For many of us, the holiday season can be a stressful time period where healthy habits go out the window. The added pressures of organizing family gatherings, indulging in rich foods, finding the perfect gift, and hectic daily schedules can make it all challenging to stay on track.
We’d like to help you make this holiday season and upcoming year your healthiest yet. Here are some tips from Innovative Medicine and the medical staff at the New York Center for Innovative Medicine:
1. Eat to Heal with this Onion Soup Recipe
In Chinese medicine, Autumn / Fall is associated with the lungs and the large intestine. During this time period, it is great to eat foods that will enrich and help improve the function of these organs. The lungs are responsible for taking in the new, and the large intestine is responsible for letting go of the old. Thomas K. Szulc, MD (Medical Director of NYCIM) points out that onions are “fantastic” for the lungs, and mushrooms are great for the colon and large intestine as they help with clearing out the bile duct. With cold and flu season upon us (along with holiday stress that can deplete our immune systems), you should try this delicious recipe to support your lungs, large intestine and jump-start your immune system.
What’s in it:
- 8 ½ cups bone broth
(can use vegetable or chicken broth as a substitute)
- 3 large organic sweet yellow onions
cut into strips lengthwise
- 1 small organic sweet onion
cut into strips lengthwise
- 1 package organic Maitake mushrooms
- 1 package organic Bushameji mushrooms
- 16 oz organic baby portobello mushrooms
- 8 garlic cloves
- 10 organic thyme branches
- 8 organic sage leaves
- ¼ teaspoon organic nutmeg
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Organic olive oil
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 425° and wash/dry all mushrooms and fresh herbs. Take 2 cookie sheets and set aside. Take 8 oz. of portobello mushrooms and 1 small sliced onion, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Place on a cookie sheet with 8 garlic cloves and 8 sage leaves. Spread evenly across cookie sheet. Next, take the remaining 8 ounces of portobello mushrooms and mix them with the maitake and bushameji mushrooms and the 3 large sliced onions. Drizzle the mixture with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread across the second cookie sheet and place 10 thyme branches evenly across the top of the mixture. Place both cookie sheets in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring halfway through. Bring 8 cups of bone broth to a simmer and add the ingredients from the cookie sheet with the mixture of mushrooms and thyme. Remove thyme branches before placing into broth. Next, take the cookie sheet with the small onion, portobello mushrooms, sage, and garlic cloves, and puree in a food processor with ½ cup of the remaining bone broth. After ingredients are thoroughly mixed, place into the big pot of bone broth and mushroom/onion mixture. Add nutmeg and
simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
2. Try this Immune Boosting Tea
The soothing sensation of a warm cup of tea can bring about a state of relaxation and warm the body. A good tea recipe can do even more. This is commonly used at our medical center (NYCIM), and utilizes fresh herbs and natural ingredients with immune boosting properties. Ginger and mint are great for digestion and lemon balm is perfect for both relaxation and rejuvenation of the body. Enjoy!
What’s in it:
- 3 cups filtered water
- 3 tsp of dried lemon balm
- 3 tsp manuka honey
- 1 handful of fresh ginger
- 1 handful of fresh mint
- 1 lemon
How to make it:
Rinse and dry the fresh ginger and mint. Peel the outside layer of the ginger root and slice into chunks. Fill pot with 3 cups fi ltered water and add the sliced ginger, mint, and dried lemon balm. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, strain, and pour into mugs. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into mugs and sweeten with manuka honey.
Due to the relaxing nature of this tea, it is best had in the evening.
3. Relieve Pressure with Pressure
Acupressure that is. Long before anti-anxiety drugs were created, the Chinese turned to acupressure to help them with their ailments. Applying pressure to specific points on the body can unblock the flow of Qi to release tension and restore inner harmony.
