Ying Yang Xue

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

Saffron Lentil Rice with Chicken for Liver Qi Stagnation

My Recipe for Liver Qi Stagnation: Saffron Lentil Rice with Chicken

VS went above and beyond to create one of the best meals to date for the nutrition and diet therapy class at the East West College of Natural Medicine. This nourishing and calming recipe received accolades from all who had the good fortune to get a plate!

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Ingredients used:
White Rice
Lentil
Dill
Saffron
Dark meat chicken
Lemon Juice
Vinegar
Tomato Juice
Basil
Onion
Garlic
Turmeric
Salt
Pepper
Bon Appetit!

Liver Qi Stagnation is by far the most common Liver pattern and also one of the most common
patterns in general. It manifests clinically as distending pain the hypochondriac region, stuffiness
of the chest, sighing, epigastric and abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, sour
regurgitation, belching, borborygmi, diarrhea, feeling of being “wound up”, feeling of a lump in
.the throat, irregular periods, painful periods, distention of the breasts prior to periods, premenstrual tension and irritability, melancholy, depression and moodiness.
Foods to eliminate liver Qi
Stagnation
Eat less
Eliminate or reduce foods high in saturated fats such as: cream, cheese, eggs,
hydrogenated oils, margarine, processed foods and intoxicants.
Add to your diet moderately pungent foods such as: onions, mustard greens, watercress,
fennel, ginger, dill, turmeric, horseradish, mint, basil, marjoram, cumin, black pepper.
Avoid overly hot, spicy and greasy foods.
Sprouted grains, beans, and seeds, fresh vegetables and fruits eliminate stagnant Liver Qi.
Minimally processed sweeteners are best such as: stevia powder, barley malt, rice syrup,
date sugar and unrefined whole sugar cane.
Bitter and sour foods reduce excess in the Liver. These include apple cider and brown rice
vinegars, lemon, lime or grapefruit Other bitter foods are rye, romaine lettuce,
asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, alfalfa, radish leaves, dandelion root, milk thistle seeds
and chamomile flowers. Also celery, mung beans, seaweed, cucumber, tofu, millet and
plum.
Eat greens such as kale, swiss chard, broccoli rabbe, and dandelion greens. These are
good for the digestion, elimination and cleaning out the liver.

PEACH CONGEE FOR LIVER QI STAGNATION!!!

What do you get when you have student who works in the prepared foods section at Whole Foods… an awesome yummy snack! Well, that’s exactly what EH brought to us last Wednesday for our Nutrition and Diet Therapy class at the East West College of Natural Medicine. EH’s congee was an absolute treat after VS’s hearty and tasty main course of Saffron Lentil rice with Chicken (see next post). We ate like royalty today thanks to VS and EH!!!

Peach Congee for Liver Qi Stagnation

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Ingredients: 1 cup white rice (any variety will do)

1-2 peaches (or half bag of frozen chopped peaches)

1 Tablespoon honey (or as much as desired)

Directions: Put one cup of rice in crock pot. Cover with 5 cups of water. Cook on low setting overnight (6-12 hours). If using fresh peaches, boil a small pot of water, and once water is boiling, place peach into water for 30 seconds with a pair of tongs. Remove peach and peel off skin. Chop peaches into bite sized pieces, and keep in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, when ready to eat, put chopped peaches into the congee, and add honey. Add small amount of butter if desired.

This dish is ideal as a daily breakfast, dessert, or snack. The recipe can be doubled or tripled to make a large pot that can last for 3-4 days. I chose this simple and inexpensive recipe because it consists of ingredients that we are all familiar with, and it is as easy to prepare as pouring a bowl of cereal (but much more nourishing!). Those with liver qi stagnation are often already overworked and will not be compliant with following complicated dietary guidelines.

