Ready for Fall? THIS!: seasonal butternut squash soup

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Ready for Fall? THIS!: seasonal butternut squash soup

#mrsdrdahl’s first sight of fall soup

Anyone else noticing that the air smells a little different? There is misty fog in the morning before work or school drop off. And at the end of the day, it’s a bit chilly? Yay FALL! (or what we know of it in LA anyway).

In Dr. Eric’s garden its fall too; the summer squash is ripening. In the last few weeks, he’s brought home several different varieties (pumpkins, patty pans, Lebanese zucchini, yellow summer squash, and butternut (my fave).

When the squash comes home, and you need a sweater in the evenings, it’s SOUP SEASON!

Oh, I made a yummy one the other night for our first dive in.  So yummy, in fact, that I got 40+ likes on instagram (@mrsdrdahl).  So I’m thinking that it might be worthy of a blog here on Dr. D’s website.  This soup is not only delicious, and nutritious, but easy!  Here it is:

mrsdrdahl’s First Sight of Fall Soup (Roasted Butternut Squash)

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A recent Sunday’s harvest from Dr. Eric’s garden

1 large whole organic butternut squash

2 Tbs organic butter (preferably Kerrygold Irish butter)

1 organic apple (preferably fuji or gala)

1 organic yellow onion (or maui)

2 bay leaves

1/4 tsp fresh thyme

1/4 tsp fresh terragon

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cinnamon

dash cayenne (or two or three)

2 C bone broth (preferably homemade) chicken (or veggie)

1 C filtered water

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Dr. Eric in his happy place

1 tsp sea salt

2 dashes white pepper (or three)

fresh ground black pepper to taste

squeeze of lemon

1/2 C organic milk (or almond, hemp, rice, goat, cream, etc)

seeds of the butternut squash

whole plain organic yogurt (goat or greek ok, or sour cream)

dash of paprika

Lucero Olive Oil’s Evoo Favolosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil (preferably)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and hollow out the middle separating the seeds and setting them aside (do not throw out). Cover the inside surface of the exposed squash meat with olive oil then place insides up on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Add the cleaned squash seeds to the lined baking pan, and place all in the oven to roast.
  3. Be sure to check on the seeds after about 15-20 minutes and take them out or they will burn! When cooler, toss seeds in Lucero’s Favolosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) & sea salt. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, return the squash to the oven. Roast for approx 1 hour (total) until your house smells amazing, it is slightly browned on top, & it is soft all the way through when tested with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. While the squash is cooking, dice both your onion (skinned) and apple (skin on) and sautee them in a saucepan with 2 Tbs butter (preferably Kerrygold Irish butter) and the bay leaves until apple and onions are clear and soft. Then add spices.
  6. When the squash has cooled considerably, using a spoon, scrape the meat from the skin, discard skin.
  7. Back in the pan, add the broth, water, roasted squash meat, salt & both peppers. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occassionally for approximately 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from heat and stir in your “milk” of choice. Squeeze in the fresh lemon.

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    immersion blender – the best!

  8. Using a blender (I prefer an immersion blender as it doesn’t require moving the soup from the sauce pan), puree the soup until it is the desired consistency (I prefer it rather lumpy).
  9. Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt & the reserved roasted butternut squash seeds.  If you want it extra pretty, I’d also add a dash of paprika, and drizzle of the delicious Lucero Favolosa EVOO (not pictured above).
  10. Enjoy!

So, it takes a while, but still it’s easy work. And totally worth it! My kids and hubs both scarfed it down! The soup, and the side -salad of organic kale tossed in another couple of my faves Lucero’s Persian Lime EVOO, and their Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar, & topped with dried cranberries (as pictured above).

PLUS, as I’ve mentioned before and as you surely know from Dr. Eric, seasonal, local food is ridiculously good for you.  Nature knows best of course, and she provides exactly the things you need when you need them. Wondering what on God’s Green Earth could be so great about butternut squash? well here’s a few things*:

  1. Heart Health. Full of potassium, it helps counteract the effects of sodium and decreases your blood pressure to prevent things like heart attack and stroke.
  2. Helps keep you regular. Full of fiber, it helps with digestion and helps maintain a healthy digestive track with good gut bacteria (and we know how much we are learning lately about THAT!).
  3. Healthy Eyesight. Full of Vitamin A, as well as lutein & zeaxanthin both antioxidants, the squash is great for your eyes.
  4. Healthy Bones. Full of manganese, Vitamin C, Iron folate, & Zinc, it helps maintain calcium absorption, mineral density, & production of collagen, all for healthy bone structure and protection against osteoperosis.
  5. Healty Skin. Full of Vitamin C, it helps prevent dryness and wrinkles and thus keeps you looking youthful! um, yay?!
  6. Healthy Immune Function. Again, with the Vitamin C – we all know that it is like, the best to help you fight infection.
  7. Reduces Inlammation. Yessir! the winner. Inflammation is the cause of most of our pain and disease. B-squash has the antioxidant beta-cryptoxanthin which reduces that shite. Need I list how studies show…reduces inflammation-related disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, regular arthritis, cancer…& all those yuckies?
  8. Aids in weight loss – what?! less than 100 calories, 26 carbs, and almost no fat. Great for filling you up without weighing you down.

*The above list of benefits is summarized from the following: http://www.organicauthority.com/8-incredible-nutrition-and-health-benefits-of-butternut-squash/

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homemade bone broth

So, those are some freakin’ great reasons to eat it.  That, and that it is delicious!  And, we haven’t even looked at the health benefits of all the other awesome ingredients like …. say…

bone broth (see a previous SMHA blog here: http://santamonicahealingarts.com/?p=800), or onions, cayenne, or turmeric (all the rage now re anti-inflammation!)… or how the black pepper helps your body absorb the amaze turmeric…or how lemon juice is alkaline which helps starve and prevent cancer…or paprika, or sea salt, oh and helloooooo OLIVE OIL? the list goes on.

What your body needs, nature provides.  And, right WHEN you need it.  To prevent FLU season (no FLU shots needed thank you very much).  The best bet is #foodasmedicine.  Ask Dr. Eric.  There’s a reason why you crave what you do, when you do. Trust your insticts.  And stay well.

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me in my favorite fall sweater on soup day! The Darcy Grandpa Cardigan in Latte from www.amateursstudio.com

Enjoy!

