Chicken Soup for the Body and Soul

It’s the day after Christmas, a winter wonderland outside and I am still in my jammies…pleased that today I will cook some delicious, deeply-warming chicken soup. There’s nothing better than smelling soup cooking in the kitchen.

A whole chicken with lots of root veggies was yesterday’s holiday dinner. While my hubby and I were cleaning up the kitchen, I placed the whole chicken carcass into a large pot of water, added a splash of vinegar, a piece of kombu seaweed and some seasalt. Once the broth began to boil, I lowered it and it simmered overnight. It’s cool enough now for me to take the meat off the carcass, freeze some of the broth and make chicken soup with the rest.

According to Hanna Kroeger in Ageless Remedies from Mother’s Kitchen, chicken soup has a natural ingredient which feeds, repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine. This lining is easily pulled away from the intestine through too many laxatives, too many food additives and parasites. Chicken soup heals the nerves, improves digestion and reduces allergies.

Meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage and marrow that are very easy to assimilate. Adding vinegar during cooking helps to draw minerals out of the bones. When my friend, Lynne, was really ill, she drank my bone broth throughout the day and reported that it gave her great strength.

In folk wisdom, chicken soup is a valued remedy for colds and flu. Moses Maimonides, a 12th century physician, prescribed chicken broth as a treatment for colds and asthma. Gelatin-rich broth does indeed strengthen the immune system.

Dr. Francis Pottenger believed the stockpot was the most important piece of equipment to have in one’s kitchen. I must say that I love my big stainless pot and all the medicinal food I cook in it.

There’s nothing instant about chicken soup. It needs to simmer to become medicinal. It is so worth taking time and putting effort into making chicken stocks. What an intentional way to take care of yourself and your family’s health and well-being.

Chicken soup…grandmother’s medicine for whatever ails you!

Cordyceps-Medicinal Mushroom Extraordinaire

CORDYCEPS gained fame when Chinese Olympic athletes in 1993 credited their successes to taking this mushroom. After winning 3 Gold medals and breaking 5 world records for woman’s running as well as other track records the team was tested for steroids. The results were negative but the coach admitted to giving the entire team Cordyceps mushrooms. Yeah, baby, these mushrooms rock!

This mushroom is not symbiotic with a tree, like most other medicinal mushrooms. This fungus lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountain regions of China and Tibet. Since we don’t want to wipe this caterpillar out of existence, we should be pleased that Cordyceps reproduces in the laboratory, grown on organic cultivated grains. (so they are vegetarian friendly)

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cordyceps fungus is touted as an effective herb for improving circulation, the respiratory system, immune system and sexual function. Because of its ability to improve energy, stamina, appetite, endurance and sleeping patterns, Cordyceps has also been classified as a general health tonic.

This medicinal mushroom is recommended for people who feel short of breath, achy, or depressed from overwork, pollution and bad dietary habits. Cordyceps may improve immunity by stimulating cells in the immune system. This mushroom may also be beneficial against cancer cells and may shrink tumor size, particularly with lung or skin cancers.

How wonderful that Cordyceps has displayed a capacity to lower a person’s bad LDL cholesterol as they raise the good stuff, the HDL cholesterol level. This mushroom seems to stop the bad LDL cholesterol from oxidation as it thins out the blood to thwart plaque formation or clotting, both of which can clog blood vessels. Since Cordyceps is a potent antioxidant, it assists the body of ridding itself of free radical activity that can lead to early aging and degenerative illnesses.

This medicinal mushroom, touted for its effectiveness as an aphrodisiac, is highly sought after as a sexual tonic. Word on the street is that Cordyceps works like herbal Viagra, improving libido in both women and men. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21 women who were experiencing sexual frustration were given Cordyceps and 90% reported improvements in libido and sexual health compared with none in the control group. Wow. Yeah Cordyceps!

I’ve eaten dried Cordyceps mushrooms and they taste like cardboard, expensive cardboard. An easier way to ingest them is to drink tea.
Cordyceps is a robust ingredient in MycoMama’s Medicinal Mushroom Medley Tea. Blending this Medley with honey, coconut oil, boiling water and (nut or dairy) milk, is a great way to get a good energy fix and get your sexual mojo churning at the same time!

MycoMama also makes a very-affordable, easy-to-use, libido-raising double-extracted Cordyceps tincture.

Pull Your Ears!

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Did you know the Chinese have used ear reflexology via acupressure and acupuncture for thousands of years to address all kinds of health issues? Ayurvedic medicine has known for centuries that the marma or energy points in your ears connect to your organs and whole body.

Rubbing, pulling, gently twisting, unrolling, and massaging your ears stimulates these energy points. Touching your own ears feels pleasurable since it triggers the release of brain endorphins that help you feel nurtured.

Take a few moments and give your ears a good workout. This is awesome to do before sitting at the computer. Use your fingers to rub and massage every inch of your outer ears. Move towards the center of your ear, massaging all the tricky hard to get at places.

