08:34 08:34

Summer–The Season Of The Fire Element

By | 2018-07-05T12:46:47+00:00 June 22nd, 2018|Categories: April's Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Holistic Living, Summer, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Summer–The Season Of The Fire Element

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CN

Summer, the season of the Fire Element, has arrived!  The days are long and the bright sunshine invites us outdoors to work in our gardens or play in the sun.  It’s a season of activity and joy.  All seasons represent the possibility for change in our lives.  We can fight their energetic nature or we can use the season’s blessings for our own growth and benefit…and summer has so much to offer.

Why the seasons matter

In Asian medicine’s 5 Element Theory each season (Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter) possess their own energetic dynamics and movement of Qi (energy). They ebb and flow from one to another.  Understanding the energetic nature of each  season helps us to adapt so we move gracefully from phase to another.  For example– knowing that Spring’s climate is wind, helps those that are susceptible to wind conditions such as epilepsy, headaches, anger, and allergies to take appropriate precautions to not be as easily affected by the condition.  Winter, encourages us to rest and be introspective, to consider our deepest selves–whereas, Summer invites us to expand  and be active.  We need not hunker down or fear each season, rather having  awareness can help us become flexible and adaptive, we can embrace and benefit from the virtue and blessings each season rather than fight them.

Summer Correspondences

Season Summer
Element Fire
Color Red
Sound Laughter–including laughter at inappropriate times
Climate Heat
State of growth Maximum growth
Odor Scorched or burnt
Flavor Bitter
Yin organ & time Heart: 11am-1pm & Pericardium: 7-9 pm
Yang organ & time Small Intestines: 1-3pm & Triple Warmer: 9-11 pm
Body tissue Blood vessels and the Blood
Sense organ Tongue
Emotion Joy or lack of Joy
Virtue Ability to create quality relationships and interactions with others, propriety
Vice Inappropriate relationships and boundaries, victimization

Let’s look a […]

08:10 08:10

Grilled Ratatouille

By | 2017-05-08T08:31:25+00:00 May 8th, 2017|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Gluten Free, Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, The Seasons, Vegetables, Vegetarian|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Grilled Ratatouille

Summer cooking at its best is easy, colorful and uncomplicated.  Ratatouille makes the most of the season’s vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.  This grilled version can be prepared in two ways.  The vegetables are first grilled and you then dress them right at the table and serve them immediately or you finish marrying their flavors over the stove top.  Both are delish–it’s just a matter of choice.  I tend to prefer the first method, as it’s simpler and doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

Double this recipes or toss leftovers with cooked quinoa and a little extra dressing (if necessary) for a light, high protein dish. […]

13:00 13:00

Beet And Quinoa Salad

By | 2017-02-28T09:46:59+00:00 December 17th, 2015|Categories: Dairy Free, Diabetes Friendly, Gluten Free, Lentils and Legumes, Recipes, Seasonal Recipes, Sides and Salads, Summer, Summer Recipes, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Whole Grains|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Beet And Quinoa Salad

Contributed by Tyra Hanson

Vibrant in color, this savory salad makes a lovely side dish or whole meal.

[…]

13:42 13:42

Summer–Eating With The Seasons

By | 2018-05-31T13:38:06+00:00 July 13th, 2015|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Summer, The Seasons|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Summer–Eating With The Seasons

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CN

Welcome to Summer!  Longer, warmer days encourage us to be more active, spending greater time outdoors. The sun’s warmth encourages growth and maturation. Plants thrive and begin sharing their abundance with us.   This is a season of joy, health and vitality.  It’s a time when we are able to blossom and expand like the world around us—ever notice how kids grow more in the Summer?  It’s the energy of the season.

The most Yang of all the seasons, Summer relates to the Fire element and the Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium and the Triple Heater organ systems of the body.  By learning to eat with the season we can reap the benefits that Summer has to offer–read more about Summer’s energetics here.

General guideline for eating in Summer

Eat variety–This is the season with the greatest abundance of foods, ready to eat right now.  Enjoy the glorious array of brightly colored fresh vegetables, greens and fruits that are available.

Eat more raw–Raw foods cool and clear heat, which can be a blessing in the Summer.  If you have a relatively strong digestion and aren’t treating a health condition add some raw into your diet.  However, don’t overdo it on the raw.  If you’ve ever been one of clients or students you will know that I sometimes but heads with raw food enthusiasts.  Too much cold or raw foods will overly chill the digestive system causing contraction and tightness (cold causes spasms and contractions) ultimately your body will have to work harder to try to warm your food up to digest it. Chinese medicine wisdom holds that the Stomach and Spleen (the major rulers of digestion) are like a cauldron and too […]

11:23 11:23

Tomatoes–A Fruit Dressed Up As A Vegetable

By | 2018-05-31T13:33:28+00:00 August 4th, 2014|Categories: April's Blogs, Blogs, Nutrition Articles, Summer, The Seasons|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Tomatoes–A Fruit Dressed Up As A Vegetable

April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN

It’s very hot this year, which means tomatoes will soon be running amok in my garden and kitchen.  Which sounds funny if you know me–I don’t love tomatoes and will pluck them off my plate–unless they are fresh or the sauce comes from tomatoes that I know ripened here and now. It’s a first world burden that comes from having a large garden with fresh tomatoes since I was little.  I love growing the colorful little gems in my garden, and their flavor is truly different fresh off the plant.

Fruit or vegetable?

Fruit. Tomatoes have of habit of hanging out in both the vegetable and fruit category in stores, garden centers and cookbooks, but to be botanically correct–they are a fruit.  Yes, just take a look at those slippery seed clusters that reveal their true identity.  Like other fruits, they develop from the ovaries of flowers.  However, they are most often listed in the vegetable category as they don’t share the sweetness and high sugar content of other fruits.

A little tomato history

Native to South America and Central America, the Aztecs had been eating tomatls for centuries, long before the Spaniards showed up in Central America.  History tends to credit Cortez with the discovery of tomatoes in 1519 when he found them growing in Montezuma’s gardens.  He returned to Europe triumphantly with his new seeds.  The first tomatoes to arrive in Europe were likely small and yellow in color, as the Italians and Spanish refer to them as pomi d’oro (yellow apples).   However, the Europeans were skeptical of the shiny new food, assuming them poisonous, and planted the tomatoes as ornamentals.   The French botanists, Tournefort, would […]