Comforting Chicken & Rice Soup Recipe – Really Helps You Feel Better!

Comforting Chicken and Rice SoupThis is a bad news, good news post. Unfortunately, it’s that time of year when the sneezes, sniffles and the stuffy-head crud comes on. But the upside is that a comforting bowl full of chicken soup (your grandmother’s remedy) actually has some merit to making you feel better — plus, it tastes great too!

Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup

fort davis boysI whipped up a huge batch of my  Best-Ever Chicken and Rice Soup when the kids came back from our recent trip to the mountains feeling under the weather. I had them licking their colds . . . and the bottom of their bowls in record time.

Dozens upon dozens of scientific studies have investigated the basis for this centuries-old remedy — from how the hot temperature unblocks stuffy airways to how the zinc found in certain ingredients might just shorten the length of a cold. Science aside, it’s pretty much agreed on that slurping up soup helps keep you hydrated, chases away chills associated with fever and reduce certain annoying symptoms of being sick. Plus, the addition of turmeric, a golden spice related to ginger, helps to provide the antioxident power you need to start feeling better.

Immunity Boosting Turmeric Chicken Soup takes away the chills and provides nutrients you need to start feeling betterIf you’re not feeling up to par, please see a doctor to make sure it’s nothing serious. But, I’d also highly recommend a batch of my Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup.

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This easy soup recipe is also ideal for light dinner and lunch leftovers to keep your wellness in check every day of the year.  Plan ahead and double the recipe – freeze in single serve portions for busy or sick day convenience.

Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup with Instantly Fresh Herbs

instantly fresh herbsI’ve used Instantly Fresh Italian Herb Blend as a recipe shortcut to lighten and brighten the broth – it’s a medley of basil, oregano, garlic, red onions, red pepper, marjoram, rosemary and sage conveniently bottled together. I love these freeze-dried Instantly Fresh Herbs by Litehouse Foods — they have a huge assortment (I also love the Mint). Find them in the produce section or herb aisle of your grocery store. Head over to my Instagram profile (@thefitfork) now through this Monday (1/4) at midnight for a flash giveaway for three free product coupons. Look for my Chicken Soup photo and follow the post instructions to enter.

Do you have a home remedy for times when you’re feeling under the weather? What is your favorite soup? Please share in the comments below, XOXO — Jennifer  

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Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup with Instantly Fresh Herbs
Best Ever Chicken & Rice Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 large bowls 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 large bowls 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Best Ever Chicken and Rice Soup with Instantly Fresh Herbs
Best Ever Chicken & Rice Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 large bowls 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 large bowls 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice according to package instructions. Set aside. In large stock pot, boil chicken breasts in water for 15 to 20 minutes or until no longer pink inside and internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165 F degrees.
  2. Remove chicken breasts from pot, but do not discard water. Skim off any residue not desired in soup. When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull apart with fingers or fork into large shreds. Add back to pot with water. Add bouillon cubes. Turn heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, add olive oil to large skilled and bring to medium high heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are softening. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add vegetables to stock pot with chicken. Return skillet to stove top. Add Instantly Fresh Herb Blend to pot with chicken and vegetables, keep simmering and stirring occasionally.
  5. To make thickening roux, melt butter in skillet over medium heat. When butter is beginning to bubble, whisk in flour and stir constantly and quickly for several minutes, or until it has turned a light golden brown. Remove skillet from heat and allow roux to cool a bit.
  6. Once roux is no longer hot (can be warm), scrape into stock pot and stir well to combine. Stir in prepared rice. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Continue to simmer soup for 15 more minutes, or until everything heated through.
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How ZMA Vitamin Supplement Can Help Female Athletes

Turning things around with ZMA!

Turning things around with ZMA!

Did you know I supplement with ZMA? I’m not outing myself with anything weird or wacky,  just want to share with y’all how this formula of zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6 has helped me tremendously the last several years.  Yes, being a runner and general fitness enthusiast is a great way to stay healthy, but it can also take a toll when you’re not taking care of yourself – I know this firsthand. Increased levels of physical exercise can deplete the minerals, vitamins and nutrients that are essential for protein synthesis, muscle maintenance / building, and testosterone production. This is when I had a light bulb moment – no wonder I was feeling so run down, worn out and stuck in a performance rut.

swanson ZMAI was already taking magnesium and vitamin B6 at the suggestion of my physician, but with little discernible effect. However, when I found the specific formulation of ZMA, I started noticing some improvements – and now, I’m afraid NOT to take it! Here are the main reasons why I like ZMA, and why you may be interested too – but of course, please consult with a trusted medical professional first.

woman back muscles

Boost Testosterone: You may be surprised to find out that women produce testosterone too, although in much lower levels than men. A lack of adequate testosterone, regardless of gender, can make you feel tired and lethargic as you go about your daily schedule and (blush) not in the mood at night. Blood work at a doctor’s appointment a couple years ago showed I needed to boost up this hormone and, compared to some other options out there, I felt that ZMA supplementation would be an all-natural and gentle way to kick things up a bit without growing any hair on my chest!   One study has shown that testosterone in men increases as much as 30% when taking ZMA.

Deepen Sleep:  I have a troubled history with getting enough quality sleep. That’s bad on so many levels – not only do I feel grouchy in the morning, but I am often unable to execute my workouts as planned.  Falling into deep REM sleep is vital for muscle recovery and proper testosterone production – all of this action happens at a higher rate while we are snoozing soundly. ZMA is taken about an hour before bed on an empty stomach and encourages a deeper, more productive sleep.

Achieve Strength Gains and Improve Performance:  Studies have shown that ZMA supplementation has many benefits for athletes. As mentioned earlier, due to the taxing demands we put on our bodies, athletes lose more minerals and nutrients than the general population. These exercise stress caused deficiencies need to be continually replenished to stay healthy. When properly replenished and recovered, the body can continue to train and build strength at levels that yield performance improvements. A study on football players during 8 weeks of spring training revealed that those taking ZMA had 2.5 more gains in muscle strength than the placebo group.  While I don’t exactly have a football player physique, I do count on nightly ZMA to help mend my muscles so that I can tackle the next day of running and working out!

Lean Body Composition: A nice side benefit of taking ZMA is that the little boost in testosterone helps me stay lean with a much higher percentage of muscle mass compared to body fat. Now, you can’t just take ZMA and think you will drop weight like crazy – it doesn’t work that way AT ALL!  You definitely need to be mindful of your diet (I eat a higher protein, lower-carb diet) and genetic body type. I’m an ectomorph, which in terms of body building, has been described as someone with “thin limbs and stringy muscles” – lol, no worries about bulking up here!

RDA for ZMA Supplement

The serving size for women is 2 capsules.

Swanson Vitamins makes a good ZMA (above), but I also really like this ZMA that you can get from the Vitamin Shoppe, it’s one of their top sellers — plus, the Vitamin Shoppe has FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25. WHoohoo.

 

ZMA


Load up on ZMA and other vitamins, supplements and products for healthy living at Vitamin Shoppe!

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