Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jan's Healing Chicken Soup and more ...

This is the season for colds. I've already encountered several people under the weather trying to get well. So I'm offering my own recipe for a healing chicken soup I created to help you get the foods you need to heal. In the past I have had neighbors and friends request I make this soup for them because it works. So here it is:

Jan's Healing Chicken Soup

6 or 8 large chicken legs (I use organic chickens-no use getting additives in your healing soup)
a handful of cut up fresh parsley (vitamin C)
2 cloves of garlic cut up (garlic is an anti-bacterial and helps kill infections)
1 onion sliced (onions clear out mucous)
a pinch of cayenne pepper (pepper helps raise the body's temperature to fight infections)
1 stalk of celery diced (celery helps detox and adds vit c)
1 carrot cut up (adds antioxidants and root vegetables help to ground the body)
salt and pepper (add celtic salt to get the trace minerals you need. Morton's salt has dextrose (sugar) and aluminum in it yuk)
2 or 3 chopped tomatoes (value of tomatoes increases when cooked)
a large handful of spinach (iron)
a pinch of thyme(thyme helps with coughs and respiratory problems)
a small handful of chopped mushrooms (mushrooms aid in immune function)

Put everything in a pot and add water until it reaches about five inches above all ingredients. Let simmer for about 2 1/2 hours. Take out the chicken and cut off bone - add back into soup.

 That's it. Could it be easier? Now go make your soup and get well. Remember not to eat dairy when you are sick as dairy creates mucous. Drink as much liquid as possible and drink water to help keep you hydrated and to flush out what your body doesn't need. 

If you are so inclined to take a hot bath - add some epsom salt to detox. Also, on the top of your ankle is a reflexive lymphatic point. Rub it and when you feel tender spots stay there and breathe deeply. Get that lymphatic system working. It is a crucial part of the body that helps your system rid itself of what is not needed for good health. The body is amazing. It holds all the answers to wellness.

If you want to sip tea during the day remember to add ginger, cinnamon, and parsley to your tea. Honey in hot water with lemon (real lemon not the bottled stuff) is great too. Honey helps coat the throat so if your throat is raw take a little honey on a teaspoon and swallow it. Yum!

Also know that elderberry cough drops - brand Zand - is fantastic. Elderberry drops in tincture form is great too. Elderberry helps the immune system and the cough drops are great for soothing a stinging throat.

If you have any questions about foods please drop me a line. I love researching the values of food. But remember that I am speaking about whole organic foods, not packaged foods with preservatives that help you system open to distress in the first place. Don't believe me? Check out any package and research the ingredients in it. God has given us everything we need to heal in nature. Seek it out.

One more thing: If you have a fever and the fever won't lower do not hesitate to call your doctor or any health practitioner. Although I am not a proponent of antibiotics there are times when our bodies need them. If you take antibiotics remember to take a probiotic with each pill. Antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad so you want to replace the healthy ones. Probiotics are healthy bacteria.

Until next time,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stressed and Depressed During this Holiday Season?

If you live in a TV commercial, then your holiday will be fun, Santa will slide down the chimney, your loved one will give you diamonds, the kids will love their gifts, and the turkey will come out of the oven perfectly golden brown, your family members will be sober no matter how much two-buck-Chuck wine they drink, there will be no family heated discussions, the smiles will be abundant, and it might even snow so you can make that perfect 8' snowman. But I don't know anyone who lives in a TV commercial, do you? So here is where TV and reality enter the great divide because for most people this holiday season they be anything but perfect.

In fact, for many American families and individuals this year this will be a time of grieving for children killed in war, houses forfeited in the housing market, jobs unavailable in the job market, and homes lost in  fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, or floods.Try as we might to have a great season this holiday it might still be filled with grief, disappointment, sadness, loss, and hardship.

As a psychotherapist of almost thirty years I talk to people every year whose problems are heightened by the holidays.

If you or someone you know is going through a rough time this holiday season and need to talk to someone, please pass this blog entry along to them. During the holidays I like to pay forward the many blessings I have received while in my own hours of need during the year. My usual hourly fee for counseling is $100. But for a brief holiday special I am offering a 45 minute consultation for $35. That's less than half my hourly rate. In that consultation I will help you:
1. get through what you are going through this holiday season

2. offer support and ways to cope 
3. connect you with community support.
Often these times just bring a need to have someone listen with compassion and kindness. Don't go through your pain alone isolating yourself from receiving help just a phone call away.

