At times throughout my life, bad things happen- stress, illness, sadness, etc. When it does, I, like a lot of women I know, begin having digestive problems. As though all the crap (no pun intended) that life hands us is not enough to deal with, now I need to feel like I have food poisoning or some horrible flu! Well, this week I do! Stress and sadness have reappeared in my life in a BIG way and they have their hands tightly around my digestive system (and my heart) and they are not letting up!
For most of you that know me, you know that aside from the occasional adult beverage, I do not like to put chemicals or foreign things (medication) into my body. I am a strong advocate for health through whole foods, nutrition and supplements. I am also a firm believer in listening to your body and using the symptoms it gives you to make a change. There is more and more proof that stress brings down immunity. In these hard times, it is best to listen to what your body is telling you and give it what it needs to reestablish health. That is what I am trying to do now. Does it make the stress go away? Or change a sad situation? No! Sometimes only time will do that, but I have learned first hand over the past few years that without your health you have nothing. At times you have to step back, rest and nurture YOU! No one else will do it for you! The hard times will come and go and then come again, but as I have proved to myself before, I will still be standing when they do!
CongeeThis is a really simple recipe that I make when I have digestive issues. I also make it for my dogs if they have an upset tummy. It helps to bind and slow down the digestive tract. It also provides nutrients that sooth digestion. I make my recipe a little different than the traditional Congee Asian dish. I like to add digestive herbs that I grow in my yard and use pretty often. One of my favorites is lemon balm. There is quite a bit in this recipe. I also steep the leaves to make tea when I have digestive or anxiety issues. There are several other digestive herbs that you can use. Rosemary is similar in action to lemon balm. Mint, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and chamomile all have healing properties in the gut. Check out this chart if you want a quick overview. I have also added some other digestive links below the recipe. This recipe is supposed to be somewhat bland. It is healing and not supposed to include heat or spice that will cause digestive flare up.
4 cups chicken broth or water
1 cup of whole grain brown rice
1 zucchini, chopped into small pieces
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh cut lemon balm or herb of your choice
salt and pepper to taste
Diced okra would also be a good vegetable to add due to its digestive properties.
Place broth or water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Add rice and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hr. In the meantime, salt and pepper the chicken to taste and sauté the chicken breasts in a sauté pan until cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In the same pan, sauté the chopped zucchini and garlic until almost tender. Dice cooled chicken into small cubes. After the rice has cooked 1 hour, pour the chicken and zucchini into the pot of rice. Add the lemon balm or herb of your choice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Allow this dish to cool to slightly above room temperature if you are having digestive issues. You do not want to put anything in the body that is too hot or cold. This recipe will make several small meals. I usually eat this for 2-3 days before trying to add other foods.
Digestive link 1
Digestive link 2
This is not medical advice or a prescription for any medical condition. It is just a recipe that I use to help digestion. I have no medical responsibility for any actions taken by the reader.