Hit me with your best shot

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
You should drink shots…  For health reasons, obviously.  Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

While cruising the internet recently, I found this article; a guideline of sorts on healthy eating.  While it’s certainly worth the read, at its core it is not telling us anything we don’t already know – we should be eating fresh, “whole” foods and avoiding the highly processed and refined stuff.  In other words, say “yes” to water and apples and “no” to fizzy cold drinks and apple-flavoured health bars.

“If it came from a plant, eat it.  If it was made in a plant, don’t.” – Michael Pollan

I am always looking for ways to support my health – ways that require little to no effort, obviously.  Possibly the easiest way to do this in the modern era is to supplement our diet with some sort of vitamin pill.

In keeping with Michael Pollan’s quote (and at the risk of sounding like an old Hippie), over the last decade or so I’ve slowly switched from over-the-counter vitamins and supplements, preferring to make alternatives in my kitchen at a fraction of the price.

Counterculture without the tie-dye

Of course, we can’t all afford to eat salmon every night to ensure optimal daily Omega 3 intake, so there is still a place for the monthly Dis-Chem shop.  However in most cases I prefer ingesting something that I can say the name of (such as “apples”) as opposed to something that contains multi-syllable tongue-twister ingredients which require a medical degree to pronounce.

Below are 3 little health “shots” I use almost daily.  They’re quick, easy, cost effective and use things you probably already have lying around in the grocery cupboard – just my cup of tea, so to speak.

Lemony turmeric shot

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Remembering the contents of an entire book is rare, especially if you read a lot of non-fiction – too much information and too little place to store it all.  In my experience, we seem to remember the bits that are most pertinent or resonate the most. A few years ago, I read a book called “The Brain Fog Fix”, which deals with how our modern refined-food diets undermine our brain chemistry, leading to a number of health issues (specifically Alzheimer’s, if memory serves me correctly – the irony of this statement is not lost on me…).  The below recipe appeared in the book and has stuck with me ever since.

Among tons of listed benefits, turmeric has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body, black pepper aids digestion, cayenne lowers blood pressure and lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C.  My morning routine includes, without fail, a shot of this while waiting for the kettle to boil.

  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • A grind of black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Top up the shot glass with a 50/50 mix of water and lemon juice

Method:  Mix everything together while singing an horrendous version of Pat Benatar’s “Hit me with your best shot”.  Drink.

Beetroot Kvass

Beet Kvass
Beetroot Kvass on my windowsill.  This was “day 1” – the liquid turns deep purple by the end.

Fermented food is my current obsession.  At the moment our kitchen resembles a primary school science experiment – a variety of things in glass jars spread between the fridge and windowsill.  As with any fermented food, Beetroot Kvass contains a high concentration of probiotics which aids digestion and helps your body absorb nutrients. It’s used as a blood cleanser and supports a cancer preventative diet.  

  • 4 to 5 whole beetroots, washed and roughly chopped (not too small / grated)
  • 1 tsp non-iodised salt (I use Himalayan pink salt)
  • 1 litre of water

Method:  Chuck all the ingredients in a jar, cover with cheesecloth and leave in a warm place out of direct sunlight.  Fermentation takes 5 to 8 days after which you strain the liquid into a bottle and keep it in the fridge. Drink shots of it neat.  

Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash 2
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Unless you want a one-way ticket to heartburn city, one thing you should not drink neat shots of is vinegar.  While this one is not actually a shot, I thought it’s still worthwhile to include.

Apple Cider Vinegar has a number of documented health benefits including lowering cholesterol and lowering blood sugar.  Honey has been shown to do everything from boosting your immune system to aiding digestion. The combo of the two is good for your skin, improves energy levels and supports all the probiotics you get from stuff like Beetroot Kvass.

Some websites tell you to use warm water, to leave it overnight for the honey enzymes to activate and to drink it on an empty stomach.  I usually only remember to make it when I’m digging in the cupboard looking for some after dinner chocolate… C’est la vie.

  • 1 Tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • Water to top up your glass (I make my own yogurt and use the strained whey instead of water when I have a jar of it lying around)

Method:  Mix everything in a glass and drink.  Continue the search for chocolate.

Consistency is key

As with most things in life, “less is more” and consistency is key.  Any health supplement, whether store bought or homemade, should be thought of as a sort of compound interest, much the same as we get on our retirement investments.   Consistent smaller doses over an extended period of time will bear the most fruit.

Do any of these “recipes” actually work?  Well, who knows – perhaps all supplements are nothing more than placebos.  But as Mrs Megamalist always says, “it can’t hurt”.

Have you got any healthy home remedies / supplements / a tie-dye t-shirt?  Share in the comment section!

2 thoughts on “Hit me with your best shot

  1. Laureen Pearce says:

    The health benefits of turmeric, honey and apple cider vinegar have certainly been highlighted a lot recently.

    I’ve also been slowly converting to more natural and healthy over the years. Besides eating healthy (daily home-cooked meals and lots of salad, fruit, nuts and seeds, cutting out sugar and converting to coconut milk as I’m lactose intolerant), I’ve also started thinking more about the household cleaning products and gardening products we use, not just for health reasons, but for environmental reasons too.

    But it’s not always easy: bicarbonate (baking) soda and vinegar, while beneficial for health and environment, just don’t quite succeed as well as strong chemicals at removing baked-on grease or limescale, nor are they as effective at killing weeds between the paving stones as one would hope. So I keep trying a different product. I recently bought a cleaning product that I can mix with water in a basin to clean with rather use a spray cleaner, but only discovered afterwards that it stated on the label that it was “harmful to aquatic life”. Argh!! It pays to read the labels first…if you can understand or even read the small print!

    My next course of action will be to find another effect natural alternative to chemical products. Preferably one that doesn’t come bottled or wrapped in plastic, either!

    Let me go and try that turmeric shot…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megan D'Arcy says:

      I hear you, Laureen! Clean living is challenging, made harder by the fact that humans have over-complicated their own lives. Due to years of using certain products and doing things in “the same old way” we have to rediscover how to pare back to simpler methods and products. Good on you for taking those measures on your diet to make it more wholesome!

      RE your weed issue, what vinegar are you using? I use neat white spirit vinegar on paving weeds and it works a treat – but perhaps it’s the combination of the vinegar with the hot SA sun that does the trick!


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