Contact me through this blog or email me at to let me know when you want to speak and we can arrange one or more consultations to get you through the holidays.

Send me a money order or cashier's check. I do not take credit cards. This rate is good from now through December 29. It is my gift to you because when I needed help it was given to me. This is my way of paying forward the blessings that came from others during my dark hours of the soul.

And wishing you a peaceful heart in this holiday season,


Friday, November 18, 2011

Do You Know What to do for Your Immune System

I know nutrition can be confusing. One year authorities tell us to eat or drink something for our health and the next year they tell us to avoid it. Drug companies brag about a new drug and then its being pulled off the market. Keeping healthy is at best a trying adventure. So let me tell you about three simple food items to help boost your immune protection. In my experience, when in doubt, head towards the grocery store for vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. All the healing supplies we need for most of our health delimmas come from nature.
Three items you might have in your house right now are going to be important in getting through the winter months.
1. Cayenne pepper - You know that when you increase your temperature you have a better chance of fighting viruses, right? That's actually how peppers got hotter. When the plant was infected with a virus it increased its potency so it could fight the infection. That's exactly the process that needs to occur in humans when we get sick. And what better way to get healthy than to add hot peppers to our foods. Cayenne pepper is a wonderful healing plant. Add a pinch of it in soups or sauces. Add it to a cup of hot tea and increase the tea's power. The pepper will make you sweat, raise your temperature, and fight off that virus. Cayenne pepper is also an expectorant, so drinking it when your lungs are full of mucus in a little hot water will break up the congestion.
2. Garlic - I bet you have a head of garlic in your kitchen right now. Chop a clove and swallow with water. Allicin, garlic's active ingredient, is an antifungal, antibacterial and antivirus. What more could you want in winter when bugs are in the air we breathe?
3. Green tea - Green tea prohibits bacteria and viruses. Have a cup several times a day. Six cups of green tea a day also serves as a detoxification strategy. Keeping yourself detoxed is a good way to keep your body clean.
That's it. Three foods you probably don't even have to leave your home to buy. Start using them now- a little each day. Also I do want to add that you should not use any anti-bacterial hand solutions. They suppress the immune system, if studies I've run across are accurate, they smell of alcohol which is not good to inhale, and they don't do anything to prevent colds or flu germs that linger in the air.
Stay healthy,
Until next time,

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Magic Vegetable

When I was a kid my grandmother used to cut an onion in thin round circles, sprinkle them with a little white sugar, wrap the dish of onions tightly in Saran wrap, put the plate in the refrigerator and wait. In the morning there would be about a teaspoon of sweet onion juice on the plate. What did she do with this? She had me swallow it to relieve the congestion forming from a cold creating inflammation in my lungs. Shortly after swallowing the sweet liquid I would begin to cough up the congestion. Something else you can do, although I will admit I haven't tried this yet. Put slices of a raw onion on the soles of your feet. Then put socks on to keep the slices in place. The onions will draw out the infection or fever. The bottoms of your feet are great for detoxing. Let them do the work while you rest.

Onions are an anti-inflammatory. When we get a cold our lungs can become inflammed. Stay away from diary like cheese, milk, ice cream or cottage cheese which cause inflammation and cook an onion instead. Here is my favorite recipe.

Bake two quartered onions in a 350 degree oven rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with basil and spearment for at least 1 1/2 hours. Before serving sprinkle them with balsamic vinegar. Delicious!

Onions have dozens of uses but I recommend that you always have lots of onions on hand. If it causes bad breath -- not to worry, eat a little parsley and the smell on your breath will disappear or rinse your mouth with a solution of baking soda and warm water.

Until next time,
eat your onions and stay well,

Saturday, October 15, 2011


It's hard to believe, but I went into a local store and saw ads for Christmas already. I browsed the shelves wondering how we jumped to Christmas before Thanksgiving. But since the shopping bug is being planted in all of us I must ask you. Do you know about the Ribbons deals by Amway? I promise I'm not going to post Amway information on this site each week, but I must say, I am overwhelmed with the high consciousness of this company and the deals and products they offer. So bare with me while I tell you about this. If you shop for several people you will want to know this information.

