Friday, February 26, 2016

Wellness Tonic

Its Friday and we're back to uncharacteristically lovely weather.  All the snow has melted already, and its relatively mild and beautifully sunny.  We really have not had a true winter this year!  Its been delightful!!

Despite the weather, there are still some nasty bugs going around.  Adam has been feeling crappy for a week now and it seems half the people I talk to are down with a cold or flu.  Not me though!  I've noticed a dramatic drop in the number of colds and flues I get over the past year or so. If I had to guess why, I'd say its a combination of the kids getting older and bringing home fewer bugs, taking probiotics daily, and my strict regimen of good nutrition, sleep and exercise.  Of course, frequent hand washing is also a must!  If you are not feeling quite as stellar as I am right now, you might want to try this recipe...

It seems that I am quite possibly the only health conscious person on the planet that hates juice and smoothies.  I can't believe all the juice/smoothie places popping up all over Toronto and charging an arm and a leg (organic, vegan arms and legs, of course) for these concoctions.

I don't know why, but blending up all sorts of different things together into a slurry kind of makes me want to gag.  Come on, tell me I am not alone in this!?!

Lately though, I have been dying to try a beverage that's become pretty trendy: the 'tonic'. I finally got around to it a few weeks ago and I am so glad I did.  I have named my version the Wellness Tonic because most people refer to it as 'cleaning' or 'detoxifying' which is scientific bull shit. It certainly has health benefits but your body detoxifies itself and the best way you can help it do so is simply drinking water and exercising regularly, not consuming restrictive, liquid diets that just leave you tired and/or shitting your brains out.

I love that it can be imbibed hot or cold, depending on your preference, or, if like me you love bubbly drinks, you can carbonate it by mixing with seltzer, Perrier, etc.  I use our Soda Stream and mix 1/2 carbonated water with 1/2 of the mix, which I keep in a jug in the refrigerator.  I make it pretty strong and concentrated so it actually tastes best when cut with the bubbly water.  I also add enough ginger and cayenne to give it some kick, but you can adjust the flavour to suite your own taste.

I found fresh turmeric at my favorite health food store, but if you can't get your hands on any, you can use dried, ground turmeric powder.  I added some pure, uncut stevia powder to add a bit of sweetness too, but if you want, you can sub whatever sweetener you want, to taste, or add none at all.  Similarly, I love the zing of the apple cider vinegar, but if you are uncertain how strong you may like it, start by adding less, maybe 2 tbsp.

This drink is full of anti-oxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties.  It also helps with digestion.  I have got to go out and get more fresh turmeric, because this is now my favorite drink!  If you are feeling sick or chilled, just fill a mug half way with this mixture, and fill the other half with boiling water for a soothing hot drink, otherwise, serve it my style, cold, with flat or sparkling water for a super refreshing drink that is also perfect as a post-workout recovery drink.

Wellness Tonic

8 cups water
1 large chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
1 piece of fresh turmeric, peeled (or 1 tsp ground)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cayenne (or to taste)
1/4 tsp pure, uncut powdered stevia (or other sweetener), to taste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or less)
Juice of 1 lemon

Place water in a pot and set over medium heat.  Add all the ingredients except for vinegar and lemon juice. Heat until bubbling and then turn down to low and simmer about 15 minutes.  Let cool and add vinegar and lemon juice.  Pour through a strainer, or just remove ginger and turmeric.  Place in a glass container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Yahoo for the weekend! Its another busy one for us with the girls' activities, a birthday party and a playdate, not to mention I have to see clients tonight and tomorrow.  I'll probably need a whole lot of my Wellness Tonic to get me through...perhaps mixed with some vodka too (ha, just kidding!).  Have a happy, healthy weekend!!

I have submitted this recipe to the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop on Urban Naturale.


  1. Mmm that sounds like a drink I might like! Thank you for sharing! Cheers from Halifax.

  2. Hi Erica,
    I too have been researching and making healthy tonics with some of these ingredients for several years. They are amazing immune system boosters. I just made my coughing hubby a little glass this morning to calm his cough. Thanks for sharing your Wellness Tonic with us at the Healthy Happy Green & Natural Party. I'm pinning and sharing.