Coby Dahlstrom (aka #mrsdrdahl)

for

Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts

Providing Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)

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PS: For fun & just in case you might be interested, I’ve used the same inspiring base recipe for years for all of my butternut squash soup variations…you can find it here: http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/roasted-butternut-squash-soup-30466

PPS: I swear I don’t work for Lucero Olive Oil, lol.  But I do LOVE their amazing healthy gourment products! Ridiculous good. Every time our family makes the trip up to visit Dr. Eric’s mom or sister in Nor Cal, we stop off and visit the beautiful tasting room in Corning.  And we order them online a lot too.  They have great sales and super gift sets which are great for all our foodie friends and stocking stuffers. Just because it was so tasty with our butternut squash seeds, here’s the link for the Favolosa EVOO, but be sure to check out the Persian Lime as well (I think it’s even on sale right now!), and all the super balsamic vinegars! http://www.lucerooliveoil.com/single-variety-evoo/favolosa-extra-virgin-olive-oil.html

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lateral learning – why a school garden is so important!

PPPS: Last year, about this time, Dr. Eric sponsored the most amazing thing at the Kentwood School Garden for the 3rd graders and their school-grown butternut squash.  It was truly one of the highlights of my health/food/garden/mom life! Kids need school gardens – for so many reasons. Need a little inspiration?  Check out my last year’s October blog “The Whole Kit and Caboodle for Kentwood” here: http://santamonicahealingarts.com/?p=1156

 

 

 

 

“The Whole Kit & Caboodle” for Kentwood ~ Sponsored by Dr. Eric

 

UnknownSo do you guys know what lateral thinking is? Have you heard of project-based learning? You may have recently, especially if you have a student in LAUSD as the new Common Core standards are trying to encompass a bit more of it.  Well, just for fun here’s the definition::

“Lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic. The term was coined in 1967 by Edward de Bono.”pimr

If any of you have visited Dr. Eric for help solving a problem that as it turns out, is not straight chiropractic, or if you’ve been there for a headache for example, and walked away with a saliva test kit and two bottles from Standard Process, then you know kinda what I mean.

Dr. Eric likes to use integrated alternative therapies to find the root cause of a person’s dis-ease. He’s not one to rack and crack, and he’s not a big fan of band-aids (metaphorically speaking). He likes to find the ROOT cause of your pain and works to put you back in balance, homeostasis. Often this requires a lot of lateral thinking. That’s one of the reasons why he is good at what he does.  He thinks outside the box – the box of most Western Medicine – and he can help you heal.10984159_10204528413145241_5732512652723273381_n

 

Another thing that Dr. Eric does is sponsor #minimrsdrdahl’s school garden. Which helps to foster the same thing: Lateral learning. That way the kids get the whole kit and caboodle too. Literally. Nutrition, sure, gardening, agriculture, sure, but also history, science, literature, math, social studies, art, homemaking, vocabulary, and even sex-ed.

Today for example, was a red letter day in the Kentwood School garden.

8 months ago, in March, Kentwood kids planted butternut squash seeds. Students visited their budding seedlings during recess most days and watered them as they grew.  Over the summer, our PTO-sponsored drip watering system fed those plants as they turned into vines.  Upon our return in August, they were growing like mad, flowering, and had some small squash beginning. By Fall, those squash were ready to pick.10955207_10204579795429766_4143826007299995770_n

Last year, Dr. Eric was the one who figured that the school, and students would best benefit if we preserved the fruits of their labor, especially over the summer. Luckily, I’m good at canning. And Dr. Eric, ever the one for linguistic puns, coined the term “Koala Food” (the school mascot is Kenny the Koala).  We will be selling the finished products this coming spring, in our silent auction at Family Fun Day. All organic, kid-grown, school garden produce and recipes. So far, we have at least two dozen jars put up.10313056_10204579709067607_3056720641652066879_n

Recently, our wonderful school librarian approached me. She had thought of me, she said, when she read a darling book called “Sophie’s Squash” (Pat Zietlow Miller & Anne Wilsdorf). The story is about a little girl who thinks a butternut squash is so neat, she decides to make it her new toy.  She draws a face on it and takes it with her everywhere just like a baby doll; She cannot be swayed to eat it or switch it out for another toy.  When the squash starts to finally get soft, she consults the farmers market…they tell her to tuck it away in a bed of soil and give it lots of water and it will be happy.  The next season, she visits her squash-friend only to find that it has grown into a vine and has produced more baby squash. Delightful story.11159506_10204724049236021_2094583681756832266_n

“AWESOME!” I said. We just happen to have a butternut squash growing in the school garden right now! Our fantastic librarian went on to approach the fabulous 3rd grade teachers, who’s science unit this year covers seeds and planting. I mentioned that I had recently made “Koala Food” butternut squash soup that they could taste too! And it all fell into place.

Today, 8 months of work came to fruition. I witnessed first hand, the reasons why I do what I do. Why Dr. Eric spends his weekends toiling in the school garden.

So. much. learned. (with only 15 minutes per class!)11060042_10205786786003776_2051472937121527132_n

The 3rd graders and I talked about seasons, the Fall and what that means, what holidays happen in the Autumn, what foods they associate with those holidays. We discussed how butternut squash is similar to pumpkin moreso than zucchini, and how one butternut squash varietal differs from another. I showed them three different kinds of butternut squash.  They recognized the similarity when comparing themselves with their classmates: all human, all kids, all the same, but different – different colors, different shapes, different sizes. Fun new adjectives were used to describe the differences (of the fruits): oblong, bulbous, knobby, smooth, oval, orange, golden, big, giant, petite, graceful, curvy. We learned the meaning of “heirloom,” which like their family’s collectibles or finery, is a very special, handed-down-through-generations seed type that isn’t usually available in standard grocery stores. They recognized thusly the importance of supporting local family farms and supporting their local farmer’s market. 11137164_10205656077856154_2385955535524519663_n

