Ying Yang Xue

"If something is cold, heat it. If something is hot, cool it." –Huangdi Neijing

Archive for the category “Blood deficiency”

Nourish Your Blood!!! Lentil Adzuki Soup

Class was a vegetarian gourmet affair with TR presenting a blood-nourishing Lentil Adzuki Bean Soup.  As we spooned downed the yummy goodness TR explained how legumes, kale, black wild rice, wheat berries and gou qi zi all assist the body in producing blood by nourishing the spleen, liver and kidney. The kale was prepared a special way by adding the ingredients and massaging the leaves and stalks.

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Blood Deficiency:

In a blood deficiency case the object is to build and nourish blood.  I used legumes such as adzuki beans and lentils which are not only high in protein but build blood.  Making a legume soup also is warm which the blood has a great affinity for.  I chose also to used such spices as ginger, turmeric, sugar and cinnamon for their warming and nourishing properties.  Warming properties are also very good for the spleen which is our main blood building organ.

I chose to use massaged kale and rice to top the dish in order to combine the sweet property of rice which the spleen also loves, and the rich chlorophyll packed kale for major blood building.  The ingredients such as legumes and kale are also very good for kidney energy which also plays a factor in generating bone marrow and contributing to blood.  So in some ways we tonify spleen and kidney with this dish to nourish blood.  Not to leave out our dear liver, these are also fabulous for it too!  One more thing, I chose to add some black wild rice, wheat berries and Gou Qi Zi, they all build blood are nourishing.

 

Lentil Adzuki Soup

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups leeks, thinly sliced

1 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cups tomatoes, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup green lentils, cleaned and rinsed

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or balsamic

5 cups vegetable stock

1 15 ounce can of adzuki beans, rinsed and drained

handful Gou Qi Zi

salt and freshly  ground pepper to taste

 

Garnish this dish with a scoop of cooked rice and massaged kale

1. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or a stock pot with a heavy lid on a medium flame. Add the leeks and onion to the oil and cook for 5 minutes until they have softened.

2. Reduce the flame and add the turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir continuously for 1 minute.

3. Fold in the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, and lentils and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir this frequently to prevent the spices and garlic from burning.

4. Add the vinegar and stock to the pan, increase the flame and bring it to a boil. Once the contents of the pan begin to boil, reduce the flame, cover with the lid and allow the soup to simmer for 35-45 minutes until the lentils are completely cooked.

5. Stir in the aduki beans and season the soup with salt and pepper. Bring the soup again to a boil by increasing the heat and then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with the lid and cook further for another 10 minutes. In last 10 minutes, toss in handful of Gou Qi Zi.

6. Garnish dish with cooked rice and massaged kale

 

Rice–cook white, black wild rice and wheat berries together for 25 min.

 

Massaged Kale!!!–2 Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs Bragg’s amino acids, ½ lime (juice), pinch of salt. Combine dressing to your taste.  Toss chopped kale in dressing and massage for 3 minutes, leave overnight in refrigerator.  If you like you can massage it longer and use right away.

 

TCM Diagnosis:  Blood Deficiency

In the “Western world”, Blood Deficiency, aka “Xue Xu”, correlates with anemia, but you don’t have to have a low blood count to have symptoms of blood deficiency.  It’s usually caused by Spleen Qi deficiency (“Spleen is the mother of blood“) which reduces its ability to “T-n-T” (i.e. transform food into blood & energy, & transport it to the rest of the body). When blood becomes deficient, however, both the Heart & the Liver are affected as well (sing with me now: “Liver stores blood; Heart governs blood“). Various factors cause blood deficiency, including inappropriate diet/lifestyle, overwork (taxes the Spleen), holding in emotions, excess drinking/drug use (weakens Liver’s ability to store blood), menstrual disorders, post-partum blood loss, or genetic imbalances. There’s a wide range of symptoms since Xue Xu affects almost all systems in the body.  Symptoms may include:  palpitations, forgetfulness, poor memory, insomnia, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, excessive dreaming, constipation, pale complexion, pale and dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, headache with lightheadedness, floaters, anxiety, numbness or tingling in limbs, dry skin/hair/nails, irregular/light menses; Tongue: pale; Pulse: thin or choppy.  Chinese herbs used to treat symptoms of blood deficiency do so bynourishing and/or tonifying blood.  Some of these include:  Dang Gui: (Chinese Angelica root); Bai Shao (White Peony root); Long Yan Rou (Longan); Hong Zao/Da Zao (red/black dates); and Gou Qi Zi  (Chinese Wolfberry).

