Big thanks to Catrice Thornton for writing this week’s guest blog, all about staying healthy with honey this Fall! Catrice is one of our amazing massage therapists here at Renew Mama Studio. If you haven’t gotten a massage from her yet, you’re missing out! Book some relaxation for yourself here.
Hello, my name is Catrice, and I’m addicted to Autumn. Pumpkin Spice in my coffee; Golden Chai in the evening with a fuzzy blanket on the couch; crunching leaves under my feet; a soft breeze just chilly enough to need that huge scarf wrapped around my neck. I can’t help it – Autumn is the time of year for me! While some may grumble about pulling out winter wear and packing up the summer clothes, I look forward to the discovery of a great sweater that hits my knees and is soft to the touch, cute hats to wear and the endless supply of scarves and mittens! I mean, who doesn’t like experimenting with all the different flavors of fall? Or creating different flavors of instant cocoa in jars, frozen whipped cream in fun shapes for after a day of cold?
Fall has always been a time of new as well as tried and true rituals and traditions. Some lasted all through our family’s growing up, like taking a thermos of hot apple cider on a nature walk. Others changed, grew, and evolved as my kids grew, like listening to a book on tape while driving into school or to the store. Some of these rituals were one-offs, like trying food that was in a book we all read. With all the hustle and bustle of Autumn, especially when kids start school, having a tradition or two that means slowing down and enjoying the season with your family is important and should always involve more than a simple turkey dinner.
Cold and Flu Season
Of course, some traditions I used to dread. You know the one, where you try to brace yourself for the cold season? It seemed that no matter what I did, there was always at least one kid that got hit hard during the cold weather. I think all parents dread the cold season. Seeing your little one so full of life, suddenly listless and miserable is torture! You can end up just as sick and miserable just from the stress of it! It was through a lot of research and experimentation that I finally found something that helped our family. Now it is something we have ready every year!
I have a recipe for infused honey I like to make in the Autumn to prepare for that cold season! You can use a crock pot or a pressure cooker. It all starts with some Manuka Honey. Manuka honey is typically made in New Zealand, from honey bees that get a majority of their pollen from the Manuka plant. Not only does it pass on it’s antibacterial properties to the honey, but anti-inflammation and healing properties as well!
We infuse the honey with ginger, apple cider vinegar, and lemon! Once that is done I typically add a few essential oils that also help with keeping my family as healthy as I can during the winter months, then jar it! If a kid starts getting sniffles or just feeling ‘run down,’ we make up some tea and add a bit of our honey. The tea we use depends on other ailments. If they are having a hard time sleeping, chamomile is good; if anxious, we use red raspberry leaf tea, and of course, a cinnamon apple is a good stand by for any occasion! The amazing thing about honey is that it does not go bad! If it starts crystalizing, we pop the entire jar, closed tight, into a warm bath of water for it to melt up and then stir!
Finding the Joy in Family Traditions
So while the weather here in Michigan starts slowly turning, I hope you take the time to remember or start some new Autumn traditions to enjoy the quiet moments with your families while they are still little. Adding a new tradition that involves some healthy and natural ways to prepare for the winter is always good, and who knows? If you let the kids help to make things, even if it’s just playing with the extra measuring cups, for now, you might end up with a chef in your family too! If not, you will always remember the joy of teaching your little ones that being healthy and using nature to remain so can be fun and a new tradition to look forward to each year.