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How to relieve menopause symptoms with Breakfast Cure

Have you wondered what inspires Breakfast Cure recipe creation? There is always a different answer because each flavor has a unique spark.

This year, I really needed something that would chill me out! Why, you ask? I turned 50 this year.

I was experiencing the heat which often accompanies menopause. That sweating just doesn't stop for, say, important meetings, or close partner dancing!

The very last straw was when I broke into a sweat from every single pore in my body, true to form, right in the middle of treating a patient for, can you guess? Yes, hot flashes and menopausal insomnia!

Though she was very understanding, I knew it was time to pull out every trick in my doctor bag.

Menopause in Chinese medicine is Yin deficiency, or a decline of the fluids and tissue that provide a cooling balance to all that warming, moving Yang energy.

Without the anchor of all that Yin substance, the Yang energy flares up causing symptoms.

I know! Let's optimize a recipe to be hydrating for everyone, but formulate it to Nourish Yin and clear the upward flaring fires of menopause!

Naturally, I called Dana LaVoie, my amazing acupuncturist, great friend, and menopause dietary expert, so we could put our heads together and come up with a list of ingredients that nourish Yin fluids and taste yummy too!

The results are in!  Mega Omega to the rescue!

Breakfast Cure Mega Omega Ingredients in a pile

Here is how the magic happens. Take a little inspiration, add some Chinese medical science, combine with ancient Asian wisdom, sprinkle with modern foodie exclamations of approval and BOOM!

A new recipe is born. Welcome to the family, Mega O.

As promised, here is some of the thinking behind the creative process:

Brown basmati rice establishes the foundation with a low glycemic grain to help maintain balanced blood sugar levels to keep mood even and prevent fat storage.

Pears are known in Asia to nourish Yin. They are very juicy and deliver an abundance of fluids packed with flavor, nutrients, and moderate natural sugars.

Chia Seeds are a must-include ingredient to nourish Yin. Able to absorb up to 20 times their volume in water, chia seeds deliver massive hydration to the entire system. These powerful seeds slowly release the moistening fluids over time. PLUS chia seeds are an excellent source of healthy omega essential fatty acids that are protected during low temperature cooking, so the full nutrient value is delivered in Breakfast Cure congee.

Black rice also known as forbidden rice strengthens Jing and the Kidneys which is important for controlling sweating and hot flashes. It is a superfood that has more antioxidants by weight than blueberries. 

Red rice supports Qi to prevent fatigue and increase well being.

Cinnamon helps make it yummy and regulates fluids to help prevent bloating.

Coconut cream is neutral to slightly cooling in nature and nourishes Heart Yin which makes it exceptionally good for the type of anxiety and insomnia that is common during menopause is caused by the decrease of Heart Yin.

Pink Himalayan salt provides extra trace minerals that are often depleted as we age and are needed for your whole system to function optimally.

Fennel is amazing for gently warming and aiding digestion and elimination while also soothing the Liver which helps relaxation and reduces any tendency to irritability. Fennel builds Liver Blood which is part of Yin.

3 cups water- extra water is needed to achieve the maximum Yin nourishing benefits.

Together these ingredients are satisfying, soothing, moistening, calming, and deeply nourishing. 

Mega-Omega is part of my morning routine for building Yin to cool, moisten, and stop the upward flaring of fire (read hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and irritability).

All this awesomness without compromising (the fire of) my digestion. High Five!

I'm so grateful for having food medicine in my magical back of tricks.

All day focus and brain power... on a breakfast tray! Yes, please.

Reaching for Our Roots to Heal Digestion

Acupuncturists Embrace the Healing Power of a Simple Traditional Therapy

I'm very excited to share an article with you that was just published in Acupuncture Today. Written for acupuncturists who may not be tapping into the power and wisdom of our traditions, I explore some of the reasons ancient wisdom is the key to healing the modern epidemic of digestive distress.