Rice is sweet in nature, and is very nourishing, especially when cooked into a congee. Peaches are sweet and sour, and are a gentle mover of qi. While the more pungent foods may move qi more forcefully, they run the risk of damaging yin when overused. Liver qi stagnation is often accompanied by heat signs, so peaches are a safer route when looking for a dish that can be eaten daily. (Also, most people don’t want pungent foods at breakfast!) Honey is neutral to slightly warming, and also moistens the intestines, which can be beneficial if constipation is manifesting as a side effect of qi stagnation. All of these ingredients also strengthen the spleen and are very easy to digest, which is important in cases of liver qi stagnation because digestion is usually impaired due to this condition.

Note: Blackstrap molasses can be used in place of honey in cases of accompanying blood deficiency, or if your tatsebuds prefer it!

TCM DOS:  Liver Qi Stagnation

Western Correlations:  Stress, emotional disorders, depression, PMS

TCM S/S:  hypochondriac pain, distention in chest and hypochondria, sighing, hiccups, belching, depression, irritability, easy to anger, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, abdominal distention, diarrhea, poor appetite, sour regurgitation, plum pit sensation in throat, painful periods, irregular periods

Tongue:   normal to slightly red on sides

Pulse:  wiry

Foods that Help:  beets, carrots, celery, potato, tomato, onion, lemon/lime, spinach, cherry, pineapple, mulberry, plum, raspberry, wheat, rye, spelt, pine nut, lima bean, pea, black sesame seed, pork, saltwater fish, crab, cow milk cheese, yogurt, goat and sheep milk cheese, anise seed, brown sugar, rice vinegar, wine, grape, lychee fruit

Foods to Avoid:  avoid excess alcohol, hot/spicy foods, raw foods, greasy foods, and cold/frozen foods

Helpful Cooking Methods:  steaming, boiling for shorter period, blanching, and cooking with alcohol


Smooooooooth Your Liver Qi!!!!!

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Welcome to Ri-Frin’s LR Qi Sir-Fry Bar!! Here you in charge. No angry, irritable, or frustration over long wait, small portions, or just not what you want.

LR Qi stagnation was chosen for me, and like everyone else’s DOS “choice”, mine was a perfect fit. (Thank you, Dr. Wald) Sources say that it is best to eat foods that are lightly cooked to ensure that nutrients are preserved and are more readily digested and absorbed. Meals should consist of lightly cooked vegetables (roughly 40-60% of your diet) About 30% of the diet should be comprised of complex carbohydrates. Proteins should comprise only about 10% of the diet and red meat should be avoided.

I have designed a meal where every single ingredient is a benefit to anyone who is challenged by LR Qi stagnation. Take as much or as little you like and I will personally prepare your dish before your very eyes! This is not a selfless act, however. Taking the time to prepare the ingredients before the meal and then later stirring the contents around in the wok (or electric skillet) so as to not let them burn and insure an even cooking temperature is a great way to get out of one ’s self for a spell and just concentrate on the task at hand…  A sort of meditation if you will.

Ingredients:

 

extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) garlic paste

boneless-skinless chicken cutlets ginger paste

center-cut pork tenderloins green onions

asparagus baby bok choy

carrots cabbage

leeks horseradish

noodles shitake mushrooms

snow peas soy sauce

water chestnuts white rice

 


TCM DOS:  Liver Qi Stagnation

Western Correlations:  Stress, emotional disorders, depression, PMS

TCM S/S:  hypochondriac pain, distention in chest and hypochondria, sighing, hiccups, belching, depression, irritability, easy to anger, nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, abdominal distention, diarrhea, poor appetite, sour regurgitation, plum pit sensation in throat, painful periods, irregular periods

Tongue:   normal to slightly red on sides

Pulse:  wiry

Foods that Help:  beets, carrots, celery, potato, tomato, onion, lemon/lime, spinach, cherry, pineapple, mulberry, plum, raspberry, wheat, rye, spelt, pine nut, lima bean, pea, black sesame seed, pork, saltwater fish, crab, cow milk cheese, yogurt, goat and sheep milk cheese, anise seed, brown sugar, rice vinegar, wine, grape, lychee fruit

Foods to Avoid:  avoid excess alcohol, hot/spicy foods, raw foods, greasy foods, and cold/frozen foods

Helpful Cooking Methods:  steaming, boiling for shorter period, blanching, and cooking with alcohol


 

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.

