Easy Anti-Inflammatory Soup

Easy Anti-Inflammatory Soup

These past couple of months, my husband and I have been enjoying making a chicken soup that provides lots of health related benefits for us. Today I am going to share it with you all!

Lots of healthy goodies!

My husband has IBS so we try to make things that do not make his symptoms worse. He is also very sensitive to salt so we have to take that into consideration too.

All of the ingredients are very healthy and nourishing. The following is a list of some of them and their benefits:

  • Lemongrass- Lots of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, helps with GI distress
  • Ginger- Anti-inflammatory, helps with GI distress, immune system boosting
  • Turmeric- Anti-inflammatory, immune system boosting, pain relief, helps with GI distress
  • Cayenne pepper– Helps with GI distress/digestive health, pain relief, clearing congestion
  • Cumin- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Coriander- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Cilantro leaves- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Carrots- Higher in carbs than other vegetables but still provide lots of vitamin A and are great for the immune system.
  • Bell peppers- high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C, immune system boosting, high in antioxidants
  • Mushrooms- These are higher up on the FODMAP scale but if you one can handle them, they are worth eating (if you like the taste that is). They contain good sources of vitamin D, selenium and are great for the immune system.

Why are there no onions and garlic in the soup?

We do love onions but it unfortunately causes my husband to have what he calls, “dumping syndrome.”

He gets the shits. Other people with IBS can probably relate.

In terms of garlic-he is allergic to it. So, we definitely can not use that in the food we both want to eat.

If you like these two things, feel free to add them into the soup if you choose to make it! I am sure it will be absolutely delicious.

The recipe

Nothing about the seasonings is that exact because quite frankly, we really do not keep track of how much of what we put into it. We go by taste alone.

Here it is:

Ingredients-

  • 6-8 pounds of chicken, cut into small chunks
  • 3 liters of unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 pounds of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large bell peppers, chopped
  • 16 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 2.5 cans of coconut milk
  • Seasonings- ginger powder, lemongrass powder (or paste), turmeric, garlic, cumin, coriander, cilantro (leaves), cayenne powder, onion powder and potassium salt (has less sodium).

Directions-

  1. Cook cut up chicken pieces in some oil. Set aside.
  2. Put the chicken stock, veggies and seasonings to taste into a large pot. Heat on low heat for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  5. Serve with more cilantro on top, rice, naan or whatever you want!

This makes a good amount of soup so it can be frozen if you are not going to finish it in a reasonable amount of time.

Customize it any way you like!

Stay healthy everyone

We should all be putting healthy foods into our bodies at least once in a while- especially with this pandemic going on. This soup is just another one of the many meal ideas out there that will provide you with some great nutrients.

Thanks for reading!

#cooking #nutrition #soup #diet #health #covid19 #familylife #herbs

Looking for Ways to Boost Your Immune System? See what I am Doing for Mine!

Looking for Ways to Boost Your Immune System? See what I am Doing for Mine!

This pandemic has left me extremely nervous and anxious due to the severity of the virus. Because of this, I want to make sure that my immune system is in tip-top shape.

If you want to boost your immune system too…read on! This post may give you some ideas.

The supplements I take daily

I have done a lot of reading on supplements and herbs that show some ability to help strengthen the immune system. This is something I started doing around the time I opened my home daycare business (kids are full of germs!).

I began taking three supplements that I thought would help me get sick less and I have recently increased that amount.

Here is what I take currently and how much:

  1. Ginger capsules (Nature’s Way brand)- Two a day for a total of 1,100 mg
  2.  Colostrum capsules (Jarrow’s brand)- Two a day for a total of 1,000 mg
  3.  Probiotics (Align brand)- One per day
  4. Vitamin C with rosehips (NOW brand)- One per day for a total of 1 gram (see my post on rosehips: Are Rosehips Beneficial For Us? Let’s See What The Studies Say!)
  5. Vitamin D3 (Smart For Life brand)- Two gummies per day for a total of 2,000 IU
  6. Oil of Oregano (Puritan’s Pride brand)- Three soft-gels per day for total of 450 mg (see my post on oil of oregano: Boosting Immunity: Oil of Oregano)
  7. Melatonin- 2 mg in the evening
  8. Turmeric powder- Four teaspoons a day ( see my post on turmeric use: I Hopped on the Turmeric Trend and Here Is Why!)
  9. Green tea- Four cups a day
  10. Cayenne pepper- Not sure the exact amount but I shake a lot on my food and tea.
  11. Broccoli (my favorite thing to eat believe it or not!)- Full of vitamin C. I have two servings or more per day.
  12. Zinc lozenges- Six per day
  13. Garlic- In powder form, on my food (lots!)

These things are not guaranteed to help but so far, they are not hurting me. I am going to keep taking them indefinitely.

