For many of us, food as medicine is a confusing and intimidating idea. But it starts with just one meal. Baby steps - remember the journey is the reward, not the destination.
The transition from summer to fall can sometimes be stressful. Getting kids back to school and focusing on work can add additional pressure. Good news, with fall comes good food. Comfort foods that can reduce stress and boost our immune systems.
Explore with us the benefits of maintaining balanced nutrition, finding fresh local food, and cooking with enjoyment.
John, Nancy, Maura, and Laragh
|Eat Fresh - Buy Local
|Find Local Farms and Markets
Finding local farms, events and farmer's markets is easier then you think. The Maine Department of Agriculture has an excellent website with easy to use location finder.
Want to participate in discussions on local food? Check out the Eat Local Foods website.
Interested in purchasing shares of food for the season, check out MOFGA CSA directory link.
|Sweet Food Cravings ?
|Traditional Chinese Medicine Interpretations
Chinese medicine has different explanations for cravings that consider personalities and taste likes/dislikes. Many emotions are directly related to the kind of food cravings a person may develop. For worry, stress and a sense of overwork coupled with the feeling that one is not "grounded" can often lead to craving sweets.
The Five Element Perspective
In Chinese treatment there is an ancient method of the five element perspective. The relationship of the five elements is the association with the season, emotion, taste and organ. The five basic elements/phases and corresponding tastes are:
1. Metal -Pungent
Sweet foods often can be divided into two groups 1) Sweet foods that are neutral and nourishing or warm and nourishing, these include meat, legumes, nuts, dairy products and starchy vegetables. 2) Sweet foods that are cooling, these include fruits, sugar, honey and other sweeteners. Potatoes, rice and apples are all considered to belong to the sweet flavor.
The earth type person tends to over-think a lot and has food cravings for sweets. But this works both ways. Adequate amount of sweet is good but over dose can injure the person. When the earth element is weakened the appetite decreases, digestion is affected and sweet cravings increase and the person starts getting symptoms of mental sluggishness and emotional stress and physical fatigue that. Unfortunately, the individual feels compelled to consume sweet food for it does provide a quick boost of energy then the cycle becomes deleterious. These cravings can be fulfilled with using cinnamon and other herbs though these herbs are not as sweet as sugar but they surely but they are naturally moderately sweet.
Autumn is the time of the Metal Element and light pungency in foods can be helpful to warm us against the upcoming chill. Again, be sure not over spice for it may open the exterior defenses and cause a sweat. Traditionally, this makes a person more susceptible to colds and flu. Wet skin against the cold wind is not a good combination.
In future newsletters I will explore other elements and their relationships with season, emotion and taste.
|My Grandma's Pumpkin Pie Recipe
|Fall's Perfect Comfort Food
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Original Recipe Yield 2 pies
|Strengthen Your Immune System
Eat foods rich in antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, E and lycopene), omega-3 fatty acids, and folate. Antioxidants fight and neutralize free radicals, which are molecules that damage cells and cause heart disease, cancer and premature aging. Omega-3 fatty acids (a polyunsaturated fat) have anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular-enhancing and immune-regulating properties. It is helpful in preventing and controlling high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, inflammatory and auto-immune disorders. Folate prevents age-related cognitive decline, damage to blood vessels and brain cells by lowering homocysteine levels. It also ensures DNA integrity (important as we age and when pregnant) and promotes healthy red blood cells. Excellent food sources for these nutrients are as follows.
|In The News
The Impact of Yoga Teachers on Society
By Paul Lerard - September 22nd, 2010 .
In the West, there was a time when practicing Yoga was kept secret. When I was a child, it was considered, a bit strange. During the 50's and 60's, Yoga practice was associated with being part of counter culture movements, such as living the life of beatniks or hippies. Interestingly, I was told by a school teacher that I would some day grow up to be a beatnik.
Well, time has passed and Yoga has come out of the closet in a giant wave. Yes, Yoga has gone Global. The world society, as a whole, has been affected positively by Yoga classes and Yoga teachers. Meditation, a component of a typical Yoga class, is a proven and valuable tool for mental health.
Let's look at some of the ways Yoga teachers, Yoga classes, and the many styles of Yoga have gently changed the world today. There is much more to Yoga than meets the eye, at first glance. In fact, there is a Yoga style for every need, purpose, and personality. Full article is here.
After reading this article I reflected on my own relationship with the practice of yoga itself and with teaching. Yoga is for everyone. The beauty in the practice is how it is meant to meet us exactly where we are, and continues to remind us that we have the tools within us to handle any situation that may arise in our lives. I love to teach yoga because I love to be able to hold the space for my students to experience yoga in their bodies, to feel their breath fully, to connect to their bodies inherent guiding system. I teach with the intention of being open to exactly what is.
The yoga practice can feel as if you're coming home to your body, coming home to a place that isn't about what you could or couldn't do yesterday or what you aspire to do or be tomorrow. The practice is about being present to what is happening in this present moment, and approaching this awareness without judgment.
|Jokes of the Month|
I got tired of looking at all those leaves in my yard, so
I got up off the couch and went into action.
I closed the curtains.