Whole Living Daily

Distance Yourself From Indulging

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I stayed in the city for the first half of Memorial Day weekend in order to attend a seminar on food and energetics. I usually relish these breaks from family life--and find myself doing little else than attending class and coming home to an ever so tidy apartment. Not this time.

New York was hot and sticky and I missed my family. Sweet notes from my husband with pictures of the girls swimming in a lake did nothing to bolster my mood. Saturday morning, feeling slightly sorry for myself, I splurged on a delicious coffee and large piece of semolina cake, then sat in a quiet little soon-to-be steamy park for 30 minutes and headed off to class. The lecture opened on this note--what we feed ourselves everyday is a form of self-care. We should select our foods so that they best serve our health rather than serve our hunger or indulgences.

Whoops! So much for my slightly dubious repast. I vowed to do better next time and so created this porridge of quinoa with stewed cherries and dried orange zest--a good example of Chinese dietary principles in action. The quinoa, as a grain, benefits the yin level (nourishment), the cherries stimulate the wei or defensive level, and the dried orange zest sets chi in motion. Truth be told--Sunday began on a much happier, more balanced, satisfactory note. And, reunited with my tribe, ended that way too.

I have recently become a big fan on quinoa. I cook it according to package instructions--usually one cup of dried grain to 2 cups of water--similar to rice. Pit the cherries (quantity depends on how many you are cooking for) and stew with an inch of water, then add about 1 teaspoon dried orange zest. I purchased my orange zest for Spices and Tease--a shop worth checking out.

Frances Boswell is a licensed acupuncturist at her practice, Qi Sera Sera Acupuncture, in New York City. She focuses on a lesser-known branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which identifies poor diet as a common cause of disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine understands that the importance of food goes beyond ingredients' vitamins, mineral, nutrient and caloric content—food has its own energetic and spiritual role in our health. Frances' aim is to teach this ancient wisdom, apply it to everyday cooking, and work with patients to modify their diets, in addition to acupuncture, to help them live, eat, and be well. Contact Frances here.

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