10 Incredible Buddha Bowls to Update Your Diet

Buddha bowls are typically viewed as a complicated meal that only professional nutritionists are able to make. But in reality, even the laziest girl in the world can make it herself. Buddha bowls are known for their versatility, healthy nutrients, and variety. One bowl can keep your energy going all day long and boost your overall wellness. While Buddha bowls are easy to make, perhaps you find yourself confusing about what to put into your bowl.

1. Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Subtly spiced, comforting and amazingly delicious, this Buddha bowl will rock your entire world in a jiffy. Get the recipe here.

2. Noodle Buddha Bowl

Noodle Buddha Bowl
Fuel your brain and make your stomach happy with a protein- and antioxidant-packed bowl. Find the recipe here.

3. Turmeric Sweet Potato Bowl

Turmeric Sweet Potato Bowl
The main spice in curry, turmeric can turn any meal into a masterpiece. Spice up your sweet potato bowl with this spice for added healing properties. Get the recipe here.

4. Spinach Quinoa Patty Bowl

Spinach Quinoa Patty Bowl
When superfoods combined together, they create a fantastically healthy Buddha super bowl that will provide your body with so much needed phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that are crucial for your health. Get the recipe here.

5. Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Buddha Bowl

Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Buddha Bowl
One of my favorite Buddha bowls, this one is a true goodness for health food junkies. Plus, it is so fast to make. Get the recipe here.

6. Vegan Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl

Vegan Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl
Rich in protein, a Thai tempeh Buddha bowl is an excellent way to get this vital nutrient when you go vegan. Find the recipe here.

7. BBQ Tempeh With Vegan Ranch Bowl

BBQ Tempeh With Vegan Ranch Bowl
After all, the barbecue season is approaching so fast. Get the recipe here.

8. Winter Buddha Bowl

Winter Buddha Bowl
But since it is the cold season outside, enjoy your comforting and satisfying winter Buddha bowl right now. Get the recipe here.

9. Roasted Rainbow Winter Bowl

Roasted Rainbow Winter Bowl
Mix up your favorite healthy foods in one rainbow-inspired meal. Find the recipe here.

10. Moroccan Couscous, Chickpeas, and Olives Bowl

Moroccan Couscous, Chickpeas, and Olives Bowl
Nutrient-packed Buddha bowl is a great way to update your diet and help you drop a few pounds along the way. Get the recipe here.

All these Buddha bowls are perfect for your waistline when you enjoy them in moderation. The next time hunger strikes out of the sky, allow yourself to cook one of these bowls.

10 Tricks to Save Money on Groceries in Winter

Groceries can be a big part of your budget any time of year, but the winter months are often more expensive. The rise in cost is often due to the need to eat richer food in colder months. Holiday feasts also contribute to rising grocery costs in the winter. You can save money without skimping on nutrition if you just take some time to plan ahead. Here are a few tricks to save money on groceries during the winter season.

1. Take advantage of deals
Take advantage of deals
Watch for sales on meat, dairy and other expensive products in the supermarket. When you see something on sale, try to buy extra. In most cases, extra products can be frozen. Even if the meat is very close to its expiry date, freezing it will keep it edible until you need it.

2. Use fillers

Use fillers
Instead of making the most expensive ingredient the main part of a meal, try mixing it with other foods. For example, ground beef can be mixed with beans to stretch it further. Just half a pound of meat will feed the same number of people you might normally need a pound of meat for if you stretch it.

3. Fill up on grains

Fill up on grains
In general, grains are cheaper than other types of food. They are also carbohydrates, so they give you the necessary calories to stay warm in the winter. Try oatmeal for breakfast and have sandwiches for lunch to take advantage of grains. Grains, especially whole grains, are chock full of health benefits.

4. Make it from scratch

Make it from scratch
Baking a cake from scratch takes very little time and it is almost the same as baking one from a mix. You may spend one or two extra minutes adding ingredients, but it is worth it for the savings. Recipes for everything from tomato sauce to homemade bread can be found online, so there is no excuse not to try.

