Beth Greer and a Healthy Home

Three programs on children’s health in a row with three incredible women leading the charge.

How to Have a Holistic, Healthy, Happy Home: Solutions for Parents of Kids with Challenges

Jun 23 2016 – 12:00pm Beth Greer, Award-winning Journalist; Environmental Health Advocate; Holistic Lifestyle Educator; Author, Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home and Planet … One Room at a Time

Beth Greer, known as the Super Natural Mom, bestselling author, holistic health coach and one of the foremost experts on sustainable and toxin-free living will give a talk on things you need to know to help kids who have challenges. She will offer powerful information on the toxins in everyday products that can have triggering reactions in a child’s nervous system; five things in the home to avoid to create a safe, healthy, toxin-free home; practical and convenient solutions that give dramatic results; and symptoms to look for in kids that indicate they’re being impacted by toxins in their home environment.

She’ll also discuss a non-psychological approach to behavioral changes in kids. Don’t miss this talk to help you enhance your child’s well-being as well as your own (caregiving can be stressful).

Location: 555 Post St., San FranciscoTime: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signingCost: $20 nonmembers, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID)MLF: Health & Medicine Program Organizer: Patty James

https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2016-06-23/how-have-holistic-healthy-happy-home-solutions-parents-kids-challenges

Wellness in the Schools

If you’re on this site, then you’re interested in kid’s health!

Nancy E. Easton, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Wellness in the Schools is coming to The Commonwealth Club in June to discuss healthy lunches, and much more, in our nation’s schools. If you’re an educator, parent, or anyone interested in our kid’s health, join me!

Wellness in the Schools inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools. Through meaningful public/private partnerships with school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and kids, WITS develops and implements programs that provide healthy foods, healthy environments and opportunities for regular play to help kids learn and grow. Today WITS programs serve approximately 30,000 public school children across New York City, Kentucky, and Florida.

In an effort to combat childhood obesity and create healthier learning environments, Wellness in the Schools (WITS) developed Cook for Kids and Coach for Kids, hands-on food and fitness programs that are poised for replication nationwide. Cook for Kids has even received national accolades from First Lady Michelle Obama, and the WITS model served as inspiration for the Chefs Move to Schools Initiative.

Location: Club Headquarters, 555 Post St., San Francisco
Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program
Cost: $20 nonmembers, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID)
MLF: Health & Medicine
Program Organizer: Patty James

https://www.commonwealthclub.org/…/2016-06…/wellness-schools

No Kid Hungry!

If you’re an educator, of simply someone who can’t bear the thought of a hungry child, please join me to hear Debbie Shore, co-founder of Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on June 21st.

Tue, Jun 21 2016 – 12:00pm

Debbie Shore, Co-Founder, Share our Strength

Childhood hunger is a problem that threatens an entire generation of future leaders, innovators and problem-solvers. Share Our Strength’s primary mission is “to end hunger and poverty in the United States and abroad by mobilizing industries and individuals, and creating community wealth to promote lasting change.

Educators, parents, and anyone involved with kids and interested in eliminating hunger can attend and come away with ideas and direction about what to do to help end childhood hunger.

Location: Club Headquarters, 555 Post St., San Francisco
Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program
Cost: $20 nonmembers, $8 members, $7 students (with valid ID)
MLF: Health & Medicine
Program Organizer: Patty James

 

https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2016-06-21/end-childhood-hunger-what-you-can-do-help

Macronutrients and Mustard Vinaigrette

For this class you can begin by teaching about protein. You could dry toast some nuts to put in the salad for a protein source or grill some chicken or salmon or other fish. Carbohydrates and fats/lipids can be taught while they’re eating their salad.

Macronutrients:

Macro means large and nutrients are needed for your body’s survival. There are three macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Protein

Protein is from the Greek word, ‘proto’ meaning first or of first quality. Protein is an umbrella word for the twenty-two organic amino acids, of which thirteen are non essential to our diet, meaning our body can synthesize them. The other nine are essential amino acids meaning it is essential that we obtain them from our diet.

