Articles with 'seasonal eating'
- 12 oz grass-fed skirt steak
- 3 tbsp. shoyu or tamari (soy sauce)
- 2 tbsp. brown rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. ginger, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. organic toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large vidalia onion, peeled and sliced into crescents
- 4 large bell peppers, seeded and sliced thin
- Sea salt
Combine tamari/shoyu, rice vinegar, ginger, cloves, maple syrup, and toasted sesame oil. Pour over skirt steak and marinate overnight in the refrigerator or at least 3 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and slice into 1/4 inch thick slivers of steak. In a frying pan, add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil and sauté sliced steak about 1 minute on each side. Remove steak from the pan and set aside. Leave all the juices in the pan. Sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes in the same frying pan. Season with a couple of pinches of sea salt. Add the peppers, cover and sauté until soft and wilted or about 7-10 minutes. Put cooked skirt steak back into the frying pan and toss with the peppers and onions. Cook 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley.
- 3 large beets
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp . sea salt
- 3 cups beef stock*
- 1 tsp. dried dill
- 2 tsp. organic white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup grass-fed sour cream
Put beets into a pot with water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on medium heat for 40 minutes or until beets are pierce-able with a fork. Drain the beets and let cool. Peel beets and chop into quarters.
In a soup pot, sauté onion in olive oil on medium heat until translucent (3-4 minutes). Add sea salt, beef stock, dill, white wine vinegar and quartered beets. Cook all ingredients together for 7-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the soup and puree in a food processor or blender. Add the pureed vegetables back to the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Whisk in sour cream. Reserve 1 tbsp. of sour cream and dilute with water so you can make a pretty white swirl on top of the soup.
*For a lighter beet soup, omit the beef stock and use veggie stock or water.
I believe this is one of the best ways to keep the body healthy, happy and in the flow.
As we move from summer to fall the air grows cooler and the body begins to slightly contract. This naturally starts the process of “release.” Think about the body being gently squeezed by the elements.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the lungs and large intestine do their job by pushing excess sugars and sweets (fruits) that were abundantly available during the summer season out of the body. This helps prepare the body for winter.
Most people recognize this “squeeze” as a cold, runny nose, or congestion at this time of year. It’s perfectly normal. There’s no need to run to the pharmacy for cold medicine to stop this discharge process – just let your body do what it is designed to do… release and clear out some excess stuff.
If you stop the process of release by taking a cold medication you run the risk of developing a more severe type of congestion later in the year: flu, pneumonia, bronchitis or other lung ailment.
Instead of taking medicine to stop the body’s natural process, you can aid this seasonal transition with warming pungent soups that help the lung/large intestine organ systems expel excess mucous, and you will nourish the kidney element at the same time.
This is the perfect time of year to reduce or eliminate cooling fruits, and icy smoothies and instead have something more warming and traditional.
A Miso Soup prepared with scallions, alaria, tofu and ginger would be a great choice.
The pungent flavor of ginger and scallions helps support the lung and large intestines with discharging. Plus the miso is great for digestion, and alaria sea vegetable nourishes the kidney element.
Another great choice would be an old fashioned Chicken Soup, made with chicken stock, onions, garlic and parsley. The bone stock used to make the chicken soup would strengthen the kidney element. Plus the onions, garlic and parsley, help amp up the pungent factor.
Use these two nourishing delicious soups to help you find seasonal relief. And, remember… just go with the flow.
It’s also harvest time, where we reap what has been sown throughout the spring and summer seasons. For us to absorb the abundant bounty of this season we need to get rid of any old stuff that is hanging around both internally, in our intestines, and externally in our environment.
If the mountain of paper work sitting on the side your desk is finally getting addressed, or the pile of laundry heaped on top of the dresser is making it’s way into the closet, this is a good sign – it means you are in alignment with fall energy and wanting to clean up your personal space.
If, on the other hand, you are looking at that huge pile of work and are feeling frustrated, stuck and depressed, that means its time for a fall cleanse. Always keep in mind that our external environment mirrors our internal environment. If there are piles of unattended-to things around you, you may have piles of old “stuff” inside you as well.
