Lately I’ve come down with a bit of a winter bug. One of the pleasurable parts about being sick is that you get to guzzle tons of delicious liquids: orange juice, tea, water. (Yes, I count water as a delicious drink. Hydration: key to life. You heard it here first.)
My friend Laroy, from California, was generous enough to give me a recipe for a wellbetter tea, so I hopped across the street to the local grocery co-op, where I knew they’d stock oddities like rosehips and echinacea. In bulk. (Thank you, Cambridge MA.)
A crucial detail about this kind of tea, though, as Laroy explained to me, is that it’s not intended to make you well only when you’re ill. You’re supposed to drink it consistently. The philosophy behind preventive medicine and holistic health emphasizes strengthening our bodies in addition to killing disease. A rather alien concept to our typical aspirin-popping approach, especially since it means long-term, gradual results, not necessarily immediate relief.
If and when we finally socialize health care in the U.S., I hope we’ll be in for a major shift toward preventive medicine and wellness promotion. From the state’s perspective, it’s far easier to treat a population with a high wellness baseline. In the nutrition realm, I think we’re already beginning to see signs of a sea change with legislative efforts and the enormous popularity of writers like Michael Pollan. (Not that I fully agree with the dude. I’ll write specifically on Food[racism/feminism/economics/health/environmentalism] later on, maybe.)
But for many of us, myself included, learning to think of healthiness as an ongoing personal practice — not just the result of genetic luck or sporadic medical intervention — requires some major cognitive rewiring. It means focusing on protection and correction.
One thing’s certain: it helps when the tea tastes good. Thanks, Laroy!
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