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Have a Healthful Christmas (and a recipe for turkey broth)

/ Category: Cooking conundrums / Author:

Have a Healthful Christmas (and a recipe for turkey broth)

​Kate Cook shares her tips for a happy healthful Christmas.

Kate Cook is founder of The Nutrition Coach and works with Leiths to provide workplace nutrition workshops.

Christmas is a time many of us look forward to as a well deserved break! Depending on where all the bank holidays fall, we often get a nice long holiday – what the Italians refer to as a Ponte (a bridge). However, 9 times out of 10, just as we are looking forward to putting our feet up and enjoying ourselves, the Christmas lurgy strikes and we spend the whole two weeks in bed feeling sorry for ourselves.

Actually, most of us try and brave it out as there is simply too much to do around Christmas to afford the luxury of time off. “Christmas Lurgy Sydrome” is well known and it occurs because as we try and cram our working lives with tasks in the run up to Christmas, either so we can leave everything up to date (impossible) or because we are preparing for that perfect Christmas.

The stress hormone cortisol blocks the immune system from working temporarily (not a good thing long term) which means we don’t experience the symptoms of the lurgy when we’re stressed, but once we finally have a chance to relax, the cortisol drops back and our immune system is reactivated. We feel worse even though it is doing its job!

However, help is at hand! In many cultures it is said that chicken soup has magical powers in treating colds. This seems to be backed up by a study of chicken soup (broth) conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The study suggested that the amino acids produced when making chicken soup reduced inflammation in the respiratory system. Research also suggests it can also boost the immune system and heal disorders like allergies, asthma and arthritis.

So what better way of preparing for the cold/flu season of January/February than with some warming home made broth – from that left over turkey carcass. Get cooking and have yourself a very merry and happy and healthful Christmas time.


Carcass/bones from poultry
8 – 10 cups of water
1 tsp of salt
¼ tsp of pepper
2 Carrots
I onion roughly chopped
1 stick of celery roughly chopped
Fresh parsley to taste
1 tsp sage
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
2 – 3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp raw cider vinegar or 1 lemon (this helps draw out the minerals from the bones)


Put all the ingredients into the pot. Bring to the boil
Let it simmer on low for several hours (4 – 24) or in a crock pot on low
Remove bones and skim off the fat

Uses for your broth:

Use as a stock for soup/risotto/casserole
Drink as a warm beverage
Use the cooking liquid for vegetables and grains


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