Join us for a Free Presentation – Foods that Build, Foods that Calm – Nutritious, balanced menus that support a child’s brain function

Marcia Marie Scully is a nutritionist, educator, intuitive healer and author.  She teaches nutrition based on the Seasonal Nutrition approach of Chinese Classical Medicine which focuses on the essence or character of each food, not on the quantity or volume of food.  She encourages re-establishing the natural rhythm in the body rather than relying solely on willpower.

“Foods that Build, Foods that Calm”

Our true body, balanced and rhythmic, knows how to remake itself. It is synchronized with the biorhythms and natural cycles of the day, tapping into nature’s timing for remaking and strengthening each organ throughout the 24 hours of a day.

If we see each day as one complete life cycle containing the phases of birth, maturation and fulfillment, it helps us understand our body more objectively. Each day offers the opportunity for life knowing what to do for itself and how to replenish itself.  I call it the ritual of the eternal day.

Every living organism is born knowing the purpose of its existence and how to achieve that purpose.  And it has a deep desire to fulfill that purpose.  The natural thrust of life force is to develop, improve and evolve, as true balance becomes true strength.  Since a balanced body’s natural trend is to adapt, strengthen itself and do well, your choice of nourishment is the only other major factor that either supports or limits an organ’s ability to do its work thoroughly.

As I was adjusting to the surprise of my second child being born with multiple handicaps, which hindered her eating, I researched food science texts to understand how to give her body maximum nourishment.  This is when I first realized that essence of food matters more than volume. Also, I would often wake up with a sense of a food that was being overlooked.  As I combined my own consensus in with my research, her digestion rapidly improved, spasticity and seizures relaxed. Although I was not outwardly aware of Seasonal Nutrition at that time, in looking back at my food journals the five tastes and five seasons were often being fed equally.

A few years later, as I shifted from teaching high school into studying nutrition, I again picked up the trail of the essence of food in my course work.  Then it became even more evident to me that our bodies do not need a certain volume or quantity of food each day in order to be satisfied.  Rather, they need a broad variety of nutrients that feed all the five organ systems equally, in order to be satisfied.   Since no one organ system is more necessary than another, it makes natural sense that they all need to be fed equally.  When all five organ systems are fed and strengthened equally, there is no jealousy among the organ systems.  From harmony comes agreement, cooperation and calm, leading to a natural rhythm that prompts the regenerative flow of health.  This is life confidently remaking itself–the magic of being alive.

In order to tap into this regenerative flow of health, I recommend practicing the ritual of the eternal day to give your body greater adaptability and ease in each 24-hour cycle.  Rather than just getting through the day with a sense of drudgery and a feeling of revolving old stuff, you have a choice.  Since the cumulative effect of the way you choose to live your day ultimately determines the way you live your life, it is worth pondering.  Even when faced with millions of stimuli, your sense organs and central nervous system work in such a way as to select and process only those stimuli that match what you already believe about yourself, day by day.

To implement the ritual of the eternal day, you can envision that each day is one complete spin of all the five seasons—Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Fall and Winter.  In your balanced body, each season corresponds to one of your five organ systems: immune, endocrine, digestive, respiratory and circulatory.

Each season also corresponds to one of the five tastes:  sour, bitter, sweet, pungent and salty.  In a balanced body, each of the tastes are needed to support the specific actions of one organ system, such as sour taste helping the liver breakdown fat.

To learn more about Seasonal Nutrition for you and your family, please join us for a Free presentation at 1 pm on October 24, 2012.  (See Events Calendar for location.)  This presentation will include samples of meals that are child-friendly and balanced.  You will also gain a better understanding of how to improve your child’s metabolism and your own.  In addition, we will look at foods that build and foods that calm in order to meet the extra nutritional requirements of a special needs child.   We will enjoy a yummy Fall soup together before closing the presentation.

For further information, please contact our office at 406-522-0722 or email us at marciascully55@gmail.com.

Watch for our blog at www.fivejewelsnutrition.wordpress.com

A Wonderful Fall Recipe – Sweet Potato Veggie Burger

Marcia Marie Scully

Marcia Marie Scully in her garden

      Early in my nutrition work, I chose to approach nourishment from the Seasonal Nutrition avenue of Chinese Classical Medicine. This background focuses attention on the essence or character of each food, not on the quantity or volume approach to food.

I like to share the concept that good health must be “grown” in our bodies, in the same sequence and style nature uses to balance itself daily.

Our five major organ systems have to manage the same categories needed to raise a good garden:

      • a good plan for defending the garden (Immune system);
      • adequate sunlight (Endocrine system);
      • rich soil (Digestive system)
      • clean air (Respiratory system)
      • good water (Circulatory system.)

The success of our garden depends largely on supporting and nourishing all these five organ systems equally, leading us to balance and homeostasis through nature’s regenerative cycles of birth, maturation and fulfillment.

