Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

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 Balance, Elements, Energy, Heart, Mental Clarity, Seasons, Stress

Over the past couple of weeks, you may have felt the weather shift. We’ve come into the time of late summer—after the peak of summer, but before the leaves of autumn fall.

According to Angela and John Hicks, co-founders of the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine, this is a time of remarkable balance: “What is most striking about this season is the sense of time standing still. The peak of yang is over and the days are getting shorter but the leaves are still on the trees and the weather can still be warm. The melancholia of autumn is yet to begin. It is a time when yin and yang are finely balanced.”

In the natural cycle of the five elements, Earth acts as our provider, our mother. It’s the soil that nourishes the plants, which in turn nourish us. Earth is our center, the root, which supports all of the other elements. Now is the time of harvest, the act of giving and receiving—reciprocity in the truest sense.“The fields are filled with nourishment representing the fruits of our labors. … it yields an abundant harvest to those who adequately cultivate and care for it.”Lonny S. Jarrett We should take a few moments every day to give thanks for an abundant harvest.

In our lives, a balanced presentation of the Earth element is someone who is not only able to work hard, but also able to reap the benefits of his or her efforts. It’s being able to feel satisfied and “nourished” by our accomplishments and relationships. Can you support others without being smothering or feeling resentful? Are you able to ask for help when you need it? If someone offers you help, do you accept it or push them away? Most importantly though, the Earth element is about being centered, stable, and “home.” Earth has the comfort and security you feel when you go home. On the contrary, if the Earth element is out of balance, we may feel mentally foggy or distracted, ungrounded, unsupported, lethargic, “heavy,” or worried (the kind of worrying or ruminating that’s super unproductive—like a hamster wheel spinning the same thought over and over).

“Madness is to think of too many things too fast, or of one thing exclusively.” – Voltaire

In accordance with the season of late summer, ask yourself:

Are you satisfied with what you have cultivated and ‘harvested’ in your life, or are you always hungry for more?

Where do you get your emotional support? Do you have someone you can turn to if you need help?  Do you feel like your relationships have a reciprocal nature of giving and receiving?

What nourishes you? Where is “home?” Where have you put down roots? How would you describe the feeling of “going home?”

What grounds you when you feel uncentered? What motivates you when you feel stuck?

Remember, now is the season to give thanks for all that you receive. Take a moment to reflect on what nourishes you on a day-to-day basis—physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

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posted by on Balance, Elements, Featured, Seasons

Acupuncture Atlanta

I had the opportunity recently to visit beautiful Colombia, and during the trip I was reminded once again of the value of generosity. I witnessed and experienced such incredible patience, conscientiousness and giving to others as I got to know the Colombian people.

Unfortunately, my trip home was unusually challenging and exhausting, fraught with flight troubles. While it could have turned into a nightmare, my journey continued to be filled with amazing, generous people—and that made all the difference in the world.

I ran across some thought-provoking words about the importance of generosity from a Buddhist perspective at Learning to Give, which is devoted to teaching giving and service-learning.

“When we develop generosity, our mind becomes lighter and more available to insight. The act of generous giving is a means to that end. It is through giving with a kind, loving heart that we develop our capacity to let go. As we let go we become freer, lighter, and happier. The Buddha said, ‘If beings knew, as I know, the fruit of sharing gifts, they would not enjoy their use without sharing them, nor would the taint of stinginess obsess the heart and stay there. Even if it were their last bit, their last morsel of food, they would not enjoy its use without sharing it, if there were anyone to receive it.’ (Itivuttaka 18)”

Sharing our gifts makes us able to enjoy them even more. What a sweet reward!

 

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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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