Foods Used For Blood Deficiency:
Most of the iron in our diet comes from meat sources such as beef, liver (yes, liver!), oysters, chicken, eggs, etc., but yes – you can also nourish blood with a non-meat diet that’s rich in iron. These are just some of the foods that are believed to help blood deficiency: asparagus, grapes, potatoes, royal jelly, yams, berries (raspberries, blackberries, etc), squash, carrots, kale, spinach, beets, even grains!  On the other hand, you need to avoid foods (in excess) that are cold, raw, damp or greasy (they damage the Spleen), as well as alcohol or drugs.    Foods that nourish & tonify blood (such as beef, lamb, carrots, etc.) are considered ‘warming’ so they go very well during the late autumn & winter seasons – hence why we gravitate so  much more towards stews and casseroles  around the winter holidays.  These warm, acrid & sweet flavors build up our Qi & Blood  – if you’re feeling chilled to the bone, how about a nice bowl of hot marrow broth?  Any of the warming methods (e.g. grilling, roasting, baking or simmering) work well as a way of preparing blood building dishes.  And, in between your acupuncture treatments, you can apply acupressure to the same points we would needle to stimulate “Blee & Chud” (aka Qi & Blood) boosting effects: UB 17, UB 20, LVR 8 & SP 6.

References:
Macciocia, Giovanni.  Foundations  of Chinese Medicine
Kaptchuk TJ. The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine.
Paul Pitchford.  Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
Jilin, Liu & Peck, Gordon. Chinese Dietary Therapy.
Ody, Penelope.   The Chinese Herbal Cookbook: Healing Foods from East and West.

 

 

Cafe Bu Xue ~ Building blood, the gourmet way!

Today’s class was truly a holiday affair, with AS and AJ preparing a blood-nourishing Thanksgiving feast.  This post covers both AS and AJ’s projects, as together they transformed our eating area into “Cafe Bu Xue” (or “Build Blood”), complete with candles and flowers. AS outdid herself by preparing a date appetizer, salad, pot roast and a couscous dish, while AJ brought it home with a raspberry tiramisu for the record books. This was, by all accounts, a huge treat…it’s been a long time since the whole class was so silent, everyone contentedly munching on this blood-building buffet.

Little eggs, big taste.

I must say, this meal contained a first for me: quail eggs.  Everything is better miniature! Actually, two firsts: AS also brought in a jar of hibiscus blossoms in syrup designed for flavoring and garnishing cocktails.  The craziest we could get with our cocktails in an academic setting was ginger ale, but it was still a beautiful sight!  (I can vouch for their beauty in champagne, too, as I brought a jar of the blooms to our family Thanksgiving meal.  Be prepared for about 1,000 “What IS that?!”‘s tossed your way, though!)

Fancying up a glass of ginger ale with a hibiscus blossom!

Feast your eyes on the menu–then go make yourself some blood-boosting goodness.  As always, click on the pictures to see larger mouth-watering images!

 

Appetizer:

~ Festive Stuffed Medjool Dates – chockful of goodies

Medjool dates stuffed with sunshine.

~ Spinach, Chard, Kale & Roasted Beet Salad, topped off with Quirky Quail Eggs, Craisins, Walnuts and  a Balsamic Vinaigrette drizzle

Entrée:~ Hearty Crock-Pot Roast; slow-roasted with Carrots, Field Peas, Pearl Onions & Baby Red Potatoes

~ Couscous with Cranberries, Almonds & Pine-Nuts

Couscous a la Xue

Dessert:~ Rascally Royal Raspberry Tiramisu  &  Sparkling “Ale” with Hibiscus Flowers

 

TCM Diagnosis:  Blood Deficiency

In the “Western world”, Blood Deficiency, aka “Xue Xu”, correlates with anemia, but you don’t have to have a low blood count to have symptoms of blood deficiency.  It’s usually caused by Spleen Qi deficiency (“Spleen is the mother of blood“) which reduces its ability to “T-n-T” (i.e. transform food into blood & energy, & transport it to the rest of the body). When blood becomes deficient, however, both the Heart & the Liver are affected as well (sing with me now: “Liver stores blood; Heart governs blood“). Various factors cause blood deficiency, including inappropriate diet/lifestyle, overwork (taxes the Spleen), holding in emotions, excess drinking/drug use (weakens Liver’s ability to store blood), menstrual disorders, post-partum blood loss, or genetic imbalances. There’s a wide range of symptoms since Xue Xu affects almost all systems in the body.  Symptoms may include:  palpitations, forgetfulness, poor memory, insomnia, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, excessive dreaming, constipation, pale complexion, pale and dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, headache with lightheadedness, floaters, anxiety, numbness or tingling in limbs, dry skin/hair/nails, irregular/light menses; Tongue: pale; Pulse: thin or choppy.  Chinese herbs used to treat symptoms of blood deficiency do so bynourishing and/or tonifying blood.  Some of these include:  Dang Gui: (Chinese Angelica root); Bai Shao (White Peony root); Long Yan Rou (Longan); Hong Zao/Da Zao (red/black dates); and Gou Qi Zi  (Chinese Wolfberry).

