The Ultimate 5 Bean Recipe to serve Winter Wellbeing
Updated: Jan 3
Seasonal nourishment is an essential foundation to achieving wellbeing. In Winter, Mother Nature invites us to rest, restore and nourish. Let's take a look at what winter looks and feels like in the language of body and mind.
Winter is the ideal time to support adrenal health to maintain energy, invite mind-body-spirit balance and avoid ill health.
The tell-tale signs and symptoms that our adrenals (kidneys) are on overdrive include feeling tired or drained, lethargy, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, low mood, digestive and fertility, hormonal issues as energy reserves are diverted to the heart, lungs, and muscles. You can feel something is not quite right 'in your bones' ... this is the language of winter signaling imbalance in the body.
How to locate your adrenals:
Place your hands around your hips, where the thumbs meet on your back is where the pyramid-shaped glands sit, just on top of your kidneys.
The function of these organs is SURVIVAL! The adrenals regulate your stress response, so if you have been juggling a hectic work/family/life schedule or faced any kind of long-term stress, you will be sure that your adrenals are working hard to ensure your survival through the fight, flight, freeze response.
Nature provides the best medicine, seasonally. We have simply forgotten how to utilise this resource in our hectic schedules and lifestyle.
The Associations of Winter in the Body:
YIN ORGAN: KIDNEYS
YANG ORGAN: URINARY BLADDER
SPIRIT: ZHI (WILLPOWER)
COLOR: BLACK/DARK BLUE
SENSE ORGANS: EARS
VIRTUES: STRENGTH, COURAGE, WISDOM
Naturopathic approach to winter wellbeing
Ayurvedic and Taoist (Traditional Chinese) Medicine, and Naturaopthy have studied the influence of seasons on our wellbeing for thousands of years. The focus is on keeping people healthy - proactive healthcare, empowering people how to achieve and maintain balance. Western practices, on the other hand, provide a reactive approach to health - they provide treatments when illness or disease appears (or wait for a condition to deteriorate before offering advice). For example, dieticians are only offered once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, not when you are in the pre-diabetic phase. Ideally, if lifestyle advice was provided during this diagnosis, there is potential to reverse the onset of diabetes. This is where a holistic health coach or naturopath can help.
Despite Hippocrates, the father of medicine, advocating diet, exercise, and lifestyle modification as the first step to balancing dis-ease, Western Medicine has become mechanical and invasive - and does not consider the wholistic mind-body connection. It's lost its connection with nature and its vital nurturing influence. Many patients have commented how doctors will only deal with one issue at a time, rather than listening to the whole story.
'first, instruct the use of diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications to return homeostasis (equilibrium) to the body'
Naturopathic wisdom suggests the body will do whatever it can to protect its survival, so long as it is given the right conditions through lifestyle modifications in a timely way. That's why it's important to learn to adapt and align eating, exercise (movement) and sleep routine seasonally.
Mother Nature provides the most effective prescriptions for healing, more than any man-made medicine.
WInter focus - feel nourished
What does nourishment look like and feel like for you? When was the last time you felt nourished?
There's a difference between eating to fuel, eating to satisfy a rumbling belly, and eating to feel fulfilled and nourished.
Most will eat to fill the rumbling tummy without questioning what it is they are hungry for. Alot of the times we are trying to satisfy our emotional needs through food, without even knowing. Think about the pattern of your behaviour when it comes to reaching out or grabbing a bite to eat?
How to regenerate mind-body balance at Wintertime
Mother Nature provides the greatest healing resources at this time of year.
The importance of including pulses, beans and lentils.
The shape, texture, colour, taste of food are important to provide essential energetic, macro and micro-ingredients for the organs to heal. The addition of herbs and spices are used to invoke healing. This is how I have integrated food as medicine throughout my life to help achieve and maintain mind-body-emotional wellbeing.
The Ultimate Hearty 5 Bean one-pot vegan recipe for Winter wellbeing
This is one of my favourite one-pot vegan/ vegetarian recipes to nourish Kidney & adrenal health and restore energy
The chemistry of kidney beans and the energetic properties of this recipe really restore kidney / adrenal depletion and restore energetic balance. Take a look at the shape
I highly recommend weekly servings of this delicious soup, eaten by itself or with sprouted seed bread.
If you are short of time, this recipe can be easily cooked in a slow cooker, crock-pot overnight, or during the day, on a low setting.
Use a ready-made 5 bean mix or select beans of your choice.
