Mexican Quinoa Salad (with Bonus Wrap)

It’s not easy when a member of your family announces that they are radically changing the way they eat. I was in my mid-30’s when I embarked on a plant-based diet and this threw a real curveball at my meat-and-potato loving parents. Although I had long since moved away from home and started my own family – it still meant that every holiday and visit became a head-scratcher when trying to prepare a menu that would appeal to everyone. Thanksgiving and Christmas with no turkey?! Easter with no ham?! A BBQ with no burgers?! Holy crap!

veggie cartoon 2

I must admit that we’ve had more than a few heated “discussions” over the years about being flexible and open to trying new things. And there was also the inevitable questioning of the health benefits of a diet with no animal products. “You mean you aren’t giving your kids milk? How will they get strong bones?” “How will your family get enough protein?” “What the hell is quinoa?” and “Why do you have to be such a pain in the ass Lori?” All valid questions.

In the beginning I stood up on my soapbox and was overly eager to share all of the wonderful information I was learning about my new diet. I told them about the fact that there is actually more digestible protein in leafy greens and legumes than in meat (not to mention the animal cruelty associated with the meat industry). And that chickpeas and sesame seeds are much richer sources of protein than dairy. And that milk has been definitively linked to cancer. AND I made my entire family watch Forks Over Knives over one Christmas holiday (yes I was insufferable).

Nowadays, I’ve learned to shut my mouth more often and to be appreciative of how far we’ve come in incorporating more plant-based foods into all of our diets. But I’ve gotta give credit especially to my mom for really giving vegetarian cooking a college try. My family recently spent a few days at my parent’s home and I was totally delighted when she announced that she would be making Zesty Quinoa and Black Bean Wraps for dinner. She’s come a very long way from the woman who once told me she would never eat a vegetarian diet because there just wasn’t enough variety.

This recipe evolved from that wrap – which was delicious by the way (my son even turned down cheese pizza to gobble up a second helping). It’s simple to prepare and packed with protein, fresh veggies, herbs and spices. It just might be the best salad I’ve ever made! And as a special bonus, I turned the leftovers into a grilled wrap the next day that rivals the gourmet quinoa wrap sold by a very well-known coffee chain.

So if someone in your life announces that they are suddenly going to eat a different way – be it gluten-free or paleo or vegan or flexitarian…..be patient with them. When they come down off of their high horse – they just might make you something yummy to eat.

Mexican Quinoa Salad (with Bonus Wrap)

mexican quinoa 1

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pepper (any colour) diced
2 ears of corn- cooked, cooled and cut off of the cob
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, corn, garlic, pepper, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado. Squeeze the lime juice over top. Pour on the olive oil and toss to coat. Add red pepper flakes, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper and toss again. Enjoy!

*Bonus Wrap*

mexican quinoa 2

2 whole wheat or gluten-free wraps of choice
1/2 cup grated regular or vegan cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups Mexican Quinoa Salad (above)

Heat a frying pan with olive oil over medium heat. Lay wraps on a flat surface and put a line of quinoa salad down the middle of each. Top with cheese. Fold in both ends of the wraps and roll together. Place the wrap in the frying pan and grill on both sides. Remove from heat after both sides are gold brown (approx. 3 minutes per side) and let cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve. (You could also use a Panini maker in place of the frying pan to make life easier).

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9 Fresh Ideas for Spring

Although its taking a long time coming in my neck of the woods, spring is definitely on the way! And what better time of year than spring to try something new? So in honour of the changing season, here are my 9 suggestions for embracing the season of renewal:

1. Try Some New Recipes  – my friend Sue actually inspired this article when she posted an idea on Facebook about handing cookbooks to her kids and telling them to each pick 2 new dinner recipes for the coming week. Brilliant! What a great way to change things up. Dust off your cookbooks and foodie magazines and hunt for a couple of yummy new dishes to experiment with (or check out the archives on my blog for some Lori Wilson classics ; ) Time to toss those same-old-same-old winter menus!

