No really, I am. And you might be too. A couple of weeks ago I was reading something about 'the raw food debate' and started taking notice of how much raw food I am consuming. I usually have it at every meal, making up about 70%-80% of my diet. I love smoothies, juices, fresh fruit, raw deserts- almost anything raw! But just last week I was complaining to my acupuncturist (sorry Dave) about the digestive issues I've been having. I was feeling really lost because my diet is so clean and nutritious.
He explained to me that according to Chinese medicine, which I follow loosely considering the success I've experienced from acupuncture, believes that different seasons of the year support different functions in the body. Ever wondered why you crave warm comfort foods in winter? It's because that's what your body wants. Think slow cooked stews, soups, cinnamon, poached fruit. Anything that has a warming effect on the body will aid in digestion and allow your body to recuperate over the winter months. For the same reason, we tend to reduce our exercise, and sleep more during winter. It's not because we're lazy and unmotivated, it's because our body wants to rest while the weather is cooler.
If we think back to the reason we begun to cook things in the first place, it was mostly to aid digestion. Cooking, and par-cooking foods helps our body to do it's work just that little bit quicker and with more ease.
According to Chinese Medicine, in winter we should...
Have less of
- Pineapples, oranges, bananas, kiwi fruit, watermelons and lemons
- Raw foods
- Excessive consumption of salads
- Cold or iced drinks
- Dairy products and refined sugars
Have more of
Fennel, cabbage, pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato
- Oats (if you're not gluten free)
- Peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachio, walnuts
- Maple syrup (the good stuff, not the sugar+water mix)
- Raw honey
- Ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, coriander, oregano, rosemary and thyme
- Red grapes, sweet apples, apricots, figs, cherries, peaches, plums
Here is a little insight into what I have been eating
- Banana pancakes from my ebook Breakfast Delights (the banana is cooked so digestion is easier) go here to get a free copy. I serve it with maple syrup, cinnamon and fruit poached in water, maple syrup and cinnamon
- Healthy cooked breakfast from my free ebook Breakfast Delights
- Brookfarm Porrij with poached fruit and cinnamon or nutmeg
Leftovers (I forgot how good this is for lunch!) - warm them on the stove or in the oven, opt against using a microwave
Steamed or roasted veggies with quinoa
- Veggie Soup (search soup in the sidebar for some of my recipes)
- Vegetable Ragout
- Vegetable bake with cashew cheese (cook in the oven to make cashew cheese easier to digest)
- Veggie patties (think sweet potato, quinoa, buckwheat, carrot and some fresh herbs)
- Veggie burger (big mushrooms, capsicum, sweets potato etc)
SNACKS & DRINKS
This chocolate brownie is amazing, I highly recommend it!
- Choc-chip biscuits
- Blueberry muffins
- Chocolate cashew cookies
- Room temperate water
- Chai tea (in the morning)
Something else to consider is that you can pre cook your meals, they don't have to be eaten hot all of the time, as long as the breakdown has begun when you cook them. I pre poached my fruit and just stored it in the fridge. It makes it easier in the mornings when I don't have time to be cooking a bunch of different things. You could also do this with vegetables for lunch.
Although this seems to be working for me, it might not for you. I encourage you to listen to your body, what is it trying to tell you? Play around with it, it's all trial and error! If you're really lost, I recommend having Acupuncture and discussing your specific concerns at your appointment. If you're on the Gold Coast I highly recommend David Haynes.