The things I do daily

Peppermint infused water to breath in

Supplements and nutrition are not the only things that could potentially strengthen our immune systems.

Here is a list of things that I do each day for my health:

  1. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night
  2. If the weather is nice, I go into my backyard for one hour to soak up even more vitamin D
  3. Hot water breathing- I heat up water until it is boiling, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it and then breath the steam in. I do this once in the evening while listening to one of my favorite podcasts.
  4. Exercise- I exercise six times a week.

What I want to add into my day

I am really interested in the benefits that I could gain from doing meditation during the day. My thought is that some stress relieving mental exercises early in the day would be helpful for me.

Being extremely stressed, worried, anxious, depressed etc. all the time can do some damage to our immune systems. It is important to me that I reduce the negative emotions I feel on a daily basis.

I want us all to be as healthy as possible

I hate this virus! I want everyone (including me) to kick its butt if it gets near! That means being able to fight it off well enough that we do not end up with a severe form of it or to just not get it at all.

I hope that what I am doing will help me in some sort of way. If you choose to take/do anything on one of my lists, I hope it helps you too.

What are you doing right now for your immune system during this pandemic? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#stayathome   #covid19   #immunesystem   #supplements  #health  #wegotthis

Are Rosehips Beneficial For Us? Let’s See What The Studies Say!

Are Rosehips Beneficial For Us? Let’s See What The Studies Say!

Good stuff!

I am really guilty of buying and trying out supplements. You can probably tell that if you read my other posts. These things are just so interesting to learn about!

I along with other people are taking risks by buying and consuming them. Just because they are natural does not mean they are safer. I realize this.

To be honest, I don’t think I am going to stop taking the ones I do take though. I have not had any adverse effects.

I was putting on my rosehip oil the other day and thought about the fact that I have used/ingested those things quite a bit in my life. I have also had them in the form of tea, juice, jellies and they are also in the vitamin C tablets I have recently started taking. Because of this, I wanted to do some further investigating on them!

In this post, I will discuss rosehips and share my research findings on them.

What they are and what’s in them

Rosehips are produced by roses after they bloom and fade. They look like little apples which is probably due to the fact that roses are in the same plant family as them.

They can be used in cooking and have a strong, tart flavor. An example of a recipe with them is rosehip soup ( see here: https://www.sarabackmo.com/recipes/homemade-swedish-rosehip-soup/). This soup is very popular in Sweden.

You can find many other recipes that call for them as an ingredient. These can range from sweet to savory dishes, sides and drinks. They can be used fresh or be dried out Here is a webpage showing some great recipes to try: https://www.growforagecookferment.com/rose-hip-recipes/

Rosehips contain healthy constituents just like a lot of other plants/herbs. These include the following:

  1. Very high amounts of vitamin C
  2. Flavonoids
  3. High amounts of antioxidants
  4. Vitamin A
  5. Vitamin E
  6. Fatty acids
  7. Dietary fibers
  8. Carotenoids (provides the red coloring that they have)

One can grow them or buy them in powder, tea bag, oil, capsule/tablet (supplement blend) or whole form.

What the research says

Anti-inflammatory and pain relief seem to be a particularly strong benefit of rosehips. There are multiple studies stating that there is a tremendous use for it to help people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and general joint pain.

The skin-related benefits of rosehips (topical) had just as strong of evidence behind it. The antioxidants combined with the vitamins (C, A and E) caused there to be a decrease in wrinkle depth, reduction in melanin content and an increase in skin elasticity in study participants.

Anti-inflammatory properties of rosehips helped with the treatment of atopic dermatitis in a couple of studies. Also, the carotenoids that give them their color, provide some UV protection.

I came across some sites saying that rosehips had anti-diabetic and anti-obesity benefits. Unfortunately, the studies I found had very weak results. This was especially true when it came to the reduction of blood glucose levels. There was some evidence showing that the intake of rosehips (capsule and tea) prevented and reduced body fat but this was only in mice.

In one study, the participants ingested rosehips on a daily basis in the form of tea. This resulted in a significant decrease in bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. There were some mild GI side effects noted in the study participants (loose stools and stomach upset) though.

Possible neurological benefits were noted but the evidence for it was weak. The studies found that the flavonoids in rosehips may have anti-epileptic and anti-Alzheimer’s effects.

Just like a lot of plants, rosehips have some anti-cancer possibilities as per a few studies.  This may be due to the antioxidants and phytochemicals that they contain. It is important to note that due to them having isoflavone phyto-estrogens, they may actually promote breast cancer growth which is not a good thing.

Anti-microbial and anti-bacterial benefits were found with the supplementation of rosehips. This was particularly of value when it came to ulcers. They decreased the risk and severity of them in the study participants.

