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FOOD AS MEDICINE

Chinese Medicine gives some powerful advice for how to use food as medicine to get well.  When you start to feel sick, eat foods that bring your qi to the surface, to strengthen your defenses.  When you eat these surface foods, you will speed up your recovery.   

 Eat these foods that bring your qi to the surface and strengthen your defenses:
·      eggs
·      dairy (eat only yogurt if milk and cheese make you phlegmy)
·      boneless chicken, turkey, or other fowl
·      spicy foods like ginger, garlic, black pepper, and scallions
·      fruits and nuts cooked with cinnamon, ginger, or cloves eaten at least an hour before or after the other foods on this list.

When you are ill, it’s important that you warm food before you eat it.  If surface foods are not available, you can add black pepper or scallions to help move the qi back to the surface. If you feel these surface foods are not enough for you or not available, you can eat some intermediate level foods like grains and leafy vegetables or other meat.   

My favorite recipe:
  Simmer 3 lbs cubed boneless chick thighs, 10 quarter-sized pieced of ginger, 2 large cloves of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 gallon of water for 1 hour.  You can remove the ginger before eating. Serve each cup of hot soup with 1 chopped scallion. You can add rice to the soup to provide a more substantial meal if the soup alone does not feel like enough.  If you do this for 2-3 meals in a row when you first feel sick, you will be amazed at how quickly you get better.    

Avoid these foods entirely because they’ll bring your qi and the illness you have deep inside you:

·      seafood
·      beans and seeds
·      root vegetables
·      raw foods, salads
·      cold foods like ice cream or cold beverages
 

Also avoid sweets of any kind.  They will weaken your immune system and allow the illness to rapidly gain ground for an hour or more. Just not worth it.


AVOIDING CHILL
 
There’s a point on the back of your neck where cold can enter and block the supply lines for your defenses.  It’s important keep your neck and back warm.  If you get chilled, take a warm shower asap and let warm water flow over your neck and back until you feel warm again.  Cover up when you get out of the shower so you don’t get chilled again with your pores wide open. If you can’t take a shower, put a scarf around your neck and pull it back and forth to create some friction to warm that area.