The body naturally wants to purge at this time of year and get rid of any “junk” before we head into winter. Many folks will experience a physical purging in the form of a seasonal cold. This is completely normal. It’s the body’s way of discharging excess mucus as it naturally begins contracting and drawing “inward” for the winter.
If we do not rid ourselves of excess mucus and other internal clutter at this time of year, we set our body up for serious congestion such as a bad flu, body aches, or a chest cold during the winter months.
Now is the time to clean your personal space, and head into fall and winter feeling physically and emotionally clear. One of the best ways to do this is to incorporate a quick one or two week Autumn cleanse.
Autumn Cleanse guidelines:
- Light eating is ideal
- Eliminate dairy products (cheese, yogurt, butter, kefir, milk)
- Eat steamed or quickly blanched vegetables
- Raw salads with daikon radish or other radish to help discharge mucous
- Water sauté vegetables and season with a drizzle of oil for flavor
- Drink a daily carrot, beet, celery, apple juice
- If you have a tendency toward cold hands and feet or internal coldness, do not drink veggie/fruit juice, instead use warm stocks (chicken stock, fish stock) with fresh herbs and chopped garlic
- Lightly seasoned Miso Soup with sea vegetables is a great way to start the day during an Autumn cleanse
- Eat light proteins (fish, chicken) in small quantities
- Baked squash, beets, parsnips and other sweet vegetables are deliciously satisfying if you are craving sweets
- Brush your skin with a loofa or dry brush to help discharge through the skin (the health of your skin is imperative to the health of your lungs)
- Exercise daily; a brisk walk around the tress and changing leaves, or a vigorous run in the woods, will help clear toxins through the skin/lungs
According to Chinese Medicine the lung and large intestine meridian and organ systems is where we need to put our attention at this time of year. The lungs are the recipient of life (breathing in) and inspiration, while the large intestine helps us extract what we need for nourishment and then release the waste. During Autumn cleansing time, below are some spiritual/emotional questions to ponder:
- Are you feeling inspired?
- Are you grateful for every breath that supports your existence here?
- Have you released the physical and emotional waste that no longer serves you?
- What old “stuff” are you refusing to let go of?
Journaling and meditation are good ways to get to the root of what may be stuck inside your heart/mind/body. Journaling can also help us acknowledge and be grateful for what we already have.
For example: I begin every day with a morning journal. I write about all the crap that is bothering me: heavy workload, things I didn’t complete the day before, unresolved friends/family conflicts. And, I always finish my journal with all of the things I am grateful for; the people in my life, my work, the sunshine, the rain, the farmers that supply my food, and the main one… my life here on this planet.
To be able to have this awesome human experience is totally amazing to me. I am inspired every day by the whole thing: the good the bad, the ugly and the beautiful; it all makes for a truly colorful experience… like the changing leaves during the Autumn season.
Take the next couple of weeks to get clean, get clear and get inspired about your life. Then relax and watch your health and happiness improve dramatically.
Want more info about changing with the seasons? Check out Staying Healthy with The Seasons by Elson Haas. It’s a good one.
For thousands of years, humans traditionally ate locally grown seasonal foods. Unfortunately, modern technology has changed that traditional way of eating and today, every type of food is available at any time of the year regardless of the season or environment in which it is grown. This may sound like an amazing leap for mankind, but actually, it’s not.
Eating everything from everywhere not only destroys our environment by burning large amounts of fossil fuel to ship foods to and from faraway places, it also weakens the digestive system, contributes to yeast overgrowth, weakened immunity, and poor calcium absorption. Egads!
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that salads, vegetables, and fruits are naturally cooling to the body. During the hot summer months, this cooling effect can be quite beneficial for most folks; but during the cooler fall and icy winter season, this creates a damp condition, contributing to gas, bloating, cold hands and feet, and can eventually leads to more serious ailments like impaired immunity, blood stagnation and cancer. It’s time, right now, to begin transitioning away from cooling summer foods!
