Eating Well

Yikes! Menstrual cramps? A way to soothe that time of the month…

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These days, I kind of like having my period.

Is that radical? I appreciate the fact that my body does this sort of freaky yet amazing thing, and that my ovaries are working, and that women are so in tune with the moon – that we are designed to have these cycles. When I was 12, I remember actually looking forward to having my first period (I got it at 13) so that I would become a ‘real woman’, utterly unaware that those haywire hormones would also be part of the package deal… Not so fun. But recently, I’ve stopped fighting it. I’ve learnt instead to like (or at least, not hate!) that I’m extra tired in the week leading up to my period, because this tiredness gives me a cue to really rest and take more naps and sleep deeper. I also like that I occasionally get cravings for salty or sweet things or red meat, because it’s amazing that if you really pay attention, you can hear how your body actually tells you what it needs – and is trying to give you a chance to nourish yourself.

Not to say that it’s all rainbows and butterflies. No lie, it can get trippy up in here: end of the world scenarios suddenly seem more likely. I’m more sensitive to pain. The lack of dark chocolate in my immediate vicinity becomes a cause for concern.

Thankfully, I’m not really given to severe period cramps but depending on what’s been going on in that month, whether I’d exercised enough or felt my feelings, the intensity of pain and discomfort could vary. So I completely feel anyone who does have to go through that kind of pain! Liking it is probably not even an option, but at least soothing yourself is one…

And that’s when this little recipe comes in handy.

Red Date & Longan Tea

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What you need:

  • 10 dried red dates (de-seeded)
  • 10 pieces of dried longan
  • A piece of old ginger
  • Brown sugar to taste
  • 500 ml of water

Things that I had to text my mother to ask her about…

  • The red dates need to be soaked in water for at least 10 minutes before they’re soft enough to be de-seeded.
  • Old ginger = when the skin is brown and wrinkly. That piece of ginger that’s in the picture isn’t technically super old, but old enough! The older the ginger, the spicier it is.
  • How big should the piece of ginger be? As big as your thumb. (Or as spicy as you’re able to handle.) You don’t have to slice it…but you do have to smack the ginger with a knife or something hard in order for it to release its flavor when you’re boiling it!

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Combine all in a pot and bring to a slow boil for 20 minutes. It should start turning a nice shade of caramel brown at the halfway mark…

IMG_1090And a lovely shade of golden brown at the end of it.

Healing Properties

This concoction helps boost blood circulation, nourishes your qi and blood – which is important, because… blood! loss! Drink this a couple of times a day, whenever your flow’s the heaviest and you’ll feel peachy in no time. Meanwhile, build a blanket cocoon, snuggle up with a book and don’t move. (And if you can, TAKE THE DAY OFF. Why isn’t it some kind of blanket law by now?!)

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