Eating with the seasons is an important part of living in harmony with nature which is the foundation of Chinese medicine. In winter and fall it’s a time to go inward and slow down like animals that hibernate and store up their reserves. Eating local, nourishing, winter foods is more nutritious as they are not shipped from the other side of the world. Winter foods have grown and ripened in the same area where you live in the same season that you are experiencing in your own life.
Warming Winter Foods
In Winter heaven and earth shut down and go into a state of storage. It’s a time to go to sleep early and get caught up on rest. Warming foods like broth and our new Urban Remedy soups, whole grains, roasted nuts and herbal teas like ginger or cinnamon tea are perfect for the winter. In the winter we eat more nutrient dense foods from the ground like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and rutabagas. In contrast to the spring when we eat lots of greens from leafy to broccoli and zucchini. Up until March it’s a good idea to add some spice to your diet like ginger (found in our Turmeric-Relieve Immunity Shot & Booster Shots), green onion, and garlic to keep the lung energy strong and your immune system.
I’m a big believer in eating mostly plant food and as little processed food as possible. I center my diet around eating plants. Fruits and vegetables contain thousands of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that you cannot find anywhere else. These are the foods that not only are delicious but prevent disease and keep inflammation levels down. I also eat a lot of healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, ghee, nuts, and seeds like hemp. These are important for brain and nervous system function. Lastly, I try and eat as little sugar as possible. Sugar as good as it tastes is just not good for you. I steer away from sugar but satisfy my sweet craving using stevia, xylitol, or a tiny bit of coconut nectar/sugar.
Here is a warming medicinal chicken soup recipe. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you can replace the chicken with hearty portobello mushrooms.
MEDICINAL CHICKEN SOUP
In Chinese Medicine chicken is warming and sweet, it acts as an energy tonic and improves digestion. Scallion is used for promoting sweating, calming the nerves and expelling sputum. Fresh ginger is warm and aromatic which makes it perfect for fighting off colds and body aches. In traditional Chinese medicine, galangal is used to support healthy digestion. Cucumber has a cooling and thermal nature it cleanses the blood, detoxifies, and is a digestive aid. Carrot stimulates the elimination of wastes, strengthens the lungs and is rich in vitamin A. Celery is cooling and improves digestion, purifies the blood and promotes sweating. Cilantro is used as a powerful natural cleansing agent removing toxins from the body.
1 whole chicken 4-5 lbs. quartered & skin removed OR 3 Big portobello mushrooms chopped in 1 inch pieces
1 gallon filtered water
2 cloves chopped garlic
3 stalks celery chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 large cucumber diced
2-3 inches fresh ginger cut in half
1-2 inches fresh galangal cut in half
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
4 celery stalks
4-5 shitake mushrooms roughly chopped
3 carrots chopped
1 bunch scallions
Sea salt and pepper
1 bunch cilantro chopped
For the broth add all ingredients in a large stockpot, bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 ½ to 2 hours on low heat.
Once broth is cooked pour through a large colander into large bowl or pot to strain out the chicken and vegetables. Pour the broth back into soup pot and discard the vegetables. Let the chicken cool. Bring the broth back to a simmer and add all of the soup ingredients except the green onion and cilantro. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. While soup is cooking pull all of the meat from the chicken and cut into small pieces. Add the chicken back to the soup.
When ready to eat add scallions last 5 minutes of cooking. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste.