Insights into your health throughout the seasons
• The Lung network is abundant with Qi, and it has an affinity to pungent flavors.
• Eating excess cold and raw foods creates dampness or phlegm which is produced by the Spleen and stored by the Lungs. Dairy products such as: milk, cheese, cream, and butter create phlegm and can be harmful to the Lungs.
• Pungent is considered the flavor of the Lungs and moderate amounts of pungent foods like garlic, onions, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and mustard are beneficial to the Lungs. Pungent foods should not be over-consumed during the Fall as they can be too drying for the Lungs.
• A saying in Chinese medicine is that “the Lungs loathe dryness”, so it is beneficial to consume moistening Yin nourishing foods such as pear, pumpkin, nuts, seeds and honey.
• Most importantly, because the weather is cooling down, it is best too avoid cold and raw foods like salad. Soups and stews with heartier ingredients and longer cooking times are the most nourishing to the body during Fall and support the digestive system.
• Here is a recipe for Gingery Pumpkin Soup from the cookbook, Ancient Wisdom Modern Kitchen, Recipes from the East for Health, Healing and Long Life. Enjoy!
Gingery Pumpkin Soup
• 10-12 ounces pumpkin (about 2 cups when cubed)
• 6 whole cloves
• 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 small onion (diced)
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.
• 1 (1 to 2 inch) piece fresh ginger peeled and minced
• 1/2 cup unflavored soy milk (can substitute rice milk)
• A pinch of salt and pepper
• 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed and discarded.
1. Seed, peel and chop the pumpkin into 1 inch cubes.
2. Combine the pumpkin, cloves, and stick in a pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until the onions are translucent and soft (about 5 minutes).
4. When the pumpkin is done, remove the cloves form the broth.
5. Combine the pumpkin mixture, the onion mixture and the soy or rice milk, using a hand blender to blend it into a smooth puree. If you don’t have a hand blender, use a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves on top of the soup for a flavorful and colorful garnish.
The key to health, according to Chinese medicine, is learning to live in harmony with the seasons. During Fall, Nature is slowing down, conserving energy, and moving inward. We must do the same by eating warming and nourishing foods, resting, sleeping longer, reflecting on our inner self and reeling in our mental energy. Now is the time to get a “tune-up” from your licensed acupuncturist to strengthen your Qi and your immune system in preparation for Winter.
These seasonal newsletters give you insight on the effects of energy movement throughout the year and throughout your body.
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