We’ve reached the beginning of winter on the 24 stem or nodes on the calendar, but going outside you would think it is the end of summer. The last few days have been really nice and I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the weather. Here is a picture of the names of the 24 stems or nodes on Chinese calendar. As you can see it seems very much like the Farmer’s almanac. There usually is a significant change in the weather pattern and climate after these nodes pass. I added some dates at the bottom for the remaining year.
Winter is where we want to protect our Yang (body heat) so be sure to dress warm and stay away from the cold wind. Soups and stews are best choices. You can have slightly more oily foods in winter and lamb, beef, chicken, sweet potato, wood ear mushroom, and peanuts are good. Warming spices like cinnamon, and ginger can be used. Cow or goat milk can be used with people who tend to feel dry. Steam dumplings and congee (rice porridge) are a great addition this time of year.
Here are some sample winter dishes from Amy, my first acupuncturist in which I have shared her diet recommendations to all my patients. As you can see the vibrant energy and colors in her foods. I wish I could tell you what everything is! Top left is a soup with some meat, veggies and hard boiled egg, middle top is a fried rice, top right looks like a kung pao chicken, bottom left is spare rib with steam broccoli, middle bottom is chicken with cabbage and cilantro in a curry looking sauce, bottom right is a beef and chinese broccoli in garlic sauce I suppose. Believe me, I am so jealous when she posts these dishes on social media and I want to help her write a cookbook!
Kidneys are the organ of winter. They store what is called jing-essence. This is reproductive source of the body, and so three things that harm the jing-essence are excessive sex, staying up late at night, and losing your temper. Keep that in mind.
A good point to massage to help protect from cold and allergies in winter is GB20 “Feng Chi” I mentioned it in my last email in the video but as a reminder here is a picture.
I’ve included a video here for any patients who are interested in losing weight. There is a short discussion and some exercises including abdominal massage you can do.https://youtu.be/X1u8Ezhipc4