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Need a little detox after this year’s holiday parties. This delicious chicken soup will get you started on the right path to wholesome eating.

What you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into chunks Kosher salt and ground pepper 1 onion, diced 2 carrots, peeled and diced 2 celery ribs, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 16 ounces cremini mushrooms ½ teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon dried oregano 8 cups chicken stock 2 bay leaves ½ cup uncooked orzo pasta 1 sprig fresh rosemary 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed Juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves


Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to the stockpot. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms, and cook until tender and browned. Stir in thyme and oregano until fragrant. Whisk in chicken stock and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, rosemary and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes.Stir in kale and cannellini beans until the kale has wilted. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.Serve immediately.

Photograph by Kelly Moore Clark Styling by Taylor Bennett

Blush by Elle Boutique

Happy New Year

GRAB YOUR GIRLS AND HEAD to north Monroe’s trendiest boutique, located at 214 NorthPark Drive just half a mile from OCS. Here you’ll find women’s clothing, jewelry, gifts, & so much more. Some of our favorite pieces come from Flying Monkey Jeans, Warmies, & Taylor Shaye Designs. There are plenty of finds here, not only in clothing but so much more, we have gifts for all ages.

Owned by Ellie Dyess, Blush by Elle came to life in December 2018 as an online only boutique. You may also have seen us at numerous pop ups locally. Over the past several years this dream has become a reality which led to opening the doors to our storefront in September 2021. Since then, I have focused on adding so many fun finds to our collections and I can’t wait to share them with you soon.

As Blush by Elle came to life one thing that was very important to me was to support small, local, and women owned businesses. I am proud to say that over half of our vendors check these boxes and we are continually adding to this list.

When entering Blush by Elle you will be greeted with the sweet smell of one of our newest Swan Creek candles. Our quaint little storefront will be filled with our newest arrivals & personal shopping assistants. When you come to shop, I want you to feel welcome and at ease. I want to make your personal shopping a fun experience. Come by and see what we can add to your New Year’s wardrobe. We are open Tuesday - Friday 126pm, & Saturdays 10 am - 2pm.

As January flies by we are bringing you our best date night collections for Valentine’s Day. Whether you are hitting the town or spending a cozy night in, we have options for you or if you are buying for your sweetie. Don’t forget the gifts! We have gift ideas for men, women, and kids. Our staff will help you pick out the perfect item, wrap it, and you’ll be on your way with your gift ready to go.

Not only is February the month of love, but for us Louisianians it’s Mardi Gras season and one of our favorite holidays. Our first Mardi Gras collection will launch January 1st! With both of our local Monroe parades hitting the streets in early February we are bringing you sassy but cold weather friendly looks, beautiful jewelry, & fun accessories.

Follow Elle on social media for all the latest styles and sales, or search Blush by Elle on the app store and download the app for easy access and on-the-go shopping.

Facebook: Blushbyelleboutique Instagram: Blushbyelle TikTok: Blushbyelle Webstite: www.blushbyelle.com

Allegiance Ag and Turf

Company Supports Area Farmers

JOSH VINES HAS BEEN IN THE EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY for most of his life, and he’s just getting started. Allegiance Ag & Turf, formerly known as Larry Cotten Enterprises, is under new ownership and Josh couldn’t be more excited about it. With decades of experience fulfilling the tractor and lawn equipment needs of businesses and individuals in Louisiana, Arkansas, and beyond, Larry Cotten Enterprises was able to provide its customers with the highest quality products and services, a tradition Josh intends to maintain.

“We understand our customers are looking for more up time, which often means more efficient operations,” said Josh. “We’re proud to partner with Fendt, Massey Ferguson, and the entire AGCO brand, because we know their commitment to superior dependability that keeps our farmers doing what they do best – farming.”

Allegiance Ag & Turf’s partnership with Fendt is especially exciting as they will be the only provider of the Fendt line of products in the entire state.

