Well, in the middle of this fairy tale, I decided to overwork, over stress, overthink and over-exhaust myself into a little bout of "Mama-said-knock-you-out" headachy, flu-ish, stomach virus of sorts that kept me bed bound for more days than I would ever wish for . I had no appetite or energy to eat, yet I knew I needed to nourish my body back to health. To the rescue: *don't laugh*....; **wait for it**....... Ramen noodles! Yes, you heard me right; I ate a bowl of Ramen Noodles! I forcefully dragged myself outside into the fresh air, braved the warm Florida sun, and picked a Kefir lime leaf, a blade of lemongrass, a nub of gingerroot, and a branch of Thai basil growing on my front step. Five minutes later, I was well on the road to recovery after boiling it all up with a packet of said noodle soup ("shrimp flavored"), and I sat huddled over the warmth of this yummy aromatic broth, imagining I was somewhere in the South Pacific, tanned, healthy, giddy and stress-free. My fantasy unfortunately came to a screeching halt when I realized I had eaten the entire bowl (1st REAL meal in days!), and I seriously contemplated having seconds but decided, eh, "moderation with the sodium, Grasshopper!"
And so, here's my point (which can also help you prep for your resolutions next month):
a) Yeah, you can follow the guidelines and eat a "healthy" diet based on the latest craze, but sometimes you have to break your own self-imposed rules. I know several people who are strict "non-meatarians" (my made up word) who could most certainly benefit from a couple bowls of marrow soup. I eat red meat once a year, specifically on my birthday when I celebrate with a yummy well seasoned T-bone steak (trust me; I have no guilt about enjoying that). Although you can get iron from other food sources (like quail eggs, Medjool dates, red berries, spinach and beets), to me nothing beats a juicy grilled steak or beef liver smothered with onions. Caveat: this is my personal opinion; although I may make suggestions when solicited, I am not and will not push any particular diet on anyone at anytime.
b) There’s a time & place for everything. I wouldn’t personally eat my noodle soup every day, as much as I love the yumminess of it when I dress it up with extra spices & herbs. I used to knock back hot sauce like crazy until my hot flashes & personal summers got too intense & 1 of my teachers cautioned me: “Don’t be a slave to your taste bud". On the same token, eating too much dairy or cold foods is probably not the wisest thing to do when you’re all phlegmy (“Cold congeals”). Everything in moderation, my Friends.
c) Speaking of moderation, don’t do like a lot of us overachievers do. Superman (Woman) exists only in the comic books so quit doing it all, running yourself ragged, and wearing yourself down into the ground. Pacing yourself is advised and way better than overtasking yourself which can make you ill in the long run. Take frequent breaks – they’ll recharge your spirit, energize and inspire you. And as much as we love hanging with family and friends at Christmas, take the time to find your “alone-time” to commune with Nature, breathe, nap, be silent – whatever it takes to reboot your inner computer. Have a fabulous Christmas, anticipate a glorious new year, and exercise moderation in all that you do. And because 80% of diseases begin in your gut, eat healthy, wholesome foods that nourish your Body, Mind and Spirit. Ask your local acupuncturist how Chinese dietary therapy can help you meet your health and wellness goals. “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food” (Hippocrates). Many blessings, and here's to a healthy, happy holiday!
Audrey Steele, L.Ac.