After many months of the insurance websites being down and voice messages saying to call back when an agent can assist me, I’m still hoping to make it into the open enrollment with healthcare.gov… I don’t want to get into a discussion about health care. It is keeping many of my friends and family alive, literally. For that, I am grateful. Insurance isn’t medicine though. Yes, it may get us a discount on our medications and it is there as a safety measure when some health emergency surfaces. I don’t have control over what may or may not happen. None of us do. But what do we have control over in our lives?
I drink 2 liters of water a day, I move my body in some physical activity every day, and I meditate daily. I aim for 8 hours of sleep a night, and I sing Every. Single. Day. That is my personal prescription for my own health and well - being. Oh! And I think good thoughts! Those are the things I have control over each day and they are working really well for me, thankfully. I know you’re probably thinking – but does she eat a balanced diet? Some days yes, some days no. Inconsistent efforts yield inconsistent results. This is true for everything, not just striving for a healthy diet.
Many of you know I am a personal chef. I help people maintain the food component of their busy lives. I shop for the groceries, I prepare the food, and I deliver it to their homes so they can juggle schedules, raise their kids, and get to work, etc., with a little more ease. And sometimes I am gifted to very special people that have needs that go beyond regular weekly menus. I've been hired to fill the fridges of new moms coming home from the hospital with their new babies. I’ve prepared food for hospice workers when they were with a patient around the clock helping them transition. I cook for cancer patients going through treatments when they need one less thing on their TO DO list on the weeks they go in for chemo. I was hired once years ago to make a month worth of soup to put in the freezer for a woman recovering from a throat surgery.
Right now I am part of some extraordinary circumstances helping a family nurse one of their children back to health. My food is literally medicine for this child. I by no means am a doctor, a dietician, or a **nutritionist. I am only a cook that has been trusted with a new opportunity. I looked up the word medicine and it said a bunch of mumbo jumbo and then I came across this line: The word medicine is derived from the Latin ars medicina, meaning the art of healing. Well doesn’t that just sound lovely? It is my honor to cook for this family and every single person who trusts me to contribute to their tables each week. I get to be an artist and I get to aid in keeping them healthy. Medicine. For both parties.
The other night I was cold, tired, achy from the gym, and craving something warm. Luckily, Gourmet Garage had old fashion chicken noodle soup. (If you live in NYC, seek that stuff out. You will swear your Grandma made it.) I wasn’t sick, but I knew it would make me feel better, comforted. Like I was with my Grandmother. Chicken soup really is good for the soul. Dr. Oz wrote a great article on the health benefits of it as well.
**If you are in need of a nutritionist or health coach, I highly recommend Jamie of Begin Again Health. Jamie is my consultant when I have clients with special dietary needs. She gives me confidence in planning their menus.
I’m no Grandma, but here is my version. A pot of medicine for your soul.
Chicken Noodle Soup
1/2 of a medium onion, peeled and diced
6 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch pieces
10 cups chicken stock
2 cups dried old fashion noodles
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper
Place the oil and vegetables in a large pot over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, add the chicken, stirring to combine everything. Season with salt and pepper. Once the chicken turns white, add the broth. Bring to a boil. Add noodles, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Check that carrots are soft, that noodles are tender; continue cooking until they have reached the desired doneness. Remove from heat, stir in dill.