Ying Yang Xue

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

Archive for the tag “xu”

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

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.

 

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

Ingredients

~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

Directions

~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!

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.


Comments:
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!

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

 
Recipes
 
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.

Recipes::

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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