Before I embarked on my two year journey to the Land of a Thousand Smiles, my palate was bland, boring, and, puritanical. Thailand taught me that a full stomach makes a happy heart + harmonious mind + soul. Traditional Thai medicine teaches that the human body consists of four elements – Earth + Water + Wind/Air + Fire. We each have a predominate element depending on our date of birth. In order to balance the four elements, we have to intake foods with opposing properties – Sweet + Sour + Salty + Spicy.Thailand taught me to spice up my palate and embrace variety with colorful, flavorful ingredients and precision to detail in mixing, stirring, kneading, blending and chopping edible elements. Since my departure from the Land of the Free, I balance my opposing forces by incorporating Coconut + Garlic + Ginger + Chili + Lime in my diet for a kick of flavor, efficient digestion, and energetic mind.
Here’s my top 5, in order of most frequent culinary consumption.
Garlic – I sliver and minced fresh garlic and infuse in every dinner somehow, someway. This includes soups and salad dressings. Garlic aids in digestion and improves my blood circulation and complexion. It contains healing properties to boost immunity, reduce blood pressure, fight against colds and cancers, and detoxification of the body.
Coconut – I use this wonder fruit in a variety of ways. I drink coconut water for hydration and its electrolyte + potassium infusion. I apply coconut oil to my skin every night after showering for deep moisturizing hydration + pimple control. I substitute traditional oil and spray with coconut for cooking. Coconut oil is antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic, and its anti-oxidant properties slow down the aging process by protecting the body from harmful free radicals. It treats skin disorders – eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. It improves the body’s ability to absorb magnesium and calcium, which prevents osteoporosis.
Ginger – I sliver and mince fresh ginger and infuse in soups, white fish, and green tea. Like coconut and garlic, it contains similar healing properties. It also remedies motion sickness, combats stomach discomfort and morning sickness, and reduces pain + inflammation. I cannot emphasize this enough – ginger will keep you regular without the aid of overpriced probiotics!
Chili – I sprinkle the seasoning on fresh fish, chicken, soups, and simmer in stir-fry dishes. I love spicy and savory on cold days to warm my tummy and to raise my basal body temperature. Chilies are natural detoxicants, powerful antioxidants, and pain killers. Chilies give relief from nasal congestion by increasing the metabolism. It contains vitamin B6 and folic acid to lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.
Lime – I squeeze on fish, rice, and in soups. A cure for scurvy, the disease which is caused from a deficiency in Vitamin C, is full of this essential vitamin. The fruit is great for diabetics, as it reduces the occurrence of blood sugar spikes.
Is your Earth + Water + Air + Fire in cohesion? Try a superfood staple tonight and begin the journey of balancing your opposing properties, Thai-style.