Foods Used For Blood Deficiency:
Most of the iron in our diet comes from meat sources such as beef, liver (yes, liver!), oysters, chicken, eggs, etc., but yes – you can also nourish blood with a non-meat diet that’s rich in iron. These are just some of the foods that are believed to help blood deficiency: asparagus, grapes, potatoes, royal jelly, yams, berries (raspberries, blackberries, etc), squash, carrots, kale, spinach, beets, even grains!  On the other hand, you need to avoid foods (in excess) that are cold, raw, damp or greasy (they damage the Spleen), as well as alcohol or drugs.    Foods that nourish & tonify blood (such as beef, lamb, carrots, etc.) are considered ‘warming’ so they go very well during the late autumn & winter seasons – hence why we gravitate so  much more towards stews and casseroles  around the winter holidays.  These warm, acrid & sweet flavors build up our Qi & Blood  – if you’re feeling chilled to the bone, how about a nice bowl of hot marrow broth?  Any of the warming methods (e.g. grilling, roasting, baking or simmering) work well as a way of preparing blood building dishes.  And, in between your acupuncture treatments, you can apply acupressure to the same points we would needle to stimulate “Blee & Chud” (aka Qi & Blood) boosting effects: UB 17, UB 20, LVR 8 & SP 6.

References:
Macciocia, Giovanni.  Foundations  of Chinese Medicine
Kaptchuk TJ. The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine.
Paul Pitchford.  Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
Jilin, Liu & Peck, Gordon. Chinese Dietary Therapy.
Ody, Penelope.   The Chinese Herbal Cookbook: Healing Foods from East and West.

My Tried & True Easy Crock Pot Roast to Nourish Blood

Ingredients:
1 3-pound boneless chuck roast
2 tsps seasoning salt
2 tsps black pepper
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped celery
1 large carrot cut into ½” pieces
4 small baby red potatoes, washed & cubed
¼ cup frozen green peas
12 small pearl onions or shallots
3 or 4 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
½ cup water (or, better yet:  red wine, extra oomph to boost that blood!)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Directions:
Sprinkle roast on all sides with seasoning salt & black pepper.    Put roast in deep dish with next 4 ingredients; cover & marinate overnight in refrigerator.  Next day, allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then heat vegetable oil in skillet.  Brown roast on all sides; drain oil but keep pan drippings (browning the meat makes the whole dish tastier and gives the pan juices an appetizing deep brown color). Sauté sliced onions & celery in pan drippings for 2 minutes.  Place roast in a crock pot, and top with all ingredients except bouillon cubes.  Dissolve bouillon cubes in ½ cup water (or red wine J ).  Pour over roast.  Cook on low setting for 8 hours.    Allow to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before slicing; better yet, shred roast & let it soak up all that loving juices of the gravy!

Spinach, Kale, Chard & Roasted Beets salad


Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 bunch Lacinto kale, triple-washed; center ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch squares
1 bunch Spinach (about 8 ozs), washed
1 bunch red chard, washed’ center ribs & stems removed; leaves cut into 1-inch squares
1/4 cup minced shallots/sliced red onions
3 medium beets (about 1 bunch), trimmed, washed & peeled; cut into small wedges
4 ounces feta/goat/bleu cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 Quail eggs, hard boiled (just as you would make boiled eggs), coarsely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries (Craisins) or Goji berries
¼  cup walnuts/pecans

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease shallow baking sheet with olive oil & arrange beets in 1 layer.  Roast for about 20 minutes or until fork tender then allow to cool.  Mix kale&  spinach together.  Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette & fold gently to combine. Top with roasted beet wedges.  Sprinkle with chopped shallots or red onions, cheese of choice, cranberries & nuts.  Cover and chill, at least 3 hours.

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Rascally Royal Raspberry Tiramisu

Tiramisu

1 (12 oz.) bag white chocolate pieces

3 pkg.  cream cheese, softened

2 pkg of Lady Fingers

2 pt. baskets fresh strawberries, stemmed, divided or other fresh berries

1 1/2 cups raspberries, rinsed and patted dry

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons Chambord or other raspberry-flavored liqueur or ruby port

1/2 cup Raspberry coulis

2 cups heavy cream

Raspberry Coulis

2 cups raspberries (about 12 ounces), rinsed

3/4 cup simple syrup

1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)

1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch

Simple Syrup

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

Raspberry Coulis

Bring the raspberries, syrup and lemon juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the cornstarch over 2 teaspoons cold water and stir to dissolve. Pour into the simmering raspberry mixture. Cook, stirring, occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Blend the mixture and then strain through a fine-mesh wire sieve into a medium bowl; discard the seeds. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Freeze any leftover coulis in a plastic container for up to one month.)

Simple Syrup

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours.

 

1. To make filling, melt white chocolate chips in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water. Stir until smooth.

2. In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in melted chips. Whip cream to form soft peaks. Gradually whisk into cream cheese mixture, set aside.

3. Line bottom of a 11 x 8 x 3 -inch pan with lady finger halves, cut sides in.. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup Chambord over the lady fingers and cover with half of the coulis. Cover the berries with half of cream filling, gently spreading it into a smooth layer of the remaining whipped cream. Now, spread the other half of the lady fingers on top of that layer, and repeat adding the coulis , adding the other 1/4 cup of Chambord, the other half of the berry mixture, and the other half of the cream filling. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 and 1/2 days.

RASPBERRIES

Neutral , sweet and sour         Organs: Liver and Kidney

Nourishes and cleans blood, regulate menstruation, treats anemia, treats excessive and frequent urination (esp at night) can be used to induce labor

**raspberry leaf**

Strengthen uterus, checks excessive menstrual flow, restrains bleeding generally, supports optimum hormonal patterns in pregnancy.

** *cream is made from cows’ milk

Neutral to cold, sweet, LU ST HT, earth

Support qi yin and blood, support LU,ST,HT and creates body fluids. Moistens intestines and skin detoxifies. Indication general qi and blood def, st yin def

***Cow milk cheese

Neutral to cool, sweet and sour.  ST, SP,LU, LV.  Wood and earth

Support and move qi, Nourish yin, laxative.  Indication yin xu, esp lung yin xu, dryness in LI

Cross-section of beauty.

Superfood Salad

I don’t get as excited as many people do about salads.   Sure, I enjoy them, but they’re usually nothing to write home about.  CB’s blood-boosting salad is definitely an exception.   Considering it’s a kale-based salad, that’s even more impressive! The kale and beets were expertly cut down to manageable sizes, the apples were crisp & sweet, and the toasted pumpkin seeds and salt brought it to a whole  ‘nother level.   I had more than my fair share of this salad, and I suggest you make this one ASAP!

 

TCM DOS:  Blood Deficiency

 

TCM SS- Numbness of limbs, pale complexion, anxiety, dry hair and skin, nervousness,  lassitude, tiredness, blurred or poor vision, spots in field of vision, thin hair, depression, poor sleep, amenorrhea or scanty menses, constipation, dizziness, headache, infertility, cold hands and feet, psoriasis, menstrual cramps.

Western Correlations- Anemia, amenorrhea, depression, low blood pressure, irregular menstruation, chronic fatigue syndrome, infertility, miscarriages.

Foods That Help- All meats especially pork, beets, cherries, eggplant, spinach, sweet potato, dates, grapes, lychee fruit, mulberry, raspberry, millet, wheat, corn, oats , rice, chestnut, black beans, cows milk, honey, molasses, green olives, mussels, oysters, spirulina.

Foods To Avoid- High fat animal diets, sweet foods, highly processed or refined foods, cold or frozen foods, alcohol, caffeine.

Helpful Cooking Methods- Grilling, frying, baking, searing, simmering in liquid and cooking with alcohol.

Other Tips- Due to the weak nature of Blood Deficient people one should focus on a balanced lifestyle. Regular eating and sleeping times, balancing activity with rest. Eat nourishing warm foods that support the Middle Jiao function. Strenuous exercise is not recommended due to the exhaustion of qi.

 

Northwest Salad

 

2 cups of packed Kale (or Chard), washed and de-stemmed

1/2 cup of grated carrot

1/2 cup of grated beet

1 apple grated with skin

2-3 tbs olive oil

1-2 tbs citrus juice (lemon)

2 tbs apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Use a food processor if available to chop kale into small pieces. You may hand chop kale into small pieces as well. Grate Carrot, Beet, Apple. Toast pumpkin seeds in a skillet over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until lightly brown and salt lightly.

Mix oil, citrus juice and apple cider vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.

Toss all ingredients and cover lightly with dressing.

 

Ingredient Benefits-

Kale- A super food that supplies the body with chlorophyll, calcium, iron and vitamin A.

Carrot- Its sweet flavor that benefits the middle jiao and spleen. Their alkaline nature cleanses acidic blood.

Beet- Strengthens the heart and purifies the blood. Used with carrots for hormone regulation.

Pumpkin seeds- Benefit the stomach, good source of zinc and Omega-3 fatty acid.

Apple- Produces body fluids, benefits low blood sugar and alleviates depression.

Lemon- Improves the absorption of minerals and cleanses blood.

 

Blood boosting, Southern-style

The quote of the day came from KH, who said “I’ll eat B’s collards, but I still won’t eat my mom’s!”  This week, BH made a delicious crockpot dish with Andouille sausage, beets, collards, and lentils.  The aim?  To build blood.  The result? Deliciousness.  I had never had beets prepared in such a slow-cooked way; while they lost a great deal of their rich color & intense flavor, their nutritious properties were retained in the broth of this dish, adding to the overall depth.   The spice was wonderful, the lentils an al dente delight, and the collards cooked to perfection.

As Doctors of Oriental Medicine, we are often too quick to recommend meat-based dishes for our blood deficient patients.  This is a wonderful dish in that it is still very nourishing even with the meat taken out; the lentil, beets, and collards all work toward building blood.

TCM DOS:  Blood deficiency

Western Correlations:  Anemia, fatigue, irregular or light menses, muscular weakness, pale gums and lower eyelids, dry hair/skin/nails

TCM S/S:  Fatigue, overall body soreness/weakness,  irregular or light menses, cold limbs or extremities, blurred vision, dry hair/skin/nails, poor memory, palpitations, pale complexion, itchy skin, dizziness

Tongue:  Pale to purple, thin, dry

Pulse:  Choppy, weak

Foods that help:  Dark leafy greens, animal proteins, wheat, oats, rice, chestnuts, black beans, lentils, cherries, beets, red grapes, raspberries, meat/marrow/bones, molasses, dates, figs

Foods to avoid:Salads, raw fruits and vegetables, ice cream, cold dairy products, oily foods, refined sugars, sweets

Helpful cooking methods:Salting as well as many of the warming cooking methods

Sausage, Collard & Beet boil

Old school crock-pot FTW!

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • 14 oz Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh collard greens, de-stemmed, sliced in ribbons
  • 1 raw beet, peeled
  • 16 oz lentils

Directions:

  • Bring chicken broth to a boil in 2 quart crock pot and add sliced Andouille sausage
  • Rinse, de-stem, and ribbon slice one bunch of collard greens and add to chicken broth and sausage stew once sausage is floating
  • Peel and cube one raw beet and add to soup at any time
  • Allow this mixture to stew in crock pot on high until beets and collard greens are tender, 1-2 hours
  • Add bag of lentils an let simmer for 20-30 minutes
  • Remove from heat and serve
  • Make 8-10 servings

Tempeh: Liver Blood Booster (and its sidekick, Cookies!)

Rounding out our week of the “Wrath of the Food Gods,” MI made a delicious meal for us–twice.  (The first go-round was sacrificed to the Pavement deities after it decided it wanted to ride on the hood of her car).  Luckily for us, second time was a charm and MI brought it a well-rounded assortment of Liver Blood boosting treats, including dessert!   We also got to try good old fashioned molasses (“on a spoon” style) which seemed to divide our class quite equally (I myself am in the “Yay, Molasses!” camp).  Her array of condiments proved deliciously well-suited and it was the first exposure to tempeh for many in the class.

TCM DOS: Liver Blood Deficiency

with Blood Stasis from Cold

Western Correlation:  Dysmenorrhea and/or Irregular periods with Pain

Tongue: thin body, pale to purple, dry

Pulse: thin, weak; could be wiry or thready

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS:

Scanty and Irregular menstrual periods (LV Blood Deficiency) with large dark clots and severe pain (Blood Stasis from Cold)

Floaters, blurred vision, dry eyes, dizziness (LV Blood Deficiency)

Pale, Sallow Complexion, lips, and nails; also dry and brittle hair, skin, and nails (LV Blood Deficiency)

Cold Lower Abdomen with or without palpable cysts, fibroids, or lumps (Blood Stasis from Cold)

FOODS THAT HELP THIS CONDITION:

