The women’s groups are some of the most fun we have at the Acupuncture Clinic of Fort Collins. Twice annually we host groups to empower women around their diet and lifestyle: the Women’s Winter Body Restore and the Women’s Summer Body challenge since 2016. In Chinese Medicine, the seasons play an important role in how we should eat and what types of activities we should do and therefore these bi-annual groups are very different from one another. In both groups, you receive a bag filled with spices and a recipe book to last you the entirety of the program.
Women’s Winter Body Restore
How you approach the program is 100% your decision. What you choose to avoid strictly and what you choose to limit is your choice. For the recipe ideas provided during the program, I will stick to the following guidelines:
- No refined sugars (only honey, maple syrup, stevia leaf, coconut sugar)
- No processed foods
- No alcohol
- Dried fruits
- Whole grains limited to 1-2 times per day
- Raw foods
Winter in Chinese Medicine
Winter is the end of all the seasons. To unify with winter, one emphasizes the yin principle to become more receptive, introspective, and storage-oriented; one cools the surface of the body and warms the body’s core. Cold and darkness drive one to seek inner warmth. It is a time to rest, to meditate deeply, refine the spiritual essence, and store physical energy- in the form of a little added weight- for the cold season. Even though the slow yin processes predominate, one must stay active enough to keep the spine and joints flexible.
Both the salty and bitter foods are appropriate for winter, since they promote a sinking, centering quality, which heightens the capacity for storage. Such foods also cool the exterior of the body and bring body heat deeper and lower; with a cooler surface, one notices the cold less. It is important to use salt with care, because excess tightens the water organs (kidneys and bladder).
Bitter foods are often not entirely bitter, but rather a combination of bitter and other flavors. Common foods include: lettuce, watercress, endive, turnip, celery, asparagus, rye, oats, quinoa.
Salty foods include: miso, soy sauce, seaweeds, salt, barley, millet.
Women’s Summer Healthy Body Challenge
How you approach the challenge is 100% your decision. What you choose to avoid strictly and what you choose to limit is your choice. For the recipe ideas provided during the challenge, I will stick to the following guidelines:
- No refined sugars
- No grains
- No processed foods
- No alcohol
- No dairy (first 2 weeks)
- Dried fruit
- honey/stevia/maple syrup/coconut sugar
Summer In Chinese Medicine
Summer is the most Yang time of the year, and therefore chinese medicine would suggest that we express the yang through our actions: expansion, growth, lightness, outward activity, brightness, and creativity. During the summer it is important to awaken early in the morning and prioritize adequate recreation outdoors.
Summer offers abundant variety, and the diet should reflect this. Creating meals with cooling fresh foods is appropriate for very hot summer days, though coldness causes contraction and therefore should not be eaten in excess. Common cooling foods are: salads, sprouts, fuit, cucumber or tofu. Fruits that cool summer heat are: apples, watermelon, lemons, and limes. Foods that should be avoided are: meats, eggs and excesses of nuts, seeds and grains.
Sign up today for the next upcoming group: