Qi is energy
Often times towards the end of the winter season Qi deficiency can be very common. It can cause an individual to feel weak or lethargic and the immune systems defenses may be lowered.
By eating foods with a sustained source of energy along with activity and movement, breathing exercises and mindful posture You can increase your energy. Also, by eating organic food sourced locally and minimizing your intake of processed food you can get your Qi in movement and harmony once again. Eating foods that have sweet and warm energetics help to tonify Qi. If you can, you should heat your food in an oven or on a stovetop, but you should avoid at all costs microwaving your food to heat it.
By increasing the energy level in the food we chose to eat, our bodies will get a high quality source of nutrients to sustain us throughout the day. Microwaves, as convenient as they are, will in fact destroy valuable nutrients in food.
Qi can also become stagnant, so it is important not to overeat heavy, rich foods in one sitting. Also, stimulants that seem to perk you up- eventually just make the problem worse, so it’s important to avoid too much sugar and caffeine.
Finding some time for yourself to relax and make a nice meal actually promotes Qi circulation!
Qi typically becomes stagnant due to lack of physical exercise and lack of energetic foods in the diet, but it can also become blocked because of emotional issues.
Just as important as physical exercise is to your health and well-being, so is expressing and indulging your creative urges. Feeling inspired will lift your spirit and with it, tonify your Qi!
It is also said that conversation and laughter with loved ones after a meal will help promote digestion and Qi circulation.
Green acorn squash for all things Qi:
For the seasoned Rice:
Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a pot and add 1 cup of jasmine rice. Add half a teaspoon of coriander seed, mustard seed, fennel seed and garlic to the rice. Let it boil with the seasonings for about five minutes. When the rice has absorbed the water, periodically check to be sure you’re not burning the rice on the bottom of the pot with an occasional stir. Leave the rice covered and set on a side burner simmering on the lowest setting while you prepare the squash. Be sure to check back in on the rice and turn the heat off completely when it is done after a taste test.
For the two acorn squash cut in half for 4 servings:
Cut the tip off of the point of the squash, and very carefully see-saw the knife back-and-forth into that tip as you slowly work your way from the top down to the middle of the squash.
Once you get to the stem on the other end, remove the knife carefully and with both of your hands slowly twist apart.
Scoop the seeds out into your compost ( you could also roast the seeds and eat them later like you would with pumpkin seeds).
To season the squash:
A drizzle of sesame oil
A pinch of extra fine sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Lightly dusted with Cumin
A drizzle of maple syrup
Lightly dusted with fresh grated ginger
Place the squash into a large cast-iron pan
Preheat the oven to 400°
Bake for 25 minutes, then bring the temperature of the oven down to 300°
Pull the squash out of the oven, place foil over the cast-iron and place back in the oven.
Continue to bake for 30- 40 minutes
To toast pecans and sunflower seeds:
One cup of pecans
Half a cup of sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
A drizzle of sesame oil
Two chefs pinches of salt
A pinch of cayenne
A pinch of garlic powder
A pinch of white pepper powder
A pinch of onion powder
A light drizzle of maple syrup
In a cast iron pan on a low heat lightly toast the seeds and nuts together on the stove top.
For the apples and the dates:
Use six fresh dates .
Tear them apart to remove the pit and chop the halves into small pieces.
Use one Braeburn Apple and chop into 1 inch pieces.
Add the dates and the apples to the pecans, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds that are toasting. Then lightly great fresh ginger over-the-top and add a little extra cumin powder and continue to toast/cook on the lowest setting for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Start by spooning the spiced rice into each acorn squash and then top with the spiced pecan, apple and date mix.
I like to garnish this dish with fresh rosemary or sage for a little pop of green and also for their flavorful, medicinal quality! This acorn squash recipe is delicious hot but it’s also great cold as a leftover lunch for the next day.