5. Use coupons

Use coupons
Chances are, you check the coupons in your local paper each time you get it, but there may not be anything you need. You have other options, though. Try looking online for coupons to your favorite foods. You can even write your favorite companies a nice letter and you may receive coupons in return.

6. Hold potluck dinners

Hold potluck dinners
During the winter season we tend to have plenty of dinners with family, friends and neighbors. All those dinners can seriously wreck your budget, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t host any dinner. Instead of hosting a holiday dinner all on your own, invite everyone to bring a dish. Everyone shares the cost and you can still enjoy a fun dinner together.

7. Buy bulk

Buy bulk
When it comes to food you know you’re going to eat a lot of, like rice or oats, you can stock up. Buying in bulk often reduces the price. The same method works for other types of groceries, as well, such as toilet paper and soap. However, don’t buy too much. Buy foods that you will definitely use in your meals.

8. Plan for leftovers

Plan for leftovers
Instead of eating an entire pot roast for dinner in one night, divide it up. Give smaller portions of the roast the first night and use the remaining meat for soup and sandwiches over the next couple of days. You can stretch the meat further by spreading it out a bit.

9. Break out the slow cooker

Break out the slow cooker
A crock pot allows you to buy very cheap, tough cuts of meat and turn them into mouthwatering morsels. Just pop the meat into the slow cooker, add some vegetables and herbs, along with some liquid, and cook for 8 hours or until the meat is falling apart. As a bonus, you can use the cooking liquid to make a pasta sauce or use it as a soup base.

10. Buy generic

Buy generic
Often, people get suckered into buying brand name goods because of advertising and store placement. If you want to save money, however, it’s a good idea to go generic. The quality is similar in many products and the cost is much lower (you can save up to 25%). Often, generic foods taste much better than the name brands and some of them are even healthier. Read food labels and make smart food choices.

To save money on groceries during the winter season, you don’t have to make many changes. Just a few tweaks to the way you shop can change everything and save you quite a bit. The key to a successful shopping is the right planning. Never go shopping without your shopping list and when you are hungry. Otherwise, you may end up buying more than you need and spending more than you want. What are your tips to save money on groceries during the winter season?

7 Must-Read Fall and Winter Tips for Pregnant Women

For most of us autumn and winter are challenging seasons since we have to deal with the rainy and snowy weather, overcome seasonal depression and be ready to resist numerous illnesses. But what should you do if you are pregnant during the fall-winter season? Surely, this pregnancy will bring you certain discomfort, though it isn’t going to be a tough one. Just keep in mind that baby expectation in the cold season has its peculiarities and requires extra attention and special care about your health.

I still remember my endless happiness when I found out I was in the family way. But soon I realized I would have to deal with winter pregnancy and that fact made me really anxious. I’ve heard lots of terrible stories from my friends and other pregnant women who had experienced all the bad sides of the cold season: decreased immune system, low temperatures, dangerous road conditions and lack of vitamins. Fortunately, I found one of the best doctors in my city who dispelled my worries and helped me to enjoy every minute of my pregnancy. With the help of her useful recommendations I’ve managed to stay safe and keep away from illnesses during those cold months, protecting the precious life that was growing inside me. So, if you are going to give birth to your baby in winter, I advise you to pay attention to the following tips.

1. Stick to a healthy diet
It is extremely important for every pregnant woman to keep to a healthy and balanced diet in autumn and winter when we all suffer from vitamin deficiency. The best way to eat properly and supply your body with vitamins and minerals is to include various vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low calorie foods into your eating plan. However, bear in mind you should avoid some of them if you have allergies. That’s why it would be better to consult your doctor.

Today there is a wide range of fruits and veggies that are sold all year round, so it won’t be a problem for you to buy those you like and provide your body and fetus with the necessary nutrients. When I was pregnant I planned thoroughly my daily menu, trying to keep a balance of proteins and carbohydrates and steer away from sweet products. Seafood, fish, vegetable soups and puree, fruit salads and whole grain biscuits were my favorite options.

