A good start is to be Thankful to yourself!
Everybody heard about Chinese Medicine and maybe also about the 5 elements. I personally used in my home and lifestyle those elements of life, which according to the Chinese philosophy – has its roots from more than 3000 years – these elements can be found everywhere on Earth and even in our bodies. Actually the Chinese and Asian people have it in everything, in food and diet, in exercises, like martial arts, in seasons, in moments and movements.
There are actually those 2 types of people yin and yang.
As every season affects us differently, of course the 5 elements will work differently in Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter.
This year we have a wonderful November, which could be considered a late autumn season, with nice weather, of course depend on where you live.
The Chemistry is working anyway, and the yin and yang types and the 5 elements will touch our lives and the feelings in so many ways, even if some of us don’t believe in this.
In Asia and China to be in harmony is and always was a big challenge and important in diet as well. While people from the western society, we only know 4 seasons, the Chinese people added to this the 5th one, so they have: Spring (Wood element) and in connection with our inside organ the Liver, Summer (Fire element), affects the Heart as organ, Late Summer (Earth element) in connection with the spleen and stomach, Autumn (Metal element) affects the Lung and large intestines, and Winter (Water element), in connection with the Kidneys and bladder. Very logical, right?
To all those elements and seasons and organs, are connected also directions, tastes, colors and senses.
I would like to mention here the tastes. Those would be Sour , Bitter, Sweet, Pungent, Salty. In November, which is autumn, we are already preparing for winter. However specifically November itself could have his own 5 elements and yin and yang. In this Season of forgetting the summer and Late Summer, being in autumn and preparing for winter we can take a “Respiro” in just one weekend and to have a harmonious 5 elements weekend in this Month.
It would be great a weekend when we consciously eat and use foods not just to increase the yin energy, but the yang as well and to have those energies in harmony in our body. First of all let’s take a look to those 2 type of people:
YIN TYPE: exhausted, tired, low energy and low heartbeat, calm, introvert, likes to be alone, low-key, drinks very small amounts of liquids, likes warm liquids, low appetite, has white and wet tongue.
If you are more YIN there are some tips that could help in what kind of food would be great for you: It is better a combination of neutral type of foods and warming or hot foods. The best is to eat everything warmer. For example instead of a breakfast with muesli/cereals or bread or rolls, it is better to have some kind of warm mush or porridge.
YANG TYPE: sweats easily, has warm limbs, likes to move and make exercises, has fast and powerful pulse, likes to socialize, it’s extrovert, his/her voice is strong and sharp, drinks a lot of water and liquids, cold liquids are the favorites, has good appetite and eats regularly, the tongue is red and dry.
If you are in this category and you have more yang elements in you, the best diet is to combine lots of neutral foods with cooling and refreshing foods. Coffee and alcohol is not the best for this type, it’s the best to avoid them totally. Instead it’s a better option to try black teas. Very favoring for this type the lettuce, raw food and greens of any kind. Should avoid meat.
The majority of people, if they are not having the same, boring lifestyle every day and eats the same food types mostly, in generally people are mixtures of these 2 types, but when the body is not in harmony, one type can come into view.
I will enumerate some weekend recipes, which can help both types to be in more harmony, and the yin yang energies to work more properly.
Brussels Sprouts with mushrooms
- 250 g Brussels sprouts, 75 g Chanterelle, 1 spoon of sunflower or rice oil, little Himalayan salt, pepper and nutmeg. (If you are a strong yang type avoid the nutmeg)
After peel and wash, boil the Brussels sprouts in water and little salt for drain and put into the baking pan with the oil, cook it together with the mushrooms, then add the pepper, little salt, nutmeg for taste.
Vegan creamy tofu toast
- 2 tablespoon of creamy tofu( Japanese cream tofu), little fresh dill, salt, pepper, slices of whole flour toast bread, or gluten free bread – if gluten is problem for you – , 1 smaller apple, 1 kiwi, 1 orange.
- Mix the cream tofu with the fresh dill, salt and pepper, fry the bread in toaster, slice in little pieces the fruits and mix them.
- For Yin type: instead of kiwi and orange, use pears and agave or maple syrup
Soy and bean ragout with plums (dried prunes)
- 2 spoon of rice, sunflower, or soy oil, 1 bigger red onion, 2 tomatoes, 120 g soybean cubes, 200 g canned beans, bay leaves, thyme, salt, tomato juice or puree, pepper, turmeric and little cinnamon
- Leave the soy cubes overnight in water, and add the half of the spices and salt. The other day put into the warm oil the onion, the soy, the beans, the soaked prunes, and tomato puree, add the seasonings and the spices, little water and simmer till is ready.
