Robust Gratitudes

Today my thankfulness grouped in a cluster, around the topic of health. I called these my robust gratitudes. Health is, sadly, one of those things we take for granted until a crises occurs or a chronic problem develops.

I’ve learned much in the last 2 1/2 years about living as the healthiest version of myself. Without deliberate intention today, I was reminded how very crucial wellbeing is.

Robust Gratitudes

Natural Grocers

This grocery store emphasizes robust health with 100% organic produce, a wide assortment of supplements, and products made from superior ingredients. Here I can find gluten free flour and pasta. Loose, dried herbs, spices and teas are available. Canned goods are non-GMO.

Without fail, I walk into this bright, cheerful store and inhale deeply as I cross the threshold. It smells so good in Natural Grocers. I feel so good, shopping here. I’m grateful that I have this store as an option.

This morning I got to share with another shopper about the benefits of fresh aloe vera gel. And I assisted a woman when she asked me if I knew anything about vitamin C.

Robust Gratitudes

Plant Based Products

As I continue to improve my health, I’ve learned that what I put on my skin, or clothes, affects my wellbeing. Chemicals, additives, dyes and toxins all end up in the liver, creating health issues. I’ve been intentionally swapping out bath, laundry and cleaning products full of chemicals, for plant based chemical-free versions.

Natural Grocers carries a better version of everything I once used. My hand soap, shower soap, shampoo and conditioner are all plant based, infused with essential oils. I wash my clothes with laundry soap free from chemicals and dyes. They are dried with plant based softener sheets scented with lavender. My dishes and my hands benefit from the dish soap I use.

I am so grateful for these alternatives. My liver and skin are grateful too!

Robust Gratitudes

Dragon Fruit

I’m excited to try a new-to-me fruit, for the first time tomorrow. Dragon fruit looks exotic in its strangeness. I selected a fruit that has bold color and gives slightly when I press in with my thumb.

Dragon fruit, also called pitaya, is so good for the liver. It slows down and stops liver aging, which helps to prevent disease. I’m looking forward to adding this beauty to my fruit smoothie in the morning. Watch for more info about dragon fruit on Friday’s Journey With Healthy Me blog post.

Robust Gratitudes

Robust Apple Cider

When the weather turns cold it’s time for one of my favorite hot drinks. This apple cider is full of flavor and healing properties.

In a large pan combine 8 cups of organic unsweetened apple juice, 4 whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 star anise, 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ginger (or 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated), 1 orange cut into slices and 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries. Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Strain cider and enjoy. Makes 8 servings.

Try the cider as a first line of defense, when dealing with cold or allergy symptoms, or enjoy as a warming drink on chilly evenings. I’m grateful for the healing power of food.

Robust Gratitudes

Healthy at Every Age

I visited a friend late this afternoon, at a local assisted care facility. What I am about to share is not meant as a complaint against such places. It is a heart cry for people to take better care of themselves now, so that health and vitality can be enjoyed throughout the twilight years.

I am disturbed by the quality of food served at the facility. The meals are nutrient poor, and feed viruses and inflammation rather than support health. What a difference more fresh fruits and veggies could make.

After leaving my friend’s room, I wandered down the hall, greeting people in wheelchairs, saddened by what I saw. So many men and women there, ravaged by disease and mysterious illnesses and mental confusion. It broke my heart.

I left the care facility with fresh determination to continue my healing journey..,and to walk alongside others so that they can heal too. It’s never too late to make changes that contribute to a healthier life. It’s never too soon either!

Robust Gratitudes

I’m grateful for the emphasis on health today. My intention is to live a vibrant life no matter my age. I’m ensuring my future by consuming life giving nutrient dense foods and eliminating those that create disease and inflammation in my body.

I want to be that old lady, living without regrets, that everyone wonders, “What is she up to now?”

I’m well on my way!

Robust Gratitudes

In Search of a Christmas Drink

A couple of years ago, I rediscovered the seasonal drink eggnog. My mom used to fix the non alcoholic version when I was a child. During my year of having daily new experiences, I sampled an eggnog with a splash of rum for the first time. Topped with a sprinkle each of cinnamon and nutmeg, these nightly cups of eggnog with just a hint of rum became a favorite holiday drink. 

This year, since I no longer consume dairy products or sugar, I knew eggnog was out. I accepted that I wouldn’t be drinking it, mentally shrugged, and moved on. Truthfully, I didn’t miss it…until I discovered that Silk makes an almond milk nog, dairy free, with minimal sugar. 

The search for Silk Almond Nog began. 

Alas, it was not to be. Searching every store in my city, I could only locate Silk Soy Nog. Soy is on my “no” list. I accepted once again that I would not be drinking eggnog…or even almond nog…this Christmas. 


This is where the story takes a beautiful turn…where the Divine intervened. Others may have a difficult time believing that God cares about what I have to drink. I believe! Experience teaches me every aspect of my life matters. 

The desire beneath my desire for eggnog was simple. What I really wanted was a soothing, warming drink on cold winter evenings, after a full day…a drink to sip and unwind with. Hot tea is my standard evening drink. However, this time of year, I longed for something more festive. 

“Here you go,” whispered the Divine

On Christmas Eve morning, I happened to see a post from Anthony William in my Facebook newsfeed. It was a recipe for Spiced Apple Cider. It caught my attention immediately. A hot drink…a hot healthy drink, offered by the man I credit for inspiring me to begin my healing journey. 


Tonight, a pot of spiced apple cider simmered on the stove while I cleaned the kitchen. The aroma was wonderful, drawing me frequently to the bubbling pot to inhale deeply. This. This is what I had been looking for, a savory warm drink to sip on. And the cider is full of health benefits as well. 

Anthony writes, “Apple cider is a great digestive aid and is very soothing to the digestive tract, sipped before or after a meal. It also helps to reduce stress damage and keep the body energized and active. Cloves and ginger are especially good for warding off respiratory ailments and any cold or flu symptoms. They also help relieve headaches, nausea, muscle spasms, tension, & nerve pain. Cinnamon is very good for reducing inflammation in the body, making it helpful for people with autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Cinnamon also has the amazing ability to stop yeast infections, candida, and menstrual cramps. Star anise is highly beneficial in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism, back pain, shingles, herpes, halitosis, and sinus infections. It is also commonly used as a digestive aid and can help to relieve gas, constipation, cramping, bloating, heartburn, and indigestion.”

Now that is a good for me drink, with no dairy, sugar or alcohol! I used organic 100% apple juice, not from a concentrate. Instead of fresh ginger, I substituted 1/3 teaspoon of ground ginger. I’ll increase that amount in the next batch. I had the other spices on hand. Star anise can be purchased at health food stores. 

The spiced apple cider was wonderfully satisfying, fragrant and warming, the perfect drink to sip on during this holiday season…and beyond. I am so grateful that I went searching for a healthier nog. I was given something so much better, in every way.