Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “deficiency”

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.

photo (1)

SP QI Xu Lunch



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


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


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


2 Beets with roots and leaves

4 cups of water

2 cups of Coconut Water


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


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.


Sweet & Savory Spleen Qi Rice

LF got the summer semester kicked off with a brilliant rice dish to get our spleens (and subsequently,  our brains!) rockin’ & rollin’.   A variation on one of her old stand-bys, this rice had a little bit of something to satisfy everyone.  Every bite seemed to hold another surprise–a walnut! a date! is that…could it be… fennel?!  Indeed it was.   Given the rich blend of spices, the word “Thanksgiving” came up more than once; while this dish certainly comforted and nourished like a Thanksgiving side dish,  it wasn’t too heavy or cloying like some sweet rice dishes tend to be.   Satisfying your spleen and your tastebuds–it’s a win-win.

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, Chronis 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.

Sweet and Savory Spleen Qi Rice

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hour


~2 Cups of Brown rice

~1 – 2 tsp of Himalayan salt (add to taste)

~1tbsp of Brown Sugar

~1tbs of Blackstrap Molasses

~1tsp of Cinnamon

~1/2 tsp of Cardamom

~1 inch piece of ginger minced

~1 Fennel bulb chopped

~1/2 cup of dates chopped

~1 cup of carrots chopped

~1/2 cup of walnuts chopped

~2 tbs of Coconut oil or olive oil


~Turn oven on to 375

~In a large pot add 4 cups of water to 2 cups of Rice and bring to a boil.

~Add 1 tsp of Himalayan salt and minced Ginger to rice

~Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 50min covered

~While rice is cooking place chopped Carrots and chopped Fennel on 2 separate baking sheets

~Add 1 tbs of Coconut oil to Carrots and 1 tbs to Fennel, coat evenly.

~Roast Carrots for 30 min or until tender

~Roast Fennel for 20 min or until tender

~When rice is cooked add Molasses, Brown sugar, Cinnamon, Cardamom, and mix well

~Add cooked Carrots, Fennel, Dates, and Walnuts to rice and mix well.

Note: This dish contains a variety of Spleen Qi nourishing foods such as rice, molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, carrots, fennel, and dates. The added walnuts will help to support the Yang energy of this food and reinforce Qi.

Spleen-booting rice served in an appropriately 5 Element colored bowl!

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


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)


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


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.


Tempeh to Keep the Tempo


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


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.


Thrice the Benefit Vegan Oatmeal Cookies


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


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.


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

Black bean soup for the kidney soul

 This week, IO prepared one of my personal favorites, black bean soup.  Who knew I was doing my kidneys such a favor when I seek out my obsession!  This recipe is simple, delectable, and can be made with just a few ingredients that most of us usually have in our pantries and refrigerators.  IO paired it with a yellow rice which made for a nice in-bowl combination!

 TCM DOS: Kidney yin deficiency

Western Dx: Low back pain

Tongue: Red, no coating, cracks

Pulse: Empty and rapid

Signs and Symptoms:

Dizziness, Poor memory, Dry mouth at night, Sore back, Dark-scanty urine, Vertigo,  Deafness, 5-palm heat, Ache in bones, Constipation, Tinnitus, Night sweating, Thirst, Nocturnal emissions

Foods that help this condition: wheat, oats, rice, millet, barley, eggs, dairy in moderate amounts, yogurt, tofu, tempeh, nuts & seeds, aduki beans, black beans, mung beans, black soy beans, kidney beans, black sesame seeds, pork, chicken, black boned chicken, duck, pigeon, eggs, organic bone marrow spanish mackerel, sardines, oysters, mussels, clams, cuttlefish, squid, perch, seaweeds, eel, bird’s nest soup, zucchini, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, string beans, beets, button mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, apples, banana, blueberries, black berries, peaches, mulberries, mango, coconut olive oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, kelp, spirulina

Foods to avoid in this condition: chilies, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, leeks, basil, cloves, wasabi coffee, vinegar, pickles, tea, lamb, shrimp, prawns, veal, game birds, citrus fruits, cigarettes, alcohol, recreational stimulants

Meals should consist largely of easily digested complex carbohydrates like grains and starchy root vegetables, roughly 40% of your diet. About 40% of the diet should be comprised of cooked vegetables. Proteins should comprise only 10 – 20% of the diet. The diet should also include plenty of fluids, especially in the form of soups, and avoid overly hot, spicy meals.

Black Bean Soup

kd yin xu black beans

Just glowing with yin boosting properties!


1 Pound Black beans

1 Large white onion

1 Large green pepper (remove seeds)

1 Teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste


Soak black beans overnight, then boil with the whole onion and green pepper until tender ( about one hour). Remove onion and green pepper. Add cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with white or yellow rice.

Beautiful black for the Water element, yummy yellow for the Earth!

Foods to Tonify Kidney Yin

S.T. tackled KD yin xu this week, and her dishes scored a homerun (so good that it deserves mixed sports metaphors!)   Simple, elegant, comforting, and secretly therapeutic–exactly what a good meal should be.    We started with a beautiful refreshing salad, continued to a warm and fortifying soup, and for dessert we had some wonderful goji berries covered in–wait for it–chocolate! (because we would expect nothing less from S.T.).   Nettle tea proved to be a rich & tasty beverage, and let’s not forget what might have been the biggest hit, the roasted pumpkin seeds.  These little guys packed a BIG flavor punch and had all of us singing their praises the entirety of the afternoon!   So, without further ado, S.T.’s Kidney boosting recipes!


