Nourishing Yourself During the Winter Months

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the winter months correspond to the Water element and the energetics of the Kidney and Bladder. These are a yin-yang pair: the Kidney being yin and the Bladder being yang. While the short days of winter invite us to going inward into the deep, emotional, transformative aspects of our yin, the Kidney is connected to our deepest nourishing resources and dictates aspects of growth, fertility, sexuality, and aging.

The strength of the Kidney energy determines the vitality and health of our bones, knees, low back, hearing, hair, teeth, and genitalia. Strong Kidney energy gives us courage, motivates creativity, and helps us retain short-term memory. It also connects us with our ancestral memory, generational wisdom and charm, and inner listening.

Foods that you can eat during the winter to shore up your Kidney resources include bone broth, beans, lentils, leeks, buckwheat, barley, duck, pork, fish, crab, clams, shrimp, seaweed, nuts, cabbage, asparagus, carrots, blueberries, and blackberries. Food preparations that direct the energetic action to the Kidney are steaming, pickling, smoking, and salting. In general, try to avoid coffee, alcohol, tobacco, excess cinnamon, and hot spices.