Nature’s Penicillin: A natural cold remedy

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge advocate of natural remedies in favor of pharmaceuticals whenever possible. As such I am going to make a concerted effort to share some of the herbal concoctions I learn here and there with my internet friends :D.

It’s been quite chilly outside lately and with the nasty weather comes the cold and flu season in full force. I firmly believe that prevention is the best cure, and with all these germs floating around you can make a great immune booster at home using some inexpensive produce items. All you need is:

  • A blender
  • 1 grapefruit (with skin)
  • 1 orange (with skin)
  • 2 lemons (with skin)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ a large onion
  • 3 drops peppermint oil (optional)

Roll your citrus fruits before slicing to release juices and make it easier to blend. If it’s too thick, add a little bit of water. After blending together, store in a glass container and refrigerate for up to 5 months.

You should end up with something that looks like this:


Dosage: For an adult take one cup a day. For a child 5 – 12 years take 1/2 cup a day. Consume periodically over the course of the day instead of all at once.

Small disclaimer: you probably won’t enjoy the taste.

sour lemon faceYou’ve been warned.

I learned this great little recipe at a health evangelism training session I attended a few weekends ago.  These ingredients combined form a nutritional powerhouse that help to stop illnesses in their tracks and eradicate existing cold and flu symptoms. Here’s how:

Grapefruit: High in Vitamin C which is an immune system strengthener. Grapefruit is valuable as it aids the body in eliminating poisons.

Orange: High in Vitamin C and A. Also contains high amounts of potassium and a good amount of calcium and phosphorus. Oranges can decrease mucus buildup in the nose and is even helpful in cases of respiratory ailments, such as bronchitis, pneumonia and also asthma, high blood pressure and rheumatism.

Lemon: Contains Vitamin B, C, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Phosphorus. Lemons are a natural antiseptic and help destroy harmful bacteria in areas of infection. The Vitamin C in lemon builds the immune system and is, especially beneficial to the liver, an important organ of elimination. Lemon is also beneficial because it is alkaline forming in body.

Garlic: Contains Vitamin B, C, Calcium, Potassium and Phosphorus. It is one of the most beneficial foods for the digestive system and has a positive effect on the lymph, aiding in the elimination of toxic waste matter in the body. Garlic is naturally antibiotic, valuable in immune strength and blood cleansing.

Onion: Contains Vitamin A, Thiamine, Iron, Niacin, and Calcium. Onions have antiseptic qualities and help drain mucus from the sinus cavities and loosen phlegm. They will also help destroy worms and other parasites in the body. Onions are recommended in cases of asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, flu and colds.

Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil brings oxygen into the blood stream. It cleanses and strengthens the entire body and also smells great :).

Special thanks to Meet Ministry for providing the info on the medicinal properties.

Here’s to being completely above the weather all winter long!

Happy healing :).


A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

– John C. Maxwell

How do you give health and lifestyle advice to your loved ones without coming across as bossy or holier-than-thou? Pride is a hard pill to swallow when you’re being told what you’re doing wrong. In fact, in a society of relativism, the line between what’s right and wrong has become increasingly blurred.


People can be very sensitive to their rights as humans to control how they live, even when it comes to things that are harmful to them physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. So what’s the secret to counseling on sensitive topics? How do you hint to a family member to start eating more healthily or advise a friend to stay away from a toxic relationship?

The key: love.


The apostle Paul famously wrote to the Corinthians that even with all the knowledge and abilities in the world, without love, “it profits…nothing”. In other words, unless you back up all your scientific and psychological arguments with genuine concern for the other person, you might as well be trying to bite through a wall.

    So what is love exactly? According to the Bible (ESV)

      Love IS:

  • patient
  • kind
  • bearing of all things
  • hopeful
  • enduring
  • trusting

       Love IS NOT:

  • envious
  • boastful
  • arrogant
  • rude
  • insistent on its own way
  • irritable
  • resentful

In the whole passage Paul beautifully describes love and in essence, God’s character.

Remember: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

In my own experience, I’ve definitely I’ve had to stop at times and add some proverbial sugar to my spoon before administering the dose. How have you handled opposition when trying to give advice?

Fake it til you make it

After a long hiatus from blogging, I have returned with a somewhat settled mind, a very well-rested body and something I strive for each day– clarity. This post is by no means linguistics related but it is about communication. Mainly, communication with yourself.

A few days before my last exam way back in April, I came across a TED talk presentation given by this beautiful and vibrant woman named Amy Cuddy. Always known for being “the smart one”, she gave an emotional account of an accident that left her at an intellectual disadvantage, robbing her of her identity. She then proceeded to explain how she was able to overcome her obstacles simply by ignoring her limitations and just attempting something she “knew” she wasn’t able to do. Her experience inspired her to conduct research on the truthfulness to the well-known phrase ‘fake it til you make it’ and she found that while we have always known it’s possible to use our minds to control our bodies, it is also the case that we can use our bodies to influence our minds. ‘Powerposing’ is the evidence she uses to back this claim.

Cuddy had two groups of participants undergo a simulated job interview (to mimic a high-stress situation). Half the participants posed for two minutes in a dominant position e.g. a ‘Superman’ stance and the other half posed in a submissive stance e.g. crossing arms or legs. She also took saliva samples before and after the posing sessions. Cuddy found that regardless of what was actually discussed during the interview, the group that ‘powerposed’ not only had more favourable reviews from the interviewers, but they actually had less of the stress hormone present in their saliva compared to before the posing.

