Welcome to Utopia Health late summer newsletter, this is the fifth element in the Chinese medicine cycle. Earth sits in the cycle of seasons as a place of still, tranquil energy, and of heat, ripening and fullness. Time seems to slow down and we don’t want to move quickly. This Earth season acts as transition from yang to yin energy. This is like the space between the cycle of Spring growth (Wood), active Summer abundance (Fire) and the cool, inward emotions of Fall and Winter (Metal & Water). If you would like to read more about the Earth element please click here.
We also celebrate the incoming year of the Water Dragon on the first new moon of the year 23rd January 2012. So, if you have not quite got into the momentum of your resolution or goals for the year, I find this a much better time to start. If we can help you with any of you health resolutions please come in and see us. Valentines Day is just around the corner and health is always a loving gift. Vouchers for any of our treatments are available.
Noah is settling in and gives a very good Chinese style massage (Tui na), introductory offer 1 hr $45. Click here for more details.
Ilse’s next meditation / personal development workshop starts on Saturday the 18th of February – so save that date in your diary. This class will occur the 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month. There are limited spaces available so please call and book in asap. For more details please click here.
What to eat in the late Summer months
A healthy digestion system encourages an individual to be practical, self reliant and nurturing of self and others. Relaxing will improve digestion and good digestion will help you relax.
Sweetness is the flavour associated with the Earth element, excessive consumption of sweet can lead to dampness, and this represents stagnation and slows the body’s ability to transform food, reflected by lethargy, boredom, slow thought processing & brooding. Dampness is also represented as phlegm and mucus that accumulates in the digestive system, sinus problems thrush, headaches, and cellulite. (See Mychelle’s article in The Age)
Sweet foods are yang in nature and can build qi if the system is weak; too much sweet weakens the digestion instead of strengthening it, as excess amount create dampness. Refined sugar, which is very popular in a western diet; and found in so many foods, cause the stomach to produce too much fluid (damp) and therefore harm the spleen. Ironically a weak spleen then craves sweet flavours.
Sweets foods include oats, rice, peaches, beef, avocado, peas, and cucumber. Excess amount of sweet foods can also make the hair fall out.
Bitter foods are yin, descending and cooling; these can be helpful to clear damp and reduce heat from within the body, easing inflammations and infections, removing damp and phlegm and clearing the arteries to reduce blood pressure. In recommending this, don’t over eat these flavours as you can cause the body too become too cold and contracting and create more imbalance. Think of foods like celery, lettuce, alfalfa and rye.
To help harmonise the Earth element and attune it to the body, choose foods that are mildly sweet, such as: millet, corn, carrot, cabbage, squash, potato, string beans, amaranth, peas, apricots and cantaloupe.
Recipes for the late Summer months
French Green Bean Salad
500 gms of beans lightly streamed
4 lettuce leaf
1 cup of plain yoghurt
4 tsp fresh sage finely chopped
1 tbs lightly sautéed almond flakes
Method: Place lettuce in a bowl; toss the beans and yoghurt and place in bowl sprinkle the fresh sage and almonds over the top.
4 Cups cooked brown rice
1 green onion chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 cup peas slightly cooked
2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar (Japanese vinegar made from salty sour pickled plums)
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
I tbs sesame seeds, toasted or pine nuts
Method: Mix all ingredients together toss gently with dressing and marinate for 3 hrs
We would like to wish you all an enjoyable late summer and hope the end of the school holidays are fun filled and safe.
Mychelle Whitewood & Team Utopia Utopia Health Care www.utopiahealthcare.com.au