Dear Friends,

Welcome to the new web home of my Clinic Innate Radiance. I will communicate with from time to time on healing tips, advice on food, and on topics which interest you.

Today, food is very present on my mind as we are entering new seasons that affect our mind and body differently than the short summer we had:  we have entered the late long summer (with dampness present and humidity) and fall (more dry and cool). The weather may increase some joint pains if you are susceptible to cold damp weather, it may make us feel with low energy, or invite cold and flus. The following food may help you to enjoy the season better and prevent aches and pains.

As with any general information, these suggestions are made for the season in general. According to energetic Chinese medicine, everyone has her or his own constitution and imbalances caused by stress, illness or health conditions. Each one will benefit from different food and lifestyle to maintain a balance. In many cases, it is not sufficient to eat the food growing in season and from our region and climate. Please ask your acupuncturist, or East-Asian Medicine practitioner, as we are now called in Washington, for more information relevant to  your constitution and condition.

With the late long summer (humid, some warmth), damp draining food is good: yi yi ren (pearl bearly), adzuki beans, corn, cucumber. It is also time to reduce damp producing food such as cold, sweet (sugary) or oily and greasy food.

When the mornings are cold and damp, ginger tea is good to sip.  Dry ginger tea will help with low energy and feeling cold. Tea made of fresh ginger (simmered for 20 minutes) will help to fight cold, sooth the digestion and may also help to warm up. It is best to keep feet warm and legs covered , especially if your feet cool easily, as dampness invades our body from the feet up.

When the weather turns colder and drier, fresh ginger tea may help to keep colds at bay. When cooking, add food that moistens the lung such as pear, daikon radish, white wood era (mushroom), and food that tonifies digestion and immunity (Chinese medicine “Spleen”); sweet, starchy and root vegetables which we also find in our present harvest: yam, carrot, potato, squash.

Eating raw vegetables may be more appropriate in the summer. To cook them now allows for nutrients to break down better and be easier absorbed. Someone with a weaker constitution must tap in their reserve of energy when eating raw food in order to “cook” it internally and this may be depleting.  Fall is a great time to plan light casseroles or even soups with vegetables of the local harvest to support us with the change of season: squash, tomatoes, kale, whole grains and legumes, with leeks and onions, maybe a pinch of fresh ginger. Our climate in the Pacific Northwest is not as dry as the East coast, for example. it is good to mix damp draining food through the season and even winter. Who said winter? Oups, wait when this time arrives.

If  we can enjoy a few more days of drier and warm weather, lets eat again late summer vegetables in salads with cucumber and ripe tomatoes. Enjoy a good transition of seasons!

Natalie-Pascale Boisseau, LAc, EAMP, LMP