Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Sages Ride the Seasons Like Horses


Summer Horse with all Season Rabbits

I think the blog title, which is a quote from the Nei Jing,  says much, and there is much written about the correct way to navigate your way through the seasons and their transitions so as to enjoy optimal health and avoid illness. Correct conduct during a season will decrease chances of illness during the next. I have a book with entertaining and esoteric advice for each Qi Node of the year (there are 24); what color jade to wear, when you should practice Nei Gong (and what direction you should face), how often to have sex, that sort of thing. It can be a bit overwhelming and would take many postings of background Chinese Medical explanations. So without getting too complex (I actually like things to be simple) here is the deal. Our human bodies, despite "civilization", are still closely connected to the natural world. Our systems respond to the seasonal change with a shift in metabolism. Don't fight it. Nature is way bigger than we are, it is always good to align oneself with the biggest thing around, that's plain survival sense. Take a look at what nature is doing during the Summer; she is doing a lot everything is busy like the bees; all is industry and fruition. Summer is a good time to do alot, it is OK to multi-task during the Summer, not like the Winter when nature is in waiting and hibernation mode. Since Summer is hot it is both a good time to collect some heat for the Winter, particularly if you tend to be cold, and a time to avoid getting too much heat. Too heat heat can accumulate in the body and express itself in various heat pattern diseases like in
somnia, heart palpitations, skins eruptions, anxiety. Lest you think you understand, heat is not the only culprit for these conditions, now you know a little how I felt at school learning this stuff. One way to stay cool is to eat cooling foods, that is not food that is cool in temperature, but that is cool by its nature; energetically cool. Some of these foods are cucumbers (bet you knew that already), greens, watermelon, Snow Peas, Cilantro, Mint,  Barley, Buckwheat, tomatoes, pears, Miso (the live kind from the refridgerated section at the market),
green tea, white fish, and ham (no nitrates). Eating all cooling foods can lead to too much dampness so use moderate amounts of slightly warming foods like fresh ginger, scallions, and garlic. Foods to avoid are greasy or deep fried things, soybeans, coffee and sugary sweets. Don't overeat during the Summer, have smaller meals and light snacks. As Summer wears on pace yourself, don't burn out; Even though you can do alot; relax too, travel, go someplace new. Here is the worst case Summer scenario, really asking for heat trouble; you go to the Beach and have a Bar-B-Que starting at noon, consume massive amounts of slightly burnt chicken smoothered in store bought BBQ sauce and Macaroni Salad made with plenty of store bought Mayonaise, You drink some beer and have a couple of shoots of tequila and then have some ice cream. You get sunburned and there is a parking ticket on your car when you finally decide it is time to go home. A bit exaggerated, I admit, here's what is sub-optimal.  Noon outside should be avoided in most climes, Chicken is a heating meat made doubly so by burning it over flames, most industrialized foods are very hot (make your own Mayonaise, you can do it!), alcohol is also heating, even though ice cream is cold in temperature, it has sugar which is heating, plus eating cold stuff compromises the stomach's ability to digest and food stays around and gets hot and damp like a compost pile. Sunburn says, yup, too much sun, too much heat. The ticket on the car makes you really mad, red, hot, hopping, pissed off, and, oops, it is best to avoid extreme emotions during this season. The good news is you didn't do this! it wasn't you. You lead a moderate life, respecting Summer and using it's marvelous Yang energy to further your own fabulous and book worthy life. You can read more on Summer HERE. If you have any questions, go ahead and leave them on comments and I will try to answer. 

RABBIT TIPS Heat can be very hard on rabbits. Help them though the heat wet their ears or give them a little cold pack. As you can see a couple favorite rabbit herbs are also cooling; cilantro and mint. In fact most fresh rabbit food is cooling, so that's easy.

9 comments:

ilex said...

That was a really interesting read. Thanks so much for writing it.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Yes, Mother. Crap - no beer and tequila eh????

The Bunns said...

We LOVE watermelon in the hot times!

mum of critters said...

great post - summer food is the best! fruit is ripe, veggies are yummers and everything like that makes you feel cool!

zinger is the lucky one - he lives in my bedroom and it's the only room the cooler works in, so he's doing very well. :-)

hope this latest round of fires (ugh) isn't smoking you out.

Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent advice, nicely written and the all season rabbits are adorable...

PG said...

I'll go with the multi-tasking!

FrecklesandDeb said...

Freckles sure likes the nice cold kitchen floor over the carpet on these hot days!

M.Kate said...

Hello there :D

I hop over recently and left a long comment but didnt know that it was not published.

Love this post. My mom always reminds us to eat certain food for cooling effect (same like your list). I remember very well that during my confinement (1 month after birth), I was forced to take a lot of ginger, chicken cooked inr rice wine (tons of it), bathe in certain herbs and lemongrass..all to keep the body warm.

As for the rabbits, I only feed them dry pallets, throw in a carrot once a week. Is that ok? Our pet shop here said not to feed them vege ...dont know why, but then not many are rabbits expert over here :( I always wonder how our rabbits survived in our very hot and humit weather, i see them panting away all the time!

Have a wonderful weekend :)

LauraHinNJ said...

Those little spotted bunnies are adorable!