Reaching for Our Roots:
Healing Digestion With a Simple Traditional Therapy

By Karen M. Taylor, L.Ac.

Karen Taylor smiling about loving congee.

Are you ignoring a powerful tool in your doctor's bag? Many acupuncturists realize that Spleen Qi deficiency has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. Yet, we don't prioritize educating our patients about the importance of warm, cooked foods.

Most of us don't have time to make nutritional counseling part of everyday care even though digestive distress is increasingly common. Fad diets, conflicting nutritional information, endless processed food choices, ice cold drinks, and little time for home cooked meals all contribute to digestive distress.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. I have found this to be especially true in cases of poor absorption, constipation, lack of appetite, slow transit, stomach aches, intestinal cramping and indigestion.

Chinese Nutrition

During my 23 years of clinical experience specializing in Chinese medical nutrition, I regularly prescribe congee, a traditional Asian rice porridge, with excellent results. Many acupuncturists are already aware that congee reinforces key concepts of Asian medicine. I appreciate the way it helps my patients understand Spleen Yang through their own experience of improved digestive fire.

While studying at Southwest Acupuncture College, my own health issues led me to seek advice from a respected professor. She taught me the benefits of traditional congee, how to make it, and where to find classical references and food energetics. She challenged me to mindfully feel into my belly after eating congee one morning and to and compare that feeling to my usual breakfast of cold cereal. I've been eating my warm, moist, soothing breakfast and feeling amazingly satisfied and nourished ever since.

The value of congee remains through every health fad of the past 25 years. "Bad" foods to be avoided went from meat and eggs to fats and now to grains. When questions arise about how to be truly healthy, I suggest we rely on the time-tested wisdom of the classical texts and our deeply rooted traditions, and not let ourselves be blown off course by the smallest breeze.

Congee in Our Diet

References to congee can be found as early as the Han dynasty, 206 B.C. to 220 A.D., but people were likely cooking congee hundreds of years prior. We can draw on the wisdom of a variety of classical medicinal congee recipes and adapt them for the modern Western palate. Congee can contain a wide variety of the highest quality gluten-free, organic whole grains, fruits, healthy fats, herbs and spices. However, never underestimate the power of a traditional white rice congee for those with compromised digestion!

In Prince Wen Hui's Cook: Chinese Dietary Therapy, Bob Flaws and Honora Wolfe discuss the benefits of congee; "This incredibly simple food has a number of health benefits. It is easy to digest and assimilate, it tonifies both Qi and Blood, it tones and harmonizes the Middle Burner, and it promotes urination. Depending on what is cooked with the Congee, it can have almost unlimited medicinal applications. Lord Buddha considered Congee made with milk and honey to be the chief medicinal food for preserving health. In the Mahavagga of the Vinaya Pitaka, Lord Buddha is recorded as saying: It confers ten things on him: life and beauty, ease and strength; It dispels hunger, thirst, and wind; It cleanses the bladder, It digests food. This medicine is praised by the well-farer."

The Right Consistency

Compliance is the key; taste and consistency are crucial to success. Yet ease really is the number one reason I still eat congee today. As a busy student, I immediately started making congee overnight in a slow cooker and found it so convenient that I've never strayed. Staying the course allowed me to discover for myself the positive effects on digestion and elimination.

I've spent years tailoring my recipes to suit my foodie taste buds as well as the diagnostic patterns of my own constitution. I've also discovered how to increase patient compliance in adopting this simple nutritional recommendation. Because this habit is easy to establish, and the results are long lasting, educating patients about congee is the best solution to offer for digestive complaints. The results have been so positive they've even surprised me.

Many of my patients report resolution of long-term digestive issues or constipation within one month of eating congee four or five times per week. They find this easy to do because this congee method is so easy and delicious. With a basic understanding of Chinese herbs such as rou dou kou (nutmeg) and sheng or gan jiang (fresh or dried ginger) it is simple to prescribe personalized congee made with ingredients found in the everyday kitchen with incredible results.