2. Keep warm
Considering the fact that cold is very dangerous to fetal health, it is essential for pregnant women to keep warm and comfortable on cold winter days. I preferred to stay at home when the temperature was dropping far below zero. However, if you still decide to go outside in the cold weather, you should certainly wear warm maternity clothes to prevent undesirable illnesses like flu that might have the negative impact on the fetus.

Make sure you constantly heat your room, keeping the temperature level not higher than 21-24 degrees, otherwise, it will lead to overheating. Choosing a good coat is an integral part of your preparation to cold seasons, especially if you are pregnant. It was very difficult for me to find the one that would fit my big belly without overwhelming my upper body and arms. Eventually I bought a coat that suited me perfectly well. I paid a big sum of money, but that was worth it. In order to feel warmer and more comfortable I used to wear at least one light layer underneath my loose warm sweater. When you go out don’t forget to grab cozy mittens and a hat.

3. Walk carefully on the slippery ground
Even now, when I’m not pregnant, slippery sidewalks in winter are a real torture to me. While walking to work or somewhere else in the slush and ice, I’m freaked out about falling down and sustaining an injury. And what about pregnant women, whose center of gravity is changed and who are more prone to falling? If you have a bulging belly, it would be wise to avoid strolling in the snow. In case it is necessarily for you, remember that you should walk carefully and slowly.

Avoid heavy bags as they will only increase your risk of falling on the ice. Do you care much about your style and tend to wear high heels? I should reassure you that your pregnancy is not the most suitable time for them. A good pair of flat winter boots was the perfect solution for me. Not only did they keep my feet warm and dry, but they also helped me stay safe on the slippery ground and stairs. Another advantage of such boots is their reasonable price.

4. Protect yourself from germs
Doctors say that a pregnant woman’s immune system is weaker and more susceptible to viruses that might cause numerous diseases during the fall-winter season. Throughout the day you do plenty of different things and your hands often contact with the door knobs, ATM machines and computer keyboards, where germs are concentrated most of all. Therefore, you have to get into the habit of washing your hands more frequently to ward off germs and keep your immunity protected. Whenever I planned to visit public places while being pregnant I always took wet napkins with me for disinfecting my hands if necessary.

5. Avoid public places
Autumn and winter are the prime time for infectious virus diseases like influenza, varicella, rubella infection, mumps and others that can affect the development of the fetus. Thus, it is highly recommended for women who are pregnant in the cold season to avoid visiting shopping centers, cinemas, theatres and other public places with lots of people who can be sick and infect them. My doctor advised me on getting influenza vaccine when I expected my baby and I should admit it was an effective way to prevent the illness and its severe consequences. If it happened so that you got sick, don’t panic and take safe medicine under the guidance of your doctor.

6. Don’t forget about physical exercise
Constant physical exercises are essential for pregnant women and that is the basic rule you should stick to. The cold weather in autumn and winter is not the reason for you to stop the movement and lead a sedentary lifestyle. There are some indoor activities you can do daily instead of your regular walks outside or attending the gym when it is raining or snowing. For instance, it will be a splendid idea to buy a workout video and exercise in your living-room.

Another way to stay active during your pregnancy is to get on the stationary bike or treadmill. Although this option is rather costly, but it will be beneficial for you. By exercising at home you’ll be able to keep fit, enhance your immunity and get more energy. Just pay attention to the amount of exercise you do as overworking can be harmful to you. and make sure you consult your doctor before doing any exercise.

7. Drink enough water
We used to drink plenty of water in summer when it is hot and our body is dehydrated. Unfortunately, we often forget about the recommended 7-8 glasses of water a day in winter. It has been proven that drinking extra water can help mothers-to-be maintain a healthy pregnancy. Why do we need to stay hydrated during the cold seasons? First of all, winter air may be dry and have a negative influence on your health. Moreover, when you go into the buildings with excessive heat, you might get sweaty and overheated. Accordingly, by drinking enough water you’ll manage to fight headaches, dry skin and decrease the risk of preterm labor.

