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Fire Cider (Immune-Boosting Tonic)

Fire Cider Bloody Mary

My husband and I came home from a mediocre work party one night in the fall of 2009 and spent the next day wondering how it was possible that we were so hung over. It turned out that we had swine flu and we spent the next several weeks quarantined to our tiny apartment watching every sci fi movie I had managed to avoid for the first several years of our relationship. To this day Star Wars still makes me feel nauseous.

Fire Cider

During this same year, my Mom’s cancer had recurred and she was going through treatment again, and my older sister had had her first baby. I couldn’t see either of them for over a month and it was the worst.

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Pumpkin Spiced Carrot & Walnut Milk

Pumpkin Spiced Carrot & Walnut Milk

After a long, hot summer, the leaves are finally starting to get crunchy less due to dehydration and more because IT’S FALL! Sweaters, boots, umbrellas, more leg hair, less squinting, phantom back to school anxiety, warm breakfasts, soup, and pumpkin spiced everything.

Pumpkin Spiced Carrot & Walnut Milk

I love the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven but have always been disappointed by the pumpkin pie itself. I feel a bit guilty about this because I was born on Halloween and I feel like pumpkins and I should be kindred spirits. Also, pumpkin pie is my husband’s favourite dessert of all time, which means I make it at least once a year. That or rice pudding. I know.

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Hydrating, Natural Electrolyte Drinks

Staying hydrated isn’t always convenient at the best of times. Sourcing good quality water, avoiding plastic bottles, carrying a water bottle around with you, needing to pee ALL THE TIME. As the summer heats up it becomes more important to stay on top of your fluid intake. Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated? As they say ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, so drinking a glass of water upon rising, and regularly throughout the day is a great idea for general dehydration avoidance.

But sometimes things happen: a crazy hot summer, a sweaty run/walk/hike, long world cup games with a couple of beers, you know, life. And then there are the less fun ways that dehydration can sneak up quickly on us: fever and excessive sweating, vomiting and/or diarrhea caused by cancer treatment (or the flu, food poisoning, pregnancy etc).

Natural Electrolyte Drinks

Regardless of how we become dehydrated, it is important that we replace those fluids and minerals lost. Fluorescent-coloured sports drinks are easy but they’re also filled with chemicals, food dyes and general non-foods that should really be avoided (I get that bright yellow looks more appetizing than my homemade brown lemonade, but let’s face it, sometimes healthy things are just brown). When it comes to giving your body an extra boost of hydration and the electrolytes it needs (sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphate & bicarbonate) a few more fluorescent-free tricks can be very helpful.

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Anti-inflammatory Green Smoothie

Remember when smoothies were made of strawberries and frozen yoghurt? It was like we were trying to trick ourselves into eating fresh fruit by making it taste like ice cream. Haha  -why did we feel we needed to be tricked into eating strawberries?! And how was that smoothie any different from ice cream?

Anti-inflammatory Green Smoothie

I remember (more than 10 years ago) a coworker making a big batch of pre-service smoothies for the kitchen staff. We were all so grateful (there is nothing worse than starting restaurant service on an empty stomach, and it happened all the time) until he added powdered greens and it all turned swamp-coloured. There were lots of jokes about it tasting like the underside of a lawnmower, teases about how he should maybe be working as a hostess, not a cook, and all kinds of other mature and thoughtful reactions. We were cooks who were used to making delicious, innovative but still comfortable and texturally pleasing food. Greens were garnishes for savory dishes not co-habitants of fruit smoothies, especially not the weird powdered greens. I was such a jerk.

Anti-inflammatory Green Smoothie (more…)