Eating locally grown, seasonal food aligns our internal environment (the body and it’s organ systems) with the external environment (the world around us) creating a system that is physically stronger and prepared for the elements. For example, on a steamy hot summer day, crisp salad greens, juicy watery fruits, and freshly caught fish, plus other cooling foods that are abundantly available at that time of year would be the ideal.
On the other hand, if I look outside my window and there is a thick blanket of icy snow covering the ground, and people are trudging through the streets bundled up in snorkel jackets, innate wisdom tells us that cooling summer foods would not be ideal. More appropriate food for a cold snowy day might be a hearty stew made with bone stock, grass-fed meat, beans, and root vegetables.
Another thing to consider is that our pineal gland is responsible for taking information from the outside world and relaying it to the inside of the body. That means our physical body is connected to our external environment, and we may not even understand how deeply. The pineal gland is responsible for our sexual development, metabolism, circadian rhythms of the body, and our waking and sleeping patterns. During the fall and winter season the pineal gland communicates to the endocrine system, and the thyroid, to slow metabolism and store fat. In case you’ve wondered why the body naturally puts on weight during the winter months therein lies your answer. Your perfectly designed body is brilliant and self-protective – it is storing fat to help you survive the cold winter season.
When we eat food that does not grow in the season or climate we live in, it sends mixed messages to the body and we become “imbalanced.” That sets us up for a host of illnesses.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance, for the health of the body, mind and spirit, to eat what grows in our immediate environment and climate. This, I believe, is one of the foremost things that can help us begin feeling more balanced, healthy and connected. Not only that, eating locally grown seasonal foods tastes better. Foods that are picked at the peak of ripeness are the most flavorful. Foods that are picked unripe and shipped from faraway places can NOT compare in flavor.
Eat what nature provides for you in each season, and in the climate you live in, and enhance your health with every bite!
To find out what’s growing in your area visit a local farmer’s market, or join a CSA (community supported agriculture). This way you’ll always know what’s in season.
It’s fall – try this warming and yummy Lentil Soup with Crispy Kale:
5-6 peaches, skin removed and sliced thin (blanch peaches 30 seconds in boiling water to remove skin)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
Pinch of sea salt
¼ cup peach nectar (can use apple juice or water)
1 cup oat flour
1/3 cup maple sugar (or other sugar)
1 tsp. baking powder
2 dashes ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
5-6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Put peaches into 9×9 baking dish or casserole dish.
- Whisk vanilla, flour, sea salt and peach nectar and drizzle on top of fruit.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt.
- Work butter into the flour until it resembles crumbly texture.
- Sprinkle crumbles on top of peaches.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and crumble is nicely browned.
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” When I was diagnosed in 1997 with incurable thyroid disease, I began my healing journey by changing my perception of food. I got off the crap, began cooking for myself, and incorporating wholesome “healing foods” as my medicine.
The first diet I tried was Macrobiotics – its origins were steeped in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the principles of yin and yang. It’s a food philosophy that teaches about eating food that is naturally raised, pesticide free, and lovingly prepared. I ate that diet for many years, and it was a HUGE catalyst to helping me understand food. But, it was not complete for me.
The next healing diet I tried was “veganism.” With macrobiotics I was still eating small quantities of fish once per week. So, I removed fish entirely. I read in few books that I could enhance my spirituality and connection to the universe by NOT eating animals.
Veganism worked great for me for about a year. But, soon I began feeling weak and exhausted, and my immune system kept crashing. My blood pressure was scarily low (80 over 50!), and my muscles ached all the time. I was suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.
Plus, when I was vegan I was highly judgmental of myself and others. I believed if I ate animal products I was harming my soul and would probably go to hell. And, if you were eating a hamburger in front of me … well you were surely going to hell because I was witness and judge to the crime!
It wasn’t until I sat quietly one day listening to another vegan friend that I understood my error. We were in Louisiana on a swamp tour in the bayou. As we were floating down the waterway a dragonfly with blue and green iridescent wings landed on the boat.
