Warmin’ Up

As the temperature outside decreases and the number of blankets we layer up with increases, the thoughts of comfort foods begin to roll in. Many of the health-conscious try to dodge these thoughts, staying loyal to the dietary goals they’ve set. Luckily, curling up with a favorite bowl of soup doesn’t have to be a thought dodged by anyone.

There are health benefits to eating soup, especially when the soup is properly prepared and homemade. Using low-sodium stocks and slow cooking vegetables can increase the nutritional value of the soup. Clear broth soups, like chicken noodle, can aid in re-hydrating, calming inflammation, settling stomachs and reducing congestion. More vegetable-based soups help achieve proper dietary intakes for nutrients and fiber.  Meat-based soups provide the body with proteins and amino acids. Adding spices such as tumeric, garlic or pepper increase the body’s circulation, warming you up! Additionally, garlic is known to be “an antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal agent…” (Total Health Nutrients, 2010). No wonder the infamous any-kind-of-illness remedy is chicken noodle soup (especially if it’s chuck full of garlic and veggies). 

Recipes for the Favorites

French Onion- http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000001842491,00.html

Broccoli Cheddar- http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/healthified-broccoli-cheddar-soup-recipe/index.html

Chicken Tortilla- http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipe/soups/chicken-tortilla-soup/

Curried Cauliflower- http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/andrew-weils-curried-cauliflower-soup

For a full listing of recipes, visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-soup-recipes/RE00122.

How-to Video

Dr. Oz and Dr. Weil Make Curried Cauliflower Soup

With these easy and healthy recipes, the days of feeling guilty indulging in your favorite comfort soup are long gone!

 

*As always, remember to consult your doctor before changing your diet or treating symptoms of any illness.*

For more information, visit any of the above links or http://totalhealthnutrients.com/?p=1875 that was utilized in creating this post.
(Picture of Broccoli Cheddar soup from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/healthified-broccoli-cheddar-soup-recipe/index.html )

Lend a Hand

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. -Mahatma Gandhi

September marks the beginning of a new school year and the start of a busier work schedule. As our lives morph from easy summer livin’ to chaos in the fall, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Take a minute. Press pause. Think about this. While schedules become overbooked, the lines at the food shelter don’t get shorter, those little kids down the street still need a mentor, and abandoned animals will still sit in a cage at the local shelter.

The impact that you can have on your community is incredible, but the impact providing service has on you is unfathomable. According to “Benefits of Volunteering” from the Corporation for National & Community Service website, “those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.” The website links to a research study done in 2006 stating “volunteer activities can strengthen the social ties that impact individuals from isolation during difficult times, while the experience of helping others leads to a sense of greater self-worth and trust.”

It’s easy to fall short in lending a hand to others and become too consumed with our own lives. With all of the benefits community service has to offer, why continue to fall short?

For ideas on how to help in your community or more information on the benefits of providing service to others, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/impact-our-nation/research-and-reports/volunteering-america.