In the eating of the recipe itself, the students had an opportunity to enhance the dimension of their learning.  Sensory appreciations: taste, texture, sweet, salty…”In the soup are apples, onions, sage, cinammon, can you taste them?” I asked. “Can you smell the cinammon?” We passed around fresh sage…doesn’t it complement the flavor of the squash to have a fresh leaf on top? what does the flavor remind you of? It’s a bit like pumpkin pie but not as sweet…do you know the word savory?”11033976_10205733629514897_271465502817944093_n
I asked them questions that made them think or recognize things they might very well have known but never connected. Did they know that butternut squash originated in Mexico? Or that it was cultivated by Native Americans? I asked them if they had any family recipes that were their family’s “heirlooms.” What other vegetables are orange? what makes them so? Betacarotene I told them.  Its good for eyesight. That squash contains a whole alphabet of vitamins: A,B,C, iron, potassium, zinc, and that those things are anti-oxidants that help reduce risk of cancer, cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke – in short, keep you healthy and happy. The seeds contain tryptophan which is used by your body to help your brain. These orange fruits of fall are excellent for your eyes, and more importantly, your hearts and your brains. Perhaps this is another reason why Sophie chose the squash as her friend? Because what is better for your heart or brain than a really good friend? Or your favorite toy? And to remind them daily, the Librarian will keep the garden-fresh butternut squash in the library, wearing its drawn-on happy face, just like Sophie’s.10420118_10205740252080457_7810252065439398266_n

After we tasted the soup, we walked into the garden and saw another squash growing, and other fall fruits, pumpkins and zucchini. The kids noticed the squash blossoms so we talked about these flowers being either male or female and how the plant needs both sexes living happily side by side in order to grow the fruits. The children surmised that it was, of course, the female flowers that grew the squash. Some of them had eaten stuffed squash blossoms before, filled with Mexican (Queso Fresco), French (Chèvre), Greek (Feta), or Italian (Mozzarella) cheese. If they dared, we tasted the leaves too, which are likewise edible, good for you and can even be used in stir-fry, salads, or instead of tortillas for wraps.11954587_10205781085461266_484969480295904598_n

The kids, if interested, will take home the recipe, allowing them to practice at home both the culinary arts, as well as their math (measurement) skills.  Their teachers will dispearse seeds from one of our school-grown squashes and they will grow their own plants, eventually transplanting them, once again, into the school garden. I am hoping they will talk about this with their families which will in turn foster a growing interest in vegetables and eating well. Perhaps, come spring, they will encourage their parents to bid on the Koala Food items in the silent auction, again encouraging health and wellness at home, as well as providing funding for next year’s school garden.10430458_10205741092701472_4669364781077671490_n

There are lots of expressions that come to mind to describe an experience so all encompassing.  The whole kit and caboodle is one.  Going the whole nine yards is another.  The whole shebang.  Going whole hog, going all in…the list goes on. But it is EVERYTHING.

Days spent like this at school are FUN. Learning like this will motivate these kids to grow into future doctors, scientists, farmers, writers, artists, healers, problem solvers. When they grow up, I hope they make a difference in this world…help us find some balance. And, I sure hope they will be as good at what what they do as Dr. Eric is at what HE does. safe_image.php

Oh, and in case you are FIRED up to try the recipe, this is the one that I loosely followed: http://www.chowhound.com/recipes/roasted-butternut-squash-soup-30466

If you’d like to read the darling book: http://www.amazon.com/Sophies-Squash-Pat-Zietlow-Miller/dp/0307978966

Bon Appetite!

Coby Dahlstrom (aka #mrsdrdahl)

for

Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts3rd grade

Providing Integrated Alternative Therapies, Chiropractic Care, and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)

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Sophie’s Squash is the reipient of a number award for children’s literature: 

Booklist Books for Youth Editors’ Choice-WINNER

Golden Kite Award for Fiction-WINNER

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year-WINNER

Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Children’s Book of the Year-SELECTION 2014

Charlotte Zolotow Award-HONOR 2014

Ezra Jack Keats New Writer/Illustrator Award-HONOR 2014

Bone Appetit! Halloween = Soup Season

Question:

chic

This was a Von’s roasted chicken from last night’s last minute dinner. My back was out, so my son rode his skateboard to the market and picked it up for us!

When you stop to grab dinner for your family on the way home, how often do you grab one of those whole roasted chickens (doesn’t really matter from where…)?

Second Question:

If you do, do you throw all the bones, skin, carcass in the trash after you’ve eaten the meat?  Wait…don’t answer! Just TELL ME THAT YOU DON’T…or at least, promise that you won’t? … Please don’t waste that carcass!!!

Here’s why:

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A beautiful “Rosie the Free Range” organic chicken from Sprouts that I roasted in Kerrygold butter & homegrown rosemary, sage, & thyme with organic yukon gold potatoes, himalayan salt and white pepper

Bone Broth is INCREDIBLY good for you.  And SOOOOOPER easy to make. Whether you’re using up the last of your Thanksgiving turkey, or you roasted a “Rosie the Free Range Chicken” for dinner, maybe you grabbed a regular ol’ roasted non-organic bird from Von’s, or even picked up a to-go rotisserie deal from Benny’s, never EVER throw out your bones. Trust me.

I mean really, how many recipes call for chicken broth? Sure, you can buy that boxed organic broth: Pacific, Imagine, or there’s Simple Truth at Ralph’s and “O” brand at Von’s.  You can go un-organic with Swanson, Tyson, or Costco’s Kirkland brand.  Or there’s old school Campbell’s in a can or even the OG like my mom sometimes used on the fly: bouillon cubes.

But why pay ANY money at all for ANY of them, when you can make it yourself for FREE?  And therefore be absolutely certain that you know what’s in it?  I mean free of  ADDITIVES  (ie: MSG – a neurotoxic substance that causes a wide range of reactions, from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage (1)) & no added sodium (read “low-sodium”), and even better if you’ve used an organic free-range chicken, NO GMOs! (Don’t get me started.)

Even more importantly, store bought broth is just not as good for you.  No really, it’s not.  Even organic brands can use high temperature, flash-cooking techinques.  You get broth that is watered down, it doesn’t gel up and you won’t get all the nutrients and benefits of the gooey gelatin from true bone broth made from bone marrow(a).  Store bought commercial broths will fake these “thickening effects” with emulsifiers but the true health benefits are lost (1).

broth

Broth cooking from the other night’s Benny’s rotisseried take out special (another quick, local, last minute option for the family when things were super hectic!)

Don’t have the time you say?  Nah. Watch and learn. easy peasy.

Put the whole friggin’ thing in a big ol’ pot. Fill the pot with water. Boil. You can simmer on low for a few hours, or let it cook and cook and cook for twenty four hours – one gets you more bone for your buck, but both are totally valid.  Go ahead, put the lid on, set the flame low, and go take a shower!  Or cook dinner, or watch a TV show, or help the kids with homework.  You can even do it in your slow cooker while you are at WORK!  No excuses.

And did I mention HOW GOOD IT IS FOR YOU? Well, we’ll get to that later…

Ok, hold up, first things first.  Directions:

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THE best Thanksgiving Turkey EVER! totally organic free-range HUGE bird from Whole Foods cooked with organic, no nitrates added, uncured bacon, rosemary & smoked paprika from my dear friend’s recipe @cookingontheweekends.com! WOWZA!

I mentioned the boiling bit.  If you are making JUST A Bone Broth, and you aren’t planning on making soup of any kind at the moment (fyi, you can use the broth to make many kinds of soup later), then literally add nothing but water, purified if possible.  We have a reverse osmosis spout on our kitchen sink.  But really, since its gonna boil, even tap is ok.  If you have a meat hammer and can crack up the bones a bit great, if not, no worries. If you happen to have some ACV (apple cider vinegar), particuraly Bragg’s, add it too as it helps break down the bones to access the goodness & marrow.  Boil it till it falls apart. You want a nice layer of fatty greasy goodness on top of the water and all kinds of really small weird looking, unidentifiable chicken parts floating around. Boil it with the lid ON, but slightly ajar, so as not to let all the water evaporate.  If you do run low on water, add more and keep on boiling.  Boil it down the the bare bones (get it? – amazing where these expressions really come from!).

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Last year’s AMAZING totally organic free range Thanksgiving Turkey in the pot for broth

If you think you might want to make it into a soup, or are interested in a basic seasoning that covers all the bases, throw in a bay leaf or two while you simmer.  I always do, as this is what my mom did.  My kids even have a “who gets the bay leaf” hunt when we have soup ’cause there’s always at least one that makes it all the way to the table.

Right now, I’m going to stick with simple Chicken Stock and we can do some soup stuff later.  And btw, bone broth can be made of ANY leftover carcass, not just poultry!  Had BarBQ ribs last night? boil ’em down!  A Honeybaked Ham on Easter?  Oh I love hambone soup…BONES ARE GOOOOOOD.

Oh right, so now, you’ve let it simmer forever and you’ve got all the stuff floating around, what do you do?

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Most delicious Bone Broth ever from last year’s amazing Turkey. It was such a big bird, we got quite a lot of delicious broth with hints of bacon and paprika! (notice the sorting of the chicken parts aka fun for doggies).

It’s time to sift.  Let the broth cool WAY DOWN so you can touch it.  And take off your rings if your’re worried about them, as your hands and fingers will get greasy.  I am a real hands-all-in kinda cook; Why use a tool when you can just reach right in? But if you want to stay a bit cleaner, try using a slotted spoon, or a strainer for this party.

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This is Astro, he doesn’t listen very well, or he isn’t very smart, not sure which, but he won’t ever stay out of the kitchen!

Put that cooled vat of chicken stuff right alongside three medium sized bowls. You might only need two, but in my house there are three: 1) Remaining delicious usable chunks of chicken.  2) Actual bones.  3) Skin, cartlidge, fat etc that I can give to my dogs

(if you do this for your hounds, PLEASE be EXTRA careful to sort throught the mess several times – a single tiny chicken bone can choke your pupster to death and even large ones can splinter wrong in their throat and they’ll be a goner.)  I LOVE my pups, who by the way, wait directly under my feet the entire time I am making broth as they know the smell so well(!), so I always treat them to some yummy tidbits of organic chicken goodness.

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This is Kaya. She knows what’s up. she’ll wait patiently just outside the kitchen door with really big puppy dog eyes until I give her the good girl bites.

So now what to do with this mess?  Well, the part that is ok for the doglettes, I don’t give them all at once because that’s a whole lotta grease and fat in one gulp.  Instead, I portion it out to them for the next few days as treats and in thier kibble.  They LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  The bowl that is all bones, wrap up tight in a compostable bag and put in the BLACK garbage can.  And all the yummy bits of chicken that you found and didn’t even know you had?  Well, this is good stuff!  Whole other meals can be made from it.  I like to freeze it and use later for things like Chicken Salad, shepherd’s pie, & other soup recipes.  Instead of a canned chicken, you have your frozen! (so much money saved this way! make the very MOST out of your meal and your money!)

wish bone

minidrdahl & minimrsdrdahl pulling our most recent *Wishbone* – He always wins (he sneaks up the stem)…she gets so pissed.

*Fun Part* – When you boil a whole foul, you will recover the WISHBONE from the pot eventually!  How fun is that?  This was a ritual for me growing up, and I believe my kids find it as fun as I did everytime.  Let that fercula dry for a day and then you can go for it!  Two loved ones or friends, kids or a couple, or strangers for that matter, should hold onto the two “handles” at the base of the fork.  Hold them with the thumb and forefinger only!  Each of you, make a wish…Wait…Make sure no one is cheating by inching up the stem of the bone now… and on the count of three, PULL (not UP but OUT).  Whoever gets the head or top of the bone where it connects, well, their wish will come true.

*Fun Fact* – The furcula (“little fork” in Latin) or wishbone is a forked bone found in birds and some other animals, and is formed by the fusion of the two clavicles. In birds, its primary function is in the strengthening of the thoracic skeleton to withstand the rigors of flight.

As for the Bone Broth, that liquid gold…

How do you save it to use in the future?

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See the three layers? fat on top, gelatin in the middle, and chicken stuff on the bottom. This is a quart sized jar as that day, that’s what I had available, but its a bit hard to try to spoon out all three layers. I prefer pint sized.

Ok, so you have this VERY gelatinous thick almost solid goop.  BONE BROTH.  Very concentrated (especially if you boiled it for a VERY long time – ideally 24 hours).  You may notice that it has separated into layers.  There will be a thick fatty skim on top, a gooey jelloey middle kinda like consome, in fact, it IS consome (Oh jeez…do I have a story about THAT but maybe another time…), and on the bottom are little bits of solid stuff – chicken meat and such, but really tiny bits.

