The Chi Vitality in Fall Foods

One of the main concepts found in Traditional Chinese medicine is the theory of Qi is pronounced Chi. A vital essence found in all living things. The chi concept gives us a way to understand and measure the chi or energy of people, plants, foods, objects or states of energy.  If the chi of a food is a good quality than the food will likely taste better and impart more Chi to the person who eats it. Whatever manifests in a person‘s body and life does so with the help of some type of Chi.

The Chi Vitality in Foods

All grown whole foods contain chi or vital energy. The chi in foods has five main energies or flavors. Sweet flavored foods are pleasing and their energy is directed to the stomach and spleen, pungent flavored food energy is directed to the lungs and large intestines, salty flavored food energy is directed to the kidney and bladder, bitter flavored food energy is sent to the heart and small intestines and sour flavored food energy is directed to the liver and gall bladder.  Food also has a yin or cooling nature that conducts chi vitality inward in the body or a yang or warming thermal nature which directs chi vitality outward.

Imbalances in chi can result in blockages which cause chi to accumulate which result in a multitude of physical imbalances and ailments. In our food chi series, you will learn to use foods therapeutically and improve your health by restoring balance of chi or vitality to blocked or “insulted” organs.

There are many good recipes out there just remember to keep recipes simple. When using whole food for their healing properties keep in mind that combining or using other foods such as honey for sweetener or so sauce for saltiness can also alter the use and property of a food.

The Winter or Wax Gourd has a yin or cooling nature and sweet light flavor. It acts as a tonic to the lungs, bladder, small and large intestines. This food can be used to detoxify the kidneys, promotes urination and eliminates congestion in the lungs. Boil cubed was gourd over low heat and drink as a soup or bake until skin appears a little charred. You can eat up to twice a day or ear on a regular bases is to promote urination to help cure edema and help balance weak kidney chi.

The Winter and Butternut Squash have a warming nature and sweet flavor that can be helpful in healing inflammation, relieve pain and strengthen the spleen and stomach. Cook squash with skifall foods gourds and squashn and eat to help relieve pulmonary conditions.

The Onion has a warm nature and pungent flavor is useful for inducing perspiration and is beneficial for the weakened lungs and stomach. Traditional uses are a diuretic which helps eliminate excess water and also has expectorant properties which helps break up congestion in lungs. White or yellow onions can be boiled or steamed over low heat. They can be eaten on a regular basis to lower and maintain blood pressure. Onion is also considered beneficial in the treatment of arteriosclerosis.

fall food pumpkin The Pumpkin is neutral, sweet and slightly bitter. Steamed pumpkin mixed with honey acts as a strengthening lung tonic so it is helpful to people with asthma, and helps to reduce cough. This food is also useful as a diuretic eliminating water retention from damp conditions such as edema.

The Potato has a neutral thermal nature with a sweet flavor. The potato heals inflammation and is used as an energy tonic and spleen tonic.  Prepare 5 medium sized potatoes, one onion, clove of garlic, 2 carrots and a stick of celery. Add four to six cups of water. Simmer over low heat until reduced to half.  This soup is good for hypertension, malnutrition, bronchial asthma, allergic skin, kidney disease and obesity.

The Sweet Potato also has a neutral thermal nature with a sweet flavor and is used as a spleen and energy tonic.  This terrific tuber is also used in china as a kidney yin tonic. Sweet potato can be baked or used in soup. Baked charred sweet potato can be used to induce perspiration and reduce fever.  It can also be used in soups to relieve the common cold and strengthens kidney chi.

 

(Lu H. C., 1986)

Can Food Chi improve our Moods?

Can garlic improve our mood and make us happy?  Can the food we eat affect our moods? Can choosing the right type of food help you correct imbalances in your body and improve your energy and state of mind?

Nature and all natural life on the earth is a “dynamic equilibrium” The changing of day time into night and back to day again is an example nature’s dynamic equilibrium. In truth the whole earth and universe have a constant rhythm of opposing but mutually dependent forces in which all can exist but which none can exist exclusively.Food Chi- Garlic

But what does all this have to do with garlic?  To achieve good health we also need to maintain a type of “dynamic equilibrium” in ourselves.  Our bodies are many parts of the whole- where all can function but not independently of the other parts. So how do we live in harmony and gain dynamic equilibrium in our bodies and live according to the natural laws of the earth and universe?  We can start by understanding how to consume our food not only for pleasure and sustenance but as a medicine to correct the imbalances of these opposing forces when they go awry.

If we look at the yin and yang of food chi we find that garlic is a warming food which increases yang in the body. If one is sad or depressed the body is likely in a yin state. Adding a yang food will gradually balance the over abundance of yin and help shift your mood to a more hopeful, cheerful frame of mind.

When food is looked at this way it can be used as healing agents to correct excess yin or yang conditions in the body which also can influence our mental chi and restore our moods back to a more positive yin –yang balance.

 

The Happy Impractical Heart

The two essential parts of the soul that almost always seems to be in opposition are the head and the heart.The head is the analytical member of the soul devoid of most feeling s and just tends to looks at the cold hard facts. But the heart is the feeling part of one ‘s spirit and is also part of the soul which often takes back seat to what the brain thinks is best for us.

No matter how impractical my brain told my ideas were, deep down I still yearned do to the things my heart really desired.  My head is fiercely practical but I make it a point to try to make time for all to those things that my heart always desired to do.  As I  began to do this I found i was able to tune into and live for my spirit.

For many of us, the things we wish we could do are those things that deep down that make us feel truly happy.  We may find that our happiness from achieving success could also mean feelings of personal freedom or creativity or even feelings of recognition, pride and satisfaction.  Psychologists call these “core” feelings and pursuing them give us a sense of self worth. Our souls are constantly seeking opportunities and relationships that help us to develop core feelings even though we may not always realize it.Heart of nature

During the day take 10 minutes to sit quietly and engage yourself in considering different areas of your life which are important to you such as, career, money, family, friends, home, health, travel, etc.  Look at or remember events or situations when you had a sense of vitality and joy.  Which feelings were the most uplifting and positive for you? What were you doing when you felt them? Now, when making your goals, look at it from the perspective of the heart and ask yourself, what do I need to do to create a situation so that I can experience these feelings all the time?

As I started to do this on a regular basis I found that my choices led to more fulfilling activities and before I knew it, I was on my way to transforming my life into the one I always wanted but always thought was too impractical or a “waste of time”.

Now when I look at my goals, the plan for them becomes more meaningful and is helping me to achieve a more true purpose for my spirit and soul. The mutual goal making between the head and the heart has led me to a happier state of mind which is now calmer, less stressed out and now more willing to give the heart equal consideration in the decision making process.