“I'm about to teach you the secret weapon
of some of the most beautiful women in the world.”
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“French women swear by it to combat cellulite, Brazilian women do it to improve their circulation and reduce water retention. Normally, masseuses go to their house, or they'll go to a clinic, but it’s not a relaxing afternoon at the spa; this is a beauty treatment.
Here in the states, we think lymphatic massage is just for cancer or trauma patients. Not so, it's also a really chic beauty secret, especially overseas, and popular with people who want to detox internally.”
Her voice lowered as she leaned in, a look of seriousness washed across her face
A word of caution: Don't take this lightly. Even though there isn't much pressure being applied, consider this a serious massage. It's moving toxins in your entire body, which can be a really big shock
It can make you feel sick afterward (just like a detox), anything from being a little run-down to flu-like symptoms.”
Nearly three years have passed since I sat with my new physical therapist, pen, and paper in hand.
“When our bodies swell, it's one of two things: Edema (water) and Lymphedema (lymph, water, cellular debris, protein, and fat). In the case of Edema, gravity will be your friend. If you prop your leg up for a while, pretty soon it'll be back to normal. Draining lymph requires a
To drain lymph is a process; to clear one area, others need to first be cleared so there will be space for the lymph to go. For example, you can't clear a leg without first clearing your abdomen.
The lymphatic system is in a very thin space, just under the skin. So you're not massaging with a lot of pressure, instead a very light touch. Like you would if you were petting a cat. Do you have a cat?”
“We have four. Oh, and two dogs.”
She smiled, “Let's get started.”
A continuation today of a short series about the lymphatic system
In Part I: A bit about my journey with lymphedema. Also an overview of its primary purposes, and how fluid is returned to our circulatory system
My favorite visual: Picture a city, the circulatory system is the maze of streets and alleys, whereas the lymphatic system is the network of sewer pipes running underground
A key component of our immune system
Besides returning fluid back to the circulatory system, the lymphatic system also helps cleanse our body of bacteria.
For example, let's say you had a cut, and bacteria have now made their way into the tissues of the infected area. White blood cells will come out in full force to battle it. As the fluid is draining back into the lymph system (think: when it's raining, and water runs down the sewer), the bacteria will be drawn in as well
So now we have lymph filled with protein, water, plasma, cellular waste, and bacteria. It will pass through a series of lymph nodes (we have 600+) on its way back to the heart. They'll do their best to filter and destroy as much of the bacteria as possible
That way, the fluid returning to the circulatory system will be good as new
This is why keeping our lymphatic system functioning at its peak is so important. The stronger it is, the more resilient and reactive our immune response and defense will be
What happens when our lymph system becomes stagnant? Why do we have to take care of our bodies in a different way than our grandparents took care of theirs?
“Just about anything can be called a taco, which essentially means ‘sandwich.'
You take a tortilla, and you put some stuff in it, and you eat it; that’s a taco. (If you roll the tortilla, it’s a burrito, which appears to have been created in the American Southwest; if you layer food on top of it, it’s an enchilada; if you crisp it up and use it as a kind of plate, it’s a tostada; if you cut it into pieces and bake or fry it, it’s a chip; and so on.)” ~ Mark Bittman
Without too valiant an effort, it's possible to create a really great taco at home.
A good taco starts with a good tortilla, and there's nothing like one made of corn. (Your best bet to buy them at a Mexican grocery)
After that it's loaded with a few key components, something crunchy (lettuce or cabbage are typical), then protein, some moisture (think sour cream or guacamole), and maybe cheese. Salsa for hints of brightness and additional heat
Skinless chicken thighs work well for this recipe, because they have more internal fat, more flavor, and they'll hold up better than breasts to the long slow-cooking
The seasonings can be varied as you like. I see the spice mixes here as suggestions rather than ironclad recipes to follow.
pps: You can read more about Lymphedema in Part I | Part III | Part IV of the series
References used for this series include The One Simple Thing Podcast – Julia Loggins .. Lymphatic System (Human Body Systems) by Julie McDowell and Michael Windelspect .. How the Immune System Works by Lauren Sompayrac .. LiveScience.com .. National Lymphedema Network
— — —
~ Adapted from Simply Recipes
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 2 Tbsp chili powder (heat preference of your choice)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp allspice, or a scant pinch of ground cloves
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (don't remove any excess fat)
- ¾ cup pineapple juice
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- The rest
- Corn tortillas
- Finely shredded cabbage or lettuce
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Chopped avocado
- Lime wedges
- shredded cheese
- chopped tomatoes
- In a small to medium-sized bowl, add the spices and combine
- Coat chicken with the spice blend by dredging the thighs in the spice mix. Place them in the slow cooker
- Pour the pineapple juice over the chicken and add the tomato paste to the juice.
