Healthy Asian Traditions
The Asian cultures have developed several traditions, which are worth adopting. No matter where you live you can take part in these Asian traditions.
Cooking with Herbs (apply new link here)
Taking off your shoes when you enter a house
When you don't take off your shoes upon entering a house, you track in dirt, dust, pesticides or anything that's on the street. This can make your house less healthy. "The EPA estimates Americans spend 90 percent of their day indoors, whiere air is, on average, two to five times more polluted than outdoor air". Shoes off, Natural Health magazine, November 2007.
Eating lots of greens and rice or rice noodles
If you go to a Chinese market, you can find fresh greens beyond broccoli and chard, not that there's anything wrong with those. It's just nice to try something new. Try thinking of vegetables as the staple or even the main course. If you're dining out, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants have veggie and noodle soups, which you can't compare to the just-add-water type.
Daily Qi Gong and Tai Qi
Tai Qi and Qi Gong are martial arts done slowly to get the body warmed up. Men and women who practice Tai Qi and Qi Gong are nimble and look young for their years. The movements promote circulation and increase range of motion and flexibility. If you would like to learn more about Tai Qi, here is a link to a Tai Qi ebook with 70 minutes of Tai Qi videos!
Chinese New Year
Attending Chinese New Year celebrations is a lot of fun. This year Chinese New Year falls on February 7th. It will be marked by parades and festivals where special foods are prepared. If you can't attend, look up the year were born and ponder whether the description is like you.
Asian countries take tea very seriously. The nuances of different tea leaves are scrutinized for their qualities. For green tea enthusiasts, many people prefer to drink the year's new crop of green tea that's harvested in the Spring. Some tea leaves are so expensive that people only drink a tiny cup. For variety, flower petals are thrown into the mix, as in Jasmine tea. Healthwise, tea is clearly the winner over coffee. It's lower in caffeine and is less dehydrating. The astringent quality is said to cleanse fat from the digestive system. For coffee lovers, black teas are a fabulous alternative.
If you have access to a Korean spa, call and sign up for a scrub. It's quite a new experience for first-timers. The spas have a men's side and a women's side, since people go without clothing. For a reasonable price you can have access to the hot, medium, and cold pools. You may also find a sauna, steam room and a warm jade floor to rest upon. For a bit more money, you can get a body scrub. Your skin is exfoliated by an attendant using a scrubbing mit. It leaves you super smooth and invigorated. Some people at the spas have their own scrubby mits and exfoliate their own skin. Those who do this on a weekly basis have smooth, clear skin into their older years.