 TCM Pattern:  Kidney Yin Deficiency

Western equivalent:    Aging –> Failing eyesight, hearing, tooth-loss, head hair loss; Weakness, frailness, aches & pains in bones & joints; Absent-mindedness, poor memory, dementia; Menopause/andropause; Apathy, exhaustion, fatigue; Chronic stress, anxiety; Congenital problems – poor growth & development; Excessive fear & insecurity; lack of will; Osteoporosis; Reproductive dysfunction
Signs & symptoms: dizziness, poor memory, dry mouth at night, sore (low) back & knees, dark, scanty urine, vertigo, deafness, 5-palm heat, ache in bones, constipation, tinnitus, night sweating, thirst, nocturnal emissions: Tongue: red, no coating/peeled, cracks; Pulse: empty, rapid
For Chinese Dietary Therapy, choose foods that are cooling, moistening, nourishing and enriching, and easy to digest. Eat smaller quantities frequently and regularly rather than large quantities irregularly. Get plenty of fluids, especially water. Avoid foods that are stimulating and overly hot and spicy, alcohol, recreational drugs.
Today’s menu:
Barley, Lentil & Vegetable Soup
Spinach-Pear Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt
Nettle Tea
Dark Chocolate coated Goji Berries

Barley, Lentil & Vegetable Soup

5 cups water
1/2 cup organic pearl barley, washed and drained
1/4 cup dry, green lentils
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup leeks, green and white part, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced, for garnish
Preparation: Place first three ingredients in a medium soup pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium-low and simmer 30 to 35 minutes. Add onion, celery and carrot. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add sea salt, cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Add the leeks, cover and simmer another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve garnished with parsley.
Spinach-Pear Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
6 ounces spinach
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp stone-ground mustard
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup shaved Parmigiano cheese

Preparation: Combine pear slices and spinach in a large bowl. Whisk together water and next 6 ingredients. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.                       
Skillet-Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt

½ cup freshly shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Preparation: Lightly coat shelled pumpkin seeds with olive oil. Place in warmed iron skillet, cover. Allow to warm and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Shake and stir seeds in skillet constantly as they are toasting to avoid burning. Brown to desired color. When they start popping, they are done.


And last but not least… goji berries for dessert! (original AND chocolate-covered ; )

Foods to help boost Spleen Qi

D.R. created our inaugural spread, and what a spread it was!  She outdid herself, creating a calming, therapeutic environment in which to eat this healing food.  She even used yellow utensils and plates (yellow being the color of the Spleen in Five Element Chinese Medicine) and used LED tealights and sounds of nature MP3 for ambiance!  She requested that we do a 2 minute meditation before eating, and then we all ate in silence for 12 minutes (chewing our food very carefully).  What an experience!   Here are the details of D.R.’s project below, in her own words::
~  ~  ~  ~

TCM Pattern: Spleen Qi Xu (Spleen Qi Deficiency)

  • Western Diagnosis/ Correlation:: Diarrhea, gastroenteritis, anemia, gastric/duodenal ulcer
  • Signs & Symptoms:: poor appetite, fatigue, sallow complexion, abdominal distention, loose stools
  • Pulse:: weak
  • Tongue:: pale, thin white coat, possibly swollen, teeth marks as condition worsens
  • For Dietary Therapy Choose:  Foods that are warm, neutral and sweet, chewed well in small to moderate amounts, or congees or soups.
  • Avoid: Raw foods, salads, salsa, milk, cheese, and excesses of fruit, juices, and sugar.
Today’s Menu:
  • Sweet potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Brown Sugar (small amount)
  •  Black beans with Leeks and Black Pepper
  •  White Beans with Carrots
  •  Yellow squash with Black Pepper
  •  Brown rice
Cooking Methods chosen:
  • Baking  supplies yang energy
  • Boiling/Simmering Prolonged boiling at several hours at medium/high temperature adds yang energy to yin foods although vegetarian stews can decrease the energetic process over time so warming spices can be adds to increase yang energy.
  • Frying with little oil high heat/short time (similar to woking)- supplies food with yang energy.


Sweet potatoes: clean poke holes in to vent,
                          Bake at 325 degrees x 1 hour,
                          Peel put in mixing bowl
                          Add dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar to taste
                          Mash to soft consistency adding water as needed until desired consistency
Black beans:  canned or dry-cook beans in their own juice add water as needed
                      2 medium leeks cleaned and cut to desired size
                      Black pepper to taste
                      Boil over med heat until soft, decrease heat to low and simmer 3-6 + hours
White beans:  canned or dry beans
                       Cook beans per instructions in their own juices
                       Carrots cut into ¼ inch pieces
                       Black pepper to taste
                       Boil over med/ high heat until soft, decrease heat to low and simmer 3-6 + hours; add vegetable broth if desired
Yellow squash:  clean cut into ¼ inch pieces,
                            Heat pan to high with small amount oil and spices red/black pepper, dash sea salt, fry quickly until slightly browned and soft turning frequently.

In Chinese Medicine it is recommended to eat foods in a relaxed atmosphere, chewing each bite at least 10- 15 times before swallowing.  Positive emotions generally promote good qi flow and during meals allow free flow of spleen qi to support smooth transportation for transformation to begin.  Negative emotions may block smooth digestive qi flow for spleen and stomach.

Of note in dietary therapy for spleen, any strengthening of blood also will supplement the spleen.

The classic texts recommend:

“When angry, it is easy to swallow food, but hard to digest it.  When sad, it is hard to swallow and digest food.  When experiencing strong emotions, it is advisable to delay eating until they have disappeared.  Foods should always be ingested at the proper time, this makes it easier to digest them.  Delaying eating and being able to digest food is better  than eating too soon and not being able to digest.  Digestive problems are accompanied by trouble, while good digestion frees a person from worry.  It is not advisable to eat when strong emotions are brewing.”

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