If you’re like me, you will use some of this treasure in the very near future. You’d be surprised how very many recipes call for chicken broth.  You might be cooking rice, or quinoa, or cous cous; Always use 1/2 broth!  Say you are making soup.  Yep it always needs broth.  Steaming spinach or any veggie for that matter?  Always steam with 1/2 broth, braising too.  What about a pasta sauce?  Yep, you’ll need to add broth.  Not kidding.  If you cook at home, you’ll need the broth.  So, put some in a jar and keep it in the fridge.  Right, those pickles that are almost empty?  Eat the last one, dump the juice, rinse the glass bottle, and fill it with this bone broth.  Make sure to get proportioned amounts of all three layers.  Then, keep it handy.  You’ll use that jar full in the next few weeks…

If you need it to last for a bit longer, or you made a whole bunch from a big bird, then you’ll have to freeze or can it.  Hold on…  Don’t get overwhelmed!  It’s way easier than you think, canning that is.  I typically don’t freeze because I don’t like to freeze in plastic and glass expands in the freezer.  So are you ready?  Here we go…

Canning 101:

canning tools

My mother’s canning pot (minus the lid – I managed to loose that somewhere deep in my garage) complete with wire canning rack and my own well-used canning tongs.

First, you’ll need a big pot.  Not just big, but deep (the water will have to cover the tops of the submerged glass canning jars).  I have my mother’s canning pot which I LOVE, and is totally worth having (if you think you’ll use it at least a few times a year, I suggest you invest).  The thing that’s great about a canning pot is the wire canning rack that fits right inside.  You see, the jars can’t touch the bottom of the pan or they will shatter.  So if you’re using any ol’ big ol’ pot, be sure you put something on the bottom of the pan to disperse the heat – like an opened collandar or similar.  (There are a few basic canning tools that you might be tempted to buy, but none of which are really necessary, they just make it all a bit easier if it’s going to be a “thing” you do).

Anyway, fill the pot with water almost to the top, turn on the heat, let it get to a rolling boil.

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These are pint sized ball jars from Ralph’s – they are filled with homegrown homemade pickles but just pretend that is chicken stock

Next, you will need some canning jars (Ball Jars, Mason Jars, etc).  Pint sized is good because you’ll use it up in several meals and it won’t stand open in the fridge too long.  I buy mine at Ralph’s.  If you have an old hardware store in town that carries them, that’s fun and nostalgic.  We had a great visit to the vintage hardware store in Dunsmuir, just outside of Shasta, this past Labor Day.  Darling place!  Been there since 1894, and it had a great selection of canning supplies (http://www.dunsmuirhardware.com/).  But you can also get them at Target, Wallmart, Amazon.com, etc.

Ok, Gonna make this short…

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I always feel like celebrating when all my jars seal! woo hoo!

Sterilize the jars, lids & rings by rinsing in really hot water.  Let the lids & rings soak.  Fill the jars with broth (again be sure to get proportionate amounts of all three layers of goodness).  WIPE THE RIMS of the jars carefully (if there is stuff on there, they won’t seal).  Place the warm lid on the top, then put on the metal ring loosely.  Submerge the jars in the pot of boiling water.  Leave them there for 12-18 minutes, turning the boil down just a bit.  Removing them is easier if you have a wire rack, or a set of canning tongs, but doable if you don’t, you just need some kinda tong to reach into the boiling water, and not mess with the lids too much or you might undo the seal.  Set the jars to cool in a flat area.  Do not touch them.  As they cool, you will hear a “popping” sound as each one sets its seal.  SUCH A GREAT NOISE!  Like popping a champagne cork!  Woo Hoo!  Celebratory as you know you’ve succeeded in sealing the jar!  When they’ve fully cooled, wipe them down, and you can store them for ALL TIME!  Amazing really. They are sealed so as long as they are refridgerated, they last FOR EVAAAAH.

AWESOME right?  But here’s the REALLY AWESOME part (if I haven’t lost you and you’re still reading)…

WHY IT IS SO DARN GOOD FOR YOU!

Albondigas, or Mexican chicken soup, from homemade bone broth, with homegrown zucchini, carrots, onions, & cliantro

Here’s a quick bit o’ history.  Basically every culture agrees in the healing property of bone broth…let’s review a few:

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Homemade Korean “Pho-style” soup from Thanksgiving turkey bone broth, master tonic, and homegrown cabbage, onions, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, radish, & lime with cilantro, sesame seeds, Braggs Aminos, & homemade “Rooster Sauce” from habanero chilis. Rice Vinegar & Sesame Oil.

The use of gelatin as a theraputic agent dates back to the ancient Chinese (1).  Traditional Chinese Medecine (TCM) uses bone broth to strengthen the kidney, support the digestive system, and build blood (2).  It is a Qi & blood builder (3).  Bone broths are nutrient-dense, and include calcium, potassium, magnesium, and incorporate the marrow of the animal.  Marrow helps our Jing essence (essence from the Kidney).  “Bone marrow is produced by Kidney Jing, so infusing it in bone broth is like drinking a cup of Jing” (3). 

images-6But what is Kidney Jing?  TCM tells us we are all born with it.  It is the “essence” we are given from our mom and dad at birth.  There is a sort of “reserve” of this energy in all of us and as we age, we begin to use it up.  When we are stressed, work too hard, have too much “fun,” are short on sleep, or otherwise over-tax ourselves, our Kidney essence becomes deficient and we become exhausted.  Filling up your resevoir again is wonderful! (3)  Thus the bone broth!

We’ve heard all of the slogans from the 90’s “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” etc.  Those don’t come from thin air.  “Fish broth will cure anything,” is another South American proverb. (1)  All proverbs arrive from years of repitition of knowledge.  They should always be taken seriously, not with a grain of salt! 

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Matzo Ball Soup – Jewish “Penicillin” (Not homemade. But a pic I lifted from google images. Not gluten free so I haven’t made it in a while…but it’s a goodie!

“The term “Jewish penicillin” is used for chicken soup, because it is known to inhibit cell inflammation and mitigate cold symptoms.  And the English have sipped beef tea, or beef broth, since the Victorian era.” (2)

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“Liberty leading the People” by Eugène Delacroix

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The steam digester: a high-pressure cooker invented by French physicist Denis Papin in 1679.