One point in particular, known as PC6, is very good for stress and anxiety. Starting from the wrist, measure the width of three fingers down the forearm. Where the third finger meets the middle of the arms width is where the point is located. Clenching the fist will reveal the tendons that run down the middle of the arm, the point lies between these so called “tram lines.” Apply firm pressure using the thumb, then start to gently rotate thumb in a circular motion to massage the point for 2-3 minutes. Doing this to both arms will help to melt anxiety and will also help reduce nausea.
Bonus Point – K27: In addition to PC6, try doing the same exercise to point K27, which is on your chest and can be used to improve immune response and relieve sore throats, chest congestion and breathing difficulties. The point lies below the collarbone, on either side, in a hollow area next to the breastbone ~1 inch from the center of the chest. Rub with firm pressure, feeling for an indentation and soreness. When you get the point, you will feel a connection with your throat or chest, especially when you deepen your breath.
4. Brush Your Skin
We’ve all heard of brushing your hair, but brushing your skin? Skin brushing is an effective technique for stimulating the lymphatic system and aiding in detoxification. The skin, the largest organ of the body, plays an important role in detoxification. By gently sweeping and stroking a brush along the outside of the skin, one can encourage removal of metabolic wastes in the lower layers of the epidermis. Apart from aiding in detoxification, it also helps to remove dead skin cells, revealing smoother and healthier looking skin.
Start by skin brushing first thing in the morning before showering. Begin by brushing your feet with upward strokes towards your heart and continue up the body (legs, stomach, arms, back – avoid the face and any abrasions on the body). Afterwards your skin will be a little pink. Shower as usual and afterwards make sure to drink a large glass of water with fresh lemon juice to help assist your lymphatic system push toxins out.
5. Get Yourself a ‘Balancing’ Gift
If you’re familiar with our approach, then you’ll know we focus a good deal on being energetically balanced for proper health and cellular regeneration. Here’s a product that can help keep you that way. BioSignatures, a special branch of BioGeometry created by Dr. Ibrahim Karim, are precisely constructed linear diagrams that have the same geometric resonant configurations as specifi c vital energy patterns within the organs in the body. Basically, they resonate (like musical notes vibrating in resonance) with the corresponding energy patterns in the organs of the body; causing a harmonic amplification that clears subtle energy blockages and restores proper flow and qualitative balance within the functions of the corresponding body organs.
6. Affirm Yourself
Affirmations are a wonderful way to ‘retrain’ the mind, and override negative belief systems. As Dr. Thomas K. Szulc puts it, “our brains are like a computer’s main CPU, and many times these units become corrupt with bad information and viruses. We must then clean them (meditation and other practices), and rewrite the software to once again restore proper functioning (affirmations).”
Here are three affirmations you can write down 5-10 times daily at the start of your day to retrain your mind and
release stress and anxiety:
• I am safe, secure, and under no threat from the world around me.
• I choose to react positively to the situation I’m faced with.
• As I slow my breathing and relax my body, the stress flows out of my mind.
Why writing it down is important: Studies have shown that the seemingly simple act of writing unlocks all sorts of psychological and personal dynamics, which translate to real tangible results. The act of putting pen (or pencil) to paper reinforces a chemical pathway in the brain, making the connection between two
neurons stronger, and therefore more likely to conduct the same message again.
7. Prepare for 2018
2017 was a year for new beginnings; starting things that express our uniqueness and open us to new perspectives. 2018 will be more about stability, bringing about an awakening to our lives and what we really want. It is a year for building and laying down a new foundation. We’ll jump into this in our next article more, with different insights on what to expect in this coming year, but for now, here’s a quote that can help you ring in the new year with a sense of positivity and hope.
“Let us enter the new year giving thanks for all of the experiences and moments in our lives which have shaped us into who we are today. We should look forward to new goals and a bright future full of positivity. A goal of mine in 2018 is to focus on the present and finding love, laughter and peace in each moment. A healthy, positive mind sends supportive information to the rest of the body and physical and functional well-being will follow.”
– Caitlin Policastro, NP
On behalf of the entire team at Innovative Medicine, we wish you a very healthy and joyous Holiday Season and a happy New Year filled with love and abundance.
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