Gently roll and unroll your ear flaps slightly, then massage deeply behind your ears into the ridge that connects your ear to your skull. If you notice some areas of your ears are sore or sensitive to touch, spend a bit more time lightly massaging those places.

Take your earlobes between your thumb and forefinger and lightly pull downwards. Your earlobes are energetically linked to your brain. As you massage the right ear lobe, it allows the left brain and pituitary gland to become stimulated. When you massage the left ear lobe, it allows the right brain and pineal gland to become stimulated, which gives you a whole brain experience.

‘When we talk about settling the world’s problems, we’re barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It has always been a mess. We are not going to change it. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.’ Joseph Campbell

Spontaneous Celebration!

Free from adult responsibilities, children are naturally joyful much of the time.  Maybe you’ve forgotten that as a child you were freer and perhaps more joyful.  I can almost hear you say, I’d be joyful now too if I didn’t have all these responsibilities!” 

Unlike us, children don’t lug around the past or contemplate the future.  Children are present-tense critters; they occupy the present; right here, right now. Left to themselves, they are quite content with the present moment.  In our perpetual state of busyness, we can often overlook this natural state of contentment.   Children have a lot to teach us!

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Today!  Have a spontaneous celebration of life!  Pull out a birthday candle and put it smack dab in the middle of your pancake, cornbread, or whatever else you are eating.  If you are a parent, look into your child’s surprised face as you light the candle.  Decide that even if this seems silly, life is to be celebrated. and you are celebrating, right here, right now!  Feel the power of deciding to celebrate the present moment.  Remember that this day is a gift.  That’s why they call it the present!

How are you celebrating this day?

~There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.  Rumi~

 

Dance with the Birds!

My adorable two-year-old granddaughter, Lyla Rain, and I had bath time while we toddler-talked about noses, ears, and little toes.  Afterwards, we took pails full of tub water out to water the garden. As I conservatively watered, Lyla was splashing the water everywhere.  Suddenly a flock of Pinyon jays flew right over our heads. As it passed, Lyla spontaneously began cooing and cawing and screeching. Whether she was imitating their song or calling to them, I’m not sure.

Her sounds were loud and uninhibited.  As her wide-eyed cherubic face lit up like the rays of the sun, she danced around — celebrating her experience of the flight of the flock. Unselfconsciously and exuberantly she sang her elation. Energetically, I could feel her become one with the birds, and I swear I wouldn’t have been surprised if she sprouted wings, spread them out, and took flight.

I was moved to tears by her presence and by her immediate declaration of delight of that which was happening in the here and now.  Even her water play took second place. As she looked to me, still flapping her little arms, I could hear her wonder, “Why aren’t you singing and dancing, Nana?”  Right then and there, I became aware of how adult I am.  Did I ever have that exuberation?  I’m not sure, but I sure want it now, don’t you?

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Find some music that you enjoy, put it on loud, even louder!… and dance. Dance like there is nothing to do, nowhere to go.  Dance like this is the last and only opportunity you will ever have to dance. Dance with freedom and joy. Make some noise, if you feel so inclined.  Now, Lyla Rain wants to know…don’t you feel better? 

What music do you love to dance to?

~Now there’s nothing left but to keep dancing.  Author Unknown~

Reach out and Touch Someone!

Are you aware of the benefits of oxytocin?!  Referred to as the love or trust hormone, oxytocin is being touted as a crucial brain chemical that helps keep psychological and physiological problems at bay.  One of the best things to know about oxytocin is that you can get an easy fix anywhere at any time.  All you need to do is simply touch someone!  The simple act of touching bare skin causes your brain to release low levels of oxytocin — both in you AND the person you are touching!  More good news is that this effect lingers after the contact.  It is said that oxytocin levels rise when you gaze at someone you love, so start staring at those you care about!

Offering a compliment to someone increases your level of oxytocin.  Receiving a compliment also increases this hormone.  What is even more outrageous is that hearing someone compliment someone else will raise YOUR oxytocin level!  How amazingly great is that?!

My daughter and I used to play a silly game.  I would touch her and say “thank you” for something she did.  She would touch me as she said “thank you for thanking me” to which I would touch her and respond “thank you for thanking me for thanking you.”  We would continue our touchy-feely thank-you game until we would be laughing at the pure silliness of it.  Oxytocin Heaven!

HRW_SFSC_orangeToday, reach out and touch someone as you thank him or her for something.  Remember the touching part is important.  You only need to touch his or her bare hand as you say thank you.  You will elevate her oxytocin, your oxytocin, and perhaps that of someone who is watching your interaction!

How do you elevate your oxytocin?

~The eyes experience less stress when they look upon a wider horizon.  R. D. Chin~

 

Reach out and Touch Someone!

HRW_SFSC_orangeAre you aware of the benefits of oxytocin?!  Referred to as the love or trust hormone, oxytocin is being touted as a crucial brain chemical that helps keep psychological and physiological problems at bay.  One of the best things to know about oxytocin is that you can get an easy fix anywhere at any time.  All you need to do is simply touch someone!  The simple act of touching bare skin causes your brain to release low levels of oxytocin — both in you AND the person you are touching!  More good news is that this effect lingers after the contact.  It is said that oxytocin levels rise when you gaze at someone you love, so start staring at those you care about!

