Author: lindsey | Filed under: Energy, Nourish | Tags: breakfast club, crown chakra, healthy breakfast, quinoa | 4 Comments »
I’m hungry, with nothing for breakfast. I’m standing holding the refrigerator door ajar, staring at the leftover quinoa. I glance down a shelf at the half a tub of blueberries. Mmmm, Ok, maybe I do have something for breakfast. The blueberries were quickly heated with a little water and a splash of rice syrup (a natural sweetener), then I added the quinoa. It turned purple, so that was the surprise bonus.
The adjacent cupboard held walnuts waiting to be toasted and tossed across the top. Turned out to be totally delicious.
Yeah, I am the mother of invention. This was not only delicious, but A plus on how long it kept me going. Quinoa contains twice as much fibre and protein as oatmeal.
About the Purple
Eating natural foods has always brought the promise of an enhanced intuition. Putting together meals out of the food you have on hand is one example of how this happens with ease after a time. But eating a purple breakfast that came together out of nowhere, intuitively, needs a little more breakdown.
It is widely known that eating a variety of colorful foods is healthy. In addition, according to the chakra system of the Indian tradition, violet is the crown chakra. Red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo and violet are the colors that represent the chakras. Everyday we energize our body in various ways. Balance in each chakra is associated with good health.
The following images were pulled from Chakra Energy Web which details how you can energize your chakras. One way is through eating food colored the same as the chakra.
The crown chakra is associated with the ability to balance your spirituality with your ability to stay grounded.
(Such interesting information about the blood vessel problems)
A few weeks later one of my students gives me this book, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, (which is wonderful).
The very first recipe in it is quinoa with berries! And I really thought I’d invented it. So, I realize I’m only daydreaming about chef dom. And my sister sends me this card, as only sisters can…
I also need to eat more red. Bring on the colorful food.
Author: lindsey | Filed under: Energy, macrobiotics | No Comments »
This week I was Kermit
I last wrote about speed bumps in my health road almost two years ago here. Looks like I need to revisit that post since my routine PET scan on Monday revealed a new area of inflammation in my aorta near my heart. I’ve had a flurry of appointments and further scans to find out more since. Immunotherapy starts up again next week, with the first of a protocol of monthly infusions.
I need to take my own advice from that previous post,
A short walk is better than no walk.
A short nap is better than no nap.
Chores get done when chunked into smaller jobs.
With no energy to make a meal, I manage to trick myself by just chopping veggies and lo and behold the meal just turns up somehow.
Miso soup every other day.
Greens (lots of them) every day.
I can do that. Read the rest of this entry »
Author: lindsey | Filed under: Balance, Energy, Nature | Tags: cookbooks, spring | No Comments »
The daffodils I bought at the weekend opened overnight and greeted me as I came downstairs on Monday, the first workaday morning since the clocks moved forward an hour. Spring is happening and I’m pulling out the cookbooks. I feel my smartest cookbooks are organized by seasons and if you don’t have any like that, here’s your excuse to go shopping…
you’ll be healthier for it.
You probably recognize that you crave different foods at different times of the year. Locally grown produce changes with the seasons. In spring we get excited to see our crocuses burst through the soil and bloom. Everywhere we look the energy is moving upwards and we feel it as we start to spend more time outdoors and the days lengthen. Eating within the season strengthens and builds immunity according to the ancient Chinese.
The sages follow the laws of Nature and therefore their bodies are free from strange diseases. They do not lose any of their natural functions and their spirit of life is never exhausted.-Inner Classic “Healing with Whole Foods” 3rd edition Paul Pitchford
As each season transitions I pull out the cookbooks that offer recipes with seasonal attunement in mind. The recipes for spring call for lighter cooking methods, and produce that embodies this upward energy (leeks, salad greens, leafy greens). Knowing how to choose and prepare foods according to the seasons is invaluable to create a steady strengthening throughout the year.