In 1682, Denis Papin, a Frenchman, invented a kind of pressure cooker called the “digestor,” that cooked bones or meat with steam to extract the gelatin.  In the same way that we take vitamins to answer our current nutritional shortages, gelatin was the go to 200 years ago, particularly in France.  Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing primarily the amino acids arginine and glycine, but a little goes a long way and much broth can be made of a few measely bones. “During the siege of Paris, when vegetables and meat were scarce, a doctor named Guerard put his patients on gelatin bouillon with some added fat and they survived in good health.”(1)

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French Onion Soup made from homemade chicken/beef bone broth – recipe from @thepioneerwoman.com Mais Oui! Merci!

Through the 1950’s the French were the leaders in gelatin research.  Again, think consome right?  In a French restaurant, you can literally order a bowl of plain beef gelatin.  They found it useful in the treatment many diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer.  Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. (1)

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Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. (1901–1967) In his treatment of respiratory diseases such as TB, asthma, allergies and emphysema, he always highlighted proper diet based on the principles discovered by Weston Price.

The American researcher Francis Pottenger (Pottenger’s Cats) stated that gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, thus it attracts and holds liquids & facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices towards the food in the gut. (1)

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Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”

Famed and oft quoted French gastronome Brillant-Savarin stated that “Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food…good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion.”(1)  But of course he is better known for having coined the expression “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.”  Or as we say nowadays: You are what you eat.  He was a pretty smart guy that Brillant-Savarin, also coming up with the theory that sugar and white flour were the cause of obesity and suggested eating only protein-rich ingredients of which bone broth was one.  I think he was on to something. 

WAIT! did I lose you??? Was the history lesson too boring?

Hey  – I’m just trying to show you how IMPORTANT it is to not throw away those bones, remember?  

And finally, some brass tack factual reasons WHY bone broth is healthy (4, 5): 

  • reduces pain & inflammation, makes your joints more supple
  • helps you have healthier hair, skin, & nails
  • heals your gut & promotes healthy digestion
  • reduces your need for meat & protein
  • helps get the toxins out.
  • promotes healthy bones.
  • helps promote healthy sleep
  • inhibits infection

I could go into GREAT detail on each of these, but I’d just have to quote directly from the articles below ’cause they are so well written and fun.  Instead, just click on those links at the end.  They’re awesome.

Bones are good for your bones.  And more.

OOOOOPS!  I was going to give you some recipes.  WHAT???  How did that happen?

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Last night’s homegrown homemade pumpkin soup made with last week’s chicken bone broth! Welcome Fall. Welcome Soup Season!

Really, this article has been long winded enough. How about I write another blog soon as an addendum and include my very favorite Chicken Soup recipe?  THE one and only?  My Mother’s (I love you and miss you MOM).  For now I will leave you of a picture of the soup that I was making today while I wrote this blog… No it’s not Chicken Soup, rather homemade homegrown pumpkin.  But guess what is one of only eight ingredients?  YES!!!  You guessed it! ….Chicken Bone Broth!

Until next month…keep drooling! xo Coby

Coby Dahlstrom (aka #mrsdrdahl)

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for

Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts
Providing Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)
~ follow us on
twitter: @SMHealingArts
facebook: “Santa Monica Healing Arts”
instagram: @mrsdrdahl
yelp: Santa Monica Healing Arts

Sources:
a. http://whole9life.com/2013/12/whole9-bone-broth-faq/

1. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/

2. http://doctorauer.com/benefits-of-bone-broth/

3. http://alcantaraacupuncture.com/traditional-chicken-bone-broth-a-recipe-to-build-qi-and-blood-for-immune-building-fertility-and-postpartum/

4. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/16/bone-broth-benefits.aspx

5. http://undergroundwellness.com/top-5-reasons-why-bone-broth-is-the-bomb/

 

 

Here Comes Fall – by John Copeland

photo image copyright Wayne Kimbell

Photo image copyright – Wayne Kimbell

Every season hath its pleasures;
Spring may boast her flowery prime,
Yet the vineyard’s ruby treasures
Brighten Autumn’s sob’rer time.”
― Thomas Moore

Do you notice the changes going on around you?  These days the sun is rising a bit later and setting a little earlier.  Here in Santa Ynez, lurking at the edge of the last of our lingering warm evenings is a growing chill.  The metal roof on our little ranch house resounds with the reports of acorns falling from our surrounding oak trees.  The past few mornings have been made cooler by the marine layer, making our dogs very frisky as they accompany me through our olive groves.  In other parts of the valley crews are working diligently gathering in the last of this year’s grape harvest.

Our drought in California contributed to a very early grape harvest this year.  It actually went into high gear back in early August.

Even if you aren’t spending much time outside, you’ve probably noticed the harbingers of seasonal change; Halloween displays are up in many stores, and in a few you may have already encountered arrays of Christmas ornaments.  Both Earth and businesses are providing us with sure signs that the seasons are changing.

Today, September 22nd, is the “last day of summer” for us in the northern hemisphere.  Fall arrives this evening, in California, at 7:29 pm PDT.  If you’re living in the Eastern Time Zone, Fall arrives at 10:29 pm EDT and 9:29 CDT if you’re in the center of the country.

There are two equinoxes (autumn and spring) two solstices (summer and winter) that occur approximately on the 21st day of the last month of every quarter in the calendar year.  I like think that the Equinox is also about balance.  The Autumn Equinox occurs as the sun enters the astrological sign of Libra, the scales

In the language of science, an Equinox is defined as the point where the Sun appears to cross the Earth’s celestial equator from north to south. The celestial equator is the circle in the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles. It can be thought of as the plane of Earth’s equator projected out onto the sphere.

For those of us who are not so scientifically inclined, on the Equinox, at the equator, the center of the Sun will spend a nearly equal amount of time above and below the horizon. Now, not many of us live at the equator, so for us in the Northern Hemisphere at the Autumn Equinox, the hours of daylight are longer than night by 7 to 10 minutes.

Now you may have guessed that the word Equinox is Latin, and you’re right.  It comes from two Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night).   You might logically think that Equinox would mean that day and night were equal.  But it is not until a couple days after the Equinox that day and night are equal.  Here in Santa Ynez, CA, day and night will be equal on September 25th – 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.  You can check for the exact date where you live by looking up sunrise and sunset times. The reason this doesn’t occur at the Equinox has to do with the fact that we measure sunrise and sunset as the point that the edge of the sun crosses the horizon and not the geometric center of the sun.

