Tag Archives: Harvest Season Diet Tips

Dr. Dazey’s Immune-Boosting Stew

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Food is powerful. It not only gives us sustenance and energy to go about our days, but it also has healing powers that can help strengthen organs, fortify Qi energy, and even boost our immune system. When we enjoy foods that grow with the season, and eat the foods our bodies need (like warm foods such as stews in winter), we can make strides towards living a healthier life.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/4 lb (1 larg clump) maitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 lb oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large turnip, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, juice included
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 6 pieces astragalus root, sliced lengthwise for easy retrieval, or 1/2 cup in a simmering bag
  • 2 cups of kale, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and then add in the onion, mushrooms, and carrot. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften.
  2. Add in the garlic and saute for another minute or two.
  3. Add in the butternut squash, turnip and cabbage, as well as the salt and spices. Stir to mix it all up.
  4. Pour in the broth, tomatoes (juices and all), astragalus root and the thyme. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Add in the kale, stir and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. once the kale is fully wilted, the soup is ready.
  6. Discord the thyme sprigs and astragalus root before serving and add in a bit more salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Let cool slightly and then ENJOY!!

 

This recipe was found in Bastyr University’s Health Feature, Fall 2016. And at the following url: https://bastyr.edu/sites/default/files/images/insidebastyr_fall16.pdf

The Best and Worst – Thanksgiving Foods

Thanksgiving is a great meal. Friends and family come together to give thanks and celebrate the harvest season– and to overeat.

All of us know the feeling of eating too much, too heavy, too rich. When we should be enjoying our time with loved ones, we are uncomfortable. We exasperate our health conditions and catch a cold. We put on weight and feel lethargic.

I’m not going to tell you to make dramatic changes to your Thanksgiving meal. Usually that doesn’t work—and besides, it’s no fun.
Instead I suggest you just make small choices. Pick one food instead of the other. Make little positive choices and they’ll add up to a healthier, more enjoyable meal.

The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods
Before we begin, let’s set some ground rules. Obviously, everyone uses different recipes and buys different products. Nutritional value of Thanksgiving foods can vary widely. And everyone has different health concerns—from watching calories, to cutting cholesterol to boosting their immune system.

The “Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods” list is intended as a general guideline. Consider the overall nutritional value of each food—calories, fats, nutrients and additives. Which food moves you closest to your health goals?

Dark Meat vs. White Meat
This is the classic Thanksgiving debate. But for health, white meat has the advantage. For each 3oz serving, white meat has 50 fewer calories and 4g less fat than dark. And at Thanksgiving, you’re bound to eat more than 3oz.

Sweet Potatoes vs. Mashed Potatoes
Generally potatoes are a healthy food. I especially recommend sweet potatoes for fall and winter diets. But when you add Thanksgiving condiments to potatoes, they lose their nutritional standing. Gravy or butter makes mashed potatoes full of fat. And adding sugar or marshmallows to sweet potatoes makes them closer to dessert than a vegetable.

The best: Savory sweet potatoes. Bake diced sweet potatoes with a tiny bit of olive oil, garlic and rosemary for a delicious and nutritious side dish.

Clearly the worst: Mashed potatoes swimming in butter or gravy.

Homemade Gravy vs. Canned Gravy
Gravy is delicious—but bad for your health. Basically, gravy is fat.
One quarter cup of homemade gravy has 18g fat, most of which is saturated, and contains virtually no nutrients. On the other hand, canned gravy has less fat but it’s high in salts, sugar and preservatives.

The best: Both are equally bad.The best choice is to eat very small amounts (or none).

Brussel Sprouts vs. Collard Greens
This one is a trick question—they are both good. Skip the recipes with bacon fat; steam these up and fill your plate. They are good for you and they fill you up so you don’t overeat other foods.

The best: Tie for first place.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce vs. Canned Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are healthy and full of phytochemicals, which help protect against urinary tract infections, inflammation and cancer. Unfortunately, cranberry sauce is a different matter. Canned cranberry sauce can have high fructose corn syrup. You can leave the corn syrup out of homemade sauce, but many recipes call for lots of sugar.

