shutterstock_92175247 copy-43

What is Blood stagnation? Traditional Chinese medicine defines Blood Stagnation as a syndrome where blood circulation is impaired. This can occur with physical traumatic injuries and poor dietary or lifestyle choices which impair blood flow (like high cholesterol diets and smoking). Blood stagnation can also occur when the bodies Qi isn’t flowing well because energy (Qi) assists in blood flow. Blood stagnation is commonly described as “painful” and can become “sharp” when Blood stagnation develops into Blood Stasis. Syndromes associated with Blood Stagnation or Blood Stasis include uterine fibroids, bruises, bone fractures, joint pain, cardiac disease and migraines.

The following is a suggested guideline of foods to limit or avoid because they may reduce blood circulation:shutterstock_126187640 copy-61

  • Raw fruits, vegetables and salads
  • Dairy (these can be high in cholesterol and lead to build up in blood vessels)
  • Cold foods (ice-cream, smoothies, ice drinks, tofu)
  • Fried or fatty food (pizza, fast food, chips, red meat)
  • Refined sugar (desserts and pre-packaged foods, that easily convert to sugars)
  • Smoking

Add the following foods to your diet for their blood moving or anti-inflammatory qualities:

  • Cooked or roasted veggies (mushrooms, eggplant, spinach
  • Herbs that move Qi & Blood (onions, garlic, horseradish, shallots, leeks, chives, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, basil, rosemary, turmeric, cinnamon)
  • Roots (taro)
  • Hawthorn berries (for tea)
  • Small quantities of rice vinegar and wine

Build your plate using the “Holy Trinity” as a guide:

  • A healthy fat (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts)
  • A veggie and/or fruit
  • A healthy protein (lean meat, fish, legumes, almonds, walnuts, unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds). 3-4 servings per week is best.

Try to eat meals at consistent times of the day. If you know your day will be filled with activities, pack your meals the night before in easy to travel containers. Healthy meals contain 40-60% cooked vegetables, 30% complex carbohydrates and only around 10% protein.

Try the Following Blood Moving Recipes

shutterstock_107112647 copy-49
Rosemary baked chicken.

Lemon-Garlic-Rosemary Baked Chicken
* 20 min prep time; 2 hours cook time; Serves 4

  • 7 lb whole chicken, cleaned with gizzards removed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 lemon cut in half (do not squeeze)
  • Salt & pepper to coat the outer chicken

Step 1:
Add salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest & olive oil to a blender and puree.

Step 2:
Rinse off whole chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Be sure to remove gizzards from the cavity. Carefully pull back the chicken breast skin without tearing, then stuff 3/4 of the seasoned puree between the chicken skin and the chicken breast. Reserve some of the puree for seasoning the outer chicken. Push the chicken breast skin back in place, then rub the remaining seasoning on the outside of the chicken. Be sure to include the flesh between the legs and wings.

Step 3:
Stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon halves. Then sprinkle the outer part of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Step 4:
Place chicken in a baking pan and bake uncovered at 350 for 2 1/2 hours, or until done.

Hearty Minestrone Soup
* 30 minutes cook time; serves 4-6

  • Minestrone soup copy-46
    Savory minestrone soup.

    2 tbsp olive oil cup of cooked quinoa (follow directions on the package)

  • 1/4 lb pancetta, diced
  • 1 lb green zucchini, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs with leafy tops, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 can (14 oz) cannelloni or red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 lb short-cut pasta
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 handful of torn basil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Finely chopped parsley, for garnish

Step 1:
Heat olive oil in a soup pot, over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and brown, around 3-4 minutes. Add zucchini, celery, onion, garlic, dried basil & oregano and season with salt & pepper to taste. Cook until the veggies are tender (about 5-8 minutes).

Step 2:
Add the chicken stock, beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook al dente. Toss in the torn, fresh basil and stir, then remove pot from heat and let stand for 5- 10 minutes while it thickens. Serve in soup bowls. Top each serving with shaved parmigiano-reggiano and chopped parsley.