Get Healthy in The Year of the Dog!

Happy Chinese New Year! This year is The Year of the Dog. While you will find many breakdowns of the year astrologically, we are just going to discuss how this year affects your health.

Each new year brings predictions about health and provides solutions from which you can benefit. This Chinese New Year is no different.  Astrologers predict that this year will bring more disease to the West, which we’ve already seen happen with our unusually severe flu season.

Practice Immune Support for 2018

There are actions you can take to protect your health this new year. Dietary and lifestyle improvements can all benefit your overall health and support your immune system. Here are five natural ways you can better your health all year long:

1. Eat seasonal, whole foods.

Local foods that are in season tend to be fresher and riper than foods that are out of season as they didn’t have to travel as far to get to your table. Additionally, whole, fresh fruits and vegetables grow and ripen when with the nutrients that will benefit us during that particular season. For example, many juicy fruits ripen in the summer, when we need to stay hydrated, while denser vegetables are ready to eat in the fall and winter when we need more calories.

2. Experiment with spices.

Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, saffron, cumin, cardamom, and oregano all have significant health benefits. Get experimental and add them in with meals. You can add turmeric to most savory foods while cumin gives many meals a Spanish twist. Ginger is traditionally an Asian taste and oregano can be a delicious addition to salad dressing.

Enjoy the different tastes of healthy spices while also reaping the health benefits!

3. Drink tea.

Black, white, and green tea are all great immune system boosters. Take advantage of the antioxidants in these teas while enjoying a pick-me-up in the morning or afternoon. Just remember that they contain caffeine, so try something herbal before bed.

4. Get acupuncture.

Acupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion can all benefit immune response. When you make an appointment here at AOM Health, we will discuss the issues you’d like to resolve and find the right Traditional Chinese Medicine technique to help you achieve your health goals.

5. Try a detox.

There are many ways to detoxify your body - in fact, if you go to my homepage, you will find an invitation to access my full detox guide. However, if you're looking for something very basic try:

  1. Cutting out sugar and processed foods.

  2. Drinking plenty of water and tea.

  3. Spending some time exercising daily.

Each of these steps will help to support your body’s natural elimination of toxins on a daily basis.

Make Lifestyle Changes in The Year of The Dog

2018 is a great year to focus on making positive lifestyle changes. The dog is full of friendliness and astrologers say this year is a great time to reconnect with those with whom you have fallen out of touch. This is supported by studies that show fostering personal connection has the added benefit of boosting your mental health.

Additionally, this is a great year to practice positivity. While no one expects you to act like a dog - happy about just about everything - it’s a great time to keep principles of positivity in mind. Here are just a few ways you can work on being more positive in this new year:

  • Practice mindfulness

  • Do things that make you feel more positive

  • Surround yourself with positive people

  • Try to find points of agreement in conversations and focus on that

  • Set realistic goals

  • Celebrate accomplishments

  • Practice self-care

Trying one or all of the above actions can increase your feelings of positivity and joy this new year.

Recipe Repeat - Enjoy this New Year’s Meal

If you haven’t tried the traditional New Year's meal of red beans and rice porridge, go ahead and enjoy this recipe! It’s a repeat of a previous post that you can find right here.

Recipe for Red Beans and Rice Porridge Chinese (Hong dou tang):

  • 1 cup of Adzuki bean

  • 1/3 of a cup of sweet brown or sticky rice

  • 5 cups of water

  • 5-7 Jujube dates/Korean dates/Da zao (optional)

  • 2-3 Tablespoons of raw honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Boil/simmer Adzuki beans, rice and Jujube dates together in water until soft. Once the beans are ready, add honey and salt to taste and enjoy!

You can also add these traditional toppings: 1 Tablespoon of grated ginger (Sheng jiang), 9 lotus seeds (Lian zi) , and 5 pieces of dried tangerine peel (Chen pi).

This dish is often eaten around Chinese New Years and is good for cleansing toxins which have built up in winter, it also gently tonifies and nourishes the body.

Are you ready for a detox or do you want to make a change to your health habits? Set up an appointment today!