Our dying summer

so yet again we can feel the seasons begin to change: for us in Glasgow from wet, (kinda) warm and bright to wet (not quite so warm) and  wee bit duller, it marks a shift in how our bodies and minds are working.

For us this time of year is all about the Earth Element and nourishment: noticed an increase in sweet cravings?  This is the perfect time to look again at what and how you eat and to start embracing small changes: if you are not already – breakfast and eating about as much as you can muster.  Evenings meals should be small and easy to digest – soups are always a great option.  Try and learn to avoid sugary foods/drinks as these are said to impede our digestion (they are also addictive).  This time of year is when all the delicious, root vegetables start to appear, and are at their best – eat as much of it as you can – preferably in soups and stews as they generally have already started the digestion process..

A lovely hearty recipe to help support us in this transitional time.

Apple, Turnip & Cabbage Hash taken from http://christensenka.squarespace.com/imported-20100106014405/2010/9/8/apple-turnip-cabbage-hash-gluten-free-vegan-acd-and-an-unrel.html

yield 4 side servings

2 organic apples, cored and diced
2 large turnips, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage
2 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, or butter
2 tsp caraway seeds
pinch allspice
plum vinegar, to taste

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then add onion and stir. Saute 2-3 minutes, then add turnips, stir to coat with oil, and saute for for 5-8 minutes, until turnips just start to turn slightly golden. Then add apple, cabbage, allspice, and caraway seeds. Saute until apple and cabbage are softened, stirring often. Then crank up the heat and saute for about 5 minutes to give everything a nice little brown edge. Season to taste with  plum vinegar, and serve.

Mental health and digestion.

Anxiety can also increase at this time: the digestive system in TCM terms is all about processing: that includes thoughts/ideas/information, as well as actual foods/liquids.  As such if you are a worrier or have anxiety you may well find that by modifying both your diet and importantly HOW you eat will find your mood to be more stable.

Some suggestions include

  1. Begin eating simply, this is in terms of flavours
  2. Have more soups and stews if you overeat.
  3. Never eat yourself full, only two thirds full
  4. Breathe deeply and chew thoroughly
  5. Put your cutlery down between bites.
  6. Relax after eating, but do not fall asleep
  7. Liquids and food should not be too hot or cold.

It is also worth considering how much information you take in – sitting watching the TV at night, whilst it may be entertaining, consider that you are not giving your brain (digestion) a rest.  Try spend even just 5minutes a day (to begin with) in silence, without going to google/facebook etc: give it a rest!

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