1) Liver Blood Deficiency: Chloryphyll-rich foods, microalgae, spirulina, wheat grass, leafy greens and sprouts (the darker and more freshly picked the better–kale, swiss chard, spinach), foods rich in iron and B12 , and cooked  whole  grains:  rice,  oats,  roasted  barley, sweet  rice,  spelt,  millet, pumpkin,  sweet  potatoes,  squash,  carrots,  corn,  parsnips,  yams,  peas,  stewed fruit,  onions,  leeks,  garlic,  turnip,  mushrooms  including  oyster  &  shitake, spinach,  chard,  kale,  chinese  greens,  beets,  parsley, celery, lychee  fruit,  coconut, grapes (esp. raisins),  cherries, blackberries, huckleberries, mulberries, black legumes  in  general,  chick  peas,  black  beans,  kidney  beans,  fava  beans,  tempeh, chicken,  beef,  pork,  Chinese  black  boned  chicken,  quail,  goose,  rabbit,  frog, organic  liver,  pigeon,  eggs,  organic  bone  marrow, mackerel,  tuna,  anchovy,  perch,  eel,  catfish,  oysters,  mussels,  shark,  shrimp, prawns,  clams,  seaweeds, fresh  ginger, black  sesame  seeds, peanut,  molasses,  rice  syrup,  barley  malt,  dates,  figs, sugar  cane, wheat  grass,  miso,  vegemite,  marmite

Foods to Avoid for Liver Blood Deficiency: salads,  raw  fruits,  sprouts,  raw  vegetables, excess  amounts  of  tofu,  dairy  or  nut  butters  and  other  high  oil  foods, overly  sweet  foods,  refined  sugars,  high  doses  of  vitamin  C, stimulants like coffee, tobacco, and chocolate; cold foods  like  ice  cream  or  smoothies, iced  drinks  including  ice  water

2) Blood Stasis from Cold: turmeric,  basil,  nutmeg,  oregano,  rosemary,  white  pepper,  hawthorn  berries, shallots,  leeks,  chives,  garlic,  ginger,  taro  root,  eggplant,  mushrooms  especially wood  ear  mushrooms, aduki  beans,  chestnuts,  kidney  beans, crab,  jellyfish,  mussels,  clams,  sea  cucumber,  abalone, red  wine  (small  amounts),  kelp  and  other  seaweeds,  sugar  cane,  vinegar,  rose water

Foods to Avoid for Blood Stasis from Cold: same as for Liver Blood Deficiency

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Helpful Cooking Methods: Avoid Frying and Roasting, Light Steaming is best, Boiling is okay, but provides less nutrition

1) For Liver Blood Deficiency: In  general  it  is  best to  eat  foods that  are  lightly  cooked to  ensure that  nutrients are  preserved  and  are  more  readily  digested  and  absorbed.  General  dietary recommendations  to  prevent  deficiency  include  eating  high  quality  proteins, lightly  cooked  vegetables  and  chewing  meals  thoroughly. Meals  should  emphasize  leafy  green  vegetables,  roughly  30%  to  40  %  of  your  diet and  high  quality  protein  sources,  roughly  20% -  30%  of  you  diet.  The  balance  of the  diet  should  center  around  complex  carbohydrates,  like  whole  grains  and lightly  cooked  vegetables.

2) For Blood Stasis: meals  should  consist  largely  of  lightly  cooked  vegetables,  roughly  40%  to  60%  of your  diet. About  30%  of the  diet  should  be  comprised  of  complex  carbohydrates. Proteins  should  comprise  only  about  10%  of  the  diet,  with  a  focus  on  high  quality sources.  The  diet  should  also  include  plenty  of  fragrant  and  lightly  spiced dishes.  Highly  processed  foods  and  well  as  oily  and  fatty  foods  should  be  avoided.

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Tempeh to Keep the Tempo

Ingredients:

2  eight ounce packages of Organic Tempeh cut into 16 pieces each or more

1 T. Braggs Liquid Aminos

3-4 T. Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

2-3 T. Olive Oil

1 cubic cm Ginger Root grated

1/2 cup Organic Shitake Mushrooms cut long-ways into thin strips, no stem

1-2 cup Hot Water

1/2 of a Large White Onion chopped

3/4 cup frozen Organic Kale (massage first and chop up if using fresh)

1/2 cup fresh Organic Baby Spinach

1/4 of a head of Organic Red Cabbage chopped (loosely)

1/4 tsp. Garlic powder or 1 clove minced garlic

1/4 cup Toasted Black Sesame Seeds

Preparation:

1) Marinate Tempeh in Olive Oil, Braggs, Vinegar, Ginger and 1/4 c. Shitake Mushrooms Steeped in Hot Water for ~ 5 min. first and added (with the water) for 2 hours or more (overnight would be best)

2)  Pour Tempeh and Marinade in pan, add the Onion, and Sautee over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the Onion is soft, then add the Kale and Spinach.  Sautee for 5 more minutes until the Spinach and Kale are soft, but still vibrant.  Add the Cabbage, remaining mushrooms (not steeped) and garlic to taste, stir, and cover for 15-20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring 3 or 4 times.  Mix in Toasted Sesame Seeds, leaving some to garnish.