In spite of all your fears about winter pregnancy, you can be sure it has many advantages. For example, you have a fantastic opportunity to enjoy more relaxed rhythm of life and focus on your physical and mental well-being as well. All these tips helped me to survive through my cold-weather pregnancy and avoid undesirable problems. After several months of discomfort I could finally relish lovely spring weather with my little one. That was the greatest reward for me! What did you do to stay healthy and safe during your fall-winter pregnancy?

7 Best Ways to Cope with the Winter Blues

If you suffer a downer during the winter months, there are a few ways to cope with the winter blues. No matter what the weather is doing and how gloomy your family, friends and coworkers may be, try to stay positive and enjoy this wonderful season to the fullest. If you have trouble dealing with the winter blues, here are a few effective tips to try. You can be happy in any sorts of weather. If you can’t avoid the cold winter months, relax and enjoy all the things the winter offers you.

1. Get some light
Since there’s less daylight, many of us suffer from the winter blues. It can wreak havoc on the body’s natural circadian rhythm and impact the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating the mood. Open up your blinds and curtains to let the light in. You can also buy a blue LED light that will help to boost your mood and energy level.

2. Go out in the sun
There is no better cure for the winter blues like nice rays of sunshine. If there’s sun outside, make sure you go out in the sun for a while. Vitamin D is good for your physical as well as mental health. It’s hard to be mournful when the sun is shining brightly down on you. The chilly, fresh air is also a great break from those overheated indoors. If there’s no sun outside, try combining light with exercise…

3. Combine light with exercise
Perhaps, the most interesting and new way to beat the winter blues is to combine light with exercise. There are gyms that offer a unique class called “Lighten Up” that uses high-intensity interval exercises with light therapy meditation. If there is no gym in your area, you can exercise near a window with a blue LED light or with your blinds or curtains drawn.

4. Work out
The cold months of the winter are when we get the least amount of physical activity, about 10% less than in the summer. Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean you have an excuse to skip your exercise. Make an effort to hit the gym or exercise at home. It’s one of the best ways to fight the winter blues and keep those unwanted winter calories in check. If you don’t feel like exercising today, take a stroll in your local park, but be sure to leave your phone at home.

5. Magic chamomile
This is one of the easiest ways to try when it comes to the winter blues. Chamomile is known to have a calming effect and helps reduce symptoms of anxiety. It can also help reduce your winter blues. Drink a cup of chamomile tea at night or even in the morning to start your day in a good mood. Chamomile tea has a smooth flavor and is caffeine free, and it’s a great way to unwind after a stressful day.

6. Stock up on fruits and veggies
Consuming plenty of fruits and veggies is good for you emotionally and physically. A study showed that people who consumed a lot of fruits and veggies were less likely to feel anxious, depressed or suffer from other mental disorders. So stock up on more fruits and veggies the next time you go food shopping. Smoothies, pies, salads and stir fries are all delis options.

7. Involve yourself in a new and interesting hobby
Involve yourself in a new and interesting hobby like putting together scrapbooks, baking cupcakes or cookies. If you’re an adventurous person, try taking up a winter sport such as ice skating or cross-country skiing. Many people claim that it’s one of the best ways to beat the winter blues.

When you are busy, you don’t have time and desire to bemoan the lack of sun and cold weather. Start setting an example to people around you right now and help them to fight the winter blues. Life is too short to spend it complaining about a bad weather and a bad mood. Stay positive, live a happy and healthy life and you will forget about winter blues forever! How do you cope with the winter blues?

5 Unbearably Delicious Winter Coffee Ideas

As the weather becomes dreary and snow begins to fall, you might find yourself craving a cup of something hot and festive. Rather than wasting your money on overpriced, played-out specialty coffees from the local cafe or grocery store, consider making your own at home. It’s faster, cheaper and more satisfying. Plus, they make excellent refreshments for your holiday guests. Here are a few winter coffee ideas to die for.