 

 

Spleen Qi Xu Lunch

JP got us all excited to nourish and tonify our collective spleens.  She whipped up an amazing dish with a wild rice mix, boiled chicken and a beet juice drink. This is the perfect lunch to wake up the Spleen and encourage its transforming and transporting function. It was delicious!

TCM DOS: Spleen Qi Deficiency

TCM SS: Poor Appetite, Abdominal distention (especially after meals), loose stools, fatigue and lassitude, sallow complexion, heaviness in the body, and mental fatigue. This condition is worse with raw cold foods and better with cooked warm foods.

Tongue: Pale with thick white coat, slightly swollen and scalloped

Pulse: Weak, Slippery (with dampness accumulation)

Western Correlations: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mal-absorption, Chronic Gastritis, Chronic Enteritis, Chronic Diarrhea, Ulcers.

Foods that Help: Oats, Rice, Congee’s, Mochi, Black Beans, Squash, Parsnip, Yams and Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Carrots (cooked), Beets, Fennel, Dates, Figs, Molasses, Brown Sugar (in moderation), Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom,Chicken, Turkey, Halibut, Tuna.

Foods to Avoid: Raw salads, Raw vegetables, Citrus fruits, ice cream, seaweeds, bananas, tofu, dairy.

Lifestyle: It is best to eat smaller portions, while eating slowly, and chewing food very well. Avoid big meals, rushing while eating, or eating while emotionally upset.

Helpful Cooking Methods:Boiling, Baking, Roasting, and frying will increase the yang energy of the food making it easier to digest.

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SP QI Xu Lunch

Rice

Ingredients:

1 lb Varied Wild Brown Rice

1 teaspoon Nutmeg

10 pieces of Da Zao-Chinese Date

Pinch of Black Pepper

1 oz of raw onions soaked in 3 cups of warm honey and water

Sprinkle of cinnamon after the rice cools down

 

PRE PREP
Soak 1 oz of raw onions in warm honey water overnight

 

Cooking Directions:

In a medium size pan heat 2 Cups of distilled water on medium heat and then add 1 cup of the water from the onion/honey that soaked overnight.  Cook rice for on low/med heat for 45-60 Minutes. In the last 10 minutes of cooking add the Da Zao.

Add Black pepper, nutmeg-stir after the rice has stopped steaming. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top and enjoy J

 

 

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

6 medium size sweet potatoes

3 tablespoons of honey

1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

 

Pre prep

Cut the Sweet potatoes and roll them around in a small amount of honey and black pepper. Cover and leave them at room temp over night.

 

Cooking Directions:

Bake in oven at 325 for 30 -45 minutes with ½ cup of the honey/onion water.

Add sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Stir in 1 TB of honey

Drink:Beet Juice

Ingredients:

2 Beets with roots and leaves

4 cups of water

2 cups of Coconut Water

Directions:

Make slice into the beet and add them to boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Let cool and add coconut water. Enjoy J

Boiled Chicken

Ingredients:

7-8 medium size Chicken breasts cut into small pieces

1 tablespoon of black strap molasses

1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup

Sprinkle of nutmeg and black pepper

1 slice of dried, sugar coated ginger

Cooking Directions:

Heat distilled water in a large pot on medium heat for 10 minutes with the sliced ginger. Add chicken pieces into the water and cook until chicken is done. Stir in the maple syrup and black strap molasses. Sprinkle the nutmeg and black pepper.

Enjoy J

 

Symptoms include lack of appetite, bloating, loose stool, and fatigue.

