Warm up with hot vegetarian chili

Lyme is an inflammatory disease. Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce pain from many Lyme symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis and skin rashes.

In some stages of Lyme, you may not feel much like eating, or you may not know what to eat at all. Everything is so different, even your taste for certain old favorites. If you've altered your diet because of Lyme, sometimes you really just crave "normal" food.

Chili is hearty and healthy. It's nice and normal, and one of our favorite comfort foods around here. Here's the basic recipe. Trust me - it's simple and won't make you think too hard. Plus, it'll make your house smell great. Sometimes I switch out the peppers for carrots, or skimp on the chili powder. The herbs are the key to making this dish really scrumptious and satisfying. Add some simple corn bread and you've made a wonderful winter dinner.

Vegetarian chili


2-3 cans dark red kidney beans (drained)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2-3 T olive oil
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic
3-4 T chili powder
2-3 T cumin
1-2 T fresh parsley
2-3 T oregano
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Heat oil in large pot; saute onions until clear, then add celery, green pepper, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes or so. Add tomatoes (with juice; break the tomatoes into small chunks) and kidney beans; reduce to simmer. Add chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, water, cashews, and raisins (opt.) Simmer as long as you want. Garnish with fresh parsley or grated cheddar cheese (if you like cheese, try goat, which is easier to digest).

Happy Winter Solstice to everybody.

Here's to your health!


Tick saliva may hold key to Lyme vaccine

Erol Fikrig, MD, and other researchers at the Yale School of Medicine may be hot on the trail of creating a new Lyme vaccine. 

What makes this Lyme vaccine different from the one that was taken off the market in 2002? 

From a recent post on Science Blog: 

"Traditionally, vaccines have directly targeted specific pathogens. This is the first time that antibodies against a protein in the saliva of a pathogen's transmitting agent (in this case, the tick) has been shown to confer immunity when administered protectively as a vaccine." 

Apparently the old Lyme vaccine "utilized just the outer surface proteins of the bacteria."

"The authors [of this study] believe this new strategy of targeting the saliva - the 'vector molecule' that a microbe requires to infect a host - may be applicable not just to Lyme disease but to other insect-borne pathogens that also cause human illness."

"We believe that it is likely that many arthropod-borne infection agents of medical importance use vector proteins as they move to the mammalian host," Fikrig explained.

If their scientific hunch proves correct, this study may also have positive implications for treatment of other illnesses that are spread by insects.

"Currently, we are working to determine if this strategy is likely to be important for West Nile virus infection, dengue fever, and malaria, among other diseases."