Late last week, I was feeling a bit run down.  Not physically ill, but more like worn out.  I know several other people – friends, colleagues, family – who have been feeling similarly or are actually sick.

So I started thinking about the things that make me feel better when I am not well in some way – physically or otherwise.

For a cold, there’s always good old-fashioned chicken soup.  Of course, that’s just good for anything, really.  It’s hard to mess with a classic, but the Portuguese Chicken Lemon Mint soup I made recently is a pretty exciting alternative.

Another favorite of mine is tea.  I like tea.  Period.  But sometimes, you need something particular to help you back to normal.  For an awful bout of medication-related nausea last week, I came across a delightful Fresh Ginger Mint Tea at a blog called Forkable.  (Did I really just say delightful?  Sheesh.)

I probably got about two dozen ginger and mint tea concoctions when I searched, but this one drew me in.  First of all, the name of the blog is too cute.  Second, the pics of this tea in mason jars just made me think it was the right way to go.  The tea was terrific and did the job it promised.  The blogger, Andrea, also has a wicked hot toddy recipe on there – another favorite to cure what ails you!

My favorite homemade cure-all is what I have lovingly named “sick tea” because, well, I drink it when I’m sick.  And, the original name of the recipe is kind of a turnoff – Garlic Tea.  Bleah.  I got this little gem a lot of years ago from Prevention magazine and have used it ever since.  Since my copy is nothing but an old, worn-out page from the magazine, I did a hopeful search and happily found the very same article posted at!  Check it out and give it a chance the next time you feel a cold coming on.

My Sister has used it without much complaint, except that she thought it was truly disgusting on day two. (I always use mine on the same day I make it.)  Fab Hub, on the one occasion I was able to convince him to try it, declared that it tasted “like feet.”  But please do not let this deter you from giving it a try!  I swear by the stuff and honestly don’t think it tastes all that terrible.  You can always add a little extra lemon or honey to taste or maybe some sugar to sweeten (or a bit of whiskey to make it a “sick hot toddy”).  If you’re really miserable, chances are you won’t taste much anyway, so drink up!

And never underestimate the power of the old “apple a day” trick – hit the search engines and you’ll find more information than you ever imagined about the health benefits of this super-food.

Right now, I have a bowl of these on the counter in a size and flavor for everyone in the house to enjoy…

To ease my tired body and soul, I have recommitted to some habits that are important to my overall well-being.  I have made sure to take time to spend a few minutes daily in my Bible and in prayer.  I have committed to taking just a few minutes – a simple ten or fifteen –  each day for some type of exercise or physical activity.  I have re-committed to paying close attention to the foods I choose for my family.  I am getting more sleep and I am drinking more water.

None of these are new ideas – not to the world at large or to my Self.  But I needed to remind myself – just for a moment – why these things are important to me. These are the things that are good for me, body and soul. These are the things that make me feel happy, healthy, and whole.  These are the things in which I find rest, healing, and comfort.

Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

18 thoughts on “Good for the Body, Good for the Soul

  1. Thanks for inspiring me to get back on track. I feel so much better when I do all these things, and one without the others is simply not enough. I go for comfort instead of health when the weather gets cold, but somehow brownies and meatloaf don’t take care of me quite the way fresh veggies and whole foods do.

    Also, the garlic is a wonder drug unlike any others. My husband and I used to do a couple tablespoons of a garlic infusion a day, and it worked wonders for our health and digestion. As it did our breath.

    1. Glad to be of service! And you are right on all counts. As easy as it is to opt for the brownies and meatloaf method, I am always and forever fascinated by how much different – better – I feel when I go for the better stuff. Don’t get me wrong – meatloaf is awesome. But I try then to keep the portion smaller and balance it with greater quantities of the fresh stuff next to it. The more I make those choices, the more my body wants me to make them. It’s taking that first step to do it.

      Garlic is the bomb. I have a great garlic soup recipe somewhere…trying to dig it out of the abyss.

      Oh, and I loved your patience post…just haven’t been able to put into words what I took away from that. Yet. 🙂

  2. I ate three Tootsie Rolls while reading this post. THREE. And you know what? While I agree with everything you’ve written here (holding judgement on the Feet Tea), I’m going to keep on eating my Tootsie Rolls. Why the rebellion, you ask? Just this: NaNoWriMo!!!

    I’ll add a glass of water to my immediate diet plan if it makes me a better person.

    1. Three tootsie rolls? You, my friend, are a lightweight. I’ve had my dinner, had my dessert/snack, and am currently debating whether I want to bust into potato chips, chocolate, or a hoagie from the all-night deli/gas station. Gotta love stress eating. OK, I did get some healthy tea in there, but it was really more about being chilly than reaping any antioxidant benefits. What if I put a sprinkle of that Herbamare on my hoagie?

      1. I was just getting started. No telling how many I ate by the time I went to bed. Herbamare is redeeming! Sprinkle it on everything (but not Tootsie rolls).

        Now I want potato chips…

  3. What a healthy attitude you have! I just pinned the garlic tea recipe. It sounds interesting and I’d definitely give it a go if I feel a cold coming on. I’d much rather use natural remedies if possible. Now I’m on my way over to check out that hot toddy recipe – thanks for sharing these!

    1. I think we’re on about year three of home remedies as our preferred treatment. I just decided I didn’t want one more medication or chemical going into my body that I didn’t need there. It’s been fascinating to learn about how food and herbs heal – and prevent – illness. This sick tea is always my first defense and I still support my claim that it will take down nearly anything that ails you.
      I’m glad you commented here today, Jen. Gave me a chance to re-read it!

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