Juliana Writes...

Living with the best of intentions

Monday, February 1, 2016

Not This Time, Cold Season!

Tis the season, everyone...cold season.  Flu season.  SICK SEASON.  Even in sunny LA Winter brings the symphony of sniffles, coughs, and achy groans heard round the world when the weather turns frosty.  

For some reason I have a history of catching pretty much anything that's floating around in the air.  It makes no sense to me – I live a generally healthy and active lifestyle, I go to bed around the same time as your grandma, but my immune system is just not as tough as it ought to be.  When my dad got a cold over Christmas I thought I was a goner, I immediately started a relentless wellness regimen in hopes of at least taking the punch out of the inevitable head full of slime that was about to take hold.  And something miraculous happened.  I didn’t get sick!  A few weeks later I started feeling that ominous tickle in the back of my throat when James was laid up on the couch with a cough that wouldn’t quit.  I dove back into my routine and low and behold: I stayed healthy!

Today I woke up feeling achy and low on energy and the first thing I did was stock up on the magical components that haven’t failed me yet.  Then I made soup that I kinda feel like was wellness in a bowl.  Then I wrote this post to share all of these things with you! 

My Wellness MVPs:

Apple Cider Vinegar

You might not love the taste but this stuff knocks sickness OUT.  It’s wildly beneficial (revs your metabolism, promotes good flora in your gut, seriously kicks acid reflux in ass…) and my #1 pick as soon as I start feeling under the weather.  I do about 2 tablespoons in water and sip on it (I happen to enjoy the taste), however if the acidity is too intense you can dilute the flavor in apple or white grape juice. 

Zicam Nose Spray

It’s not addictive, it’s not even necessarily medicinal, but it’s wonderfully preventative.  The Zicam throat spray and tablets are also fabulously effective but for me the first place sickness hits is in my nose and sinuses, so this bad boy is a winner.  You can use it a couple times a day at the very first sign of illness and it doesn’t burn or send gag-worthy, bitter drips down the back of your throat.  Yes.


Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Flush your system out.  Pee all day long.

All The Tea

These are three of my most trustworthy steepers. 

I always know I don’t feel well when coffee doesn’t sound appealing, but I need a little hit of caffeine to keep my sad addict headaches at bay.  Enter green tea partnered with dandelion root: a little caffeine, a bouquet of antioxidants, an anti-inflammatory and detox powerhouse.  I have a double-bagged cup in the morning and lay low for the day.  Then right before bed I do one bag of the ginger tea and one bag of the Throat Coat to sip on in my jammies; warm and peppery ginger is so good for your gut and sinuses, plus the Throat Coat is packed with echinacea and potent herbs that soothe both your body and mind.  Then it’s lights out before 10pm because the most important thing you can do for you body is get. good. sleep.

Onto the soup!  I pretty much want to eat soup all day everyday, even in the middle of a SoCal summer.  You can imagine, therefore, that the craving is unstoppable when I start feeling lousy.  I always want something brothy, lemony, and spicy…the rest just depends on what’s handy in the kitchen. 

Today I combined two recipes that I’ve enjoyed separately in the past to make a big pot of immunity-boosting goodness.  This is the first time I’ve ever attempted to post a recipe…let me know what you think!

Lemony Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Makes a big ol’ pot
Serves 2-6 people, depending on how big your bowls are and how many people want seconds 


1 tbsp olive oil
½ sweet yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ tsp dried rosemary
¼ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional for mild-lovers)
2 boxes of Pacific organic chicken bone broth
2 lemons
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup wild rice
Salt and pepper
Baby kale blend (baby kale, spinach, arugula, green chard)
Sriracha or chili garlic paste for garnish


1.    Begin by cooking your rice al dente in a separate pot and set aside. 
2.    Boil your chicken breasts.  You can do this just in water, I like to use chicken broth and a pinch of whatever herbs I’ll be throwing into the soup to add a teensy bit of preliminary flavor.  Once they’re just barely cooked through take them out and shred 'em with a couple of forks, set aside. 
3.    Chop your onions and garlic (both fantastic sickness fighters) and heat your olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.  Throw those bad boys in and sauté until fragrant, adding in your dried herbs after about a minute.
4.    Pour in your bone broth and squeeze the lemons in.  Shake in your red pepper flakes if you’re down with spice, add your shredded chicken, rice, salt and pepper to taste, stir.   
5.    Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover partially, letting all the deliciousness simmer together for about 20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.
6.    Once you’re ready to eat throw a handful of greens in the bottom of your bowl and immediately spoon that piping hot soup over the top.  Garnish with some Sriracha or chili garlic sauce for just a touch more kick and a little sweetness and dive in headfirst.  Or use a spoon, whatever. 

What do you guys think?  What are your secrets for warding off the winter germs?

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