The winter months are for cultivation of energy. As the weather cools and the days shorten, go to sleep earlier and get up later. Take the opportunity to slow down. Sleep in on weekends and nourish yourself with warm and wholesome foods.
Chinese medicine is very much concerned with preventative measures strengthening the Wei Qi or defensive energies (crucial in the Chinese medical understanding of the immune system) in order to naturally fight off colds and flu and other viruses.
The more balanced your system is, the better your defences are against contracting whatever you may be exposed to in your workplace or elsewhere. For a healthy seasonal change and to strengthen your Wei Qi, rest more but stay active enough to keep yang energy flowing by doing gentle exercise like walking, tai chi or yoga.
Protect yourself from rain, wind and cold with warm clothing, a scarf, beanie and gloves. Eat fresh and balanced meals and snacks, stay hydrated, get plenty of sleep, tune into your body and don’t forget to book in for an acupuncture and herbal medicine treatment to support your immune system.
Foods for Winter
Winter is a time when many people tend to reduce and slow down their activity.
Avoid eating raw cold foods during the winter as much as possible, as these tend too cold for the body.
Foods for winter eat more warming foods:
- Soups and stews
- Root vegetables
- Beans and legumes
- Garlic and ginger
warm hearty soups, baked foods, whole grains, and roasted nuts help to warm the body’s core and to keep us nourished. Sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy.
Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Stew
Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Stew (vegan, gluten free, nut free)
1 cup dry adzuki beans
1 strip dry strip of chopped kombu (Is a type of seaweed. Full of iron & softens the outside coating of the beans so helps cook the beans quicker)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small brown onion, sliced thin
1 garlic, diced
1 medium carrot, sliced thin in half moons
1 leek, white parts only, sliced thin in half moons
1 celery, sliced thin
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon himalayan sea salt
4 cups pumpkin, remove skin (optional) and chopped into large chunks (I used kent, but you can or butternut pumpkin if you prefer)
1 tablespoon tamari or shoyu
- Soak the adzuki beans overnight with filtered water and kombu.
- Drain the beans and place the adzuki beans and kombu in a pot with some fresh filtered water. Bring to the boil, then cover on a low heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until the beans are cooked. Then strain and leave to the side.
- Heat olive oil in pot or large pan. Then add onion and garlic. Cook on a medium to low heat for 4-5 minutes until they have browned.
- Add the carrot, leek and celery and cook for a further few minutes, until they begin to soften.
- Add the ground cumin, ground sweet paprika, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and himalayan sea salt. Stir through the vegetables and cook for another minute or until the spices are fragrant.
- Add pumpkin and a cup of water. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked.
- Add the aduki beans and tamari. Cook for a further 5 minutes and then serve.
*Serve with organic steam brown rice.
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887 Ann Street
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