Congee sits in stark contrast to modern diets composed of dry and difficult to digest processed foods, cold options, or skipping breakfast altogether. Congee is exceptionally hydrating because it cooks slowly over many hours with ample water making it extremely easy to digest and absorb. It gently cleanses and soothes as it passes through the entire digestive system.

It's not a leap to imagine how congee in your belly would feel like a hug compared to the standard toast and coffee, yet American acupuncturists have not yet made it our mission to share this transformational wisdom with everyone.

I'm here to change that. If you haven't, start with yourself and experience just how amazing you can feel from this simple solution.

I wasn't always a congee advocate. Even though I've eaten congee for 25 years and always believed it to be a cornerstone of my excellent health, it wasn't until my own mother died from complications of constipation that I realized how important this information truly is. I am certain this warm, moist breakfast would have prevented the premature end to her brilliant life.

The benefits of a warm moist breakfast are obvious right away to patients once they feel the difference in their own stomachs and intestines. Give it a few weeks and symptoms like bloating and belching can disappear. If you are an herbalist, you can help patients tailor their congee recipes to treat a specific pattern diagnosis such and yin deficiency with false fire or Liver Qi stagnation.

If this sounds a bit overwhelming, please don't despair because it is quite simple. My mission is to provide recipes and educational materials to facilitate adopting congee as a morning ritual for everyone from toddlers to doctors of Chinese medicine.

Resource

  • Flaws B, Wolfe H. Prince Wen Hui's Cook: Chinese Dietary Therapy. Boston, Massachusetts: Paradigm Publications, 1983, p.82

Karen Taylor is a licensed acupuncturist and diplomate of Chinese herbology in Eugene, Oregon and has been in private practice for 23 years. In 2017, Karen established "Breakfast Cure" to educate and inspire you to eat congee for breakfast, so you feel soothed and nourished. For additional information please visit breakfastcure.com.

Read the full article on AcupunctureToday.com

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How to Boost Metabolism with 5 Simple Steps

To make energy, or Qi (pronounced "chee") for ourselves, we must breathe air into our Lungs and be able to digest food in our Stomach. Out of air and food we make Qi, our animating life-force. The understanding of Qi is one of the main ways that medicine and thought in Asia contrast with our Western outlook.

The secret to keeping your Stomach and its main cohort of digestion, the Spleen, happy is common knowledge all over Asia.

Just the other day I bumped into a Chinese American acquaintance who was curious about my congee based project. She told me about her mom's traditional recipes that I hope to have the pleasure of trying someday.

But, I was thrilled with what she said next!

“Oh, I love eating congee, especially in the winter. Of course, it keeps you slim!”

Most Americans don’t get that. It’s just not part of the way we relate to food at all. She agreed. 

So, here is a bit of a cheat sheet on this wise perspective.

How to Boost Metabolism with 5 Simple Steps:

1. Give your digestion a break with very well cooked foods. Translation: Your belly needs a break just like the rest of us! Foods that are easy to digest and absorb give your whole digestive system a break and yet deliver the nutrients you need without all the effort. The net effect is an overall energy and metabolism boost.

2. Include warm foods and drinks in your diet. Translation: Consume warm foods and drinks. Pay attention to the nature of the food as well, meaning ginger and chilis are warming even if you eat them at room temperature.

3. Lube it up. Your digestion and all your cells that is! Getting well hydrated keeps everything running smoothly. Translation: Eat foods that are full of moisture and water to make sure all the fiber is extra plump and soft. This keeps everything moving through your system so you stay regular. When nothing is sluggish or backed up your digestion, elimination, and metabolism are optimized.

4. Don't put out your digestive fire. Translation:  Ice-cold drinks, raw and cold foods slow your digestion and dial back your metabolism. 

5. Don't eat only complex meals of hard, dry foods. Translation:  Avoid exclusively eating difficult to digest, processed, rich, undercooked foods all mixed together because they take so much energy to digest. It slows down your metabolism and it slows you down too.

