Eating with the Seasons

Blog posts in: Eating with the Seasons

When no foods are growing at all, the preserving techniques that have been used for centuries give our foods the exact energetic properties we need to nourish our organs in the winter.  These blogs give tips for eating seasonally.

“A weed is just a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered”–Ralph Waldo Emerson  We’ve all seen ’em, we’ve all got ’em, right? Those pesky, durable flowers that sprout up from everywhere in our gardens and driveways.  The typical response is to either yank them out and throw them into the garden waste bag, or to give them a good dose of toxic weed killer. Why not use them instead to your advantage, getting FREE...

The air is pungent with the quieting of the seasons. Everywhere around us we feel the downturn of energy, as leaves shine their last dying blasts of color before departing this world for their fall into the earth. Now is the time of letting go, of releasing—of bringing inward the scattered energies of the previous warmer seasons. As with every season in Chinese Medicine, Fall brings with it its own value, which if acknowledged helps...

The end of summer is upon us, and the bounty of the earth’s harvest is pouring in. While the long, playful days of summer have past, the air is still warm and the leaves are nowhere near falling. The significance of Late Summer Traditionally, this was the season for building our stores of nourishment for the coming months, and hours would be spent toiling in the kitchen putting up the summer bounty. Nowadays modern agriculture...

Last week, I wrote about our Jing, how In Chinese Medicine it’s connected to our Kidney energy, and therefore the Water Element, and the season that we’re in right now: winter. Acupuncturists know that we want to do everything possible to avoid tapping into and therefore depleting our Jing — the root of all energy —, so this week,  I will go into a little bit more detail on some foods you can eat to...

Like every season, it is easy to figure out what foods will be beneficial for us right now by looking out at nature. And what do we see sprouting up all around us? Green!  Just little bits; but soon more, and then more, until it’s virtually an explosion in green! In the past, at the beginning of the growing season I would traipse off to Farmer’s Market, only to be disappointed that there was no...

If you see me for acupuncture and we’ve done any TCM dietary counseling, or you’ve been to one of my seasonal eating talks, then you know that as the seasons change, the foods we should be eating to stay balanced and healthy change too.A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe that looked fabulous and decided to try it — being a sucker for lovely photos of decadent looking foods, I was instantly drawn...

Have you ever made a frittata?   I learned a recipe for a simple frittata using artichoke hearts several years ago, and I’ve been making it over and over again ever since.    Some people think that as an acupuncturist and a healthy eater, I must not eat very interesting or yummy food.  This recipe proves that you can eat like an acupuncturist and still feel satisfied and fulfilled!   It’s not only a great...

(UPDATE: Since going paleo I no longer eat cheese. Booooo! :-( This sure was yummy though!)   Every acupuncturist knows that as we head into spring, it is more important than ever to keep our livers happy.  Acupuncture theory states that the spring season is related to the Wood Element (more on this in the coming weeks) and the Liver organ; and that greens are one of the best foods we can eat to keep...

People love hating beets. I do admit, they can go either way…if not cooked right, they have a taste that can be a little…well, bad. But I just tried a new recipe this week that has me fanatical over this humble red root. Because beets are so wonderful for nourishing your “liver blood”, and according to acupuncture and Chinese medicine theory we are in Wood season which relates to the liver, this is a perfect...

The pears are here, the pears are here! I just saw the first of the season last Saturday at the farmer’s market, and excited I am!  Last year, for the first time I canned up many different kinds of jams, jelly’s and butters.  But none could compare to the delicate smooth Pear Butter that I made at the end of the season.  Dolloped over a piece of crusty bread toasted with butter…mmmmm, the silky smoothness...

For those of you who have been my patients for some time, you’ve heard me talk a lot about the seasons/elements and how they relate to our health, the foods we need to eat, the types of issues we are likely to be dealing with, and in general, what we can do to stay balanced. We just left the Fire element and plunged into Earth; for anyone here in Fort Collins, there is no denying...

This recipe, adapted from: Canning & Preserving, by Ashley English, is AMAZING and is a great way to put up the summer harvest. I just visited the farmer’s market and got an enormous flat of gorgeous local peaches. As someone who loves supporting our local farmers I sometimes have huge amounts of seasonal foods with which I need to get creative. Combining the peaches with the lavender from my garden made an incredible treat that I’ll...

Many of you have asked me “What should I be eating now that it’s summer?”  While of course this is going to depend on your individual Chinese Medicine diagnosis, there are a few overarching guidelines that most people can follow. In my general article about the Fire Element and Summer, I addressed the topic of foods, but I will use this week’s “Wisdom” to go into more detail. The most important thing to understand when...

Is this another shameless plug to try to get you to eat more greens? You betcha! Many of you know I’ve been trying the whole “local eating” thing this past year.  While it is turning into a huge international movement born out of the need to eat more sustainably, it fits perfectly in with ancient Chinese Medicine eating philosophy. Each season correlates with specific organ systems in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), and the food that...

It’s that time of year again…time to start thinking about which CSA  you’re going to sign up with this year.  As promised, I’m sending out a list this week of our local CSAs. What?!  You’re weren’t PLANNING on doing a CSA?  Well let’s see if I can change your mind! For those of you who don’t know what CSA is, it stands for CommunitySupported Agriculture, and it’s sweeping the nation! When you sign up for...

Like every season, it is easy to figure out what foods will be beneficial for us right now by looking out at nature. And what do we see sprouting up all around us? Green!  Just little, little bits; but soon more, and then more, until it is virtually an explosion in green! Usually, at the beginning of growing season, I traipse off to Farmer’s Market, only to be disappointed that there’s no “good stuff” yet. ...

  We’re entering into Water season, the season related to the Kidneys.  Energy, or Qi, is at it’s lowest point in the cycle of the year, so during winter, it’s appropriate to be less active and to conserve our energy stores. Unfortunately, just because it’s appropriate to do less, doesn’t mean that modern life always allows it; so the more we can do to take care of our energy during this time of year, the...

Despite my complete irreverence towards the story, something my mother mentioned several times when I was growing up managed to stick with me. And as things go (darn it!), the older I get the more I come to appreciate the message behind her words. :-/ She grew up in a tiny town in Denmark in the 40’s, and in those days, not much besides potatoes, potatoes, and more potatoes (ok, and some cabbage) grew or...

 This week, I came home from picking up my CSA share with an overflowing bag of veggies. Chard, 3 kinds of zucchini, big beets and baby beets along with their greens, English snap peas, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, spring mix, green onions, and garlic scapes poured out; making it undeniably clear that we have entered the peak of summer’s harvest. To supplement my veggies, the day before I’d visited the Sunday Farmer’s...