This approach to health brings us to a better understanding of our true body, our true self and all others with whom we interact each day. It also helps us stay in touch with the concept that health relies more on re-establishing rhythm in the body, rather than steel willpower – a very empowering thought on its own!

Sweet Potato Burger recipe

Sweet Potato Burger recipe by Marcia

Recipe for a Sweet Potato Burger

(yield: 4-5 patties)

Ingredients    

1 1/4  C–  light-colored sweet potatoes
1/2 C – cooked millet
1/2 C – broccoli flowers cut into small bits
1/2 C – chopped water chestnuts
1/4 C – chopped yellow onion
1/3 C – cooked black beans (no bean juice)
1 tsp. – good quality butter (or ghee)
1/4  C –  dried cranberries, fruit-sweetened
2  tsp. – Simply Herbs NuPlus
1 tsp. –  Celtic salt
1 sprig –  fresh rosemary
2 tsp. – Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp. – dulse flakes
1/2 tsp. – miso paste
4 slices – Ezekiel bread
1/3 C –  olive oil

Directions:

Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2″ wide slices.   Steam them until tender.  Mash them well.  Add the 1/2 C cooked millet (cold) and mash in the butter and 1/2 tsp. miso paste. Stir in the chopped water chestnuts, chopped onion pieces and black beans. Then stir in the Bragg’s, the broccoli bits and dried cranberries.

Next, add all the dry ingredients.  The goal is to keep the mixture sticky and thick enough to be able to form a ball.  Trim the crust off  the edges of the Ezekiel bread and break the slices into small, irregular-sized pieces.  If your mixture isn’t sticky enough, stir in some Ezekiel bread pieces.  Now, form the mixture into several balls, a little bigger than a golf ball.  Roll each ball in the bread pieces until it is well-covered. Push a few needles of fresh rosemary deep into each patty.

Place the bread-coated balls into the skillet with olive oil and use your fingers or a spatula to flatten each ball into a patty.  Fry on a low heat, until each side of the patty is golden brown. As an option, this mixture bakes well in a loaf pan – 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Monitor carefully and avoid overbaking.

Serve with a nice soup or salad.  Enjoy!

Life in “the middle lane”

There is a common misconception that it takes a long time and great effort to bring your health back into balance and homeostasis, the middle way.  My experience has been that this is not always the case, depending on the intensity, frequency and duration of your health-compromising habits.

Even Type II Diabetes is now being shown to have its roots most commonly in lifestyle choices.

I find that those I counsel regarding food and nutrition have substantial health improvement just from learning about What is Right with their bodies. We hear much about what is wrong with our bodies and not as much detail about how amazingly adaptive and resilient the human body is, when given correct care.  Just knowing the truth about the regenerative ability of a balanced body can be the flagship that quickly turns the course of all the other small ships floating together.

Just think about this with me for a minute.  If I hold your head under water for 60 seconds and then release you, would your body wait 10 minutes to draw a huge breath?  Obviously not. As soon as the body is free to save itself from harm, the most needed and helpful remedy pops into play.  The health and balance of the body largely relies on a certain balanced energy equation at the cell level. Once that energy equation is satisfied, the cells don’t hesitate to take the next most natural step towards homeostasis.

Feeding every cell in the body equally helps you to satisfy the energy equation.  And, be of good cheer, discerning which menus give you and your loved ones the most balanced nutrition is easier than you think.  You can start by noticing if you are experiencing all the five tastes (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty) over the course of the day.  If you are routinely leaving out a certain taste, what taste is that?

It is also helpful to take note of how certain foods leave you with a specific feeling (personality) every time you eat them, compared to other foods.  What is that essence?  Is it a feeling of being more open, more alert, more restful, more generous, more patient, more able to envision the way you can improve your life? Start tuning in to the character of your food more than the volume of your food.

To be successful and victorious each day, you need to be able to handle stress and accurately predict your energy level. Become more aware of whether you feel confident each morning in your body’s ability to meet the potential tests of the day.  Watch yourself to see if you have a realistic or unrealistic assessment of how far your energy level will carry you daily. If you find that you are not being realistic in planning your day, make an honest note of that.  Making unreasonable demands on yourself sets the body up for fight-or-flight mode, which turns up the cravings dial.

And remember, in a sense of emergency the heart and breathing rates increase quickly and digestion shuts down.  Poor digestion of food can linger for hours and days, even after the real emergency is resolved, compounding the imbalance even further.  When this pattern becomes more chronic, you may not even feel you can digest (stomach) your life.

The nourishment you get from physical food is there to support and strengthen you, enhance your digestion of life.  I find that knowing the character of a wide variety of different foods helps me have more reasons to respect each food for the specific spirit and blessing it brings to me.  Then, meal preparation becomes more of an interesting meditation, retreat and creative outlet – an opportunity to send love to myself and my family, rather than passing the stress of the day into the meal.

