Every January many of us resolve to make changes to better our health. One of the most common of these goals is to eat right in order to lose some extra weight. Sadly, only about 8% of us actually manage to achieve this goal long-term. There are a few ideas of proper diet in Chinese Medicine that can help many more make this particular goal a reality.
In Western culture, we use lots of salads, raw veggies and cold smoothies to cut calories, increase fiber intake and hopefully, shed some pounds. While these foods are all very nutritious, their raw state and often “cold” quality can cause digestive function strain that, in the long run, will hurt rather than help attaining an appropriate body weight by disrupting fluid metabolism and making the body collect unwanted fluids.
When it’s cold outside, we should be putting warm foods inside to support the natural temperature of our digestive process. It’s best to choose foods that would have been available at this time of year before the invention of refrigeration, freezing and long-distance shipping. This means we should be eating more things like root vegetable (beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, onions), fermented or pickled foods (sauerkraut, pickles), healthy grains (rice, oats, quinoa or wheat if you tolerate it), legumes (beans and peas), and lean organic meats, fish an poultry. Warm the food up! It’s cold outside, and your insides work best when warm. Lightly saute, stew, steam, or roast meals. Soups are awesome in the winter. Try some new spices like ginger, curries or chilis. Experiment with a steamer, slow cooker, or pressure cooker.
By eating appropriate, fresh, freshly prepared foods we strengthen and protect the digestive system in the body. This will reward us with less cravings, better digestive health, a more even metabolism, less puffiness and fluid buildup, and long-term healthier weight and energy regulation. By thinking long-term for our bodies we set ourselves up for lasting success and good health into the new year and beyond.