Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Foods to Soothe and Heal

Happy New Year!  I hope you are armed with intentions, a plan and support.  And, if you're in the northeast, a warm coat!  New Year's Day had temperatures in the 50's, a truly lovely day.  Today, it's in the 30's and windy.  I'm also fighting a cold and I feel chillier than usual.  Days like this call for warm, soothing and healing foods.

There is comfort in soups and stews this time of year.  They're filling, delicious and make us feel cared for.  But did you know soups and stews also help our immune systems and fight infections?   There is a reason our mothers and grandmothers made us chicken soup when we were sick.  Onions and garlic are great fighters and help our immune system kill bacteria.  Carrots provide a good dose of vitamin A which helps keep the immune system strong.  The broth itself is full of minerals and are easily absorbed by the body in this form.  If you add in a dark leafy green (such as spinach or escarole) you get a powerhouse of antioxidants, immune boost and relief for congestion.  You'd have to take an awful lot of pills to achieve the same result...

I made a quick stew for lunch today.  I kept looking at the ingredients for a smoothie but it was really just to cold to drink one for lunch.  Instead I took stock of my fridge and found that I had some andouille chicken sausage, zucchini, greens, mushrooms, chicken broth and, from the freezer, a brown, red and black rice medley.  It all cooked pretty quickly on the stove top and I had a warm filling lunch with foods that would boost my immune system.  Pretty good for a dish that took less than 15 minutes to make.

A little side note:  when you buy sausage, bacon, and other cured meats look for meats that do not contain MSG and other nitrates.  There are arguments that the nitrates lead to cancer and to heart disease.  I know there are arguments that say this is not ture but you don't need to take that risk.

If you would like to work with me to improve your health, stamina or vitality send me an email at:  janinemchale@empoweredplate.com.  Together we will create a plan that is fun, effective and designed specifically for you.  I can also be reached at my website:  http://empoweredplate.com/.

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