3) Serve immediately or store and let the flavors develop further.  Serve alone or with Sauer Kraut and Mustard of your choice, appropriate spices and seasonings.

This sauerkraut packed a delightful punch!

Spirulina, blackstrap molasses, and Bragg's sea kelp delight--the cornerstone accoutrement of anyone deficient in Liver Blood.

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Thrice the Benefit Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients: 

3/4 cup Vegan Butter

1/3 cup Organic Raw Sugar (can be replaced by honey or Stevia or try applesauce or bananas, etc.)

3/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar (contains molasses)

1 tsp Organic Vanilla

1/2 cup Almond Milk

1 cup Organic Oat Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Ginger Powder

1/4 tsp Cloves

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

3 cups Quick Cooking or Rolled Oatmeal

1/2 c. Organic Raisins

1/4 c. Organic Goji Berries

4-5 Large Organic Medjool Dates pitted and chopped

Preparation:

1) Cream together the Vegan Butter and Sugars until smooth. Add Organic Vanilla and Almond Milk and mix well.

2) Add Organic Oat Flour, Baking Soda and Spices until well mixed, then stir in Oats, Raisins, Goji Berries, and Dates.

3) Spoon 1 1/2 inch balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done– careful not to let them burn.

References:

Hackett, Jolinda.  “Spiced Vegan Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies.” http://vegetarian.about.com/od/desertrecipes/r/oatcrancookies.htm

Liu, Jilin.  Chinese Dietary Therapy. 1995.

Ni, Maoshing.  Tao of Nutrition.  1993.

Pitchford, Paul.  Healing with Whole Foods.  2003.

Saper, James. Traditional Chinese Dietary Therapy Factsheets. http://www.eastmountain.ca

Lamb Stew to boost Liver Blood

We all knew that Mercury was in retrograde; the planet of culinary delights must also be in retrograde this week!  Despite some challenges (technical difficulties in the way of an overzealous crockpot and very absorbent beans), LA delivered a tasty, blood-building meal for us today. This meal was carefully thought out and the ingredients hand selected from natural and organic purveyors.  The lamb was incredibly tender and just fell apart in your mouth–I know it set me on a full fledged lamb kick!

TCM DOS: Liver Blood Deficiency 

Western Correlation: Anemia, alopecia, glaucoma, gout, leukemia, scleroderma

TCM S/S: dizziness, pale lips, dull complexion, numbness or tingling of limbs, insomnia, blurred vision, dry eyes, vertigo, night blindness, eye floaters, dry hair and skin, scanty menstruation or amenorrhea, muscle weakness, and/or spasms, cramps, withered and brittle nails, depression feeling of aimlessness

Tongue: Pale, especially on the sides (orange in extreme cases), thin, slightly dry

Pulse: Choppy or fine

Recommended Foods: beets, celery, cucumber, grapes (dark colored), lemon/lime, raspberry, salt, tomato, vinegar, blackberry, chlorophyll, dang gui, mulberry, spirulina, turnip, watercress, corn, spinach, cherries, dates, lychee, avocado, millet, buckwheat, cornmeal, eats, rice, chestnuts, black beans, black sesame seeds, beef, chicken, pork, egg yolk, fish, honey, olives.

Lamb with Spinach and Artichokes

2-2 ½ pounds boneless lamb shoulder roast

19 ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained

19 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

3 cups fresh baby spinach

3 cups hot cooked orzo (6 oz. uncooked) (whole wheat- 100% organic)

Cooking Methods:

1. In a slow cooker stir together meat, beans, tomatoes, garlic, salt, and oregano.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. 3. Stir in drained artichoke hearts and spinach.

4. Serve lamb mixture over hot cooked orzo.

whole wheat orzo as a beautiful base!

Foods to Nourish Blood

When we speak about a “blood deficiency” (or “xue xu“) in Chinese Medicine , it oftentimes correlates with a clinical anemia.  In these cases, many practitioners guide their patients towards incorporating more meat in their diets.  Anemia is typically related to either a vitamin B12 or an iron deficiency, with animal flesh being a good source of both these micronutrients.  However, addressing a blood deficiency with the diet goes beyond supplementing with those two nutrients; it addresses the multiple organ systems in charge of creating, storing, and circulating the blood.

