In the summer, I love to make salads made from quinoa mixed with a flavorful herbal green sauce. To this I will add seasonal veggies, olives or artichoke hearts, and sometimes a sprinkling of feta cheese or pumpkin seeds for more protein. Quinoa itself is one of the more protein-rich grains (though to be accurate, quinoa is actually considered a "pseudo-grain"). Quinoa is also gluten-free, and in Chinese Medicine nutritional theory it is considered to be slightly tonifying to kidney yang, thus strengthening the body's overall vitality.
On warmer summer days when I want to eat something that is both nourishing and light, quinoa salad really hit the spot. I make my quinoa salad using one of two different green sauces: either classic basil pesto or a cilantro/parsley Moroccan green sauce (known as Chermoula). Aside form being insanely delicious, both of these sauces use dark leafy green herbs that are healing and slightly cleansing to the body; they also include garlic which is an important herb for cardiovascular as well as immune health. Add to this salad some fresh, seasonal veggies and some nuts or seeds (or feta if you tolerate dairy) and you have a delicious, light summer meal or side dish.
I have always felt a deep, soul-level connection with the natural world. Nature has been my teacher, my healer, and my closest friend. It is not a coincidence that for my vocation in life I chose to practice a form of medicine that is completely based upon observing the patterns and principles of nature. In Chinese Medicine, we use these patterns and principles of nature to diagnose as well as to help guide people back into a greater state of balance. As practitioners of this wise, nature-based medicine, we use the ancient technologies of acupuncture, herbalism, Qigong, lifestyle guidance, and other modalities.
With nature being the bedrock for both my personal and professional life, as well as the muse for most of the poetry and prose that I write, this month I'd like to share some of my personal contemplations on the different ways in which nature manifests as medicine for the soul. Each different facet of nature has its own energetic healing qualities; we all will connect with these facets in our own unique way. My hope is that these personal reflections will inspire you to deepen into your own personal relationship with nature, and to explore for yourself what healing medicine the natural world holds for you.
I am a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist with a Heart-centered practice in the Santa Cruz mountains. See my About page for more about me and the work I do.