You can get five gifts for the price of four for $120; it is called the Ribbon Variety 5-packs. How easy and inexpensive is that? Go to Click on Products and then Ribbon Collections. Check out the items you can give with a gift card. The gift card does not indicate the price of the gift on the card. The recipient chooses the gift they want, not the gift they must accept because the card is limited to one thing. There are so many items on the ribbon list I'm not going to replay them all. Choices include electronics, small appliances, jewelry, housewares and more. Check it out.

Okay, short and sweet. That's it for now.
Happy shopping.
Until next time,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are You Really Cleaning Your Home?

Are you really cleaning your home by using toxic chemicals? Think about it. If you use Windex, Clorox, Lysol, Pinesol and toilet cleaners then I am telling you the truth when I tell you that you are poisoning yourself. Don't believe me? Turn the bottles over. Look at the ingredient list. I promise you that the chemicals listed in the ingredient list are not safe to inhale. The restrictions imposed upon chemical companies are based on a Toxic Substance Control Act that was passed in 1976. I won't go into the political debate about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of this act. Suffice it to say it falls far short of what you want the EPA to monitor for your health. This is not rocket science. Each product you have in your home gives a safety level for the chemicals in it. But if you combine the acceptable level of toxins in the total amount of products you use, you are looking at impending illness. Add up all those safety levels, is it safe now? Chemicals change our cellular structure and guess what that equals--cancer.

So when you use chemicals that emit toxins into the air you breathe, you are not cleaning your home but instead polluting it. The current statistic is that near 70% of the population is chemical sensitive and it doesn't take much of an overload to get seriously sick or acutely chemically and environmentally sensitive. This means that life as you know it would change dramatically. We are exposed to 80,000 chemicals a day and when someone gets sick from chemicals, believe me on this, it will feel as if you are living in the presence of 80,000 chemicals because you won't be able to live outdoors and you won't be able to live indoors or feel comfortable in your own skin. I say this from my own experience. When you smell those 80,000 chemicals and they are impacting both your immune and adrenal systems life becomes hell.

In the organic clothing shop I once owned I heard stories of customer after customer who got sick from one or multiple chemicals. The stories were heartbreaking and these customers are average people like you and me going about daily life. One customer was a realtor who stayed in too many new houses while performing open houses and now he can't handle formaldehyde any more. Formaldehyde is in everything--it is called by the name aspertame in food products like gum and sodas and is neurologically dangerous. The EPA changes chemical names in different products so you won't know what it is. Do yourself a favor -- check out the names of chemicals. Best yet, stay away from them. And it is possible to take control of this in making many of your decisions for your immediate environment.

What is the solution to this? Eliminate all chemicals--but since we live in a toxic world and companies are making a fortune off your faith that they are doing the right thing, this will not happen. But again, as a consumer, you have the control to keep your immediate environment safe. Looking at the economics of it, I'm sure products with chemicals are cheaper, just like junk food with trans fats are cheaper. But I want to give you the name of a line of non-toxic cleaning supplies that you will love, that are affordable and that will keep your home safe to breathe in. You can order them on the net and if you don't like them, call and get your money back with no questions asked.

Remember Amway? I don't know about you, but my mother used Amway products decades ago. Amway has a line of non-toxic cleaning supplies called Legacy of Clean. You can check them out on: While you are there you might want to check out their certified organic vitamins. The ingredients for their vitamins are grown on Amway's own farms. Their paper products are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. We must work with corporations bold enough to change their products and who offer an awareness of what chemicals do in our environment. As consumers we have the power. If customers only bought the non-toxic cleaning supplies then corporations would change. Everyone heads towards the money. But we must head towards good health and wellness because I am here to tell you that being chemically sensitive gets you no help from insurance companies. None. I got not one cent returned. It cost me over $100,000 in doctors let alone what it did to my lifestyle. As I said formaldehyde is in everything. Try doing without everything. Take your house and throw everything out and if your house isn't ten years old without anything new in its structure you can't stay there either. Now imagine you have nothing and live nowhere and your immune and adrenal systems are failing. Can you imagine it? Think this is an hyperbole and I've lost my mind? Check out Dr Rei's clinic in Dallas, the only clinic that treats the acutely environmentally sensitive. After you get sick it is too late. The repairing to these bodily functions takes decades. Dr. Rei's clinic is not mostly outpatient. His patients live there because there is no other dwelling in which they can reside and get well. Think about it, please.

