As fall begins to fade we may find ourselves wondering how best to prepare for the coming winter? From the perspective of Chinese Medicine we look to nature to understand how to nourish our mind, body and spirit. Winter is the time of the water element and is ruled by the kidneys and urinary bladder. Appropriate clothing, activity and eating habits will ensure care to these organs. Cold and darkness drives us to seek inner warmth. Winter is a time to rest, meditate and store physical energy. Warm hearty soups, whole grains and roasted nuts nourish and warm.
Cook foods longer, at lower temperatures and with less water. A crock pot stew is perfect for the winter time. Enjoying this inward time and giving our bodies the warmth and rest they are asking for and this will support us for an active and fun growth time fo the coming spring.
Salty and bitter foods to add this winter:
1) use real salt that has NO additives ~ Redmonds real salt or Sea Salt or Himalayan pink salt. Miso, soy sauce, seaweeds, millet, barley. (be mindful to not over salt your food)
2) Bitter foods: lettuce, watercress, endive, turnip, celery, asparagus, alfalfa, oats, quinoa, amaranth, chicory (coffee substitutes)
3) Warming additions: ginger(dried is warmer than fresh), cloves, fennel seeds, anise seeds, black peppercorn, cinnamon, walnuts (for chronic cough or wheezing), black beans, onion family, chicken, lamb and salmon.
4) always drinks plenty of water for your activity and house heat can cause some dryness, so be mindful of plenty of water.
5) enjoy holiday treats, but keep them to a minimum as too much sugar causes inflammation and damages the Kidney Jing(deep inner essence)
6) Most importantly enjoy yourself and your life! Have fun and look around you at all the life and beauty. Radiance as a way of health!