By Geneviève Hébert
Since there are days when the weather or a chilly mood makes it harder to put a foot out the door, I like to have a few tricks up my sleeve for that much needed “kick in the butt”. There are two ways to deal with it: you can either soothe your soul before going out, or you can motivate yourself by thinking of that special reward after going outdoors.
Catherine Lalonde is a local traditional herbalist, a teacher at the internationally renowned Herbothèque and editor of La Guilde des herboristes’ magazine. She recently started Sauvages & Cultivées to introduce the use of plants into our kitchen. Among other products, she put out this little gem of a tonic. Made with apple cider from Au Coeur de la pomme, Simon Riel and Pettigrew’s honey, in which the fire of Alban’s ginger and Les Nues Mains’ cayenne has been instilled, it couldn’t be more local. A tablespoon of it before heading out (or when you feel a cold coming on) will certainly boost your immunity and blood circulation. The kids prefer it diluted in cold or warm apple juice. You can taste it at the Sutton Christmas market and all year round at Au Naturel in Sutton.
PASSION HERBALE’S NATURAL HAND AND FEET WARMER
Because I work sitting in front of the computer, I make it a point to go out everyday either for a walk or a run. Having cold hands and feet sometimes hinder my heading out into the cold. To instantly activate my blood circulation, I use this thyme, sage and wintergreen infused cream. Because the effect is so immediate, it also works for kids. Much more environmentally friendly than the disposable hand and feet warmers, it keeps little hands and feet toasty in the cold. You can find this product at the Passion Herbale shop in front of Le Cafetier and in the Mont SUTTON’s boutique.
JÉRÉMIE’S YUMMY BALSAM FIR HONEY
The smell of fir is like a healing balm for the soul. The only thought of it makes my heart swell. Every year, Jérémie goes out into the Sutton valleys to harvest new balsam fir growth and macerates it for months in sweet honey. On its own, diluted in hot water or in almost any kind of tea (black is my favourite but rooibos makes a great decaffeinated combination), it becomes the perfect comforting drink. It prolongates the feeling of being one with nature. If green bathing is good for the soul, this should be prescribed to anyone in dire need of green spaces. You can find it at the Sutton Christmas Market and at Atelier Bouffe.
CHOCOLATERIE MURIEL’S CHOCOLATE SPOONS
My kids love hot chocolate on cold days. Commercial hot chocolate, however, doesn’t fulfill their expectations being often too sweet and insipid. The Chocolaterie Muriel makes these decent- sized chocolate spoons that make the hot chocolate experience both fun and satisfying. You can heat up and ideally froth whatever milk you prefer (rice, almond, soy or cow) and they can dose the chocolate themselves, eating the spoon on its own if they feel like it.