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Hot on the heels of my last blog post  about juices and smoothies, today I suggest reducing the cold, raw foods in your diet and increasing the warming foods. It’s not a case of hibernating your juicer completely, but try to have a sensible balance of cold and warm, and as always, listen to your cells and what they are telling you.  

Sweet Chestnut Betchworth Golf Club Autumn 2011 (17)

Sweet Chestnuts – delicious when roasted

Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that eating too much cold and raw food can put out our digestive fire, which we need stoked up to help us digest our food as efficiently as possible. This is particularly important during the autumn and winter months when it’s decidedly colder and we need to turn up not just the thermostat on our living room wall, but our internal heating too. During summer I tend to up my raw intake, but continuing down this track once autumn kicks in always results in me feeling colder, my energy slumps and my digestion isn’t quite as perfect as I’d like. Juicing is relegated to an occasional treat rather than a daily habit, and morning green smoothies are accompanied by freshly stewed apples. A lot of raw-foodies argue that raw provides vitamins and minerals in abundance, but I suggest you aren’t going to absorb a lot of those if your digestion is on slow. Autumn, however, isn’t an excuse to tuck into lots of refined heavy foods. We can still eat mindfully and healthily. Soups and stews which have been cooking for an hour or two retain both goodness and heat which is then transferred to you. Steaming is a good way to prepare vegetables. If you want juices and salads, then have them in addition to something cooked. I often do a one-pot vegetable risotto (with rice or quinoa) and stir in chopped tomatoes, peppers and green leaves before serving. It’s my way of getting the best of both worlds whilst observing ancient Chinese wisdom.

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