That's it. You've got this! 

Bonus step!

6. Embrace simple foods. Most Americans looking out for their health avoid white rice and consider it unhealthy. My patients are often shocked when I recommend this simple fare. Tip: When slow-cooked for a long time with tons of water, rice becomes congee, the cornerstone of medicinal food all over Asia.

The most important thing is that you eat warm, warming, hydrating foods that are easy to digest so your Spleen and Stomach will be happy. 

This is exactly what I had in mind when I formulated my recipe for Breakfast Cure Masala Chai Spice. White rice is a medicinal food in this case and the spices amplify the metabolism boost that circulates the Qi so you feel motivated and nourished through winter.

A Quintessential Modern Congee Recipe. 

Masala Chai Spice Breakfast Cure congee is formulated by Karen Taylor, Acupuncturist and herbalist

Masala Chai Spice Breakfast Cure is a recipe that accomplishes all 5 of the steps to boosting metabolism and keeping your digestion and energy balanced for the long winter months.

It's a delicious breakfast that was created to build Qi, soothe and regulate digestion, and give your whole system a break with the most gentle, hydrating cleanse. White rice breaks down completely when cooked for a long time and is able to absorb 5 times the volume of water! 

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I'm a huge advocate of whole grains that haven't been processed, no parts have been removed. The fiber and nutrients are so good for you. But there is a time for true comfort food that focuses solely on gently soothing, healing and nourishing. 

That time is any time you feel like it, but it is highly recommended for anyone experiencing digestive distress. Over the course of a few meals you can feel the soothing relief.

Try it for yourself. The true test is how it feels in your stomach after you eat it, and how you feel moving into your day. My friend Mo said it best. "It feels like a hug in your belly!" I think you'll agree.  

Mango Chia Breakfast Cure DIY Congee

Let’s make some DIY congee!

Hi, I’m Karen Taylor, acupuncturist, herbalist, and big-time foodie.

Welcome to another episode of Karen Taylor Vision.

My favorite thing is eating congee, sharing how to make it, and teaching what makes it so good for you. The secret is that it’s warm, cooked, and easy to digest. It’s delicious and soothing for sure. Today's 1 minute video shows you how to make DIY congee.

Coconut Mango Congee is on the menu for tomorrow morning, so I’m putting it together now, the night before.

Congee can be an exact science or you can wing it and enjoy the variation. Today, I’m finding my happy medium. But I've made congee thousands of times over 25 years, so measure away if that's your style or until you get your bearings.

Ready to take it to the next level? Take my free class.

Make Mango Chia Congee at home. It's easy!

All this water is key to hydrating your entire body, softening the fiber, soothing the stomach, and gently cleaning the intestines.

All this water is key to hydrating your entire body, softening the fiber, soothing the stomach, and gently cleaning the intestines.

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Fist of all, add the grains and seeds. 

Organic brown basmati-very low glycemic index for a grain. Won’t cause blood sugar spike and crash like refined carbs and many other whole grains.

Chia Seeds are an amazing superfood that are very hydrating. Chia absorbs up to 12 times their volume in water. Packed with healthy omega fatty acids that beautifully withstand the heat of a slow-cooker, chia is a great addition to congee.

Next, a pinch of pink Himalayan salt because a little salt is good to bring out the flavors and is good for most people. This pink salt is so beautiful and also has a bunch of extra minerals.

I love mango! This is some superb organic unsulphured fabulously delicious mango. This is dried. Fresh is always great too.

Finally, add 6 times water to grains. All this water is key to hydrating your entire body, softening the fiber, soothing the stomach, and gently cleaning the intestines.

Stir, Cover, Plug in, Turn to low . It's that easy. Your DIY congee cooks while you sleep.

Tomorrow we’ll see what delicious treat awaits in the morning.

Shop around for nuts that taste amazing and are not rancid.

