Anyone overdo it this weekend? Anyone? C’mon, yesterday was Superbowl Sunday, after all. Even if you ate (mostly) healthy perhaps, like me, you still managed to eat a few too many bites of, for example, nachos or Girl Scout cookies?
About a year ago I read a cookbook that advocated starting each day with a cup of hot water infused with juice of half a lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper. When I had lemons on hand and took the extra few seconds to juice it into a mug, I definitely felt a different perk in my stride. I didn’t give up coffee, mind you, but my “spicy lemonade” came first and helped me feel better.
Except I always prep the coffee before bed and Guy pushes the button when he gets up, so most days it’s easier to stick to my cuppa joe.
A few months ago I came across a similar recipe for a Detox Tea. Easy enough and perfect for my Work-at-Home Mondays, especially in the cold winter months when I really do not need yet one more cup of coffee.
Juice of half a lemon + lemon rind (washed)
5 (or so) shaves of fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
32 oz boiling water
I combine the whole lot in a Nalgene bottle and let sit for 10 minutes. Then I pop in one of my favorite metal straws and sip-and-work the day away. As it cools, usually around the time I have finished half the bottle, I add more hot water. Warm, healthy, hydrating – win, win, win.
And, no kidding, I have noticed week by week that I feel healthier on Mondays. Sure, the relaxed pace of working from home, the productivity boost I enjoy in my distraction-free zone + the benefit of popping in a load of laundry and/or dinner in a crock pot during a break still shorter than an in-office conversation, yah, all that helps. But the tea…!
The love keeps coming! I found another tea recipe, this one with ground ginger and turmeric, which made me So Happy as my orthopedist had suggested that I regularly ingest both as an anti-inflammatory for my bum knee. Bonus: it tastes like a riff on chai.
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 c boiling water
a dash of your favorite non-dairy milk
a splash of sweetener of choice
Again, I use a Nalgene bottle to steep ginger and turmeric in water. After 10 minutes, you could strain the concoction into another mug if you’re texture-sensitive; I don’t mind a little fine-ground spice grit in my drink, so I grab the almond or coconut milk and maple syrup in my fridge, pop in my straw, and enjoy.
A few weeks ago Teen came home on a Friday night feeling “off.” About 2am, he scared the bejeebers out of me when he poked (and poked and poked) me in the arm to tell me “something is really wrong!” He had a fever, aches, chills, congestion… the flu. Sometime the next day I made him a bottle of Anti-Inflammatory Tea and way sooner than expected he was back to himself. Seriously, I thought he’d be down for a solid 4-7 days, but he went back to school Monday morning. Coincidence? Even if it is, I’d try the tea again.
Just for kicks, I looked up some of the health benefits of lemons, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and turmeric…
Lemon juice: Aids digestion; soothes a sore throat; prevents kidney stones; contains anti-cancer properties; reduces pain and inflammation; brings down a fever
Apple cider vinegar (unfiltered = best): Regulates blood sugar; contains probiotics; alleviates sore throats; breaks up mucous and congestion; combats constipation; whitens teeth
Ginger: Soothes digestion; reduces motion sickness and/or nausea; reduces exercise-induced muscle aches; reduces inflammation and soothes inflammatory conditions
Turmeric: Prevents cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and liver disease; relieves arthritis; moderates blood sugar; reduces cholesterol; boosts immunity; improves digestion
So now if you’ll excuse me? I think it’s high time I make myself some tea!