Think about changing the air quality in your home. It just might save your life. Please don't wait until you get sick to change the products you buy and it is dangerous to think that illness from the toxic chemicals you breathe with every breath won't someday make you sick. Check out

Until next time,
be aware,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do You Have Emotional Toxins?

What are emotional toxins? Do you know you have them? Well, don't feel badly; everyone has them. Emotional toxins are negative energies stored in our bodies. Wonder what your emotional toxins could be? Are you holding onto unforgiveness? Have you ever been traumatized? Do you have triggers that set you off to feeling angry, helpless, fearful, sad or unloved? What is your mind thinking when these emotions are mentioned? Don't be afraid. Whatever you are thinking and feeling is already a part of how you see yourself and the world. Everyone takes in emotions from life just as we take in food when we swallow. We are not just a body. We are a spirit and emotional being too.

Any kind of toxin causes disease. Chemical, thought and emotional toxins live within us and they cause damage to a healthy self. These toxins throw a life into illness. Did you ever read Louise Hay's book from the 70's, You Can Heal Your Life? In it she speaks to each part of the body and the toxic emotion that aligns with it. I recommend you check it out.

If this resonates with you, I'd like to give a few tips on what can be done about releasing emotional toxins.
1. Write. Writing heals. I have purged myself from deep distress that was making me sick by picking up my pen and writing. In my book, Write to Heal, which can be ordered on, I discuss this process, give scientific studies to back up the healing power of writing and offer writing techniques to help. Writing letters to the person who hurt you and journals in which you process your own mind are wonderful healing tools.

2. Exercise. Exercise is a wonderful way to calm the mind and release negative energy from the body.
Yoga, Tai Chi, as well as other energetic exercises can help balance mind/body/spirit.

3. Reframe the experience. Reframing the experience is not lying to yourself. It is rethinking a situation. Perhaps it means you find a way to forgive or extract something positive from the negative experience. Prayer and meditation often help in the reframing process.

If you have questions or comments about this, please comment here. I'd love to interract with you about this.

Until next time,
be well,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Are You Ready for Winter?

Winter, winter, winter. I don't know about you, but this word leaves me, no pun intended, cold. I love the warm weather. And if you are like most people who live in a climate where snow can arrive at your door overnight, chances are you have already taken out your heavy coat and other winter gear from the basement. But are you also preparing other things for winter such as, soup recipes, a dry brush, the phone number to a good acupunturist and other immune supporters?

Physically, you wouldn't think of going out in the snow in your shorts and tank top would you?  Why let your diet and other health habits be inappropriate for the weather too?

So here are some preventative tips for the oncoming cold weather. Go ahead and get your warm clothing ready. But...also get soup recipes and other immune boosters ready too.

As soon as the weather starts to change buy some root vegetables like turnips, potatoes, carrots the next time you go shopping. Get garlic, ginger and parsley too. If parsley seems like a waste of money because it spoils too quickly, do this. Wash it well, stick it in a paper bag and toss it in the freezer. When you need some, just tear off what you need and put it in soups or a cup of hot water for a soothing beverage of pure Vitamin C . It tastes mild and pleasant. I've found parsley tea bags to be bitter and unpleasant.

If you aren't into soups consider stir frying the root vegetables into a little coconut oil, nutritious and maintains high heat, or steam them with rice or noodles. Also, take garlic several times a week or add a clove or two to all soups. Don't forget a pinch of cayenne pepper or hot peppers of some sort. They stimulate the immune system.

Here are two of my favorites:
1. I have a netty pot that you can buy at any health food store for under $10. Warm to the touch, one and a half cups of filtered water and 1/2 tsp. of sea salt. Put the water into the netty pot and put the end of it into one nostril. Lean over the sink and let the water flow through the other nostril tilting your head slightly. No, you won't suffocate. I've performed this ritual for friends while talking. Then do the other nostril. The salt water cleans and sterilizes your nose removing allergins, viruses and whatever else is up there you don't want to breathe into your bloodstream. When you finish using the salted water blow your nose very lightly. You don't want to pop your ears. If you feel a sting in your ears that means you are tilting your head too much. This is a safe ritual and effective.