The best: Homemade cranberry sauce.
Bonus choices: Reduce the sugar in the recipe or skip the cranberry sauce altogether and save your sugar for dessert.

Beer vs. Wine
The beer vs. wine debate is hotly contested, with each side claiming victory. Generally a serving of wine has fewer calories than beer and in some studies it is linked to cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol. On the other hand, a serving of beer generally has more nutrients and less alcohol than wine.

The best: You pick based on your health concerns. Are you watching calories or alcohol intake? In both cases, moderation is best.

Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Pie
Both apples and pumpkins are a healthy start, but they take a turn when they become pie. Pies have a lot of fat in the crust and sugar in the filling.

Which is healthier? Pumpkin pie weighs in with 95 fewer calories and 5g less fat than apple pie, mainly because it has only one crust and is topped with a small dollop of whipped cream instead of a large scoop of ice cream.

The best: Pumpkin pie. Bonus if you pass on the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream vs. Ice Cream
This is a tough comparison because there is a wide range of products in each category. From Cool Whip to homemade whipped cream, from “frozen dairy dessert” (read the label of cheap ice creams and you’ll see this description) to real ice cream—there is a wide range of ingredients.

Obviously, both have fats and sugars. But one big difference between the two is how they are served. Generally a scoop of ice cream on a piece of pie can be at least half a cup, while a dollop of whipped cream is closer to two tablespoons. A serving of whipped cream is simply smaller than a serving of ice cream.

In both cases, check the ingredient labels for pure natural ingredients. Homemade gives you more control of the ingredients but choose your recipes wisely. Whipping cream has less fat than heavy cream, but it’s the high fat content in the recipes that make it “good.”

The best: Whipping cream. Bonus if you stick to two tablespoons.

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes for a fun Thanksgiving feast. May you and your loved ones have safe travels and good times.

Harvest Season Diet Tips

Nature has a way of providing us with what we need, when we need it. That’s especially true when it comes to the foods that become available with each season. Autumn brings with it a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that nourish the body and support health and well-being. Being aware of seasonal foods and attuning your diet to your body’s needs is a great way to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

The harvest season is a time to prepare your body for the cold winter ahead. Your diet should shift toward richer, denser foods that will provide you with extra energy and warmth. Consider increasing your intake of protein, fats, and whole grains but be sure to keep up your exercise program, to control weight gain.

Nourishing your immune system is also very important at this time. Take advantage of dark green and golden-orange vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene to strengthen the body’s Wei Qi (immune system). These include carrots, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and many more.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it’s important to maintain the body’s balance during this season by adding sour foods such as sauerkraut, leeks, yogurt, and sour apples to your diet. Pungent foods such as garlic, turnips, and horseradish should also be added to your autumn diet, since they cleanse and protect the lungs.

It’s also important to moderate your caffeine use this season. As autumn settles in, you may notice yourself feeling a little more tired than usual and increasing your coffee intake to boost your energy. Before you lift that next cup, consider making a healthy change and switching from coffee to tea.

Tea has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including protecting against heart disease and some types of cancer, reducing inflammation and blood pressure, and even increasing bone density. Green and white teas contain especially high amounts of antioxidants, which protect against cellular damage.

These are just simple suggestions. Consult with your acupuncturist or healthcare provider reporting dietary changes you are considering.

harvest season

One Simple Summer Eating Tip

Healthy eating tips for the summer are a little tricky. Since the weather is warm, you need light, cooling foods.  Juicy peaches, sweet watermelons, tomatoes hot off the vine…  The right foods are easy to find.  One trip through your garden or a walk through a farmer’s market and you’ll have the perfect summer meal.

But since you’re outside exercising and working in the garden, you build up an appetite.  You work hard and play hard.  You crave calories to keep the fire burning.  Are cucumbers the first food you reach for after rototilling the garden?  Probably not.