2. Switch up Your Pit Stick – as an all-natural deodorant devotee, I’ve found that it’s best to keep a few good brands in the vanity that I can keep rotating to maintain their effectiveness. They seem to work like gangbusters for a month or so and then I need to swap them out for a bit. Although I always keep Purely Great and Weleda on hand, my new fav is Penny Lane Organics Lavender Deodorant Stick – it’s chemical-free and works well even during my sweatiest workouts.

deodorant-lavender-pennylaneorganics

3. Read SOAT – I have been a huge  fan of author Elizabeth Gilbert since she first published Eat, Pray, Love in 2007. I just adore the way her words jump off the page like she’s a close friend who is speaking directly to me (check out her blog and follow her on Facebook to see what I mean).  That’s why I couldn’t wait to dive into her latest fictional work “The Signature of All Things“. Now I’m going to be honest and admit that I started and stopped this book at least 5 times before I dug in and got hooked but you need to keep in mind that it’s an epic novel so don’t give up – trust me it’s well worth the read.

soat

4. Make A Small Change To Your Living Space– it doesn’t have to be anything big – perhaps you just grab a frame and hang up that picture you’ve been meaning to hang, shift the furniture around in the living room or paint one wall bright red. My hubby and I bought a new quilt for our bed for $60 while we were in the away on vacation in March and it makes me so happy every time I walk into my bedroom. Sometimes even a small shift can bring a fresh perspective.

5. Buy Something New for Your Wardrobe– To celebrate a good friend’s birthday, I went on a little shopping trip with a few pals a couple of weeks ago. We hit up one of my favourite local stores I purchased a bright pink short-sleeved shirt that I plan to wear the heck out of this spring. Grab a new scarf, a dangly pair of earrings or a funky new pair of jeans and see if you can add a bit of colour and energy to your wardrobe.

6. Start a Meditation Practice – Thanks to a great tip from my dad, I’ve recently rejuvenated my own meditation practice via a fantastic free app called Headspace on my mobile device. Meditation guru Andy Puddicombe guides you through 10 minutes a day of quiet contemplation and offers insights into the importance of this routine. I’ve also signed up for Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s free 21-day meditation session called “Finding Your Flow that will be starting in mid-April (I did their other free course back in the fall and loved it).

headspace

7. Tend To Your Pearly Whites – Tea, coffee, red wine, chocolate, lemon juice….all things that I love and all things that can wreak havoc on my teeth. In an effort to keep them nice and white without undergoing a chemical bleaching, I am a big fan of daily Oil Pulling using pure coconut oil. I also read an article by author Kimberly Snyder about rubbing orange peels on the teeth a couple of times per week to amp up tooth whiteness and another post from one of my favorite bloggers – Wellness Mama–  about swishing activated charcoal in the mouth to remove stains. Yes these ideas might sound wacky but all of these options are natural, economical and definitely worth a try!

8. Drink Up Some Fresh Juice – According to nutritionist Meghan Telpner: “Juicing is the easiest way to get essential nutrients in- detoxifying your liver and other organs, increasing energy and your mood and helping to make other foods more digestible….For those trying to include more raw fruits and veggies into their diets, juice is the answer. For anyone looking to shed some junk from the trunk, clear up the skin, have shinier hair, and way more energy and vitality…guess what? You got it. Juice. is. the. answer.” If you own a juicer, it’s time to pull it out of the cupboard and get juicing. If you don’t, you can hit up a juice bar for a shot of wheat grass and a green juice chaser. And if by chance you live in the Burlington, Ontario area – my good friend Lisa has started a business providing beautiful and nourishing fresh juice- home delivery and full cleanses are also available.  Contact her via her at lisa@flowfit.ca for menus and more information. (photo below courtesy of Lisa Faley – www.flowfit.ca)

juice

9. Get Outside– Yes it’s cold (at least in Southern Ontario) but nothing makes me feel more clear-headed than a good brisk walk. Whatever your exercise of choice (walk, run, bike, skip, dance) – try to get outside every day even for a jaunt around the block and some deep breaths of fresh air. Guaranteed to give you a new outlook on life.

I hope these suggestions put some spring in your step! I for one am ready to bid goodbye to a long, cold and harsh winter. Yay spring!

Chaga Mushroom Tea Latte

I’m going to be completely honest and admit that there are many mornings you will find me at my favourite coffee joint in the drive-thru line up patiently waiting for my soy latte. I have a well rehearsed repertoire of excuses in my head to justify my “need” for a fancy take-out drink:

– I was up all night with a sick child and I desperately need a coffee today
– I worked out really hard this morning and I deserve a reward
– I’m going to start eating right and working out next week so I’d better get my treats in today
– I stayed up late working so I need a coffee to make it through the day
– It’s a holiday (insert any occasion here – including Ground Hog Day!) and I need to celebrate with a coffee
– I’m meeting a friend and I can’t be rude and not join her when she is drinking her coffee
– It’s Monday and I need to pick myself up for the week
– It’s Friday and I need to gear up for the weekend

Trust me, I could go on and on but I’ll spare you. Needless to say I really enjoy a nice tall latte filled with steamy soy milk and sugary add-ins to start off my day. But being something of a health nut- I am also well aware of the negative effects of indulging in this particular treat (not to mention that it costs $6 a pop!)

