Spleen friendly meal choices can also empower you to enjoy holiday meals while increasing your body’s ability to metabolize the energy of foods more efficiently. We will explore some spleen and kidney friendly foods that you can easily incorporate into your holiday menus.
The key is moderation in consuming any of these foods as too much of a “good thing” is not balanced.
(1) Bask in the delight of turkey.
The energy of turkey tends to be hotter and drier in comparison to other meats. It is also a protein source that is low fat. This is good news for the energy of the spleen which prefers warm and dry properties as opposed to meats that are more damp.
This year, why not try free range, organic, low sodium turkeys? These turkeys can be purchased at heath food stores and also custom ordered from your local butcher.
Organic turkey are free of antibiotics and hormones that typically occur in commercially raised turkeys. The organic turkeys have also been fed organic feed to reduce the level of pesticides in the tissue of these birds.
If you have any type of chronic health issue, it is preferable to try to eat organic meats when possible to minimize the level of toxins that enter the body.
Since turkey has a hot and dry nature energetically, it is a good idea to include some side dishes that have a cooler and moistening energy. Cranberries have a cooling energy, but often times cranberry dishes have a high amount of sugar which can create more heat in the body energetically.
Look for sugar-free or low carbohydrate prepared cranberry dishes and jellies. You can also prepare cranberry sauce or jelly from scratch by using fresh or frozen cranberries with a touch of honey or Stevia to sweeten.
A tasty recipe for healthy cranberry sauce can be found at Bellaonline.
Other cooling foods include leafy green vegetables cooked lightly without a lot of heavy oils (e.g. green salads that include arugula, baby greens and dandelion), cucumbers, and mint jelly prepared with Stevia or low sugar content.
Also, although turkey is healthy as a meat, remember to eat it in moderation to avoid making the body excessively hot which can lead to dampness (sluggish feeling, fatigue, and lower metabolism).
(2) Savor a healthy pumpkin pie.
Pumpkins and other orange vegetables and fruit served are warming to the spleen. Many pie recipes can be modified to include more whites instead of whole eggs and the use of low fat milk instead of cream to create low-fat spleen
friendly dishes that are guilt-free and that taste delicious.
You can find a very wonderful recipe at Recipe Zarr site for healthy pumpkin pie. I recommend using Stevia or honey instead of Splenda as it is suggested in this recipe. You can also substitute or combine pumpkin with baked yam or sweet
potato in this recipe.
I often recommend that diabetics add generous amounts of cinnamon to their pumpkin pie recipes and use Stevia instead of sugar. Cinnamon can help to naturally lower blood sugar levels while stevia helps to heal the pancreas so that it can produce more insulin naturally to lower blood sugar levels.
(3) Roast those tasty chestnuts.
The energy of spleen and kidneys are enhanced by the subtle sweetness of chestnuts. Chestnuts are also rich in trace minerals but are low in fat.
Most Asian supermarkets carry packaged chestnuts already roasted and peeled, ready to eat as a snack or to add to favorite holiday recipes. These packages at Asian grocers usually sell in the Texas market for $1.10 to $1.50 for a bag of about 10-12 large chestnuts. This is often far more economical than the gourmet steamed or roasted chestnuts available in jars from health food or other grocery stores which can cost four times that amount. In Austin, you can find chestnuts at the grocery store in the ChinaTown center at the intersection nearest Kramer and Lamar and also at the Huang Fung herb shop in that same center.
(4) Bring on the walnuts.
Although high in fat, walnuts give strength and act as a tonic for the kidneys when consumed in small amounts (less than 1/4 cup). Add some walnuts and chestnuts to your favorite dressing recipe for the energetic health benefits on the spleen and kidneys.
(5) Bake those yams.
Yams, as root vegetables, nourishes the yin of the body (yin refers to the blood, fluids and hormones of the body) and strengthens kidneys. In China, shan yao is a type of wild yam that helps to reduce blood sugar level in diabetics. It is also known as the Japanese wild yam, nagaimo. You can add a small amount of shan yao to dishes with western yams to help provide support to
the spleen/pancreas and kidneys.
However, moderation is key as excessive amounts of yams can create dampness as a result of their high carbohydrate content.
Adding cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to yam dishes can provide flavor and eliminate or reduce the need for added sugar.
You can find other healthy recipes for Thanksgiving favorites at the Eating Well website.
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