Proteins build and maintain our body tissues, help produce antibodies, enzymes and hormones such as insulin. Protein is the primary component of muscles, skin, nails, hair and internal organs, especially the heart. Each gram of protein releases four calories or units of heat or energy for the body. Your intake of protein should be approximately 25% of your daily caloric intake.

The average woman needs fifty to sixty grams of protein a day and the average man needs sixty to seventy grams of protein a day. These are very general, as lactating women need additional protein, as just one example. For children the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is based on body weight and included age-related adjustments. Multiply your child’s weight in pounds by the number of grams of protein needed per pound of body weight to calculate their daily protein requirements.

Ages 1 to 3 – 0.81 grams (child’s weight in pounds x 0.81 = daily grams of protein)

Ages 4 to 6 – 0.68 grams

Ages 7 to 10 – 0.55 grams

 

Sources of protein are fish, meat, poultry, tofu and eggs, which are complete proteins, meaning they have all the essential amino acids. You can combine various ingredients so as to have a complete protein: rice and beans, grains and legumes, and nuts or seeds with dairy.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are easily converted to glucose, the body’s main fuel source. Carbohydrates are needed for fat metabolism and to regulate protein. There are simple carbohydrates that have one or two connected sugar molecules and are found in candy, refined foods such as white bread, and many processed foods. Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugar molecules and can be found in whole grains and vegetables.

Dietary fiber passes through the digestive tract almost completely unchanged, helping it to run smoothly and encouraging proper elimination of waste products. There is soluble

and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft, gel-like texture in the intestines. Insoluble fiber, found in seeds and the cell walls in fruits, vegetables and cereal grains, passes essentially unchanged through the intestines. Dietary fiber is an important determinant of health.

Each gram of carbohydrates releases four grams calories or units of heat for the body. Approximately fifty percent of one’s daily caloric intake should be from complex carbohydrates. Foods rich in carbohydrates include, dried peas and beans, rice, fruits, and vegetables. Many of these foods contain both starch and fiber.

Fats or Lipids

Fat molecules are a rich source of energy for the body. Fats are necessary for the smooth running of our gastrointestinal system, for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and to provide energy reserves and regulation of body temperature. Fats are necessary for growth, healing, healthy skin, reproduction and nervous system functioning.

Essential fatty acids (EFA) are fats that our bodies cannot synthesize and therefore it is essential we consume them in our food. It is important to maintain an appropriate balance between the essential fatty acids: Omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid) and Omega-6’s (alpha-linoleic acid.) Ideally the ratio would be 1:1, but no more than 4 times as many Omega 6’s to Omega 3’s.

Each gram of fats releases nine calories or units of heat or energy for the body. Your intake of healthy fats should be twenty five percent of your daily calories.

Sources of healthy fats are cold-water fish, walnuts, flax oil and seeds, eggs, pumpkin seeds, purslane, olive oil and macadamia nut oil.

Fats to Avoid:

These are unnatural fats or damaged fats; “trans-fats” is another name, and your body can not process them. Watch for the term hydrogenated-fats found in processed foods, margarine and most shortening. Also avoid non-dairy creamers, imitation mayonnaise or sour cream, deep fat-fried foods, pressurized whipped cream, many sandwich spreads, and rancid fats.

Cooking Tips:

Never heat flax oil.

Never smoke fat or use a very high heat on fats; you will create a damaged fat.

Mustard Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, juiced

3/4 cup olive oil, can also use flax oil

In a jar, place mustard, chopped shallots, chopped garlic, and lemon juice. Mix with a spoon, then slowly pour in olive oil and shake.

If you are a purest, then place the mustard, shallots, garlic and lemon in a bowl and slowly whisk in the olive or flax oil. If not, throw it in a jar and shake.