Here’s my stash…
Love, Sanae: Healing Vegan Macrobiotic Cooking, My Healing Journey
The Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian
Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source with More Than 200 Recipes for a Healthy and Sustainable You
Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes
The Self-Healing Cookbook: Whole Foods To Balance Body, Mind and Moods
If you have others let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for an excuse to go cookbook shopping.
Author: lindsey | Filed under: Balance, Energy, macrobiotics | 2 Comments »
I eat slowly. It’s a habit I’ve been developing, I’m not perfect at it, hunger sometimes takes over, but when I remember, I know it makes me feel better. I make a special effort when I’m eating alone to slow down and chew. I have been more mindful of this for almost two years after I started investigating and practicing macrobiotics. During my first counseling session I was given this handout.
It’s not What it’s How
What I love about these initial recommendations, is there is no mention yet of what you should eat, only advice on how you should eat.
Researchers at University of Rhode Island have recently released results that puts some solid science behind the advice.
In one of their studies they found a close correlation between eating rates and BMI (body mass index). Those with a high BMI ate considerably faster than those with a lower BMI.
The study also found that subjects consumed whole grains significantly slower than eating a meal of more refined grains.
“Whole grains are more fibrous, so you have to chew them more, which takes more time,” says Kathleen Melanson, URI associate professor of nutrition.
Further research is going to be conducted, they are looking at recruiting subjects with higher BMI. They plan to teach them to eat slowly and see if that has any impact on weight management. I can’t wait for the results of that one. Talking from experience I am sure the results will be interesting.
This article by Kelly Reith, a registered holistic nutritionist , goes into more details of the benefits of eating slowly and details how saliva plays an important role in digestion and also as a first line of defense against food borne bacteria. As someone who lives with a compromised immune system this is a definite advantage. In addition to this it makes sense that the body expends less energy digesting smaller particles of food. No after dinner naps needed..
Ditch the guilt, just eat slower
If I could give you a strategy for the inevitable indulging during the holidays I would rely heavily on this research and the advice from the Strengthening Health Institute and say simply eat slower. By all means, enjoy whatever it is that you are eating, eat it mindfully, concentrate on the tastes, smells, and textures. Think about whoever prepared the food for you. You’ll consume less calories, you’ll enjoy it more, oh and you can ditch the guilt.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60944931@N00/5908895414
Author: lindsey | Filed under: Balance, Energy, mindfulness | Tags: exercise, meditation, qigong, yoga | 2 Comments »
“Thatch your roof before rainy weather; dig your well before you become parched with thirst” –Chinese Proverb
This week the weather has been perfect for November. With the sun warm, the winds light, my bike ride had been so smooth, I had cruised into the 10-mile mark, yet I’m disappointed, I had energy to spare and didn’t want to leave. The day before had been my first qigong (chee-gung) class and I think I was experiencing the effects.
We have all seen the videos of hundreds practicing in parks in China in the early morning. I never realized they were doing it for a genius reason that I now find myself enthralled with. The Chinese have used this practice for thousands of years as part of their ancient version of free health care insurance. In the west we’ve overlooked this as a tool for fitness and empowerment. I think we think that it looks too simple and is often depicted as being practiced either by old people, who we don’t respect, or martial artists that we marginalize.
From Qi Journal
In China, the true definition of health care is to care for one’s health. The rationale for self-care is that if citizens can do self-applied health enhancement methods (SAHEM), in the comfort of their own home for no cost, then health care is free.
shifting a person’s qi directly refers to a holistic approach to health and treating the individual at all levels: physical, “energetic,” emotional, mental and “spiritual.”
I was introduced to Qigong (chee-gung) during my training at the Kushi Institute this summer. Unfortunately, the qigong was scheduled at 7am everyday, not being a morning person this was not ideal. Since my surgeries, yoga stretches have been hard and I have missed the practice. Qigong is a less strenuous movement than yoga, yet more involved than meditation, an ideal middle ground. I found the explanation of the movements and how they are translated into moving one’s qi around the body fascinating. It feels like you are dancing with yourself.
