Healthy Soup Recipes

Vegetable

Soup

Fall is the season of crisp weather, cooler walks through changing forests, cozy fires, and nourishing, healthy soups. As the season changes, it helps if we change the way that we eat also. One of the best things you can do for your bodies this fall is to add some healthy soup recipes (and soup cooking) to your nutritional rotation. All of us at Balanced Care strive to provide you with healthy options, and our collection of fall recipes gets you off to a good start.

Mind and Body

Cooking and eating soup can help you align your minds and spirits to the changing season. Fall invites us to slow down, enter into the calm that is winter. Soup, itself, is a slow food.

Sure, there are some “fast” soup recipes (see coconut curry carrot recipe below). But you cannot eat soup on the run. You’ll need to sit.

The body is already preparing to slow into the rhythms and quiet of winter. Honor that process with the foods that you eat.

Calm and Soothing

The warmth of soup helps calm and soothe bodies as they adjust to cooler temperatures. You’ll feel the warmth in your belly. You’ll experience the steam on your face.

Steam soothes skin that is likely feeling a bit drier as the humidity decreases and our furnaces kick in. That steam also soothes nasal passages inflamed by drier air or, perhaps, by your first cold of the season.

Soup Cooking

Grounding and Energizing

By utilizing vegetables that are in season, especially nutrient-dense root veggies and darker greens, you will increase the grounding and energizing powers of soup.

Experiment with nutritional powerhouses like kale and swiss chard, parsnips, sweet potato, celeriac, carrots, radishes, rutabaga, yucca, daikon.

Root veggies and darker greens are full of fiber and antioxidants and packed with nutrients. You can add almost all of these to your healthy soup recipes.

4 Healthy Soups

Soup

  1. Bone Broth – You can use as a healthy, warm beverage to replace one of your cups of coffee during the day, and carries the advantage of helping you utilize the carcasses from those delicious broasted chickens that every grocery store entices us with nowadays.
  2. Coconut-Curry-Carrot soup as a way of showing you how easily and quickly you can turn carrots into a glamorous, yet healthy soup.
  3. A Moroccan Root Vegetable Soup that will help you tap the nutritional power of root vegetables.
  4. And, finally, a protein-packed Quinoa Chili that your friends and family are sure to love.

Bone Broth

If you’ve never been introduced to the radically restorative powers of bone broth, this fall might be the time to begin. The great thing about bone broth is that you can store it in individual containers, bring some to work, and microwave it in your coffee cup during the day. Immediate, calming moment.

Likely you have heard people talking about how bone broth is helping their skin to feel smoother, joints to feel better, and guts to feel more settled and healthy. Maybe you’ve wondered how it differs from regular cattle, chick, or fish stock.

Bone broth is created by cooking the bones much longer than you usually would. This allows you to harvest the massive quantities of minerals and amino acids.

Using your crock pot or your Instant pot, cook your animal bones with vegetable scraps, herbs, and spices for twenty-four hours or longer. Those kitchen appliances will allow you to walk away from the broth during its many hours of boiling.

Vegetable

Coconut, Carrot, Curry Soup

Here’s a fall recipe that’s perfect if your family loves carrots.

  1. Place your carrots in a saucepan with just enough broth to cover.
  2. Add garlic, some grated ginger if you like, curry, a little nutmeg. (exact amounts will depend on how many carrots you’re using up.)
  3. Boil until carrots are soft
  4. Dump contents of saucepan into your Blender or food processor.
  5. Add coconut milk to create desired consistency
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

One more tip? Pour the soup into recycled glass jars (old pasta jars, jelly jars). Freeze in individual servings. You’ll be able to grab one before work when you’re in a hurry. By the time lunch arrives, your soup is thawed, and you can microwave. Instant great meal.

Food

Moroccan Style Lentil and Root Veggie Stew (Always a favorite healthy soup recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

1 T. coconut oil

1⁄2 pound–local/organic chicken (optional; you can also get protein from the lentils) One small onion

Four garlic cloves

1 T. curry powder

1 T. cumin

1 T. cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1 C. lentils

1 large sweet potato

16 oz organic diced tomatoes

8 c. water

2 Rapunzel vegetable bouillon cubes

1⁄4 c. raisins

1 bunch cilantro (for garnish)

1 pinch salt

METHOD:

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. If adding chicken, dice and cook the chicken in the coconut oil until cooked through, then set aside.
  2. Add another dollop of coconut oil to the pan, then add the onions and minced garlic. Saute until golden, then add the spices.
  3. Add lentils, sweet potatoes, fingerlings, diced tomatoes, water, and bouillon. Add raisins here if using.
  4. Bring to boil, cover, simmer for 20-25 mins.
  5. Remove from heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and season to taste

Tomatoes

White Bean Quinoa Chili

Note: Quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids, loaded with fiber which helps lower blood pressure and keeps blood sugar levels steady. It also contains iron and magnesium.

When you have to bring a dish to pass to the next office gathering or neighborhood party, this healthy soup recipe is going to be a hit!

