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Better Sleep with these Foods


These 8 foods are rich in nutrients that have been shown to improve sleeping pattersn and they are also excellent for overall optimum health



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James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Chicken Bone Broth


This simple dish is probably one of the most nutritious and energy rich soups you will ever eat. I’m recommending that every house, should have a good old-fashioned reliable stock or broth in the kitchen. Choose only free-range organic meat, bones, vegetables and herbs.
This nutrient rich dish is the perfect boost for modern stress and the affects it can have on our bodies and minds. It will also nourish our constitutions and immune system providing us with that prevention against future ailments and disorders.


It’s also delicious and great tasting.


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Bone broth is crammed with nutritional powerhouses, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, essential minerals and gelatine. Take a look at the ingredients and discover that bone broth is simple and inexpensive to make. The cider vinegar used in this recipe helps to release more minerals from the bones.
The recipe below can be altered to suit whatever leftovers you have in the kitchen. Other broths can be made using whole, raw chicken.

To prepare this wholesome nutritious, chicken broth full of essential nutrients, I recommend a heavy-bottomed stock pot and a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. You can use kitchen leftovers and scraps, such as carrot peelings, onion ends, celery leaves and bits of leek, which may have been kept in a large plastic bag in the freezer.

Ingredients

  • 1 Roast Chicken Carcass leftover
  • Vegetable leftovers (onion trimmings, celery leaves, carrot peels, garlic etc)
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar

Instructions

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  • Pick the chicken carcass clean of useable meat and keep for another dish.
  • Add the chicken carcass, vegetable leftovers and bay leafs to the heavy-bottomed stock pot.
  • Pour filtered water over contents to cover.
  • Add cider vinegar.
  • Simmer for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 12, adding more water as needed or desired.
  • Skim any scum that rises to the top.
  • Strain solids from the broth through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  • Bottle and reserve the stock.
  • The broth should gel, but it is not necessary.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Nutritional Healing

Nature: Warming

Organ: Spleen and Kidney

Vital Substances: Qi, Blood and Essence

This warming dish Invigorates the Kidney, Strengthens DNA, Supports the Digestive System and Builds Blood. It is perfect in Autumn/Fall/Winter when we are susceptible to cold. Always serve hot and with hot food, but not spicy.


Drink every day for maximum benefits



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.
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Eating according to the Seasons


Balance your energy by eating in harmony with the Yin Yang of the season and this will have a massive effect on your health.

The ancient theory of Yin and Yang, tells us that your Qi, known as the essence of life flows through the body and that half of certain organs and meridians are considered Yin, while the other half are Yang. When Yin and Yang are balanced there is optimum health and vitality however when they are out of balance, disharmony caused he body to experience illness, sometimes vague symptoms, that allow you into work (but only just!) but you also may experience more serious disharmony or disease. We believe that nutritional or dietary choices play a hug part in achieving optimum health.

Each new season is a time of growth, rebirth and new beginnings, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) says that eating in accordance with the season will help you gain massive reap health benefits.

Lets look at how TCM advises us to eat according to the seasons.

Spring

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Traditional Chinese Medicine says that Spring is a time of renewal, growth and rebirth. The organs most influenced during this season are the Liver and the Gallbladder, meaning that you should eat a diet that supports these two organs during springtime.

The rational here, is that when the Liver functions effortlessly, physical and emotional activity throughout the body also runs smoothly, which lend itself to optimum health. The liver also is responsible for detoxification within the body, so incorporating foods that support this process is ideal.

Nutritional Advice for Spring (Liver and Gallbladder):

  • Leafy green vegetables like kale and chard
  • Bitter greens like dandelion, endives and parsley
  • Milk thistle tea for its cleansing properties
  • Sour foods like lemon, lime and grapefruit supports the liver’s naturally sour flavour
  • Radishes as they help to move Qi around the body
  • Sprouts like alfalfa, mung bean and sunflower make delicious, nutritious additions to every meal

Summer

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Traditional Chinese Medicine says that the summer, where we experience most heat during the year is the season of upmost Yang, and this can quickly lead to imbalances if not treated sensibly. Because of the hot, drying weather, the best foods for summer are cooling, sweet, hydrating and neutral.

