Secrets of the East – Shedding Those Last Few Pounds
By Guest Blogger Richard E. Bush
The day is coming on fast but oh, just to shed a few more pounds! Rather than drowning your sorrows in yet another bottle of Pinot Noir or finishing off that pint of ice cream, look to the East to discover the secrets of the slender, Asian bride.
Relax, Relax, Relax
In the West we say, “I worried myself sick,” which means you either overate or couldn’t eat at all. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it specifically states that worry and excess thinking harms digestion. Such an irony, as we are taught to obsess about diet and nutrition for the sake of our health, when in fact we are making ourselves sick.
Stay Cool but Hold the Ice
The easiest way to lose weight and improve your health is to avoid cold drinks, particularly with your meal. Why? Because the stomach must heat up to 100 degrees to properly digest food. If you chill it with a glass of ice water it will go into overdrive and swing like a pendulum, overheat and make you feel hungry. Yes, the brain registers heat in the stomach as hunger, and iced drinks will both weaken your digestion and make you overeat. If you must cool down, suck on some ice, preferably between meals.
Please Sir, I Want Some More
Oliver Twist may have had it right when he presented his empty bowl and asked for more porridge. While the West seems to have lost this wisdom, throughout Asia rice porridge is commonly eaten for breakfast or in times of illness, particularly when it involves the stomach. Contrary to popular belief, these carbs will help you burn fat and remove excess water by energizing and strengthening your digestion.
Porridge is made by cooking a small amount of rice or other grain with about six parts water for up to four hours, the longer the better, resulting in an energy-rich, easily assimilated food. Organic, jasmine, white rice is the grain of choice. Again, conventional wisdom says that brown rice is better, but white rice is preferred for its digestibility. Herbs like ginger, small amounts of vegetables, protein or fruit can be added to change the effect and flavor, but keep it simple and light, and avoid mixing fruits and vegetables together. Of course, no remedy is universal. If you suffer from frequent urination you should not eat a lot of rice and substitute other grains instead.
Although you have heard it time and again it bears repeating, green tea is a weight loss standby because it helps digest fats and is a diuretic (be sure it’s organic, the banned pesticide DDT is still used overseas on tea). Green tea can also help decrease an overactive appetite if the brew isn’t too bitter. If your appetite is weak, consider ginger tea instead.
What Your Tongue Says
Try this: look in the mirror and stick out your tongue. This is the easiest way to personalize your diet, rather than following the latest trend. Traditional Chinese Medicine says you can judge how well your food is digesting by the coating on your tongue. It should be thin and white extending from the back to the tip. If the coating is thick, (just take a look after a night of excess indulging), it’s telling you that whatever you ate isn’t digesting well. This can be caused by a number of factors like eating too much, too late, the wrong food or combination thereof, or can indicate that you are catching a cold. Why is this important? Poor digestion causes bloating, weight gain and numerous health problems. However, when using this technique always remember the first tip. Relax and don’t obsess. For an example of an ideal tongue, just ask a healthy four or five-year-old to stick out his.
In the end, remember your wedding is a joyous occasion. Striving to be thin is to focus on something that can cause undo stress. It never brings happiness. Each famous vase from the Ming dynasty was known to have one, barely perceptible flaw, acknowledging the imperfectability of humans. To be sure, your husband’s eyes are not that keen anyway.
Richard E. Bush was born in 1967, yet he is often mistaken as a kid in his twenties. He is an author, speaker and longevity coach living in LA. His book, Growing Ageless: The Simple Art of Health and Longevity, is a two-time book award finalist. Learn more at www.growingageless.com.