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posted by on Balance, Energy, Featured, Nutrition, Seasons, Uncategorized

pumpkin soup

Like a squirrel piling up acorns in a tree, our bodies are looking to store up energy and health this fall in preparation for the chill of winter. The best way to take care of that natural increased appetite is with warming, nutritious foods.

According to Paul Pitchford’s great book, Healing With Whole Foods, well-chosen

foods can be used to offset the dryness of fall, which can bring dryness of the skin, nose, lips and throat. In addition, warming foods stimulate all the body’s functions, helping us warm up from the inside out.

Warming food include:

  • Almonds
  • Blackberries
  • Chocolate
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Figs
  • Greens
  • Honey
  • Oats
  • Onion
  • Oranges
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Pinenuts
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Root vegetables
  • Red beans
  • Roasted foods
  • Root vegetables
  • Scallions
  • Sesame seeds
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes (cooked)
  • Turnips

Hearty and Healthy Fall Recipes

Pumpkin Soup from about.com

Vegetarian pumpkin soup is warming and filling. Perfect for the holidays or any time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 16 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, cook the onion in the margarine for 3-5 minutes, until onion turns clear. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Cook over medium heat for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings of vegetarian pumpkin soup.

Roasted Root Vegetables from dr.weil.com

“Root vegetables (with the exception of potatoes and carrots) are some of the most overlooked and underappreciated foodstuffs around. But these nutritional storehouses are hidden treasures worthy of your notice. Not only are they available in winter when other vegetables are hard to find, but they are also very inexpensive. Experiment with turnips, rutabagas, beets and parsnips, and learn what they have to offer in taste and versatility. Rutabaga (also known as swede) is an accidental vegetable — the result of a chance hybridization of turnips and cabbage. Like carrots, they’re low in sodium and high in vitamin C. The flavor of all root vegetables will be enhanced by selecting fresh, firm produce (preferably organically grown) and storing it carefully. Turnips and potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place out of the refrigerator. The rest of these roots will keep well in the refrigerator for at least a week.”

Ingredients:
2 pounds root vegetables (use potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, beets), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch wedges
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
Chopped fresh herbs like rosemary, or balsamic vinegar (optional)

Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the root vegetables and onion in a roasting pan.
2. Toss the vegetables with the olive oil and salt to taste. Do not crowd the vegetables.
3. Roast the mixture for a total of 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, scatter the garlic cloves in with the vegetables. Continue stirring every 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and evenly browned.
4. Before serving, add a sprinkling of fresh chopped herbs or balsamic vinegar, if you like for additional flavor.

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posted by on Chinese Herbal Medicine, Energy, Nutrition, Seasons

Acupuncture Atlanta

Here are some delicious cooling foods to help you balance the intense heat and activity of summer while treating your body—and taste buds—at the same time:

  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas (especially great out of the freezer)
  • Avocados
  • Lettuce
  • Asparagus
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple (makes anything a tropical treat)
  • Peaches
  • Oranges
  • Peppermint (makes a great, refreshing tea)
  • Bamboo
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Corn
  • Cucumber (add a few slices to water for a tasty beverage)
  • White mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Summer squash
  • Watercress (one of the most nutritious greens you can eat)
  • Seaweed
  • Mung beans
  • Dill
  • Sprouts (easy to add to any salad or sandwich)

A few more summer eating tips:

  • Avoid overeating or large meals. Lighter meals and snacks throughout the day will keep you feeling perkier and more energetic.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water and other fluids, even when you don’t feel particularly thirsty. Ice water with sliced citrus fruit or cucumber makes a wonderful cooling drink!
  • Stay away from heavy, fried foods and dairy whenever possible.
  • Find creative ways to combine the delicious cooling foods of summer with inventive salads and cold soups.

Got recipes and ideas of your own to share? Add them in the comments section!

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posted by on Elements, Energy, Seasons

Since our lives, beings and bodies reflect the cycles and seasons of nature, we can always find clues to our balance and well being by paying close attention to each  season.

As the Atlanta heat has made quite clear, summer is here!  In Chinese medicine, summer is the element of Fire, which goes hand in hand with connection, joy and friendship. It’s a time of warmth, maturity, relationships and love. In summer, the activities of spring have reached their fullness and flowering. The future has become the present, and hopes and dreams are realized.

Think about what summer vacation was like when you are a kid—hanging out with your friends all day, laughing, playing, enjoying every moment. There’s a carefree attitude and feeling of elation and joy that comes only with summer. Even though we don’t all get summer vacations as adults, it’s important to make a point of letting those joyful summertime feelings in! Why not give it a try right now?

More About Summer and the Fire Element:

Meridians

The meridians and organs associated with summer and the Fire element are the Pericardium and Triple Heater (also called Triple Energizer), the Heart and Small Intestine. They’re involved with warmth of relationships as well as spreading warmth through the body.

Emotions

The emotion associated with Fire is joy. It’s also tied to the ability to express deep feelings for others, passion and compassion. The sound associated with Fire is laughter; the color, red. When Fire is deficient, it can limit the ability to feel joy and have satisfying relationships.

Body

A Fire deficiency may cause physical coldness, low energy, and sexual, urinary, or menstrual dysfunction, as well as problems with digestion or breathing. When Fire is excessive, it can show itself in painful inflammation in the joints, chronic infections, sore throat and sinuses, burning diarrhea, anxiety and sleep disturbances.

Relationships

In summer, the sense of community, freedom and fun, enhance all our relationships. We are able to give and receive equally when the Fire element is in balance.

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posted by on Balance, Energy, Mental Clarity, Stress

When I was growing up, I remember my mom saying to me, quite often, “Jenny, I need some peace and quiet.” At the time, I probably responded by amping things up a few more notches, making things anything but peaceful! Now, though, the idea of craving a little peace and quiet resonates with me on a deep level, and there’s a good reason why.

As a culture, we hardly ever grant ourselves any time for plain, pure peace and quiet. I’m talking about the old-fashioned kind that doesn’t involve TV, internet or cell phones. We rarely enjoy the simple wireless, cordless and noiseless variety of checking out. This inability to truly unwind is costing us our balance and healthy energy flow.

The yin and yang symbol of Chinese philosophy represents half that is external and half that is internal. We’re supposed to have an equal balance between the two. In a 24-hour day, that means about 12 hours of putting ourselves out there and no less than 12 hours of recuperating, rejuvenating, rebuilding, going internal, taking in. Assuming you sleep for 6 to 8 of those hours, that still leaves at least 4 hours of your waking time in which you need to reflect and go inside in some way.

What could you do today to get a bit of peace and quiet? Adding even a few more minutes of downtime to your day will cause a noticeable shift. Give it a try.

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