Although the pros and cons of coffee have been hotly debated I know for myself that I feel much healthier and my gut, skin and pocketbook are much happier when I stick to all-natural homemade concoctions. And yes I can see you rolling your eyes through my computer screen – but some of my concoctions really do taste great!

Because I’m a full-on food nerd, I was totally thrilled to find this bag of Canadian Chaga Mushroom pieces on a recent trip to my local health food store. This potent and unique superfood is “a slow-growing mushroom that develops on living birch trees, obtaining nutrients from its host and making them available to us.” Chaga is considered the most nutritionally dense tree growth in the world and is revered in ancient Chinese medicine as being the “king of plants“. Studies have shown Chaga to be the single most concentrated source of antioxidants known to man and it has anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting and cancer fighting properties. Wow!

The cool thing about these mushroom chunks is that you boil 1/3 of a cup of them in a liter of water and just let them steep like tea. Afterwards you strain out the chunks and you will be left with a mild-tasting dark brown liquid that you can add to soups, smoothies, tea, coffee or just drink it straight up. And since the mushroom is so potent – you can actually reuse the chunks several times!

chaga

This morning I added 1 heated cup of the Chaga tea to 1 cup of boiling water and blended it together with 1 tbsp. raw sesame seeds, 1 tbsp. hemp seeds, 1 tbsp. maple syrup, 1 tbsp. Dandy Blend, 1 tbsp. cacao powder, a small chunk of cacao butter and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract. Voila! Yummy coffee drink that has a ton of health benefits! (I also added a cupful of the tea to our morning smoothie)

So for today, I am skipping the fancy take-out coffee and sipping my Chaga Tea Latte. One day at a time right? As for tomorrow – if you happen to see me in the drive-thru line just give me knowing nod and a wave…..because trust me, I’ll have my excuse ready ; )

The Amazing Healing Properties of Turmeric

I had no idea until about a year ago that a spice that often sat unused in my cupboard could be so incredibly powerful. I happened to be attending a health seminar in the spring- ironically the day after my son sprained his wrist when he rode his scooter off of a homemade jump on our driveway and landed painfully on his arm (totally normal 12-year-old behavior right?!). After listening to the teacher speak about the multitude of healing properties of turmeric, I rushed home and made a turmeric poultice for my son’s wrist. Yes his arm turned bright yellow but his wrist healed remarkably quickly and the pain and swelling decreased very rapidly.

turmeric 1

After seeing how quickly my son’s injury healed, I began to do more research into the health benefits of turmeric. And I soon found out that it has been used for centuries to cure and treat an astounding number of health issues. Turmeric can be used:

– for liver detoxification (and lord knows I need this one given my love of red wine ; )

– as a natural pain-killer

– to combat depression by naturally lifting your mood (winter blahs anyone?)

– for its potent antiseptic and antibacterial properties (can kill yeasts and parasites internally)

– to reduce inflammation (sore muscles, headaches, arthritis… and even sprained wrists)

– as a powerful antioxidant

– to eliminate the cancer causing effects of BBQ smoke and cooking smoke (it has also been studied as an antimutagenic that potentially helps prevent new cancers that are caused by chemotherapy or radiation used to treat existing cancers)

– to keep the brain in tip-top shape and to ward off Alzheimer’s disease

– to accelerate wound healing and repair damaged skin

– to soothe an upset stomach

– as a natural immunity booster and preventative of flu bugs

(Sources: Josh Gitalis, Meghan Telpner, Wellness Mama, Web MD)

Very impressive! But how do you use the stuff? And better yet – how do you get the kids to take it? On a recent trip to a local organic market, I purchased turmeric in 3 forms: whole turmeric root (the kids asked if this was a bag of turds), turmeric powder and turmeric capsules. Here are some of the ways that I use it:

– I put a 1-inch chunk of the root or 1 tsp (or more) of the powder into our green smoothies every morning

turmeric root

– I sprinkle turmeric powder over top of our fresh juice

– I use turmeric powder in soups, curries and stews for power-packed flavour

turmeric powder

– I sprinkle turmeric powder over foods grilled on the barbecue to combat carcinogenic smoke residue