              P: Weak          T: pale, soft tongue with thin, white fur.

Western diagnoses: diarrhea, gastric or duodenal ulcers, anemia, or even chronic hepatitis.

Foods to eat

Cooked, warming foods such as squash, carrots, potatoes, yams, rutabagas, turnips, leeks, onions, grains, oats, butter, small amounts of chicken, turkey, mutton or beef, cooked peaches, cherries, strawberries, figs, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, custards, small amounts of honey, molasses, maple syrup, sugar, Millet, beans, pine nuts, figs, dates, cabbage, onions, and pumpkin. Food should be well chewed and eaten in moderate amounts.

 

Foods to avoid:

Salsa, citrus, too much salt, tofu, millet, buckwheat, milk, cheese, seaweed, and excess sugar.

Recommended foods for SP Qi Deficiency are foods that are easy to digest.  Only warming and nourishing foods should be eaten.  Cooked, warmed, slow-cooking foods are best for those who suffer from Spleen Qi deficiency.  Recipes like soups, broths, cooked vegetables, rice, oatmeal and small portions of meats.  Uncooked and raw foods should be avoided, as they are difficult for the body to digest.  Avoiding salads and raw vegetables will improve function of the spleen.  Over eating, fasting and eating while working should be avoided.

 

Black Bean and Black Rice Congee With Honey Glazed Walnuts for Kidney Yin Deficiency (xu)

Kidney Yin Xu Food Therapy

In five element theory, the color of the food correlates with the color of the five elements.  Black represents the color of water which applies to the Kidney. In Ancient Chinese, the whole grains are considered as the essence of the plants; consuming the essence of the whole grains will nourish the post heaven Jing. Kidney Yin deficient individuals should avoid diets that are spicy, hot, fried or high on sodium to prevent from further injury of the Yin. The ingredients of congee I choose are mostly in black color; they will have tendency to enter kidney channel. Since grain’s temperature is mostly neutral or cool; it’s a safe choice for Yin deficiency people.

The major ingredients of the congee are black rice, black beans  and black sesame seeds. The black rice was mentioned in “Ben Cao Gang Mu” as nourish Yin, tonify kidney, strengthen spleen, brighten eyes and invigorate blood. The black bean is sweet, neutral, goes to spleen and kidney channels, have actions of nourishing blood, calming the mind, tonifying kidney, nourishing Yin, brightening eyes, transform dampness, invigorate blood and clear heat. It is the best food therapy for Yin deficiency with empty heat. The black sesame seed is sweet and neutral, has the actions of nourishing and fortifying kidneys and liver, nourishing blood to extinguish wind, moistening and lubricating the intestines. Black sesame seeds are ideal for Yin deficiency with constipation. Go Qi Zi enters lung, liver and kidney, it tonifies liver and kidney, nourishes blood, Yin and moistens the lung.

The walnut is warm and sweet, enters lung, kidney and large intestines. It has actions of strengthening the back and knees, Warms the Lungs and Helps the Kidneys grasp Qi, Warms the Lungs and Helps the Kidneys grasp Qi. The combination of congee and walnuts provides good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fibers and omega 3 fatty acids.

Ingredients

Black rice
Black beans
Black sesame seeds
Go Qi Zi
Long Yan Rou (optional)
Mixed whole grain package contains brown
rice, barley, Yi Yi Ren, whole wheat,
buckwheat, purple Shan Yao, red lentil, black
bean, Qian Shi, oats.

Cooking Instructions

• Mix half cup of black rice, one cup of whole
grain mixes, half cup of black beans, a
quarter to half cup of black sesame seeds in
the slow cooker.

• Add 7 to 12 cups of water depends on the preferred thickness of the congee.!
• After the congee is done, stir in 1/4 cup Go Qi Zi or Long Yan Rou.!

