Last month I wrote about preparing for the colder months and the precautions you can take by eating warming foods. Some of you have asked about what I meant by damp.
Now that the days get shorter and the evenings get longer, it’s important you don’t go into hibernation mode and overindulge on comfort foods. Fast food, sweet and stodgy foods, dairy products, sugary soft drinks and alcohol can all lead to dampness and phlegm which can weaken the Spleen and cause problems such as bronchitis and sinusitis. Your body is just a like a house, and damp can cause both acute and chronic problems. Control your snacking if you know you have a weakness for biscuits and tea so you can be in the best possible shape to defend yourself against the excesses of the festive season.
As we get deeper into autumn, you should continue the moistening foods of September but also add some warming ones. Grains like millet, oats, rice and corn as well as beef and lamb. Carrots, cauliflower, leeks and radishes are also good, perfect for a stew!
If you get caught in the rain, substitue your usual cup of tea with a warming cup of chai to warm the body. If you notice shivering or the beginning of a cold, garlic, cinnamon, ginger and onions are all good for stimulating the circulation of qi.
The best way to protect yourself during flu season is to wash your hands. We can’t ensure everyone covers their mouths and noses when they cough or sneeze (oh how I wish we could!) but if you wash your hands regularly especially before mealtimes, that ensures there nasty germs won’t have such an effect on you.
If you do get ill, try to take a break and stay home if you can even if it’s just for one day. It makes it easier for your body to recuperate but also protects others from catching it.
Photo credit: elbfoto via flickr
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