Wu Tai Chi

As an adjective, the word “ancient” is fairly elastic. “Ancient American” falls somewhere in the mid 1600’s. “Ancient Chinese” dates back many centuries earlier than that.

“Modern,” is similarly juxtaposed. Consider this statement, “Modern Tai Chi began in the mid-1500’s.” The most modern form, or style, is Wu Tai Chi which emerged in the mid 1800’s.

Tai chi is a gentle exercise program that is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

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Digestive Problems

I don’t know what it is about the holiday season.  There’s such an over abundance of new and interesting foods that neighbors and friends make available, that I find that my usual reluctance (will power?) to politely deny the indulgence of said foods is without inhibition.

“Just one” becomes “just many” and once that line in the gastrointestinal tract has been crossed, everything is fair game. I even contribute to it, and find myself baking and creating a multitude of culinary concoctions while throwing caution to the wind as my body soon becomes a member of the digestive gymnastics team.

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My neighbor’s name is Luigi. The people on our block call him the godfather, but I don’t think he’s aware of it. Every Friday or Saturday afternoon, I’ll get a call from him saying that he has once again found himself with too much pasta bolognese, Italian wedding soup, focaccia, or any other number of Italian leftovers in quantities that could easily feed ten or more people.  “I’ve got some pasta you can’t refuse.”

This is my cue.  I carefully pick one of my loaves of homemade sourdough (based on a recipe that was never locked down until Luigi approved of course – after 8 months of trials) and mosey on over. Sometimes it’s a quick exchange through a propped door so the cat doesn’t get out. Other times its talk and dinner in the garden – a carefully tended mosaic of herbs and vegetables straight out of Sunset magazine.

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Amalaki, also known as Amal, is a fruit and an herb that has been enjoyed in both culinary and medicinal uses for centuries.

As a fruit (which may commonly be referred to as the “Indian Gooseberry”), it is one of natures most supreme sources of vitamin C. In fact, its juice has about 20 times more vitamin C than orange juice. ( http://www.chopra.com/amalaki )

Straight out of a bunch, the round lemon sized fruit can taste potently sour. As such, it is often cooked in other dishes, pickled with spices and oil, prepared as a jam with ghee and honey, or steeped in a sugary syrup and then consumed after a meal.

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