The newest and most compelling research on treating mood and anxiety disorders, as well as numerous other medical and mental health ailments, revolves around optimal nutrition. When our bodies and brains receive whole and natural foods, we are better equipped to stave off stress, manage anxiety, and feel our best. I love trying new receipes that only include the foods we were meant to eat. Here's one to try on a chilly evening:
Creamy White Bean and Hickory Bacon Soup
2 cups dried cannellini, navy, or white pea beans
8 strips hickory smoked bacon
1 white onion
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery rib, diced
4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh sage, ginely chopped
32 oz organic chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups organic kale or spinach, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Soak dry beans overnight covered in water. Drain water from beans and set aside.
In large stock pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons bacon drippings in the pot.
Saute onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in bacon drippings for 5 minutes. Stir in chopped herbs and cook 1 minute more.
Add chicken stock, beans, and bay leaves to pot. Whisk tomato paste into liquid until incorporated. Chop 5 strips of bacon into 3/4-inch pieces; stir bacon pieces into broth. (Reserve remaining 3 strips of bacon to chop for topping soup upon serving).
Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until beans are tender. (If desired, add kale or spinach during last 30 minutes of simmer time).
Using an immersion blender, or regualr blender, pulse half of the soup until smooth and creamy. Stir this puree back into the whole bean portion and stir until combined and heated through. (If kale or spinach is added, skip puree step and serve as a thin broth rather than a creamy soup).
Ladle into warm bowls and top with dry cured bacon pieces. Enjoy!
Source: Healthy Living Magazine (Feb/March 2016)
Holland Miller, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist, provides individual and group therapy for adolescents and adults in Austin, TX. Specializing in the treatment of depression, chronic low mood, and chronic stress, she incorporates cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLCs) to enhance positive mood, healthy functioning, and overall well-being.
Dr. Miller is particularly passionate about working with adolescent girls and adult women who want to boost their mood and energy, improve their self-esteem and relationships with others, better cope with stress while reducing anxiety and tension, and develop healthy lifestyle habits for lasting wellness.
When she is not in the office, Dr. Miller enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and two mischievous goldendoodles. She can be found discovering the latest Austin adventure, reading and researching, exploring the outdoors on hiking and camping trips, and trying out new recipes.
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