Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter Reflections: Dr. Annalisa Pastore, M.D.

Winter Reflections: Dr. Annalisa Pastore, M.D.

During this winter season I encourage you to retreat into your inner selves to gain clarity on what it is you would like to manifest in the next season of your life.  Winter is for retreat and reflection to prepare for the next season...spring, which is for manifesting.  I know for myself and my family, I decided to follow the lead of my children this winter who wanted to under-schedule themselves, leaving more time for quiet.  Of course they were right about the needs of the spirit.

There are acts of kindness towards the self that we often instinctively choose during this time of year...warming comfort foods and drink, celebration with family and friends.  Allow yourselves such self-nourishment.  Choose to warm yourself in front of a fire or in a hot bath.  To keep ourselves from succumbing to the cold related illnesses of the season, it is important to fortify our kidney/adrenal energy.  The winter season is the season of the element of water and its associated meridians...kidney and urinary bladder.  These are two of the more important meridians...the kidney's jing or essence is the foundation of the yin and yang of all the body's organs, and the urinary bladder's course alongside the spinal cord allows it to reflect autonomic nervous system's control of all the organs of the body.  Water is an amazingly versatile element in its various forms, in its ability to reflect in its stillness, transmit subtle yet dispersing ripples in its stirring, and create powerful waves in its agitation.

We maintain balance in the kidney and bladder meridians when we are gentle with our selves and hopeful.

It is no coincidence that the longer nights of winter coincide with the time to be attentive to our kidney (adrenals) and bladder.  We should take the cues of the season to ensure plentiful and restorative sleep, going to sleep earlier and rising later (as is possible).

For additional more specific information on nutritional supplementation and herbs most appropriate during this time of year, you may speak with Dr. Pastore, M.D. and/or Diane Rooney, M.S., L.AC., DIPlL. OM., L.M.T., Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs.  Sue Noyes, HHC also has many suggestions for appropriate nourishing foods. 

CHI Kitchen

Millet is a wonderful gluten-free grain, which has a high protein profile in comparison to other grains. It is said to strengthen the kidneys, is beneficial to the stomach and spleen-pancreas, builds “yin” fluids, moistens dryness, and is alkalizing, balancing over-acid conditions. This delicious breakfast cereal idea will start your day off right on cold winter mornings.

Warm Breakfast Millet

1 cup millet, rinsed
2 or 2 ½ cups organic almond milk (or water)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (alcohol free)
A few grains of sea salt

1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup, drizzled, or stevia to taste
Sprinkle with 1 tbs. ground flaxseed, or nuts of choice
Seasonal fruit

Combine millet, almond milk, and seasonings in saucepan. Bring to gentle boil, stir and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 25 - 30 minutes. It is done when it is light and fluffy, and the liquid is absorbed. Serve with toppings. Makes 2-4 servings depending on appetite.