Winter is upon us and it’s time to re-think what you are eating. Are you still eating salads or gulping down an ice-cold drink? In the winter it’s best to eat warm and nourishing foods.
In Chinese medicine, the spleen is like the fire and the stomach is the pot on the stove. If you are eating too many cooling foods when the weather is cool or freezing, you are squashing your fire/spleen making the pot/stomach unable to properly digest your food.
Winter is a time to go inward. It gets dark earlier and that will encourage you to stop what you are doing and go to bed earlier. It’s a time for meditation, restoring your energy, and making plans for the spring. This is a time for you to gather your strength for the new year.
Here are my suggestions so you stay healthy this winter:
- Rest more.
It’s the time to rest, repair, and regenerate. The Nei Ching, the oldest-known document of Chinese medicine, advises: “[In Winter], people should retire early at night and rise late in the morning, and they should wait for the rising of the sun.” I know first hand that this is unrealistic with jobs and family, but do your best to wind down early in the evening.
- Set aside time for yourself.
Use the energy of the season to meditate or quietly contemplate. Read things that lift your spirits. Pay attention to your dreams. Start a journal.
- Eat more warm foods.
Remember to keep your fire/spleen going by eating warm foods. See the list below of great and in season veggies.
- Spend time with people you love.
Winter is a great time to be spent with loved ones. Take the time to rejuvenate and deepen relationships with those closest to you. Don’t make it a big deal. Keep it simple and relaxed.
If you want to read more about the Water element which is the element of winter, here is a great article by Neal Gumenick.
What are the best winter veggies?
- acorn squash
- daikon radish
- sweet potato
I recently tried this Sweet Potato Latkes recipe that is super yummy. You can enjoy it anytime as a side dish.
Ok. One more thing.
Remember to use good quality oil when cooking, especially when frying or cooking at high temperatures. I like avocado oil or ghee for such things. If you are using CANOLA oil, throw it out! And if you buy any packaged foods with canola oil, toss those out as well. Canola oil is very high in trans-fat, that means BAD FAT.
“Canola oil has a higher level of omega-3 oils. So in order to make that bottle last on a shelf, plus be able to withstand high heat cooking, you need over a dozen chemical stages to process canola into an oil that will not go rancid. These processes include not only hydrogenation but deodorization of the omega-3. This process can form as much as 40% trans fatty acids in canola, even more than soybean oil.
The following have been directly attributed to the canola con:
- Canola depletes vitamin E which will impact chronic diseases like heart, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
- Canola increases the rigidity of membranes (which is a major aging factor and trigger for degenerative diseases like diabetes).
- Canola has the potential to damage hearts creating fibrosis impairing the action of vitamin E (crucial in inflammation).
- In human studies, there was an increase in lung cancers as well as heart damage.
- Canola has been found to shorten the lifespan of animals and in others, it lowers the platelet count and increases the size of the platelet cells.
- Daily canola oil raised the triglycerides a staggering 47%.” (Link to whole story)
If you need help with any of this, I’m here to support and guide you. Have a great week.