Let’s talk turbulence, blood sugar and digestion — specifically, the stomach and spleen-pancreas.
Do you feel the energy of LATE SUMMER? This is a short season in Chinese medicine. In my experience as a coach, it’s the season of turbulence! This little season is full of energetic change and according to my astrology friends, we are simultaneously in a time of planetary turbulence as well (Mercury Retrograde and several other things all at once!).
Here’s the cool thing though, as challenging as it may feel to navigate the turbulence of late summer and planetary chaos, we are in the season of the EARTH element right now. This means it’s time to NURTURE ourselves. How perfect is that?
Often, when things get chaotic and challenging, we think we have to keep moving fast. However, the real antidote is to slow down and take time out for self-care. Self-love. Stillness. My understanding of this time from my astrology friends is that it’s time to reboot, recalibrate and re-evaluate our lives so that we can set sail in the ideal direction as we go forward into the new beginnings of autumn. In other words, it’s a GOOD thing, even if it feels terrible!
One of you in this tribe asked me about tips for pancreas health and how astute is that? Right now, the late summer, an Earth element season, corresponds to the stomach and spleen-pancreas meridians in Chinese medicine.
Earth Element Self-Care for Physical & Emotional Well-Being
- Get still. Listen for the subtle energies of turbulence. Feel the rhythm of your body, mind and spirit. Ask your body what it needs. Listen deeply to the message. If you don’t hear anything right away, tell your body you are open to getting the message when the time is right. It may come to you later in the day, in a dream, in something someone says…so many magical ways. Simply be open for it!
- Keep your blood sugar balanced. This helps support your pancreas, which works hard to balance your blood sugar! It also supports you in remaining grounded in times of energetic turbulence. Stable blood sugar supports your willpower and decision-making too!
- Choose foods that feel harmonizing to your body. Foods that represent the center of the body are wonderful, such as: millet, amaranth, carrots, cabbage, garbanzo beans, squash, red skinned potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes/yams, peas, hazelnuts, apricots and cantaloupe. I love blending these up into warm soups and taking them in a thermos when I’m busy and on the go. No matter what, keep it simple. Choose easy recipes. Consider cooking your squash, potatoes and yams in your slow cooker set for 3 – 4 hours in a little water. Whatever feels easy.
This may be a good time to eliminate most raw vegetables and lightly steam or saute them or make soups, particularly if you are having blood sugar issues or digestive challenges.
- Consider having your animal protein meals by 2:00 pm at the latest and eating a vegetarian dinner. This supports the pancreas and is especially helpful if you are having hot flashes or night sweats — or any kind of restless sleep during this time.
- Choose nourishing spices for the stomach, spleen and pancreas, such as: fenugreek, lemongrass, mustard seed, parsley, rosemary, sage, turmeric, coriander, ginger.
- Spleen-pancreas nourishing sweeteners are cooked fruits, molasses, cherry and dates in moderation. This is an ideal time to reduce or eliminate sugar and processed foods, which only spike blood sugar and contribute to a scattered mind and food addictions.
- Supplements that may help, if you are having digestive or blood sugar issues are: triphala (Ayurvedic herb), Betain HCl to help the stomach digest, pancreatic enzymes with meals to aid your pancreas.
- Mindful Eating & Thinking – remember, this is a time of self-care and deep nurturing. Be mindful of everything you take into your body, including your food, beverages and thoughts. Notice how everything you take in affects your body, mind and spirit. Keep a food-mood journal, if that helps to notice patterns. You are not keeping the journal to judge yourself. You are keeping it to learn how your body responds. Overeating can be taxing on all organs and particularly the stomach and pancreas. Learn the amount of food that feels good to you. Eating more slowly and mindfully gives your natural appetite time to signal you. This may take some time to learn your natural appetite, so be kind and patient with yourself.
- Self-care – this is an IDEAL time to get more sleep! Also, take baths with a cup of magnesium flakes or Epsom salts (if you have a lot of digestive issues and bloating, start with magnesium flakes!). Go for meditative walks. Take time to do things you love. Delegate chores. Engage in replenishing activities that fill your heart and soul with a feeling of love and nurturing. Earth element is all about self-care — this is the time to take advantage of it, even if it seems counter-intuitive due to the turbulent energy!
- Mother yourself. The Earth element energy is all about Mother energy. This is a time when we are asked to mother ourselves. Think about how you want to be taken care of. If you had the perfect, loving, nurturing mother, how would she treat you? How would you feel? What would she give you permission to do for yourself (To take off your to do list? To remove taxing obligations?)? Sink into this and give this kind of love to yourself. You deserve it! True self-love is giving yourself this kind of gift!
What is one thing you’d like to do or be to nurture yourself right now?
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