Ever felt totally wiped out? Like, don't wanna get out of bed, exhausted all day, leave me alone - I don't wanna talk to anybody - kind of tired? What am I talking about - of course you have! Getting stressed, losing sleep, eating junk, sitting at a desk all day, not getting around to exercise, it eventually catches up with you. That deep energy that keeps you going on long, hard days is called Jing in Chinese medicine. And once you wear it out, you start draggin' all day long.
But there's hope. Certain foods replenish your Jing, and give you that deep level of energy that can keep you going.
Any food that comes from the water - fish, seafood, and sea vegetables, help to replenish your Jing. Think salmon, shrimp, oysters, sushi, the nori seaweed that your sushi roll is wrapped in. Aim for variety. If you're vegetarian, skip the seafood and go straight for the seaweed. Don't get turned off if you tried a seaweed salad once and thought it was too slimy. Just try a different type of sea veggie. I like to sprinkle some dulse flakes into my stir-fries.
The other Jing-forming food is seeds. Sesame seeds, especially black ones, are the best, but try to eat many different types. Pumpkin seeds, hemp, flax, chia, sunflower, the list goes on. And pine nuts are considered seeds, so eat your pesto! Make homemade seed butters (like peanut butter, but with seeds instead), roast seeds in the skillet and sprinkle them on your oatmeal or veggies.
For a creative take on eating your seeds, try this recipe with 3 different forms of sesame. A tahini sauce with toasted sesame oil, and toasted seeds on top. Yum!
8 oz. noodles (I used soba)
vegetables, cooked or raw (I used carrots and sprouts)
2 T. sesame seeds
¼ c. tahini (sesame seed paste)
¼ tsp. cayenne powder
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 T. soy sauce or tamari
juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
Start by boiling water for the pasta and cooking it according to the directions on the box. Drain and set aside. You can prepare everything else while you're waiting.
Cut and cook any vegetables you are using, or leave them raw. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until they start turning brown and fragrant. Set aside.
In a bowl or jar, combine tahini, cayenne, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice and oil. Add a few tablespoons of the hot pasta water and whisk or shake. If it's too thick, keep adding hot water until it's like melted ice cream.
To serve, mix noodles, veggies and sauce until well combined. Sprinkle with seeds and serve.