The Blessings of Soup

It is March. It’s cold, it’s windy, and it’s pretty darn grey outside. At least it is here, in the northeast. At this time of year and really all winter, I am grateful for my high vitamin cod liver oil. The vitamin D content in this product turns this yucky liquid into “sunshine in a bottle” and really charges my battery. (Perhaps I will blog on that at a later date..) However, I am also truly grateful for my daily bowl of soup. I have been eating soup just about every day now for a couple of months. I make the stock according to the recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. It seems like I end up making chicken stock once every 10 days or so. Once it is finished brewing, I bottle it up in mason jars and store it in the fridge. When I am not so “soup crazed” then I store it in the freezer. Right now though, I am most definitely soup crazed and we go through stock very quickly.

Stock, whether beef or chicken needs to be made with bones in order to get real benefit from your soup. Please do not buy broth in a can or box. There is very little value to those products and it is so easy and so much more nutritious to make your own. It is also very economical. Before making your stock, purchase a free range organic chicken and roast it for dinner. If you don’t use all the meat from your chicken, remove the rest from the carcass and save for other meals (add to soup, chicken salad, etc..). Now use the carcass and the giblets along with carrots, celery, onion, etc… to make your stock! You just got 3 uses out of that 1 chicken that most likely was kind of pricey. If you use a whole chicken to make your stock then, once it is done simmering, remove all the meat from the carcass and save it to be used in a casserole or in enchiladas (my favorite!).

Properly prepared stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow, and vegetables. Raw apple cider vinegar added during cooking helps to draw out the minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and potassium. Another important component of homemade stock is gelatin. Gelatin acts as a digestive aid and in many cultures, soups and stocks have been consumed right before each meal in order to aid digestion. It has also been used in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, including GERD, colitis and Crohn’s  disease. It is known to feed, repair, and calm the lining of the small intestine. The use of gelatin-rich broth on a daily or frequent basis, provides continuous protection from many health problems. It’s no wonder it is often referred to as “Jewish penicillin”.  You must keep in mind though that it is only effective if the stock is made with the bones! The same magic does not occur with broth made only from the meat.

When I make myself a bowl of soup, I think about both the nutritive value of the ingredients that I add and the taste and texture of the finished product. A good bowl of soup can be quite a party for the mouth as well as a satisfying meal. No bread on the side is needed to complete the meal when the soup is made right. My daily soup routine began while I was doing the Standard Process Purification Program. At the time, it was important to get lots of good foods into me, feel satisfied, and not be hungry again for awhile.  This is the soup (minus the cheese) that I came up with while doing the cleanse and have continued to consume daily since it ended:

Serves 1

Into a 1 qt. saucepan:

fill about 2/3 full with homemade chicken stock

Add some real salt to your liking. (Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt – these products are full of minerals unlike white, iodized salt)

Add some pepper to your liking (I like a lot of heat!).

Add some leftover brown or wild rice – (whole grains – B vitamins, manganese, selenium, magnesium).

Some zucchini (good for the adrenal glands)

Some cauliflower (anti-cancer, good for the liver)

Add some leftover chicken (protein).

Gently heat.

Into your soup bowl (make sure it is a big one!):

Add some shredded red cabbage  (anti-cancer and many important nutrients)

Have the following garnishes ready:

The juice of 1 lime

Some chopped up cilantro – the more the better (cilantro is known to help remove heavy metals from your body )

A chopped up scallion/green onion

Some ripe avocado (good fat!)

Some grated raw cheese (I like cheddar)

Pour the hot soup over the cabbage and let sit for a few minutes. This will cook the cabbage just enough but, still give you some crunch. Then top with all of your garnishes. Fill free to play with this recipe. Be creative and report back to me your findings! Now I am hungry…… Good soup is one of the many blessings in my life and I hope it becomes one of yours.

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Pilgrims on a Path to Health or Pottenger’s Cats?

In my last post, I quoted Dr. Thomas Cowan, MD as having written that we as humans should be considered “…pilgrims on a path to health.” I have been thinking a lot about that statement in the past few days. How many people living in western cultures are actually on a pilgrimage to health and how many just accept the fact that they are victims or have bad genes and suffer through?

During last weeks lecture Dr. Cowan spoke of the Pottenger Cat study. I first learned of this study many many years ago and at the time, it really made my head spin. Learning of this study was the main catalyst that set me on the path that I am on now.

Dr. Pottenger was a pathologist who, I believe, was working out of the University of Southern California. He was aware of the important observations Dr. Weston A. Price was making of societies that had yet to be “touched” by denatured and processed foods. Dr. Pottenger wondered if he could recreate Dr. Prices’ findings with cats. The outcome of this 10 year study is truly astounding and I can’t help but wonder why more scientists and doctors do not see the value in this man’s work.

Dr. Pottenger first determined that the ideal diet for a cat would be raw cows milk, raw meat, and a teaspoon of cod liver oil every day. And indeed, this diet kept the cats, generation after generation, strong and healthy with shiny coats and beautiful teeth. They were playful and good natured until the day they died. Autopsies done on these cats showed no signs of disease.

