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A Cup of Tea + 2012 Hopes

Posted Dec 31 2011 8:46pm

I am always a little giddy about the new year. I love the holidays for a time to indulge, enjoy and over-do-it, but I also love how about the time January rolls around you are so ready to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with new goals, aspirations and hopes. I guess I am not one of those people that will set "my resolutions" in stone, but rather like to think of what I want to try, focus on and discover in the next year.

I like a little wiggle room. I need the wiggle room.

I also like to feel like I am not setting myself up for more than I can handle. Or more likely I will be stressing myself out and feel worse off in the end. So instead I write down some thoughts, goals and dreams for the coming year.

I am also reminded of when I started eating gluten-free 5 years ago in January 2007, and that anniversary to me is a symbol of how each year can be started out with a fresh start. A new life. A fresh start for a healthier you. Writing out your goals and dreams can help you make things happen (similar to a vision board). Yes, you have your struggles throughout the year, but it is nice to have something to shoot for and look back upon. It is also nice to look back on your dreams from the year before and see how far you have come. Or notice some reoccurring thoughts that maybe need more time or space to develop and explore in yourself.

Here are a few of my hopes and dreams for the coming year. 2012 is going to be grand!

- No sweeteners for the month of January (only use stevia)
- Intentionally drink more mineral-rich tea (while it is still hot) + sit and breath in the process
- Find and discover a new form of movement (exercise) to enjoy during the winter months
- Try and read one new book each month for relaxation and inspiration (fun, adventure, fiction)

In My Kitchen:
- Simplify more conventional/traditional recipes, using 5-10 real food ingredients
- Experiment with more 'superfoods' and mineral-rich foods in recipes
- Drink lemon water first thing when I wake up and go to bed
- Eat more slowly, chew and savor each bite more, and breath in the process

For The Blog:
- '5-Simple-Ingredient Recipe' Posts
- 'Add-In-Food's' Posts
- Try to make less, yet more meaningful, recipe posts (6-8 posts per month)
- Take the time to possibly update and reorganize blog format

I share these with you because I am looking forward to how these goals and dreams will bleed into this blog. I hope that my recipes will be more meaningful and full of life. I hope to be inspired so that I might bring more hope and inspiration to you. Making each day count. Making each effort of healing worth it.

I will elaborate a little more about the 'blog goals' in the coming posts. I am looking forward to trying new things and also making my life and ideas more simpler. We could all use more simplicity and hope in our lives. 
Yet, in the meantime I am just going to enjoy these reflections with a nice cup of hot mineral-rich tea. 

Lots of goodness in each cup. 
Medicine for the body and soul. 
Slowing down...counting breaths...deep breaths...and enjoying every second.

Here is a delicious mineral-rich loose leaf tea combo I have come up with to share... Nettles- Nettles strengthen and support the whole body. They are used as a spring tonic and general detoxifying remedy. Nettles are rich in iron, minerals and are an excellent blood purifier. Nettles are a perfect base leaf for any tea and have a rich flavor.  Lavender- Is calming, soothing, an anti-depressant and emotionally balancing. It has antiseptic, antibacterial and pain killing properties. It lowers blood pressure, prevents and eases digestive distress and indigestion. Tension, stress, headaches and depression all respond well with lavender's soothing properties. Tulsi (Holy Basil)- In Ayurvedic tradition it is known as "the elixir of life". It reduces stress and inflammation and has been used to build the immune system as well as a medicine for the common cold and stomach ailments. It is rich in minerals and helps build up your immune system with high antioxidant levels. It also helps relieve stress and tension in the body. You mix 1 part nettles, 1 part lavender, and 1 part Tulsi Leaves 
To serve one:use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of each herbput in a organic cotton or paper re-useable tea bag for oneand brew for 5-15 minutes in a large cup of boiling water
To serve 4 in a average french press pot:mix 1 TB of each herb leafput in a quart-sized tea or coffee french press potbrew for 5-15 minutes and then serve in cups
For additional flavor add:1-2 cinnamon sticks to the brewing process1-2 slices of fresh ginger  For more information regarding herbs consult an herbalist or reference book such as, Healing Remedies by C. Norman  Shealy MD. PhD. I use this book often as a reference for teas and herbs that may be helpful in certain times or ailments. 
If you are a local reader you should most definitely check out these shops for a variety of dried herbs for teas. Plus, lots of information and resources: Global Infusion Tea Shop, Grand Rapids, MI.
Elder and Sage, Herbs and Natural Remedies, Grand Rapids, MI.
Harvest Health Foods, Grand Rapids, MI .
If you are looking for buy some loose leave teas online I recommend: Great Lakes Tea and Spice Co.  
Mountain Rose Herbs Co. 
Adding loose leave teas and herbs to your life can be a great hope and goal for 2012. It will add countless health and wellness to your life without much effort. It will also help you avoid caffeine, sugars and other troublesome foods. Just reach for a cup of goodness and serve it up with a cinnamon stick, hemp milk and stevia. Or if you prefer a TB of raw honey or splash of lemon too. And don't forget to sit, take deep breaths and enjoy it too. I know that is one of my goals for this year!
I hope and wish for you a fabulous start to 2012 and look forward to sharing the next year of food, life and healing with you. May God grant you peace and hope as we collectively whisper our ambitions and reach for a fresh start. 
Much love and light to you!
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