Qi~full Eating Tips for November

Roots and Slow Cooking


Spring Forest Qigong practitioners discover early on that everything is energy including what they eat. When you choose to align the energy of the season with your day-to-day diet, the peace and harmony of qigong accelerates in your body, mind and spirit.


Balance is always the key to feeling harmony. At this time of year as we’re preparing meals, we want to add more foods that nourish our body as cold weather moves in and Mother Nature starts her long winter’s nap.


At this time of year while Mother Nature’s life force is returning back to the roots, you may be drawn to those foods that are root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, parsnips, radishes, daikon, rutabagas and beets. You may feel drawn to add warming spices to your food like cardamom, rosemary, sage, thyme, ginger and garlic.


You will probably be drawn to dark blue or black foods that nourish yin like eggplant, black sesame, black beans, walnuts, Chinese dates and dried berries like goji or wolfberry that nourish and strengthen the immune system. These are all examples of foods and spices that are in keeping with the energy of this season.


From ancient Chinese culture we learn each season expresses energy outside us and a corresponding energy inside us. In spring and summer we cut back on protein but now we should begin to increase protein consumption. If you enjoy seafood, oysters and shrimp are good to eat now. If you eat meat then lamb and duck are good too and you can add beef and even a little pork to your diet.


Slow cooking keeps the meat moist and is beneficial. In fact, slow cooking of meats and soups and stews help create the food energy your body needs most now.
If you are vegetarian, adding wild rice or barley to your lightly steamed or sautéed vegetables or to soup and broths is good. This is the perfect time to replace salads with lightly steamed vegetables like broccoli, bok choy and leeks.


Seasonal fruits like pomegranate, cranberries, apples and pears are great fresh or cooked. The wonderful fragrance of fruits cooked with cardamom and cinnamon warms them and helps prevent mucus formation.


In Chinese culture, eating is a relaxing time and it is better not to mix food and work. Your digestion always works best when you are focused on the enjoyment of the meal and not distracted by any influences that may trouble or distract you. Take your time, savor your food and chew it well with gratitude.


When we actually focus on our eating, we become more in touch with what our real food needs are and we can be naturally guided to food that nourishes us best.
Trust your body. Listen well and your body will speak to you with a deeper level of knowing. On the deeper inner level, your body wants to be in harmony with the energy, including the foods that will nourish you best.