Another thing it may have the power to do is act as an anti-HIV agent. The researchers believe that this is due to its ability to boost the immune system and its anti-infective properties.

Rosehips can cause bad interactions with some medications which is important to be aware of. These medications include Lithium (used for bipolar disorder), warfarin (used for blood clotting disorder), Doxycycline (an antibiotic) and Aspirin. Also, researchers don’t know much about how it may affect women who are pregnant and breastfeeding, so it is best to avoid it in those cases.

Aside from the possible GI symptoms mentioned before in one of the studies, there are some others to watch out for. These include headaches, insomnia and kidney stones. This usually only happens if too much is ingested.

So, is it worth a try?

That is a decision you need to make yourself! The scientific evidence sure sounds good when it comes to certain health effects. Just like other supplements, there needs to be more studies done for a definitive answer on whether they do any good.

Rosehips do seem to have pretty strong evidence behind it for the treatment of arthritis and joint pain. There are also a lot of anecdotal evidence available to read regarding the health benefits of them which may help your decision making. Also, remember to take heed of the side effects and interactions.

If not used in supplement form (capsules, powders) or for beauty care, they can be used for delicious recipes. Or you can just brew up a nice cup of hot rosehip tea and get a healthy does of vitamin C!

Have you used rosehips before (in recipes, as a supplement, in teas, for beauty purposes etc.)? What are your thoughts on them?

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5485961/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4655903/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22762068

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18407528

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3892499/

https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12986-016-0151-5

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3343291/

https://www.dovepress.com/bioactive-ingredients-of-rose-hips-rosa-canina-l-with-special-referenc-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-BTAT

https://www.thespruce.com/what-are-rose-hips-and-what-do-they-do-1403046

#rosehips  #roses  #supplements  #beautycare   #skincare   #pain  #arthritis  #nutrition  #vitamins  #antioxidants

Exercise/Nutrition During Pregnancy And A New Recipe

Exercise/Nutrition During Pregnancy And A New Recipe

Related image

We all know that exercise is important for a healthy life. That means that when a woman is pregnant, they should still be exercising if they are able to. It will help in getting back into great shape after the pregnancy and dropping the pounds that were gained.

I know that in the first trimester (or for the entire pregnancy!) there can be mild to severe morning sickness or even Hyperemesis Gravidarum. In these cases I feel like finding the things that make one feel better is the more important than anything else.

When I was in my first trimester I had really bad evening (8:00 PM) sickness. Since that was the time that I was used to exercising, I had to adjust and try to exercise in the morning or earlier in the evening.

I was doing weight lifting until around 33 weeks and then I switched to body weight because I was getting uncomfortable. My belly really popped all of the sudden at 37 weeks and I felt like a complete whale.

I have seen women on social media showing themselves lifting weights at like 38 weeks pregnant. That is good for them but I would suggest for women to do what works for them and not feel bad if they do not feel comfortable enough to do that in the gym.

Nutrition during pregnancy

There is a big list of things to avoid eating as well as putting on your skin when you are pregnant. It is good to be aware of these things because you need to keep your baby and yourself from harm.

Admittedly, I did not follow the whole caffeine avoidance thing. I realize now that it could have really harmed my son and if I am ever pregnant again, I will try to give it up completely.  I just felt so incredibly tired and did not know how get any energy to work.

The cravings I had during pregnancy were banana bread and pizza. These are obviously not very healthy especially given the quantities I ate them in. I did manage to keep my weight gain at 25 pounds total for the whole pregnancy somehow. The OB/GYN scolded me for that even though it was within the recommendation range.

I do not think a women should feel ashamed if they gain more than the recommended 25-30 pounds during pregnancy. Even if a woman gains 150 pounds, they can still lose the weight after they give birth. It just might take some time and effort or it could even fall off quickly!

My new recipe

This has nothing to do with pregnancy but I decided to add it in the post.

I got up super early this morning and felt like baking for whatever reason. Homemade donuts sounded like a good thing to make for the family. There was some buttermilk in the refrigerator that was still good so I wanted to use that as my wet ingredient.

Since I am all about cooking with tea, I decided to put four Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea bags into one cup of the buttermilk. I let that steep for 30 minutes and squeezed out the bags afterwards to get more of the tea into it. I then poured it in my bowl with the other ingredients (one egg, flour, salt, baking powder, butter, sugars, almond extract and vanilla extract) that were already mixed together.

I put the dough in a donut pan and cooked it at 400 degrees for 11 minutes. The result looked like this:

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Not quite donut-like but still wonderful! We can really taste the soft flavor of the tea in every bite. The texture of them is light and fluffy. I tried to make purple icing for them but it came out really bitter. It does not matter though because they are so great on their own.