The new year is coming and it is a good time to detoxify and start fresh in all aspects of our lives. It is a perfect time to get healthy and visualize everything you would like to manifest in the coming year. This month we learn how to eat out like the Chinese - which gives us a history of Chinese medicine nutrition, the connection between diet and spirituality, and a list of black foods that help nourish and strengthen the kidneys. The kidneys are the organs associated with winter and their emotion is fear so it is this time of year that we want to tonify our kidneys and deal with any unresolved fear, both of which will keep the kidneys strong and healthy all year long. We hope you and your loved ones all had a wonderful holidays and we wish you peace, love and happiness in the new year and for years to come! <3
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Here Are This Month's Articles...
Eating Out The Chinese Way - The History of Chinese Medicine Nutrition
By John Voigt
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic On Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing), circa second century BCE, is the most important ancient text on Chinese medicine. In it are the concepts of a balanced and complete diet, and probably the world's first dietary guidelines.
The Thermal Nature of Foods - Warming, Cooling & Neutral
Basic concerns are about Han (“cold”) and Re (“hot”) foods. Han foods such as kelp, wheat, vegetables, and pork possibly may cause diarrhea. Re foods such as ginger, pepper, mutton, and unripened guava possibly may cause heartburn or constipation. Wen (“neutral”) foods such as rice, beans, fish, and beef can help to repair the body’s tissues. Bu (strengthening)foods such as ginseng, deer velvet, and dates may be healing.
Food Relationships in Chinese Medicine - A Holistic Approach
But this is not about one food by itself being good or bad, it’s about the relationships of food. Chinese dietetics—as most past and present Chinese thought—is based on holistic concepts, not singularity concerns. For example, with the above foods, vegetables (a Han or so-called “cold” food) is usually cooked with some Re (a so-called “hot”) food such as ginger or pepper. That neutralizes or balances out the “cold” [yin] and “hot” [yang] aspects of each food, and helps create something good for you and delicious as well.
Along the same idea of a food gaining its meaning by its relationships to other foods, in classic Chinese cuisine we most often find the “neutral” food (the rice or noodles) along with the main meal (meat or fish), accompanied by various other dishes usually vegetables. For example, The yang of rare beef is balanced by yin of tofu or cool slices of fruit.
Diet and Spirituality: Feeding the Mind, Body and Soul
By Sally Perkins
The idea that food can be a direct route to health and happiness is a belief that’s been long held by proprietors of traditional Chinese medicine. Recipes have passed down through generations that are used to help prevent and treat disease, slow down the aging process, or simply improve overall fitness. To this day, many households that use a traditional approach to health consider the pantry to be synonymous with the medicine cabinet.
In traditional Chinese medicine, food is more than just sustenance. It’s a healthy lifestyle choice that has a significant impact on your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Practitioners of traditional medicine promote the idea that a carefully crafted diet plan should be the first line of defense against any illness or ailment. Traditional medicine has shaped many common Chinese dishes that include a wide variety of vegetables and meats considered to have positive health benefits. Different health call for different ingredients, including herbs, spices, and vegetables that are known to have healing properties.
Foods that are damp in nature can slow the digestive system and interfere with the flow of energy throughout your body. This blockage can lead to pain, disease, chronic allergies, and even arthritis. Signs of dampness can include congestion and excessive mucus formation, indigestion, weight gain, and swelling in the joints.
Foods to Include
Foods to Avoid
Black Foods for KIdney Health
By Emma Suttie D.Ac, AP
The kidneys, in Chinese medicine, are considered the "root of life" as they are responsible for many vital functions in the body. The kidneys store what is called "essence" which is derived from each parent and is established at conception. The essence determines our health and vitality throughout our lives, which is why the health of the parents at the time of conception is so important. The kidneys also govern birth, growth, reproduction and development and are important for sexual health, so we want to always make sure that our kidneys are healthy and functioning optimally. Winter is the season associated with the kidneys, and for this reason winter is the best time to strengthen the kidneys. There are many ways to keep your kidneys strong like martial arts, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and conveniently, the foods we eat.
The colour associated with winter and the kidneys is black, so in Chinese medicine eating black foods is beneficial for the kidneys, helping to strengthen and protect them. Below are five black foods that are excellent for strengthening the kidneys, they also all happen to be delicious, which is awesome.
Rice is a staple food in most of Asia and has been for thousands of years. You may not have heard of black rice, or ever seen it in the grocery store, but black rice has been eaten throughout Asia for centuries. It is often referred to as "forbidden rice" because in ancient China it was grown in very small quantities and reserved solely for the emperor. Thankfully, black rice is now available to everyone, but it is still very rare, especially compared to other rice varieties. You can sometimes find it in health food stores, and it is worth trying as its health benefits are impressive. Black rice is literally smashed with antioxidants, in fact it has the highest level of the antioxidant anthocyanin of any known food. Black rice also reduces inflammation, protects the heart from atherosclerotic plaque which can lead to heart attacks and stroke, detoxifies the body, helps to prevent diabetes by slowing down sugar absorption in the blood, improves digestive health and is naturally gluten free. Black rice is also... excellent for kidney health. :)
Quote of the Month
That the birds of worry fly above your head, this you cannot change. But that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.
~ Chinese Proverb
In Major Game-Changer, Norway Pushed to Divert its Massive Wealth Out of Fossil Fuel
The bank responsible for the largest sovereign wealth in the the world has just taken a stance against fossil fuels.
Norges Bank, which is the national bank of Norway worth an estimated $1 trillion, were hailed earlier this week for advising the nation’s government to drop sovereign investment in gas and oil.
According to the Guardian, the announcement comes as a welcome followup to Norway’s $90 billion divestment from the coal industry in 2015. While government representatives have reportedly stated that the decision to divest from gas and oil would not be made until next year, it could be a major game-changer for the fossil fuel industry. The bank’s statement alone reportedly caused European fossil fuel stocks to drop.
“The return on oil and gas stocks has been significantly lower than in the broad equity market in periods of falling oil prices,” said the bank in a statement.
“Therefore, it is the bank’s assessment that the government’s wealth can be made less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil prices if the GPFG [sovereign wealth fund] is not invested in oil and gas stocks.”
Ireland became the first country in the world to divert all of its sovereign wealth from coal, oil, and gas after they passed the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill in January. The decision resulted in $8.5 billion being pulled from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.
“The Irish political system is now finally acknowledging what the overwhelming majority of people already know: That to have a fighting chance to combat catastrophic climate change we must phase out fossil fuels and stop the growth of the industry that is driving this crisis,” said Éamonn Meehan of Trócaire.
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in the News
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If you would like to read about the latest scienntific studies involving Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, please see our "Current Research" page to find all the latest. :)
Recipe Of The Month with NourishU
Winter Recipe - Black Bean Congee to Promote Kidney Health
Promotes kidney health.
1. Soak beans and yam for 2 hours and rinse.
2. Soak goji-berry for 30 minutes and rinse.
3. Rinse rice. Bring 4 cups of water in a pot to a boil and put in all ingredients. Boil again, lower heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes or until beans are soft. Add water if necessary.
No limitations. Eat in the evening with dinner for best results.
About Chinese Medicine Living
Chinese Medicine Living is a place where Chinese medicine principles are applied to the way we live our lives to improve health on every level. In our articles, interviews and information we strive to teach how the body and the world is seen through the eyes of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) so you can better understand its theories, and how to live a healthy balanced lifestyle according to its principles. How TCM views the body and its connections to emotions, living in harmony with the world around us, and how to achieve the balance synonymous with health are the ways in which we strive to impart the limitless wisdom of Chinese medicine. Welcome.
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