Seasonal Cooking Class for the Fall

STAYING HEALTHY AND EATING SIMPLY IN THE FALL WITH A CHINESE MEDICINE PERSPECTIVE

Genevieve Johnson, L.Ac. presents a simple approach to eating healthy in the fall using the principles of Chinese Medicine. Light dinner provided with fun tips on eating seasonally. There will be a demo of how to make fermented foods plus yummy samples. You also get to learn how to make your own custom hand sanitizer with a bottle for you to take home to keep you healthy in this transitional season.

Saturday, October 13, 2018 @ 4-6pm. Cost is $25

Another class time is: Thursday November 8th, 2018 from 6-8pm

Class size is limited and preregistration is required (see form below)

LOCATION: Portland Wellness Professionals 9955 SE Washington St., Suite 303 Portland, OR 97216

Registration is required for all classes.

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Hippocrates Soup

hippocrates soup ingredients

Hippocrates is said to be the “father of western medicine,” since I practice TCM, I’m not so sure, but what I really do like is his quote, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I also appreciate the part of the Hippocratic Oath that talks about “first do no harm,” this is the root of the Gerson Therapy, which is probably why Dr. Max Gerson named the very important component of his therapy, Hippocrates soup after him. Hippocrates soup is an integral part of The Gerson Therapy. On this diet it is required to have at least 8oz with lunch and 8oz with dinner every day. This soup is made fresh every other day. The ingredients are really pretty simple and we are lucky that even the local Fred Meyer (mega chain grocery store) carries the most challenging ingredient to find… celery root. We are especially lucky that we live in Portland with so many amazing co-ops that offer so much amazing produce.

I would honestly say that I find this soup pretty bland, but there are some great garnishes to add to make it so tasty. The most simple addition that I find really makes it taste so good is ginger,* just grate some fresh ginger root to taste and yummy!! Another easy addition is a little lemon juice… this is Dan’s favorite way to have the soup. I personally like both and then add a little cilantro or basil… muy delicioso!!!

lemon ginger

*Ginger was an ingredient that originally not allowed on the Gerson Therapy, but now it is allowed and of course anyone on the Gerson Therapy should check with their Gerson trained MD to make sure it can be added to their program.

TCM Properties of Hippocrates Soup

Onion and leek are warming and moving, they nourish Lungs and Spleen to help reduce phlegm in the body. Celery and celery root are cooling and cleansing to the body, the salty nature helps to dissolve masses. Tomatoes are strengthening to the Spleen and Stomach; help alleviate thirst by promoting body fluids. Parsley builds blood, is warming and drying, which is great for Spleen and the pungent flavor enters/supports the Lungs. Potatoes are neutral and sweet in flavor which tonifies the Spleen/Stomach. Garlic is very pungent and warming to help dissolve masses, purge toxicity and parasites from the body.

Together all these foods and herbs work together to build the Spleen and Stomach energy to improve digestion and build qi. They also help to dissolve masses in the body to reduce tumors. It is interesting that many of these foods are also high in quercetin which is considered a strong antioxidant that is proven to prevent and breakdown cancer cells.

Hippocrates-Soup-Recipe

Blood Building Hot Cereal with Goji Berries

goji berries

Goji Berries or Gou Qi Zi are an awesome Traditional Chinese Herb. They are used to help build the blood, supplement the energy, and build the Liver blood and are good for the eyes. They also happen to be super tasty. Since I have a 2 year old and we are raising her vegan it is always on my mind to make sure to get her the right kinds of foods that will keep her healthy and strong. In Chinese Medicine veganism is sometimes looked upon in not the best light because there is a fear that if you don’t eat animal products you can become blood deficient. Well I have been vegan for almost 20 years, had a vegan pregnancy and then gave birth to an amazing daughter. Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the things that can really tax our bodies and take a lot of extra blood and energy to accomplish. Many of my non-vegan friends had issues with anemia during pregnancy and I was never even close. I was hiking and riding my bike right up to the day Jade was born.

Goji Berries are a fun herb to grow in the Pacific Northwest too, but I am yet to find the best location in my garden. The first year I was growing them I got a few berries and then not much since. I think they just needed a bit more sun than what I was giving them. If anyone has some tips on growing them in the NW please let me know.

Toddler Approved Hot Cereal

Toddler Approved Hot Cereal

Here is the hot cereal recipe:

Hot Cereal with Goji Berries

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup millet
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 2-3 TB Coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 TB sesame seeds (unhulled)
  • Generous handful of Goji Berries

Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cover with water about a 1/2 inch over the dry ingredients. Then bring to a boil and cover, turn down heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. I also added a pinch of cinnamon and a couple TBS of coconut oil.

Chinese Medicine Properties:  The goji berries, sesame seeds and coconut are blood building. The bland flavors of oats, millet and quinoa are beneficial to the Spleen and Stomach and are good for supplementing them which is also helpful in building the blood. The cinnamon is good for increasing digestive fire, which is important since too many blood building foods can be harder to digest. The cinnamon helps to aid the digestion. Enjoy!!!

What does Vegan Acupuncture mean anyway?

I first moved to Portland 10 years ago to attend graduate school for Traditional Chinese Medicine at OCOM. There were two things that greatly surprised me: that Portland was a vegan mecca and that I would face many challenges as a vegan at a school for TCM.

Unfortunately veganism is not something that is looked very highly upon in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncturists will often say that if someone is vegan or vegetarian that they are “blood deficient” or need to build up the blood. Why is that? It is because in TCM we look at the nature of the foods we eat as important to our health. If someone has a weak constitution or recovering from an illness or surgery they need strong, nutrient rich foods to build them back up… i.e.. animal products (this is the theory anyway). Now I am a vegan and was a vegan many years before I went to school for TCM and I have studied vegan nutrition extensively along with nutrition from a TCM perspective. There are many other foods that nourish the blood and are super nutrient rich that are plant-based. I will get to those shortly, but first I want to talk a little bit about the theory that makes many TCM practitioners believe you have to eat animal products to be healthy and build the blood.

In TCM theory our blood is made by the Spleen (this is obviously much different than what we know of the spleen in western physiology). The Spleen and our digestion need to have digestive fire in order to transform the foods we eat into the essence that will become the blood.  Animal products already have a warming nature (they are mostly warm-blooded and active creatures) so the pathway is shorter in that they turn into blood faster than eating plants. This is where the theory of TCM directly conflicts with my personal beliefs and clinical experience.

I get around this cognitive dissonance by eating plant foods that build my blood. Below is a list of foods that build the blood.

Blood Building Foods: dark leafy greens (kale, collards, mustard greens, beet greens, parsley, cilantro, nettles, dandelion greens), beets, carrots, black sesame seeds, blackstrap molasses, goji berries, kidney beans, legumes, peanut skin, avocado, apricot, grapes, almonds, and brown rice. You can see from this list that it’s pretty easy to get lots of blood building nutrient dense foods in a vegan diet. My favorite way to get lots of those dark leafy greens is through green smoothies!!!

Enjoying a Green Smoothie

Clinical Experience: many people that I treat have chronic pain, allergies, fatigue, digestive issues, and trouble maintaining a healthy weight. These are all symptoms usually related to diet and lifestyle or inflammation in the body. When I can get someone to cut out processed foods and animal products the results are amazing! I get to see people totally transform and feel better than ever before. This is what inspires me everyday and makes me so grateful to be able to help people heal themselves.