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.
Being from the California, the concept that it’s actually springtime in Wellington (even when the days still feel pretty cold) came upon me gradually then suddenly. As I look back over the past couple weeks, I realized that I had been feeling slightly more tense, the days were getting longer, and I’m favoring mint over green as my daily tea.
For me personally, spring can be an exciting but difficult time. It’s a time of new beginnings, new growth, purification, and for clearing out the old. All this new growth is electrifying and wonderful but it can come with difficulties too. On these cold mornings, I sometimes feel like seed that is still deciding if it wants to stay safe in the ground or take the leap and emerge from under the soil – or in my case, the covers of my warm bed.
Depending on where you live, you may not have yet seen evidence of new life bursting forth; it might be a little more subtle. You many have noticed a shift in your body’s energy and changes in how you feel physically and emotionally as the hours of daylight increase.
What gives me that extra push forward is that I fully believe that by following the rhythms and cycles of nature, we can also create balance within our own lives. In Chinese Medicine spring is associated with the Wood element, which governs the liver and gall bladder organs and maintains the smooth of Qi in our bodies. Strong winds are typical during spring (especially here in Windy Wellington). The blowing of wind in spring can offset the equilibrium of these organs, which in turn can affect other organ systems causing congestion and imbalance. When this happens, I see the most common symptoms of spring walk into my clinic:
5 Signs That Acupuncture Can Help You This Spring
1. Feeling a little extra tense or angry
In TCM, the Liver is responsible for smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. When the Liver is not functioning optimally, things like emotional and situational stress tend to aggravate us more.
2. Experiencing more than the usually sore muscle or headache
When the Qi isn’t flowing smoothly, we start to experience what acupuncturists think of as congestion or stagnation-type symptoms. These include pain, tension, tightness, or restriction of our muscles and body. Headaches and menstrual cramps are commonly worse this time of year as well.
3. Digestion feels a bit off balance
Good digestion is dependent on consistent and smooth movement of Qi throughout the whole body. When the Liver fails to control the flow, digestive problems are most likely to occur. Don’t forget the brain-gut connection, as we know, when our emotional stress is higher than usual, our digestive system takes a hit.
4. Springtime allergies
If the liver is not healthy, it could affect other organs like the spleen and the lungs. Symptoms of this disharmony between these organs include: chest congestion, sneezing, running nose, itching eyes and other symptoms that are associated with allergy problems.
5. Difficulty sleeping through the night
A weakened Liver can also affect your sleep. When the Liver is not controlling the smooth flow of QI, you might notice you’re up thinking all night or still upset about something that happened at work. The time of the Liver is also between the hours of 1am-3am and this is when most people wake and have a hard time falling back to sleep.