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Archive for November, 2009

The holidays are a time for gatherings, celebrations and also reflection. The Christians celebrate Christmas, the Jews Chanukah, the Buddhists Vesak, the Muslims Ramadan, and the Hindus Diwali.

But it is only Thanksgiving, this beautiful American holiday, that manages to bring all people of all faiths, political ideologies and nationalities together in common sentiment and very often at one common table.

As people sit together, bless the food and engage in jovial discussions about how yummy everything is, someone reaches across the table for an extra serving of sweet potato or slice of turkey and in this seemingly pragmatic gesture, that someone, in the spirit of this holiday marked by generosity, is also reaching across and bridging divides with a oneness of heart inspired by gratitude.

On this blessed day, I thank life itself for all the gifts that it bears. I am thankful for those individuals that touched my life but are no longer with me. I am thankful for the parents and grandparents, the family and friends, the loves that once were and the one yet to come, and I am most especially thankful for my child and all children for they are the keepers of our dreams and the keepers of a kinder and brighter world.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and should there be any one friend or friend to be, that does not have a Thanksgiving dinner to attend, I would very much LOVE to have you come to my home and share this holiday with me.

Nora

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Through the course of my entire life, or at least as far back as I can remember, I have had my mother, my aunt and at times my grandfather insist that I have chicken soup as a means to rid me of a bad cold.

I remember them tucking me under covers, being anointed with Vicks menthol on my chest and of course having a big bowl of homemade chicken soup. There was never much thought about it, I knew that soon after I would miraculously feel much better.

With the hysteria surrounding the swine flu and the heavily promoted H1N1 vaccine, I decided to look into the myth or validity of the healing powers of chicken soup especially since I opted not to vaccinate my child.

This is what I found: The most referenced origin to chicken soup as a means to heal a cold or flu goes back to the 12th Century when Moshe ben Mainmon, Egyptian physician and philosopher, recognized it as a remedy for cold symptoms and has since been dubbed the Jewish Penicillin.

Recent studies tell us why. Irwin Ziment, M.D., pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA School for Medicine, says chicken soup contains drug-like agents similar to those in modern cold medicines. An amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems. The chicken acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping relieve coughing and congestion. Other spices are often added to chicken soup such as garlic and pepper, both of which are ancient treatments for respiratory disease working the same way as modern cough medicines by thinning mucus and making breathing easier. The heat of the soup loosens congestion while the broth helps hydrate the body. Numerous vitamins are present depending on the various vegetables that you choose to add to the recipe.

So have some fun making chicken soup once per week as your most effective method of cold prevention. Experiment, try different recipes, decide on your favorite and send it to me. I will post it on the blog for all to enjoy.

Wishing you and your little ones a healthy winter season!
See my recipe below

Ingredients:

11/2 quarts chicken stock, organic if possible purchased at whole foods
1/4 lb chicken breast, remove most of skin, may leave a tiny bit of skin
2 cups of thinly sliced kale leaves
3/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of finely chopped scallion, white and green parts

In a dry 3 qt pan, cook chicken approximately 3-4 minutes or until it begins to brown. Remove chicken from pan.
In the same pan, add all vegetables, spices and broth. Cover pan cook in medium heat for approximately 7 minutes. Then reduce heat to low.
Simmer for 10 minutes, and add chicken back to pan. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender

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