Choosing Your Produce Wisely

With warmer weather on its way, many of us are seeing a widening variety of produce at the grocery stores. It is so tempting to grab a container of strawberries or blueberries now that they are more available and less expensive. At the same time, many of us still ask, “Do I have to be buying organic produce all the time? Is it worth the price?”

The impact of glyphosate and pesticides on our planet, our bodies and our food system is a huge ongoing issue for consumers, hands down. But, on a practical level, what does this mean for our shopping habits? Because these additives to the farming process have left much of our food nutrient depleted, it is more important then ever that we consciously choose the plants we eat to be healthy and nutrient dense.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)is one of my favorite resources to see what vegetables and fruits are most effected by pesticides and antibiotics. They make an easy distinction between the “Dirty Dozen” foods that are most effected by these additives and the “Clean Fifteen” that are least effected and can be eaten relatively safely as either organic or conventional. Beyond produce, they are a wonderful way to find out about the safety of your water, skin care and body products and even the relative safety of common products from the grocery store shelf.

Not sure how to use the seasonal veggies and fruits you are finding? 101 Cookbooks is a great resources for recipes that are seasonally focused. The Golden Beet Hummus is a personal favorite.

Get cooking and enjoy those longer days!

 

Winter Diet to Support Your Health

We are smack in the middle of winter right now, with about 6 more weeks until spring officially arrives. The warmer, longer days may seem far off but it is a good time to think about choosing some supportive foods to help your immune system stay strong. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the immune system is known as “protective qi” and the stronger it is, the healthier we stay. Coming out of the winter with strong protective qi ensures that when spring time allergy season hits, our bodies will be much more ready to cope with it.

Below are some general guidelines on how Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends we eat during the winter:

  • Soups and stews – warm, easy to digest, soups and stews make it easy for our bodies to absorb nutrients.
  • Root vegetables – including onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips.
  • Fruits: Apples, cranberry, dates, Dried fruit, grapes, Kiwi, oranges, pears, pomegranate, persimmon, Tangerine
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, chard, ginger, garlic, kale, leeks, onions, parsnip, potatoes, rutebega, spinach, squash, sweet potato, turnip
  • Nuts and seeds: Almond, Brazil, cashew, filbert, macadamia, pecan, pignola. Pistachio, walnut, Flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Beans : adzuki, black, black eye, carob, garbanzo, Great Northern, kidney, lentil, lima, Navy, peanut, pink, red, soy, white
  • Grains: (cooked): amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, wild rice, rye, wheat
  • Miso paste and seaweeds- used to flavor or be the base of broths

Not sure how to use some of these items? Here are some of my favorite recipes to keep on hand, as you get through the winter months:

Magic Mineral Broth– Great for the beginning stages of a cold

Miso Salmon– Wonderful week night dinner

Root Vegetable Hash– Great with eggs in the morning

Roasted Nuts– Add the flavor of your choice. (I love rosemary)

Kitcheri– Great to warm the body and ease digestion

Stay healthy out there!

 

 

 

 

What Now?

Happy New Year! I hope 2018 has started off well for you.

January is historically an interesting month. In addition to the cold days that are typically low on sunshine, many of us are in a “post-holiday” slump. The social connection and the excitement of the holidays are past and the next few months hold few celebratory events. Many of us also had a few days off over these last few weeks and getting back to the routine of work and every day life can feel like a struggle. So, now what?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is suggested that we follow the seasons with our diet, exercise and social activity. Winter is seen as a time to spend more time at home, get to bed earlier and take some moments for self reflection. It can be seen as a time of hibernation, to restore the energy we have expended during the warmer months and longer days. So, January is a great time to catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to read, cook some warm, nourishing foods and maybe get to bed much earlier than normal. Maybe now would be a great time to try that yoga class you have been interested in, instead of hitting the gym for an intense workout. Remember that TCM sees this “introverted” time as a way to store up for the spring, when new growth and change typically occurs with the increase in energy many of us feel.

As always, supporting your immune system is key. IHD can always help you stay healthy with an acupuncture tune up or with our herbal support. Our favorite, Ultonic, is on sale right now in bottles and travel packs.

IHD Updates

We are also excited to introduce Melanie Benninger to IHD. Melanie is a certified Acupressurist. Read more here about her practice and how to schedule with her. This is a great option for people who are still unsure of the needles used in acupuncture or for those who are unable to be needled.

Last, as you know, Evolve Personal Wellness is a side project connect to IHD. You will be seeing Evolve newsletters in your email inbox. We hope that this information will be helpful to you, but please feel free to unsubscribe if you would rather not receive them in the future.

Here’s to a great 2018!