1. Coffee grog

Although the name sounds funny, coffee grog has a serious flavor. This is a spicy, sweet coffee delight that will make you fall in love with coffee again. It takes about a minute to make and doesn’t require any expensive ingredients.

Just mix brown sugar, butter, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl and add it to a cup of plain coffee. Top it off with a dollop of heavy cream. This sumptuous beverage is best enjoyed as a dessert following dinner with friends and family.

2. White chocolate coffee

The next time you’re in the mood to curl up with a good book and a steamy winter treat, consider making a white chocolate coffee. All you need is one and a half ounces white chocolate, a quarter cup half and half and some whipped cream.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the half and half and white chocolate together until the chocolate is melted. Pour this mixture into a cup of coffee and garnish it with whipped cream. If you want to get really indulgent, you can shave some solid chocolate on top of the whipped cream.

3. Maple brown sugar coffee

Why settle for a cup of bland, typical coffee on a bright winter morn? Don’t you want something that accentuates the festive day? If your answer is yes, then try maple brown sugar coffee. Rather than using plain sugar, add a little bit of brown sugar and real maple syrup to your mug.

Stir in some milk or cream as desired and follow it up with a heaping spoonful of whipped cream. A coffee drink is super simple and is perfect when you’ve got things to do. Whether you’ll be going to work or shopping for Valentine Day’s gifts, you’ll have plenty of time to make this delicious cup of coffee.

More: 8 Skinny Winter Drinks to Keep the Chill Away

4. Pumpkin pie coffee

Do you crave that wonderful pumpkin pie? Then spice up your day with pumpkin pie coffee. Simply add a few dashes of pumpkin pie spice to your cup and stir in some heavy cream and sugar. This drink is unbearably delicious when paired with oven-fresh pumpkin cookies or coffee cake. Skip sugar or heavy cream if you watch your calorie intake or control your sugar levels.

5. Hot cocoa coffee

Hot cocoa coffee has recently become incredibly popular. This is an ideal winter drink for people who love both coffee and hot cocoa but can’t decide what to choose. Stir in a teaspoon of cocoa powder or hot cocoa mix in your regular cup of coffee and voila. For added scrumptiousness, add some whipped cream and drizzle it with hot fudge.

When the weather gets cold and you want to warm up with something satisfying, don’t pass up the coffee. With a little bit of ingenuity and the right ingredients, you can make superb coffee drinks that your friends, family and neighbors will love. All of these winter coffee ideas are delicious, soothing, unique, and relatively inexpensive. If you have any other more unique ideas, help us to survive the winter season. Please, share your coffee ideas in the comments.

How to Preserve Winter Squash Without Cooking It

Early fall is one of my favorite times of year. The weather is perfect, the leaves are changing and winter squash is in (inexpensive) abundance at local farms and farmers markets so I buy in bulk and save it to help our food budget all year.

I take the kids to several local “pick your own” type farms where you can pick your own pumpkins, apples and winter squash. We stock up on all of the above, but one of my favorites is large winter squashes like Cushaw squash.

Never heard of it? I hadn’t either and it is because it isn’t often found in a normal grocery store.

Our Favorite Winter Squash

A cushaw or cucurbita mixta is a green and white striped winter squash that can also produce a spring harvest. They can grow very large, sometimes over 20 pounds) and taste like a mixture between a pumpkin, acorn squash and summer squash (in my opinion).

This heirloom squash has been around for thousands of years and is a good source of Vitamin C. They are extremely tolerant to heat and the squash vine borer, which kills many other types of squash and pumpkins that aren’t sprayed with pesticides. For this reason, Cushaw are often organic or no-spray even if they aren’t certified (ask your farmer).

Since they are heirloom, cushaw seeds can be saved for planting and we’ve grown years worth of squash from the seeds of our very first one.

These squash are resilient after harvest and can be stored for up to four or five months without being cut. I have several 20+ pound Cushaws on my kitchen table right now, but I’ve also been working on freezing them for easy use.