This blew me away for a number of reasons. The most important lesson I was reminded of is that sometimes, it really is just mind over matter. If you put your body in a situation or position that is positive and empowering, your mind will respond accordingly. Two minutes alone to position your body for success is all you need to exude confidence. Your body and your mind communicate and can encourage the other to step out of the box to do the unthinkable. Whether you THINK you can or not, if you DO it with your body, your mind will eventually follow suit. And that is just beautiful.

Lessons on Coping: Character & Discipline

stressOkay, it’s time for a personal post. This last week has been crazy busy for me in terms of school work, work work and personal commitments (hence the lack of blog entries!). While I love being in an academic environment and absorbing all the knowledge I can, there are some days where my brain simply feels exhausted. Over the course of my studies I’ve had to adopt multiple coping strategies to deal with the stress of a heavy workload while still trying to stay healthy and treat my body and mind properly. One big example: sleep. Through the years I’ve learned the hard way that multiple nights in a row with less than four hours of sleep will not only make me less productive the next day, but it affects my mood, my eating habits and (more obviously) my energy levels. As a result, the quality of my work declines– It’s all a spiral effect.

Thankfully though, I’ve been taking small pockets of the day to reflect, meditate and do some reading as stress relief. One of my favorite authors, prolific Christian writer Ellen White, was known for her direct ‘tough love’ approach to advice on life, love and developing character. Here is some very helpful and encouraging advice from her book Mind, Character & Personality for strengthening the mind and the will in order to perform and function more efficiently every day:

1. Potential of the Disciplined Mind:

Self-discipline must be practiced…An ordinary mind, well disciplined, will accomplish more and higher work than will the most highly educated mind and the greatest talents without self-control

2. The Cultivated Mind Measures the Man:

Never think that you have learned enough and that you may now relax your efforts. The cultivated mind is the measure of the man. Your education should continue during your lifetime; every day you should be learning and putting to practical use the knowledge gained.

3. A Well-nourished and Healthy Brain

The brain is the organ and controls the whole body. In order for the other parts of the system to be healthy, the brain must be healthy.

4. Overtaxing the Mind

The student who desires to put the work of two years into one should not be permitted to have his own way. To undertake to do double work means, with many, over taxation of the mind and neglect of physical exercise.

To those whom this applies, keep these thoughts in mind while studying. While work ethic is an excellent quality, don’t forget to take breaks. Don’t overdo it. Eat well. Sleep well. Be well. Do well. 🙂

What are some of the ways you deal with stress? Start a conversation in my comment box!

Source: White, E. G. (1977). It’s importance. Mind, character and personality (pp. 3-10). USA: Review and Herald.

5 Tips for Being a Better Verbal Communicator


Good verbal communication skills are necessary for functioning well in personal, professional and academic relationships. In a world where much of our interaction is electronic, many people forget how to convey information effectively face-to-face. These holistic tips will not only help you improve your interpersonal skills, but they are also applicable to general physical health and personal growth.

1. Rest Well & Eat Healthy

As well as being essential to overall health, good sleeping habits are critical for being able to remember and process information at your best. Nutrition also plays a factor in how sharp your brain is, which in turn affects your mood, reactions and body language –all of which affect the way others perceive your message. Check out this list of foods that aid in memory and brain function.

2. Research & Prepare

When it comes to communicating well during an interview or presentation, your greatest weapon is doing your homework. Read a few articles or reviews about the company you want to work for. Familiarize yourself with their mission statement and recent initiatives. Make sure you have a good amount of background knowledge on the subject you are presenting and know what others have said in support or criticism of it. Doing adequate research and knowing your audience can help immensely when it comes to getting a point or argument across. Not only will you be more confident in what you’re saying, but you’ll also be prepared to answer any unexpected questions that may come your way.

3. Mind-Map

After you have done your research, carefully plan out what you want to say and how you want to say it. Decide which points you want to start out with and which you prefer to drive home near the end. Will you take any time to pause? To ask any questions? Write these things down. Go over it in your head or aloud. If it doesn’t sound right, try organizing your thoughts in a different way to see if it comes across more clearly or makes more of an impression.

4. Listen!

I’ve heard it said that we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk :P. All joking aside, there is a lot of truth to this statement. Communication is a two-way  model. As well as a message producer, there must be a message receiver. Listening is not only a sign of respect for the other person(s) in the conversation, it is also beneficial for getting feedback and gauging their responsiveness to what you have just said. Don’t just listen to their words though– body language and tone of voice can also be very telling. Even if you are presenting in front of a large number of people, you can still ‘listen’ to how your audience is responding to you. If you sense a negative response, adjust your approach.


The key to being successful in anything is to simply keep at it. The more you practice your verbal communication skills, the better they will be. You will gain experience speaking to and with a variety of personalities and in a variety of situations. You”ll also become more comfortable expressing your honest thoughts and opinions with confidence. As you develop this skill and become more personable, more people will want to connect with you and you’ll see new opportunities arising more often.

Remember, what you say is just as important as how you say it!

Want to learn about non-verbal communication? Take a look at the links below!