I said, “Wow, look at that beautiful dragonfly.”
My friend said, “ugh! I HATE dragonflies!”
“Why?” I said.
“Because they eat other flies. They’re disgusting cannibalistic creatures. And, I’m glad we haven’t seen any alligators yet, because they are horrible. They eat innocent little animals!”
I thought to myself, “Isn’t that just part of nature?” And, my idea of veganism began shifting.
Besides, I had to listen to my body. I was feeling weak and exhausted, and needed to honor my body with the food it was craving; which was animal meat and fat. A similar way the crocodile eats the water rat, the bear catches salmon from the stream, the bird eats a worm, and the snake eats a frog.
Those animals are not going to hell – they are just living a natural life, eating what nature provides for them… without judgment.
And, besides the meat-eating alligator is no less important to this world than the grass-eating deer.
I also dabbled in raw foods when I was vegan. I went to Hippocrates Institute in Florida. Upon arrival, I was given a “live” blood test.
The gal administering the test said, “Your blood is very good, how long have you been raw?”
I said, “I’m not really raw. I eat cooked food.” At that time I was macrobiotic/vegan.
She said, “Well if you are going to take on a raw foods diet you will need these supplements and digestive enzymes.”
She pulled out a sheet of paper and checked off 15 different enzyme supplements that would enhance my raw foods experience.
Once again I looked into nature and saw there are NO herbivores or ruminants taking supplementation to digest their food. I lasted one week on a completely raw foods diet. All raw, all the time, didn’t feel good inside me.
These various ways of eating helped me gain insight into my human body and how it can be affected physically, emotionally and spiritually by daily food and lifestyle choices.
I’ve learned so much and I’m still learning as I continue to live well and eat healthfully while here in this body, on this planet. Understanding food seems like a never ending and delicious process. And, sometimes it’s a not so delicious process. Like noni juice for example. For me it tasted like fermented dirty sock water packaged in an expensive bottle. I had the same reaction to noni juice (and mangosteen) as I had the first time I tried scotch whiskey: a gag reflex.
Once again I looked into nature. That same gag reflex happens when a snake eats a poisonous tree frog.
I know that noni juice and whiskey are not the right drinks for me, personally. Now beer, on the other hand, is smooth and creamy with a nice silky finish on my tongue. I have to honor that!
After experimenting with various healing foods and “isms,” I found something that works best for me. It’s essentially what the ancient sages and philosophers taught thousands of years ago to help us attain health, vitality and a connection to the universe.
Ancient healing arts advise that human beings are a part of the whole universe and are not separate from nature, but are part of nature.
We human creatures need to figure out what nature provides for us (animal, vegetable and mineral) in the climate and environment that we live in, just like all other creatures on the planet.
An easy way to understand what type of food is available in your area starts by shopping at a traditional farmer’s market. You’ll discover with each season the produce and products change. I believe we need to trust the wisdom of the universe and let nature provide for us. With the help of the farmers that are naturally and ethically raising these foods, of course.
As famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
Want a deeper understanding about food and healing? Listen to this audio recording from my talk at the NOFA conference. You’ll discover, without any judgement, how and why connecting with the cycles of nature can enhance health on many levels; physical, emotional & spiritual.
The brilliant scientist Albert Einstein said, “Everything is energy.” And, that includes human beings.
According to ancient teachings the “energy” inside us is called Chi in Chinese Medicine, or Ki in Japanese Medicine, and in Ayurvedic, it is called Prana. But, it all means the same thing – energy or “life-force.”
We are born with a specific amount of energy that is passed down from our ancestors. That energy determines the length and the quality of our life. Beyond that, we acquire energy from our daily food and lifestyle choices.
There are many functions going on inside our body that we aren’t even aware of that use energy: The autonomic nervous, the digestive system, the endocrine system, and the respiratory system, etc. To simply blink an eyelash requires energy. And, as we use energy, we need to replenish it.