Preserving cushaw squash is a simple process and pre-chopped and frozen squash is a great addition to a breakfast stir fry, to soups and stews, roasted in the oven or as a pumpkin substitute in pumpkin pie.

I hope that these age old squash make a comeback and become more common. If you are trying to feed your family real food on a tight budget, help the cause and buy a few of these to preserve and use all year round. Save the seeds and compost the peels and you have a no-waste, cost-effective real food.

Cost Breakdown

I bought several really large (20+ pound) of these cushaw winter squashes at a local no-spray farm for $6 each and later found them at another farm for only $5.

After cutting them up, I was left with 12+ pounds of ready to use squash, making the total per pound $0.50 or less.

How to Cut a Cushaw to Preserve:

I found an easy way to cut and store these cushaw (or any other winter squash) and they can be put in a freezer bag and frozen. I’ve found that it isn’t even necessary to pre-freeze on a baking sheet to keep them from sticking together.

What I do:

Use a very sharp knife to (carefully) cut off the ends of the squash. Then, I cut off the neck in one large piece if it is straight, or several 5-6 inch pieces if it isn’t.

I then slice the rest of the wide part of the squash in 4-5 inch circles (see below) and scoop out the seeds.

TIP: Save the seeds by air drying them and use them to plant your own next year.

From here, I carefully cutting off the skin with the knife. I’ve found that this is much easier than peeling the squash with a peeler. Once all the skin has been removed, I cut the flesh of the squash into roughly 1/2 inch cubes and put in freezer bags.

NOTE: I used regular clear plastic bags in the picture to show the size of the squash pieces but I prefer to use these reusable freezer bags when possible.

I store these bags of squash in the fridge for up to a week, or the freezer for up to a year.

This method also works really well with butternut squash or any other winter squash that can be easily peeled. Acorn squash is more difficult to peel effectively, so I prefer to pre-roast these and scoop out the flesh and store that way.

Goldfish ‘get drunk for three months’ to survive winter

Is this fish drunk?Omer Wazir
Alcohol might seem like an understandable way to survive long winters. But for goldfish, getting drunk is a matter of life and death. The fish at the bottom of icy ponds have no access to oxygen but manage to survive thanks to a unique metabolic pathway that floods their blood with alcohol.

By making ethanol, the fish can sustain anaerobic respiration, which uses no oxygen, for months at a stretch. Scientists have now discovered how goldfish and crucian carp have this ability, which is unique among vertebrates. Their findings are published in a study the journal Scientific Reports.

Humans are capable of anaerobic respiration too – a sprinter, for example, can run a whole race without breathing. Anaerobic respiration is much less efficient than aerobic respiration, which uses oxygen, and it creates the by-product lactic acid. This is what causes muscle pain after exercise. Too much lactic acid, or lactate, can essentially poison the blood.

So to get rid of lactic acid, fish have evolved a metabolic pathway in the powerhouses of the cell, the mitochondria, which gets switched on in the absence of oxygen. This pathway converts lactic acid to ethanol, which can then diffuse through their cells to their gills and then out into the water.

The fish have gained their unique ability through a rare evolutionary event where their genome was duplicated. Having an extra copy of their genome allowed them a little more freedom in their evolution. One copy of a given set of genes carried on doing its essential tasks, while the other set accumulated novel mutations. Among these were genetic changes that allowed the fish to make ethanol.

The ability to make ethanol in this way is extremely rare in nature. Only microorganisms such as yeasts, certain worms and mosquito larvae are known to do it, as well as some plant roots. And they make it in no small measures.

“It’s a substantial amount of alcohol. It’s like being drunk for three months and surviving,” study author Michael Berenbrink of the University of Liverpool told IBTimes UK.

Scientists have tested how much alcohol the fish can make using what they term “fish hotels”. If you put a fish in a pint glass, seal it off so no oxygen can enter and put it in a fridge (the ‘hotel’) for three months, at the end of it you’d have some delicious fishy alcohol about the strength of a standard pint.

Drunk like a fish
These fish would be over the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in many countries, including:

The Netherlands
But the fish would be fine the UK, where the limit is 80 mg per 100 ml.

As well as being a fascinating insight into fish biology, the findings have some considerable implications for the study of alcohol toxicity in humans. Zebrafish – a relation of the goldfish – are often used in toxicity tests.

“They basically plunge a fish into different concentrations of ethanol and see how they behave,” Berenbrink said.

The fact that fish are able to make their own alcohol gives them a higher tolerance than we have. At the end of their three-month bender, the fish are still perfectly capable of mating and producing healthy offspring.

“Perhaps in the future, we can learn something from these fish how they can actually tolerate such high levels of alcohol, and see what we can learn about it for treating human addiction.

“I don’t want to encourage people to drink more alcohol, but these fish can certainly tell us something new about alcohol’s toxic and non-toxic effects.”

7 Natural Remedies for Winter

My Amish friends are predicting a really cold winter based on the fuzz on caterpillars, the shells on acorns, the movement of squirrels, the size of pinecones and the bird migrations. Who knows if any of these predictions are accurate, but I’m actually excited at the prospect of a cold winter this year and hopefully even some snow (as all of you from north of us roll your eyes at this southern girl!). With the onset of cold weather, the common cold, flu, and general sniffles can become a regular occurrence. That’s why I like to stay prepared with a few natural remedies for winter.

Natural Remedies for Winter

My Amish friends are also stocking up on remedies (natural and conventional) in preparation for winter. Travel gets more difficult for them in the snow and ice and they are trying to be prepared ahead of time. In the past, I’ve found that they tend to be right about their predictions most of the time, so I’m working on stocking up too!

In particular, I’m stocking up on my seven favorite natural remedies that I always keep on hand as we approach cold/flu/general illness season. They are:

1. Elderberry Syrup:

I’ve written before about how much I love Elderberry Syrup for warding off cold and flu (or speeding recovery if we get it). My recipe combines dried elderberries, raw honey and herbs for a potent and effective natural syrup.

It is simple to make and much less expensive than store bought versions with similar ingredients.

Here’s my printable Elderberry Syrup Recipe.

2. Vapor Rub

If cough or cold strikes, I like to have homemade vapor rub on hand. I use it on the bottoms of feet and on the back and chest to calm coughing and congestion. Always ask a doctor before using anything herbal on children.

Here is my natural vapor-rub recipe.

3. Fermented Cod Liver Oil

We take fermented cod liver oil daily in the winter for the fat soluble vitamins and Omega-3s. I’ve found that it is especially important during months when I’m not getting Vitamin D from the sun, and from tracking my blood levels of Vitamin D, I absorb the fat soluble vitamins in a whole food supplement like cod liver oil much more easily than isolated capsules of D3.

This is the Fermented Cod Liver Oil I take daily during the winter.

4. Homemade Cough Syrup

Another thing I keep pre-made in the fridge is my homemade cough syrup. It combines raw honey with lemon juice and herbs to help sooth cough or tickling throat easily. I’ve found that the honey/cinnamon combination also helps speed up recovery from many illnesses, even if there isn’t a cough.

Here’s how to make homemade cough syrup.

5. Broth

I’ve written about the benefits of broth and talked about it on my podcast, but broth is a superfood we always have on hand in the winter.

I typically make my own broth and always have some cooking and in the fridge, but you can also buy pre-made broth to save time.

6. Garlic

During winter months, I keep raw garlic on hand to speed recovery from illness (and for us in soups and stir frys). I typically mince one clove or raw garlic and drink with water when I feel an illness coming on.

I repeat this every few hours until the illness is gone

7. Probiotics

I also take probiotics preventatively and extra in case of illness. Hippocrates famously said that all illness begins in the gut, and in winter months, the gut needs some extra TLC. I take these probiotics daily to keep my gut happy and take a few extra in case of illness.

