And just like that its fall. It happens so quickly it seems, one minute you are basking in the heat of the summer sun, taking reprieve at the beach, swimming in the river, drinking cold beverages and eating lots of raw foods. Then the light begins to narrow, the air in the early morning gets extra crisp, you dig out your socks and a light sweater.
Just as our needs for what we put on our bodies changes with the seasons so does what we put in our bodies.
Living in a climate that is naturally damp means constantly needing to focus on drying out the internal damp that can form. We embody our environments, taking on its characteristics with our physical wellness. This time of year without the heat of the sun to dry us out we look for ways to accomplish this through diet, herbals and lifestyle. The easiest method is to avoid too much raw/very cold food instead include warming foods that work with the bodiy to encourage the purging of mucous. Yes mucous. (FYI, if you haven’t been to the blog before, be warned, I often talk of various bodily fluids).
An excellent and delicious strategy* is to create a broth of healing herbs and foods that helps to warm the body, rid the excess mucous, and support the immune system
Essentially warming our way to wellness.
Step 1: In a large soup pot add the following items, omitting what doesn’t work for you, including other things you think may emphasize your health. I include poultry bones in my stock, including the skin and fatty meat as well. For those who don’t include meat in your diet please be sure to add a quality source of Vitamin A to your daily routine.
1 carcass of a roasted chicken with skin, fatty bits of meat and roasting juices.
A handful of carrots
1 large onion or several young onions
Garlic (I add a whole bulb, you may wish to add less)
3 large Maitake mushrooms crumbled into smaller pieces
A handful of Shitake mushrooms
2 medium Reishi mushrooms, broken into quarter sized pieces
A splash of unpasteurized Apple Cider Vingear
Step 2: Add pure water to cover and allow to mingle without heat for at least 1/2 hour for the ingredients to get to know each other.
Step 3: Apply low heat and slowly bring to a light, tumbling boil. Briskly bringing the stock to a boil can potentially make the broth bitter. Allow to boil lightly for up to 24 hours adding chopped parsley in the last 2 hours.
Step 4: Turn off heat and allow to settle for 1/2 hour.
Step 5: Strain and pour into a large bowl, cover and put into fridge once its cooled. Allow to sit over night.
Step 6: The next day skim the fat off the top of the now gelled stock and reserve for other projects. Portion the stock into containers and freeze if you don’t think you will use within a week.
This stock will be strong tasting, use equal parts with water for making soups, soaking grains, or as a tea. My daughter enjoys this as a morning tea before school.
*Be sure to stay tuned to the blog for the next 4 weeks as I preview strategies I will be teaching at my upcoming workshop with Slocan Valley Recreation. (page 13 in the guide)