Your cell phone doesn’t run forever without being recharged. We have to plug it in to some type of energy source to recharge it on a daily basis. And, then eventually, that cell phone won’t function anymore after it’s reached its capacity for usage.
Just like our cell phones, we need to plug in and recharge. And, then of course, there will come a time when we are just not rechargeable anymore. At least, not in this body. That’s life.
But, until that time comes, you can plug in and recharge all the time. There is an abundance of energy sources that include food, water, air, earth, sunshine, specific physical exercises, and spiritual connection to a higher power, god or the universe.
Today, we’re focusing mainly on food and how the quality of it can either enhance or deplete our “acquired” energy levels.
BUY ORGANIC CLEAN & NATURALLY RAISED FOOD!
Buy food that has not been sprayed or grown with pesticides. Pesticides kill bugs. It’s pretty simple… the bug eats the pesticide and dies.
What is the difference between a human being and a bug? Size. We’re bigger. We’re obviously not smarter, but we’re definitely bigger. Those same pesticides designed to kill bugs, will kill us too, it just takes a longer time.
American Indian Chief Seattle warned us back in the 1800’s, “What happens to the beasts soon happens to man. We are all connected.” We are not separate from nature. We think we can pollute the earth, kill the bugs with chemicals, and those same chemicals won’t have a negative affect on us.
Many people think they can wash off pesticides. You cannot. Pesticides are sprayed onto plants and the soil around the plant. The plant uses soil as food, taking up elements from the earth into its roots. Studies have shown that pesticides are just as high on the inside of the plant as they are on the outside.
Many pesticides are KNOWN endocrine disruptors; they interfere or block communication between glands on our endocrine system. Your adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system. The adrenals are literally, the batteries in the human body. They are responsible for communication between cells, production of hormones, immunity, energy levels and endurance. If you want enhanced energy, support your adrenals and keep the endocrine disruptors out of the body! You can learn more about the Adrenals in my Nourishing Adrenal Health DVD.
EAT LOCALLY AND SEASONALLY
Right now it is Fall in New York (Northeastern United States). On the photo below is Roasted Rosemary Chicken with Sauteed Seasonal Vegetables (cabbage, kale, carrots, leeks).
There is no watermelon, cucumbers, or bananas on that plate. And, there is a reason for that. Those cooling foods are not available in a temperate climate, at this time of year.
In the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, it clearly affirms that obtaining uncompromised health comes from aligning yourself with the seasons and with nature. Going against these natural cycles creates disharmony and disease within the physical, emotional and spiritual body.
Most people do NOT even realize they are damaging themselves with the “healthy” food they eat everyday.
For example, clients tell me they don’t eat sugar and yet eat bananas with their breakfast every morning or in a smoothie. Bananas are a sub-tropical and tropical fruit that grows in hot climates and takes nine months to mature. The longer that fruit is exposed to the sun, the more sugar it contains.
Here in New York State we cannot grow bananas. They are foreign to this environment and yet, we have access to them all the time. Many “health-oriented” people drink banana and fruit smoothies throughout the cold winter months and wonder why they have digestive problems, candida overgrowth, frequent colds, and are lacking energy.
By eating tropical fruits in New York, where they simply do NOT grow, we are going against the seasons, the cycles of nature, and the climate.
A client once told me that bananas do grow in New York. She said her father-in-law had a banana tree in his backyard and it produced fruit every year. I said “GREAT! How big were those bananas?” And, she said, “about two inches.” I said, “that is exactly how much banana you could eat.” I then asked her how sweet those bananas tasted. She said, “not sweet at all, and they were kind of gross… like an unripe raw plantain.” It’s time to send the banana tree back to the tropics where it can thrive!
This doesn’t mean you can never eat a banana in the Northeastern United States. Just keep in mind that it may be better for your health to have the fruit that grows in abundance all over this region at this time of year: apples and pears.
Trust in the wisdom of the universe to increase your energy. Everything in nature is perfectly designed. If bananas grow best in the tropics that is the best place for them to be eaten.