INGREDIENTS:

2 T. coconut oil

1 onion

2 poblano peppers

1 red pepper

3 stalks of celery

4 garlic cloves

2 T. cilantro

METHOD

  1. In a large saucepan, or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chopped celery, chopped onion, chopped peppers. Cook 5 mins.
  2. Add garlic, cook for 3 mins, stirring constantly.
  3. Add spices and quinoa, Stir.
  4. Add water, beans, and bouillon cubes. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 55-60 minutes, until liquid reduced by half.
  5. Add in chili flakes and sriracha and cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. Top with some crunchies like pepitas or your favorite crackers.1 c. quinoa 5 c. water

2 T. cumin

1 T. chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano

3 c. cannellini beans

1 1⁄2 c. kidney beans

2 Rapunzel vegetable bouillon cubes

Your well being is our only concern at Balanced Care. Give one or more of these healthy soup recipes a try and let us know if you enjoyed them!

Our Favorite Hikes Around the Twin Cities

Forest

Fall is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the changing colors!

Forest

No matter what the time of year, I love enjoying all that nature near us has to offer. Whether it’s a short stroll or rigorous hike, the surrounding cities have many trails, wildlife and history to offer. Here are some of our favorites in the nearby metro areas!

1.    Bass Ponds and Old Cedar Bridge Trail

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Bloomington

Level: Easy

Time: 1 hour

Total Distance: 3 miles round trip

Highlights: Lots of wildlife, including wood duck nests, sky blue waters along the trails and willow trees lining the path.

History: Bass Ponds were man-made by the Works Progress Administration to create a bass-farming site in the 1930’s.

2.    Crosby Lake Trail

Carver Park Reserve, Victoria

Level: Easy/moderate

Time: 2-2.5 hours

Total Distance: 4 miles round trip

Highlights: A boardwalk trail in a quiet park featuring a lake and pond views surrounded by wetlands, prairie meadows and waterfowl. Also check out the year-round activities offered at this park here!

History: This park was established in 1957, where you will find the Grimm Farm Historic Site, which is often called the birthplace of the Dairy Belt. You can read about how this site got its name in this article.

3.    Theodore Wirth Wildflower Trail

Theodore Wirth Park, Golden Valley

Level: Easy

Time:1.5-2 hours

Total Distance:2.8 miles round trip

Highlights:Features a wildflower garden and bird sanctuary while taking you out of the urban landscape and into nature and seclusion, even with the Minneapolis skyline just miles away.

History:Built in the late 1800s, this park was used mainly as a nursery. Throughout the next 200 years it was slowly built up for more recreational use, now including a beach and picnic areas.

Be sure to check out the year-round activitiesoffered in this park, the largest park in the Minneapolis Park System!

4.    Hidden Falls Shoreline Trail

Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul

Level: Easy

Time: 2 hours

Total Distance: 3.75 miles round trip

Highlights: Quiet and shaded trail leading to a spring-fed waterfall.

History:Dating back to 1887, the park was left untouched until the Works Progress Administration installed a stone stairway to view the falls in the mid-1930s.

Additionally, throughout the summer, this park offers FREE Fitness in the Parks classes! Be on the lookout next summer!

5.    Two Bridges Loop

Mississippi Parkway, St. Paul

Level: Moderate/strenuous

Time: 3.5-4 hours

Total Distance: 7.1 miles round trip

Highlights: Starting in St. Paul at the Mississippi River Boulevard lot, you will walk along the Mississippi River crossing over to Minneapolis and back again to St. Paul. On this hike you will encounter a waterfall, wild flowers like daisies and violets and you may even notice the various urban wildlife living along the river. This hike can be a bit challenging at times, including light climbing, so be prepared with sturdy ankle support and water.

History:Did you know…. the Mississippi is still a working river? The upper river still carries 175 million tons of freight each year, mostly between St. Louis, MO and Saint Paul, MN. The River Parkway, aka the Great River Road, was created in 1938 by the governments of the ten states that the Mississippi runs through. It travels all along the Mississippi river through small towns, farmland and big cities all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, offering culture, nature and history. Interestingly, the state of Minnesota has the longest stretch of the Great River Road, traveling nonstop over 575 miles from Lake Itasca State Park to the Iowa border.

6. Lake Phalen

Phalen Regional Park, St. Paul

Level: Easy

Time: 1.5 hours

Total Distance: 3.2 miles round trip

Highlights:The water from Lake Phalen runs into the Mississippi giving views of oak savanna, shoreline restoration and a large beautiful park. The park has a golf course, picnic areas, a playground, tennis courts, fishing dock and amphitheater, which is perfect for families and couples looking to find some open space.

History: A small creek located near the lake is thought to be the location where Father Louis Hennepin stopped in 1680 on his way to the St. Anthony Falls. This area was highly populated with Swedish and Scandinavian immigrants after this time, around the mid-1800s. The was-creek is now contained in a tunnel, built by the railroad companies and part of it is also used now as a rail yard. The history of Lake Phalen and how it got its name also involves a historic murder mystery!

Happy Hiking!