Variation: Add 1 tablespoon of honey for a Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

Physical Fitness

If you’re teaching a class in the winter months and perhaps it’s pouring rain, you might do what we do. Make a nice pot of soup, and while it’s simmering, have the kids stand against the wall, and see who can last the longest. We’ve had many a laugh over this one!

What is physical exercise?

Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Most experts agree that there are five basic components of fitness:

1) Aerobic Exercise

The definition is the ability to do moderately strenuous activity over a period of time. It reflects how well your heart and lungs work together to supply oxygen to your body during exertion and exercise.

2) Muscular Endurance

This is the ability to hold a particular position for a sustained period of time or to repeat a movement many times. This could be the capability to hold a push-up for five minutes, or to do fifty sit ups.

3) Muscular Strength

The ability to exert maximum force, such as lifting the heaviest weight you can move, one time. It is possible to have muscular strength in one area, say your arms, while lacking the strength in another area such as your legs. Please do not try to lift heavy weights without someone advising you!

4) Flexibility

This is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion showing the elasticity of the muscle. This is how limber you are.

5) Body Composition

The proportion of fat in your body compared to your bone and muscle.

The above five are the most recognized, but there are other components as well, below.

 

  • Speed – How fast a distance can be traveled, whether it is the whole body or just a part of the body like the hand.
  • Power – Is the strength and speed combined, as in a punch, a fist has no power without speed.
  • Reaction Time – Amount of time to initiate an action.
  • Agility – Ability to move under control.
  • Coordination – Ability to synchronize movement of different body parts.
  • Static Balance – Ability to balance while not in motion.
  • Dynamic Balance – Ability to balance while in motion.
  • Fun! If it’s fun for you, you’re more likely to make it part of your lifeMovementWalking, running, climbing the stairs, playing soccer and dancing are all good examples of being active.Moderate physical activities include:
    • Walking briskly (about 3 ½ miles per hour)
    • Hiking
    • Gardening/yard work
    • Dancing
    • Golf while walking and carrying clubs. Do kids golf?
    • Bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour)
    • Light weight training

    Vigorous physical activities include:

    • Running/jogging (5 miles per hour)
    • Bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour)
    • Swimming (freestyle laps)
    • Aerobics
    • Walking very fast (4 ½ miles per hour)
    • Heavy yard work, (yeah, right)
    • Weight lifting (vigorous effort)
    • Basketball (competitive)

    Some physical activities are not intense enough to help you meet the recommendations and do not count toward your total exercise. These activities can include grocery shopping and light housework, something kids don’t often do anyway!

Life on a Farm

Life on a Farm is part of DirectionThree: how our Earth’s health affects our health and vice versa.

Kids love this Life on a Farm lesson. If we teach this in the morning, we might make a veggie scramble with farm fresh eggs. If this is part of a farm tour that’s even better; purchase some goods from the farm and have a no recipe- recipe when you return to class.

Life on a Farm: Then and Now

In the 1930’s, a family farm raised several kinds of animals, selling some and butchering a few to feed their family. Other animals were a source of income and food. Cows provided milk and meat, while chickens provided eggs and meat.

Horses and mules were used to plow, plant and harvest the crops. Tractors were beginning to replace horses, but even by 1940 only 23 percent of the nation’s farmers had tractors. As more farmers traded their horses for tractors, they planted their rows of corn and other crops closer together. Instead of rows that were wide enough for a horse to walk through (42 inches), the rows were 30 inches apart. Production increased.

In 1900, almost all farms – 98 percent – had chickens, 82 percent grew corn for grain, 80 percent had at least one milk cow, and pigs. Most of the farms were diversified, growing multiple crops and raising various animals.

By 1992, only 4 percent of farms reported having chickens, 8 percent had milk cows, 10 percent had pigs and only 25 percent were growing corn.

Grasshoppers were picked by hand in the fall. Farmers used manure from farm animals, gypsum, ground animal bones and crop residue to fertilize their fields.

