A New Year, A New You
Happy New Year, 2018 has finally arrived. With the New Year, many of us make resolutions or plans to change our lives or to live differently.
Ancient Alternatives would like to help with these plans by offering a series of blogs over the coming year that examine how many of the principles in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be used to accomplish these goals. TCM is a complex yet simple approach to life which can be confusing to many people. I hope to use these blogs to clarify TCM and show my readers how to use TCM to make life a little easier and healthier.
The first blog in this series is titled “Eating for Winter and Cold Climates”
We live in an unusual time in history. Food is readily available to us and because of our global economy and ease of travel, food from all over the world can be had at almost any time. Although we take this wide variety of food for granted, these foods may not be the healthiest for us. One of the principles of TCM is to “eat food that is local to your area in it’s time.” This can be easy to follow depending on where “your area” is. In upstate NY in winter there isn’t much that is local. So how to eat according to TCM and have some variety in our diets? Some foods that are local to upstate NY in the autumn are apples, pears, winter squashes, kale, Brussel sprouts, carrots and other root vegetables. Not only can these foods be eaten in the winter, many of them store well and have immune boosting properties. But what about grapes from Chile or avocados or tomatoes or cucumbers?
Foods from warmer climates that are imported to our area tend to be foods that are eaten raw and are more perishable. These foods can cause digestive upsets when eaten frequently during cold winter months. How many of us have had a large salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cukes or have eaten grapes or oranges then noticed digestive gurgling, gas, or even belching? Usually the reason is these foods are too cold for our area and eating cold food during cold damp weather causes these symptoms for many people. So what to do? Foods that are cool or cold can be warmed up by various techniques such as cooking, using spices or adding warm foods to dishes (especially salads).
I’d like my readers to think about what foods they are eating at this time of year. Pay attention to how your body reacts to different foods. My next blog will detail how to use cooking techniques and spices to warm up your food. Not only will it taste good but will be easier to digest.