason I don’t pick one that tastes very good its always delicious covered in chocolate. If pineapple is a new food for you, be sure to check out this post.
Peppermint Tea – As a staunch non-coffee drinker I do occasionally like drinking tea. I’m not a fan of caffeine, however, so I usually opt for herbal (caffeine free) teas. Peppermint tea is one such option, and is often used to help ease tummy troubles. It can help ease morning sickness (which thankfully I am not currently battling) or generally upset stomachs. I’m sure to have a cup if I ate too much for dinner or a barfy kid has me feeling queasy.
Raw Local Honey – Honey is great for all sorts of things, but in this case I’ve been using it for coughs and sore throats. Little ones shouldn’t have cough medicine but if they’re over one year old a spoonful of honey before bed can help coat the throat and ease coughing. You could also stir it into some tea yourself for a double-whammy. I always choose raw local honey over anything generic because of the nutritional benefits. Imported honey can be hiding some strange and unnecessary ingredients.
Plain Yogurt – I eat a bowl of yogurt every day just because I like it. Recently my boys both had ear infections and ended up on antibiotics (food can’t heal everything, be sure you’re still seeing your doctor). I made sure to feed my almost 2 year old yogurt every day to ward off any nasty diarrhea caused by the medicine. I also knew it was important for me to keep up my daily yogurt regimen to help my nursing baby avoid diarrhea and thrush. Yogurt is full of live bacteria that are good for your gut. If you’re fighting yeast, just be sure to keep it as unsweetened as you can manage because yeast feeds on sugar.
Apple Cider Vinegar – This one is intense. I had heard testimonies from people who took a swig of apple cider vinegar every day to ward off illness and thought it was worth a try. When my kids had a terrible cold and were coughing and sneezing all over me every day I could feel my body starting to fight off the same infection. I took a swig from my apple cider vinegar bottle every day and never came down with a full blown illness. Keep in mind, this is vinegar and it tastes terrible. If you have a hard time taking a drink consider mixing one teaspoon of vinegar with one teaspoon honey in a glass of warm water. There will be more to drink but it should be easier on your mouth.
Garlic Ear Oil – This is a new one for me. A friend recommended it and I didn’t end up purchasing it until after my boys had their ear infections. While I purchased this bottle you could also make your own at home with just garlic and oil. Its recommended to put 3-5 drops in each ear up to five times a day to ward off ear infections. I used it on my older two when they came down with their second cold in two weeks and it never progressed to anything more. It was, however, messy and difficult to get them to cooperate. We’ll have to see how this works out in the future.
Please don’t let this post keep you from seeking medical help if you or your family is suffering from an illness. This is what we’ve been using this winter to stay healthy. What are some of your favorite ways to use food as medicine?