Guest Post by Erica French of Cycle of Life Acupuncture
When working with patients I am finding that many people do not realise how important it is to ‘Eat with the Seasons’. Some patients present with bloating, abdominal pain, or loose stools and when questioned about their diet it becomes evident that they are consuming raw foods, cold juices, or fruits during the winter months.
When women injest an excess of raw and cold foods, it is thought to build-up what is called “Cold-Damp” or “Cold” inside the body, leading to no periods, irregular periods, or painful periods. When embarking upon fertility treatment such as IVF or IUI it is very important to have periods regulated as much as possible.
Seasonal changes in climate are thought to have a significant effect on the physiological functions and pathological changes in the body. Therefore, dietary therapy should be taken into account whilst preparing yourself for IVF or IUI. It is also important to try to find a balance in the types of foods you eat.
For example, in the Winter, it is important to keep the body warm by drinking warm teas, such as ginger tea with brown sugar, eating warm soups and stews, beans, root vegetables, miso and seaweed, garlic, and ginger. If you are not a vegetarian, eating warm foods that contain meats such as lamb and beef should be considered and if you are vegetarian, eating beans and legumes, cooked rice, whole grains and roasted nuts help to warm the body’s core and keep you nourished.
Winter Warming Recipe For Fertility
The following is a lovely Winter Warming recipe to help get you started on the right path to “Eating with the Seasons’.
LAMB AND LEEKS WITH DAIKONS FOR FERTILITY
- 1/2 to 1 lb. lean lamb pieces with the bone. Lamb leg bones can be purchased at mideastern markets.
- 3-4 large leeks, sliced
- 3-4 slices fresh ginger root
- 3-4 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 cup sliced Daikon radish root
- 1 Tbl barley miso paste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp organic cold-pressed sesame oil
Saute’ the ginger and garlic in the oil until brown and fragrant. Add the cleaned leek slices (slice them in half and soak for a minute in warm water to remove all the dirt) and lamb and saute a little more. After 5 minutes, add the daikon, bones (if separated), and enough water to cover the ingredients and then some. Bring to a boil and then cook on medium-low for about an hour. As the Job’s Tears tend to absorb water you may have to add more during the course of cooking. Near the end, add slightly diluted miso paste and black pepper. The miso paste is optional. It is a traditional Japanese ingredient, but I love the mellow flavor it imparts to all soups. A little red wine or Chinese rice wine could be added at this point also. Serve with a little soy sauce if more salt is needed.
This is a slightly sweet warming soup, excellent for building blood in the winter time. Lean lamb is very rich, and the “blood tonic”
Chinese Dietary Therapy, Liu Jilin & Gordon Peck, Churchill Livingstone 1999