Photo by Mariah Wilson

Keep your insides warm and immune system strong

By Tori Taylor, November 5 2019 —

When the air turns cold and I start doubling up on socks, I know it’s time to switch from smoothie bowls to warm elixirs. There is nothing like getting hit with multiple waves of the cold virus for three months straight. With our academic stress amped up and sleep dialed way back, it is very difficult not to fall victim.  Runny noses, headaches, coughing and flat-out exhaustion are symptoms that certainly do not help you in your studious life.

Thankfully, there are quite a few dietary add-ins that can help you stay above water.

Elixirs are a blend of medicinal leaves, roots, flowers, mushrooms, vegetables or fruits. There are popular recipes that a lot of people know about and make on their own. One well-known elixir is the turmeric latte. By heating almond — or any nut milk — and adding turmeric, black ground pepper and raw honey, you can give your whole body a warm hug from the inside out. 

Recently I have been loving the elixir recipes at JUSU and The Light Cellar. Both stores offer several types of mushroom drinks. JUSU is all about the immune-strengthening fats. Coconut oil can be great for those who suffer from poor digestion or complications of an unhealthy gut. It can help the body more easily digest important nutrients by acting as a fat-soluble transportation system. Coconut oil also fights toxic bacteria and yeast overgrowth. Anyone that has dealt with or is dealing with candida issues knows first hand how horrendous poor gut health is. Coconut effectively eliminates toxic bacteria and candida. This creates a great deal of inflammatory relief for the digestion system. You can mix a teaspoon of coconut oil into coffee, tea, hot chocolate, matcha or turmeric lattes. It adds a smooth texture and a slight coconutty taste.

Mushrooms have been a medicinal god-send since the beginning of time. There are many different varieties of mushrooms that work wonders for your body. At the moment, my favourites are reishi and chaga. They are both delicious in coffee and other warm drinks. 

Chaga works to strengthen your immune system, supports healthy skin and hair and lower internal inflammation caused by stress. JUSU has a drink called the “Chaga Charger” — I will be honest — I am not sure I would want to live through a Calgary winter without it. My name is Tori and I need to be chaga-charged at all times.

The second mushroom varietal is the reishi mushroom. It is a very calming supplement that helps with sleep and decreasing stress. So much can be said for any supplement that aids in lowering stress. Stress is the root cause for most things negative. This mushroom can be added into any warm beverage. Reishi can have a bitter taste. I prefer adding it into elixirs that have cocoa, coffee or honey to help balance out the flavor.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit The Light Cellar or JUSU, I would highly recommend grabbing a friend and dropping in. When it comes to healthy food and drinks, both places are a holistic nerd’s version of Disneyland. Making elixirs at home is a lot of fun, and both of these locations offer great tips and recipes for you to build on.


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