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Food is Medicine

Are the foods you are most attracted to actually good for you? 

I think we all struggle with thoughts like, “I’d really love to eat that but I know it’s not good for me”.

So, why are we attracted to foods that aren’t good for us? Well, usually because they are delicious! Eating them makes us feel happy, or comforted – at least while we’re eating them!

For some reason our Western culture started creating foods that were high in fat and sugar, or fat and salt, that made them delicious but unhealthy.

When I lived in South Korea, one thing that stood out for me regarding their cuisine, was they didn’t make high fat or high sugar foods. Their diet was simple: rice, protein, vegetables. Dessert, if they had it, was fresh fruit. Occasionally they would make sticky rice cakes for very special occasions, but they also contained little or no sugar, and often were made with beans. (However, they are heavy on salty, very spicy foods – not so healthy!) But their general approach to food did not include high fat, unhealthy foods.

When we know nothing about our Five Element Sasang body constitution, we eat anything and everything, depending on our tastes. We often become drawn to certain foods, not knowing if they are really good for us or not.

The more our body’s energies fall out of balance, the more health issues we begin to develop. Then the more we unknowingly become attracted to the very foods that feed that imbalance. Those foods can actually be causing our health symptoms.

Just because we crave something, even “healthy food”, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the ideal fuel to support our body.

Why is it that even when people eat a “healthy diet” they can still be sick?

Once we understand that Food is Medicine, and different people need different kinds of foods, this changes our perspective on what we are willing to give our body.
When you understand your Five Element Sasang body constitution, the foods that are most suited to your body, and those that are harmful, then through your food choices you can re-establish internal energy balance.

This then brings an end to the internal energy imbalances that were causing your health symptoms, and they will gradually disappear.

Offering Your Body Compassionate Nurturing
When we see the list of foods that we must avoid for our body constitution, it is natural to react with disappointment, even sadness. For many of us, these were foods that we were particularly drawn to, even addicted to.
 
Once we understand that these are the very foods that have been causing our health or emotional symptoms, we can change our perspective so that we no longer mourn them.
 
Instead of focusing on missing the foods we have to let go of, we can turn that around to a positive approach of focusing on offering healing foods to our body.
 
Think of the foods that are healing for you as a compassionate offering to your body. You nurture your body by offering kindness, and respect for its needs.
 
You are no longer giving your body foods that it has to struggle against, and then constantly repair the damage those foods have caused.
 
Your body is a precious gift. Only when it is healthy can you be active and carry out your purpose in life and attain your goals.
 
When you give your body the foods that are most healing for it, your body will in turn reward you with good health and more balanced emotions. Your sense of wellbeing will vastly increase. This will further motivate you to continue your kindness to your body.

If you would like to know your Body Landscape, and the nutritional plan that is ideal for your body, you can schedule an appointment to meet with me. Begin the process by filling out the Intake Form on my website:
 

Happy Lunar New Year!

This year, on our Western, or solar calendar, the Lunar New Year begins on Saturday, February 10th, 2024. It occurs on the second new moon after the December winter solstice. This also means that the Five Elements for the year 2024 change on this day.

2024 is referred to as a “Wood Dragon” year. This means that the animal sign is dragon, and one of the two elements representing this year is Yang Wood. The second element is Yang Earth.

What does this mean for you? Not much, in terms of how it actually affects you : ))
What affects you more are the elements that were present the year that you were born.

Lunar New Year is a day of great celebration in Asian countries that still use the lunar calendar. In Korea it is called “Seol-lal”, and is one of the biggest holidays of the year. Friends and family are met with the greeting “Wishing you good luck and prosperity in the New Year!”
Families get together, one bows and pays respect to one’s elders (who usually give young people money!) and plenty of food is prepared. Often families will visit the graves of family members, to honor and respect them.

Even in the Buddhist temples Seol-lal is celebrated, including plenty of delicious food. Younger monks go and bow to senior monks, including the Abbot of the temple (who also give you money!). It is a relatively quiet time in the temples as the lay supporters are with their families.

Online Zen Practice

Online Zen Practice meets via Zoom on the third Saturday of each month. We gather to practice Zen and deepen our spiritual cultivation.

Zen practice is a process of exploring our own inner world, seeing and letting go of what causes us mental and emotional pain, and directly experiencing the True Essence of who we really are.

Our practice provides us the opportunity to connect with our own inner silence, and to realize that our daily mental/emotional noise is not who we truly are.

Each practice session begins with a Dharma Talk by Jaguang Sunim, including practice instruction. This is followed by two 25-minute periods of sitting and 5-minute periods of walking meditation. A time for questions is provided during the final 30 minutes.

The Third Saturday of each month.
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific Time (USA & Canada)
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM GMT (London UK)
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM Central European Time

To register for Online Zen Practice Saturday, February 17th, 2024, click on the link below.

On the registration page, click on the “Donate” button to complete registration.

Meditation Guidance – Appointments Now Available

If you would like some one-on-one time with me to talk about your meditation practice, I have now set up an appointment link on my Zen website to schedule these private meetings.

https://sixthancestorzen.org/home/

You are welcome to meet with me whether you are new to meditation and need basic instruction, or if you have been sitting for some time and feel you need some further direction.

You may be bumping up against difficulties in your practice, or feel that you are spinning your wheels and not maturing in your practice.

Whatever your questions, I encourage you to ask them and seek solutions. This is how we evolve and grow in our practice.

Schedule an appointment on my calendar via this link:

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=16169577&appointmentType=34092378

Chinese Herbal Treatments 

The seasons are changing. This is a good time for an annual or semi-annual Chinese herb treatment to open energy blocks, and balance and strengthen our body overall.

If you have taken a Chinese herbal formula with us before, and know you do well with it, this is a good time to give your body that internal “tune-up”. Or, as Hyunoong Sunim likes to say, “time to tighten up those loose nuts and bolts”!

If you have not taken an herbal formula with us, and are interested in a treatment, contact me and we can begin the process of finding a formula that is the ideal fit for your body and your constitution.
As an addition to your nutritional program, it can be an excellent tonic to rebalance, strengthen, and protect your health.

We also provide formulas for Colds & Flu, for all of the body constitutions in Five Element Sasang. It can be helpful to keep 3-4 packages on hand in your freezer, to take at the first sign of a cold or flu. The herbs usually eliminate symptoms quickly, and have you feeling well again in 1-2 days. No need to be sick for a week with a bad cold.

Learn more here:
https://jaguangsunim.org/services/#chinese-herbal-treatments

Schedule your Follow-up Consultation 

Questions? If you are interested in having your Five Element Sasang Nutritional Consultation but have a few questions first, schedule a complimentary 15 minute informational call with Jaguang. There is no obligation with this call.

Ready to begin your journey back to health? Order your Five Element Sasang Nutritional Consultation. The link below will take you to the Intake Form. Once we receive your order we will send you an email with a link to schedule an appointment to have your first consultation with Jaguang.

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