Today, more than 98 percent of the U.S. farmland planted in corn is chemically fertilized.

Pesticide residues from industrial agriculture enter our bodies through food, water, and air, and they raise risks for certain cancers as well as reproductive and endocrine system disorders

1 billion pounds of pesticides are used per year in the U.S.

35 percent of food is contaminated with pesticides

5 billion pounds of pesticides are used per year worldwide

Federal agricultural programs launched during the 1930s changed how and what farmers planted by paying them to plant certain crops or paying them not to produce a crop at all and allow the land to rest or lie fallow. Farmers who signed up for federal programs agreed to limit the number of acres planted with corn and wheat which depleted the soil, and increased the number of acres with legumes and grasses which helped renew the soil.

Farmers began rotating their crops on a regular basis in the 1930s, but the practice lost popularity as farms got larger and specialized equipment became more expensive and needed to be kept in use. Farmers now concentrate on growing just one crop such as corn, soybeans, or wheat.

In the 1940’s, America entered World War II. More and more farm workers left for the cities or serve in the military, and a tractor became the only way to get things done on the farm. The beginning of the war coincided with the end of the 1930s drought, but farmers remembered the dry years and irrigation systems were built.

There was greater demand for farm products; American farmers were feeding the world. The war effort produced new technologies that revolutionized agriculture and effected urban and rural life. New technology created a dramatic increase in productivity as farmers could do much more work in fewer hours.

  • Post-WWII fertilizer production has increased yields, but also nitrogen and phosphorous pollution.
  • High resource use (soil, water, energy, etc.)
  • Environmental consequences and changes include land and water degradation, pollution by fertilizers and pesticides and soil loss.
  • Artificially inexpensive fuel and water
  • Agricultural subsidies (the farm bill)
  • USDA has dueling roles:  To promote U.S. agricultural products and to offer nutrition education.
  • Threatened biodiversity

One of the continuing themes of American agriculture in the 20th century was a decline in the number of farms, farmers and rural residents coupled with an increase in farm size and specialization.

In the 1950’s to the 1970’s the number of farm declined by half before leveling off. More farms were consolidated or sold during this period than in any other period in our history. The number of people on farms dropped from over 20 million in 1950 to less than 10 million in 1970. The average size of farms went from around 205 acres in 1950 to almost 400 acres in 1969.

  • ·      In 1900, 41 percent of workforce employed in agriculture
  • ·      In 1930, 21.5 percent of workforce employed in agriculture;
    Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 7.7 percent
  • ·      In 1945, 16 percent of the total labor force employed in agriculture;
    Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 6.8 percent
  • In 1970, 4 percent of employed labor force worked in agricultureSource: Compiled by Economic Research Service, USDA. Share of workforce employed in agriculture, for 1900-1970, Historical Statistics of the United States; for 2000, calculated using data from Census of Population; agricultural GDP as part of total GDP, calculated using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Land in farms peaked in 1950 at 1.2 billion acres. Today, land in farms has dropped to around 0.95 billion acres. Most of the lost farmland was converted to suburban and urban sprawl. However, land that is devoted to actually raising crops has remained relatively constant. In other words, as some farmland is taken out of production, farmers convert other land from pasture or lands once considered marginal for crops into cropland by installing irrigation systems, and applying fertilizers and pesticides.

Garden Cake

We all know that kids eat way too much sugar, so at DirectionFive, we encourage healthy eating, with desserts being an occasional treat. When we do have desserts we ‘tweak’ recipes so that they contain healthier ingredients. That said, we don’t beat anyone over the head with a carrot, and kids love to pipe frosting on that beautiful cupcake they made. It’s all about balance.

Garden Cake

This delicious cake is full of vegetables.

Serves 12

1/2 cup walnut oil

1/2 cup applesauce

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup raw grated carrots

1 cup raw grated zucchini

1/2 cup raw grated beets

1 cup chocolate chips, optional

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13″ pan.