However, if you want to get up early on Tuesday (since the Equinox occurs on Monday evening) and if there aren’t clouds or marine layer, you will see one of the two cool astronomical alignments of the year and of both Equinoxes; the sun will rise directly in the East. Now, you need to go outside again at the end of the day at sunset and you’ll see the sun set directly in the West.  This occurs only twice a year, at the Fall and Spring Equinoxes.  On these two days you can pinpoint the exact cardinal directions of East and West using the sun.

The Autumn Equinox in the northern hemisphere is the Vernal Equinox for the southern hemisphere.  Another way to say this is that when fall begins for the northern hemisphere, spring begins for the southern hemisphere.  The reason the Earth’s two hemispheres have opposite seasons is related to Earth’s tilt on its axis.

As the North pole begins to tilt away from the sun, cooler weather comes to the northern hemisphere because the sun is no longer giving its direct rays to this part of our planet.  In winter when the North Pole is tilted its farthest away from the sun, we have the least amount of daylight hours and the coldest weather.  You can even notice the angle of the sun in the winter and easily see that it never climbs as high in the sky as it does during the summer.

The Autumn Equinox is closely associated with harvest time.  September is the month of the Wine Moon, the lunar cycle when grapes are harvested, pressed and put away to become wine.  The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is also known as the Harvest Moon, since farmers would also harvest their crops during the night with the light of the full moon to aid them.  This year’s Harvest Moon was a couple of weeks ago.

Every agrarian culture I’ve read about, past or present, had a way of celebrating the year’s harvest. Today’s celebrations are the descendants of the ancient ones. Most of them were observed between the Autumn Equinox and Halloween or Samhain, on October 31st. They often link the cycles of death and life, honoring the dead as well as the harvest. In many cultures, these things are intertwined.

The word harvest comes from the Anglo-Saxon word harvest, which was their word for Autumn.  Over time it has come to mean the season for reaping and gathering grain and other crops.

In Northern Europe, during ancient times, grain stalks were tied together symbolizing the Harvest Lord and burned.  The ashes were scattered upon the earth. The Harvest Kern Baby, was made from the last sheaf of the harvest and bundled by the reapers who would proclaim, ‘We have the Kern!’  The sheaf was dressed in a white frock decorated with colorful ribbons depicting spring, and then hung upon a pole.

During the Middle Ages, the Christian Church replaced earlier Pagan equinox celebrations with Michaelmas, the feast of the Archangel Michael,  held on Sept. 29th.  The Michaelmas feast was celebrated with a well-fattened goose that had fed well on the stubble of the fields after the harvest.  In many places, a there was also a tradition of special large loaves of bread made only for Michaelmas.  The harvest had to be completed by Michaelmas so the new cycle of farming would begin.  It was also a time for beginning new leases, rendering accounts and paying the annual dues.

The Autumn equinox was “New Year’s Day” on the French Republican Calendar, which was used from 1793 to 1805.  The French monarchy was abolished and the First Republic was proclaimed on September 21, 1792, making the following day the equinox day that year, the first day of the “Republican Era” in France.

The September equinox marks the first day of Mehr or Libra in the Iranian calendar.  It is also an Iranian festival called Jashne Mihragan, which dates back to the distant days of Zoroastrianism.

Here in the United States, autumn is a time to celebrate with a variety of fall and Harvest Festivals, like Danish Days this past weekend in Solvang.  People enjoy fall festivals as they sense the closure to the summer season and the coming of winter.  So, get out and enjoy them.

___________________
John Copeland
Rancho Olivos
for

Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts
Providing Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)
~ follow us on
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facebook: “Santa Monica Healing Arts”
instagram: @mrsdrdahl
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Musings on an Autumn Walk – Turn and Face the Change.

There is nothing more beautiful than Fall.  

Liquid Amber Leaves

I know, most folks think there is no “Fall” in Los Angeles.  No real seasons.  But Fall here really is distinct.  Our trees don’t all turn orange, the temperature doesn’t drop suddenly, there is no snow, but we do experience a change.

And it feels good to change. 

Every week, week after week, we, in our house, are rushing.  Rushing to get to the next thing, to catch up with the last thing, so we can be at the following thing, until we fall down at the end of the day depleted.  As if I will wake up the next day and be “ahead” somehow.  It’s a loosing battle.  But for some reason yesterday, going to the gym to rush on the treadmill and hurry up and catch up to some physical ideal that went away with my 20’s, didn’t feel right.  So I allowed myself a change.  I slowed down; forgave myself that I wouldn’t burn 500 calories – maybe only 100.  And ironically, it was 100% more effective for my well-being.

I decided to take a walk.  A leisurely, enjoy the weather walk.

It was a GORGEOUS Fall day in LA.  Mid 70s, sunny, a slight cool breeze, roasting hot in the sun, cool enough for a light cotton sweater in the shade.  The Magnolia leaves blowing along the street rustled in the quiet of the mid-morning.  I donned a walking hat, leashed up the two doggies, and fairly floated out the door.  Boy it was lovely.  The kids were both in school and I was taking some time for ME.  As the pugs and I absorbed it all – lawnmowers in the distance, birds chirping, dogs barking in the neighbor’s yard, jets taking off at LAX, the distant hum of Sepulveda Boulevard – I could’ve composed a Haiku it was so lovely.  I didn’t need to think about taking deep breaths or justify the clear denunciation of my inner “must use my time effectively” mindset.  It was bizarre truly.  And then I remembered: “oh yes, this happens every October!  That’s why I love it so much!”  It was like seeing an old friend again.  Familiar and Safe.

But WHY does this always happen?  What CHANGES so that I allow myself this drastically different approach?  It’s FALL.  It is Nature’s time for a change {insert The Byrds song “Turn” here}.  The colors change (yes, even here in LA)…and it’s not about the leaves so much as it is the deepening. The color of the AIR itself  is no longer the bright vivid yellow of summer.  Now the shadows are long, the feeling is GOLDEN, the smell is toasted.  A feeling of gratefulness is bestowed on us for all the bounty and glorious frivolity of Summer.  Huh, imagine that…it will soon be Thanksgiving!  Not ironic.

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Splashing summer with its shiny sun and gull calls off the jetty, is passing.  The Earth, our Mother, is tilting us away from the sun to allow us a look inward.  A spiritual “hug” gifted to us so that we may feel the balance of this… and then that.  Now we can stop reaching out and fold in.  Balance. Yin and Yang.  Light and Dark.  Harmony.  It is deserved.  I deserve it.