Next, Dr. Pottenger started to mess around with the cats’ diet. First cooking the meat, then cooking (pasteurizing) the milk, then omitting the cod liver oil. And this is what happened:

  • The first generation of kittens born to the cats with the altered diet suffered from dental diseases, bone deformities, and a tendency toward infection.
  • The second generation of these cats suffered from endocrine problems and autoimmune diseases.
  • The third generation suffered from cancer, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and degenerative diseases that are prevalent today.
  • The fourth generation of cats were aggressive and anti-social and exhibited personality changes. They also were showing signs of infertility

At this point, you can probably see why this study turned my world upside down. It was my, ” AH HA!” moment. All that I saw health wise, going on around us, made perfect sense. I have always said, “Don’t fool with mother nature, or else she will fool with you!”

Dr. Cowan also pointed to two interesting studies. The first done by the World Health Organization that claims that by 2020  40% of the population will have a diagnosable mental health problem. He also noted recent studies that show that today, 25% of American couples have some sort of issue with fertility (Infertility is a booming business these days!)

I know that we are not cats and I am not recommending a raw food diet for humans but, only real food will create real health. There are no ifs, ands, or buts….

How much real food do you consume in a day? If you are picking up packages and reading labels to find out then I think that you are probably not eating too much unprocessed, real food. I have been on a pilgrimage to health for most of my life. At times, it has been a struggle. I figure that I came into this world at the equivalent of the 2nd or 3rd generation of Pottenger’s Cats. Dr. Pottenger also wanted to see if he could reverse the trend for these kitties and started to feed these sick cats their proper diet once again. I believe that it took twice as long (!!!) to reverse the damage done by the denatured food. Twice as long!!!! Dr. Cowan pointed out that the path most people are on is a “very systematic deterioration leading to the species unable to reproduce itself.”

Now, I ask you, are you a pilgrim on a path to health or are you content hanging out with “Pottenger’s cats”?

 

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Choices

My first official post is going to be about choice. After all, “choice” is the theme of my website and blog. It seems like an appropriate place to start.

Every morning when we wake up, there are many choices to be made. Will I get up with the alarm or stay in bed for awhile? Will I exercise this morning, wait until later, or just forget about it for today? Will I make myself a nutritious breakfast or grab something at the coffee shop? Will I spend a little more money on groceries this week for real food that will nourish me and my family or spend less money on “food impostors” that do little more than fill one’s belly and tantalize the taste buds? Am I willing to make small sacrifices throughout the day that will ultimately lead me to live a healthier life.

At times, when I think about it too much, the choices seem overwhelming. I always want to do the right thing but, sometimes it is just not possible or practical. I want to set a good example for my children, my friends, and my clients but in reality there is just too much to think about. Too many right things to do! I discovered long ago that ignorance can be bliss but I also have learned that being ignorant can lead to an unhealthy mind, body, soul, and planet. I choose the little bit of stress that knowledge brings about. Stress can be good sometimes and once new practices become routine the stress goes away! Funny how that happens. It’s also important for me to pick and choose what is priority.

As many of you know. I read many great blogs. Almost all of them are inspired by the Weston A. Price Foudation and the diet that is recommended. I just don’t know how these amazing people have the time to prepare all the wonderful foods that they blog about. I am envious for sure! I tend to keep the menu around here quite simple for many reasons. I may not be able to the make time for everything that I would like to do but, I do understand the value of a properly prepared sauerkraut and since it is not a priority for me to “take care of a fermenting jar of cabbage”, I will pay a premium price for one. Real sauerkraut is very good for the gut AND I like the idea that I am supporting a local small business. (More about sauerkraut in a future post)

I am currently taking a class being given by Dr. Thomas  S. Cowan MD. The class is based on his book The Fourfold Path to Healing. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it. Over the next few weeks, you can be sure that I will be sharing some of what I learn. Today, I include two quotes from the first two chapters:

“Primitive man spent much of his effort engaging in hunting, foraging and food preparation; modern man eats on the run and devotes almost no time or thought to his food. The very first lesson to be learned about feeding the physical body is that food preparation can not be left to others, especially not to large corporations whose motive is profit, not quality. The challenge to modern men and women involves melding a certain amount of time for food preparation and meals into a busy life-style along with a recognition that the way we cook and eat has a profound effect on the quality of our life, our state of health and the nourishment of the mind and soul.”

“We have lost faith in this amazing organism, the human being, to overcome its own illnesses, and we have forgotten that true healing involves education and change. In the process, the joy has gone out of the practice of medicine, and patients have been relegatd to the status of mere victims, rather than pilgrims on the path to health.”

Every choice we make from the moment we wake up in the morning to when we meet our pillows again at night, has an effect on either our mental, physical, or spiritual health. When any one of these is not in balance with the others, illness may set in. What choices will you make today?

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My New Blog!!!!

Hello to Everyone – especially those who follow my Facebook Page. Welcome to my new blog, which will soon be linked to my website (www.ChristinasHealthyChoices.com)! I am excited (and a bit nervous) to be starting this new journey. I am hoping that I have enough to say to sustain  a blog and I am also hoping that with the blog, I will be able to write a bit more extensively and also share and store some of my favorite recipes. I will also branch out a bit regarding the topics I generally cover. Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family and if they enjoy it and find it to be of value, encourage them to subscribe. Feel free to comment and let me know some of the health related/food related topics that you are curious about. I would love to hear from you!

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