One of the benefits for me of starting The Breakfast Cure is that I’ve sourced all these amazingly delicious ingredients and now I’m eating them every day and loving it. Plus, I get to have congee the extra lazy way with the pre-made bundles! The nuts really are the best. When you make congee at home with my DIY Congee Recipes, whatever you do, shop around for nuts that taste amazing and are not rancid. Bad nuts taste bad and are bad for you. Most nuts fall into this category.

Don’t be afraid of good fats like this yummy coconut butter.

Healthy fats are crucial for good health and taste delicious. Your brain needs it. All your cells need it. Don’t be afraid of good fats like this yummy coconut butter. This is whole coconut so I’m using a whole tablespoon for one person. It contains the fat as well as the meaty flesh of the coconut.

Want more?

If you liked this video be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel. Don’t miss another awesome episode of Karen Taylor Vision. I’d love it if you share this video with your friends so they can make congee for breakfast too. Find out more about my FREE Congee Course. Learn all about the health benefits of congee and how to make it at home. Have  you seen my Apple Spice Video and Recipe?

Make Oregon Blueberry Conee with this Recipe

Sleep while your breakfast cooks itself

  Want to try making congee yourself? Sign up for exclusive Breakfast Cure tips.

"Its easy to prepare, easy to digest, and it tastes so good!" - Erin

“I loved that the recipe is all there ready to go, and the combos are great!” Dave Sagafi

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Feel amazing with a delicious healthy breakfast boost

The delicious healthy breakfast boost

The wisdom of Asian medicine is used to create a delicious healthy breakfast that boosts metabolism and soothes digestion. It's easy to make and cooks while you sleep so you wake up to an amazing breakfast ready and waiting.

Water Metabolism for healthy balance

A concept in Asian medicine that's really important for understanding how the breakfast cure works is water metabolism. It's part of your regular metabolism, but it's specific to what we would call the transformation and transportation of fluids. This matters because when it isn't working well in the body, bloating, water weight gain, and swelling are the result and who wants that?

Whole grains are excellent at resolving what we call "dampness." Warm foods are a good way to keep this dampness from originating in the first place. You really don't want this dampness because it makes you feel uncomfortable. It makes you feel sluggish, and it makes you feel tired. 

The major organs of digestion in Asian medicine are the Spleen and Stomach.

It's so important to keep our Spleen and Stomach happy. Foods that support the spleen and stomach are these warm foods that are easy to digest. Giving your whole digestive system a break, while delivering excellent nutrition, is one of the benefits of congee. 

Foods that support the spleen and stomach are these warm foods that are easy to digest. Giving your whole digestive system a break, while delivering excellent nutrition, is one of the benefits of congee. 

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Warm foods are healthy and boost metabolism

Boost your metabolic furnace by eating warm foods and by adding warming spices, such as ginger and nutmeg. I'll talk about that more another time, but we understand that there's both the temperature and the nature of food. The temperature is what you eat it at. Is it boiling, or is it freezing?

There's also the inherent nature that doesn't change. If you freeze ginger, or make it into ice cream, there's still this warming quality underneath it.

Same with cayenne or other hot spicy foods. Also, many of the more subtle, culinary spices like nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, are all excellent for digestion and warm the digestion and the system in general. You want to incorporate those whenever you can. You make cucumbers into soup. They're still gonna be cooling. If you're eating warm food that feels warm in your belly, you are on the right track.

I like to talk about the benefits of warm, well-cooked food because most people I talk to haven't thought much about how much of their diet is cooked versus how much is raw and cold. Yet, this is such an important distinction made in Asian nutritional wisdom. If you missed my article on the Yin and Yang of Digestion, I talk more about my beloved topic.

Break your fast wisely

First thing in the morning of course is one of the most important times to have a warming meal. You've just fasted overnight. To break this fast, the best thing you can do is have a really warm, nourishing breakfast that's easy to digest.

