Warm Drink Recipes while recovering from Joint Replacement Surgery

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If you’re undergoing joint replacement surgery soon then your recovery time might be taking you into the cold winter months. Recovery times vary, but even though you’ll gain some mobility back quickly it can still take weeks to be fully healed. The cold winter weather can be painful on joints that are recovering from surgery, plus it’s important not to push yourself too far too soon with going long distances from home, at least at first. This can mean a lot of time at home at the beginning of your recovery. 

If you foresee spending a lot of time indoors this winter here are some simple hot drink recipes to enjoy at home while you recover. (And yes, they are alcohol-free as drinking is discouraged while recovering from surgery, especially while taking prescription pain medicine)

Easy Mint Hot Chocolate – A sweet treat with a kick!

While you shouldn’t overdo it on sweets post-surgery this drink is great for a special treat.

What you need:

  • 6 Andes chocolate mints
  • 16 ounces of chocolate milk
  • Mini marshmallows, optional

What to do:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the mints over low heat. 
  2. Slowly whisk in chocolate milk until well blended; heat but do not boil. 
  3. Pour into mugs; top with mini marshmallows if desired.


Classic Apple Cider – Keeps you warm all day long!

The great thing about apple cider is that it’s sweet but not overpowering and it can warm and simmer for long periods of time, giving you a few cups worth to sip on throughout the day.

What you need:

  • 6 cups apple cider (The less added ingredients the better!)
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 1 orange peel, cut into strips
  • 1 lemon peel, cut into strips

What to do:

  1. Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
  2. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold up the sides of the cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie it up with a length of kitchen string. Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.
  3. Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not boiling.
  4. Remove the cider from the heat. Discard the spice bundle. Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving if desired.


Alcohol-Free Hot Toddy – Yes, really!

Hot toddies have been around for a long time and used to treat colds and other ailments in a natural way. They even have anti-inflammatory properties which will help a lot post-surgery! They are traditionally made with whiskey but are still just as good even without it (we promise)

What you need:

  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 tsp ginger root, grated
  • 4-star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

What to do:

  1. Serves 2 generously.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a gentle boil.
  3. Place grated ginger, 2-star anise into a tea infuser set in a teapot. Pour boiling water over the infuser and allow the mixture to infuse for at least 7 minutes. Remove infuser from the teapot.
  4. Take out two large glasses or mugs (that will each hold two cups of water). Divide lemon juice between two glasses/mugs and add about 1 Tbsp of honey to each glass/mug. Divide hot toddy mixture from teapot between the two glasses/mugs and stir to combine with honey and lemon.
  5. Place a couple of slices of lemon into each glass/mug. For decoration, you can add another star anise, a couple more juniper berries and a cinnamon stick, as desired.

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