For Yin: Instead of tomatoes and tomatoes puree, use carrots
For Yang: skip the cinnamon
Brussels Sprouts Cream Soup
- 1 Spoon of Hazelnuts, 250 g Brussels Sprouts, 150 g potatoes, 1 spoon of rice or hazelnut oil, Himalayan salt, black pepper, nutmeg powder, 250 ml of vegan vegetable broth, 1 spoon of vegan sour cream or plant based yogurt,
- Fry the hazelnut little bit without the oil, cut the washed, cleaned and potatoes and Brussels sprouts, add them into the oil and simmer for a while, add the vegetable broth and the spices, put into a mixer, and add the vegan sour cream or yogurt.
For the Yang type: skip the nutmeg
Salad with Toast
- A block of firm and drained tofu, make a vegan mayonnaise (from soy milk, oil, mustard, lemon juice and turmeric, put in mixer) or buy ready-made vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise), diced celery, 1 apple, 1 handful of chives, 125 g plant based vanilla yogurt, 1 tablespoon hazelnuts.
- Mash the tofu and put the other ingredients, mix it and put the mayonnaise and the vanilla yogurt at the end and mix it again with a spoon. Serve with gluten free toast or whole grain bread or brown bread toast.
- For Yin: If they like it may put little cinnamon
Brussels sprouts with fettuccine and hazelnuts
- 200 g Brussels sprouts, Himalayan salt, white pepper, 50 g vegan and gluten free fettuccine pasta, 1 spoon of vegan butter or margarine, served with hazelnut flakes, vegan cheese. Cook the Brussels sprouts 15 minutes in water, and little salt. Cook the fettuccine in salty water. Fry the hazelnut flakes in the vegan butter or margarine till it is roasted. Mix the Brussels sprouts with fettuccine and add the hazelnut, serve with grated vegan cheese.
For Yin: add some nutmeg
Sesame burgers with chickpea, beetroot paties
Buy or make your own sesame seed buns.
Here is a recipe for gluten free option:
- A cup of aquafaba
- 1 spoon of vinegar (organic)
- 2 spoon Soy milk (or rice milk)
- 1 spoon Agave
Mix the ingredients.
Put in a separate bowl the following ingredients:
- 1 and a half cup of Gluten free flour(mixture), or Mix of all purpose rice flour and chickpea flour
- 1 small spoon Himalayan salt
- 1,5 small spoon baking soda
- 2 small spoon for organic baking powder
Mix together all the ingredients and make the buns, “greasing” the top of buns with plant based milk and put sesame seeds on it; put into a preheated oven.
- 1 larger red onion
- 200 g beetroot
- 100 g chickpeas
- 1 cup of Rice flakes or flour
- Himalayan salt
- Black pepper
- Little curry powder or turmeric powder
Bake the paties in preheated oven.
Make and serve the burgers with vegan sour-cream and chicory green leaves
For Yang: skip the curry and use turmeric, instead.
Breathing is also very important, but in November you can make it more joyful. For example the 5 Tibetan Rites are a mixture of breathing and training exercises & yoga poses. I use them daily, and it is good for every season and for any type of people. The exercises will balance the Chakras and harmonize the elements.
I’ve learnt the exercises from the Book: Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth, Book 2, which contains all the history and the right exercises, and poses of the Tibetan Rites.
I’ve found this video the most proper to see and learn the exercises, and it is very similar, however the best is to learn it from the book. Everybody teaches in another way and somehow the most important breathing techniques are skipped and so the exercises won’t work.
5 Tibetan Rites Exercises
Talking about breathing in November, we can say that autumn is a special season to get and collect power and energy. We must prepare for a colder, harder season. It is really important not just for body, but for energetic body and spirit to be in harmony and well balanced for winter.
As the weather get colder, we can make some easy breathing exercises to warm our body. The simplest way is to stretch our arms out to sides in front of an opened window and breathe slowly, inhale and exhale. Do it as long as you feel your body starting warming.
We can also breathe out the unnecessary plus weights. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine, autumn has an effect on our lungs and colon. Those 2 are also connected to each other, this is why is so important to eat and breathe properly in this pre-Winter season. The breathing exercises are beneficial for all those 2 organs and balances our weights. It is also important while we are breathing to say “goodbye” to the old things (breathe out) and welcoming the NEW by breathing in (inhale).
Let’s find a relaxing place in our home. Let’s lie down and start breathing deeply, while we are putting our hands on our tummy and we can feel how our tummy is rise and relax while we are breathing (inhale and exhale).
Of course it is important to let go to all of our stressful situations and tensions. We can even let go literally to some old things, objects, dresses and even relationships which are old or we cannot benefit from them anymore.
Breathe out/exhale the old and the past and breathe in/inhale the bright, positive future.
Inspiring sources: Easy Weekends zum Entschlacken – Abnehmen und sich herrlich frei by Kathrin Klemp, Christina Niemann