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Gratitude

Congee: a healing comfort food

Rice is a staple grain in China, and except for some regional variations, is the base of most meals.  Congee is rice cooked with 3-5 times more water than usual. But this simple variation transforms rice into a healing culinary jewel. Likely first cooked just to extend a meager supply of rice in times of famine, congee has since become a jewel of rice cuisine.  It’s a common breakfast food and also an important healing food.  Many of China’s cancer hospitals serve congee to their patients.  It is soothing to the gut mucosa, provides easily digested nutrition and can be a enhanced with herbs or other foods to increase its medicinal effect.  I like it for breakfast, lunch or dinner with ginger, scallions and chicken or seafood.  Add a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil and you are in heaven.  I use a pressure cooker, but it can be made on the stovetop.

For a more medicinal congee, use more water, at least 10 parts water to 1 part rice.  Cook until the rice grains are disintegrated. Don’t forget the ginger!

Here is an easy to follow recipe for the pressure cooker.  https://iamafoodblog.com/make-instant-pot-chicken-congee/

 

 

The Pessimist’s Guide to Gratitude

thank-youYour mother was right–say thank you.

Scientists have now proven what your mother always knew–it’s good to be grateful.  Being grateful is more than just politeness; it’s actually good for your health and well-being.

In a study by Robert A. Emmons, of the University of California, and Davis and Michael E. McCullough, of the University of Miami, people who kept gratitude journals showed higher levels of health and well-being than people who journaled neutral events or counted hardships.  After 2 months, the people who journaled their gratitude felt more optimistic and happier than their control counterparts. They reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out.  People with neuromuscular problems who did the same thing fell asleep more quickly, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed.  Even their spouses noticed the difference!

How can you cultivate gratefulness even if you’re a glass-half-empty person?

Read the rest here…