Thursday, March 24, 2016

autumn ready

Despite the fact that the house is in a state of flux, I've been conscious of keeping my seasonal remedies handy, especially now that autumn is here.

Instead of preparing for the descent of winter sickness, I'm doing my best to keep everyone healthy and robust. Preventative seasonal measures are essential, especially when house moves and upheaval are imminent.

A few weeks ago everyone (Grandparents included) came down with a virus of some sort; runny nose, razor blade throat, warm body, persistent cough, general malaise. I was in the midst of caring for everyone when I realised that I'm much better at dealing with sickness that I used to be. When Che was a baby and he'd come down with a fever I would be fearful and on edge; time literally stood still while I cradled him back to health. How time and subsequent children change things! Of course I still worry but now I consider fevers as a sign of a strong body fighting and while cuddles do heal, they are definitely not all-day affairs.

The early-autumn virus hung around for a good fortnight but thankfully we got through it on natural remedies and the occasional dose of panadol (I tend to use it at night to encourage a sound sleep which, in turn, aids recovery). It did however prompt me to get everything in order and establish a seasonal meal plan to make sure our immune systems are strong for the flu season.

So what are we eating?

  • broth. I know, I'm talking about it again, but it really does work to boost energy levels in the body. If ever I feel like I'm coming down with something I defrost a cup from the freezer, add a handful of green veg, soba noodles and garlic, garnish with a generous amount of black pepper and eat it all up. If Percy is having vegies for dinner I always blanch them in broth (he usually eats green beans, broccoli and cauliflower and he sucks the liquid out of the vegies) and Poet has a few cups a week with soba noodles. Che will only eat it occasionally but he admits that it does make him feel better if he's under the weather. 
  • apple cider vinegar. I add this to the pot when I put broth on (a generous glug helps to draw the nutrients out of the bones) but it's also a great tonic to take if you're feeling heady or suffering from a sore throat. It's never a pleasant experience but it's potency makes you feel as if it's doing good (and it usually is).
  • good fats. In an attempt to eat less sugar (hilarious considering we are embarking on the Easter weekend and I intend on indulging in chocolate eggs and hot cross buns) I'm making sure we have a supply of good fats in the kitchen; cheese, nuts, natural yoghurt, avocados (when I can stomach the cost of them). I often encourage the kids to snack on fruit and crackers but I find that they are never satiated, hence the filling fats. 
  • extra vegies and plenty of soup. We always have a fridge full of organic vegies and yet unless I'm really conscious of meal planning they don't all get eaten. But...I'm attempting to change that by adding vegies to every meal. Instead of crackers and hommus I make carrot + cucumber and hommus. Every dinner is served with extra vegies and salad. Nuts alongside a few sticks of capsicum and some cherry tomatoes makes for a satisfying snack. 

And remedies at the ready include:

  • eucalyptus balm - so good on the base of the big toe (connected to the lungs), soles of the feet and chest to ease a cough and open the airways (hint: enter the code EASTER this long weekend to get free shipping on orders over $30)
  • cut onion beside the bed to ease a cough (a bit witchy but it really does work)
  • floradix floravital - an added herbal boost when tiredness creeps in
  • warms cups of tea - chamomile, ginger, lemon and honey
  • essentials oils - particularly eucalyptus, tea tree, frankincense and lemon

Of course, I've done a wardrobe edit to make sure there's a decent supply of layers so lower backs and chests stay covered and cosy. Socks are a must to keep feet warm and I'll be getting Percy a pair of these because they really are so good at keeping tootsies toastie. It's not cool enough for flannelette sheets and woollen blankets just yet but don't worry, they're at the ready.

Tell me, what are your go-to remedies and tonics to keep bugs at bay? 


  1. We arw just coming out of an awful cough, myself, my five year old and my one year old, and it's the first time I have used the onion trick, how amazing that it works! We also make a cough syrup by cutting up onion and putting it in a jar with honey. It's quite a strong and pungent syrup, but taking a few spoonfuls throughout the day loosens any cough. And we also make tea to which we add honey and a teaspoon of tumeric (my five year old actually asks for his in a 'baby' cup as soon as he has a slightly scratchy throat. (Anna at

  2. I'm intrigued by the cut onion - is it a whole onion chopped up, or just cut in half? I'm keen to try it when the inevitable sniffles and coughs hit.
    I find that a humidifier with Eucalyptus oil in it, running over night works well for coughs.

    1. I just cut a whole onion in half (skin on) and place it on a plate on the bedside table. And 9 times out of 10 it stops the coughing immediately. It's amazing! Yes, the bedroom wreaks of onion the next morning but nothing that an open window and some eucalyptus oil can't fix!

  3. My son was unfortunate to get pneumonia in both his lungs when he was one and a half and he's never been in strong health ever since regardless f how careful we are with our diet and are robust outdoor play... every winter we just get everything. Last winter he was hospitalised with haemolytic anaemia and was close to death - so this year we are actually taking leave and going to Europe for the coldest months I am just too afraid to go through the hospital route again.... but our naturopath has made up a tonic for coughs so at the first sign of a cough he takes this tonic - not sure what is in it but it does seem to work. We also have liquid zinc drops. A tip that a friend told me, given to her by her late husband's oncologist was that each family member should have their own tube of toothpaste, not just their own toothbrush! I am going to try the cut onion though .

  4. PS Thank you so much for sharing your seasonal tips - these posts are always so helpful and I love how thoughtful and approachable you make life seem. I look forward to reading your every new blog entry, and well gosh, this feels really clumsy, but I just wanted you to know that I for one appreciate the time you put into these posts, and that you share so much of yourself and your family with us.

    1. Thank you, that's really nice to know. I've been working on this little blog for a long while now so it is encouraging to know that you're enjoying it. My naturopath always recommends eating one chewable vit C tablet every hour while flying. Daniel did it when he went on his big three-month trip (26 flights!) and he didn't get sick once. Perhaps chat to your naturopath before you go to Europe? And interesting re. the toothpaste - it makes sense! x

  5. Love this Jodie! We just went through a round of sickness here and in order to get my little one to drink lots of fluids I added apply juice to warm water and then snuck in some apple cider vinegar and he loved it. Kids and sickness is no fun and this year we have been hit more times then I would like so these tips for prevention are great! I just wish my little guy would eat more veggies.... Happy Fall and good health to you all!


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