Congresswoman Julia Letlow spoke at the Ribbon Cutting on the importance of agriculture in the Fifth District, and the vital role a business such as Allegiance Ag and Turf plays in the community. “In the Fifth District, we talk about the need to keep our best and brightest here, and Josh and Ana are a glowing example of that,” said Congresswoman Letlow. “They’re investing in this community, and their work to create jobs and opportunity will have an incredible impact in Morehouse Parish.”

The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to fill the needs of all sizes of property owners. Allegiance Ag and Turf will provide large agriculture equipment, mid and small farm equipment, hay tools, multiple implement options and Exmark mowers, as well as superior service and support of the northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas region.

Allegiance Ag is an authorized Exmark, Massey Ferguson, Woods, and Titan dealership serving the Bastrop, Louisiana area. They are proud to carry a large selection of new and pre-owned inventory. When you are ready to invest in a new implement, attachment, lawn mower, loader, tractor, and more, their friendly and knowledgeable sales, financing, service, and parts departments are prepared to make sure your experience is outstanding, from assisting while you’re making your choice to ongoing maintenance and customization. At Allegiance Ag, they value the opportunity to create a long-term relationship with their customers, and do that by giving you the best customer service available.

Allegiance Ag & Turf has made a commitment to be a strong supporter of the community and believes in giving back to those who give so much. Josh and Ana Vines partnered with the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana during the Ribbon Cutting and encouraged participants to bring canned goods and donations to benefit the community. The canned food drive will continue until the end of December.

IBS Can Cramp Your Style

Everything You Need to Know About IBS


ARE YOU EXPERIENCING ALTERED BOWEL HABITS, chronic abdominal pain, or bloating? Ever have that the urge to get to the bathroom “immediately?” Do you experience changes in stool form regularly? If you answered yes, you might have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS affects millions of people and is reported to be the second leading cause of missed work and diminished productivity in the workplace. The prevalence is estimated as high as 15% or more of the general population and is slightly more likely to affect females. The impact of IBS on quality of life is significant and often quite burdensome.

IBS symptoms are variable from one individual to the next, and all symptoms may not be present in each afflicted person. The severity, frequency, and duration of periodic exacerbations vary widely.

Typical symptoms include an abdominal cramping sensation; however, the location and severity also vary. Pain may be associated with precipitating factors such as the act of eating, defecation, and emotional stress. Complaints of increased gas, bloating, belching, and flatulence are also frequently reported. Many patients suffer from frequent loose or diarrheal stools. Stools may have mucus from time to time, but bleeding is never associated with IBS. It should also be noted that nocturnal diarrhea, greasy stools, large-volume diarrhea, and weight loss are other symptoms not found in IBS. Some individuals describe a sensation of incomplete evacuation as well.

As noted above, a diarrhea-predominant pattern is referred to as IBS-D. This entity is frequently associated with urgency. If present, cramping may or may not be relieved by a bowel movement. Precipitating factors can vary even in an individual patient making for unpredictable events.

In many patients, the battle is constipation, infrequent bowel movements, or stool described as hard pellets or cigar shaped. This constipation-predominant variant is referred to as IBS-C.

Lastly, alternating stool form from loose/diarrheal to constipation or variable form stool is referred to as IBS-M for a mixed pattern of symptoms. An unclassified pattern is for those with IBS but do not fit into one of these categories.

Your doctor or a gastrointestinal specialist may diagnose IBS by utilizing a carefully obtained detailed history of symptoms, a physical examination, basic laboratory testing, and possibly an abdominal X-ray. If diarrhea is present, specialized blood and stool tests may be obtained. It is not uncommon to perform an endoscopic procedure to rule out other organic diseases that may also present with similar symptoms. The history should include precipitating factors, prescribed and over-the-counter medications, and any herbal or homeopathic treatments the patient uses. A family history assessment should include inquiry regarding inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or Ulcerative colitis), colorectal cancer, and Celiac disease.

Once IBS is diagnosed, the physician can prescribe a treatment plan that best fits that individual patient. Frequently this specifically fashioned management plan will include adjustments to diet, the addition of prescription medicine, behavior modification, and often dietary supplements.