The newest food trend on the market, “locavorism,” advises us to purchase and eat food that grows in our immediate environment. This is a fantastic concept, but it’s certainly not a new one. Humans traditionally ate locally grown seasonal foods, mostly.
Modern technology has changed our traditional way of eating and today, every type of food is available at any time of the year regardless of the season or environment in which it is grown. This may sound like an amazing leap for mankind, but it’s not.
Eating everything from everywhere not only destroys the environment by burning large amounts of fossil fuel to ship foods to and from faraway places, it also weakens the digestive system, contributes to yeast overgrowth, weakened immunity, and poor calcium absorption. According to Dr. John Matsen, ND, the more sun plants are exposed to, the more potassium and sugar they produce. High potassium and sugar levels alert your kidneys that you’re out in the hot sun and that your skin must be making vitamin D. Therefore, if you eat foods from hot sunny climates during the cold wintry months, your kidneys don’t activate stored vitamin D, inhibiting absorption of calcium. Overtime, this wears down our physical structure leading to bone loss and a damaged ileocecal valve. A damaged ileocecal valve leads to Candida Overgrowth.
Another perspective from Traditional Chinese Medicine shows us that salads, vegetables, and fruits are naturally cooling to the body. During the hot summer months, this cooling effect can be quite beneficial for most folks; but during the cold fall and winter season, it creates a damp spleen condition, gas, bloating, cold hands and feet, and can eventually leads to other more serious ailments like impaired immunity, blood stagnation and cancer.
Eating local, seasonal food aligns our internal environment (the body and it’s organs) with the external environment (the world around us) creating a body that is physically stronger and prepared for the elements. For example, on a steamy hot summer day, I would choose crisp salad greens, juicy watery fruits, freshly caught fish, and other cooling foods that are abundantly available at that time of year.
On the other hand, if I look outside my window and there is a thick blanket of icy snow covering the ground, and people are trudging through the streets bundled up in snorkel jackets, my innate wisdom tells me that cooling summer foods would not be ideal. More appropriate food for a cold snowy day might be a hearty stew made with bone stock, grass-fed meat, beans, and root vegetables.
Our pineal gland is responsible for taking in information from the outside world and relaying it to the inside of the body. That means our physical body is connected to our environment, and we may not even understand how deeply. The pineal gland is responsible for our sexual development, metabolism, circadian rhythms of the body, and our waking and sleeping patterns. During the winter season the pineal gland tells the thyroid to slow metabolism and store fat. In case you’re wondering why the body naturally puts on weight during the winter months. Your body is brilliant and self-protective – it is storing fat to help you survive the winter season.
When we send food into the body that does not grow in the season or climate we are living in, it sends mixed messages to the body. If it’s winter in the northeast and we eat bananas and mangos or other tropical fruit and vegetables – (like the koo-koo coconut craze right now) we get off balance, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We become disconnected from nature and our environment.
The ancients called the pineal gland the Third Eye. It was where wisdom lived. Tapping into the third eye, enabled you to see the big picture, the connection to the earth, and the entire universe. That’s a pretty big view for such a small little gland the size of a pea! We need to let ourselves be guided by nature, to bring wisdom, understanding, intuition, and the ability to see more than we could imagine.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance for the health of the body, mind and spirit to eat what naturally grows in our immediate environment and climate. This, I believe, is one of the foremost things that can help us begin feeling more balanced, healthy and connected.
You can easily discover what is available in your environment by shopping at a local farmer’s market or joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). There are farmer’s markets and CSA’s all over the world. Go to LocalHarvest.org and type in your zip code, city or state, to find one near you. It’s that easy.
As for right now… it’s summertime! Try this cool refreshing salad and have a delicious day!
The above excerpted from Health is Wealth – Make a Delicious Investment in You!
 Eating Alive II, Dr. John Matsen N.D., Goodwin Books, Ltd, 2004, pp. 23-27
It’s fall and that means it’s Pumpkin Season! Wow your friends and family with this delicious dessert.