Ying Yang Xue

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

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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!


Food School project 4.jpg

Food School Project 2.jpg

Ingredients used:
White Rice
Dark meat chicken
Lemon Juice
Tomato Juice
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
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
Eat greens such as kale, swiss chard, broccoli rabbe, and dandelion greens. These are
good for the digestion, elimination and cleaning out the liver.

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.

Sweet as Sweet Potato Pie

A few weeks ago, EN primed our Spleens for holiday fare (yes, spleens like the holidays, too!).  She made a sweet potato pie that would be at home on any holiday table.    Are we advocating eating pie as health food?  Unfortunately, no.  However, we know as practitioners that we have to meet our patients where they are.   If the choice is between a chocolate mousse cake or a pie that leans heavily on antioxidant and nutrient-rich sweet potatoes, we’re definitely going with the latter!   It doesn’t always have to be all or nothing with diet; some occasions (especially this season) will call for desserts, and you might as well use the desserts to your body’s advantage!

TCM DOS: Spleen Qi deficiency

Manifestations: poor appetite, emaciation, obesity, abdominal distension after eating, fatigue, lassitude, sallow complexion, weakness of limbs, loose stools, nausea, stuffiness of chest and epigastrium, feelings of heaviness.

Tongue: pale or normal colored, swollen, scalloped sides

Pulse: Weak, soft or thready

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.

Recommendations: Millet, Beans, Pine nuts, Figs, Dates, Squash, Carrots, Cabbage, cooked vegetables, cooked grains, leeks, oats, onion, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams, rice, dried fruits, cherries, peaches, strawberries, anchovies, chicken, turkey, beef, spices, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, barley, malt, maple syrup


The Spleen’s Special Sweet Potato Pie

4 ounces butter, softened

2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes

2 cups sugar

1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs, beaten

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

2 prepared pie shells, unbaked


Mix butter, potatoes, sugar and evaporated milk until well blended.  Add vanilla, eggs and cinnamon; mix well. Pour into the prepared pie shells. Bake in 350 degree oven for an hour, until set. Makes 2 pies.


Curry favor with your Spleen

This week gave our spleens a chance to recover from midterm exams in a most delicious fashion.  B. drew upon his experience at Thai restaurants and made us his version of an “Emerald” curry.   He paired this vegan coconut milk-based dish with the most delightfully aromatic rice you can imagine.   It was so good that half of us stayed after class to eat more!

TCM DOS: Spleen Qi deficiency

TCM Diagnosis: Spleen Qi deficiency

Western Diagnosis: Gastroenteritis, Indigestion, Chronic Diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome

C/C: Digestive problems: Abdominal fullness and epigastric Pn after meals; Abdominal bloating in between meals; frequent loose stools.

S/S: Diminished appetite, sallow complexion, bland taste in mouth, fatigue, lassitude, borborygmus, BM’s 3-4x/day, loose, sometimes watery. Occasional intestinal cramping on evacuation, tenesmus. Feeling of general heaviness. Symptoms worse after eating fresh fruits or vegetables. Symptoms worse during menses and week after menses.Symptoms improved with use of hot water bottle on abdomen, Pepto-Bismol.

Tongue: Pale body, slightly swollen, scalloped, thick white coat

Pulse: Deep, moderate, slippery

Treatment Principles: Tonify Spleen, transform damp

Foods and lifestyle that Tonify Spleen Qi: Sweet flavors with neutral to warm temperatures. Cooked, smaller portions eaten on a regular schedule. At least one warm meal per day. Grains, poultry, vegetables and certain fruits strengthen our middle burner.

Foods and lifestyle that injure Spleen Qi: Cold foods, especially iced drinks, frozen foods, ice cream, raw foods, cucumbers, watermelons, citrus, pineapples. Irregular eating, skipping meals, eating too late or too large a meal, eating while emotionally upset. Extended periods of mental activity can also weaken the Spleen.

Cooking methods that tonify Spleen Qi: Warming techniques like baking, frying, roasting, boiling and simmering increase the yang energy in foods, make the food easier to digest, balance the nature of cooling foods like vegetables, and strengthen the middle burner.

Curried Vegetables with Cardamom Rice

(makes approx 8 servings)
16 oz organic baby carrots, sliced
8 oz snow peas, sliced
(8) organic small red potatoes, quartered
(1/2) white onion, sliced
(1/2) head of cauliflower, cut into medium florets
(1) 8 oz can water chestnuts
(1) 8 oz can bamboo shoots
16 oz frozen petite green peas
(3) 14 oz cans of coconut milk
3 cups water
2 oz fresh Thai basil, chopped
2 tbsp dried Thai basil, chopped
2 oz fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp green curry paste
2 tbsp red chili oil
2 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
12 white cardamon buds, crushed
1 piece of cinnamon bark
1 cup white rice (before cooking)
Cooking Directions:
Rice: Place rice, cardamom, cinnamon bark and appropriate amount of water in
steamer and cook for 35 minutes.
Vegetables: Combine coconut milk, water, curry paste, onion, ginger, carrots, potatoes,
and chili oil in large sauce pan. Place on medium heat, bring to simmer for 10 minutes.
Add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, cauliflower, snow peas and dried seasonings.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in parsley, basil, and green peas and lower heat,
cover and simmer for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes and
serve over steamed rice.

Sweetness of coconut milk and brown sugar combined with warming spices (chili oil,
black pepper, cumin, curry) energizes middle burner. Ginger harmonizes middle, xforms
damp. Simmering warms the cool nature of the vegetables. Carrots, peas, and potatoes
strengthen Spleen. Aromatic spices move qi, invigorate spleen. Steamed rice
harmonizes Stomach, strengthens Spleen, stops diarrhea.

Requisite action shot!

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