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Congee: a healing comfort food

Rice is a staple grain in China, and except for some regional variations, is the base of most meals.  Congee is rice cooked with 3-5 times more water than usual. But this simple variation transforms rice into a healing culinary jewel. Likely first cooked just to extend a meager supply of rice in times of famine, congee has since become a jewel of rice cuisine.  It’s a common breakfast food and also an important healing food.  Many of China’s cancer hospitals serve congee to their patients.  It is soothing to the gut mucosa, provides easily digested nutrition and can be a enhanced with herbs or other foods to increase its medicinal effect.  I like it for breakfast, lunch or dinner with ginger, scallions and chicken or seafood.  Add a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil and you are in heaven.  I use a pressure cooker, but it can be made on the stovetop.

For a more medicinal congee, use more water, at least 10 parts water to 1 part rice.  Cook until the rice grains are disintegrated. Don’t forget the ginger!

Here is an easy to follow recipe for the pressure cooker.  https://iamafoodblog.com/make-instant-pot-chicken-congee/

 

 

Healthy Foods for Fall

traditional chinese medicine foods for fall

The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and humans start winterizing everything.

As fall descends on the land, it reminds us we need to start cutting back on the numerous cooling foods that are consumed during the summer months. Things like raw foods, salads, juices and fruits should be decreased because they can create too much cold in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. continue reading »

Five Reasons to Get Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

Statistics show eight out of 10 people will experience low back pain at some point during their life. Seeking medical treatment for back pain is very common. Typically back pain is fleeting and can be easily resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain can be as high as 50 percent. Part of this is because as we age, things like muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known in the United States, people are too sedentary and this leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the low back. continue reading »