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Medicated Soup of the Quarantined Soul... Week 2

Blue Bird of Happiness Healing Arts

April Fitzsimmons, AP


Hello everyone!


Since I got a good response from last weeks email, I decided to try to make this a weekly “newsletter/check in” type thing.  Of course if you would like to be taken off my email list please let me know and it won’t hurt my feelings…


As of today, I am still not able to treat patients in person.  However, I am still available for “tele-health” or phone appointments.  This week I have also set up an online pharmacy with supplements from some of my most trusted brands.  If you act fast the first five orders will receive free expedited shipping.  However free shipping is always offered on order totaling $50 and up.  The online pharmacy will limit social interaction and hopefully add a convenience to you all.  Feel free to browse the catalog.  I will be making categories with my favorite products such as “immune support”, “sleep”, and “hormone regulation”.  I can also give personal recommendations.  So please, reach out to me and let me know if I can help in any way.

Here is the link:

https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/bluebird


(If you have already signed up through full script last week the link you have still works.)

Go Put Your Feet in the Dirt


Even though time is flying and days are merging into one I think it is really important for us to remain grounded.  I am sure I have told most of ya’ll at some point in our journey to “go put your feet in the dirt”.  Now, more than ever, since we can’t put our feet in the ocean, I encourage you to go spend some time in nature.  Even if that nature happens to be your fenced in backyard.  The little vegetable garden that I planted about a month ago, when I thought this all was going to be a joke, has really helped me stay grounded and rooted to our mother earth.  When we have no control we need something to hold onto.  Faith is definitely something to grasp onto but so is the Earth.  The earth can recycle negative energies, fears, uncertainties, and remind us of where we are.  


I discovered a really great trail this past weekend.  It is the old rail trail off of 207, I think it is called the “River to Sea” loop.  Eric and I took our bikes there this past Sunday.  If you are looking for a perfectly acceptable physical distancing outdoor activity, I would highly recommend it.  We rode about twelve miles total and most of the trail is in the woods, where you can smell the earth and hear the sounds of nature.  It really reminded me of the importance of our “earth” element in times of chaos and uncertainty.  


Medicated Chicken Soup for the Quarantined Soul 


We gotta laugh…  Another way to tonify our earth element is to eat and cook healthy, warming, and nutritious food.  There aren’t many other foods out there that make you feel as comforted and loved as a bowl of homemade chicken soup.  So I thought it would be good to put together some herbs that can be added to your soup that will tonify the immune system, boost the qi, and help protect the lungs.  Chicken is considered a great digestive tonic in traditional Chinese medicine.  Although us westerners have always thought that chicken soup should be eaten to recover from colds and flus, it actually (especially when made with medicinal herbs), is a strong tonic that should be used as a preventative to colds, flus, and corona virus’.  


Shan Yao/Chinese wild yam is a gentle nourishing digestive tonic; it tonifies the Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys, both Qi and Yin, without being heavy or cloying.  Lian Zi/lotus seed or fresh lotus root gently tonify the Spleen, Kidneys, stabilize the jing-essence, 

nourish the Heart and calm the Shen.  Gou Qi Zi/wolfberries are a stronger but still well-balanced tonic; they tonify Liver Blood and brighten the eyes, nourish Lung and Kidney Yin, and mildly tonify Kidney Yang.  Hong Zao/dried red jujube dates are 

another gentle and mild digestive Qi tonic, they also nourish the Blood, calm the Shen, and moderate any harsh or toxic properties of other herbs.  Turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes and carrots are root vegetables that absorb many vitamins and minerals from the soil as they grow, are high in antioxidants and contain lots of fiber.  Root vegetables strengthen digestion; they benefit the Stomach and Spleen (Earth) and increase the ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. 


I will have pre-made herb soup packets available for pick up next week.  (Herb orders are very delayed right now)  The recipe will be included in each packet.  If you are interested let me know… 


Recipe:

INGREDIENTS: 

1 - free-range organic chicken (including the giblets), preferably black chicken if available, whole or cut into 4-8 pieces 

2 - tablespoons Shan Yao/Dioscorea opposita/Chinese wild yam 

2 - tablespoons Lian Zi/Nelumbo nucifera/lotus seed and/or 1 cup sliced fresh lotus root 

2 - tablespoons Gou Qi Zi/Lycium barbarum/wolfberries 

8 - Hong Zao/Ziziphus jujube/dried red jujube dates 

1 - turnip, sliced and quartered 

1 - parsnip, sliced and quartered 

1 - sweet potato, sliced and quartered 

2 - carrots, sliced 

2 teaspoons sea salt, kosher or rock salt 

( I also add celery, onion, garlic, and ginger)

4-8 cups of water or stock

DIRECTIONS: 

1. Rinse the herbs and let them soak in a bowl of fresh water for at least 20 minutes. 

2. Rinse and pat dry the chicken and giblets. You can leave the chicken whole, or cut into 4-6 pieces using a cleaver to cut through the bone so that the marrow can easily enter the broth. 

3. Rinse and slice the turnip, parsnip and carrot. 

4. Place all ingredients (herbs, chicken, giblets, vegetables and sea salt) in a large stockpot with only enough fresh cold water to cover (can vary, but usually between 4-8 cups); too much will not make a strong broth. 

5. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. 

6. Lower the heat to a medium-low and gently simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is tender and fully cooked. 

7. As the soup cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface. If necessary, add a little more water to keep the chicken covered while simmering. 

8. When chicken is tender, carefully remove to a cutting board. When it is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones, cut the meat into small pieces or use two forks to shred, and return to the stockpot. 

9. Remove from heat and serve warm. 

10. Optional: strain the herbs out (most are quite edible)

Enjoy! 

I think that is enough for a week..  Stay well Blue Birdies and don’t forget that I am a phone call, text, or email away if you need anything.  

In health - April and Blue