Variations:
• KD tonic parfait – layer chilled congee with Greek yogurt, walnuts, raspberries or
blueberries.
• Traditional congee breakfast – added sea salt for flavor, sprinkle seaweed toppings,
Chinese pickles or Kimchi.

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TCM DOS: Kidney Yin deficiency

Western correlations: menopause, hyperthyroidism, aging

TCM s/s: dizziness, tinnitus, vertigo, poor memory, hardness of hearing, night sweats, dry mouth and throat at night, low backache, nocturnal emissions, constipation, scanty dark urine, lassitude

Tongue: pale red to red with no coat

Pulse: floating-empty, rapid

Beneficial foods:  wheat, oats, rice, millet, barley, eggs,  zucchini, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, string beans, beets, button mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, apples, banana, blueberries, black berries, peaches, mulberries, mango

Food to avoid:  chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, basil, cloves, coffee, alcohol

Cooking methods: steaming, water saute’, blanching and salting are recommended. Excess water with the cooking technique you choose is also useful.

 

 

2012: The Blog in Review

Thank you for a wonderful 2012 at Ying Yang Xue!   5,500 views from 78 different countries–wow!  May 2013 bring great health & delicious dishes to you & yours!

~~~~~~~

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Ducking Damp Heat

SC ended this semester with a bang–a damp heat clearing bang!  In fact, this final meal of the semester was parlayed into a baby shower for a classmate, so the festive air really did the meal justice. SC went all out, preparing duck (a dish she remembered fondly from her recent trip to China), a green salad, a fruit salad, and lima beans. I’m pretty sure I managed to eat about a pound of lima beans–I just couldn’t stop!  Everything was presented beautifully–our spleens assuredly gave this meal an A+ for Aesthetics (not to mention taste).

Pretty sure my body weight is now 13% lima beans.

Pretty sure my body weight is now 13% lima beans.

TCM DOS: Damp Heat

DAMP HEAT CONSTITUTIONS:

  • Persons with Damp Heat constitutions easily develop skin sores, and if they are young, acne.  Their face is often shiny and oily.  They have a dry mouth and there will be a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.  There is a tendency towards anger and irritability.  Often they feel fatigued and have a lack of energy.  They will be somewhat impatient and anxious.  They like eating oily, sweet and fried foods.  Their stools are usually dry.  There will be scanty urine that is more yellow in color.  If they get sick it is often associated with emotional upset or associated with the food that they have eaten.  Their pulse is slippery and fast and their tongue has a red body and a sticky yellow coat.

 USEFUL FOODS:

  • Majority of foods should be vegetables and foods that remove dampness and heat such as:  Adzuki beans, lima beans, mung beans, black beans, celery, carrots, winter squash, potatoes with skins, asparagus, mushrooms, corn, peas, amaranth, Chinese barley, day lily, bamboo shoots, wax gourd, white gourd, cucumber and duck
  • Lemon (diluted juice), cranberry juice, huckleberries, bananas, Chinese pears and watermelon.
  • Useful herbal teas:  Uvaursi, dandelion leaf, plantain leaf, flax seed, watermelon seed and pipsissewa (pipsissewa is good for chronic bladder infections).

FOODS TO AVOID:

  • Refined sugar and other concentrated sweeteners, meat, greasy, oily foods, too much starch, and overeating.

Damp Heat Draining Green Salad

green salad damp heat

Chopped Celery

5 Day Lily Bulbs chopped

Grated Carrots

Spinach (raw)

2 Radishes sliced

1 Cucumber

½ cup Mushrooms

Watercress

Handful of Grape Tomatoes

¼ cup Black Sesame Seeds

Toss all ingredients together. Use dressing of choice.

Damp Heat Draining Fruit Salad

Fact*: having fun drains damp faster.  (*this may or may not be true.)

Fact*: having fun drains damp faster. (*this may or may not be true.)

Fresh Pineapple    2 cups

Fresh Honeydew   2 cups

Fresh Cantaloupe   2 cups

Fresh Mandarin Oranges   2 cups

Fresh Pears   2 cups

Mix all fruit together after cubing. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

The teeny tiny forks served with the fruit salad MAY have changed my life.

The teeny tiny forks served with the fruit salad MAY have changed my life.

PEKING DUCK

damp heat peking duck

Beijing’s most famous dish, Peking Duck is traditionally served with Mandarin pancakes, and green onions for brushing on the hoisin sauce. Note: If you don’t live near a cool, windy place another option is to dry the duck in an unheated room with a fan blowing on it.

Prep Time: 10 hours, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 11 hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • One 5 to 6 pound duck
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 slice ginger
  • 1 scallion, cut into halves
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
  • Scallions for garnish

Preparation:

Clean duck. Wipe dry and tie string around neck.
Hang duck in cool, windy place 4 hours.
Fill large wok with water. Bring to boil. Add ginger, scallion, honey, vinegar, and sherry. Bring to boil. Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir constantly.
Place duck in large strainer above larger bowl. Scoop boiling mixture all over duck for about 10 minutes.
Hang duck again in cool, windy place for 6 hours until thoroughly dry.
Place duck breast side up on a greased rack in oven preheated to 350 degrees. Set a pan filled with 2 inches of water in bottom of oven.
(This is for drippings). Roast 30 minutes.
Turn duck and roast 30 minutes more. Turn breast side up again. Roast 10 minutes more.
Use sharp knife to cut off crispy skin. Serve meat and skin immediately on a prewarmed dish.
The duck is eaten hot with hoisin sauce rolled in Mandarin Crepes. Garnish with scallion flowerets.

peking duck scallions damp heat

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.

