Just before the coronavirus reached the United States, a nasty cold had been going around my neighborhood. It seemed to take months for people to recover from it. When we got the cough I decided to take it seriously since I had just seen some advice from a lady I follow on Facebook that reminded me of the importance of using herbs at the beginning of an illness and using them often. In the past, there have been times when I didn’t do this and regretted it later as the illness took hold and lasted longer.
Angie Christensen shares easy in depth and clear info on how to use food, herbs, and homeopathy to build health. You can check out her Simply Divine Eating resources here:
* Website * my fave YouTube video of hers * Facebook
Kicking the Cold
Just weeks before I had gone shopping at Trader Joe’s and picked up three packages of their brand of cough drops. I was impressed with the immune building herbal mix in it besides eucalyptus. These helped a lot!
After the coronavirus quarantines began I decided to kick up our health remedies a notch or two in hopes of preventing catching anything new.
“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”
On Sunday last week, I made two large pitchers of elderberry lemonade. This has helped us in the past when ill. If nothing else, I thought it could boost our immune systems and perhaps lessen any chance of illness.
I made some elderberry tea (recipe and elderberry info) as the base for our lemonade and sweetened it with raw honey. Real maple syrup also tastes lovely in this lemonade! Since the tea was hot I floated a handful of frozen blueberries in the tea until serving time to cool it down faster. It deepened the color quite a bit and added a lovely flavor.
I used 3 tablespoons dried elderberries and 5 to 6 cups of water to make the tea. After straining out the elderberries I added lemon juice and raw honey to desired sweetness. (My definition of sweet sometimes is at odds with my children’s definition. Sometimes I’ll add a little more to make something more palatable for them.)
I love that elderberry lemonade has a lot of vitamin C! This is an easier way for most of my children to take elderberries. One of my teenage sons is against ruining good lemonade with herbs so he opted for a spoonful of elderberry syrup instead.
Nuts and Seeds
I tend to notice things occasionally that have a special vibe when I read or see them. I started noticing trail mix and almond bark which I don’t often buy because of a few ingredients.
After dinner one day, these ideas came together and I decided to make my own nut and seed bark. I got out a bag of soy-free chocolate chips and some white chocolate. I combined a bunch of nuts I had on hand like macadamias, pistachios, cashews, and pecans with coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds.
I melted a layer of chocolate chips in the oven then sprinkled the nuts and seeds on top. I added another layer of melted chocolate chips, more nuts and seeds, and a final layer of chocolate to top it off. With a spatula, I lightly smooshed and swirled the chocolate so no one would remove the nuts and eat only chocolate. My kids eagerly hovered near the kitchen.
They never snack on nuts, only my toddler wants them, so I realized this was an opportunity to increase nutrients they might need. I’ve learned that a deficiency in nutrients can cause all sorts of problems. I was interested in what Dr. Josh Axe says about nuts.
Is all this enough to justify smearing nuts all over with chocolate so my kids will eat some? I think so. Or at least until they get used to the flavors and textures. They do not eat many nuts on their own and will not eat pumpkin seeds at all. I feel better encouraging them to get a wider range of nutrients and encourage a healthy relationship with food. Chocolate in small amounts and carefully chosen to limit toxic ingredients can be beneficial.
Of course, my children gobbled up all the chocolate! My young teenager wants to let you know it was yummy. (He doesn’t usually eat coconut either unless it is dowsed in acceptably tasty chocolate)
Remember how I mentioned Angie from Simply Divine Eating? Her excellent recipes include some fermented (probiotic filled) veggies recipes!
My favorite brands of fermented vegetables are Bubbies, Ozuké (has a citrus and ginger sauerkraut which is so yummy), Pickled Planet, and Farmhouse Culture (ginger beet gut shot). I’m the only one who eats the sauerkraut. My oldest will eat the fermented dill pickles though occasionally. So it surprised me when all of a sudden I was encouraging all my children to try some sauerkraut at dinner and they were eating it! Here’s how and why that happened.
Again, when I was out shopping I received a thought that I should (while staring longingly at the Easter candy) buy several bags of Justin’s mini peanut butter cups. You probably thought it was just my sugar taste buds. That’s what I thought too at first 😁 But the feeling remained so I bought them and stashed the chocolate away for Easter or another event.