I love using red kidney beans, aduki beans, and black beans as these energetically communicate and nourish the kidney and bladder organs. Perfect for the WInter season.
5 Bean mix (red kidney, haricot, black turtle, pinto and butter beans)
Ginger (fresh or frozen)
2 Vegetable stock cube
Saucy Spice Gravy
2 cloves garlic
Fresh or dried turmeric
Fresh ginger (good helping!)
Fresh green chili (optional)
Cinnamon - optional
Cardonmon (black & green) - optional
Dried and ground pomegrantes (digestive tract and antioxidants)
Dried ground or whole corriander
Goats yogurt - optional
Chopped tomatoes or tomatoe puree
Wash and soak beans overnight (or during the day) - the reason for this is to 'hydrate' and soften the beans and also to remove acidity from beans (so they become neutral energetically).
Discard the water
Place the beans into the crockpot, fill with water.
Add a teaspoon of turmeric, raw ginger, shallots and potatoes (optional) 2 veg stock cube to the pot.
Place the lid on and leave on low setting for 8-10 hours or 6 hours on high setting until the beans are well cooked (they should be soft, and the water should turn into a thick gravy)
Saucy Spice Gravy
To the deep stainless steel pan, add 2 tablespoons of homemade ghee.
Throw in the spices (cumin, corriander, cardamon) green chili, garlic and ginger until they release their aroma
Add chopped onions - saute until golden or soft in texture.
Add dried pomegranate, dried ground coriander, and turmeric.
Stir in a spoon full of yogurt and mix well, add chopped tomatoes or puree to create a creamy sauce infused with the spices.
Cook for a few minutes.
Add the cooked bean mix to the creamy spice sauce, and simmer for 20 mins until the mixture infuses together.
Garnish with fresh coriander - Enjoy the therapeutically healing benefits of this delicious vegetarian winter broth.
The soup can be cooled and stored in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Energetic property of beans
Kidney Beans (also sometimes called common beans, or Phaseolus beans) are known for their ability to tonify blood. They also help to clear heat, resolve dampness, and regulate water.
In general, the ancient Chinese medical texts cite that the energy of this recipe enters the Spleen, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, and Kidney. Like all legumes listed in the beans category, the flavor of kidney beans is sweet, and they are considered to be neutral in temperature.
Kidney beans are shaped like a kidney, and therefore may be beneficial for kidney problems. Specifically, they could be prescribed for clearing heat in the kidneys, or to help with water regulation problems such as edema.
Kidney beans are an excellent plant-based source of protein. They're also rich in various minerals, vitamins, fibers, antioxidants, and other unique plant compounds. Therefore, these beans may aid weight loss, promote colon health, and moderate blood sugar levels.
Top nutritional tips for Winter Wellbeing
· Include foods rich in Zinc: such as nuts and seeds (soaked to release toxins and make them easier to digest)
· 5 soaked almonds daily provide magnesium, essential for cellular regeneration
· Essential fatty acids: oily fish, ghee or linseed tea provide a rich source of omega 3, essential as a light source (using food as light) during the darker months, as well as supporting endocrine, hormonal and bone health.
· Red aduki , kidney & black beans - energetic influence of this super-food restore the adrenals. Take a look at the shape, what does it resemble?
· Sea vegetables - seaweed and sea kelp. These provide essential minerals at this time of year to support winter wellbeing.
· Ginger & turmeric - take a look at my authentic Turmeric tea and Ginger soup to taste and feel the difference it makes.
· Vitamin D3 oily capsule (3200IU daily)
· Magnesium 200-400mg daily
· Sunflower lecithin – 1 tablespoon daily
Instead of reaching out for the usual energy quick fixes such as chocolate, coffee and caffeine to feel 'energised' integrate the following recipes into your winter diet. You will notice the difference in your energy level within 4-6weeks (40 days).
Linseed tea (take morning & evening) – a natural source of omega oils
Kedgeree or Congee: short grain brown rice and lentils (dark variety) with ginger.
The Ultimate 5 Bean on-pot recipe
Working with Gee Gahir, a Pioneer of holistic wellbeing services within the NHS, and Co-founder of Wellbeing Wizards, a podcast platform that provides insights into transforming wellbeing, Gee is an accredited EMCC intuitive lifestyle coach providing preventative naturopathic mind-body-space solutions to facilitate vibrant health and balanced lifestyles. Connect with me to arrange a personalised coaching experience.
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