Unfortunately, many times craving calories trumps craving fresh food.  You satisfy your appetite with a meal of tortilla chips and soda.  Or brats and beer.  Or hamburgers and ice cream.

And afterward you feel full, bloated and hot.

Fortunately there is a solution.  It is possible to eat well, have energy and avoid feeling bloated.

The trick is in the timing. With an easy tweak to your natural summer diet, you’ll feel fantastic.

simple summer eating tip

Summer Eating Tips

It should come as no surprise that I recommend eating lots of fruits and vegetables in the summer.  In fact, I recommend eating fruits and vegetables all year, but in the summer they are especially important.

Summer is a yang season and is associated with the fire element.  Fire governs the heart and small intestine.  When fire is balanced within the body, the heart governs and circulates the blood properly and the intestines properly digest food.  Emotionally you are balanced, sensitive and enthusiastic.  You feel good.  There are a few simple guidelines to keep
fire balanced.

  1. Focus on yin foods.  Yin foods are wet and cool.  Fruits and vegetables (especially green vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers and watercress) are yin.  For protein, eat fish or seafood instead of meat.  Smoothies and salads are yin and are excellent summer meals.
  2. Eat moderately.  Avoid huge meals.
  3. Eat bitter foods.  Bitter foods support the fire element.  Coffee, tea and chocolate (without sugar) are all bitter and moderate amounts of them are appropriate for summer health.  This is the season you can call your coffee a health food.  Asparagus, bitter greens like kale, arugula or escarole, celery and rhubarb are all good foods for the summer.

Eat Big in the Afternoon

If you focus on yin and bitter foods, your diet is cooling and light.  But what happens when you need more energy than a slice of watermelon provides? This is when the timing of your meals matters. If you need a heavier meal, eat it mid to late afternoon.  “Picnic time” is the best time to fuel up.  Avoid eating a big meal early or late in the day. A healthy summer eating plan starts with a breakfast of fruit, smoothies or yogurt.  Have a salad for lunch.  Eat a heavy meal later in the afternoon and end your day with more fruit.

By eating mostly fresh, light, wet foods and including a heavy meal only in the afternoon, you will help your fire burn bright but not out of control.  You’ll feel light, cool and energized.  Your heart, circulation and digestion will be strong.  You won’t feel bloated or full.

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses nutrition as a tool to maintain health and promote healing.  Eating a yin diet with your heavy meal in the late afternoon is good general advice, but your constitution may need a slightly different routine.  The proportion of yin food matters and varies from person to person.  To get the best summer eating tips, contact me and together we’ll make a plan that’s perfect for you.

one simple summer eating tip

Link

Gardening

Nature has a way of providing us with what we need, when we need it. That’s especially true when it comes to the foods that become available with each season. Autumn brings with it a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that nourish the body and support health and well-being. Being aware of seasonal foods and attuning your diet to your body’s needs is a great way to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

The harvest season is a time to prepare your body for the cold winter ahead. Your diet should shift toward richer, denser foods that will provide you with extra energy and warmth. Consider increasing your intake of protein, fats, and whole grains but be sure to keep up your exercise program, to control weight gain.

Nourishing your immune system is also very important at this time. Take advantage of dark green and golden-orange vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene to strengthen the body’s Wei Qi (immune system). These include carrots, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, and many more.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it’s important to maintain the body’s balance during this season by adding sour foods such as sauerkraut, leeks, yogurt, and sour apples to your diet. Pungent foods such as garlic, turnips, and horseradish should also be added to your autumn diet, since they cleanse and protect the lungs.

It’s also important to moderate your caffeine use this season. As autumn settles in, you may notice yourself feeling a little more tired than usual and increasing your coffee intake to boost your energy. Before you lift that next cup, consider making a healthy change and switching from coffee to tea.

Tea has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including protecting against heart disease and some types of cancer, reducing inflammation and blood pressure, and even increasing bone density. Green and white teas contain especially high amounts of antioxidants, which protect against cellular damage.

These are just simple suggestions. Consult with your acupuncturist or healthcare provider reporting dietary changes you are considering.