The Chinese New Year holidays are an exciting and festive time, with lots of good company, reunion of relatives and friends and delicious meals, cakes and delicacies.

TCM Health Tips For The Chinese New Year Holidays

Amid the festivities and feastings, it is easy to let down our hair and indulge in whatever is presented to us. However, they can also be a bit wearing and exhausting! If you’re feel a bit worn down as the end of the year approaches, listen to your body and give yourself permission to take it easy. Nature does it, so why not go with nature? The more we go with nature’s energetic ebb and flow and conserve our energy versus spending it, the more we can stay healthy in mind-body-spirit during the holiday season.

Remember, conserving your Qi as much as possible, especially by going with Nature’s flow, can make a huge difference in terms of banking your energy reserves and staying healthy and well for the rest of your (long) life!

Here are some tips from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective that will help you enjoy Chinese New Year without spending the rest of the year recuperating from the excess.

Indulge in Moderation

While you don’t need to nibble on carrots while everyone else enjoys cookies and cakes, simply eating until you’re 70-80% full can help keep those pesky holiday pounds away. Limiting your portions of holiday goodies conserves your Stomach’s energy, which is crucial for good metabolism function.

Many vegetables are used in Chinese New Year dishes that have symbolic meaning and you can eat more of, including Fatt Choy (Black Moss – which has plenty of vegetable fibre), spring onions, lettuce, and more. Most of these vegetables dishes are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals and help in digestion.

Nevertheless, if your’re able to, stick to warm and cooked foods, which also helps your Stomach function better.

Don’t Visit On An Empty Stomach

When you are hungry, you tend to overeat without thinking. Have a light meal or healthy snack of apple, banana or nuts before visiting or in between visits.

Be Selective When Snacking

There are plenty of health snacks mixed in with the less healthy ones in the snack trays. Be picky with your snacking and opt for a larger helping of healthier options like the wide option of nuts, lotus seeds (kuaci) and mandarin oranges instead of processed snacks like candy or sugared confections like pineapple tarts and the other rich cakes.

Drink Water – Lots Of It

Start every day with a large glass of lukewarm water. Fill your favourite glass with water and drink it slowly, followed by taking some deep breaths into your abdomen. This morning ritual helps keep your body hydrated and relaxed at a time when more-than-usual amounts of alcohol and caffeine (both dehydrators) meet higher-than-usual stress levels.

Water keeps you from being dehydrated when you do home visits and helps to flush off the toxins accumulated from the feasting. Choose plain water over the sugary drinks and alcohol.

Metaphorically, water serves as a model for coping with holiday stress. When stress starts to mount, close your eyes and imagine yourself as strong, yet fluid and flexible. You are easily able to adjust around whatever gets in your way.

Stay Active

Do not forget your exercise regimens. The holiday season is no excuse to slack. Don’t forget that you will be eating more calories and if you do not burn them off with exercise, they will be stored as fat.

Be A Conscientious Host

If you are hosting visitors, do them a favour by offering a variety of healthy nuts, salads and fruits in addition to the standard rich cakes and pastries.

Prepare a nice pot of good Chinese tea or chrysanthemum tea rather than serving the sugary drinks or alcohol. Or better still, prepare a tasty detoxifying pot of lemongrass ginger tea using the simple recipe here. This wonderful brew is not just tasty but helps ease indigestion, headaches and much more:

Ingredients

  • 10 Stalks of Lemongrass, preferably fresh
  • 1 Inch Ginger, peeled
  • 1 Pandan (Screwpine) Leaf, tied
  • 4 Cups of Water
  • Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka) or Brown Sugar, to taste

Method

  1. Slice lemongrass and ginger thinly to increase surface area to extract flavour.
  2. Boil lemongrass, ginger, pandan leaf and water together for at least 25 minutes.
  3. Add palm sugar to taste until dissolved.

De-stress Healthily

Dealing with stress in constructive, practical ways saves your energy for healing purposes. It’s as simple as breaking eggs or screaming aloud in your car! The energetic vibration of breaking (anything) or screaming is particularly good for your Liver, the organ most affected by stress and a key organ for metabolic health and women’s health.

Another good way is to spend 10 – 15 minutes a day walking around in natural surroundings. Taking just three minutes a day to notice the natural world around you can be a refreshing de-stressor amid the holiday madness. Porter recommends picking a piece of nature that inspires gratitude in you. It can be an old tree, a serene pond, or a patch of wild flowers. Maybe it is just standing outside and feeling the solid earth under your feet, or the crisp wind against your face.

Getting out in nature at holiday time is not only a nice break but also a reminder of the magnificent gifts that surround us every day.

So here’s a to good health and good fortune to all! Have a happy, healthy and blessed Chinese New Year!

TCM Health Tips For The Chinese New Year Holidays
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