Happy Winter Solstice!
This time of year has been significant across all cultures in the northern hemisphere (as it is summer solstice – the longest day in the southern hemisphere right now) as a time to reflect, to rest, and to celebrate the beginning of the lengthening of days again. Not to mention, it’s holiday time! I’m blessed with lots of variety in my family and I get to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas at this time of year. Here in the practice, this week was the last of 2018. It has been a great year with a lot of new, wonderful people entrusting me with your wellness care. It has been a great privilege to work with all of you. I have also expanded my circle of colleagues with whom I share case studies, and whose collective wisdom my patients all benefit from. I’ve expanded the practice to include the highest quality herbs and teas from the Tibetan region of China from a group of growers and gatherers who are known personally by my colleagues; topicals for pain; light therapy (more on that in a later newsletter) plus treatment specialties in Fibromyalgia and Lyme Disease symptoms. It has been a great year and I look forward to an even better 2019.
To that end I am offering a January Special. As some of you know, I offer packages for groups of treatments. A package of 12 treatments comes out to the cost of 11. If you book a package in January, it will come with an extra treatment. 13 treatments for the cost of 11. These can be used through June 2019.
There is a lot of stress that goes into this season, not the least of which is pressure to be merry. I see this catching up with a lot of you this month. It certainly did catch up with me earlier in the month in the form of a cold. But herbal medicine came to the rescue and I recovered quickly, and also discovered a really great recipe for garlic soup! As we begin the winter season, it’s really important to eat warm and nourishing foods. Now is not the season for salad or other raw foods. Garlic is a really powerful herb that has been used in cooking and medicinally as far back in history as the Egyptians, Babylonians as well as the Chinese. It is known to reduce the duration of cold symptoms by up to 70%. Personally, I will often chop up a clove (which releases the compound allicin-anti bacterial/viral component) and swallow with some juice. It is also known to reduce the number of sick day with cold or flu by 61%
Below is the recipe I used for the garlic soup. It was quite delicious and very warm and cozy on a cold Saturday. It also helped both my husband and I recover from our colds quicker.
4 lemon wedges
3 and 1/2 cups of organic chicken (bone) broth
1/2 cup of coconut milk (I used the goya from the can- very creamy)
26 peeled, garlic cloves**
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of chopped, fresh thyme
2 and 1/4 cups of diced onions
1/2 cup of fresh ginger (grated)
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder (a little goes a long way)
2 tablespoons or 1/4 stick of organic, grass-fed butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 heads of garlic for roasting
(on my own, I added in some turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties)
Preheat stove to 400F. Place 26 garlic cloves* in a glass heating dish. Coat with olive oil and cover with foil and heat until garlic is soft and aromatic, around 40-45 minutes. Cool.
While garlic bakes, dice onions, peel raw cloves** of garlic and chop in half.
Put butter and olive oil in pan, add onions, thyme, ginger and cayenne powder and cook until onions are translucent, around 6 minutes.
Add roasted garlic and 26 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Include broth; cover and stew until the point when garlic is soft, around 20 minutes. Working in clusters, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pan; add coconut milk. Season with ocean salt and pepper for flavor. Press juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve. Can be readied 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium warmth, mixing once in a while.
**I used 2 heads of raw – one large and one small. In both cases fewer than 26, only because I didn’t buy enough in the store. I will try for closer to 26 next time.
***I did this all in my instant pot – set it on pressure cook for 4 minutes – with the 20 minutes to build up pressure and then just 4 minutes at the full pressure cook.