How much of your breakfast is cooked and how much is raw or cold? Leave a comment below and let me know. How did you get here? Do you base what you eat on information or on how it feels in your belly and the how it sustains your energy through the day? Is convenience and ease the biggest factor? 

Make Oregon Blueberry Conee with this Recipe

Sleep while your breakfast cooks itself

  Want to try making congee yourself? Sign up for exclusive Breakfast Cure tips.

"Its easy to prepare, easy to digest, and it tastes so good!" - Erin

“I loved that the recipe is all there ready to go, and the combos are great!” Dave Sagafi

We hate spam too! We seriously protect your privacy.

You are signing up to receive my newsletter.

 You will also be able to Download your FREE BREAKFAST CURE GUIDE

Congee is comforting and satisfying for good reason.

“Cooking...
is something we have no choice but to do, if we are to feed our big, energy-guzzling brains. For our species, cooking is not a turn away from nature  - it is our nature, by now as obligatory as nest building is for the birds.”
— Michael Pollan, Cooked, A Natural History of Transformation

Want to learn more like this about congee and the health benefits of eating a warm cooked breakfast? My Free Congee Course is packed with great information about digestion and nutrition from the perspective of acupuncture and Asian medicine. Check it out!

The Yin and Yang of Digestion

Digestion isn't what most people think of when I say "Yin and Yang." Just about everyone has heard of Yin and Yang, many have seen the symbol, and some have an idea that it represents balance. In the West, exposure to this concept often ends there, yet the paradigm of Yin and Yang informs so much of Eastern thought and is critical to understanding and improving digestion. 

A medicine with Yin and Yang as a core principle of understanding has a unique window into the function and animation of the human being.  At the most basic level, Yin is the substance, the fluid, and the tissue, whereas Yang is the warming, moving, energetic function of the body.

For example, the Spleen (an organ/channel complex) is a very important organ of digestion, but like all of the organs in Asian medicine, it is also the domain of other important functions. The Spleen, for example, transports and transforms the fluids, “checks” lifts/holds the organs in place, and also keeps the blood in the vessels to prevent unhealthy bleeding.

Have you ever thought you completely understood and believed in a theory or method only to have your own skepticism revealed to you? I love when this happens, as it did one day very early in my practice before I even had a license to use needles in my home state. More on that in a moment.

Moxa is a integral and important part of an acupuncture practice. Considered the only substance that is pure Yang, Moxa (Artemesia vulgaris) grows plentifully in Asia.

Dried and run through finer and finer screens, moxa becomes a lovely wool-like texture that can be formed into cones or rice sized grains. Called moxibustion when burned over the skin, this treatment is exceptionally effective for simply warming joints that hurt in the cold, but more importantly,  treatment with moxa actually improves the functions of the organs themselves.

Called moxibustion when burned over the skin, this treatment is exceptionally effective for simply warming joints that hurt in the cold, but more importantly, treatment with moxa actually increases the functions of the organs themselves.

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Back to my light bulb moment when my friend called to ask if I could help slow the extreme menstrual bleeding she was experiencing so she could drive two hours to the big city to see a specialist. She came over right away and I realized this was perfect for my current situation because I could treat her without needles.

The primary treatment for menstrual flooding such as this is to burn 7-10 rice grain moxa rolls on Spleen 1 in order to increase the function of the Spleen to hold the blood in the vessels. This acupuncture point is on the big toe.

Once I had burned 7 moxa grains on each Spleen 1, snuffing them out before burning the skin, my friend got up off the table. She came out of the bathroom looking confused and then ecstatic as the bleeding had completely stopped, no sign of it!

I was stunned. Yes, I had witnessed some amazing things in school and even while interning myself, but I had yet to really experience the truth of what I had learned on a much deeper lever. Yes, I believed, understood, memorized the functions of the organs in Asian medicine, but clearly part of me doubted.


From that day forward I never doubted again. I fully embraced the wisdom and importance of keeping the Yang of the Spleen strong, the approaches to keeping it strong, and how to treat it when it is weakened by excessive worry, overthinking, iced drinks, and raw or cold foods. ​​Learn more in my article, Temperature vs Nature of Food.