- Cover and cook in the slow cooker for 3 hours on high (or 6 hours on low)
- When the chicken is done, it should be fork-tender. Using two forks, shred the meat completely in the slow cooker's bowl.
- Use the taco meat with heated and softened corn tortillas, sprinkle with lime juice, adding toppings as you'd like
I gotta try these. Chicken tacos are definitely my favorite, thanks for sharing
Corn tortillas are my favorite. So are slow cooker recipes! I’ve got to try this for the family. I’m bookmarking and pinning so I can keep up with this recipe. Thanks!
We strongly believe in Taco Tuesdays and these seem like a really nice way to change things up from the beef tacos we usually eat. Yummers.
I love any kind of tacos but these are amazing! I love the addition of the thinly sliced radishes!
Those look amazing! I love all the color that you have in there. I never thought about playing radishes and a taco what a wonderful idea.
A lymphatic massage can really improve circulation in our system. It can really help us to ease all the pains and tension in the body. And yes, the shredded chicken taco looks really delicious too.
I love a good taco and this one looks delish! We are trying different things with my son’s diet as it seems he may be lactose intolerant. So, taco’s without cheese for him may be an issue, but adding other flavors will help!
Yummy yummy. I love taco and this one looks so good to try out. I need some new ideas for our family of 6!! Great post!!
Mmm, I’d enjoy this! I do love my tacos, that’s for sure. I put lots of salsa and guac on mine.
I always thought that Lymph massages were catered to cancer patients too so who knew, I like the idea of it being like a detox. I like the sound of this chicken taco, I love Tex-Mex cuisine x
A good tortilla can definitely make or break a taco. We always buy ours fresh from the local tortilleria.
Loving the animal pictures. It’s true lymphatic drainage is very good for you. I love the sound of those tacos and that there are so many fresh components to it.
Making tacos at home is one of our weeknight staples. Though not always healthy and sometimes we forget to leave out all the excess cheese.
I love slow cooker recipes because they allow me to become more productive throughout the day!! Thank you very much for this. My family loves to eat tacos especially when we’re watching Netflix on Friday nights. I am so excited to make this for them!
I love using the slow cooker, particularly in the winter and in the summer. I am currently being treated for lymphedema of the legs myself.
I love the addition of radishes for a little extra crunch and heat! This sounds like a great recipe, I will have to make this during the week when I’m looking for new recipes that aren’t too hard to make.
I love shredded chicken from the slow cooker. It’s so delicious, tender and flavorful. I’d love to try this recipe.
The puppy and cat is both super cute! hahaha. Your chicken tacos look delicious. Before I didn’t like tacos because I thought all tacos were like taco bell tacos. But after trying gourmet tacos, I absolutely love them! Thank you for sharing the recipe!
Love the quote from Mark Bittman. The spices in the ingredients are quite special especially cumin and cinnamon but definitely delicious.
Perfect meal for families. We love doing slow cooker chicken for our tacos. I always make extra for left overs and lunches. Great recipe. Will have to try yours. YUM!
My kids have really started to love tacos in the past year. Shredded chicken and pork seem to be their favorite. Thanks for sharing recipe. Looks delicious and healthy!
Thanks for sharing, looks really delicious and more importantly healthy. Will try your recipe with the family.
Never had tacos . Actually we don’t make such things but surely give it a try along with my teammates
I was just looking for my recipe for crockpot chicken when I came across this one. It has about 1/2 of the same ingredients as my recipe but mine doesn’t have the pineapple and a few others. I am curious to see if this one scores a kiss from hubby.
These sound so good! We love to make tacos for dinner, but I have never thought to make them in a slow cooker. That will make meal prep so easy and quick!