2. Dry brush before you shower. A dry brush can also be bought at a health food store but I've seen them in Walgreens too. They cost about $7. In small circles, before showering, rub the brush up the body towards the heart. Rub your arms, legs, back, buttocks, belly. Do not do your face or tender areas. Then hop in a hot shower. The delight comes when you exit the shower. You will feel as if you've just unloaded a heavy weight. This handy brush detoxes the lymphatic system. You know those glands that swell when you are sick? You know the sweat under your arms? This is your lymphatic system showing you that it exists. Eat well. Eat as cleanly as you can. Stay away from preservatives and fast foods filled with pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

So getting ready for winter is more than just clothing. Going out in the snow in your bathing suit won't make you sick. But a weakened immune system, germs in your nose, chemicals clogging up your lymphatic system can lay you out flat from a cold or flu.

Until next time stay healthy,
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

baby on board

The saddest story I hear too often is that infants die in hot cars forgotten by busy parents. This is a tragedy for everyone and changes the lives of families forever. I decided to do something about it. I have designed and printed Baby on Board stickers to be placed inside windshields to give parents a visual reminder that their children are in the back seat.

As of yet, I have not had these stickers connected to PayPal and as soon as I do I will post it. Until then, send me your orders or letters of interest so I know if this is a product of interest. The B.O.B. stickers are 3"x2", sell for $4.99, and have all black lettering with a clear background.

Until next time,

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How Often Do You Detox?

How often do you detox? For many of us, the thought of detoxing our bodies doesn't come to mind until after we get sick. That wouldn't be such a bad time to detox, except for the fact that by the time we are sick, our bodies are already overloaded with pollutants.
Because we are exposed to approximately 80,000 a day, detoxing before we get sick is much smarter. In fact detoxing on a daily basis might prevent us from getting sick at all. Lessening the load of pollutants keeps our immune system stronger. A strong immune system is much more able to fight against illness. So here are a few tips to get you thinking about how easy it is to reduce the number of pesticides, chemicals and other poisons from taking hold in your body.
1. Eat organic as often as you can. If you can't eat organic spray your fruits and vegies with a mixture of white vinegar and water then rinse well. Remember white vinegar is edible.
2. Do not use any product with the word fragrance in it. The word fragrance means there could be as many as 800 carcinogenic chemicals in that product.
3. Dry brush your body before you shower. You can actually purchase a dry brush at any health food store. It is a hard bristled brush with a long wooden handle. Rub it in circles starting at your extremeties and working your work up towards your heart. Take your time. You are activating your lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system is your body's built-in detoxification system.
4. Oil pulling - for specific instructions type in oil pulling and follow the directions. This is a simple 15-minute morning routine you can do while showering, making a cup of coffee or getting dresssed.
5. Aspartame is formaldehyde. Remove all products with aspartame as an ingredient (a neurotoxin) from your diet.
These simple five steps will help you clean and wake up your body's natural energy.
This blog is devoted to aware living topics. As a psychotherapist and author of books on wellness, I will be writing an a variety of topics. If you are chemically sensitive or would like comments on non-toxic living write to me and I'll address those issues.
For the wellness of all,
Until next time,

To find out more about me, check out my site and my writing blog I am a psychotherapist and author of 9 books. My books can be found on and The titles are:
Kate's Way     The Basket Weaver
Voices from the Land   The Mindful Writer  Echoes from the Womb, a Book for Daughters
The Breath of Dawn, a Journey of Everyday Blessings
The Write to Heal, How to Write from Your Heart and How to Write Your Own Memoir - these books can be purchased on  Kate's Way, Voices from the Land and The Mindful Writer are also ebooks on

I welcome all comments and suggestions and intend to offer you the best health guidance for mind/body/spirit wellness. I am not a physician and do not claim to override any medical attention you are getting. When in doubt always consult an allopathic or hollistic medical professional. My expertise comes from both personal and professional experience having had to find my own solutions to many health issues through alternative methods.

Credit for the header design for Aware Living goes to Shawn Kirsten Maravel, author of Severance and Volition. Shawn's books can be ordered on