Nutritional Advice for Summer (Heart and Small Intestine):

  • Neutral foods can help to counterbalance the heat, so things like rice, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and salmon can make healthy choices during summer
  • Hydrating foods like cucumber, strawberries, lettuce, celery, and pears really help to temper excess yang in the body and are especially good in dry heat
  • Sweet foods like sweet corn, carrots, sweet potatoes and cooked grains
  • Light broths and soups to keep portions smaller than during other seasons
  • Cooling foods like coconut, apples, tomatoes and chilli are great in hot, humid environments

Autumn

Traditional Chinese Medicine says that Autumn is a season of distinct transition from the hot Yang summer to Yin influenced winter. Warming, pungent foods are the best picks and methods like slow-cooking or braising make for delicious meals that will support your emotional and physical health and focus on the Lungs and Large Intestine which are associated with Autumn.

Nutritional Advice for Autumn (Lungs and Large Intestine):

  • Seasonal fruits and vegetables like pears, figs, pumpkin, apples and brussel sprouts
  • Onions, peppers and cabbage are great to incorporate during autumn or prepare and preserve for oncoming winter
  • Ginger, leeks, cinnamon, coriander, turnips, mushrooms, garlic and radishes will all help to nourish the lungs
  • Quinoa, rice and oats are the perfect grains for this transitional season

Winter

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Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that winter is associated with increased levels of Yin where rain, cold, snow and ice energy influence the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder. The TCM Kidneys are the root of our deepest constitution, when damaged can be very difficult to bring back into harmony.

So foods that have a warming nature, cooked foods are advised to nourish your Kidneys in Winter.

Nutritional Advice for Winter (Kidneys and Urinary Bladder):

  • Spices, spices, spices! Warming ones like cardamom, cinnamon and ginger will help to stimulate digestion
  • Black beans and lentils reinforce kidney energy
  • Ginger tea will nourish body and soul
  • Potatoes, pumpkin, Brussel sprouts, beets, parsnips and turnips are great for roasting or including in slow-cooked soups and stews
  • Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach and other collard greens

 

Have a look at these suggestions and remember to eat according to the seasons, according to local produce and don’t forget to always smile and enjoy the food that nature provides.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.
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Chinese Medicine and New Mums


Childbirth is a beautiful process that is probably one of the most empowering things a woman can ever do. From the first positive test, both baby and mum are introduced to a library full of well intentioned healthcare advice about drinking, smoking, eating, resting, exercise and stress management. Most mums engage with this major lifestyle change with passion and enthusiasm.

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What happens after childbirth is a similar but with slightly different zeal. Mum is exhausted and baby becomes a full time job. Even reading the plethora of magazines and books on the subject can sometimes become a chore for mum. New mums can be out of the maternity ward after only a few hours. This can leave the impression that childbirth is easy and now that baby is “out” the main activities of childbirth are finished. Mum should “take it easy” and look after her child. There is a distinct difference between this perception and Chinese culture.

Yue Zi (月子) – A Month of Postnatal Stillness

Chinese culture also takes childbirth very seriously but the emphasis is not only on baby but particularly on mum. They even have a term for it called “Yue Zi (月子)”. The translation is simply “The Month”, with a capital T and M. The Chinese particularly recognise that a pregnant mum has expended an abundance of “essential energy” called (Yuan Qi) ancestral energy, a deep foundational energy that is difficult to replenish.

Yue zi in China, is a month long period of confinement for mothers after a childbirth. Of course it makes sense to “take it easy” Right! but to “Zuo Yue Zi ” (Sitting The Month) is so much more than just taking it easy. Mothers will stay at home for the full month and not leave the house. Relatives will “live” in the house providing emotional and physical support and help out with cooking, cleaning, washing and even taking care of baby. One of my patients asked if this actually encouraged post natal depression.

Postnatal Depression

Zuo Yue Zi  is the preventative treatment to prevent post natal depression. In the ancient texts it is said that ” Zuo Yue Zi reduces back pain and poor spirit”. New mums are also prescribed specific Tuina (Chinese medical acupressure) or acupuncture protocols, as well as nutritional healing herbs and foods. One of the weird foods being “bird’s nest soup”. An excellent dish that’s recommended for new mums is Ginger Chicken. New mums are encouraged to eat temperature warm/hot foods to replenish essential energy to assist their body to recover after childbirth and they are discouraged from eating cold foods, which require extra energy to digest and absorb. Drinking herbal teas, such as fennel, which is traditionally used to improve lactation.

