Kick That Cold With Some Comfort Food – Chicken Dumpling Soup

It’s inevitable, when you work with kids you get sick.  It’s one of the occupational hazards I face as a dance teacher, and I just got a doozy.  The one thing I do look forward to when not feeling my best is some comfort food.  In my case, it’s Chicken Dumpling Soup.  Just thinking about it makes me hungry.  There’s a reason many people turn to chicken soup when not feeling well.  Our food has energetic properties, and when you observe the behavior of a chicken you can see they have very uplifted energy.  That is why we crave it when we’re feeling down.

The great thing about soup is it’s so customizable.  Just add or take away things to make it perfect for you.

Here’s how I put together my Chicken Dumpling Soup

Start with the broth.  In a large pot add ½ chicken stock/broth, ½ vegetable stock/broth, and a can of coconut milk.

Add some chicken thighs, bring to a boil, and then cook over medium heat until chicken is fully cooked.

Now have some fun with your favorite vegetables and fresh herbs.  Some great additions for healing a cold are onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cayenne, oregano, and definitely add those greens.  In my last batch I also added some carrots and parsnips to sweeten it a bit.

Finally, put together the dumplings.  Just put some good quality flour in a bowl and add some sea salt to taste, then add just enough water to roll it into balls and place in the soup to cook.  The dumplings can be made with whole grain flour, gluten free multi-purpose flour, or any combination you feel inspired to create.  In my last batch I played with a quinoa, coconut, arrowroot powder combination.  I ground the quinoa and coconut to flour in the bullet, and added arrowroot powder to thicken, so it didn’t fall apart in the soup.

So, there it is.  You can really make it as elaborate or simple as you like.  Have fun with different veggie and herb combinations, and even with the dumplings.  Make it for your loved ones when they’re not feeling well, and get them to make it for you when you’re the one needing some healing.

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Why I’m Inspired

Yes, I am a Holistic Health Coach.  But what you may not know is why.  Prior to my work in Wellness, I worked in Human Services.  I assisted so many people towards their goals for health, independence, employment, and stability.  It was difficult work, but I loved it. I knew I was put on this earth to support people.  However, I started to notice that what so many people needed the most support with could have actually been very easy to prevent.  So many little signs ignored, so many minor lifestyle adjustments avoided, and the result was a major disease or disability.

I knew there was more that I could do.  I had to help people realize they absolutely deserve good health and happiness today, and in the future without punishing themselves.  I wanted people to feel good so they can be their best for their families today, and feel great for their retirements later.  I truly believe that if my entire community was content than it would be an amazing community to live in, and that the happiness of our community will spread to other communities until the whole world is content.

I know it’s an ambitious vision, but I am doing my part to get it started.  That’s why I have developed the 6 week Sugar Buster Group Program.  Sugar is an addictive substance, and is responsible for significant mental and physical health problems.  We crave it, and giving in only makes us crave more.  When we give it up we experience withdrawal symptoms.  An overabundance of sugar in our systems can lead to major illnesses such as Diabetes, Autoimmune Disorders, and Cancer.  Before those arrive we have warning signs such as anxiety, mood swings, brain fogginess, headaches, skin problems, and more.

The goal of the 6 week program is to help you identify your personal goal, and support you in working towards it.  Everyone is at a different place in their journey, and wherever they are is perfect.  This will take you to your next level.  You will have access to weekly informational and interactive group coaching calls as well as a forum where all members of the group are encouraged to share their goals, struggles, ideas, recipes, and support.  Our first session will be this Thursday October 3, 2013, so hurry and register to find balance before the holidays hit!

Beat Sugar Cravings in 6 Weeks Flat!

This group program is designed to help you beat those sugar cravings and get your diet and life back in balance. You will receive 6 weekly conference calls, online group and coach support and even some freebies! 

Have you ever experienced….