We are Drs. Katie Corazzo and Rachel Alioto, licensed Naturopathic Doctors with offices in Edina and Woodbury, Minnesota. We are enthusiastic about holistic medicine and offer our patients comprehensive naturopathic treatments for a wide variety of conditions, including heart health, diabetes, anxiety and depression, chronic illness, women’s health, weight loss, and so much more. Call today at 612-564-2218 to set up a free 15-minute consultation for new patients.

How to Fall Asleep

Insomnia

Sleeplessness is an epidemic in the United States. More than 70 million American adults suffer from some form of a sleep disorder, and with this sleep deprivation comes a host of health problems and safety risks. From diabetes to car accidents, lack of sleep is a significant concern in the medical community.

But our modern world is full of lights, devices, technology, and shift work. These realities can make it very difficult for your body to fall asleep and stay asleep.

So, assuming our tablets, phones, and light bulbs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, how do you fall asleep when sleep seems to elude you? The doctors at Balanced Care are here to help.

couplephones

The Biology of Sleep

No one denies the importance of proper rest for our bodies, but very few people understand what is going on during the sleep cycle. The cycle is divided into “quiet” non-REM sleep (N-stages) and REM sleep. Each cycle lasts about 90-110 minutes, and most adults should have about four or five cycles each night. Let’s take a look at the steps you go through during a good night of shut-eye.

Stage N1: This short stage lasts about five minutes and is the transition from wakefulness to light sleep. You aren’t fully aware of your surroundings during this period and can be awakened easily. This is the stage where you may suddenly jerk awake after the sensation of falling.

Stage N2: In this period you are starting to experience real sleep. Your body temperature begins to drop, and your breathing and heart rate slow. During this stage, you have irregular brain activity, which scientists believe may be when your brain moves information to its long-term storage. People in this stage are harder to wake up.

Stage N3: Here is where you enter deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep because of how the brain wave activity looks on an EEG. During N3, your breathing and heart rate slow way down. Your blood pressure drops, and you are very difficult to wake. This is the time of the sleep cycle where night terrors and sleepwalking occur. For children, this is when they are likely to wet the bed

REM Sleep: Often referred to as the “dream state,” REM stands for rapid eye movement. This stage involves significant brain activity, similar to that of a wakeful state. Your blood pressure and heart rate approach wakeful levels also. The eyes twitch and move, and dreams are most vivid and memorable during this time.

Bluesleep

The Medical Importance of Sleep

Aside from the social problems that can arise from you being distracted, tired, inattentive, and cranky, sleep deprivation brings serious health risks. Just driving while sleepy is a considerable hazard, causing more than 1,500 deaths per year. And the list goes on from there. Chronic sleeplessness is responsible for:

Weight gain

High blood pressure

Suppressed immune system

Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease

Poor balance

Decreased sex drive

moonclock

The deep sleep part of your sleep cycle is when the body releases human growth hormone. This hormone is responsible for repairing muscles and tissues and for boosting your immune system. If you don’t have the proper amount of slow-wave sleep, your body does not get the time needed to repair itself.

Scientists are also starting to understand the importance of REM sleep as well. Just as deep sleep allows your body to do some physical restoration work, it appears that REM sleep restores your mind. Researchers believe REM sleep may help you process and remember information you recently absorbed.

How Do You Make Sure You Can Fall Asleep?

With over a dozen prescription sleep aids on the market, not to mention the over-the-counter options, it may seem like the perfect solution to sleeplessness is right there at the pharmacy. But when you start to see that the side effects include dizziness, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, memory problems, and dependence, you may want to look at safer, more natural remedies. Here are some effective ways to help you fall asleep without the use of medications:

There is no way our bodies can immediately shut off all of that stimuli once it is time to sleep. You can help your body prepare for sleep by turning off devices and avoiding screen time at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. Also, keep your room darkened, and the temperature cool, between 60 and 67 degrees.

Try meditation and mindfulness
With lives that are busier than ever, it can be challenging for people to calm all of their thoughts enough to fall asleep. A racing brain does not allow for proper sleep cycles and can add anxiety into the mix as well. There are many classes and apps available to guide you in meditation, and it is proven to be an effective, safe solution to sleep problems.

Consider a magnesium supplement. Magnesium, present in foods such as legumes, nuts, leafy greens, salmon, and avocados, is one of the most common minerals in our world. And it is needed by every cell in our bodies. Magnesium glycinate is easy for your body to absorb and helps with everything from constipation to inflammation to sleep. Adding this powerful mineral into your diet can help your body regulate itself correctly so you can sleep.

Enjoy some Sleepytime tea. The warmth of an evening cup of herbal, non-caffeinated tea can signal your body that it is time to sleep. With sedative herbs like valerian and chamomile, Sleepytime tea helps your body begin to relax. Other herbs like lemon balm and lavender are calming and help combat anxiety. Making a cup of tea part of your pre-bedtime routine will get you on the road to healthy sleep cycles and good health.

tea

The doctors at Balanced Care know that quality sleep is one of the biggest keys to your overall well being. We are eager to help you learn how to get your sleep cycle working correctly so you can get back to feeling great. Call today to set up an appointment.