In this issue:
- Do you have scurvy of the soul? How old sailors and Vitamin C relate to you today
- About that Vitamin C -- easy ways to eat it every day, beyond oranges
- A couple favorite recipes
Do you have scurvy of the soul?
In the 1700's, ships were making voyages that lasted months or even years. During this time, scurvy -- caused by a severe lack of vitamin C -- was common among sailors.
No one knew about vitamins yet, but by the 1900's, they figured out that eating lemons or limes helped keep the disease at bay. (Side note: This is why British sailors, and eventually all Brits, were called "limeys"!) [source]
Maybe you've heard this. We're familiar with the fact that scurvy causes weakness, pain, and bleeding gums, but there's an eerier effect that's less well known: old wounds can un-heal.
Here's a quote from a book published in 1748:
"...there was a remarkable instance in one of the invalids on board the Centurion, who had been wounded above fifty years before at the battle of the Boyne; for though he was cured soon after, and had continued well for a great number of years past, yet on his being attacked by the scurvy, his wounds, in the progress of his disease, broke out afresh, and appeared as if they had never been healed. Nay, what is still more astonishing, the callous of a broken bone, which had been completely formed for a long time, was found to be hereby dissolved, and the fracture seemed as if it had never been consolidated."
- from George Anson's "A Voyage Around The World" [source]
As I mulled this over, it occurred to me that certain deficiencies can also open old wounds to the heart. Things I've forgiven long ago will pop back up and demand attention when I'm physically tired or my soul is depleted.
For me, these deficiencies include:
- lack of sleep
- lack of time with friends
- lack of prayer and other soul care
- lack of sunshine
- eating things I know are not kind to me
COVID has definitely created a deficit in my time with friends, and I'm feeling it! As winter approaches, sunshine and sleep will also be harder to come by, for me. But I'm digging in and making sure I do as much as I can do to keep these reserves up.
If we're going to keep going through trying times -- and it looks like we are -- we'll need to be our most patient, even-keeled selves. And that requires intentional self care.
Remember: Self care isn't selfish. It's a kindness to those around you to be the best you can reasonably be. (And a grace to yourself: to recognize this doesn't mean you have to be perfect!)
How about you? What have you found you need to keep your body, mind, heart, and soul from reaching depletion levels? It's more important now than ever!
Prayer: Lord, remind me when I'm feeling unmotivated or losing my temper or seeing things especially dark, that this is probably a sign I need to take better care of myself. (Not beat myself up!) Help me find the best ways to do that. And thank You for Your tender grace that remains with me, no matter how I am.
About that Vitamin C...
Here are some easy, delicious ways you can get your minimum daily Vitamin C. Any one of these will do, but more is better:
- 1/2 cup raw red bell pepper (see below for recipes)
- 1 large orange
- 1.5 kiwis
- 3/4 cup raw green bell pepper
- 3/4 cup cooked broccoli
- 3/4 cup fresh strawberries
One half cup of chopped red bell pepper has
three times the Vitamin C of half an orange!
RECIPES: How to enjoy red bell pepper
If you don't love the taste of green pepper but you've never tasted red, you're in for a treat! It's a milder, sweeter version of its unripe cousin.
My favorite way to eat fresh bell pepper is dipped in homemade Ranch. Here are two recipes I turn to again and again.
Dairy-free ranch dressing/dip from Oh, That's Tasty!
Quick ranch dressing from The Kitchn (In a pinch, you can sub any unsweetened milk plus a little lemon juice for the buttermilk.)
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