When Chinese medicine was being developed thousands of years ago, people were living in a state of complete harmony with their surroundings. Their day was based on the sun rising and setting, they were more aware of their natural environment and would eat only what was in season.
Their lives had a flow that changed depending on the time of the year, what happened to be available nearby to eat, what was being grown and available. When to get up, how to dress and what kind of activities were engaged in were dependent on the important connection that people had to their environment. Because these simple steps were taken people were able to stay healthy throughout the year and had the tools to keep their immune systems and their organs strong, so that they could ward off disease.
Winter represents the most Yin aspect in Chinese Medicine. Yin is the dark, cold, slow, inward energy. This compared to the Yang of summer whose energy represents light, hot, quick expansive qualities. The summer weather is warm, the days are longer and people are out and being active. We believe that diet and activities in winter should be adapted to enriching yin and subduing yang.
There are many foods that are beneficial for us to eat in winter, the ones that are naturally grown in this season includes squash, potatoes, root vegetables, winter greens, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, apples and pears. Making a slow cooked soup and including black beans, kidney bean, lamb or chicken bones, walnuts and dark leafy greens will infuse your body with heat, tonify your kidneys and keep you warm in the winter months.