I find that when this trend is in place, my life is more likely to find “the middle lane”.

“Fall into cooking”

As of September 22, we are now into the Fall season.  Suddenly, we have to pay more attention to our bodies in order to keep steadily good health.  The first round of Late Summer has just passed through, which helps us more gradually shift from the two more active seasons of the first part of the year to the two more passive seasons of the year.*  If you live in an area where all the seasons are experienced each year, this is even more true for you. (* There are 2 more weeks of Late Summer essence at each of the other major season changes.)

Even people who don’t usually cook for themselves often find they want to take command of their own meals, when Fall comes.

The following are some easy tips to transfer your meals into Fall:

1.  Cut your vegetables into larger pieces before cooking – they will be able to withstand longer cooking times at lower temperatures,  hold the heat longer, and be more warming to the body.

2.  Adjust your fall meals to match up with the nutrients needed to “fuel” your lungs and large intestine.   This is the organ pair in the Respiratory system that is getting an extra supply of blood and oxygen for healing purposes, in the Fall. Pungent tasting foods and spices help to break-up mucus, congestion and stagnation pattern and help protein be broken down more easily.  Here’s an easy example – try steaming carrots, yellow onion, turnips together and add basil and thyme spices plus a little sea salt during cooking.  Stir in a bit of umeboshi plum paste and a few pine nuts before eating.

3.  Cook with less water, at a lower heat, and for longer periods of time to help carry your attention more inward and downward, and to help you stay focused after the typically more scattered activities of the warmer time of year.  The increased focus helps you to “gather” yourself together in all ways, round up the supplies you need on hand before colder weather sets in.  Add in a little more salt in your cooking gradually as fall leads to winter.

4.  Increase the foods that are moistening such as:  barley, millet, brown rice, peach, pear, apple, persimmon, spinach, soy milk, tempeh, miso, almond, pine nuts, rice syrup, eggs, oyster, herring, creamy or watery soups. This will help protect your respiratory organs from the typically drying conditions of Fall.

5.   Include enough good quality protein in your meals to give your body the deep strength to deal with the colder season.  Also add in enough fiber (cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus) with the meal to help your body digest the protein more easily.  Use more vegetable proteins than animal proteins at the evening meal. Ideas: homemade black bean burritos, lentil soup, veggie burgers, miso soup with bits of cooked fish (e.g. cod or halibut), vegetables, water chestnuts and seaweed.   Aim to be done eating by 7:00 PM if possible, for best digestion and a better night’s sleep.

6.    Use foods that are rich in essential fatty acids to insure that you get enough quality fats in the Fall.  Your body will use up quality fats more quickly with the cold weather and increased brain activity as you read and study more.  Ideas:  flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, olive oil, walnut oil, fish oil, soy milk, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds, avocado, salmon, ghee, eggs.  Try lightly roasting any of these nuts or seeds to give the body more warmth.  For those who don’t digest nuts well, try soaking before you eat them or blending them into nut milks.

7.    Use heartier, aromatic, spices (e.g. cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, cumin, onion, curry) when cooking root vegetables and grains to stimulate the appetite.  Since the essence of a meal is first detected through the sense of smell, these flavors are helpful for enjoying your meal, opening you to eating potentially larger meals than in the warmer seasons, and better digestion.

8.    Aim to include all five tastes (sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty) in the main meal of the day, to help you feel truly satiated and balanced. This satiation also helps you avoid the unnecessary weight gain during Fall and Winter.

9.    Email me with some of the meals that “dawn” on you, as you “Fall into Cooking”!

Hello world!

Seasonal Nutrition

In reality, the good health of the body cannot be forced – rather, it must be grown.  Just as there is an ordered sequence of birth, maturation and fulfillment in the 5 Seasons of Nature, so is there an ordered sequence of life cycling through the garden of each body cell.

In the body, the 5 organ systems carry the major responsibility of managing the same steps needed to grow a garden  –  1) the Immune System , a blueprint/strategy to defend the wellbeing of the organism;  2) the  Endocrine System,  sufficient heat/sunlight to stimulate growth and strength;  3) the Digestive System,  good soil where the raw materials can be transformed into usable treasures;  4) the Respiratory System,  good air helping us to harvest that which we truly value;  and 5) the Circulatory System, good water to continually clean our body and keep our bodies flowing.

And, each organ system needs to receive certain unique nutrients to ensure that organ’s efficiency.  Seasonal Nutrition enables us to consume the broad range of nutrients that are needed each day to feed every organ equally.  This balance of nutrients stimulates within the body the same invisible regulatory mechanism that balances all of Nature – and, this is the context that holds all of life together.  Thus, the cycles of birth, maturation and fulfillment at the cellular level remain intact, allowing each cell to successfully do its work.  Then, good health follows naturally as the complete blueprint of life constantly thrusts forward to remake itself.  This is the true, confident fingerprint of life – the Magic of being alive.