by Michelle Wood
Welcome to the June/July issue of Yang Sheng Magazine! Our theme this month is Food As Medicine, a topic which has a broader range than might appear at first glance.
When most people think of Food As Medicine, they ponder herbal medicine and the use of roots and leaves and flowers in tinctures and teas. Certainly, there is great benefit to herbal medicines which help the body to overcome diseases, infections, and other challenges to regain internal balance.
However, there are other aspects to medicinal foods. One is that a basic, Life-Nurturing nutrition plan (aka diet!) supports the immune system and helps to prevent disease. I think we can all agree that illness prevention is an excellent choice to make given the costs of health-care.
All it takes is some thoughtful meal planning, and we have three articles this month that offer nutrition information and some delicious recipes: Perilla Seed Congee by Yuan Wang, Food – It’s More Than You Think by Ellesara Kling, and Herbs and Qigong for Cheer, Mood, and Sleep! by Katrina Everhart
Purchase of live, healthy and health-giving foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, and other organic products is, in my opinion, beneficial as well. There are conflicting reports on this, but I do believe that organic foods contain higher levels of nutrients than non-organic. People sometimes think that eating organic is expensive, but my personal experience has been that the cost is about the same. I have fewer food cravings, and actually eat less when eating organic. I believe this is due to the food’s higher nutrient levels; my body receives the vitamins and minerals it requires because the quality is high even though quantity is lower. This also means fewer calories ingested which contributes to a healthy weight for my age, size and body type.
A second aspect that many people don’t think of is the preparation of food which reminds us of the bigger, expanded picture when contemplating Food As Medicine. Doing any healthful activity with mindfulness and intent will nurture the body as well as the mind and the spirit. In Chopping Your Food While Using Tai Chi Rooting, Alignment and Attentiveness, Raven Cohan talks about preparing food with intent, and shows the posture for Tai Chi Rooting so that you may do it, too. Another of this month’s articles, Raising Healthy Eaters – Part III: Cooking in the Kitchen with Your Kids Dr. Mark Hyman, reminds us that kids learn best by doing, and starting at an early age is an excellent way to foster life-long healthy eating habits and nutrition. My three-year-old grandson loves to help us cook, and is always eager to eat “his” nutritious meals!
Please enJOY this month’s issue of Yang Sheng!