Are you feeling the cold deep in your bones as much as I am? I am making sure to keep my digestive fire alight by eating warm, cooked foods until spring, as much as possible. Raw foods, while may seem more nutritious, can be harder for the body to digest. According to Chinese medicine, cold and raw foods injure the digestive tract, leading to many concerns and ailments.  When digestion is impaired, you can become susceptible to “dampness” in the body ~ weight gain, allergies, fatigue, infections, infertility, depression and so on. To fortify your body and mind for the next few months, try increasing:

Herbal teas – warm water with ginger, nettle, fennel seeds, licorice root, and cinnamon are warming to the digestive tract. Drink before or after meals to stimulate digestive juices and enzymes.

Bitter foods – watercress, endive, escarole, turnip, celery, asparagus, alfalfa, rye, oats, quinoa and amaranth

Warming foods – ginger, cinnamon, garlic, black pepper, cloves, fennel, cayenne, roasted root vegetables (yams, potatoes, beets, carrots) and flaxseed oil.

Beans, spirulina, chlorella, and berries are also very nourishing.

Decrease your intake of cold foods, such as salad greens, raw vegetables and fruit, cold drinks, and ice cream.  If you juice, you may want to go on hiatus until spring :)

Eating with the season helps to keep us in balance with our environment. Cheers to the last few months of soup season! Stay tuned for my favourite Mulligatawny soup recipe, and please send us your favourite soup recipe!