Winter Bliss Lotion Bars

I’m still learning to love winter. As a southern girl originally from Texas, I’ve had to adjust to cold weather, but I’m finally starting to love it. This new recipe is one of the reasons why.

To me, winter conjures up memories of hot chocolate and peppermints, wassail and warm baths.

Winter Bliss Lotion Bars

I wanted to find a lotion recipe that tied in my favorite smells and flavors of winter while nourishing my skin. I’d made many variations of lotion bars before but I wanted one that would be perfect for winter and make a great (and great-smelling) gift for winter.

These lotion bars were the result.

I also found these colorful tubes for around a dollar each and ordered them to use for gifts. (Note: The dark ones are out of stock but the lighter colored ones are available here… I liked these tubes because they can fill from the bottom so they have the rounded top like a new deodorant bar) Any empty deodorant tubes will work, and they can also be made in silicon molds and used without the tube.

What You’ll Need

Shea Butter
Coconut Oil
Essential oils of choice- I used wintergreen, orange, peppermint and lavender
Silicon molds or tubes of choice

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup Shea butter
1/3 cup beeswax
10 drops each of essential oils of choice. I used wintergreen, peppermint, lavender and orange
What to do:

Melt shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil in a double boiler.
Remove from heat and add essential oils.
Carefully pour into empty deodorant containers and let set until hardened. If using bottom-fill containers, I found that a plastic dropper or tiny funnel (like a flask funnel) helps a lot.
To use: Rub carefully on dry skin to nourish and moisturize.
Notes: Use caution with essential oils of any kind, especially wintergreen and peppermint on children or pregnant women and always ask a doctor before using any herb or essential oils.

How to Roast Winter Squash Seeds

Winter squash is a wonderfully versatile food that is easy to grow, easy to store and easy to cook. The whole squash can be used, including the seeds, and often winter squashes are available at great prices, making them an amazing budget friendly food.

In the Fall, I’ll often plan our family’s meals for the week around a large winter squash since one large squash (like a cushaw) since it can be a side dish on its own, a base for soups, pureed in smoothies and even the seeds can be roasted for a snack!

What is a Cushaw?

Cushaw squash are my personal favorite winter squash because of their large size (about 20 pounds) and inexpensive price (I get them locally for about $4.00 at a local farm). They can be hard to find in regular stores, but check with local farmers and gardeners to find them where you live.

If you do succeed in finding a good local Cushaw squash, save some of the seeds before you roast the rest! Cushaw are easy to grow but difficult to find seeds for, so save them if you find them! To save: pull out the desired number of seeds and let dry in open air on a clean cloth. When fully dry, store in an envelope for planting the next year.

If you have a few feet of extra space in your backyard that gets a little sun, you can easily grow a cushaw patch and let your children help! These squash are a great substitute for pumpkin or any other winter squash and your children will have a blast growing them.

Like all winter squash, they store easily in a cool place in your home or they can be chopped, sliced, or pureed to freeze for later use.

How to Roast Winter Squash Seeds

Winter squash seeds are a good source of magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium and other nutrients. Though they often get thrown away when preparing a recipe, they are a wonderful nutrient-packed snack and you can make them sweet (add honey and cinnamon) or savory (add salt herbs). One cup of roasted squash seeds has about 12 grams of protein (give or take, depending on the variety).

If you have kids, let them help you make this simple recipe and enjoy it as a family!


How to Roast Winter Squash Seeds

prep 5 mins

cook 30 mins

total 35 mins

author wellness mama

A great way to use the seeds of any winter squash: cushaw, acorn, pumpkin, etc.


½ cup rinsed cushaw seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
Olive oil

Bring the water to a boil
Add salt and seeds; simmer for 10 min (This process makes them more easily digestible)
Remove seeds from water and dry.
Spread seeds on a baking sheet
Very lightly drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat
Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and paprika. (You could substitute any combination of seasonings here. Be adventurous!)
Baked in 325 degree oven for 30 min, stirring every 10 min