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A fundamental concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that Yin (阴) and Yang (阳) are the complementary forces of the universe and life that create an energy called Qi. When they are imbalanced, there is disharmony leading to a physical disorder or illness. Yin represents cooling, while Yang represents heating. An example of a well balanced Yin and Yang would be a regulated body temperature, neither too hot (as in hot flashes) nor too cold (as in cold hands and feet).

To restore balance, an excess of Yang (hot) Qi is balanced with cooling foods and herbs, while an excess of Yin (cool) Qi is balanced with warm food and herbs. Pregnancy is considered a warm condition and delivery causes a great loss of warmth due to bleeding. Consequently, during the Zuo Yue Zi period, Chinese women eat hot food and spices in order to restore balance to their inner energies. See below for a list of warming and cooling foods.

They are encouraged not to read for long periods, to preserve their eyesight. If they do read, it should be in a correct position with sufficient light. The most important is nothing will affect their rest. The temperature of their house should be balanced, neither too hot nor too cold.

In addition to this, these new mums are encouraged not to shower for the whole month. After childbirth, new mums are especially susceptible to colds, flu and diseases during this time. Some mums are discouraged from brushing their teeth, in case water contains unhealthy elements.

Young Chinese today are moving away from the tradition  “Zuo Yue Zi “, as they believe that they can be protected and “cured” with modern medicines and hospital treatments. Perhaps forgetting the first cardinal rule of health, wellbeing and fighting any disease, “Prevention” in other words “practicing behaviours that prevent us from getting sick in the first place”.


Some warming food and spices (Yang)

  • Asparagus
  • Black vinegar
  • Cardamom
  • Carp
  • Cashews
  • Chestnuts
  • Chicken
  • Chinese dates
  • Cinnamon
  • Dates
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Guavas
  • Herbal teas
  • Longans
  • Mandarin orange peels, dried
  • Oats, yin/yang
  • Olive oil, yin/yang
  • Onions
  • Pepper
  • Raspberries
  • Rice alcohol (for cooking)
  • Rosemary
  • Scallions
  • Sesame seed oil
  • Shrimps
  • Turkey
  • Warm water

Cooling food and drinks (Yin) to be avoided during lactation according to TCM

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Beansprouts from mung beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cold water
  • Cucumber
  • Fig
  • Green tea
  • Hops
  • Ice creams
  • Kangkong
  • Kiwi
  • Lettuce
  • Mulberry
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Pears
  • Persimmon
  • Pineapple
  • Pomelo
  • Spinach
  • Star fruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watermelon
  • Yogurt

Eating cool food (both in nature – Yin – and in temperature – cold) is supposed to cause colic and diarrhoea in breastfed newborns.

The cooking methods allowed are basically only two and that is steaming or lightly stir-frying foods, with minimal use of oil, salt, or soya sauce.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.
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Ginger Chicken to Strengthen the Body


This dish is traditionally prepared to strengthen the body and improve lactation, especially for new mums during the Chinese tradition “Zuo Yue Zi”  indicating the first month after giving birth. During this period, Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends eating warming food (Yang) because the body has lost a lot of Yang energy and blood during delivery. We would also recommend that mothers take a gentle yet powerful tonic remedy called Womans Precious which is based on a famous Chinese herbal formula.

This warming dish is also perfect in Autumn/Fall/Winter when we are susceptible to cold.

What you need:

  • vegetable oil
  • ginger cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • chicken breast cut into small pieces
  • soy sauce to taste
  • pepper to taste

How to make it:

  • Heat oil in a frying pan (wok).
  • When the oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and ginger strips. Cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly with a pair of chopsticks.
  • When the garlic and ginger become golden brown, add the chicken previously cut into thin pieces.
  • Cook stirring constantly until the chicken is golden.
  • Season with soy sauce to taste.
  • Serve with a bowl of jasmine rice per person.

Vegetarian Choice:

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You can also add carrot cut into strips and cook it together with the ginger stripes. The taste will result sweeter. Furthermore by stir-frying the carrots beta carotene will be preserved.

Caution:

Due to its anti-platelet properties, the use of ginger should be controlled in case of risk of haemorrhage, if you are taking anticoagulant drugs or if you experience blood coagulation disorders. Ask your doctor for more information.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.