If you know me in person, or have been reading this blog for any
length of time, you know that I get sick. A lot. Specifically with
sinus problems, which just seem to get worse the longer I live in this
part of Florida. I've tried so may different things to keep from
getting recurring sinus infections, and nothing seemed to work for more
than a week or so. I've been to countless doctors, taking all kinds of
medication, and still feel like crap 75% of the time. That is not a fun
way to live, so I took matters into my own hands.
After tons of research and discussing things with a new
doctor, I've finally found a regimen that seems to be working for me. I
feel better, have less days of snot and suffering, and have managed to
keep from getting the nasty cold currently going around the
office. I will share my little regimen here on the blog over the next
few days, piece by piece.
Please keep in mind that I am not a medical professional, have no
medical training, and cannot guarantee that any of these things will
work for you. This is what has been working for me, and I'm happy to
share it with anyone who may be interested.
First up: diet & exercise. This is a no-brainer. I admit, I've
been pretty slack with exercise over the past few years, and the girl
who used to be a total gym rat breaks a sweat even thinking about
exercise. I love the way exercise makes me feel, and look, but man...I
hate DOING it these days. Whining will get me nowhere though, so I'm
forcing myself to exercise a little each day. Each week, I add on time
to my cardio routine, and am building stamina. I'm hoping this will
improve my cardiovascular health and reduce my risk of the respiratory
infections, pneumonia, etc. I frequently have. I'm also re-committed to
walking my best four legged buddy for at least a half an hour every evening, and
playing a rousing game of soccer with him a few times a week in
addition to my treadmill time.
Diet is much easier for me to deal with than exercise. I love to
eat, love to cook, and plan my meals ahead of time. Lucky for me I
don't like sauce on my food, rarely eat meat, and love vegetables, so I
haven't had to make too many changes. I've reduced my portions and
added MORE veggies. I've sought out foods rich in nutrients that
support immune function, like mushrooms. I used to hate mushrooms, but
I've learned to like them in recent months. One of my new favorite
recipes is a mushroom filled soup, perfect for staving off a cold and
warming you up on a chilly day. The first time I made this, B devoured
almost the entire pot by himself over the course of two days, and asked
me to make another batch ASAP. Please feel free to adjust ingredients
as needed to get a soup that works for you...using some turkey in place
of the chicken would be a great way to cut down on some of those
1-2 tbls. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced or cut into rounds
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup of dried mushrooms (any variety, I used a mixture of
organic locally grown mushrooms we bought dried at a farmer's market)
6-8 cups of chicken broth or stock (depending on how thick/thin you want your soup)
1-2 cups rice (any variety, I usually use brown rice...again,
adjust your amount depending on the consistency you want your soup to
have. I usually add in just over 2 cups, we like it more like a stew.)
1-2 cups of fresh mushrooms, chopped to a consistency you like
(again, no specifics here...I've been using baby portabellas because
they've been on sale and I love them)
3/4-1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (we like to use the
leftovers from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, quick and easy!)
Herbs/seasoning: I never measure this stuff, i do it a little at a
time by taste. For this soup I've been using the dried herbs I have on
hand, specifically, ground sage, thyme, rosemary, and some fresh
garlic. I like the way the sage combines with the flavor of the
mushrooms. Add spices/seasonings you like, start a little at a time,
and add more as you go to get a flavor you like.
Salt & Pepper, add to taste
Soak 1/4 cup dried mushrooms in just enough broth to cover them,
for about 30 minutes. Blend this mixture in a food processor or blender
to create a "mushroom broth."
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, celery and carrots, cook until tender but not mushy.
Add mushroom broth mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring.
Add remaining chicken broth or stock. Add rice, mushrooms, and
seasoning. Crush up remaining dried mushrooms into a powder, add to
soup. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-35 minutes.
Add shredded chicken and heat through, making sure rice is cooked. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve it up and enjoy!
Next up: putting things in your ears and nose is not as gross or scary as it sounds.