Feeling a bit stuck and stagnant this winter? Try this simple slow cooker chicken soup.
The weather in New England has felt a bit oppressive lately. The temperature hasn’t reached above freezing for more than a day in nearly two weeks and there is over a foot of snow on the ground.
Most of life has come to a bit of a pause as it is simply too cold to be outside for too long.
While the winter season is a great opportunity to slow down, draw inward and hibernate, adapting your diet and lifestyle to the rhythm of the season will help prevent seasonal imbalances—feelings of being weighed down, stagnant, tired and uninspired.
How to Adapt Your Diet for the Winter
What some experience in the winter as “the blues” can be explained in Ayurveda as an imbalance.
According to Ayurveda, the winter is actually the season when the digestive fire is strongest so the body requires more fuel to stay warm and healthy. Our bodies will naturally crave a more substantial, nutrient-dense diet so it is important to focus on eating warm, cooked, slightly oily and well-spiced foods to keep your digestive system firing and prevent stagnation.
Stagnation can lead to stuck energy. Stuck energy can leave you feeling weighed down and uninspired.
From about November through February, swap out your green juices, salads and tropical smoothies for nuts, seeds, soups, stews, cooked vegetables and warming spices, especially if you live in a cold climate. Focus on dishes that are high in protein and contain a quality source of fat as those are insulating for the body. Spices to try include turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne while good quality oils are ghee, olive oil and sesame oil.
Nutrient-dense root veggies such as squash, carrots, beets and sweet potatoes, which are abundant this time of year, are also rich in fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C, all of which help support your nutrition during the colder months.
Simple Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
Few meals can warm and nourish you better than a bowl of soup and when pressed for time, this simple slow cooker chicken soup is perfect.
The recipe is ideal for the winter months as it contains healthy fats, protein, a root veggie and bone broth. Bone broth is full of amino acids like arginine, glutamine, and cysteine that have all been shown to boost immunity.
Serve the soup alone or with a side of roasted root vegetables and you have the perfect winter-balancing meal.
How to make this simple chicken soup in a slow cooker is below. For other diner recipe ideas, click here.Print
- 8 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds pasture raised boneless chicken breast
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 4 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp parsley
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1n 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl, combine chicken broth, olive oil, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, turmeric. salt and pepper
- Place chicken on top of vegetables
- Cover slow cooker with a lid and cook on low setting for approximately 6-8 hours
- Transfer chicken to cutting board
- Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes
- Skim and fat from soup and remove bay leaves
- Return chicken to soup and serve
Patrick Sporleder Photography