I cannot believe the new year is upon us, where has it all gone? I hope this year has been kind to you, the philosophy of Chinese medicine could not be more poignant than right now on the cusp of the old year and new: there are peaks and troughs everywhere. Cherish the good experiences – that is your foundation.
A brand new you
A new year means welcoming new possibilities – try these suggestions to gear up for a fantastic year, without resolutions and detoxing.
Get a haircut
It’s amazing the weightlessness, physical and metaphorical that can happen with something as simple as a haircut. Whether you go for a dramatic change or simply freshen up your tried-and-trusted style, a haircut is an acknowledgment that you care about yourself. With self-care comes the ability to look and feel good.
Discover the delight of discovering
It doesn’t have to be anything amazingly exotic, sure it would be nice to go to the Galapagos Islands and but even the simplest discoveries can be a joy. I remembered when I discovered mini kiwis (who knew there was such a thing?) and tasted the juicy sweetness - I couldn’t stop telling everyone about them. Share the infectious joy that we all used to have as children.
Take time out
I recently spent a long weekend with my oldest friend. We did absolutely nothing but cherish each other’s company. It helped that her and her partner are absolute foodies so I was well fed and warm but we still would’ve had a wonderful time in each other’s company.
Why wait till spring to de-clutter? Now is the perfect time to give away the things that you don’t need, and don’t forget your car. Try the one in, two out policy whether it’s with books or shoes. I’ll admit though, this one is a little hard for me when it comes to houseplants – I love the calmness caring for plants allows me, and the challenge of taking in poorly ones is great too.
For more inspiration, read six mindfulness tips to combat holiday stress (which you can also use every day). I especially like the tip about being mindful during conversation by really listening, “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”.
If you enjoyed this, then be sure to visit the blog The Happy Acupuncturist to read more articles, tips and health news.
Stay warm with soups, these recipes are quick and easy and doesn’t involve hours of watching a pot bubble away. I mentioned last month the wonderful health factor of black beans, which doesn’t always inspire when it comes to actually cooking with them. Try this smoky butternut squash and black-bean soup from Bill Granger which sounds delicious.
Inspired by the flavours of Mexico, this can be a stew or soup, depending on how much stock you decide to add to the pot.
1 chipotle pepper, soaked in water for 10 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp smoked paprika
400g tin black beans, rinsed and drained
Approx 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
4 tbsp sour cream
1 red chilli, sliced
Grilled torn tortillas or chunky bread, to serve
Finely chop the chipotle, keeping the soaking water. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the butternut squash, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, smoked k paprika, chipotle and black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.
When really soft, mash roughly with the back of a spoon then add the chipotle soaking liquid and enough stock to make a thick soup. Bring to the boil. Spoon into bowls and top with sour cream, coriander, chilli and a squeeze of lime. Serve with grilled tortilla.
Acupuncture eases side effects of cancer drugs
Both acupuncture and sham acupuncture were effective in reducing menopausal symptoms in women being treated with aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer, a small randomized trial found. Joint and muscle pain, hot flashes and night sweats are common side effects of those estrogen-lowering drugs. Read more.
Read past issues from the newsletter archive.
It has been amazing having all your support and kind words this year and every year. I’m grateful every day to have the privilege to be there and make a difference in your lives.
Start the new year off with your head held high – watch this video on how to walk better by improving your posture.
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Coming Next Month
How stress affects your food
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