Oh my, this dish made me drool. It looks really scrumptious and also healthy. Something I can eat without that guilt feeling. I will definitely be trying this recipe at home. Thanks for sharing it with us!
This is interesting information about the lymphatic system and how it keeps us healthy. This recipe sounds amazing for the slow cooker shredded chicken tacos. We love any type of taco but anything cooked in the slow cooker taste so much better. Thanks for sharing the information and the recipe.
Oh thank you so much for another delicious taco recipe to add to our list of favorites. I love that the taco filling can be prepared in a slow cooker. Less fuss, more yum.
Anything mexican themed with chicken are my absolute favourite so these look so yummy x
This looks amazing! Time to try them for a weeknight dinner some time soon. What a neat take on a taco!
I love tacos, but I’m on a low-carb diet. So I’m going to probably skip the shell and put the meat and topping on a bed of lettuce for a pretty (and delicious) taco salad! Yum
You know, the pineapple juice part – it’s the most interesting thing. I’m not sure i want to chance it incase I hate the taste, so I might use it for someone else instead :p
I love taco night. I bet making the chicken in the slow cooker really helps to lock in the flavor! I’ll have to try these! I also really liked your story/mini-lesson about lymphatic massage, very enlightening. I am a big believer in massage therapy, it has so many benefits.
Oh my goodness, I LOVE tacos and the way this is cooked just sounds and looks so good! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s very helpful!
This looks scrumptious! I love the many ways we can enjoy tacos. Using shredded chicken looks like a delicious twist to the usual taco recipe. I am sure my family will ask for a repeat if I make this tomorrow.
It’s funny… reading your post reminded me about that time when I bought a 10 hours massage voucher on Groupon. I had to chose between the relaxation one and the anticellulitic one, and I went for the first. The massage usually was done in a room with 2 beds and several times there was someone else in there, getting an anticellulitic massage. That’s when I swore I will never get one, no matter how my legs look like… that was not massage, it was beating up, I swear 🙂
Usually I never comment on blogs but your photography is so beautiful that I have to stop and say something about it. You’re doing a great job girl, keep it up!
I am obsessed with my slow cooker during the summer months! It is much too hot to turn the oven on! I am going to have to try this recipe out next!
These tacos look so amazing! I absolutely love using my slow cooker to make chicken, it ends up so tender and delicious! I am definitely going to make this for next taco tuesday!
Looks so colorful, light and healthy. Amazing recipe! I bet my pets will be eager to try the shredded chicken too!
the recipe looks delicious but I wish I could find a veg version so that I can try to prepare it and eat with my mate… who’ll definitely try the original one! do you think there’s any good veg variation?
It’s been a while since I used my slow cooker. I used it more on a winter to make stew or soup. My husband and I loves taco I prefer to make it at home so I knew what veggies I want on it. Your tacos recipe looks delicious and easy to make . I definitely copying it for our weekly meal plan.
Chicken tacos sound really good, especially made in the slow cooker. Thanks for sharing the recipe. My wife and I make tacos every Friday night, and we’ll be trying this recipe next!
I am all about massages and tacos! LOL! But seriously, this recipe looks and sounds so good!
Wow, these look great. A perfect Saturday meal, will certainly go down a treat at bbq or friends over for drinks.
Our house frequents Taco Sundays (I know, it’s not Tuesday haha) and we’ll be trying this next time we do tacos, thanks!
Yessss…we love Taco Tuesdays at our house and I am always looking for new recipes! We are trying this one this week for sure 🙂
Very healthy blog. First I was impressed about the lymphatic massage description. Secondly You have put the tacos receipe so nicely.
I like the recipes and will b=give it a try but what I find so amazing is the wonderful information about our lymphatic system!!!
Thank you for doing the research and sharing with us all!
Love how you described the lymphatic massage. I never had any massage in my life. Love the taco recipe. Do you have a veggie taco recipe on your blog? would love to try that
Yes! I love it <3 That taco recipe is great! Everything looks super delicious and so healthy… A lot of inspirations here!!
Usually, I never comment on blogs but your photography is so beautiful that I have to stop and say something about it. You’re doing a great job girl, keep it up!
Dinner. Tonight. Done. I’m so glad I procrastinated and stopped here before getting down to work!