~~~~

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.

Take 2 Banana Puddings & Call me in the Morning

This week we addressed kidney yin deficiency, and AP really thought this one through.  If  your yin is taxed, one of the last things you want to do is stand in the kitchen and make a big deal out of meals.  It’s more of a”grab and go” mentality–and unfortunately, most convenience foods have the potential to drain the kidney yin even more.  Fortunately, AP created this quick, delicious, and most importantly, easy recipe to have on hand.  It’s a vegan “pudding” made with rich, nourishing ingredients, with enough optional ingredients to provide the cooling that most of our kidney yin deficient patients need.  This pudding can serve as dessert, snack, or even breakfast!

TCM DOS: Kidney Yin Deficiency

Kidney yin in Chinese Medicine is thought to be similar to the parasympathetic nervous system, to restore and regenerate. Too much multitasking and stress can deplete this valuable system. It is necessary to get plenty of rest and follow a healthy diet to help correct Kidney yin deficiency.  Lifestyle changes are a vital key in improving ones health.

Remove yourself from the drama of the day. Turn off the television. Walk away from the phone. Try to exercise more such as: nature walks, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, or yoga. Get in touch with what makes you happy or creative through art, reading or writing, etc.  Invest time in yourself! You will surely notice and appreciate the benefits.

To replenish kidney yin with the foods you eat, choose foods with a wide selection of amino acids, carotenes, flavonoids, minerals, vitamins and trace elements.Traditional Chinese medicine recommends foods that are moistening and mildly cooling. Drink plenty of water.

Click here for other lifestyle tips for maintaining KD yin!

Dairy Free Banana Pudding

Oh yeah. This pudding will make you happy, whether you like it or not!

  • 3 large ripe organic bananas
  • 1c vanilla almond milk
  • ½ tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c pitted dates
  • 2 tbs chia seeds soaked 4 tbs water/ 10 min until gelatinous
  • 3tbs raw cashew butter

Place all in blender until thick and creamy. Pour into bowl, refrigerate to form up to 2 hours. Serve with fresh berries: Raspberries benefit the Kidney channel.

Garnish with a sprig of chocolate mint–also cooling.  Enjoy!

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