Shannon's health and fitness blog

The Year of the Tiger

In Chinese Astrology, the tiger is one of the most dynamic and powerful signs.  Its nature is unpredictable, courageous, and explosive.  Therefore, the year of the Tiger is usually associated with big changes and social disorder.  2010 is likely to be a turbulent year-on both a global and a personal level.  By meeting challenges head on and being proactive about your health, you will be much stronger by year’s end.

In the Chinese calendar 2010 is represented by the elements metal and wood.  The elemental action is symbolized by an ax cutting down a tree.  The metal element corresponds to the lung, colon, skin, and the immune system.  This means that this year, you may be much more prone to developing sinus allergies, infections, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, rashes, compromised immunity or autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and eczema.  (According to my life this past 2 weeks with asthma and a lung infection, the Chinese are right on the mark!)

The wood element correlates to the liver, gall bladder, and the nervous system, which means this year may be marked with increased stress and tension, depression, anxiety, gallstones, hepatits, and cirrhosis.  (Sorry to be such a downer!)

Now that you know what this year may hold, you can make some changes to avoid potential issues affecting your immune, respiratory, digestive, and nervous system conditions.

1.  Eat right

The foundation of Chinese medicine is that you can avoid illness by eating foods that possess healing properties.

  • For this year, increase your intake of daikon radishes, turnips, beets, Asian pears, persimmons, papayas, pineapple, cherries, grapes, blueberries, almonds, pine nuts, and flax seeds.
  • Keep your liver healthy by eating lots of green, leafy vegetables, especially collard greens, Swiss chard, kale, dandelion greens, and mustard greens.  Also, barley grass, seaweed-anything high in chlorophyll.  Artichokes are a powerful liver protector, due to their silimarin content.
  • Also, eat herbs and spices that cleanse and perk up your immune system:  dill, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, sage, peppermint, turmeric, basil, coriander, fennel, anise, cardamom, ginger, and parsley.
  • Avoid: dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, wheat, deep-fried and fatty foods, processed and refined foods, excessive red meat, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and potatoes.  (Hmm, not much left is there?)

Exercise Tips

Overall, consistent and regular exercise will help you to strengthen your respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

  • On top of your regular exercise regimen, you should learn and practice mind-body exercises such as tai chi or qigong.  These gentle, but powerful exercises engage deep breathing to strengthen your lungs with the added benefit of lowering your stress hormones-effectively reducing stress and tension.
  • Take walks in nature to refresh your lungs
  • Practice stretching or yoga

In summary, the Year of the Tiger will bring about more change, even turmoil in the world and in your life.  However by using this as an opportunity to shape your life, you can ride the tiger triumphantly toward your goals so that you can manifest balance, wellness, and fulfillment in 2010.


February 18, 2010 - Posted by | Health

1 Comment »

  1. I know that you are suppose to cut down on calories to lose weight, but do you have to eat a certain # of calories a day in order to lose weight along with exercising and cut down on those calories? Am I making sense? Also, is it better to eat more fruits and vegetables or eat a lot of meat, etc, (protein) or both. I need the carbs, otherwise I get very tired.

    Comment by Karen | February 24, 2010 | Reply

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