Our bodies crave human contact from the moment of birth. Babies are calmed by being held. At any age, a hug activates the parasympathetic nervous system, and lowers the blood pressure. A hug lets the person know you care.
At churches people offer one another God's Peace with a handshake. I look at it as 'passing love'. God's peace can be passed through words, a handshake or even a hug. Yup, I offer a hug! I do ask "Can I hug you?", and then give a big long hug. I can feel people relax in my arms and then feel them hugging back. Many older people may not have much contact during the week if they live alone and they appreciate the genuine moment of caring. I often get a response to my hug with "Thank you." This is a great article in Higher Perspectives with the science of hugging. "Hugging is the most beautiful form of communication that allows the other person to know beyond a doubt they matter."
Have you ever been in the hospital when you're sick only to be served an unhealthy meal of fried or processed food and iceberg lettuce which will never improve your health? I have been in the hospital and require a gluten free/ dairy free meal, and they bring up a bowl of jello and canned fruit for breakfast because that's all they could think of. I was listening to a podcast the other day and a heart patient had been served chicken nuggets. A man who just had a massive heart attack. Seriously! We can heal 70% of ailments with nutritious whole food.
I have always grown my own garden and was blown away to read this article about Boston Medical Center. "The little oasis produces 5,300 pounds of nutritional food a year to feed Boston’s recovering hospital patients. Say goodbye to jello, pudding, and tapioca and say hello to organic produce. " Read about Lindsay Allen's rooftop farm.
Thank you BMC!
Meal prepping is a great way to stay on target with healthy eating goals. I have bought sets of five glass containers for myself on Amazon and even for each of my kids, to help them with budgeting and eating nutritious, rather than empty calorie meals. Sunday I find is a good time to meal plan for the week.
I prep my lunches for three days for my husband and myself and then on Wednesday do the next three days. They are at least 75% plant-based if not vegan and whole food - nothing processed. We like either salads with lots of greens and shredded veggies with some sort of protein (chick peas, black beans, roasted tofu or leftover grilled salmon) or a quinoa/sweet potato bowl like pictured above. I use 1/2c quinoa or roasted sweet potato, then either raw or roasted veggies and a 1/2c of protein. I find these containers are the perfect size. My son will cook up chicken, rice and broccoli on Sunday (huge amounts!), and then puts it in ten containers for the work week of lunches and dinners. He is very concerned with eating nutritiously, making it easy AND saving his money so this is the way it works for him so he doesn't hit the takeouts. He doesn't like to fuss over cooking - I can't believe he's my son! For a little variety I told him he should add a little Rao's tomato sauce one day, teriyaki mix (sherry, gluten free soy sauce and small amount of maple syrup - ghost maple syrup if he can find it!) another, some peanut sauce for a Thai flavor, and his favorite BBQ on another so each day he has different flavors. My other son simply cooks twice what he needs and packs up a container for lunch the next day.
Need more inspiration? Check this out.
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It’s beginning to look like spring but it is also still damp with the cool mornings and April rains so I was in the mood to give Bone Broth a try. Anyone researching how to improve health or maintain good health, may have run across articles on bone broth. It's another method of attaining health from the 'farm-acy'. Many of our grandparents made it decades ago. Science shows there may be something more to a mother’s instinct of 'feed a cold chicken soup'. Bone broth is a source of gelatin, which may break down into collagen in the body*. This is especially important in the joints.
I always prefer to try something before sharing and love sharing great science-based tips. I simply placed all my easy-to-find ingredients in a large crockpot and left it to simmer for 36 hours. Could not be easier! This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health.** And the benefits of coming home from work for two days to the aroma of a soup! I felt like I was walking into the comfort of my mother or grandmother’s kitchen.
Simple pick up a couple packs of grass-fed ‘dog bones’ (yes label usually says Dog Bones which are simply 3-4” beef bones with marrow), 1 whole organic chicken (or I found a butcher with a dozen bones from boning their chicken meat), some people throw in a half dozen chicken’s feet. Personally, I know they are loaded with collagen, but I kept chickens for years which I raised for their eggs and simply cannot use the feet. For vegetable benefits and flavoring add 3 whole carrots, 3 stalks organic celery, an onion peeled and chopped in quarters, fresh parsley stems and all-a small bunch about 1/2c (or whatever herbs you like the flavor of), 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, a hefty tbsp. turmeric, 2 tsp. sea salt, a dozen peppercorns, 4 quarts of filtered water. (I had to add the fourth quart at the end as my pot runneth’ over!)
After 24-48hrs remove the beef bones and give them to a dog to enjoy. My dogs loved the well seasoned and cooked carrots and celery as well. (Do not give the onions to dogs!) Recipes you may find on the internet will instruct you to strain your broth in cheesecloth, which I did not have, so I simply strained it in a fine mesh baker's strainer and jarred my precious bone broth in about 11 pint jars. If you are on a Keto diet you will not want to skim the foam or fat from the surface. If you wish you remove the fat, it is easy to do once it's cooled. I froze my pints after they cooled for future enjoyment - make sure you leave a little head room in the jars for expansion when frozen. I know of others who put the broth in quart sized pans and freeze it; then cut the frozen broth into 4 blocks and store their cup-sized blocks in Ziplock freezer bags to later defrost in a pan on the stove to drink (or cook with).
Enjoy a cup of warm bone broth any time of day. I like to start my day with a cup of warm lemon water and then a cup of warm bone broth before I head to the office for my first cup of coffee or tea. Bone broth is a hefty dose of nutrition in a delicious gut-healing cup. For those dealing with IBS, Leaky Gut, Arthritis or other joint issues,... even aging skin, I recommend you give Bone Broth a try.
For more information on the benefits of bone broth:
3-5 Grass-fed Beef Bone 'Dog Bones' from butcher
Whole organic chicken or a dozen leg bones from butcher
3 whole carrots
3 stalks organic celery
1 onion peeled and chopped in quarters
1 small bunch fresh parsley stems and all- about 1/2c (or whatever herbs you like the flavor of)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. turmeric
2 tsp. sea salt
4 quarts of filtered water
Place ingredients in crockpot add water that will fit in container. Set crockpot on low and cover. Remove solid ingredients after 36 hours. If initially you could not fit 4 quarts of water in crockpot, add the remaining amount now. Strain liquid through cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. Enjoy a cup. Refrigerate what you will consume in two days. Freeze the rest or share with friends!
PS If this process does not tickle your fancy but you are still craving bone broth simply contact TheHaleLife.com and order your small batch prepared, frozen blocks of grass-fed bone broth!
Organic gardener, whole-food, plant-based cook. Educator and advocate for healthy, toxin-free living. Wife and mom, sister and daughter. Service-minded Rotarian. Photographer. Storyteller.