In a large bowl mix the oil, eggs and sugar, beating well with a hand mixer or whisk for 3-4 minutes.

Wash the vegetables well, but there is no need to peel any of them. Grate all the vegetables and set aside. Place the beets in a separate bowl so the other veggies don’t turn pink.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir into wet ingredients.

Add shredded carrots, zucchini, beets, chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir until blended and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seasonal Eating and Asparagus Quiche

Local Foods:

When you choose local and organic food, the food hasn’t traveled across the country, or world for that matter, and again is more nutritious and certainly tastes better. You are also supporting your local farmers and local economy. Many farmers offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. This is a system whereby you receive food directly from the farmers that produce it. If you are a member of CSA you will either pick up or have delivered a weekly box of produce that was picked fresh that day for you right off the farm. You receive what is seasonal, taking the guesswork of what is available in your area.

Spring: focus on tender, leafy vegetables that represent the fresh new growth of this season. Foods such as the tender greens Swiss chard, arugula (makes great pesto,) Romaine lettuce, spinach, fresh parsley, nettles, and the bastion of springtime, asparagus, just to name a few.

Summer: enjoy light, cooling foods, higher in water content for the warmest season. These foods include zucchini and other summer squash, corn, peppers, broccoli, eggplant and so many more.

Autumn: more warming foods are appropriate such as carrots and other root vegetables, yams, onions, and garlic. The harvest season in your area may still be in full-force, so you may still have many summer vegetables.

Winter: foods that take longer to grow are generally more warming than foods that grow quickly. Root vegetables, including carrots, potatoes, yams, onions and garlic as well as the winter squashes are good choices.

Asparagus Quiche

Serves 12

1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped

1/3 cup green onions, white parts, chopped, or shallots

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

12 whole eggs

2 cups milk, dairy or non-dairy

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375º degrees. Grease a 9 X 13″ pan. Spread cheese on bottom of pan and top with vegetables.

Whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour over cheese and vegetables. Bake about 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired

A Basic Sauce and Biochemical Individuals

Béchamel Sauce with Variations
The sauce everyone should know how to make

Serves 4
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup warmed milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch nutmeg, freshly ground, optional

Heat the butter or oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, mixing thoroughly as you go. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Slowly whisk in a small amount of milk to form a smooth paste. Continue until all the milk has been whisked in and the sauce is thick. Add sea salt & nutmeg to taste.

Variations:
Mornay Sauce
Add 1/2 cup grated cheese to 1 cup of hot sauce; stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Season with a little mustard or Worcestershire sauce to taste.

Velouté Sauce
Substitute chicken, beef, fish, or vegetable broth for the milk.

Herb Sauce
Add 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped herbs or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs to 1 cup of hot sauce. Cook for a minute or two longer to get more flavor from the herbs.

Cream Sauce
Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of heavy cream to the finished sauce. For an onion flavor, add an onion slice to the milk when heating; remove onion slice before adding milk to flour and butter mixture.

Mustard Sauce
Combine 1 teaspoon dry mustard to flour used in sauce. This sauce is especially good with fish and chicken.

Biochemical Individuals:

We are all biochemical individuals and therefore nutrition information as well as exercise programs and health advice should be altered to suit your particular needs. The intake percentage for fats, carbohydrates and proteins are estimates based on the “average” person of good health. Some people need slightly more protein to feel their best, some need less. An individual with, for instance, diabetes, might consume fewer carbohydrates.

Growing children might require increased protein and good fats, etc. Most food guides use a base of a 2,000-calorie a day diet though an individual’s calorie requirements depends on their stature, level of physical excursion and any health anomalies. Recommended portions are based on this caloric number. Portion sizes have increased dramatically over the past 20 years and a portion of brown rice might now be 1-2 cups, when, for most, it should be 1⁄2 cup. Do be cognizant of your portion sizes.

