We are often bombarded with information about what we should eat, when we should eat, how we should eat it. Conflicting information, each claiming to be absolutely THE diet guaranteed to make you thin and healthy. We see images of the perfect body attached to the latest ‘fad’ diet. Whilst this may achieve success on the outside or may work for a short period. They generally don’t arm us with meals that are accessible and achievable year-round, on a budget, or to ensure we are supported during the seasons of life.
Chinese Medicine does. It teaches us about balance when it comes to food. It teaches us about the idea behind simply following our bodies and being intuitive with food. Flowing with the seasons of the year, but also the seasons of life. Loving our bodies for their individual shapes, sizes, needs and preferences which is exactly what makes us unique and human. That we should love and nourish our bodies with what we put it in, number 1!
Colour & Variety. Making sure that you have food of every colour within your diet. Fruits & vegetables, pulses (beans, seeds, nuts), meats & meat products, foods higher in fat (fish, nuts, oils) or more complex carbohydrate foods (rice)
Flavour. The Stomach loves food that smells great and tastes delicious. Using herbs & spices within our dishes can support the stomachs ability to digest & absorb food, as well as containing key nutrients themselves.
Seasonal, Locally Sourced, Fresh. Traditionally we would have eaten the food grown on the land around us, food which was in season and matched the dietary components we needed for that particular time of year. (Plus, by doing this we support local businesses and help the environment!)
Temperature. Not too hot, not too cold (like Goldilocks and the Three Bears)
Unrefined foods… your stomachs are designed to do the refining for you, not machines.
Fluid. Small but regular sips of fluids which are at least room temperature to keep the body at a constant level of hydration and to support the stomach when it comes to digesting food.
Eating a little bit of what is ‘bad’ (or what we are taught is bad) can actually be really good for us. It encourages the brain to release happy hormones!
Intention, Attention, Completely. Sitting correctly at a table and putting time aside to eat each day (especially with others), ensuring we are fully involved with the plate of food in front of us means we tend to digest food more efficiently and get as much of the good stuff as possible. Starting the day with a bigger meal to fuel our activities ahead, making them smaller as the we near the end of our day.
During my treatments I almost always talk about foods to support wellness. Starting by encouraging people to embrace balance, to stop. and listen to what their bodies are telling them. Follow cravings, listen to when you are hungry or full, look at the foods in abundance around you (a little bit of foraging can be good for the soul, the tummy and the bank account) and if it looks & smells good…it probably is good.
Keep your eyes peeled for some season specific nutrition advice to follow as we enter our cooler, more sedentary, restorative time of the year.