  • Skin and nail fungal infections
  • Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  • Feeling worn down or suffering from Fibromyalgia
  • Suffering from autoimmune disorders
  • Digestive issues
  • Poor concentration or memory, ADHD
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings, or PMS
  • Vaginal infections, UTI’s, vaginal or rectal itching
  • Severe allergies or itchy ears
  • Intense sugar or simple carbohydrate cravings

Any of these can be an indication of an imbalance in your body caused by sugar intake.

We want to support you to get back in balance. 

The Sugar Buster Group Program is a 6 week program you can participate in from the comfort of your home. The investment is only $150 for the 6 week program! Register with a friend and save $10 each! 

What you can expect…

  • Weekly interactive calls with a Certified Health Coach providing education and goals for the week ahead
  • Online support and interaction with your coach and the other members of your group
  • Free sample of Kalusion’s delicious Sugar Buster tea to soothe some of those monstrous cravings
  • Opportunity to take advantage of a reduced rate grocery or health food store tour with your coach

Topics will include:

  • Identifying hidden sources of sugar intake
  • How to replace sugary sweets with delicious healthy treats (really!)
  • Decoding cravings
  • Benefits of probiotics and fermented foods
  • And much more!

Weekly coaching calls will be Thursdays at 6:15 p.m. 

  • Week 1 – 10/3/13
  • Week 2 – 10/10/13
  • Week 3 – 10/17/13
  • Week 4 – 10/24/13
  • (no call on 10/31)
  • Week 5 – 11/7/13
  • Week 6 – 11/14/13
Take control of those cravings before we begin the holiday season. Space is limited, register below! Note: address is requested so that we can send you your free Sugar Buster Tea. – See more at: http://enlivenwellnessworks.com/event-registration/?ee=44#sthash.UAquTwV3.dpuf

Take control of those cravings before we begin the holiday season. Space is limited, register now!

Note: address is requested so that we can send you your free Sugar Buster Tea.

This group program designed to help you beat those sugar cravings and get your diet and life back in balance. Led by Enliven Health Coach, Kaluwa Ruit, you will receive 6 weekly conference calls, online group and coach support and even some freebies!

Have you ever experienced….

  • Skin and nail fungal infections
  • Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  • Feeling worn down or suffering from Fibromyalgia
  • Suffering from autoimmune disorders
  • Digestive issues
  • Poor concentration or memory, ADHD
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings, or PMS
  • Vaginal infections, UTI’s, vaginal or rectal itching
  • Severe allergies or itchy ears
  • Intense sugar or simple carbohydrate cravings

Any of these can be an indication of an imbalance in your body caused by sugar intake.

We want to support you to get back in balance. 

The Sugar Buster Group Program is a 6 week program you can participate in from the comfort of your home. The investment is only $150 for the 6 week program! Register with a friend and save $10 each! 

What you can expect…

  • Weekly interactive calls with a Certified Health Coach providing education and goals for the week ahead
  • Online support and interaction with your coach and the other members of your group
  • Free sample of Kalusion’s delicious Sugar Buster tea to soothe some of those monstrous cravings
  • Opportunity to take advantage of a reduced rate grocery or health food store tour with your coach

Topics will include:

  • Identifying hidden sources of sugar intake
  • How to replace sugary sweets with delicious healthy treats (really!)
  • Decoding cravings
  • Benefits of probiotics and fermented foods
  • And much more!

Weekly coaching calls will be Thursdays at 6:15 p.m. 

  • Week 1 – 10/3/13
  • Week 2 – 10/10/13
  • Week 3 – 10/17/13
  • Week 4 – 10/24/13
  • (no call on 10/31)
  • Week 5 – 11/7/13
  • Week 6 – 11/14/13

– See more at: http://enlivenwellnessworks.com/event-registration/?ee=44#sthash.UAquTwV3.dpuf

Please Excuse My Confusion

As a health coach, I’m so delighted when I hear so many efforts to get kids eating healthy.  It’s everywhere I go.  Grocery stores like Publix have programs to teach children at a very early age about healthy eating; the schools won’t allow parents to bring cupcakes and treats for birthdays anymore because they’ve gone healthy; camps and community centers have begun wellness initiatives.  What I’m hearing is so inspiring.

