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Choc-chilli cookies: gluten & dairy free

These look so good! Now that I’ve emerged from end of year Masters assessment, I’ll be back into blogging… and baking 🙂

Sarah George Acupuncture and Natural Health

choc-chilli cookiesOn my last curry night I made two desserts featuring spices sometimes used in curry: cardamom coconut cake and chilli-choc cookies.

The cookies tasted like a delicious chocolate biscuit followed with a chilli burn. Not for the faint-hearted. Although, you can always just decrease the chilli if it’s not your thing. It is my thing – I love the chilli sizzle. And chocolate and chilli are a match made in heaven. I am also a big fan of chilli chocolate chai.

Chilli has many uses in Chinese Medicine dietetics. Used fresh it can warm you up to the point of breaking a sweat, which then actually has a cooling effect on the body.This is an excellent treatment for the early stages of a common cold – we call it releasing the exterior. Think about the effect of a spicy vietnamese soup (pho). Dried chilli has a warmer action (and…

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Head. Cold.

I’m sick! How embarrassing.* Seriously. As someone who works in HEALTH, being sick seems … inappropriate. Particularly after crowing about my vitality and wellbeing to my family and friends. Let that be a lesson on the vulgarity of boasting! It also doesn’t help that I have been surrounded by the ill and infected over the past few weeks, with people sneezing in my face on more than one occasion.

Subsequently, I’m quarantined at home for a day or two – for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I don’t wish to inflict my lurgy on others. Secondly, rest is the best remedy. THE BEST. Although I strongly recommend herbal and nutritional immune support while sick, without adequate rest it will take much longer to recover. Honestly, convalescence is key.

Apart from lurking around the house in soft pants, I’ve also been doing the following:

  • Sitting outside in this glorious ‘winter’ sunshine we’ve been having in Sydney – letting the warmth sink right into my bones and topping up my Vitamin D levels in the process
  • Dosing up on a truly foul-tasting, but very effective, herbal tonic that will help to boost my immune system and blast away any persistent infection
  • Having regular spoonfuls of the winter ‘go to’: garlic oxymel
  • Taking a high dose of Zinc (in combo with Vitamin C) to, again, give my immune system an extra boost
  • Eating simply, keeping my fluids up, and making bright and pungent teas using such wonderful ingredients as those pictured below
TLG

Turmeric. Lemon. Ginger.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to blow my nose… in the sunshine.

___________

* After I posted this, Amanda – who I work with at Uclinic – made the valid point that it’s not embarrassing to be sick. In fact, it’s human and normal. True. Thanks for the reminder Amanda!

Three of my favourite spices for winter warming

Some excellent advice from Sarah on the benefit of warming spices during winter and how to get them into your diet. Yum!

Sarah George Acupuncture and Natural Health

spices webI don’t like being cold and I’ll admit it, I spend most of winter looking forward to spring. Yes, even in the Brisbane winter. There are many ways we can keep warm in winter – and choosing the right foods is one of them. Here are three of my favourite flavours to spice up my life in winter. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we describe each substance by its temperature, flavour and action in the body – some foods have a warming or hot action on the body.

Enjoy this tantalising yet brief introduction to my top three favourite warming spices and how you can use them in your diet:

  • Cardamom: warming, pungent and slightly bitter. Cardamom is an excellent digestive stimulant. It is sometimes termed the “Queen of the Spices” and is probably best known for its use in curries but can also be added to cakes and biscuits…

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