Natural Qi Newsletter
A Harvest of Good Health
Melani Bolyai, owner/acupuncturist Natural QiHello!
Fall is here, and I hope that you’ve been able to embrace the abundance of the season! This season’s newsletter will help you learn more about supporting digestive health, and give you tips for creating healthier home environment. Plus, there’s a tasty recipe for Hearty Fall Squash Soup.
…As always, please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to speaking with you or seeing you at your next appointment!
Supporting Better Digestive Health
One of the most-common ailments patients experience is troubled digestion. Digestive issues are very common, and acupuncture is an excellent way to treat digestive woes.
Problem digestion can be caused by stress, poor nutrition, viruses/bacteria, food allergies, or dietary stress from eating heavily processed foods. Women may be particularly affected by digestive problems related to hormonal fluxuations.
Despite all these stressors, there are some simple, effective things you can do to support healthy, comfortable digestion.
Try to eat in a relaxed state. Stress routes blood away from the digestive system, slows the metabolic process, and prevents proper nutrient absorbtion.
Breathe deeply while you eat. Oxygen helps you metabolize more quickly and efficiently.
Eat quality food. Poor quality food leaves your body wanting for more nutrients, and will signal your body to eat more in order to get these nutrients. This can lead to dissatisfaction with meals and overeating.
Pay attention to eating. If you are distracted when you eat, you may not absorb nutrients at an optimal rate, you are likely to overeat, and you can upset the digestive process.
Eat regularly. Eating at regular, frequent intervals helps the body digest, and prevents the body from going into a stressed state. Regular eating also keeps your metabolism from slowing.
Eat with joy and pleasure. The chemicals released in your body during times of joy and pleasure help you digest properly and efficiently. You will absorb more nutrients, and avoid weight gain that results from stress hormones overloading the body.
If you are looking for further support for digestive distress, I encourage you to call the office and make an appointment. Traditional Chinese Medicine is extremely effective in diagnosing and treating digestive problems. Chinese herbal remedies can strengthen the digestive system, and work to bring the body back into balance. Acupuncture needling supports healthy digestion by reducing stress, supporting immune function, and restoring hormonal balance.
I also recommend reading The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, & Weight Loss, by Marc David. It’s a beautiful book that offers tips and insights into eating, digestion, and developing a healthy, positive relationship to eating and food.
Cooper Tip: Help the Hungry
As a dog, one of the great pleasures of my life is eating! It breaks my doggy heart that some humans have to go without meals. Then I heard about a way we can all help! Go to www.thehungersite.com
The Hunger Site allows people to click on a link to send food to those in need FOR FREE. ( A relief for me, as I don’t understand people money anyway.) Contributions are funded by sponsors who have ads on the site. 100% of sponsor advertising fees goes to charitable partners.Funds are split between these organizations and go to the aid of hungrypeople in over 74 countries, including those in Africa, Asia, EasternEurope, the Middle East, Latin America and North America.
A Green Way to Clean
Studies show that the average American uses up to 40 pounds of commercial cleaning products a year! These products can contain toxic materials that can adversely affect our bodies and our environment. In fact, using commercial cleaning products can lean to allergies, respratory problems, skin irritations and other health issues. …and these materials often end up polluting our water soil and air. Whether you are looking to create a safer home environment, save money, or “go green” for the planet, switching to natural household cleansers can protect our bodies, our pocketbooks, and our earth.
You can find non-toxic, natural cleansers in many stores. “Green” brand names like 7th Generation, Sun & Earth can be found in places like Whole Foods and other health-minded stores. A smart, economical alternative to store-bought cleansers are home-made cleaners. Here is a list of a few common household materials that can be used to effectively clean your home from floor to ceiling.
White Vinegar can be used as a cleanser, disinfectant and deoderizer. If you are worried about the smell, rest assured, as soon as vinegar evaporates, it leaves no odor. Vinegar is great for cleaning kitchen and bath surfaces, attacking dirt, soap scum, hard water deposits, grease, and mildew. It can also be used as a natural fabric softener for those who have sensetive skin. Use 1 cup vinegar cut with 1 cup water to effectively clean bath and kitchen surfaces, brick, stone, windows, and hardwood floors. Do NOT use undiluted vinegar on marble or grout, as it may break down these materials. For fabric softener, add a half cup of straight vinegar to the rinse cycle of the wash.
Baking Soda can work as a natural abraisive to substitute for commercial scouring products. Baking soda is also an excellent natural deoderizer. Sprinkle baking soda on surfaces and scrub as an abraisive. Use water to make a paste for heavier scouring, like oven cleaning. For slow drains, pour 1/2-3/4 cups baking soda in the drain, and slowly dribble just enough warm water to wash the solution down. For clogged drains, pour in 1/2 cup baking soda, then pour in 1/2 cup vinegar. The foaming will cut through clogs. After 15 minutes, pour boiling water down the drain to rinse. Do NOT use boiling water if you have plastic pipes, as the heat can dammage pipe structure.
Lemon Juice cuts through soap scum, and hard water deposits. It can be used to shine brass and copper, and when mixed with olive oil (1 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup lemon juice) you can make your own furniture pollish!
Borax (sodium borate) cleans, deoderizes, removes stains and disinfects. Borax even prevents mold and mildew from growing. You can use it to clean wallpaper, painted walls, and floors. Cut 1/2 cup borax with 1 gallon of hot water.
Cornstarch can be used to clean windows, and to shampoo carpets and rugs.
Club Soda can be sprayed to clean windows and mirrors, and then wiped clean with crumpled newspaper or a lint-free cloth.
For safety, don’t mix home-made products with store-bought materials. Always label containters, and always clean in a well-ventilated area.
Harvest Squash Soup
This simple recipe will warm you up on a cool Fall day! The cloves and ginger give it a fun kick, and it’s simple to make, hearty and nutritious.
1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut in half
1 acorn squash, cut in half
1/2 spaghetti squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2/3 cup sherry
5 cups water or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Pinch cayenne (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lay the squash halves cut side down onbaking sheets, and roast them for 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft(the spaghetti squash may take a bit longer). When the squash hascooled a little, scoop out the seeds and discard them. Then, with alarge spoon, scoop out the flesh of the squash into a bowl.
2. Heat the butter or oil in a medium saucepan over mediumheat. Add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until theonion softens. Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder, and cook,stirring, for 1 minute. Add the apples and the sherry, and simmer for10 minutes, or until the apples soften.
3. Puree the squash flesh with the water or stock in batches ina blender or food processor. Transfer the squash puree to a largesaucepan, then puree the apple-sherry mixture, and add this to thepureed squash.
4. Heat the soup, and season it with the salt, pepper, and, if you like, cayenne. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, and serve.
If you have questions, or would like to discuss anything you read here, please feel free to contact me. Take Care and Be Well!
Natural Qi Acupuncture and Herbs