Wow - I Ate All That! Teas for Digestion and Chinese Herbal Medicine to the Rescue This Thanksgiving!
On Thanksgiving Day, we are actually encouraged to stuff ourselves and certainly one day a year, such indulgence can’t do us too much harm. For many, these temporary feelings goes away by the next day once our body has dealt with it. But sometimes a bout of overeating can create problems that stay around for days or even weeks. In Chinese medicine indigestion due to overeating is termed as "food stagnation".
Symptoms of Food Stagnation:
Bao He Wan Saves The Day
This inexpensive Chinese herbal formula translated as preserve the harmony pill can help ease the bloating, cramping, heartburn, or other forms of indigestion that usually accompany large, rich meals.
Sound too good to be true? It's really not. Here's how it works - Bao He Wan contains herbs that help the body's digestive system break down meats, grains, and fats; stimulating peristalsis, which is the abdominal movement that keeps food moving through the digestive tract properly. You'll feel good enough to get out for a healthy, post Thanksgiving walk (I strongly recommend this).
If Bao He Wan sounds like something you'd be interested in for this Thanksgiving or for other big meals this holiday season (or anytime!) - give me a call today at (510) 210-3822 or schedule online to come in for an herbal consultation!
Teas for Digestions
But chances are, you won't have an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist in the house Thanksgiving day. So, what to do? Below are a few different teas your can probably stock up on at your local grocer.
Tummy Soothing Tea
Combine the chamomile, fennel, ginger, and peppermint in a tea pot or mug. Pour boiling water over. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain tea, then sweeten with honey, if desired.
The recipe below is for a single serving, but you could also make a big batch of the dry tea blend and store it in a jar for easy access.
While teas are generally safe, not all herbal teas are safe for everyone. Some herbal teas, such as those made with dandelion, chamomile, black cohosh or dried ginger, may not be safe during pregnancy.
Peppermint tea may not be a good idea for people with reflux or those taking blood pressure or diabetes medications, and ginger should be avoided by those using blood thinners or blood pressure or diabetes medications. Avoid dandelion tea if you take diuretics, blood thinners or diabetes medications.
It’s pumpkin season! Not only do pumpkins fit well into a health-conscious diet, they taste good too! They are low in calories but high in fiber. They are also low in sodium. The seeds are high in protein, iron, and the B vitamins. Pumpkins are very high in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that converts Vitamin A, which is important to maintain a healthy body
1. Cut a good size hole in the top of the pumpkin. Large enough that makes it easy to clean out the seeds and place your stuffing inside.
2. In a separate pot, cook 1 cup of brown rice or wild rice and set aside.
3. Remove seeds and strings from pumpkin and top
4. In a pan sauté garlic and onion until they become fragrant (4-5mins)
5. Add the mushrooms, peppers, chicken, and bacon into the pan and light sauté until the chicken has browned and the bacon is mostly cooked. (these ingredients have a lot of water in them and you want to get some of it to evaporate out before putting it in your pumpkin)
6. Add the spinach and rice to the pan and mix until the ingredients are nicely combined.
7. Stuff that empty pumpkin with the fixings!
8. Add the cream and cheese, place pumpkin top on.
9. Bake at 350F for 2 hours. Check on the pumpkin at 90mins, remove the top so any extra liquid can evaporate and the top stuffing gets nice and brown
When the pumpkin is ready, carefully, very carefully (it's heavy, hot, and wobbly) bring it to the table or transfer it to a platter that you'll bring to the table
For some reason I'm always more motivated to eat better in the spring and summer. As the days get colder and shorter, I just want to fill my tummy with warm, cheesy, heavy foods - the kind that make you just want to curl up on the couch and take a nap.
After 5 days in a row of eating meals consisting of mostly cheese and bread, I realized that it was time to put down the mac and cheese (even if it is made with artisanal cheese) and re-evaluate my diet and add some health food in there.
Kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. In much of Europe it was the most widely eaten green vegetable until the Middle Ages when other types of cabbage became more popular. Historically it has been important in colder regions due to its resistance to frost. Kale is a very handy ingredient and it is one of the few green vegetables that is more abundant and flavorful during the colder months of the year. It also makes an excellent ingredient in hearty, warming soups.
Kale is a nutritionally rich food containing:
Secrets and Tips
Buying and Types of Kale
Kale should have a fresh green color with moist, crisp, un-wilted leaves. There are normally 2 types of kale you'll find at the supermarket
Keep kale in a plastic bag with 1 paper towel (to absorb any extra moisture) in the fridge. Kale becomes increasingly bitter and strongly flavored the longer it is kept and so is best eaten soon after buying.
For all types of kale its good to give it a nice wash in water to remove any dirt clinging to the inside of the leaves.
In a large salad bowl, combine the (massaged) kale, parsley, lentils or garbanzo beans, apples, cucumber, avocado
For the dressing, blend everything in a food processor or blender, with salt and pepper to taste, until the garlic is smooth.
Pour the dressing on the salad and toss well to coat.The salad will keep in the fridge for a full day and slowly lose it's crunch from there.
Even though its technically summer here in Wellington, the weather has not been quite up to my Los Angeles standards of high temps, sunny skies, and warm beaches. Good news, this delicious healthy soup has been great all year long. Its my go-to, feel good meal that makes it into the rotation at least once every two weeks. Also, by pre-measuring ingredients and spices, I've been able to include this recipe on my list of easy to cook camping meals.
This recipe comes from my favorite food blog and cook book Sprouted Kitchen. Its full of warming spices, veggies, and a touch (generous touch) of coconut milk for a silky creamy finish. Since I like my soups hearty, I often toss in carrot, butternut squash, or sweet potato. As with most of my meals, or any meal I can, I garnish with cilantro, avocado, and sour cream.
Don't be deterred by the long ingredient list, this is a very easy to cook recipe, the flavors balance perfectly, and once you get all the spices, they'll last a long time.