Monday, September 14, 2009

Staying Healthy in the Autumn Season

Changes in the seasons create big changes in the body. Extremes in temperature and humidity can really stress the body’s coping mechanisms, not only in detoxification but endocrine balance as well. This is the wisdom behind eating watermelon and cucumbers, raw foods, fruits and salads that cool us in the heat of the summer. In the winter we are attracted to soups, stews, foods that are oven baked. All of this tends to create more warming for the body.

With this in mind, we can maximize our personal ‘house-cleansing’ of primary elimination systems at these peak times of year. In the spring, the body is focused on cleansing the liver system, which includes the blood and intestines. In the fall the body is focused on flushing the kidneys and the whole genito-urinary system and cleaning the blood.

A simple way of looking at this is that in the spring the wood element is highlighted – hot and juicy (liver), and full of growth and expansion. In the fall the water element is highlighted – cold and damp (kidneys), and the body is conserving and contracting.

The foods we eat every day make a tremendous change in how effective these peak times are maximized. The quote “Let Food be your medicine” is certainly true.

Arame carrot ginger salad with peas
Arame is a sea vegetable which looks like black noodles. It comes in dry form, which softens when soaked in water, vinegar or broth. You will find this in your health food store or Asian market.

Soak 1 Cup of Arame in enough cool water/rice vinegar to cover until soft (1/2 hour)
Defrost 1 Cup of Green Peas under cold running water
Grate 3 large carrots
Chop 1 green onion or slice red onion in extra thin slices
In salad bowl, mix basic balsamic/oriental/white wine vinaigrette with herbamere
Grate ½ inch or less of ginger (omit if using oriental dressing)
Add carrots and mix with dressing
Add Arame and mix well
Taste to see if it needs more dressing
Add peas and toss lightly
To serve: top with Asian topping, fried noodles or Gomasio (toasted Sesame seeds)

Oriental Dressing
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup warm brown rice syrup or agave syrup
1 Tbs water
1 Tbs sesame or canola oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp grated ginger root
¼ tsp toasted sesame oil
A little hot stuff

Scandinavian Winter Salad
2 Cups Pickled Beets or Roast 4 large beets in oven 350F- 45 min.
3 large carrots grate in food processor
Peel & grate beets and carrots in food processor
Chop ½ Cup green onions
1 Cup chopped parsley
Mix in large salad bowl

Apple Cider Dressing
½ Cup light tasting oil (Organic Canola)
¼ Cup apple cider vinegar
Herbamere or sea salt
Grind 1 tsp Thyme and 1 tsp coriander seed

I had this salad many times as a teenager, while visiting my Finnish girlfriend. Her Mother made it with pickled herring cut in small bits. I omit this!) ('She cringes’) Root vegetables are warming for the body in the cool weather of fall and winter. Baking the beets in the oven to just tender-crisp, will add to their warming effect in the body.

*These salads get better when covered and marinated in the fridge for an hour or longer.

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