Hello off-white readers!
Did you know that foods can helps us balance out the other energies of our lives. Of course you did, you are all savvy, aware people. But in case any of you forgot (like I do), read ahead.
I love the Traditional Chinese Medicine model of the 5 elements to look at how lifestyle creates balance. We have the following elements to play with in designing our personal wellness plan (PS: this is by no means a comprehensive view of the 5 elements, so seek out more info if you are so inclined):
Water – flow, dreams, winter, sleep, our “big dream” in life, fears, kidneys
Wood – our “get up and go”, spring, upward bound, liver, ‘sergent’-like behaviors, awakening
Fire – charisma, social connections, inspiration, passion, summer, heart, anger
Earth – connection to earth, mother energy, compassion, “do I have what it takes”, getting grounded, warm, stomach/spleen/pancreas
Metal – completion, inward focus, constriction, large intestine and lungs
When I am feeling really out of balance, it is usually my liver that is whacked out. Not really my “physical” liver, but the energy of the liver. I often laugh at my “angry liver chi” because it makes me a tyrant that can’t stop working. The liver, when imbalanced, is like the slave-driving boss who has no compassion or heart and works itself and others into burn out……..yep, that would explain me. It’s also a very controlling (I want my way) kind of energy. Every time I have any kind of energy/Eastern -thought minded work done on me its always about balancing my liver. that dang little element very easily works its way into a stress-induced kunundrm in my life.
The remedies: Yoga, nature and grounding foods, laughing, and letting things go (which means they may all fall apart around me and I have to just let it happen). I need something to unwind the poor sergent so he can rest up, feel connected, be inspired, and ready to bring a spring like energy to the next day.
Root vegetable and slightly sweet foods are one way to augment the Earth element, which gets starved when the Liver is on a tyraid (Sp?). With our world being what it is, I would imagine many of us are experiencing fear and stress.
See below for a recipe for a moroccon inspired root veggie dish, that when consumed in a loving way ina peaceful environment, might just do the trick! Enjoy:
tagine root vegetables
If you don’t have a tagine, you can simply cook this in a covered pyrex dish.
Pre-set overn to 350 if using a glass dish, or 375 for ceramic/metal
1 Butternut squash, sliced into 1″ thick discs at the long end, adn 2″ cubes at the round end
1 sweet potato, sliced into 1″ discs
1/4 cup water
2 sweet onions, chopped
1/2 cup dried raisins/cherries or a mix of both
1/2 cup pistacios and almonds, mixed and finely chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tbsp EVOO
a few pats of butter, melted or warmed (for topping the squash at serving)
salt, to taste
Once the oven is pre-heated and the squash is chopped, place the squash in the baking dish or tagine with the water on the bottom. Make sure the dish is covered. Cook for 40-50 minutes, or until the squashes are slightly soft but not mushy. You may peel the discs before serving (easier than peeling raw).
Meanwhile, in a large, non-reactive skillet, cook the following:
sautee the onions with the oil and salt for 3-5 minutes
add the finely chopped nuts and cook on med heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly
add the raisins and spices, cooking for another 3-4 minutes, stirring the mixture well. Keep warm until serving.
When the squash is done, place a few discs on each person’s plate. Drizzle with 1 tsp warm butter each disc and top with the onion/dried fruit/nut mixture. DELISH!!!!
Enjoy and may peace find us all, in our bodies and in our minds!