So I took a walk.  How delightful it was!  Like I said, I only walked for 1 mile.  100 calories, 20 minutes.  And it was enriching for so many reasons.

Not even a block in, I found one of our neighbors and best friends working on his front porch posts (a project he’s wanted to get to for some time).  Look at that!  Today was the day to dig in and do something for his HOME.  To NEST.  Beautiful.  This guy is such a great friend. I linger, not walking off, because he’s just so nice.  The kind of guy that gets down low and loves my little dogs and they love him right back.  I exclaimed: “Isn’t it just the most BEAUTIFUL day?!”  Indeed it was.  No need to rush it.

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Next, I walked by a local church that has been cultivating a Community Garden for some years now and is run by another friend of ours.  It was so cozy with it’s garden chairs nestled between buds of Amaranth blooming into rich fall colors of blood and deep velvet.  Then I came upon the yoga studio situated in a small brick historic church annex right next door.  “Funny,” I thought to myself, “I’ve been meaning to check out their schedule.  I’ll just grab a copy from this nice stone buddha who’s guarding them here by the door…” A Deepening.  A taking care…SI Exif

My stroll continued in this manner.  Another dear neighbor was out walking with her home schooled son on a scooter and her sassy little sweet pea in the stroller with chubby fingers and cheeks bestowing directions between sippy-cup sips.  The doggies licked the sweetness right off her face and then Momma had to catch up with “scooter the kid.”  “Text me!” I said, “when you are going and we’ll walk together.”  And I meant it.  I have been meaning to connect with some of the moms I know who walk in the mornings…

I turned towards home, staying on the shaded side of the street so the doggles could keep cool and rub their bellies along in the cool dewey grass as they chugged along with their piggy snouts. Which way to walk?  I was drawn to admire another friend’s new fence.  Her house is homey and sweet like pie.  Sure enough, there was hubs, the fence builder, raking leaves.  Perfect.  A quick hello and it was time to go.  Lastly, as I turned onto our own street, another wonderful friend drove by, waved and honked.  So many ways to connectIMG_2198

My day was so much RICHER when I gave in to the FALL.

And it wasn’t sudden.  I had been hearing the warning signals for weeks.  Change was upon me.  The songs kept saying it.  I mean really, “Changes” by Bowie?  Followed shortly thereafter by “A Change will do you Good” from Sheryl Crow?  The news is full of change in the middle east especially, with Iran, Qatar, and Egypt having experienced unexpected changes in leadership.  Change was all I was hearing.

It was literally “in the cards” with the ominous gift of “The Hanged Man” appearing on 9/11 no less:

thhangedman

…Not a very popular card, the Hanged Man deals with sacrifice, delays and waiting – and also being bogged down and helplessness. We sacrifice every time we make a choice … Since sacrifice can mean giving up one thing of value for another thing of equal or greater value, this card can easily be seen as representing the natural and normal function of disposing of something that no longer suits its purpose as well as its replacement will.

The Hanged Man is totally vulnerable, his attitude is “whatever will be, will be”. He accepts everything that happens with equanimity and courage – he is, after all, simply giving in to his destiny. He can sometimes represent the person who has waited too long, who is perhaps scared to change. We should endure with strength and inner peace, but also be courageous enough to take action when destiny calls.” (http://www.angelpaths.com/)

It is a card that asks us to take a look at our current situation and  assess whether our life is in “balance.”  It couldn’t have been more apt.  Later that day, I said to my girlfriend, while behaving in the same lighthearted summer way…”I keep getting these signals that I need to change. But I’m just not ready…”
Red Pepper Soup - Recipe by Valentina Kenney www.cookingontheweekends.com

Red Pepper Soup – Recipe by Valentina Kenney www.cookingontheweekends.com

Our Community Garden plot needed to be pulled out and replanted weeks ago.  The tomatoes of summer were on their last leg.  The peppers and squash were in full fruit.  Over the past weekends, Dr. Eric (the hubs) spent some good hours catching up and getting it re-planted for winter with lettuces, cauliflower, red cabbage, brussel sprouts, and peas.  I need to get a few last things canned up and made into appropriate #dreric’s #dinners.  Of course, we don’t have to “put up” all the fruit and vegetables like in the old days, but there is some urgency to using or saving all of the garden bounty before it wastes.  It is quite remarkable, how nature provides exactly what we crave when we need it.  There’s a reason that with Fall, comes butternut squash soup, roasted red peppers, and pumpkin pie.  Sure enough, the weather changed, and we were grateful for the things at hand.  Comfort food.  A richness. A warmth.

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The moon too, touted change with its big bold orange self on September 19th and 20th.  The Harvest Moon. (http://earthsky.org/space/harvest-moon-2): The closest Full Moon to the Vernal Equinox.  The night when the Full Moon is directly opposite the Sun in the sky.  The day and night are equal. Balance.

A source I love to check in with online said this about the Vernal Equinox:

549047_10151833128466740_1620192144_nWe have been actively working and expressing…putting ourselves and our ideas out into the world, growing and changing.  Now is the time to pause, go within, and take stock of how far we have come.

 

Our inner work, our growth, is our harvest. Time to honor our journey and the rebalancing that has taken place within us. Notice the seeds we planted and how they have blossomed thus far. Let’s open our hearts in gratitude” (http://www.mysticmamma.com/fall-autumnal-spring-vernal-equinox-september-22-2013-activating-balance/)

And sure enough, that was the tipping point,  that lustrous moon as bright as day lighting the way.  Ready or not, here it comes.  On Friday, September 20th, things were different.  And I am grateful. So very grateful. IMG_8131

Yesterday was another new beginning.  One of many thousands of new beginnings.  Every moment of every day a chance to be in our skin.  To be PRESENT.

My walk was a treat to ease the transition.  Now, I am fully on board for Fall.  Ready to think about Halloween costumes and Chili dinners. Ready to walk my dogs with the neighbors and enjoy the long shadows.

So here I sit.  Being *that lady!*  Ack, yes, the one who gets all wise and symbolic with old age.  But a few weeks ago, I was not.  It’s the season!: exactly what it represents from youth to knowledge – Summer to Fall.  Change is good.

I feel, at least for this moment, balanced.  And HAPPY.

I wish nothing for you but the same.IMG_5134

Coby Dahlstrom (#mrsdrdahl)

for

Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts
Providing Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)
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