Live Well
February 2017

Remedies for Winter’s Stranglehold

Winter is well upon us, and you may at some point have to suffer from its worst effects. Here are some natural remedies to help you get through some of the worst times.


  • Chicken soup helps reduce many cold symptoms because the ingredients in chicken soup help minimize the body’s inflammatory response to the infection, and prevents the release of mucus, which can cause or worsen respiratory infections. Here’s a simple recipe for Chicken Soup:
    2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil or butter
    2 Onions, finely chopped
    2 Carrots, peeled and diced or sliced into 1/4” rounds
    2 Celery stalks, diced
    Parsnips, turnips, celery root or fennel, peeled
    and diced or sliced into 1/4” rounds

    1 3 1/2lb. Chicken
    4 Thyme sprigs
    4 Parsley sprigs
    4-6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
    1 tsp. Sea Salt
    Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    1. 1. Saute onions in olive oil or butter in a large pot until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery and any other vegetables you are using, and saute an additional 5 minutes, until they have some color.
    2. 2. Add chicken, thyme and parsley sprigs, stock or water to pot and bring to a boil.
    3. 3. Lower heat and simmer, covered, over very low heat until chicken is fully cooked, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
    4. 4. Remove chicken from the pot and let cool. When cool enough to handle. Remove meat from chicken and return meat to pot.
    5. 5. Season with sea salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
    6. 6. If you want, you can add some noodles or rice and cook an additional 10-15 minutes at this stage.
  • Fire Cider is another wonderful folk remedy for colds and respiratory infections. Fire Cider is a mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, such as fresh horseradish, fresh ginger root, onion, garlic, chilis, lemons, turmeric, cayenne and honey. The idea is to minimize inflammation, promote circulation and stimulate digestion. Fire cider can be purchased in most health food stores but you can easily make it yourself. Here is a link to a recipe:
  • A great remedy for nasal congestion is to put some drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil in a pot of boiling water and inhaling the steam (it is best to cover your head with a towel to concentrate the steam).

Sore Throat

  • A winter staple in our household is hot lemon juice with honey. Combine juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 4-6 ounces of boiling water in a cup and enjoy!
  • Another good remedy is gargling with warm salt water. Combine 1 teaspoon sea salt with 8oz of boiling water and gargle.

Ear Infection

  • A good remedy for ear infections is putting drops of garlic-infused olive oil in the affected ear (plug the ear with cotton). Garlic has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is useful in treating the pain of ear infections. To make the garlic oil, peel and crush 3-4 cloves of garlic and add to 1/4 cup olive oil. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for a few days then strain before using.
  • Gargling with warm salt water is also helpful.

Stomach Bug

  • Ginger is a great remedy for nausea and digestive issues. If you are suffering from a stomach bug, drinking a ginger tea made by steeping a large (1-2”) piece of ginger in boiling water for 10-15 minutes can provide relief.
  • Grated apple with mashed banana is a great remedy for diarrhea.

If you are not already incorporating probiotics in your diet, you may also want to purchase a probiotic to increase the good bacteria in your gut.

Of course, it’s also important to:

Eat whole, real foods to support your immune system
Drink lots of fluids
Wash your hands frequently and get lots of rest!

* Please note that if you develop a fever, or your symptoms worsen, it is best to seek medical attention.


Cook Well

Potato, Celery Root & Spinach Patties

By the time February rolls around, it seems that everyone in my family is tired of eating kale, rutabaga, and parsnips. These patties are a good way to sneak some winter vegetables into our diet. They are delicious accompanied by an aioli. Serves 6-8

3/4 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3/4 lb. celery root, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp. Butter
Sea salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
6 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 lb. spinach, roughly chopped
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 cup Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  1. 1. Cover the potatoes and celery root with cold water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Boil 20-25 minutes, until soft. Drain.
  2. 2. Return potatoes and celery root to pot. Add milk and butter and mash until smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool.
  3. 3. Heat 2 Tbsp. Olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add to potato and celery root mixture and mix well.
  4. 4. Add egg, flour and cheese to potato, celery root and spinach mixture and mix well.
  5. 5. Heat 2 Tbsp. Olive oil in a large saute pan. Take 1/4 cupfuls of the mixture and place in pan. Cook until brown on each side, 3-4 minutes per side.
  6. 6. Cook rest of patties in remaining olive oil.
  7. 7. Serve with aioli, recipe below.
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
3 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1 1/2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
2 cups Extra Virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. Smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
  1. 1. Combine egg yolks, garlic, vinegar in a large bowl. Whisk until mixture is foamy.
  2. 2. Gradually add olive oil, whisking continuously until mixture thickens to the consistency of mayonnaise.
  3. 3. Season with salt, freshly-ground black pepper, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.


Every year, The University of California at Berkeley offers a course called Edible Education 101. The course “explores the future of food, its diverse systems, and movements.” This year, the course will be streamed live on Wednesdays at 6:15pm West Coast Time (and 9:15pm Eastern Time). If you have any interest in food, I highly recommend watching it! Check out: for more information.