Eat for the Season: Spring

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Time to get busy!

Almost a month into Spring and I’m finally buckling down to write about eating for this season. Well, that is the nature of this season. Spring is about picking up the reigns and getting busy. Bringing out all the dirty laundry, and letting it air out. It gets dirty before it gets clean. Well, it got dirty, people. In defense of my tardiness, I have an additional excuse: living in upstate New York and getting a light dusting of snow today–it’s hard to tell it’s Spring. This week in weather aside, Spring did peak it’s head out briefly. And the transition to this season has already happened.

3 months of going inwards in winter prepared us for a time of renewal and growth. In Chinese medicine, this is a time for going up and out, when wind stirs vigorously, and when heat is on the rise. This time relates to the liver and wood. It is very easy for heat and wind to go overboard, which is why we see a lot of seasonal allergies with itchy eyes, runny nose, and sore throats at this time. Continue reading

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Eat for the season: Winter

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Snowfall on a frozen Hudson River

We’re well past the winter solstice and the holidays, yet the 12 inches of snow outside my window prompted me to write about what exactly we should be eating in the winter.  Everything is dead.  There are no signs of fresh vegetation outside.  But, I can still get anything I want fresh from the grocery store, which can be confusing.  The holidays are a wonderful reminder of fall harvests and the types of foods available such as sweet potato, squash, cranberries, and nuts.  But when I go down the street to dine, the cafe serves me ice cold water, and I can choose from 5 different raw salads.  This is a big winter no-no.

In Chinese medicine, winter is about going inwards.  It is the most yin time of the year.  It relates to the kidneys and water.  When we look at nature, everything returns to the earth, remains a little more still, so that by spring, there is enough energy to regenerate.  It is a time for storage.  Continue reading