This was a dramatic example of how important it is to keep your Spleen warm and happy. During the same time period I had started to seriously experiment with congee recipes. I was even more motivated at this point to optimize my recipes for strengthening the Spleen and Stomach.

There are many ways to be kind to your Spleen. Managing worry is one of the most important ways, but eating warm cooked food is often an easier and more predictable way to take care of this sensitive organ of digestion​.

What is one thing you can do today to help your Spleen? Leave a comment below and let us know, or share one thing you've learned that has helped you to reduce worry or to warm up your diet?

Celebrating the big one!


​​It's hard to believe I'll be turning fifty this month, that I've been practicing acupuncture for over of 20 of those years, and that The Breakfast Cure is turning one year old this very same month!

I'm banned from planning any festivities for the big day thanks to wonderful friends and family, so I  decided to celebrate by sharing some of what I've learned all these years in my practice.

Because it is the single thing that has helped more of my patients than anything else, I feel passionate about sharing this very simple ​perspective on digestion with as many people as possible .

My free Congee Course is packed with juicy information distilled from all these years in private practice into just 15 minutes of video.

I hope you enjoy it!

Enroll in The Congee Course now. It's FREE!

Karen Taylor offers this 15 minute eCourse on congee and digestion all FREE

​Because it has helped the most, I feel passionate about sharing this very simple perspective on digestion with as many people as possible. My free Congee Course is packed with juicy information distilled from all these years into just 15 minutes of video.

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Feeling rushed in the morning? No time for breakfast?




How many people are overwhelmed with making too many decisions every single day, and are looking for a way to make life a little bit easier? Hey, I'm Karen Taylor of The Breakfast Cure. Let's talk about decision burnout.  

The best thing we can do to reduce stress is to have some plans in place to make our day easier. One of the ways we can do that is by having a breakfast plan that we love, that's easy, and that reduces the number of decisions we have to make every single day.

Now, you already know if you've seen any of my other videos, how much I love congee and that's what I'm here to teach you about, but today I want to talk about why congee is so important for your mental/emotional state.

Decision making is the domain of the Gallbladder. In Chinese medicine every organ has an associated emotion as well as governing certain aspects of metal function. Too many decisions is hard on the Gallbladder and someone with a weak or toxic Gallbladder will have trouble making decisions. More on that in an up-coming article on organs and emotions, but managing stress is crucial for organ healing.

Enroll in The Congee Course now. It's FREE!

Karen Taylor offers this 15 minute eCourse on congee and digestion all FREE

Congee is a porridge that you cook overnight in a crock pot, so when you wake up you're already one step ahead of the game. No decisions to make, breakfast is ready whenever you're ready to eat it. You can ease into your day.

You already know you're not going to have to think about what to eat. You're not going to have to think about ​getting enough nutrition, did you get the right amount of calories, did you get your healthy fats and your spices and your herbs and your grains and all the other things that you need for a healthy day.

Think about trying congee for those reasons alone, and because it's delicious and you'll love it.

The best thing we can do to reduce stress is to have some plans in place to make our day easier. One of the ways we can do that is by having a breakfast plan we love that's easy and that reduces the number of decisions we have to make every single day.

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The Breakfast Cure Community
 


How I discovered the miracle of congee and improved it





Good Morning. I'm Karen Taylor. I'm the founder of the Breakfast Cure. Today I want to talk to you about congee. Congee is a traditional Asian rice porridge, that's been eaten all over Asia for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The Breakfast Cure is a modern adaptation of that. I've spent a lot of time modernizing it for the  Western pallet-making a congee that you can eat and find delicious and that doesn't seem foreign, but delivers all of the medicinal healing properties of this ancient recipe.

​I started eating congee about 20 years ago, when I was in Chinese medical school, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was introduced to the concept of slow cooking grains to make them more easily digestible. I thought that was an interesting concept. What really ignited the fire in me, was trying it, and feeling how different my digestion felt.