– I make this amazing Turmeric Tea recipe by Meghan Telpner (especially great to warm the body on these cold winter days)

– I take turmeric capsules to combat headaches and muscle soreness

turmeric caps

– I mix 1 tsp turmeric powder with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and use it as a topical poultice on sore muscles, bruises and injuries

I encourage you to try adding some potent turmeric to your diet to see for yourself its incredible healing powers! A couple of things to keep in mind: because all brands aren’t created equally, make sure you purchase only good quality turmeric AND remember to consult with your doctor or naturopath before taking any new herbs or supplements. And if you are using it externally on yourself or your kiddies – be aware that it will leave a yellow residue on the skin for a couple of days.

How do you use turmeric? Do you find it effective? I’d love to hear from you!

10 Awesome Ideas for Healthy Holiday Giving

I love the holidays! I love the baking, the music, the traditions, the socializing and I love dreaming up special presents for my loved ones. As a little holiday inspiration, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite things to help make your holiday giving a little bit healthier:

1. All-Natural Homemade Gifts – I took a course this year on making homemade beauty products and my daughter and I have been whipping up our own concoctions ever since. This holiday season we are preparing Flower-Shaped Lotion Bars, a special Sugar Body Scrub and our very own Bath Salt recipe to share with family and friends. We purchased some inexpensive mason jars to use as containers, a bit of ribbon for decoration and voila – beautiful chemical-free delights. My favourite online recipe resources are meghantelper.com and wellnessmama.com.

Izzy and Lori’s Bath Salt Recipe: 4 tbsp. Epsom salts, 2 tbsp. sea salt, 8 drops of lavender essential oil and 6 tbsp. baking soda. Shake in a small mason jar.

epsom salt bath

2. Fitness Classes– one of the best ways to stay happy and healthy is to get out and move your body. Why not give the gift of exercise and treat your favourite person a gift certificate to experience a new fitness class? Make sure it’s one you have already tried yourself and can wholeheartedly recommend as being fun and worthwhile. My personal local favourites are Tread Powerfully (kick butt workouts with a caring and inspiring leader), Be Yoga Studio (zen atmosphere and gentle uber-bendy teachers) and Exhale Pilates (a lovely studio, kind instructors and mat, reformer and barre classes that will tone and lengthen your body).

compass

3. Essential Oils – I am completely addicted to essential oils and I have the cupboard full of little glass jars to prove it! Just a few drops of these plant essences have remarkable healing properties and virtually unlimited uses. Since all essential oils are not created equally, be sure to do your research and pick a company that has 100% pure oils and certified food grade ingredients. I order all of my oils from Living Libations and they are truly amazing!

living libations

4. A Great Book- One of life’s great pleasures is settling back with a fantastic read. And it can be even better if the book inspires you to achieve greater health, more personal happiness or inspires some positive growth. This past year I enjoyed a number of game-changing books that I’ll definitely be sharing with the people on my Christmas list. My top picks are Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly, Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart, Marianne Williamson’s The Law of Divine Compensation and Tara Brach’s True Refuge.

daring greatly

5. Charitable Gifts– There are many amazing charitable organizations that offer special opportunities for giving during the holiday season. Plan Canada provides a catalogue of items you can donate in the name of a loved one (including quinoa plants this year!) and the World Wildlife Fund will send a cuddly stuffed animal to people who contribute to their cause. And a big thanks to my friend and fellow veggie blogger Celeste who shared a great idea for “adopting” an animal from Farm Sanctuary. In her recent post entitled “Top 10 Vegan Christmas Gifts of 2013” she shared the following: “By adopting a farm animal, you’ll help provide their food, shelter, and veterinary costs, and you’ll show your opposition to farm animal cruelty. Adoptions can be made in a gift-recipient’s name and the recipient will receive information about their adopted “pet” including a picture, his/her story, and even details about visiting their animal. $10 to $50 per month for 1 year from Farm Sanctuary.”

baby pig

6. A Restaurant Gift Certificate– when people find out that I follow a mainly plant-based diet, they often assume I consume a very boring and limited selection of foods. But nothing could be farther from the truth! There is a bounty of amazing vegan and vegetarian foods and some very cutting edge chefs preparing exciting menus of  inventive dishes. A gift certificate to your favourite veggie restaurant or bakery is a great way to introduce friends and family to plant-based foods that are healthy and delicious. We are lucky in Burlington to be able to enjoy amazing vegan fare from Lettuce Love Café, The Naked Sprout and Kelly’s Bake Shoppe.