This week, S.V. has made a blood nourishing meal that is devoid of all meat.  The class chose to address blood deficiency in this meatless manner because it is very often our vegetarian or vegan patients who are also blood deficient.  It would be beneficial for every practitioner to have a way to address this imbalance that fits in with a vegetarian diet.   So, without further ado–building blood without meat!

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TCM pattern: Xue xu (blood deficiency)

Xue Xu is d/t:

1. an inadequate intake of nutrients

2. an inability of the body to absorb nutrients

3. blood loss through GI bleeding or excessive menstrual flow

4. chronic disease process

5. blood stasis preventing the production of new blood

S/s:

Dizziness, palpitations, nervousness, pale or sallow complexion, pale conjunctiva, lips & nails, insomnia, somnolence, lassitude, forgetfulness, tinnitus, SOB on exertion, thinness, spots in the vision field, unusual hair loss &/or premature graying & thinning of hair, dry skin & hair, fingernails that are flat or fragile, numbness in hands & feet, light menstrual flow, puffiness of the face, and edema of the lower limbs.

Tongue & Pulse vary according to TCM dx:

1. Qi & Blood Xu:  pale & swollen Tongue w/ thin coat; weak & thready Pulse

2. LV Yin & KD Yin Xu:  red Tongue w/ thin coat; thready, rapid, & forceless Pulse

3. SP Yang & KD Yang Xu:  pale Tongue; deep & thready Pulse

Chinese dietary therapy:

Foods to include would be tonics for the Blood & Qi since they usually occur simultaneously.  “Qi is the leader of Blood and Blood produces Qi.”

Not only is it important to include foods rich in iron, but also foods that contain adequate amounts of high quality protein, copper, vitamin C & B vitamins as these are needed for iron absorption.

Therapeutic foods include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouts, green foods and vegetables.

Some examples are blackstrap molasses, kale, avocado, black sesame seed, seaweed, cereal grasses, nettles, spirulina, spinach, lychee, apricot, blackberry, longan, cherries and raisins

To purify blood:  beets, celery, cucumber, grapes (dark colored), lemon/lime, raspberry, salt, tomato, vinegar, watercress

To tonify & build:  blackberry, chlorophyll, dang gui, grapes (dark colored), mulberry, raspberry, spirulina, turnip, watercress

For your xue building pleasure today, we will be enjoying:

~Freshly Juiced Beets, Carrots, Apple, Celery & Lemon

~Roasted Beets and Ginger Root Dice Topped w/ Toasted Honey-Glazed Walnuts & Black Sesame Seeds

~Gently Browned Garbanzo’s with Cumin Spice Blend

~Japonica, Spinach, Raisins and Carrot Dressed Lightly with Bragg’s Amino Acids

Juice recipe

carrot, beet, apple, celery, lemon juice

in that order of ingredients to preference

Roasted beets & ginger root dice topped w/ honey-glazed walnuts & black sesame seeds

roasted beets:

preheat oven to 350

scrub beets to remove dirt; cut to desired size whether sticks, chunks or rounds

lightly coat w/ toasted walnut oil & put into baking dish

add fresh dice of ginger root (peeled)

baking time will depend on the size of the cut; but check after 20 mins and adjust as needed

when done, top w/ toasted honey-glazed walnuts & black sesame seeds

Honey-glazed walnuts & black sesame seeds

place saute pan on burner and turn stove on to med heat

add small amt of toasted walnut oil (or oil of choice) and spread on bottom of pan

add walnuts; stir to coat w/ oil

lightly brown walnuts (keep them moving)

add black sesame seeds

add slow drizzle of small amt of honey & keep stirring

add small amt of brown sugar; keep stirring

add small amount of warm water to dissolve sugar & to coat walnuts

add small drizzle unsulfured blackstrap molasses

as all of these ingredients are being added, keep the walnuts moving in the pan to keep from burning

sprinkle w/ cinnamon, racked sea salt & crushed red pepper

Gently browned garbanzo’s w/ cumin spice blend

1 bag frozen organic garbanzo’s thawed

place saute pan on stove over med heat

add oil of choice to pan & spread on bottom of pan

add garbanzo’s & brown to desired color

sprinkle w/ cumin & touch of india spice blend

drizzle small amt of honey

finish w/ glaze of bragg’s amino acids

Japonica, spinach, raisins & carrots

cook japonica according to directions and set aside to cool

once cool add:

baby spinach leaves sliced into fine ribbons

carrot shreds

raisins

gently mix & add braggs amino acids and a drizzle of toasted hazelnut oil

BON APETIT!!

This meal was prepared mindfully using organic vegetables and spices (beets & parsley are local!)

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