What’s in Your Thermos? Nourishment & Warmth for a Winter’s Day
This time of year, I fall back in love with my thermos collection. I have the garden variety thermos cup for hot beverages. Next to it in the cupboard is a stout thermos with a wide open mouth for soups and stews. Further to the side, my pair of two-gallon pump thermoses stand sentry ready to be pulled out when I want to share a warm drink with an outdoor crew around the solstice bonfire or at a brave wintry picnic. Just like some people like to have Christmas in July, I like to have a July 4th -like picnic in January!
If I can make it healthy and yummy at home, why not take it on the road? Here are some of my favorite thermos fillers for these cold days:
1. Herbal teas, of course here the choice is endless. I often go for green tea for its antioxidant punch and all its other proven health benefits. If I am looking for calmness, I brew a pot of chamomile tea. If I need a little pick me up, I go with peppermint. Sometimes I just take a few slices of organic lemons and put that in hot water, clean and fresh. My personal favorite is Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice, which is kind of like a decaf chai. If I use my mini foamer, I might add some rich and foamed soy milk.
2. If I am feeling a little pokey, I might have a latte poured directly into my thermos. I usually make that with some alternative milk and savor it on my way to work or when I am sitting with patients in my clinic. Coffee has been examined from so many angles and in the end of the day there is a decreased risk in all cause death in coffee drinkers! So, drink up!
3. Miso soup, so easy to make at home or find out and about, goes down easy. Made from a fermented soy bean paste, miso helps to support a more diverse and robust gut flora, which in turn helps support immune function, digestion, hormone balance, mood and cognition. Beside the high sodium content, miso is a healthy and flavorful option.
4. I often bring other varieties of warmed-up soup with me from homemade batches whipped up in my kitchen. It’s one way I can take in lots of veggies, whole grains, and legumes, especially in the colder time of the year when eating a big salad is, at least for me, somewhat less appealing. I created a Soup of the Month Club a few years back, you can see many of my recipes here.
5. When my now-grown kids were playing team sports, I got good at making huge vats of hot cocoa for the sidelines. I would make it from scratch, just for fun, and with less sugar and more chocolate. I knew about chocolates role in post work-out recovery (seriously!) and of course most kids, and not a few nearby adults, LOVE hot cocoa. Standing in the sleet or the driving rain, chilled to the bone, at a soccer or Ultimate Frisbee tournament, and pumping hot cocoa from a thermos into little paper cups, well, that was pretty fun.
Doing kind things for yourself, bringing warmth and comfort with you when you’re on the road, and sharing some of your creations with others helps counter the dark, shorter days of winter. Taking time to hydrate and nourish yourself is always worth the effort!
Originally published at <www.elephantjournal.com>.