From the Qi Journal
“Chinese self-care, called Qigong, combines careful regulation of breath, deep states of relaxation, specific regulation of bodily movement and posture, and, in certain forms, self-applied massage to generate a physiological state termed the Qigong state. This state is unique in its comparison to aerobics, jogging, and muscle-building, because of the simultaneous application of deep states of relaxation. Qigong requires no special equipment. While aerobics, jogging, and even walking require that the individual be relatively fit, people who are very sick and incapacitated can still practice Qigong.
Ancient Healing Modality
A type of medical qigong has been developed by a Shanghai hospital to maintain health and assist in recovery. The Chinese Ministry of Health has officially endorsed this series. Would or could our health care bill ever include such an endorsement?
I left the kushi in August with an idea to find classes close so that I could continue the practice. It has taken six months, but I finally found a class within walking distance.
Our instructor is teaching us the coinin sequence that increases flow of qi between the skin and the bone marrow. The series of twisting the forearms has been chosen because it is so energizing. We were warned that we might have trouble sleeping and I did have some disturbance. Qigong strengthens internal organs and enhances the immune system and reduces stress which according the research causes the majority of all illnesses.
It is easy to remember a set and work it into your day. The breathing is one of the most difficult areas to perfect, but even beginners can see the benefit without being an expert.
As we approach winter and it becomes more difficult to go outside and exercise I am excited that qigong promises to be a great way to keep the energy flowing and an internal fire stoked. The addition of this ancient healing modality as my protection against cold and flu this winter is my official experiment. I’ll report back in spring.
I’m reading The Healing Power of Qi
“Qigong transcends the limited realm of disease and treatment to become a powerful tool for life mastery and personal transformation”
I am convinced this is another entrance for me, similar to the leap in awareness and health improvement when I changed my diet. This feels close to that. I’m excited for the journey.
Photo Credit “Qigong by нσвσ, on Flickr”
Author: lindsey | Filed under: Energy | Tags: macrobiotic health vegan | 2 Comments »
One of the first things I was told by a macrobiotic counselor was to stop eating 3 hours before going to bed. In fact he marked triple asterix’s next to it. It is a small seemingly simple part of 7 steps to strengthening health and one that I have had trouble with lately. This week this is going to be the area I focus on improving. I plan to pick one area of the practice a week to work on.
Stopping eating three hours before going to bed is important because it leaves the digestive system empty while sleeping. This gives your body the optimum environment to clean and repair itself while you are sleeping. This will also give your liver and kidneys a rest.
Denny Waxman in his book “The Great Life Diet” states that
The body cannot perform the miraculous nocturnal task of rejuvenation unless the stomach is empty. Nor can we receive celestial energy at night unless we are empty inside.
Being conscious that this would be my focus this week, I have been aware to make sure that I get enough satisfaction from my food earlier in the day so I am not left hungry in the evening. I have been front loading my food somewhat, a larger breakfast, a lighter lunch, and an earlier full dinner seems to work the best.
It hasn’t always worked out. Today we took an impromptu trip to the beach around 4pm, so dinner prep and eating turned out to be quite late. I will still make the three hours, but only just. The family time together overshadowed the need to be hyper vigilant of my eating. It is always a balance.
With an empty stomach you will be helping yourself sleep more deeply and for a shorter time. Hard to say I have noticed this, but I definitely wake up feeling cleaner inside and ready to start refueling.
If you feel tired and sluggish when you wake up, it might be worthwhile trying to remember when you last ate before going to bed. Having food left in your stomach to digest means you will have insulin circulating. Too much insulin causes the sluggish feeling, because you wake with symptoms of hypoglycemia. This problem goes back to making sure you have eaten enough and received enough nourishment earlier in the day.
Stopping eating 3 hours before going to sleep is a hard habit to break. For recovering health it is essential. I am working on it and hopeful I can give my body the best chance it can get.
photo credit: ShaZ Ni [pretty busy T_T]