Hot Toddy for a Cold Winter Night

It’s cold and snowy outside, and I have a bit of a cold. Time to make a hot toddy! This will make your throat fell better and help you get to sleep. 
Lemon wedge (or Meyer lemon or Orange)
A few cardamom pods
A few cloves
One cinnamon stick
A little bit of raw honey* to taste
One shot of whiskey (I like Knob Creek)
Add all of the ingredients but the whiskey to a mug and add hot water. Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes. Add the whiskey and enjoy!
*Many vegans do not eat honey. I eat raw, local honey made by local beekeepers. You can substitute vegan honey or agave if you avoid honey or leave it out.

Quitting my daily cup of coffee

A few weeks ago I gave up my daily cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Now, I don’t think it is a big deal to drink coffee in moderation, especially if you are using fair-trade, organic and shade-grown. But for me, I did not like how much I was addicted to it. Anything that causes your body withdrawal symptoms  if you don’t have is not a good thing.

Instead of weaning myself off of coffee, I went cold turkey. I did have (and continue to have on occasion) a cup of green tea or chai tea in the morning after drinking a large glass of water with lemon. The first day I felt a little off, but it was really days 2 and 3 that were the worst with fatigue and a horrible headache. I did take a magnesium supplement and made myself lots of fresh juices which did help.

I’m over my coffee addiction now… but, one side effect is that I am really craving sugar! So now I am working on figuring out those cravings. I’ve been eating more fresh fruit and sweet vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash to keep those cravings under control. I think my body is wanting the stimulation caffeine used to provide.

I’m happy to be over this addiction. I still love the smell and taste of coffee. But now it will be a treat rather than something I have to drink everyday.

Winter Minestrone Soup for Cold Winter Days (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Gather up:
1 can crushed or pureed tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
5 fingerling potatoes, chopped (or one large regular tomato)
1/2-1 cup of red lentils
1 can of pinto beans or approx 1-2 cups of cooked cranberry beans like I used here
3 leaves of kale, chopped
1/2 cup of quinoa pasta shells
Salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to taste
Now, lets make it!

Saute the onions in garlic in a bit of water or use EVOO. When soft, add the potatoes, sweet pots, carrots, red lentils, beans. Cook for a few minutes, stirring and adding water if needed. Then add the tomatoes and a good amount of water. Simmer for 45 minutes. Then add the pasta and kale. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes (until pasta is done). Season to taste with Italian seasoning blend, salt and pepper.