Offering a compliment to someone increases your level of oxytocin.  Receiving a compliment also increases this hormone.  What is even more outrageous is that hearing someone compliment someone else will raise YOUR oxytocin level!  How amazingly great is that?!

My daughter and I used to play a silly game.  I would touch her and say “thank you” for something she did.  She would touch me as she said “thank you for thanking me” to which I would touch her and respond “thank you for thanking me for thanking you.”  We would continue our touchy-feely thank-you game until we would be laughing at the pure silliness of it.  Oxytocin Heaven!

Today, reach out and touch someone as you thank him or her for something.  Remember the touching part is important.  You only need to touch his or her bare hand as you say thank you.  You will elevate her oxytocin, your oxytocin, and perhaps that of someone who is watching your interaction!

~The eyes experience less stress when they look upon a wider horizon.  R. D. Chin~

Spoon Your Feet?!

More from my new book: Get Grounded!

Do you ever feel a little scattered and ungrounded?  As silly as it sounds, spooning the bottom of your feet with a stainless steel spoon helps ground your energy to the earth.  It helps establish a strong electro-magnetic connection between the metal in your blood and the planet you live on.

Spooning your feet is a wonderful thing to do when you feel light-headed or have been around lots of electronics or other strong energetic fields.  Working in front of a computer screen all day or flying in a plane can really scatter your energies, and this simple strategy can help you land again.

Spoon your feet if:  You feel ungrounded.  Your feet are sore.  You’ve been out of contact with the earth for a while.  You are exposed to electronics.  You change time zones.  You feel light-headed or not in your body.

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Let’s do it!  Find a stainless steel spoon and rub the bottom of your bare feet with the back of it. Make figure eight patterns or circles.   Rubbing the spoon across the bottom of your foot for about 1 minute encourages solid grounding.  This is a great little exercise to add to your everyday routine, especially if you suffer from sore or aching feet.  ~Your task is not to seek for love, but to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built up against it.  Rumi~

EarthBound

 

Research indicates that electrons from the earth have antioxidant effects that are able to protect your body from inflammation and its many well-documented health consequences. Most of us have lost contact with the Earth since substances like asphalt, wood, rugs, and plastics separate us from this needed contact.

It is known that the earth maintains a negative electrical charge on its surface. When you are in direct contact with the ground by walking, sitting, or lying on the earth’s surface, the earth’s electrons are conducted towards your body, bringing it to the same electrical potential as the earth. Living in direct contact with the earth grounds your body, inducing favorable physiological and electro-physiological changes that promote optimum health.

Your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by bare skin contact with the Earth.

Multiple studies document that connecting to the Earth improves many stress-related conditions.

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Find a quiet place and sit or lie down on the earth.

Tune into your breathing and notice the rising and falling of your chest as your breath enters and exits.

Give yourself as many minutes as you can to absorb this life-sustaining energy.

Carry this earthy energy with you into the rest of your day.

~Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows. Nisargadatta Maharaj~

Bare Those Feet!

I just moved to a beautiful piece of land 30 minutes north of Santa Fe, La Cueva Creek. It was a dry little arroyo creek bed when we arrived, but it’s been raining for about five days now. The rain has turned this dry creek bed into a raging river, so full that it took out part of the dirt road that goes to my house. So, I’ve been kind of stranded, if you will, but in a good way. It has helped me to really appreciate the energy of the land and has given me time to stop and feel the earth under my feet. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, at the bottom of the foot there’s a point at the beginning of the kidney meridian called the wellspring of life or gushing spring. It’s this point which really helps to establish our connection to the earth, to feel safe and less fearful. Energy from the earth is carried up the kidney meridian, to other meridians, supporting our health and well-being. As I stand barefoot outside on our land, the moisture is palpable, and the air is clean and crisp. As I take a deep breath and bring my awareness to my feet, I can feel an exchange of energy happening between me and our planet. I feel grateful for the connection I have (we all have) to the earth. I believe if we could see this energy, and some can, we would see our gushing spring well up to overflowing. We would see that just like we have a relationship with trees (what we exhale, they thrive on and vice versa), we have a very real relationship with the earth. This exchange is what we refer to when we speak about earthing or grounding. When we get wrapped up in our heads – thinking, thinking, thinking, we need to be outside. We are all healthier with a good dose of earth-touch

. HRW_SFSC_orange Find a piece of earth, somewhere, anywhere near where you live. Remove your shoes and socks and stand on that earth. Bring your attention to the bottom of your feet, to your gushing spring. Imagine you are a tree and that roots grow from your feet, anchoring you to the earth. Feel how strongly rooted you are to the earth as you stand there. As you go on about your day, remember, no matter what happens your roots are there to help you stay grounded. Like a tree, you will be flexible and able to withstand the storms that come your way, because you are aware of the relationship you have with the planet. Stay in tune with this relationship by walking barefoot as much as you possibly can. ~The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lao Tzu~