kellys

7. A Meditation CD or Course– We live in a fast-paced society and it can be hard to find quiet moments to relax, unwind and get in touch with your mind. I started my own meditation practice this year and I can tell you that it has made a tremendous difference in my life. Yes life is still hectic and crazy but I am able to approach most situations with much more calmness, awareness and patience. You can simply sit and begin but I found it very helpful to start with a guided meditation. Check out the Chopra Center for Meditation and Oprah and Deepak Choprah’s meditation courses, CD’s and downloads.

oprah and deepak

8. Healthy Foodie Gifts– This is another opportunity to whip up a homemade gift by pulling together the ingredients for your favourite veggie dish and wrapping it up in a creative way. You could make homemade granola and share it in a large mason jar (thanks to my friend Elisa who recently did this for me!), bake up your favourite holiday goodies and pop them in a decorative box or gather all of the spices and cans of beans for the world’s best Spicy Chia Chili and package it together with the recipe. And if homemade is not your thing – there are tons of fabulous and unique healthy foods you can buy online to share. Check out Coco Polo’s stevia sweetened chocolate bars, Wild Branch’s maple syrup infused with medicinal mushrooms or a big bag of Black Elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs to help ward off and treat the flu.

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9. Non-toxic Beauty Products– I am always on the hunt for a great new beauty product that works well, smells great and makes me look at least 10 years younger ; ) If you aren’t into making your own stuff – check out a couple of my favourite new all-natural products: LaVanilla All-Natural Deodorant Stick, John Masters Organics lavender and Avocado Intensive Conditioner, Good Gums Natural Tooth Paste Powder and Aubrey Organics Facial Moisturizing Rose Hip Seed Oil.

john masters

10. Bling– I am a girlie girl at heart and nothing makes me happier than a beautiful new piece of jewellery. I can highly recommend the lovely Tiny Devotion Mala Beads that my husband got me for Mother’s day and I have been coveting a ring from the vintage collection at Brilliant Earth for the past few years (hint, hint Mark). This Canadian company  is committed to using ethically sourced materials, conflict-free diamonds, and recycled gold. Also -check out this funky Swatch watch that I saw featured in Today’s Parent magazine that reads “Be Happy For This Moment, This Moment is For Life“. What a great reminder to slow down and fully appreciate the holidays!

swatch

I hope this list inspires you to put your health and the health of your loved ones at the very top of your list this Christmas. I wish you and your family the happiest and healthiest of holiday seasons!

The Benefect Story

I truly LOVE Benefect Disinfectant. Let me count the ways:

benefect 2

– I love it because it’s 100% natural, it’s made from essential oils and it works as effectively (if not better) than commercial chemical brands

– I love it because it smells great and I feel comfortable using it in my home around my 3 young children

– I love it because it’s a safe and effective product that kills the millions of germs that my family is exposed to every day (think bathrooms, kitchen surfaces, hockey bags, grimy hands, etc.)

– I love it because it has been embraced by so many forward thinking companies and individuals who want to safely eliminate germs without covering them up with toxic chemicals

– I love it because it was invented by my husband’s best buddy over 16 years ago

– I love it because it was developed out of a need for a safe non-toxic product to use around their immune-compromised son

You get the point – I love the stuff. And I know you will too. I am so proud my friends Sam, Jen, Liam, Chewie and especially Conor for being brave enough to share their journey with the world. Check out the video below to watch their moving story and to learn about the evolution of this amazing product.

(email subscribers – you may need to go to www.lorileighwilson.com to view the video)

My Favourite Holistic Cold & Flu Remedies

As the fall weather starts to turn cooler, I always get a little anxious about cold and flu season. Luckily my family doesn’t get sick too often but when we do I feel so much better knowing I am prepared with an arsenal of natural remedies that can help us heal quickly. Here is my personal list of go-to illness busters that strengthen the immune system and offer comfort when someone is feeling under the weather:

1. Probiotics – I only recently learned that the foundation of immunity is in our belly. In fact, 80 percent of our immune system is located in our digestive system, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to maintain optimal health. Good quality probiotics are made up of healthy bacteria that balance harmful bacteria in the body. Each of us has more than 1,000 different types of bacteria that live in our digestive tracts and research is now showing that the “good” bacteria from probiotics helps not only to stimulate digestive health, but may  stimulate a healthy immune system. I follow the advice of my naturopath and use either the HMF or Culturelle brands that each contain many strands of live bacteria.

