Let's Meet 2017 with Hygge and Mindful Soup

A new year is unfolding....

 I have been considering how we create comfort during  challenging times, apparently I am not alone in the urge to cocoon. I recently read an article in the New York Times on the Danish concept of hygge (pronouned HOO-gah) which is an all encompassing way of embracing coziness and warmth -- body, mind and spirit. In considering this concept, I was drawn to one of the comments I received in November when I asked readers what they wished they had had when they were caregivers to loved ones who were seriously ill...I received a response that was profound in its simplicity and accuracy...it simply stated "I needed soup" (thank you LL). Yes! Exactly! That's hygge! 

What better way to comfort ourselves during challenging times than with a bowl of hearty soup. Soup exemplifies the tenants of mindfulness...it does not have to have perfect or expensive ingredients, it can't be rushed, you need to turn the high heat down and let it simmer (as with our thoughts in meditation) and it soothes and warms the body, mind and spirit from the inside out. 

So this January to help you get started in the practice of hygge...let's share soup together. While it may be impossible to physically gather around a table in my house or yours, I invite you to join me and others in a virtual sharing of soup.  I will be posting soup recipes throughout the month of January and would love your contributions. You may either post them directly in the comment section of the blog posts or you may email them to me (pressler@StressResources.com)and I will post them on the Stress Resources blog. Do you have a story that goes with a recipe...share it with us! I hope that the recipes will connect and inspire us all to practice hygge this January.

To get us started, here is a favorite recipe of mine...enjoy!


Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped

1 medium onion, diced

3 stalks of celery, chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 T extra virgin olive oil

3 T butter

1/2 t dried basil

1/2 t dried oregano

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

24 oz egg noodles

In a 6 quart crockpot add in whole chicken breasts, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, olive oil, butter, basil, oregano. Next add in chicken broth, water and season with salt and pepper.

Cover and cook on low hear for 6-7 hours

Remove cooked chicken breasts and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place chicken back into the slow cooker. Now add in egg noodles. Cover and cook just until noodles are tender.




Summer Mindfulness Challenge Results

Last month I challenged readers to "locate a food item you have never eaten before, photograph it, then explore it mindfully with all five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste), write a few lines about what you discovered, and email me the photo/description". Four adventurous souls accepted the challenge and this is what they discovered.....

Dragon Fruit (both N.B. and K.W. tried dragon fruit)

"It’s shaped like an extra large egg – perhaps the size of an ostrich egg, and cuts easily in half with a knife.  It’s very much like a  kiwi in terms of texture and taste.  Like the kiwi it shares the black crunchy bits inside and tastes better cold (in my opinion), although not quite as flavorful.  The skin is tougher than the kiwi and once cut into slices you can easily peel it back and eat like an orange. Overall, very enjoyable and refreshing." ~ N.B.

Cricket Chips

Cricket Chips (Chirps) "Chirps Chips are the most delicious taco chips that I have ever eaten! They have a wonderful wholesome flavor. I was unable to finish my bag of Chirps because a friend disappeared with them."   ~ W.S.

(I also tried Chirps, and they ARE really good! ~ P.R.)

"A cross between a plum and an apricot. They are sometimes called Dinosaur Eggs. It was really good. Did you know there are actually four types of pluots?" ~ G.K.

Thanks for your mindful experiments during July, KW, NB, WS, and GK. All were so great that each of you will receive a complimentary copy of my CD Opening the Door to Meditation.

Mindfulness Challenge Day 28 Haiku -- Boston Strong

As Boston emerged from an historic snowstorm, which dumped over two feet of snow in less than 24 hours over parts of Greater Boston, the resilience of its residents became apparent. A lone figure carefully and symbolically shoveled the finish line of the Boston Marathon...yes, we are Boston Strong!

Boston Strong

Only in Boston
The finish line is shoveled
We are Boston Strong

Mindfulness Challenge Day 26 Haiku -- Calm Before the Storm

I live in New England. In New England it snows in the winter. Sometimes it snows ALOT in the winter. Let's take a collective breath and realize that we WILL be snowed in for a few days, but we WILL dig out, and spring WILL arrive this year. Sometimes it is easier to embrace the "what is" and not fight it.

Calm Before the Storm

Calm before the storm
Preparations have been made
It is what it is