January 2017

ingredients for homemade cinnamon ginger tea

Cinnamon Ginger Comfort Tea

So I’ve been making a lot of this recipe lately. 

This is a homemade tea that I make all through the winter or anytime that somebody in the family is feeling under the weather.  It contains no actual tea leaves and, therefore, contains no caffeine so it’s completely safe for kids and also great to drink right before going to bed at night. 


Whether it’s for a sore throat, a non-stop cough, a sniffly nose, or just feeling rundown, it feels like someone in the family has had a cup of this comforting cinnamon-ginger tea every day of the past month.  I make large pots of it and store it in Mason jars in the fridge and then reheat it as needed over the woodstove.  It is so incredibly soothing and all of the ingredients are either antibacterial, antiviral, or both.  So it’s great at fighting off cold and flu virus or other infections.


I’ve pieced together the ingredients in my tea remedy based on research and recommendations over the past few years and I think you will agree that the result is a warm, soothing cup of tea that is as comforting as it is healing.  Even if you don’t have a cold or a sore throat, it’s just nice to warm up with a cup of hot tea on a cold day.  I also like to use the cinnamon-ginger tea as a base to steep my tea bags or loose leaf tea.  For example, I might heat up this tea and pour it over some green tea leaves in the afternoon or pour it over a bag of chamomile tea in the evening.  You can’t go wrong!


The recipe contains cinnamon, ginger, honey and lemon – all of which are super healthy for your immune system.  Both honey and cinnamon have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties.  (Plus they taste great!)  Honey is a natural immune system booster, loaded with antioxidants, and has been proven to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep.  [However, due to the risk of botulism, never give honey to a child under the age of one.]  Ginger is great for reducing inflammation.  Lemon juice will boost immunity and fight infection and is an excellent source of Vitamin C.  The acidity in lemon juice will cut through mucus and kill bacteria.  Hooray!  All good stuff!



Cinnamon Ginger Comfort Tea
  1. 1 ½ - 2 quarts of water
  2. 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick (more on this below…)
  3. 1 teaspoon ginger, minced (I use the bottled minced ginger but, obviously, fresh would be better)
  4. 1 lemon, juiced (no need to remove seeds)
  5. 1/4 cup of honey
  1. Heat water to boiling in a kettle on the stove. While the water heats, break apart the cinnamon stick and place it and the ginger into a medium-sized pot.
  2. When the water comes to a boil, pour it over the cinnamon and ginger in the pot, cover the pot with a lid and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir in the lemon juice and honey.
  3. Once honey has dissolved, pour tea through a strainer and enjoy!
Life From Scratch http://lifefromscratch.com/


A note about cinnamon:  When it comes to cinnamon, any cinnamon stick will do but I’ve started to look for the “Ceylon” designation when I buy cinnamon.  If the cinnamon that you are buying does not contain the word “Ceylon” on the label, then it’s most likely Cassia cinnamon, which is related to cinnamon but is not the real thing.   Cassia cinnamon contains much higher amounts of a chemical called “coumarin”, which can lead to liver damage when consumed in large quantities.  And, by the way, “large quantities” can be exceeded simply by sprinkling cinnamon on your oatmeal in the morning or drinking a cup of cinnamon-based tea.  So I’m not taking any chances.  I saved my old cinnamon sticks for homemade potpourri on the stove.  But I’ve switched over to Ceylon for all of my cooking needs.

[Here’s an informative post where I first read about Ceylon cinnamon, if you are interested in reading more about it.]


So curl up with a cup of homemade tea and stay warm this winter! 

chasing satisfaction

Chasing Satisfaction

A piece of my personality is always striving for more, for better.  This can be a good thing when it comes to learning and growing and being the best version of our self. 

However, if I am not careful, this mantra of MORE, BETTER can lead me to a place where the thought process changes ever so slightly and becomes “NOT ENOUGH”.  Before I know it, I am looking around me and thinking…

“I am not enough.”  “I could do better.”  “I should do more.”

“I do not have enough stuff in my life.”  “I wish that I had more.”


And then maybe there is another subtle shift in thinking that leads to a bad case of the IF ONLYs…

If only we replaced the roof and siding and painted the inside of our house….then I would be satisfied with our home.”

If only I could find a little more time to exercise each week….then I would be satisfied with my body.”

If only we had a little less chaos in our family life, a little more space in our schedule….then I would be relaxed and happy.”


The problem with this mindset is that you never ever get to the end of those statements.  Because once those first conditions have been met, you simply substitute the next one.  Now we need to pave the driveway and refinish the basement before we are satisfied with the house.  Now I need to be able to fit into those pants in the back of my closet from before I had three beautiful babies if I am to be satisfied with my body.  Now I need to find quiet time to meditate every day if I am to be happy and relaxed. 


Maybe this is starting to sound depressing and pessimistic.  But I like to think of myself as a glass is half full type of person so that’s not my point at all.  My point is just that we need to be mindful of where our thoughts can lead us if we are not careful. 


And, you know what, I don’t want to go through life always feeling like I’m two steps behind Happiness.  Or like I’m always chasing Satisfaction around the corner but never catch up and get to sit down and have a cup of tea with her.  It’s exhausting.  And, in the meantime, I have run right past all of the other people and places on the road and missed out on all that they could have showed me.  I want to stroll purposely through life with a big ol’ smile on my face and learn as much as I can from the people and places along the way. 


This doesn’t mean that we should let the house fall to pieces or never work on a home improvement project again.  This doesn’t mean that I should stop exercising or eating healthy.  This doesn’t mean that I should stop looking for downtime in our schedule or making time for meditation and family bonding activities. 

But it does mean that we should look for that sweet spot where we are feeling productive in whatever way is most meaningful to us at the time but not feeling bad about the things that are not getting done.  And it means that we experience each day as it is happening and look for small joys that light up our life.  Easier said than done.  But, if we are not careful, we will forget what it is we are chasing in the first place and might become lost along the way.  I am constantly reminding myself to stop running to the next thing and to slow down and experience the moment that I am in right now.  So, for 2017, I have a new mantra…well, maybe two new mantras….


“I’ve got everything I need, and nothing that I don’t.” – Zac Brown Band (Homegrown)


 “We’ve got everything we need right here and everything we need is enough.” – Jack Johnson (Banana Pancakes)