Happy New Year!
January 25, 2020 marks the transition from the year of the Earth Pig and the start of the Metal Rat. The Rat is the first animal in the Chinese Zodiac cycle of 12 animals, so this is the start of a new cycle of twelve. However, the Chinese Zodiac also assigns taoist elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water to each of the 12 animals. This makes for a total of 60 Zodiac sign combinations of animals and elements. This new year, the Metal Rat is actually the start of a new 60 year cycle! Very auspicious for any new beginnings!
To learn more about what this year has in store for you, find your birth year in the chart below. Please keep in mind that because the Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar, the date of the New Year on the Gregorian calendar moves every year between January and February.
Once you know your Chinese Zodiac animal, click on it below to read your horoscope for the coming year.
Throughout Asia there are many Chinese Herbal Medicine products that can be found for purchase over the counter practically everywhere for a variety of issues. While these products and their proper use are often common household knowledge among locals, for foreigners it can be overwhelming trying figure out what products are good for what conditions. I am no exception.
During my trip to the Philippines, I was introduced to a product called Kwan Loong Oil. I found this oil to be so incredibly useful that I wanted to share my experience with you.
Kwan Loong Oil is labeled as a topical analgesic - a topical pain relieving oil that provides relief from muscle and joint aches and pains including simple backaches, arthritis, bruises and strains. Manufacturers claim it is especially helpful in the treatment of minor sports-related injuries and pains and can be used for minor skin irritations, dizziness, nausea and insect bites. It is easy to apply over large areas of the body and is fast acting.
However in the Philippines, Kwan Loong Oil was highly recommended to me as an insect repellent. I was going to be spending time traveling through remote islands with malaria and dengue infected misquotes - so an effective bug repellent was a high priority. Locals swear that the Kwan Loong was very effective for mosquitoes and the only thing effective against sand flies. So I figured, when in Rome...
And to my pleasure, I found the Kwan Loong really did work. As long as I kept reapplying the oil, I was not bothered by the mosquitoes and other biting insects. And it was easy to determine when I needed to reapply the oil - the Kwan Loong has a very strong aromatic scent that would dissipate in about 30 minutes.
The best thing about Kwan Loong was the it's ability to cool. The manufacturers state "by increasing superficial circulation, [Kwan Loong] can speed healing and its spicy ingredients (lavender and eucalyptus) combine to feel cooling and invigorating." Cool and invigorating it was indeed!
The first couple of nights on my trip, there was no night breeze which meant was about 85 degrees in still air. No electricity meant no fans or climate control, which in turn meant long sleepless nights in this weather - agony! But as I was using the Kwan Loong to protect myself from mosquitoes, I found that when I applied the oil, the cooling herbs were actually strong enough to cool my body down! Enough for me to actually fall asleep. By the end of the trip I was referring to my bottle of Kwan Loong as AC in a bottle.
Trust me when I say that the next time I travel to a tropical area with mosquitoes and limited climate control, I am bringing a big bottle of Kwan Loong Oil with me.
A Taste From the Philippine Islands
Some experiences are truly once in a life time. Recently I had a chance to spend five days on a boat, sailing from one remote island to another, making my way from El Nido to Coron across the northern Palawan Islands of the Philippines. Completely off the grid, the only bit of technology I held onto was my smartphone - reduced to a camera with a battery I fervently conserved so I could take pictures for all five days. Surrounded by big open sky and never ending sea, I had a chance to see nature untouched by humans. Raw, beautiful and humbling.
As concepts like time of day or day of week began to fade away - life was ruled by nature. The sun rose and the day starts. In the ocean warm water you swim and snorkel. On the white sandy beaches you run and play. In the shade of the palm trees, you rest and nap. The sun sets and the day ends.
It was paradise - only made that much better by the incredible food available everyday. Fresh seafood, organic produce and simple preparation made for meals that were clean, fresh, nutritious and satisfying.
One of the recipes I was able to pick up while creeping around in the boat kitchen was a crab and pumpkin curry - inspired by the live crabs our guides were able to acquire in a remote fishing village along our path. In the simplest of kitchens, our crabs were combined the sweetness of fresh coconut milk, aromatic herbs, curry powder and fresh organic produce to create a delicious curried dish. I am happy to share this recipe with you!
2 lbs of Fresh Crab, cut into halves
2 lbs of Kombucha squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Julianne cut ginger
1 medium sized Onion, diced
3 tablespoons of tumeric oil (or any high temp cooking oil of your choice)
2 stalks of fresh lemon grass
3 cups of fresh moringa leaf
6 cups of fresh coconut milk
Fish sauce to taste
2 table spoons of brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a large wok
2. Once oil is hot, add garlic, ginger and onion and cook until the garlic begins to brown
3. Once garlic begins to brown, add kombucha squash and toss until covered in oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add about 2 cups of coconut milk, fish sauce to taste and brown sugar and stir well. You are basically braising the squash in the coconut milk mixture.
5. Once the squash begins to soften, add the lemon grass and crab, two more cups of coconut milk and stir will. Lower the heat to medium and cover. Stir the crab and squash frequently to ensure nothing burns. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the crab is cooked through.
6. Once everything is cooked, add the moringa leaf and toss. Moringa is a very delicate herb and cooks quickly so it only needs to be tossed in at the very end.
7. Serve over brown rice.
A deliciously messy dish, this is best served with people you are comfortable enough with to get super messy. Of course we had the ocean to jump into after dinner so the mess was not an issue for us!
Give the recipe and try and let me know what you think!
For those of you able to attend the, thank you so much for coming - I had so much fun! I hope you did too!
Here are a few highlights for the event. I hope they are as precious to you as they are to me.
While Christmas and the Solar New Year has past, at Manhattan Sports Acupuncture we have one more holiday to celebrate - the Lunar New Year! This year on Feb 5th, the year of the dog will give way to the year of the pig.
Many East Asian countries that share historic cultural relationships with ancient China also recognize the Lunar New Year commonly referred to as Chinese New Year in the US. Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam all celebrate the same Lunar New Year. Different countries has specific traditions for this holiday (Koreans would eat Dumpling and Rice cake soup) but the Chinese probably have the most involved. You can read about the 16 day Chinese version of celebrating the Lunar New Year here.
Most folks are familiar with idea that each year brings a different fortune for people according to the year they are born. But it is actually a bit more complicated than that. In addition to the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, there are 5 elements that each animal year cycles through. This - means there are actually 60 different zodiac signs in the Chinese Zodiac - for example there is Wood Rabbit, Fire Rabbit, Earth Rabbit, Metal Rabbit and Water Rabbit.
Find out what your Element and Animal are here.
And once you know what animal and element you are, you can go here to find read your fortune for 2019. Just click on the your animal, then click on your Elemental Animal. For example, I clicked on Rabbit, then I clicked on Wood Rabbit and read about what 2019 has in store for me. Give it a try and let me know in the comments what the new year has in store for you!
Blog & newsletter for Manhattan Sports Acupuncture and Edd Lee LAc LMT MSOM. Striving to be a source of information on health, fitness and medicine. Check out the FB feed below or like our page @ManhattanSportsAcupuncture