Thursday, December 3, 2009

Health is Wealth

Last week's post contained lots of tips about having healthy holidays. The tips focused on portion control, loading up on veggies, etc. However, the list took for granted that you were already "healthy" to begin with.

This ended up not being the case for fiance B (or B-iance if you will) who got hit with a bad cold that reached its worst on Turkey day itself. The poor guy had to sniffle his way through the big meal.

There has been lots of talk about colds and "the flu" in the past few months. To get the immunization or not to. Should I wash my hands for the length of the Happy Birthday song or is a squirt of hand sanitizer enough? Apparently even frat houses are foregoing their beer pong games in fear of the swine.

I think that the best way to avoid sickness this holiday season is simply to keep your immune system strong. This means eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, keeping your stress level down and getting plenty of sleep.

So, here is your in. Wellness prescription for health:

1. Sleep. 8 hours a night (I know this can be hard. I am going on 5 hours as I write this... future post coming on sleep issues).

2. De-Stress. It doesn't need to be complicated. Many people feel they don't have the time for yoga, or the discipline for meditation. Here is a simple breathing exercise you can use in stressful moments, or as a prevention tool.

Slowly inhale for the count of four (1.... 2....3....4....)
Retain the breath for the count of seven (1...2....3...4...5...6...7...)
Slowly exhale for the count of eight (1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8....) Try to make the exhale last for the full 8 counts.

Repeat 2-3 times.

Try it now.

This exercise can be done when stuck in traffic, before making a stressful phone call or as you lay in bed before you go to sleep. Your breath is a powerful tool, use it!

3. Make this soup. B's mom made it for me several months back and I knew right away that it had to be shared on the blog, I was just waiting for the perfect time. This soup is packed with immune boosting nutrients and it's super delicious and cozy.


6 cups chicken or veg. broth

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tb. minced ginger root

1 Tsp. light soy sauce

1/2 c chopped water chestnuts

1/2 c bamboo shoots

1/4 c chopped broccoli florets

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 carrot shredded

3/4 c  sliced mushrooms

1 c sliced celery

1/2 c chopped snow peas or frozen green peas

1/4 c shredded spinach (I use frozen)

1 c rice (cooked, brown or white)

3 scallions

pinch black pepper

1.  Heat 1/2 c broth in large pot over high heat.  When boiling, add onion, garlic, ginger root.  Cook 3 minutes.
2.  Add soy sauce and remaining 5 1/2c broth. Heat to boiling.
3.  Add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, broccoli, green pepper, carrot, mushrooms, celery, snow peas, spinach, cooked rice and black pepper.   Cook for 10 minutes.
4.  Garnish with scallions and serve.

This serves 6.  B's mom suggests doubling it because it freezes really well.  The main part of the recipe is the broth.  You can add or subtract vegetables to your taste.  The green vegetables lose their bright color once they are in the broth so omit them if you want a "lighter" version of the soup.  You can also add tofu to the finished product for more protein.

Enjoy and be healthy! 

Most people have little things they do when they feel a sickness coming on. What's  your go-to trick for staying healthy?


B has packaged and sent out intangible prizes to (see last post if you are confused):

Natasha Lisman, John Lisman, Mattitiyahu Zimbler, Nick Yagoda & Keisha Ames.

B says the prizes are ineffable. Report back when you receive them. 


  1. i've been making lots of soups lately--going to add this one to the mix!

  2. B-iancé is the best thing I've heard in a long time. More relevant though is this sickie tippie: WARM SALT WATER!
    1. Viruses gets into your body via the mouth and nose.
    2.Gargling with warm salt water stops their proliferation in these places for a variety of reasons-if anyone is interested in these reasons, I can post a follow-up lecture :).
    3. H1N1 and most other flu viruses take 2 -3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms.
    4. Simple gargling prevents proliferation.
    5-bonus tip. The more warm liquids you drink (even coffee!) the less virus proliferation.

    Plus you can Om at the same time as you gargle to feel a vibrating hum in your head. Awesome!

  3. if this is fiance B, fiance A was a fool!