Jamaican Chicken Soup Without The Cock Noodle Soup Mix

Pretty much all traditional cultures knew the value of soups for nutrition and healing purposes. And soup is indeed very healing. We’ve been misled to believe there is no truth to the saying that chicken soup boosts immunity, but that is because real soup has been replaced by the fake stuff in boxes and cans that are nutritionally dead.

When a base of bone broth is used to start a rich chicken soup such as this one, the result is something that is not only delicious, but also very nourishing. This homemade soup helps to heal the gut lining, promote digestion, fight inflammation (which can greatly help with problems such as asthma, arthritis, depression, insomnia, bloating, etc.), boost the immune system, detoxify the body, strengthen teeth and bones, and contribute to beautiful, healthy hair and nails. We do not skim the fat, and often add extra–that way we benefit from the added fat-soluble vitamins which often work in unison with other nutrients. We find that drinking soup regularly promotes healthy bowel movements as well.

I have made this soup with cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and other GAPS-legal vegetables and it is still delicious!

Jamaican Chicken Soup

“Eat soup first and eat it last, and live to till a hundred years be passed.” – French proverb

Jamaican Chicken Soup Recipe (Serves 8+)

Ingredients:
2-3lbs chicken breast (or other parts)
3 quarts bone broth (can use less and make the rest up with water)
Squash/Pumpkin (we like to use a big kabocha and a small butternut)
2 sprigs of thyme (or sprinkle thyme to taste)
1 tsp pimento seeds (or sprinkle powdered allspice to taste)
4 stalks of celery
1-2 medium onions
2+ cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste (we typically use a scotch bonnet NOT cut)

Any combination of:
Boniato potatoes
Irish potatoes
Yellow yam
Dumplings
Ripe plantains
2-3 carrots

Directions:
1. Add broth to a large stockpot that hold approx 6 quarts or more if you are making the recipe as-is. and bring to a boil. Add pimento seeds, chicken and uncooked pumpkin/squash at this point. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes, until chicken is mostly cooked. To make things easier, like I do, you can bake the squash whole until it is tender prior to making the soup, then you would just scoop the flesh out and add to the soup at a later point.

2. Remove chicken from pot, and once cooled enough to handle, shred if desired.

3. Peel and cut up anything you’d like to add to the soup, such as onions, potatoes, yams, plantains and carrots. Make dumplings if you are adding them in.

4. Scoop pimento seeds out of the soup and add in onions, celery, yams and potatoes. Let cook about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the celery if you wish and add in chicken, plantains, scotch bonnet, carrots and dumplings. Let cook another 15 minutes.

4. Add spices (thyme, garlic, salt, powdered pepper, and powdered allspice if you did not use pimento berries) to taste. Let simmer a short while until it smells and tastes awesome and additions are cooked to your preference.

5. Serve with additional fats such as butter or tallow for extra nourishment! Don’t forget to have a side with fermented vegetables first!

Source: 1

Nettle Infusions For Asthma, Allergies, Constipation, Adrenal Fatigue And More!

Nettle infusions are simple to make, and a great way to provide your body with nutrients it desperately craves.

Right before bed, I usually boil a cup or two of water, add 1-2 tbsp of dried nettle leaves, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let steep until I wake up in the morning. Then I warm it slightly and share a mug of the resulting infusion with my almost-four-year-old son. This routine has gone on for well over a year now, although we aren’t as habitual as we were at first.

Nettle Infusions Is A Natural Healer

Our Story

I came across the idea of drinking nettle infusions to support health on the Heal Thyself! website. It was at a time when my son was suffering from constant asthma attacks and taking multiple meds, still often ending up in the hospital. Along with asthma, he suffered from digestive issues, multiple allergies, and adrenal fatigue.

The adrenal fatigue was undoubtedly from me–his nursing mama. I could barely get out of bed in the mornings, required daily naps, was overtired before his bedtime, and yet I could rarely ever fall asleep before 1-2AM in the morning. I was also struggling to keep weight on, which for me was a big problem.

I knew that many of our health issues at the time pointed to a need for more minerals. We were drinking bone broth regularly, although not daily. We were dairy-free at the time and ate plenty of vegetables, including fermented foods, but it just didn’t seem like it was enough. Our bodies needed more minerals and B Vitamins and reading about nettle infusions was like finding a long-lost friend! (Click here to source)

The Benefits of Nettle Infusions

Two cups of nettle infusion has all the vitamins and minerals you need for a day. And, it’s in their natural, effective, complex forms; not synthetic and broken up like in pills. – Pat, Heal Thyself! (Source 1)

Nettle, also known as Urtica dioica, has been treasured for its medicinal properties for ages. It is most prized for its ability to fight inflammation and histamine. Inflammation and histamine is at the root of many conditions we typically face these days, whether it is respiratory such as with asthma, related to the muscles and joints such as with rheumatoid arthritis, or gastrointestinal, such as with IBS, Chron’s and related diseases.

