February 2024

Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2nd.  A groundhog named Phil, living in Punxsutawney, PA, determines whether we will have 6 more weeks of winter, depending on seeing his shadow.

Whether Phil’s customary performance determines our winter fate for the next few weeks or not, preparing for the seasonal changes that this time of year brings is essential. The weather extremes become more evident, and our bodies feel them.  

As a reminder, the You Can Heal You macrobiotic lifestyle taught is about supporting your organ systems seasonally with food choices, combinations, cooking styles, and the lifestyle care needed to help transition from one season to another.

We continue this month with kidney, adrenals, bladder, and sexual reproductive support.  This is important because the weather changes do affect us.  If you have any inflammation in your body, the barometric pressure will trigger symptoms. You may recognize these as joint or arthritic inflammation. The familiar comment by someone saying, “Oh, I think it’s going to rain or get cold because my knee hurts,” is the pressure in the body feeling the change from the atmospheric level before the weather settles.

We refer to these expansive and contractive energy exchanges,  as yin and yang.

These exchanges may be felt mainly in the joints, but whether symptoms are obvious or not, every part of our bodies reacts. Our tissues, bones, muscles, and mucosa may all be affected.  This natural process of adjustment can be uncomfortable if it shows up with symptoms like colds and, in the extreme, the flu.

Some reminders to avert the extreme changes are to physically restrain warmth in the middle part of your body. The kidney wrap comes to mind.  As simple as wrapping a scarf around your waist, covering your kidneys will help both kidneys and adrenals. Keep your feet warm.  Warmer feet open up the blood vessels and allow better blood flow, thus moving heat to every other body part, which boosts energy and protects your immune system.

Keeping your head covered when you go out into the cold protects most of the heat. Approximately 40-45 percent of body heat is lost through the head and neck due to increased blood flow, compared to the rest of the body. 

Your grandmother was right …cover your head, wear a coat, and put on good warm shoes before you leave the house. The extreme chills you experience when you quickly run to the car to get something, to the mailbox, or go to the garage barefooted will trigger your immune system to react. Most of the time, you might be able to shrug it off, but there is that one time that it won’t, and you open yourself up to a virus or a pathogen that finds its way in.

Your nose, ears, mouth, and hands are the gatekeepers.  Your immune system is the fighter, and keeping these in check will help prevent extreme body shifts.

Focusing on certain food items will be key in preparing your body for seasonal change.

Warming and strengthening foods are still what is needed throughout this month.

A perfect example is the soup on this month’s cooking class menu. The name says it all: “cold fighting miso soup.” The ingredients are strategically combined to create the best immune-fighting potential, and if you do have a cold or flu, it is a great soup to aid in the healing process because it allows the body to expel excess inflammation and warms up the organ systems, especially the kidneys.

Whether online or in person, come and learn how to make a delicious immune boost lunch this Saturday, February 3rd, at 9.30 am CST.

The lecture topic will be on keeping the mentioned organ systems strong and balanced for their best efficacy. To feel that you are managing your health instead of pain managing you is very empowering. 

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