I sat down with a jar of sauerkraut to eat with my dinner. As I looked at my children, I realized they would definitely benefit from some probiotics and suggested they try some sauerkraut. That’s not an easy sell!
I remembered the peanut butter cups and dashed out of the room. Back at the table with bag in hand, the mood changed rapidly. My most reluctant eater immediately took a very large forkful of beet sauerkraut. They all ate some and I happily divided up the peanut butter cups according to willingness and amount of sauerkraut they choked down. The second time we did that at dinner was even easier (except for one of my dear teenagers).
I know fermented veggies are a strong flavor that takes time to adjust too which is why a little incentive may be helpful. I find it easier to eat sauerkraut myself when I mix it with something like quinoa salad or pineapple. Not all sauerkraut is probiotic. Just the stuff that comes refrigerated and is marked as raw and fermented.
This morning I read this article for a second time. I had not remembered what it said about probiotics possibly “prim[ing] the immune system to fight” off infections! I think I’ll start adding probiotic veggies to casseroles and salads more frequently.
While I believe these measures helped my family get better from a cold, I do not think it will be enough to prevent or heal from covid19. We are still doing our best to follow safe social distancing patterns and limit outside contact. I pray God protects our family and yours during this crisis.
Public Quarantine and Now an Earthquake Too?
Everything was going pretty well and then Utah had an earthquake of 5.7 magnitude on March 18, 2020. It rocked us out of early morning sluggishness into heart-racing awareness.
We quickly checked on the kids. My youngest daughter seemed the most startled. I snuggled with her in bed and we played a jigsaw puzzle game after talking about our emotions from the event. I felt grateful that we homeschool and so had no issues with children getting ready for school. I realized what a blessing the timing was for this earthquake for other children. Except for the quarantine, many would be at school or on their way later instead if at home with a parent to comfort them.
Throughout the day we felt small and several large aftershocks. Thankfully our home wasn’t damaged and no one hurt. I believe our bedtime prayers helped my daughter rest peacefully that night. She was still worried during the next week but is okay.
Introspection on Preparedness
All these events have me thinking about how I would like to be better prepared in the future. We ran out of bar soap for washing hands. I plan to take action on my goal to learn soap making asap.
My biggest concern, besides toilet paper haha, was running out of fresh fruits and vegetables. A garden has been difficult in the last few years for various reasons. We plan to get our garden going again. Kudos to all the gardeners who preserved their harvest last year!
I really wish I had listened to those impressions I had before the quarantine to get more toilet paper and a few more items we needed. I was very glad I had restocked some herbs and essential oil products.
In afterthought, I realize those repeated thoughts to buy some things was God’s hand trying to help me prepare. Heeding the spirit is a process of learning and experience. I am grateful for this new lesson and that God helped us locate the items we lacked afterwards. We will be better prepared next time with His continued guidance.
The various earthquakes and strange diseases sound so much like the scriptural prophecies of what will occur before Jesus Christ comes to earth a second time. Will we be prepared for that event too?
I have always loved the children’s song When He Comes Again (video of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, rebranded now as The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, singing this song) by Mirla Greenwood Thayne. It asks us to meditate on “Will I be ready [then]?”
I think the best way to prepare for Jesus’s coming is by examining our lives in accordance with His commandments. Elder Robert D. Hales spoke about the blessings of keeping the commandments in this talk.
“When we obey, we accept His sacrifice, for we believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws, ordinances, and commandments given in the gospel…
Some obey selectively because they cannot perceive all the reasons for a commandment, just as children do not always understand the reasons for their parents’ counsel and rules.”
Interestingly the Salt Lake City (Utah) temple was in renovations to withstand seismic activity already when the earthquake hit. It sustained minor damage. Thankfully the only people there were a few construction crew and none of them were hurt. Normally there would have been more people inside the temple at that time of day. The picture below is one I took a week or two before the quarantine and earthquake. We were downtown to learn more about the service mission opportunities available.
The lyrics at the end of Wonder When He Comes Again emphasizes the joyous event the Savior’s Second Coming will be:
He’ll love me and He’ll say, “You’ve served me well, my little child; Come unto my arms to stay.”
I believe working more diligently to keep His commandments will help us become kinder, more tolerant of each other, grateful, present, and able to receive of the abundant love He sends us.
What do you plan to do differently because of your experiences with the coronavirus quarantine?