hmf

2. Oregano Oil– I first learned about the power of oregano oil years ago from a client of my husband’s – and I thought she was nutty when she first told me about it. But I have since learned that oregano is a virtual powerhouse when it comes to it’s antiviral and antifungal properties and has been proven to kill unwanted bacteria, fungus, yeast, parasites and viruses. Living Libations makes a potent and pure food grade oil that I always have on hand. When I feel a cold or a sore throat coming on- I immediately put a drop or 2 under my tongue and swallow it a few times a day. But brace yourself – it is very strong and will burn for a minute or so after you ingest it. My older children are able to handle the oil under their tongues but I generally wouldn’t recommend this remedy for children.

oregano

3. Castor Oil– Don’t worry- I’m not going to go old school and suggest that anyone do a shot of castor oil to clean out their system. But the oil from this amazing plant has wonderful healing properties when massaged onto the skin. According to nutritionist Meghan Telpner The ricinoleic acid in castor oil prevents the growth of bacteria, yeast, and viruses. When I have joint pain anywhere, I rub it on the joints, if I have swollen glands, I massage it into neck/gland area, if I am feeling a little backed up- on to my belly it goes (massaged in a clockwise direction- the same direction stuff moves through the large intestine). With a cold or congestion, I’ll mix in a little comfrey and eucalyptus and massage it into my chest.” You can also direct the healing power of castor oil directly onto your stomach by making a “castor oil pack”. You simply soak an old cloth in the oil and place that directly onto your belly. Cover that with a plastic bag and lay a hot water bottle over top and relax for 20 minutes or longer. The castor oil will soak through your skin and is said to “improve the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients, eliminate toxins, and stimulate circulation.” (source: Meghan Telpner)

castor flower

4. Flu Tea– I got the recipe for this tea from a Flu Fighter seminar I attended a few years ago that was offered by a local naturopath. As soon as someone in my family gets a bug, I immediately whip up a batch of this healing tea and serve it up a few times a day. The combination of natural healing herbs and superfoods will kick any cold to the curb! But you’ll want to add lots of honey to each cup to make it drinkable. Into a medium saucepan add 6 cups of water, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp of cumin powder, a 3-inch chunk of fresh ginger cut into pieces, and 1 lemon cut into slices. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and save the tea in the fridge in a mason jar. Heat and drink as needed.

flu tea

5. Magic Socks– you are going to think I am off my rocker when I tell you about this remedy but my naturopath swears by it and everyone in my house has benefitted from this treatment over the past couple of years. You can follow this link to get clear directions on what to do but basically you warm your feet in hot water, dry them thoroughly and then put on a pair of socks that have been soaked in cold water and rinsed out. You cover those with a dry pair of wool socks and immediately get into bed. Think I’m nuts yet?! Well according to Jamey Wallace, ND, Clinic Medical Director at Bastyr Center for Natural Health: “The treatment is known as a “heating compress,” meaning that it’s up to the body to heat the cold, wet socks. The body reacts to the cold socks by increasing blood circulation, which also stimulates the immune system. You have to ‘rev up’ the immune system, so it’s ready for battle against the affliction or condition. This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head and throat. It also has a sedating action, and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment. The treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections.”

wool socks

6. Immune Illume – I mentioned the wonderful food-grade oregano oil from Living Libations above- but I also always have a bottle of their Immune Illume handy during the fall and winter. I simply cannot say enough good things about all of the pure and potent oils I have purchased from this company but the Immune Illume is my absolute favourite. According to Nadine at LL “This fortifying fuse of potent antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agents groom a resistant immune; hyssop, thymes, ravensara, rosemary, eucalyptus + oregano releases breathing. Inhale, bathe, massage into chest + sinuses or diffuse. Ingest a drop or two in: olive oil, teas or honey.”

immuneillume

I hope these ideas help naturally ease some of the pain of cold and flu season. Remember that these are my own personal remedies so remember to do whatever works best for you and your family.

Another quick suggestion- cook with tons of onions and garlic. They are both nature’s antibiotics and have potent virus busting properties. Sometimes I’ll even chop up a clove of garlic and swallow the bits with some water when I’m feeling a bug coming on. Powerful…and smelly stuff!

What are your go-to home remedies?