I suddenly noticed that my stomach didn't hurt at all. There was no pain, no cramping. In fact, I felt this warm, soothing, comforting, nourishing feeling that just grew, the more days in a row that I ate it. That really made me want to find out more about it. I've spent over 20 years trying all these different combinations to find the really tasty, healthy ones that work in our modern world.

​I've spent a lot of time ​modernizing congee for ​the Western pallet-making a congee that you can eat and find delicious and that doesn't seem foreign, but delivers all of the medicinal healing properties of this ancient recipe.

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The Breakfast Cure Community
 


How to Know a Good Bowel Movement-Constipation Demystified

Good morning.  I want to talk to you about digestion. Not a very popular topic, least of all constipation.

But what could be more important than good digestion in your stomach and good elimination from your intestines. That's the best way to feel fabulous. Why don't people want to talk about it? It's kind of personal, but I'm going to get over it and talk to you about it today, because I think it's one of the most important topics that we can talk about.

​What is a good bowel movement? How do you know a good bowel movement when you have one?

Basically, the most important thing is to have a regular bowel movement every day. Good bowel movements are one of the things we take for granted. If you have good digestion, you never think about it. I think it's really important to talk about digestion, elimination, constipation, loose stools, and all those other taboo subjects, because they're critical for good health. You can't really feel great unless you have good elimination. 

Good bowel movements are one of the things we take for granted. If you have good digestion, you never think about it.

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One formed, normal bowel movement a day is what you want to look for. You also could have two if you have a very high plant based diet, if you still find that it's formed and normal. You also want it to pass comfortably. It should never be uncomfortable, difficult, or incomplete-it will be sticky as well. That's also not a healthy bowel movement. It should never be hard and dry. It should be of similar color and texture throughout and it should be not too thin like a pencil or not pebbles like rabbit turds.Also, there shouldn't be undigested food in your stool. Yes, everyone sees corn in their stool, but other than the really difficult to digest foods you shouldn't see any recognizable food particles in your stools.

​One of the things people don't know about constipation is the relationship between fiber and water. It's great to increase your fiber, but if you don't increase the water too you can actually compound the issues with constipation. No joke. If you take any kind of fiber, especially as a supplement you need to take those water recommendations seriously or you can really stop yourself up. So, take heed and balance your water with your grains, and with all of your other foods. Hydration is one of the most important things in battling constipation, so drink water but also eat foods that contain a lot of water, and congee is a great way to start out your day with a lot of hydrating foods right inside your meal.

Hydration is one of the most important things in battling constipation, so drink water but also eat foods that contain a lot of water, and congee is a great way to start out your day with a lot of hydrating foods right inside your meal.

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​Whole grains absorb water in your system and they also will regulate the fluids in your intestines. If you have water weight, bloating, or you tend to hold fluids in your tissue, like swelling in your ankles, legs, arms, hands, face. Eating a good balance of whole grains can really help that. And when I'm talking about whole grains, I'm talking about grains that haven't been processed at all, not made into flour, where you start with the most whole form of the grain and you slow cook it overnight into congee. It's an amazing solution for digestive distress.

That leads me of course to my favorite topic, which is congee. We're going to talk about how congee can help with constipation. Congee really does eliminate constipation. It helps with elimination unbelievably. It softens the fiber so that it's really actually very soothing and moves through your whole digestive system really easily.

​People who start eating congee regularly are reporting to me all the time how much more elimination they have, how they feel like their intestines are very much more highly functional. And that it seems like there's been a gentle cleanse. That's the best kind of cleanse. You really don't want to do anything so dramatic. You want to soothe any damage that's happened to your intestines from hard foods, things that get stuck, nuts and seeds and things like that can be challenging for the system, because they're eaten hard and raw. So, as long as we break things down and soften them it soothes our digestive system.

Make your own congee with this recipe

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