It’s officially fall. Goodbye summer (although, it doesn’t feel like it outside) , hello fall! Fall brings all the best things. Cooler temps, cute sweaters, and of course, all things pumpkin! I admit it, I’m one of those that stocks up on everything pumpkin at Trader Joe’s the day it comes out. I have loved pumpkin and pumpkin spice for as long as I can remember. In fact, I’ve often requested pumpkin pie as my birthday dessert, despite my May birthday. So of course, it probably comes as no surprise that I have to get a PSL and pumpkin cold brew as soon as Starbucks starts advertising. But like you, the calories, fat and price tag completely turn me off. But what the heck is in that pumpkin crack?! It is SO good, too sweet, but oh so good.
I have been on a mission for the last decade to figure out how I can possibly make this at home and today, I perfected my recipe. Since being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I have been on a strict gluten free, sugar free, and dairy free diet. So obviously, drinking a Starbucks PSL or pumpkin cold brew is purely impossible! It is way less expensive and healthier than anything else you’ll find!
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (depending how sweet you like it)
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend. I’ve tried a food processor and a hand held frother and love the consistency I get with the blender. I have a single serve blender and it holds this recipe perfectly.
Pour desired amount over your cold brew and sip in peace and quiet. Ha, just kidding, enjoy while e-learning with your kids 🙂
This is equally delicious mixed in with hot coffee as well. Honestly, I would drink this stuff NOT mixed in coffee, it tastes like a milkshake. The next thing I’m trying is this mixed in with some vanilla protein powder for my morning protein shake.
The fall means cooler weather, sweaters, PSLs and pumpkin patches. It also means the beginning of cold and flu season. Ugh. For a real life germaphobe, this can be very stressful to me. But I also take time every single fall, to prep my home for sickies!
I have a well stocked closet right outside my kids room which I restock at the beginning of the school year with all the things I might need. We also increase our immune boosting activities, including taking daily supplements.
What do I keep stocked?
As I mentioned above, I prepare my upstairs closet for all worst case scenarios so I can be ready at 3am when “disaster strikes”.
Of note: I’m just a regular mom, I’m not a doctor or nurse so PLEASE make sure you check with YOUR physician before using any product on your child and follow the directions.
I prefer the good ‘ole thermometers to take my kids temp orally or axillary (under the armpit). I find this is the best way to get accurate and consistent readings. I find the ear thermometers hard to use and the forehead scanners can be inconsistent. I do keep a forehead scanner on hand for easy to grab temps but when it matters, I always take it orally or axillary.
I have one for each kid in case everyone is sick at the same time. I keep them in little organizer trays with extra probe covers
Fever Reducers and Anti-inflammatory
I make sure I restock our stockpile of Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Advil with extra measuring cups and syringes fully stocked. Right now, all three of my kids prefer the liquid version which makes purchasing easy!
Based on my doctor’s recommendation, I do not give my kids any over the counter cough medication. We actually use good old honey and lemon. I mix up 2 tsp of local, organic raw honey (I only give this to my kids who are OVER 12 months old) with warm water and some lemon slices. I give this to them right before bed for a natural and effective cough suppressant.
I also run a cool mist humidifier in their rooms all night. About an hour, before they head to bed, I crank the mist up to high and close the door to get the room nice and humid. For my big kids, I might run some peppermint oil and lavender oil (Note: I only use Doterra Essential Oils because of their known purity) in my oil diffuser right before bed as well!
Personal Protective Equipment
I keep a variety of personal protective equipment on hand, and yes, I did this PRE-COVID!! In order to reduce the spread of germs between me and the kids and between my kids, I take extra precautions. When dealing with vomit, I always wear a disposable gown, gloves and mask when cleaning it up or moving sheets to the laundry, to avoid it entering my mouth and to protect my clothes. If I don’t wear a gown, I usually change my shirt out so I’m not spreading germs to my other kids or to other places in the house.
So what exactly do I keep in the closet, here’s my list
I keep a small variety of cleaning products that I use when my kids are sick. I typically clean with vinegar and water, however, I can’t mess around when I’m trying to avoid the spread of germs so here’s what I keep on hand.
Clorox Medical Grade Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner might be my most favorite product on the market. I use this in place of bleach. It kills so many germs in 30 seconds such as common cold, Coronavirus, stomach flu and influenza. This product can be used on porous surfaces such as fabric and carpet so great for spraying down the couch, mattresses and carpet.
Purell Professional Surface Cleaner is another favorite cause it can be used on surfaces used to prep food, without rinsing. So this is great for kitchens! It also does not have harsh chemical smell.
Lysol Disinfecting Spray smells SO bad, but it’s great for quick disinfecting on surfaces likes doorknobs and light switches.
Some known immunity boosters are
Healthy Diet, eating healthy which means avoiding sugar, high fat and processed foods but choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which contain vitamins and antioxidants.
Sleep. Read up on how much sleep our kids need at each age and stick to it. We have a pretty strict bedtime routine in order to achieve good sleep hygiene
Exercise. There are so many benefits to exercise including weight loss, but exercise is also a great immunity booster So stay active, even if that means a short walk daily to get your blood moving!
Outdoor time. Benefits of being outside include natural vitamin D and fresh air.
Elderberry Syrup has so much good medical research behind it to suggest that this is a real immune booster. We take it twice a day during cold/flu season and increase it to 4 times a day when we get a cold or the flu.
Vitamin C/Zinc/Vitamin D is a great combo for boosting immunity.