52 CAN DO’S: Healthy Lifestyle Solutions for each week of the year

By Monifa Maat “The Healthy Motivator” (www.TheHealthyMotivator.com)

52 CAN DO TIP #26 2017


Don’t Forget the Chicken Soup!

I remember as a child whenever I caught cold or flu, my mother used to feed me chicken soup. I’ll never forget it was chicken soup with saltine crackers and orange juice. Nine times out of 10, it wasn’t long before I felt better!

Like the iconic bestselling book Chicken Soup for the Soul which made its debut over 20 years ago, inspiring a generation to live life with hope and happiness; I tend to reach for the chicken soup not just on freezing cold wintery days, or if I feel a cold brewing, but when I simply desire a simple “comfort meal” – one that makes my soul feel satisfied, not just my belly.

Health benefits of chicken soup

Best of all, most chicken soup (especially homemade) contain several ingredients contributing to its amazing health benefits including carrots, celery, ginger and garlic (if you prefer), and chicken, especially if organic. Here are just some of the medicinal ingredients in most chicken soup recipes:

Carrots: Contains vitamins A and B1 for a strong immune system.

Celery: Benefits the digestive tract and lowers inflammation.

Garlic: In particular crushed garlic contains allicin, an antibacterial that helps to lower both high blood pressure and fight infection in the body.

Ginger: Has been used to help treat arthritis, and the common cold.

Chicken: Contains the amino acid cysteine that is released when the soup cooks down that thins mucus in the lungs and helps build strong muscles.

I’ve included a special homemade chicken soup recipe from my friend Amina, a restaurateur in downtown Manhattan’s financial district. During lunch at her establishment she asked…“Do you know how to make a really good chicken soup?” out the blue.  She went on to explain her process as I thought about how my mother often used chicken soup, nurturing me back to health despite a nasty cold.  It was the soul of the soup really, more than the soup itself that made all of the difference. Try this recipe before you catch cold!

Zaitzeff Chicken Soup


-1 whole chicken (*must be organic!)

-Water in large pot (to cover chicken)

-1 large whole onion (leave the skin on)

-2 large carrots (brush cleaned)

-Egg noodles (if preferred)

-4 or 5 celery sticks with leaves

-Pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil chicken, carrots, onion and celery lightly (for 30 minutes).
  2. After 30 min. cut breasts out of the chicken and set to the side to prevent over drying.
  3. Continue cooking remainder of chicken and vegetables; simmering for 3 hours to extract all nutrients from chicken & vegetables.  
  4. Remove from heat and pour contents of pot through a strainer. You will be left with a rich, chicken broth. Add noodles, remaining chicken breast stripped or cubed. Salt/pepper to taste. Simmer, try not to overcook noodles.

Variation: Add ½ teaspoon of crushed ginger and ½ teaspoon crushed garlic with noodles.

Monifa Maat is a Mind-Body Exercise Therapist, and Author of Bed Aerobics Fitness Flow: 18 mind-body bed exercise techniques for flexibility, strength & balance Email: Monifa@bedaerobicfitness.com/Phone: 347-903-0637/Web: www.Thehealthymotivator.com


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