BREAKING THE FAST (every morning)
Last week we discussed the importance of removing digestive toxins by tongue scraping first thing in the morning. This should precede the brushing and flossing of one's teeth. This week we will discuss what to ingest first, after your mouth and dental hygiene routine. Drinking warm/tepid water provides an important gentle flush for the GI tract and the kidneys. It also stimulates peristalsis. Choosing between bottled, filtered and tap water? I recommend filtering your water at home. Ideally, a whole-house filtration system, if at all possible. The bottled water market regulation is unfortunately not up to scratch. In relation to tap water, (aside from heavy metals which included mercury and aluminium); the water has traveled through miles of pipeline, where it picks up contaminants, and the disinfection processes used, sadly leaves behind potentially harmful byproducts. Now let's take a look at different options one can choose in each season of the year.
Let us note here that Ancient oriental medicine teaches us that we can aid homeostasis by nourishing particular systems of the body in accordance with the seasonal changes, because our bodies naturally adapt in order to maintain health.
SUMMER The element of Fire needs cooling and bitter herbs to maintain a strong and steady flame, so try to include spinach, kale, chlorella or spirulina into your morning smoothie. Celery juicing throughout the months of summer is good for those who find themselves battling with water retention. High in sodium and silicon, it benefits the stomach, spleen, pancreas and calms an aggravated liver. It improves digestion, dries damp excesses, purifies the blood, reduces conditions such as vertigo or nervousness and also promotes sweating. Choosing organic celery, rather than regular store bought, is rather important. Other indicated and delicious juice mixes include: celery and cucumber plus one fruit, either melon or green apple juice. Cardamom and mint are indicated additions. AUTUMN For this season, the perfect way to start the day is with either something savoury, like a warm broth or soup of root veggies, an alternative would be to cooked apple or pear with warming spices, such as turmeric (include a dash of black pepper), cinnamon, cumin and/or ginger. Cooled Autumn Breakfast Compote Apples or pears Dried fruits Spices Directions Core and peel fruit. Slice into bite sized chunks. Place all ingredients in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover the fruit. First bring to boil, then lower heat and gently simmer for 10mins. Switch the heat off and leave it to rest in the juices for another 10mins. You may add some dates or raisins to sweeten, if so desired. Adding a couple of the spices listed above, is an option, if you so choose. WINTER Warm or tepid lemon water is a good way to commence the day during the Winter season, especially for those of us who are prone to mucus build up, because the juice aids in liquefying and expectorating the dense mucus. Plain warm water or with the addition of ginger, cinnamon, star anise are also excellent options. SPRING This season promotes expansion from an energetic point of view. Spring onions, radishes, spicy greens, ginger, garlic and pepper all promote the same energetic motion within the body.
During springtime the Chinese, in accordance with ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine, employ a special broth made from "liver supporting" vegetables and funghi.
Liver supporting Morning Broth 1 Shitake mushroom. 1 tbdp fresh chives. 1 tbsp of grated turnip/radish. 2 tbsp of buckwheat. 2 tbsps of green leaves (except cabbage and brussel sprouts). Directions The ratio of water to vegetables should be 5:1. 5 parts water to 1 part vegetables. Prepare all ingredients and boil for 10mins. Simmer for a further 10mins, then strain liquid and consume. You must boil the broth in the morning, soon before consumption in order to guarantee the energy of ascending moviment, I spoke about earlier. This is essential, but it saves time if you set aside all the prepared ingredients for your recipe the night before, so they can simply be popped into the pot in the morning. Another great option for Spring mornings is lemon water. This increases the flow of bile, flushing the liver and gallbladder. Bile stores many blood borne toxins and lemons also detoxify the blood. Flushing bile helps to prevent gallstones and improves fat metabolism.