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To save money, I am basing all my meals this week on a 18 pound turkey I am cooking. I got it on sale after Thanksgiving and should be able to stretch one turkey for meals all week. We will also have turkey sandwiches for lunches and turkey omelets for breakfasts this week. Any leftovers after this week I will freeze.
Monday- Roasted Turkey , home-made stuffing (mine is gluten free), sweet potato casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, steamed green beans, salad
Tuesday- Turkey Soup made with turkey broth, chopped turkey, leftover green beans, carrots, onions, celery, spinach, corn, eggs, and seasoned with turmeric, curry, cayenne pepper, sea salt, garlic, and my herb blend (recipe to come)
Wednesday- Grilled Turkey and gouda paninnis, salad and leftover soup
Thursday- Regular leftovers- Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes
Friday-Grilled salmon, brown rice pilaf, steamed asparagus, salad
Saturday-turkey casserole with turkey, brown rice, cream of mushroom soup, and vegetables
Sunday- Brunch in the morning and leftovers for dinner
Here is my meal plan for the week… Keyword is plan, I will let you know how the execution goes :-)
Monday- Baked Chicken and Rice with Black Beans
Tuesday- Greens and Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken, grated cheese, sliced red peppers, mushrooms, cucumber and homemade herbal vinaigrette
Wednesday- Bean Soup made with cannellini beans, chopped zucchini, celery, carrots, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic, onion, and spices to taste
Thursday- Crustless chicken pot pie made with chicken, carrots, peas, spinach, corn and homemade potato soup
Friday- Grilled Tilapia, baked sweet potatoes, spinach salad, asparagus
Saturday- Roasted Chicken, steamed broccoli, salad
Sunday- Pasta and meatballs- Italian Grandmother’s secret recipe
With all the paranoia about the flu this season, everyone seems to be carrying instant hand sanitizer and using it everywhere. The only problem, besides the fact that all the alcohol in conventional hand sanitizer will dry your hands out, is that using hand sanitizer too much can actually cause germs to become resistant to it. I also didn’t like the idea of my kids using conventional hand sanitizer because it contains alcohol and chemicals and they put their hands in their mouth. As a solution, I decided to invent my own hand sanitizer. It actually turned out pretty good….
For this recipe, you will need:
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Cinnamon Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Distilled Water
- Other Essential Oils if you like the smell
To make, mix 1/4 cup aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon glycerine, and 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol in a small bowl. Add 20 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (A Natural antibiotic and antiseptic), 10 drops of cinnamon essential oil and 10 drops of tea tree oil along with any other oils you want to add for scent (lemongrass, orange, lavendar and peppermint are good choices).
Mix will and add distilled water to thin to desired consistency and add any other oils to desired smell.
Use a small funnel or medicine dropper to transfer hand sanitizer into spray or pump type bottles.
Use as you would any other type of hand sanitizer.
Even though reports are showing that the H1N1 flu is much less serious than originally thought, and even the seasonal flu doesn’t seem to be overly serious this year, getting the flu is still a bummer, especially because it can be prevented or treated rather easily at home. Many doctors are recommending Tamiflu at the first signs of flu, but Tamiflu has just been shown to reduce the flu’s duration by one day at most, and can have some side effects.
I have found in my work as a nutritional consultant, a definite link between diet and susceptibility to the flu. In fact, for the last year, those who have followed my strict nutritional program, are yet to get sick at all, and I have had people come to me in the middle of a bout with the flu and recover very quickly just by changing diet and adding a few supplements. Of course, any advice is strictly for general information and does not take into account any personal details or medications, so check with your doctor before taking any of these recommendations if in doubt. I just wanted to pass on my experience in case it can be of help.
In most cases, the flu can be treated with nutritional changes and simple things most people have around the house:
- Immediately remove all sugars and carbs from diet. This is perhaps the most important step because these can deplete the immune system and feed illness. Remove any processed foods and anything with grains or sugars until all symptoms disappear.
- Hydrate! Start drinking 8 oz water per hour, preferably by sipping slowly on water throughout the entire day. Herbal teas can also be substituted for this water every couple hours as the heat will stimulate the immune response.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: (make sure its organic and says “with the mother”) As horrible as this sounds, it has an alkalizing effect on the body and will also help fight yeasts and bacteria in the body. For acute illness, I take 1 tsp in 8 oz water every 1-2 hours and gargle with it.
