Hello again, everyone! I’ve now been in Beijing for three weeks and I feel very comfortable in the city – at least in the section around the University! I’ve navigated subways, buses, and taxis by myself in a strange city where I don’t speak the language well, and have even had (very) short conversations with sales people and taxi drivers (as long as they don’t speak too fast, of course). I miss brown rice, which doesn’t seem to exist here. Fried rice is found in abundance, however ;) I’ve also experimented with some new breakfasts, such as this delicious yogurt:
Most yogurts here are drinkable, such as the one I featured in my last post. This yogurt is not for fat-avoiders – there’s also no such thing as low fat or nonfat yogurt in the grocery stores. Small portions, people, small portions.
I’ve also gotten used to the “special” toilets found in China (and elsewhere):
I won’t go into more detail about them. Suffice to say that I’m glad I’m a fairly strong runner. Feel free to ask me about them if you’d like :)
I thought I’d show you a bit of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I won’t give background on this ancient practice, so check out the link above for a great summary.
We had the opportunity to visit one of Peking University’s hospital to watch our professor practice TCM on his patients. As usual, this will mostly be a photo essay/montage.
Inside the hospital. No air-conditioning, so it was HOT.
Collection of physicians’ teas. If we were in the U.S., this cart would have a collection of Starbucks coffee cups:
We watched our professor perform acupuncture on some patients. The patient I saw had been suffering from insomnia. After receiving acupuncture, he fell asleep very quickly and was heard snoring in the hospital room! Of course, he may have just been exhausted :) Our professor gave one of us acupuncture in a “safety” point (note: this is NOT my arm – also, if you’re squeamish at all about any kind of needle, avert your eyes from the next picture):
Our professor also performed acupressure on some of us. One important TCM theory states that problems occurring in the body will often show up on your surface (i.e. your skin), and that they can also be treated from the surface. For example, different parts of the ear correspond to different area of the body. By applying pressure, internal problems can be resolved.
Tiny seeds that will help create pressure at certain points in the ear when taped to the skin:
Our professor treating a woman suffering from constipation:
Like I mentioned in this post, TCM is a slower medicine, so patients often return several times for treatment. For people with mild conditions who prefer a non-drug approach, these TCM practices can help. (Of course, herbal medicine is a different story. I might devote a whole post to that later.)
When the professor looked at my ear, he said I looked very healthy and that there was nothing to treat (yes!). He ended up applying a pressure point to the area that prevents/relieves headaches.
Cool! I walked around with the tape on for a few days and blended right into the crowd :)
Some pictures of an herb-collecting trip on Ling Mountain in the Beijing countryside (no, that is not an oxymoron):
Yes, we hiked to the top of the mountain.
At the top!
A few random images from nighttime in Beijing:
Who knew a city could have such beauty?
Finally, one for fun:
In our local grocery store.
I’m signing off for now – stay tuned for a personal Jessie-led tour of some of Beijing’s most thrilling sights, a (possible) introduction to herbal medicine, and, of course, FOOD! I hope everyone is doing well in their parts of the world! :)
More Happy 'n' Healthy:
Happy Sunday everyone!
I don’t usually post breakfast because I always have the same meal: oatmeal with banana and PB … the usual. This morning I was craving my hot weather breakfast, so I decided to go with it.
In the mix:
* 1 container Yoplait Greek yogurt
* 1/2 cup Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Oats (best cereal ever)
* 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
* 1 tbsp Saratoga Peanut Butter Company PB
Yes, it was still dark outside.
Has anyone tried this Yoplait Greek yogurt? I’d never seen it before. It was pretty good, but not as thick and creamy as Fage.
Frosty berries make me think of summer. Almost.
Most of the morning was spent in working on school assignments and yes, taking ANOTHER nap. This pattern may become a problem, as during the week, “naptime” falls when I’m in class. I don’t think the professor would like me to KO my desk.
I was also able to start up my AeroGarden again. Instead of just lettuce and spinach this time, I decided to grow some flowers, too. I may miss my organic greens in a few weeks, but the study room will smell amazing.
Just imagine a jungle of rippling leaves and fragrant blossoms.
In other news, Peter has been on a mission to cook sous-vide. Since devices that can cook sous-vide run in the thousand of dollars, Peter decided to rig one up himself (what a resourceful husband).
He wired up this system so that the temperature of the hotplate will adjust continuously, keeping the water in the pot at a constant temperature.
Display for the temperature probe.
After constructing the system, Peter declared that he was going to make me “the perfect egg”. All he needed was 45 minutes and a lot of patience. Hey, who said perfection was fast?
Think of the creamiest custard you’ve ever had, then make it richer. I guess I’ll have to start getting up 45 minutes earlier every morning to make myself an eggo perfecto.
Dinner was pumpkin veggie lasagna – yum! One of the aspects of this recipe I like the most is that it’s so customizable — I throw in whatever veggies I have on hand. This lasagna is a good way to fit a LOT of vegetables into your meal.
In the vegel mix this time:
* collard greens
The pumpkin, milk, flour, butter, and spice mixture:
Have you ever seen this whisk before?
It’s fantastic for roux because those little balls get EVERYWHERE. Besides, it looks awesome in the kitchen ;)
Ready to go in the oven:
and emerging from the oven, with rivers of cheese:
Now, I’d like to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart, so to speak. I am speaking, of course, about whole grains. At this point, everyone know that whole grains are good for you, so I don’t need to harp on how whole grains have more fiber, are digested more slowly, keep you fuller longer, yada yada yada. What I wanted to talk about was how to find whole grains. It’s not as easy as you think. If you are looking for 100% whole grain, read on. If not, well … read on anyway. I promise I won’t be too dull.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a loaf of bread, or a box of cereal, with the words “WHOLE GRAIN” printed neatly across the front. Sure, the food industry has hooked into the health food movement, but they also know that people tend to prefer their grains soft, white, and everlasting. Thus, companies put a trace amount of whole wheat into bread, add molasses, and pretend it’s full of the good stuff (and I don’t mean enrichment). What a lot of people don’t know is that companies can put the word “whole” on the front of their packages, even if the actual whole grain content of the foodstuff is minimal.
I don’t want these companies to trick you. Here’s the low-down on how to pick out whole grain products:
*** Look at the ingredient label. If the grains listed do not have the word “WHOLE” in front of them, the product is not 100% whole grain. ***
So, this is what’s down in da hood:
LOOK AT THE INGREDIENT LABEL. NO “WHOLE”, NO GO.
More Happy 'n' Healthy: