Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) relates each season to an organ system.  The summer is associated with the heart system, autumn is associated with the lung system, in the winter it’s the kidneys, and in spring it’s the liver.  (There’s also a “late summer” season that relates to the spleen system.) The climates typical of each season can greatly impact the organ system related to that season.  That is to say, the liver system is most vulnerable during the spring.

What happens in spring?  It’s a season of birth, sprouting, and growth.  The days are longer, and the temperatures are warmer.  According to TCM, green is the color associated with spring and the liver system.  The roots of Chinese medical theory are based on patterns in nature. Read the rest of this entry »

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Miso-Tahini Green Beans

November 24, 2010

Are you looking for a last minute, extremely easy to prepare, gourmet-tasting, and of course, healthy recipe to round off your Thanksgiving spread?

This recipe is from Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen, a cookbook written by some of my favorite teachers, supervisors, and mentors:  Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir, and Mika Ono.

Americans do not consume enough vegetables.  Plain and simple.  Often times when I recommend vegetables to my patients, their first response is:  “I’ll eat more salads.”  For some reason in this country, salads are the go-to health food.  While they do contain healthy vegetables, salads are raw and cold in nature and can be difficult to digest if there is any weakness in the digestive system.

I have found that many of my patients have weakened spleens and stomachs.  According to Chinese Medicine, too many raw and cold foods (salads, smoothies, sushi, etc) are very taxing on the digestive system.  Think about it:  Our body is 98.6 degrees.  If we dump a lot of raw, cold foods into our guts, we must also provide the extra energy needed to warm, break down, and digest them.  With time, over-consumption of these foods can leave the digestive organs tired and sluggish.  Other factors that can weaken the digestive system are:  eating at irregular intervals, eating quickly and on the run, and eating while emotional. Read the rest of this entry »