Combating Winter

The January blues (depending on where you live) can really take its toll. It seems that people everywhere are sneezing, blowing their noses, battling colds, fighting flus, or just over tired in general.

Decmber can be pretty hectic, and January may be the worst month of the year weather-wise, so it does not come as a huge shock.

It seems to me that for the past year or two, sicknesses, including just a common cold, are lasting MUCH longer than they used to. A few years ago and prior, how long did it take you to kick a common cold?...3-4 days? Now it seems like colds linger for 2, 3, and sometimes even 4 weeks + before you feel like it's completely out of your system, and talking to other people I know I'm not alone on this.

If you're feeling a little bit down and out, here are a few easy things you can make at home that will make you feel better (or at the very least, cheer you up a bit).

Hot water with Lemon, Ginger, Honey, and Cayenne

Simplicity at it's best. What can't you cure with these ingredients? ; ) It's cheap, easy, tasty, and a great way to help you feel better. The two minutes it takes to boil water and slice up some lemon and ginger is definately two minutes well spent. As if lemon and ginger were not healthy enough, kick it up a notch and add a pinch of cayenne pepper. For those of you who don't know the health benefits of cayenne: it improves circulation, rebuilds blood cells, lowers cholesterol, emulsifies triglycerides, removes toxins from the bloodstream and improves overall heart health...look it up for yourself if you don't beleive me ; )

Banana Bread

Don't let those over ripe bananas go to waste!
There's something very comforting about warm banana bread on a cold day. It does not quite have the same health benefits as the lemon-ginger tea, but will make you feel just as good!

This is a very simple recipe that will become a staple in your house. Minimal steps, common ingredients you likely already have on hand, and minimal cleanup are key especially when you're not feeling great to begin with. You can easily get this into the oven in under 15 minutes, and then just kick back and relax while it bakes and permiates the house with that wonderful "baking" scent.

Here's what you'll need...

3-4 over ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup of melted butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups of all-purp flour
dash of cinnamon
pinch of salt
Optional - small handful of chocolate chips
Optional - small handful of chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a spatula mix the melted butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add your chocolate chips and nuts now if you're using them. Add the flour last, mix just until no dry flour remains. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 mins. Let cool slightly on rack before slicing and serving.

Antioxidant-laden salad

Everyone feels a little better after eating a salad. I always feel better after I eat something if I'm feeling ill...even if my body does not feel hungry. Pick up some antioxidant rich fruits - blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, pomegranates...pretty much all of your deeply pigmented fruits - and add them to a salad.


And last but not least, if all else fails, do what they did in the old days and pour yourself a whiskey neat or on the rocks. Those frozen rocks are pretty slick - they cool your drink without watering it down - I'll post more about those later.

What do you make yourself when you're feeling under the weather? We'd love to know, please share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!

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