“Spring cleaning” might be fitting for your closets when a wardrobe change is in order.

However, when it comes to food, THIS is the time of year that we think clean.

There are all manner of resolutions running around. To eat better, get fitter, trimmer, healthier in all realms. Post-holiday food coma / divine over-indulgence, leads to New Year’s zealous clamour for diet based self-improvement. I am not suggesting detox or cleanse to fit into your svelte snowsuits whilst dining in a snowcave (as seen above). This is NOT the time of year to be working your liver– spring and fall are the more auspicious organ flushing times. Will talk about that in the March horoscope for all you lotuslanders when the buds start popping up on the coast and it is bioregionally climate-appropriate and physiologically as nature intended.

In the meantime, this is only the Beginning of January! Don’t waist time frowning at your beltline. What is truly fitting in this beginning of January is clean and spicy– think ginger and turmeric -not so much salsa and chips. Who in the world offers up delicious health-promoting dishes with stimulating variety and belly warming satisfaction? This is clearly where the Asian cuisine shines bright. Many ingredients used in Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cuisine are especially immune supportive and warming during these chilly months. Stimulating and warming are perfect complements for the staid Canadian wintertime constitution- body and soul.

I love the asian ingredients/flavourings that are used in curries, hot and sour soups, and stirfries that provide just what the doctor ordered –in your steaming bowl.

Here are a list of my 10 favourites and some of the reasons why all sun signs point East this month:

  • Ginger-warming spice superstar, digestive aid, excellent for stomach aches, nausea, immune support
  • Turmeric– strong anti-inflammatory, warming, anti-rheumatic.
  • Miso-good source of low calorie protein, beneficial bacteria, great flavour
  • Coriander/cilantro- anti-microbial, digestive aid
  • Cumin: anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, blood sugar balancing
  • Chilies– immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, boost metabolism
  • Seaweeds– richest source of minerals in vegetable kingdom and OMEGA 3s
  • Coconut milk– great dairy substitute (for reducing phlegm), contains lauric acid -good for immune system
  • Ume plum vinegar– sprinkled in greens increases bioavailability of vitamins and minerals and alkalinizing
  • Lemongrass– cleansing, refreshing, digestive tonic

I will be holding a workshop in honour of these illustrious ingredients at the end of the month.
If you want to learn more about their benefits and how to use them in fabulous dishes, come join me for Asian Inspiration Jan 29, 10am -2pm at UBC campus.

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