Stay healthy this winter

STAY (as ) HEALTHY (as you can)  THIS WINTER: TIP 1

So my youngest, Florence, has a very bad cold. I am amazed because my family never get ill for longer than a few days, and because, of course, I am a yoga teacher so I should never ever be ill and by rights, that extends to all my family. Into our second week of Florence feeling rubbish is new territory.

So far I have managed to avoid getting ill. Hmmm, this may sound familiar: new nursery, lurgies; new school, lurgies; children, lurgies; work, lurgies; daylight saving time, lurgies. I am (fingers crossed and touch wood – touching my head a few times) generally hale and hearty and I put a big part of that hale and heartiness down to the daily flask of fiery vitality that I make myself. We all know about ginger, right? Fresh ginger, lemon, honey, great for colds. Yes. Bring it on! Manuka honey? Yes, great! But my secret ingredient now is garlic. I chop a thumb sized knob of ginger and pop it into my thermos.  If I’m feeling classy, I’ll peel it first. I then slice a (peeled) clove of garlic and pop it in there too, fill up the flask with freshly boiled water. Lid on. Job done. It is here by my side as I type, and the ritual goes like this: unscrew the lid, pour a wee bitty out into a mug, rescrew lid, slurp slurp. Yep, feeling good! Lurgy-free. My flasks are the ones where the lid only partially unscrews or pops up to pour the drink out. So if yours is one where the whole lid comes off, do take care of wayward garlic and ginger slices sailing gaily out into your cup. Plop.


Stinky breath? Not noticeably. Hale? Yep, feeling chipper – and as I’ve started doing more cv at the gym, I’m watching that I don’t overdo it there and topple over into illness. In which case, cue even more ginger, garlic, lemon, vitamin C, zinc and echinacea, not to mention Sambucol elderberry extract (no relation to Sambuca, though I am sure a tot of that will kill any bugs right off).

Another way is to pop a sliced or chopped clove of garlic into a mug, pour on boiling water and cover with a saucer. After 20 minutes you can use a wee drop (I pour about a cm) into any drink. Now I’m not saying into tea with milk. That would be odd/crazy! But if you have some lovely herbal tea or indeed are making lemon and honey for the kiddies, then the garlic goes in there too.  I let the garlic ‘tea’ carry on infusing all day, using it as and when.

As for Florence and her bad cold, she is off dairy, she is on lemon, honey and garlic (or ‘melon, mmm, I like it!’, as she calls it), Sambucol, vitamins, lots of warming soups and fresh fruit. Her need for rest is balanced precariously with her passion for being outside and getting unbelievably cold hands (gloves need to be off for playing with puddles, being outside in Glasgow, using hands in any way) so it’s a dance: muddy puddles, being out of the buggy, a lot of walking – she is most definitely an outdoor person who unfortunately has a bad cold. She will live and hopefully thrive. But if you don’t have the luxury of Florence’s daytime nap, then do feel free to warm the cockles with ginger and garlic tea.



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