There are certain constants for all
; antioxidants, natural body chemicals that reduce the oxidative damage caused by free-radicals, are necessary for everyone’s health. A free radical is an unstable molecule with an unpaired electron, which can cause oxidative damage to cells or tissues. Antioxidants scavenge and destroy free-radicals and are found in leafy green vegetables such as kale and chard, as well as the carotenes such as carrots, yellow squash and sweet potatoes, etc. Free-radicals are created by such health-diminishing activities as smoking, alcohol consumption and exposure to toxins, to name a few. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be a useful tool to help maintain health and a good-quality multivitamin is recommended to boost anti-oxidant levels and other important nutrients.

A whole food is a foodstuff that is in its natural, unaltered state, unrefined state, i.e., brown rice, not white rice. Whole foods offer the health-supporting nutrients required for optimum health and should be a part of everyone’s diet. Avoid processed foods and consume nutrient-dense whole foods.

The glycemic index is a system, which measures the extent of which various foods raise blood sugar levels. The benchmark is white bread, which has a GI (Glycemic Index) of 100: the higher the score, the greater the extent of the rise in blood sugar. A starchy vegetable such as a potato or yam has a higher GI score than that of a non-starchy vegetable such as kale or spinach. Diets full of high-glycemic foods can lead to insulin resistance, obesity, unhealthy levels of blood fats and possibly adult-on-set diabetes.

Whole-grains, as an example, have a lower GI than their refined counterparts (again, the example of brown rice to white rice) as the fiber in the whole grain slows the absorption of sugar into the system.

creamy mushroom stroganoff

Macronutrients: Protein and Chicken Noodle Soup

Macronutrients:
Macro means large and nutrients are needed for your body’s survival. There are three macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Protein
Protein is from the Greek word, ‘proto’ meaning first or of first quality. Protein is an umbrella word for the twenty-two organic amino acids, of which thirteen are non essential to our diet, meaning our body can synthesize them. The other nine are essential amino acids meaning it is essential that we obtain them from our diet.

Proteins build and maintain our body tissues, help produce antibodies, enzymes and hormones such as insulin. Protein is the primary component of muscles, skin, nails, hair and internal organs, especially the heart. Each gram of protein releases four calories or units of heat or energy for the body. Your intake of protein should be approximately 25% of your daily caloric intake.

The average woman needs fifty to sixty grams of protein a day and the average man needs sixty to seventy grams of protein a day. These are very general, as lactating women need additional protein, as just one example. For children the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is based on body weight and included age-related adjustments. Multiply your child’s weight in pounds by the number of grams of protein needed per pound of body weight to calculate their daily protein requirements. Remember that everyone is a biochemical individual so your protein requirements might not fit into the ‘average’ category.

Ages 1 to 3 – 0.81 grams (child’s weight in pounds x 0.81 = daily grams of protein)
Ages 4 to 6 – 0.68 grams
Ages 7 to 10 – 0.55 grams

Sources of protein are fish, meat, poultry, tofu and eggs, which are complete proteins, meaning they have all the essential amino acids. You can combine various ingredients so as to have a complete protein: rice and beans, grains and legumes, and nuts or seeds with dairy.

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Noodles

Serves 4

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2″ thick slices
2 ribs celery, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ thick slices
1 cup broccoli, cut into small pieces
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 1/2 quarts chicken broth
4 ounces dried wide egg noodles
1 whole bay leaf
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 large tomato, chopped
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, finely chopped
Sea salt and pepper

Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, broccoli, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken broth and bring the liquid to a boil.

Add the noodles and let simmer for about 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken and fresh tomatoes and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Variations for eating seasonally:
Spring: Peas, asparagus, beet greens, carrots, celery, collard greens, chives, parsley, green garlic
Summer: Tomatoes, green beans, corn, red pepper (not too much,) summer squashes, basil
Autumn: Potatoes, corn, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, broccoli, pumpkin, shallots, turnips, parsnips
Winter: Broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, parsnips, winter squashes, turnips, yams