Chinese nutrition classifies food according to its energetic qualities of temperature, taste, and ability to moisten and strengthen the body. In general, it favors foods with warm properties which ease the digestive process by allowing the system to relax and more easily break down food.
Summer however, is fire time, making it the the perfect season to introduce some cool, yin foods into your diet. Food with cool and cold properties can clear heat, reduce toxins, and generate body fluids. Bring on the melons, cucumbers, tomatoes and tofu! Enjoy this cooling salad!
(Soba noodles are available in most grocery stores in the “international” section, miso paste can be found in the refrigerated section at The Heritage, Whole Foods, and many grocery stores)
Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste - so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.
Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add some watercress, green onions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.
Serves 2 - 3. Source: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/miso-soup-recipe.html
Detox is the perfect time to put new healthy habits into practice. For instance, iced tea was my go to drink since I was about 7 years old. My first detox prevented me from consuming caffeine, so it was water instead for 3 weeks. When that time was completed, I decided that I would just stick with the water - after all, it was easier and I did not have to prepare anything. I haven't kept tea in the fridge for over 4 years. It was a small step that lead to a larger, lasting improvement on my health.
In the detoxes since, I have made additional small changes one at a time - I stopped smoking (ok, that's a big one,) started regular supplementation and chiropractic care, eliminated processed junk foods, moved to eating only whole foods... you get the idea.
I encourage you to consider this philosophy when facing any challenge that seems overwhelming. What will be the first step in your personal Kaizen?
Depression is defined as six months of prolonged mental despondency, accompanied by lack of energy and difficulty maintaining concentration or interest in life. Everyone has these feelings at times – our culture is quick to slap a band-aid where it doesn’t always belong. Before turning to that additional glass of wine, or anti-depressant prescription, consider if these feelings truly are depression, or if you may be instead fighting your natural reaction to the season.
In Chinese medicine, winter is the time to turn inward, focus on emotional introspection, rest, and conserve strength. All of the natural environmental cues are telling us to do this. It’s cold and dark, trees are bare of leaves, animals are hibernating – time to go inside. Not simply indoors, but INSIDE of yourself. Quiet the mind, embrace your inner world of feeling. Contesting our part in this natural equation can intensify the feelings of seasonal sadness.
“Going inside” and facing / embracing ourselves can be a terrifying prospect for some. We are literally addicted to the constant noise, chaos, and distraction of the outside world. A heavy reliance on external stimulus allows us to avoid ourselves, especially at those vital moments where introspection allows for self healing.
Easy ways to embrace introspection:
Nutrition. Or as I like to call it, eating great food! It’s time for those warming, comfort foods we all love. It doesn’t have to be all mac and cheese either – see end of article for a great recipe for healing, comforting miso soup. (Which also boosts the immune system!)
Sleep. Carve out the time for adequate rest. You can make it happen, and you will be amazed at the improvement in your well being. Watch and pay attention to your dream language.
Balance the Nervous System. This is exactly what a chiropractic adjustment does for you. Acupuncture, the Migun massage bed, and yoga are other great resources.
Meditation / Deep Relaxation / Prayer. Start with just 3 minutes a day of complete silence and relaxation of your mind. As it becomes easier, spend a little more time each day. Those of you that currently practice – keep it up!
Mother Nature’s intelligence and wisdom is in all of us, we often simply forget to align with it. Fight the winter blues this season and heal naturally by embracing your inner self.
Martha Nussbaum’s letter: Do Not Despise Your Inner World
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Almost every traditional culture (including american-anglos) made and used bone broth on a regular basis. This lost art is coming back into vogue and for good reason.
The health benefits of bone broth are off the charts. The gelatin in it provides nutritious protein, and supports the connective tissues - e.g. tendons, ligaments, skin, corneas, cartilages, bones, blood vessels, gut, and spinal discs - the stuff that holds you together! This also translates into super sexy skin, hair and nails.
It's chock full of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and trace minerals. Even better is these minerals, when in bone broth, are totally biologically available. That means your body can easily process and absorb them.
Round Up is the commercial name for glyphosate, an herbicide which allows farmers to spray specially genetically modified (GM) crops - killing the weeds surrounding them and leaving the crops intact. Unfortunately, the glyphosate covers and saturates the crop several times through-out the growth cycle, leaving residue to be absorbed into the plant material.
You may have heard twitterings across the internet lately. Although glyphosate manufactures have insisted since it's emergence in the 70's that it is harmless, a study released last week has re-addressed it's effects in several previously published mice studies, where different cancer types were shown with causation.