It has been two years since my last newsletter and I'm hoping to share news a little more regularly this year.  Look for interviews and information about various health conditions in upcoming issues.

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The Year of the Fire Rooster

The Year of the Fire Rooster began on January 28, 2017. The Rooster is a symbol of energy, as it wakes and rises before dawn. The Rooster teaches the lessons of thorough approach, order, planning, and attention to detail to get the job done. To ensure success, stick to practical and well-proven paths - now is not the time for risky ventures or nonsensical plans. Success will come as a result taking action, hard work, patience, and keeping life simple.

This a year when impressions really count and appearances matter. Invest in some really nice wardrobe items and be very well groomed in public. 

Money matters generally do well in a Rooster year and the management of finances is a top priority this year. It’s a good year to create a budget and stick to it, and refrain from making speculative ventures. 

Choose your battles wisely because there could be much crowing and pecking this year. Keep to the high ground and do not engage in petty arguments. 

Those who follow the example of the Fire Rooster’s loyalty, commitment, hard work, and making a good impression will be rewarded this year!

"The early bird gets the worm" fits as a slogan for this new year, as did "Expect the unexpected" for the past Fire Monkey year (and didn’t that turn out to be true!)  

In the Chinese zodiac, there are 12 animals, each having its own year.  Each year is also associated with one of the 5 elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water).  Combining the two creates a 60-year cycle, so the last time it was a Fire Rooster Year was in 1957.

How Full is Your Reservoir?

In California, we receive most of our rain and snow between October and May.  Because we receive very little precipitation during the summer, we rely on the melting snow to fill our reservoirs with water to see us through the dry summer months.  If the snowpack is low, there will be insufficient snowmelt to fill our reservoirs and provide water for our needs.  After the recent five years of drought, we are all well aware of the need to conserve and use water wisely; meeting our future needs depends on having a full reservoir.

We can apply this same idea to our Qi (vital energy).  Your Qi is a precious resource, just as water is during a drought.  (Continue reading here.)

Make An Impact With 100+ Women Who Care Yolo!

Giving circles and collective giving are on the rise and have lasting effects for the community. At 100+ Women Who Care Yolo County, women come together to focus their charitable donations locally, learn about the amazing work being done by local nonprofits, and amplify their personal philanthropy through power in numbers. Their first meeting raised over $13,000 for Yolo County CASA! Whether you are brand new to philanthropy or have been an active donor for years, you are invited to join!

The next quarterly meeting will be on February 15th, 7pm-8:30pm, at The Odd Fellows Hall in Davis. At the meeting, members will hear from 3 local nonprofits working in Yolo County (YoloArtsCamp Kesem at UC DavisYolo Hospice), vote to select the nonprofit that will be their recipient, and donate $100 per person directly to that nonprofit. This extraordinary group of women makes an immediate, direct, and positive impact on Yolo County by pooling resources to amplify their charitable giving. Check out their website to learn more or to sign up!

Lentil Soup with Lemon
(modified from a recipe from Sunset’s Homemade Soups)


About 1½ pounds Swiss chard

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1½ cups lentils

7 to 8 cups of broth (I use homemade chicken broth, but any is fine.)

2-3 Tb olive oil

1 medium-size onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 medium-size thin-skinned potato, diced

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

3 Tb lemon juice


Sort lentils to remove debris; rinse well, then drain.  

     Rinse and drain chard; cut off and discard thickest part of stems, then stack leaves and cut cross-wise into ½-inch-wide strips.  Set aside. 

     Coarsely chop half of the cilantro; set aside.  Finely chop remaining cilantro and set aside.

     In a 5-quart pan, heat oil in over medium-low heat.  Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden (about 10-15 min.), adding garlic during the last few minutes of cooking.  

     Add the drained lentils and 7 cups of broth to the onions and garlic, bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

     Add potato to lentil mixture and simmer for 15 minutes; then stir in chard and the finely chopped cilantro and continue simmering until vegetables and lentils are tender to bit (about 5 more minutes).  Stir in salt, pepper, cumin, and lemon juice.  If desired, thin soup with up to 1 cup more broth.  

     Top individual servings with coarsely chopped cilantro and lemon slices.  Makes 6 servings.


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Copyright © 2017 Johanna Utter, L.Ac., FABORM, All rights reserved.

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