Sin City to Sick City, Healing When You Feel Like Crap

Sin City = Sick City in my book. Time to get healthy.

Sin City = Sick City in my book. Time to get healthy.

Not only is Vegas Sin City, but it’s also Sick City in my case.

The smoke, air conditioning, windowless rooms (no I don’t do that kind of work), the stress of the work itself, shaking hands with lots of potentially sick people, and the travel to get there.

In my experience, Vegas has pretty much been a magnet for illness. (Let’s hope the Vegas tourism board doesn’t read this!)

Four days in Vegas for work two weeks ago left me with a pretty nasty flu last week. Fever, chills, coughing, sneezing, headache, congestion. My symptoms reminded me of those Nyquil commercials from my childhood.

That old adage about feeding a fever, starving a cold? It doesn’t hold true at all in Ayurveda. Well, it’s half true anyway. When you’re sick, you should almost always fast or at least eat light.

I blogged a few months ago on tips to heal a cold, now here’s an explanation of why we get sick and an easy recipe to make when your immune system is compromised.

The reason we get sick can best be explained with an analogy (this, courtesy of Ayurvedic practitioner and one of my very brilliant teachers Mahesh Sabade).

Think of the body as a pitcher. Inside that pitcher are three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Each of our bodies are comprised of varying amounts of these doshas that we were born containing (called prakruti).

Over time, we get unbalanced – our diets, lifestyle, travel, trips to Vegas can all bring us out of balance. This state of unbalance is called vikruti. (The word dosha actually means, “that which can be unbalanced.”)

When this happens, the pitcher (aka, our bodies) can get full. If we catch it in time, we don’t get sick. But if the vessel overflows, we get sick. Overflowing doshas in my case, meant the flu with overflowing kapha (lots of mucous, heaviness, and congestion while fever is typically pitta that’s out of whack, and vata helps to move everything out of the body.)

Needless to say, when your pitcher runneth over (or if you’re lucky enough to catch it before that) is when you work to bring things into balance. Luckily, I have Ayurveda on my side and I’m on the mend.

And that is my very long-winded way of getting to this recipe, complete with a six-second Vine video demonstrating how to make it. I won’t let you down!

Here is my recipe for sicky soup – an easy-to-digest and light meal you can have when you think you’re getting sick or when you actually are sick. It’s light and just what your immune system needs to fight off a nasty bug.

Sicky Soup: Lentil Soup to Boost Digestion
3-4 servings

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • black pepper
  • brown mustard seeds
  • cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder (or grated fresh turmeric root if you can get it)
  • ½ tsp ginger root, grated
  • 1 bunch kale, shredded
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup shelled green peas (optional, if you have fresh ones)
  • 6-8 cups water
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Rock salt or Bragg’s Aminos to taste

Add ½ tsp ghee, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Sautee for a minute on low heat. Then add kale and lentils, saute for a minute to coat with ghee. Add water and cool for about 20-30 minute, until lentils are soft. (You may need to add more water to make sure it’s soupy and not stewy.) If using peas, add about 5-10 minutes before the soup is done.

Get a sauté pan and add the rest of the ghee and mustard seeds. When seeds pop, add cumin seeds and black pepper. Sautee for 2-3 minutes and drop that mixture into the soup. Add a bit more black pepper and lemon to taste.

Add salt or Bragg’s to taste.

The black pepper, cumin, ginger, and garlic will help increase your digestion, clear congestion, and help your immune system.

Enjoy and feel better!

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    Tags: add, water, time, light, pepper, tsp, ghee, minute, seeds, recipe

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