Nettle leaf infusions contain a variety of B vitamins, vitamin K, and many minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. It also has nutrients such as choline and betaine, Lutein and zeaxanthin.

It is especially high in calcium and manganese. Manganese is worth pointing out because it is another mineral we are often lacking in. Low manganese levels are associated with symptomatic asthma, PMS, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, infertility and epilepsy. It helps with calcium absorption, which is one of several reasons nettle infusions are great for those struggling with tooth decay.

Manganese is a trace mineral that is present in tiny amounts in the body. It is found mostly in bones, the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function. – Manganese | University of Maryland Medical Center (Source 4)

Betaine is made up of choline along with three methyl groups. These nutrients are important for keeping homocysteine levels low and fighting inflammation. High homocysteine levels are strongly correlated with many health issues such as atherosclerosis, blood clots, kidney disease, thyroid problems, impaired memory and psoriasis. Elevated homocysteine levels are more common in people with the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene mutation, which affects folate processing and is further impaired by synthetic folate supplements.

The magnesium from nettle, as well as the properties that aid in fat digestion, help to promote bowel regularity. Constipation is a condition that we should make our best efforts to avoid because it means that toxins are backed up in your system wreaking havoc on your body. Put simply, constipation promotes disease. It can also be a result of adrenal fatigue! When my son is constipated, I find he has a lowered tolerance of histamine foods, possibly because of an overgrowth of histamine-producing bacteria.

Conclusion

As a result of making nettle leaf infusions a regular part of our lives, we have experienced much less asthma, constipation, allergy and adrenal fatigue symptoms. This means that my son’s nose doesn’t get irritated and sneezy as much, so bloody noses happen much less often. It means that our blood sugar is more balanced so I don’t have those crazy crashes and his behavior is a bit more controlled. In general, it means that life is more enjoyable!

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Milk Kefir: Food From The Gods

I have read about milk kefir extensively and consider it something that we should all have in our daily lives, barring an allergy/intolerance of course. Milk kefir when fermented properly is very low in lactose, my son who is still lactose intolerance can drink it without issue. It may also be OK for some who are intolerant to dairy proteins, as the proteins are pre-digested by the kefir grains and easy for our bodies to absorb properly.

Milk kefir has a very interesting story and no one is really sure where it came from. A story has been passed down for generations that it was given to the people who inhabited the Caucasus Mountains by Mohammed, who also taught them how to use the culture.

Since beginning to drink kefir, I have experienced sounder sleep, increased energy, better elimination and an overall feeling of well-being.

Milk Kefir In Mason Jar

Highlights Of Milk Kefir

It is a potent probiotic capable of strengthening the immune system

It contains many strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are especially helpful in rebalancing the gut and creating vitamins like biotin, folate and B6, as well as K2. Probiotics help us naturally cleanse our systems and absorb nutrients better. It can greatly help with digestive disorders including IBS and Chron’s. Probiotics are also known for helping with depression, ADHD and autism.

It has anti-cancerous properties

It is high in essential vitamins and minerals necessary for the body to repair itself, reduces tumors1 and has the antioxidant CLA which is a very beneficial also higher in grass-fed milk2. CLA has been noted for its effects on breast tissue, and therefore kefir should be a regular part of anyone’s diet who is at increased risk for breast cancer.

It has the correct form of folate

Folate deficiencies have been getting quite a bit of attention lately, and with good cause. The folic acid in fortified grains are not healthy, and those with MTHFR mutations may experience severe health issues from including these unhealthy products in their diet. It actually tricks the body into thinking it has real folate and can complicate the body systems that need it, including the detoxification system. This is one of the factors that leads to lip ties, tongue ties and even autism. The folate in milk kefir can further be increased by doing a 2nd ferment.

It is a great source of healthy, saturated fat and protein

It is full of essential amino acids that are very easy for our bodies to absorb. The saturated fats and cholesterol in healthy animal foods such as dairy are important for fertility and proper brain development. For this reason, it is best to make kefir with full-fat milk… I even add extra cream! Animal fats are the best sources of vitamins A, D, E and K2, which are essential for healthy babies and optimal health.

The minerals it contains are bioavailable

It is primarily high in calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for many important functions in the body. Vegans will argue that the best source of calcium is spinach and nuts, but this simply is not true. Much of the minerals in plant foods are bound to anti-nutrients such as oxalates, which can actually cause kidney stones and a whole host of other issues, including tooth decay. Especially when not getting enough K2–which is difficult without animal fats!

It is very EASY to make!

All you need are kefir grains, a glass jar and milk. It doesn’t even have to be raw milk, but preferably it will be FULL FAT, NON-UHT milk.

Sources: 1, 2