Recipe of The Month - November 2011
"The kidney qi rules the wintertime. Within the kidneys lies the "essence" (some of you have heard me call this your pilot light or life force...it's constant and full in a healthy body). The kidneys energetically govern all that is secluded, dormant, and hoarded up." A Chinese folktale, from the book A Spoonful of Ginger by Nina Simonds.
The kidneys control our cycle of life. Each month when our body prepares the egg to become fertilized the kidney qi facilitates that action. If it does not, the kidney sends qi up to the liver and heart to ignite menstruation. If the kidney qi is lacking due to a prolonged unhealthy lifestyle and/or the liver qi is stagnant a wide range of symptoms can rear their ugly head, and menstrual cramps is one of them. Here is a wonderful soup to build up your kidney qi and build up your liver blood.
Chinese Cinnamon Barley Soup
This soup is perfect for PMS in the winter time! The moment your fatigue and menstrual cramps set in, whip up a batch of this soup. Wouldn't hurt to take a brisk walk in the cold weather all bundled up while the soup is simmering. It makes the wait so much more worth it!
- 8 whole scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1.5inch sections, and smashed lightly with the flat side of a cleaver or knife
- 8 cloves of garlic, and 8 fresh slices of ginger smashed lightly with a flat side of the knife, then sliced thinly
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1/2 cup braggs amino acids (soy sauce)
- 1/2 cup rice wine or sake (do not forgot this it quickens the blood)
- 7 cups of chicken broth cooked with the bones (or any broth or water will do, but w/bones is best)
- 1 lbs of chuck or beef stew meat trimmed of fat and gristle and cut into 1/5 in cubes (vegetarian? I have herbs you can use in the beef's place and you can use 1 block of firm tofu instead of beef, email me for the herbs email@example.com)
- 1c barley
- 1.5 lbs spinach, trimmed, rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons minced scallions white part only
- Put the seasonings and broth in a large pot or casserole. Bring to a boil.
- Add the beef and the barley, and boil again. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, skimming the surface to remove impurities and fat. Cook for 1.5 hours (veg: 1 hour then add tofu), until the beef is very tender. Scoop out the ginger slices, cinnamon sticks, and anise seeds, and discard (if using herbs, scoop them out too unless otherwise directed).
- Add the spinach to the beef, cover and heat until boiling. Ladle the meat with the broth and spinach into serving bowls, sprinkle the top with scallions. Serve immediately over rice, or noodles of your choice. (pic above is missing barley)
For those that love veggies, add carrots, celery and chopped kale and onions during simmer time.
Menstrual Cramp Challenge
If you have severe cramping during menstruation, be sure to come in the week before your menses for acupuncture and to pick up a couple of herbs to cook into the soup.
I believe Traditional Chinese Medicine is so helpful for pre-menstrual and menstrual cramps, that if you follow the dietary suggestions below, and get regular acupuncture you could nip those cramps in the bud for good in a little as 3 months!
If you give this challenge a go, and your cramps go away.. I'll give you a 60 minute massage for half price, $35!
Who is up for the challenge?
Diet suggestions to melt away cramps:
- Cook something warm and soothing. The recipe of the month is perfect!
- Avoid uncooked vegetables, cold beverages, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.
- Take short brisk walks.
Try and do one nice thing for yourself.. you deserve it!
Call or email me for details.
In Good Health
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