- Vitamin C as ascorbic acid- Not everyone has this around the house, though I recommend it if you don’t. The cheapest form is a powdered form which can be added to any liquid to take. Take 500 mg every couple of hours until symptoms dissipate or until bowel tolerance is reached. (Bowel tolerance is the point at which you get loose stools or diarrhea) If you reach bowel tolerance, cut the dose in half and keep taking it.
- Hot bath with white vinegar in it- This will pull toxins out of the body. This is not recommended with a high grade fever, but for a low grade fever, it will raise the body temperature slightly, pull toxins out of the body and help the body fight the illness. Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar into a bath as hot as is bearable.
- Hot ginger tea. If you have fresh ginger root available, boil a few slices in water for about 5 minutes. Strain into a tea cup and add lemon and honey to help with digestive problems, respiratory problems and chills.
Another thing I do to help fight the flu or any illness is my homemade chicken soup, which my kids call “sick buster soup.” It is also good for winter dinners:
- Whole chicken or a few chicken legs or a few chicken breasts
- 3-4 ribs of celery
- 3-4 large carrots
- 2 medium onions
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 1 package frozen spinach or 1 bag fresh
- 1 head broccoli or 1 bag frozen
- 1 package sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
- any other vegetables you have around and want to add
- 5-6 eggs, beaten in a bowl
- cayenne pepper
- sea salt
- garlic powder (optional)
- Other herbs to taste (rosemary, thyme,etc.)
Boil chicken in large pot until cooked. (note: if using chicken breast instead of whole chicken, chicken broth can be used in place of water). Remove from water and chop into small pieces. Add chopped celery, carrots, onions, garlic cloves to boiling water. Add turmeric, curry, oregano, basil, cayenne, parsley, sea salt, pepper and garlic or herbs to the boiling water. I add 1-2 TBSP of each except cayenne, which I add about 1/2 tsp or to taste. Boil until vegetables are cooked. add spinach, mushrooms and broccoli. While stirring, add beaten eggs slowly so that they distribute (it will look similar to egg drop soup). Boil 2 minutes until eggs cooked, remove from heat and serve.
Ever wonder how to use Barberry root bark (Berberis vulgaris)? Barberry is a large bush that can grow up to 15 feet tall. Though native to Europe, it has been grown in parts of the US. It has leaves similar to a Holly bush and red berries. The bark of the trunk and root is known for its medicinal uses as it contains alkaloids that assist in a number of bodily functions, especially of the digestive track.
Barberry is noted in folk medicine as a cure for nearly every gastrointestinal ailment, lymphatics, urinary tract and respiratory infection. It has been used as a bitter tonic and antypyretic. Berberine, the primary alkaloid, is a potent antibiotic, astringent and antifungal. When taken for infections, it controls the overgrowth of candida albacans as well as functioning as a bactericide. This is a real advantage over conventional antibiotics. It also controls infectious diarrhea and increases the production of the digestive enzymes.
In Italy, Barberry is known as “Holy Thorn” as it was believed to have formed part of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. According this this article:
Barberry is said to have a beneficial effect on blood pressure by causing a dilatation of the blood vessels. This herb has also been used to relieve hepatitis, colic, jaundice, diabetes and consumption. Historically, Barberry was used as a bitter tonic to stimulate digestion and in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis, sciatica and rheumatic complaints. Use of this botanical is believed to decrease heart rate, depress breathing, stimulate intestinal movement, reduce bronchial constriction and kill bacteria on the skin. External applications have included use for sores, burns, ulcers, acne, itch, tetters ringworm, cuts and bruises. It is indicated in congestive jaundice and inflammation of the gallbladder and gallstones. As a bitter tonic with mild laxative effects, Barberry has been used by weak or debilitated people to strengthen and cleanse the system. It is also thought to reduce an enlarged spleen. The herb is said to combat malaria and has been effective in the treatment of protozoan infections. Berberine is highly antibacterial, anti-amoebic and trypanocidal and has been active in vitro and in animals against cholera. It makes a useful compress for inflammatory eye conditions such as blepharitis and conjunctivitis.
Barberry can be found in capsules or in dried form and can be used in tinctures.