Harmonizing with Winter

Shifting your Food Choices for Winter

Winter is the time of going deeper within one’s self, resting, replenishing, reflecting.  In the natural world, the life energy of plants and animals is gathered in their roots and body cores, during this season – resting and conserving energy in preparation for spring.  Our bodies do the same:  our blood vessels go deeper and our bodies contract assisting the body in staying warm.

At each season, one or more organs are considered primary in the body’s intention to facilitate restoration and balance.  The kidney and the bladder, which processes the body’s water, are the organs associated with winter.

An imbalance in kidney or bladder function during this season can cause a build up of toxins, resulting in stagnation and water retention.

Here are a few menu choices to help your body come into alignment with winter.

Beans
Chickpeas
Split peas
White beans

Grains
Buckwheat
Oats
Teff

Vegetables
Beets
Green onions
Mustard greens
Root vegetables
Spinach
Winter Squash

Fruits
Apples
Dates
Grapes
Pears

Herbs
Chives
Fennel
Oregano
Thyme

Spices
Cinnamon
Cloves
Nutmeg

The Wonderful Properties of Nutmeg

This spice is derived from the fruit of the nutmeg tree, native to Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Nutmeg itself is from the seed, while the spice mace comes from the red membrane covering the seed. A valued ingredient both Indian and Indonesian cooking, ground nutmeg also has a long history as a medicinal.  Its antimicrobial properties make nutmeg a valuable pickling spice and its essential oil, diluted, soothes sore muscles, toothaches, and arthritic pain.  In the East Indian Ayurveda tradition of body balancing through food, ground nutmeg is used to balance the body humours and soothe the digestive system.  Do include nutmeg in your cooking, and use it sparingly, as excessive consumption can cause side effects in some people.

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