What I’m seeing is not so inspiring.  The very same schools that proclaim their healthy stand are feeding students sugary, processed cereals and snacks for snack time.  The lunches continue to be processed foods.  Lunch trays on a given day can consist of heated frozen pizza (with a white flour crust) accompanied by a roll made of white flour.  The parents aren’t allowed to bring in sugary snacks, but the kids are.  One particular day I witnessed a young boy wrap potato chips in airheads and chow down for lunch.  I actually felt pretty bad for his teacher that day.  Publix Grocery Store that touts its healthy initiatives with Greenwise and Publix Preschool Pals participated in a summer camp activity.  Their planned kid’s activity was making your own cupcakes.  They brought bags and bags of frosting, and let the kids pile on as much as they wanted.  Some kids decorated their cupcakes with six inches of frosting.  If that wasn’t enough sugar for one day, they also brought Rice Crispy Treats and candy for the kids to make candy sushi rolls.  One particular camper had dance class after summer camp, which didn’t go well with her Publix snack.  She ended up vomiting in her dance class.

I haven’t been this confused since the war in Iraq.  Why is there such a gap between what we’re hearing and what we’re seeing?  If I’m confused, how can our children possibly be able to keep up?

So what do we do?  Be informed; know what your kids are eating.  I was taken in by the healthy school lunch propaganda once, and let my daughter buy some school lunches because she wanted to be able to eat with her friends.  Within a few days her behavior was changing.  No more school lunches.

Teach them at home what healthy means.  Encourage your children to help in the kitchen. Make them a part of the meal planning process.  If you need support, talk to a Health Coach.

Let the companies, schools, and others know how you feel about their mixed messages.

We make the difference for our children!

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How come theirs is better?

Did you know that food standards are higher in the UK than in the US?  For example the same McDonalds strawberry milkshake has alternative ingredients to satisfy the different requirements.  Look for yourself

 US STRAWBERRY SHAKE SYRUP:

Ingredients: Sugar, Water, Corn Syrup, Strawberries, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural (Botanical Source) and Artificial Flavor, Pectin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Caramel Color, Calcium Chloride, Red 40.

UK Strawberry Flavour Milkshake Syrup :

Water, Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Strawberry Juice Concentrate, Beetroot Juice, Acidulant (Citric Acid), Strawberry Flavour, Preservative (Potassium Sorbate).

The UK does not allow many of the dyes and preservatives we accept in the US.  McDonalds actually uses beetroot juice to dye the strawberry shake in the UK rather than Red dye 40.

This brings forth the question why are we accepting lower standard ingredients if we don’t have to?

Be informed, know what you and your family are eating, and let companies know you want better (or just make it at home with the best ingredients 😉

Red Dress and Pearls

This past Friday night Pinellas Community Church hosted a Red Dress and Pearls Dinner Event for Women.  Heart disease is the #1 killer of women, and most women do not recognize, or understand the symptoms of heart disease. The Red Dress & Pearls presented by the women’s ministry is designed to promote health education with a focus on heart health for women.  

I feel so fortunate to have been asked to attend as a guest speaker.  Then I got the ladies moving with some dance moves and stress relieving stretches and breathing exercises.  It was such a wonderful time, and so affirming to see so many woman empower themselves in taking a proactive stance for their own health.

To Schedule, Or Not To Schedule

I have always been resistant to schedules.  I didn’t like every detail of my life planned, and preferred some time for spontaneity.  I didn’t eat lunch at 12 o’clock because my planner said so.  I’d rather wait until I was hungry.  It felt natural to let things in my life occur at will, but at times I felt hurried to get my tasks accomplished.

