I did actually go to my first rodeo back when I was living in Texas.
And so understand at least some of the significance of a first rodeo. Honestly, my first rodeo was slightly shocking for me, especially these poor little long-time vegetarian eyes.
Starting a business was similar. Keep the cowboy boots, skip the bull riding. The amount of stress and pressure starting a business can be rather shocking at times. And despite how fulfilling and enjoyable may be, some sacrifices are inevitably more painful than others.
Fortunately, this isn't my first rodeo...
Not Making It Home for the Holidays
When I fully committed to starting my own practice again this past summer, I knew this meant that going back to Michigan for the holidays this year was going to be nearly impossible. Then, sometime around Thanksgiving, reality set in and I knew the phone call that had to be made.
Ugh, this phone call is so tough.... It was the same phone call that had to be made during the holidays a couple of times during naturopathic medical school, as well as the last time I started a practice. In total, about half of the years since I moved out west to study naturopathic and homeopathic medicine. And just for the record, it wasn't necessarily any easier this year. Even though this isn't nearly my first rodeo.
Just like in years past when I was not able to be back east for the holidays, it became even more important to infuse a little extra love in my holiday gift giving. In past years, my homesick heart has been poured into candles, teas, salsas, and a variety of deserts for friends and family. One of my favorites is this Simple Honey Garlic Syrup though.
Giving the Gift of Health
This simple recipe allows you to focus your energy on some creative expression in your packaging. Like hearts drawn with glitter glue on the lid. And hand colored cards and gift bags. Plus, it ships very easily. And, it lasts for months in the refrigerator, which means your gift can be appreciated long after the excitement of the holidays.
The syrup is only three ingredients: honey, water, and garlic. Back in 2007, a study reported that honey was more effective than common over-the-counter pharmaceutical cough syrups. This becomes especially important considering the FDA recommends not giving children under the age of 2 OTC decongestants or anti-histamines, largely because more than 1500 infants under the age of 2 were treated in the emergency room in 2004-2005 for adverse events from these drugs. The FDA also recommends using caution when using OTC cough and cold pharmaceuticals for children over 2.
And garlic seems to be particularly effective at preventing colds and flus. So, what a great little gift! No one is ever disappointed to have an easy, natural immune boost waiting in the fridge when they start to feel ill. Eating one of the honey-infused garlic cloves whole is strangely delicious. Plus, this syrup will last through the cold and flu season in the refrigerator. Or! Experiment with adding ginger, lemons, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, or other fresh herbs for your own line of syrups.
Please keep in mind that garlic can have some side effects such as possible rash and blood thinning. Additionally, honey is not advised for children under 1 year old because of risk of infant botulism (rare, but serious). As with all home remedies, best to check with your doctor or other healthcare provider before beginning. Or if your symptoms persist or worsen. This syrup is sure not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare team.
More Love, Less Stress
Whether you are staying home or traveling to see loved ones this holiday season, don't forget to bring the love. Create your holidays this year by infusing more love into your giving, in more manageable ways. Find ways to make the holidays just a little bit easier.
Honey Garlic Syrup
1/2c garlic cloves, slightly crushed
1/2c local, raw honey (buckwheat honey was often used in research)
1/8c filtered water
Clean garlic cloves and line the bottom of a glass container. Add honey and water. Cover container and allow to sit for 5-10 days.
Add whole garlic cloves along with liquid to fill small glass containers. Seal and store in the refrigerator.