Keeping Well This Winter, Naturally.

Winter often brings with it various colds and flus to challenge our immune system.  However, there are some Eastern secrets we can employ to lessen the severity and maybe even prevent colds and flus

Play Yin Yang. If it’s Cold, eat Warm Foods.

The health and fitness community has made great strides into getting us to be more active and watch our calories.  A great achievement.  However, fitness does not always equal health. We are still subject to the forces of nature and thus our best defence is to harmonise with our surroundings.  A salad just won’t cut it in winter. 

By all means keep active.  You can be fit and healthy.  Better to watch your calories in a way that eliminates the junk food rather than skimping on nutrients dense foods such as casseroles etc.  Winter requires we consume nutrient dense foods that are cooked and easy to digest to supply us with the extra energy required to keep warm.  This will alleviate the body of the stress put on it from the colder weather and thus a more stable immunity can be achieved. 

The Lungs have two injuries according to the ancients. One is external cold, the other is internal cold derived from over consumption of raw and cold (also refrigerated these days) food and drink. If we also consider that the Lungs and upper respiratory sytstem are the main victims of winter, then it is important to do what we can to support them.

The bottom line is to consume more warm and cooked foods in winter. Replace Salads with cooked veges (steamed, stir fried, casserole). Minimize excess consumption of fruits (yes, that’s right!). Try to avoid chilled drinks and instead consume more herbal teas or room temperatures water. For alcohol consumption, choose spirits and red wine over white wine and beer (be moderate of course : ) 

What to eat when you have a cold?

I am often asked what to eat when you have a cold or flu. Let’s talk about it..

First of all, it’s important to eat foods that easily supply energy to the body without way laying the bodies efforts in difficult digestion.  Energy is thus preserved for fighting illness and for healing.  Some ideas are thin soups without meat (fish being the exception because it is easier to digest than other meats), along with noodles or toast.

One food that is extremely easy to digest is Rice Soup (recipe below). It can be combined with some fish, chicken soup, vegetables or anything else that is light, cooked and warm and easy for the digestive system to break down.

Although oranges contain Vitamin C, they are sour and if eaten during a cold can tend to create more thin mucus and aggravate muscles aches. Personally, i would just take a Vitamin C Tablet once a day.

To simplify; eat cooked and warm, avoid difficult to digest foods and stay hydrated.

Rice Soup Recipe

2 Cups of White Rice (No, not Brown!)

Water to cover rice by approximately 2-3 cm

Clean rice in a pot by rinsing several times and churning with the hand and then drain.

Add the water to the rice. Cover with a lid and then bring to the boil. Reduce it to simmer and cook for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.

Benefits

Rice is a neutral food and can balance other dishes.  It has a general acid/alkaline balance.  White rice is preferred since brown rice is difficult to digest because of the shell.

 

 

 

 

Digestive issues? You might need a zen lunch

Most of us get caught up on focusing on what we’re eating and how little time we have to get it down before our next lot of activities begin rather than on how we’re eating.

How you eat is just as important as what you eat. And did you know, if you’re not doing it the right way, you might be opening yourself up to a raft of gastrointestinal issues, such as indigestion, reflux, even weight gain?

So let’s get to it.

How to eat your lunch (and every other meal you ingest).

Relax before, during and after you eat…

Before you indulge in a second or third course (or anything sweet), wait 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain whether or not you’re actually hungry (yes, really it takes that long).

Once you’ve decided you’ve finished your meal, give yourself a further 5-10 minutes to relax. Your digestive system, although unseen, is very hard at work.

Avoid mental stimulation such as computers and reading during, or shortly after, eating.  Stimulating the brain (upward focus) is diametrically opposed to the stimulus that is required for digestion (downward movement) and assimilation of nutrients.

Avoid vigorous physical activity such as swimming, going to the gym, taking a long walk or going for a run etc immediately after you’ve eaten.

Instead, after meals, listen to some music, observe your surrounding environment or chat with a friend or family member. You could even make all members of the family or your workplace, pile their mobile devices face down on the table whilst you eat and the first one who looks before the meal is over has to clean up or another less than enviable task.

It’s not just about lunch – it’s about your total well-being too

Meal times present an important opportunity for mental downtime as well as assimilation of nutrients for our ever-demanding lifestyles. If you take a momentary timeout, you’re likely to have a direct influence on regulating your appetite, blood sugar and stress hormone levels.

And they’re all the things that contribute to the ‘lifestyle diseases’ we hear so much about in the news. How you eat is just as important influencing the development of such problems as diabetes, weight gain, acid reflux, irregular bowel movements, sleep disturbance, hormonal disturbance just to name a few….

So forget about multitasking especially whilst you eat. Research has shown that you take longer to do anything, even simple tasks when you try to do more than a single thing at a time – and it also puts your brain under stress too. So any short-term gains you think you might achieve in gaining time are not just a figment of your imagination, they’re also likely to lead to long-term problems in health.

Enjoy eating again, take a Zen Lunch!

If this has struck a chord with you or you’re already suffering from gastro-intestinal issues like the ones above, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can help. You can call the clinic on 9188 1560 or book an appointment via the form below.

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If you suffer from any of the conditions listed (or you're suffering from something not listed yet), you may still be able to experience relief with Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. If you're unsure, if acupuncture is right for you, we'd be delighted to talk to you further. You can call the clinic on 9188 1560 or book an appointment via the form above.