Then I welcomed a new baby in the home.  I realized that I also don’t care for absolutely NO schedule.   I did not enjoy the realization that it was 5pm and I was still in my pajamas.  When I did manage a few minutes to myself, I was frantic feeling like everything had to be accomplished at once, which was a self-defeating task, and very stressful.  It occurred to me that I was not enjoying this very special time as fully as I could.

So what then?   To schedule, or not to schedule… that’s my question?  I started to reflect on my own needs and wants.  I could create a fabulously organized schedule that I rigidly adhered to, but if I didn’t enjoy it how long would I really follow it?  I could go the no schedule route, and always feel like I’m racing to get things done, and not enjoying the moments.  No thank you.

It occurred to me that I enjoy letting things flow, but in an organized manner.  Much like the rhythm of a song provides a consistent sound for you to dance to.  When you go out dancing (you can relate even if it’s been awhile), as one song fades to a close and another begins your movement changes as if each song commands something different from you.  Why not incorporate that into my daily routine?  I began to evaluate the rhythm of my day.  Luckily at this point, the baby was starting to find his rhythm.  Then I created choreography (my tasks) to go along with this rhythm.  My office work was inserted into the baby napping part of the song.  The running around part was inserted into the baby not napping part.  At this point the baby napping and not napping was a large part of my rhythm.  Then lo and behold, there was actually more time to enjoy the moments of the day.

If you find that you are also one of the schedule resistant people, I offer 3 tips for choreographing your daily rhythm:

1.      1.  You guide the rhythm.  In some songs the drum guides the other instruments while in others the guitar or piano guides.  You always get to guide the song while still allowing yourself to respond rhythmically to the other instruments.

2.     2.  Don’t crowd your dance with too much choreography.  In other words don’t try to put more into your day then it allows.  Let the rhythm of your day guide how you dance in it.  This will prevent feeling stressed or unaccomplished if you can’t get through everything you’ve over-planned.

3.    3.   Be willing to change your choreography.  One day your song may sound bah bah boop, and other days it may play boop bah bah.  Adjust the choreography as you need to, don’t get fixated on getting task A done in the morning when you can do it with more ease in the evening on that particular day.

Have fun enjoying your moments and your dance.

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The Freezer is My New Best Friend

With a newborn in the house, time has become a valued commodity.  The days of figuring out what I want to prepare for a meal on a whim are gone.  I have only a few minutes before the next nursing session, and have to get something ingested quickly before evolving into a hunger hulk.  Even now as I peck type this with one hand, nursing with the other, I remember the days of blissful ignorance when I wasn’t as aware of quite how bad processed food is for you.  Not to mention the maternal guilt of succumbing to such foods, only to serve it up a few hours later for my newborn via breastmilk.  No, that won’t work for me anymore.  So, now what?

At first, I went with casseroles, but still found I didn’t have sufficient time to put them together.  Then it occurred to me one day that there is a contraption in my home just above my refrigerator.  I began cooking in bulk whenever I had a chance.  I could make entire bags of beans, large quantities of grains (rice, quinoa, millet, barley, etc.), and anything else that didn’t require a lot of oversight, just time to do it’s thing.  Once it’s finished cooking, I pack whatever I want for the fridge, and the rest goes in the freezer for another day.    In addition, my husband bagged fresh herbs to put in the freezer, so there’s always something to add flavor and increased health benefits to meals.   Now anytime I get into a pinch for a meal all I have to do is chop some vegetables, and throw them in a cast iron skillet with my pre-cooked stuff.  I can have something pretty tasty in front of my family and myself in 10-15 min.  Not too shabby.

Maybe I should also mention that my cast iron skillet is quite a BFF as well.  Here’s tonight’s pre-cooked throw together in the cast iron skillet (of course).

Chopped onion sautéed in grapeseed oil, add chopped eggplant, tomatoes, and cucumber, and let it sauté for a few minutes.  Then add white beans, barley, mint, and Bulgarian feta cheese.  Let it cook together for a little while, and serve by itself or with pita.

My family is happy about good food to eat, and more time with each other, especially to adore the new little man in the house.