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HealThy Thai food

Do you like Thai food? It is one of the world’s five most popular culinary styles, along with those of the Chinese, Indian, Italian and French. It features hot and spicy tastes with colorful ingredients of fresh herbs and vegetables which not only coordinate to boost appetite but also contain medicinal properties.

Traditional Thai medicine regards food as a fundamental of a person’s physical and mental health. If one consumes food which harmonizes with the seasons of the year, the geographical condition of his locality and the chemical elements in his body, good health and clear state of mind will be his. This principle has been observed by the Thai people for a long time to keep the body and mind in equilibrium.

The Harmony of Flavours and Elements

According to traditional Thai medicine, a human body consists of four elements– earth, water, wind, and fire. In the human body, all solid structures and compact tissues are obtaining from the earth element. They exist in various structural parts such as the bones, nails, teeth, muscles, skin, and hair. Water element encompasses all fluids in the body, such as saliva, bile, blood, plasma, and lymph. Wind or air is the breath of life. It is a factor in body movements. Fire provides heat and energy to keep the body warm and help with digestion. A balance of these four elements enables the body to function well.

However, for each person, only one element is predominant while the other three are supplementary. For example, a person born on 14 May has Earth as a predominant element, with water, wind, and fire as supporters. To maintain the inner balance, it is important to take food with opposing properties. Below are some dietary guidelines for people of each element, according to traditional Thai medicine.

Earth Element

Earth dominated people are those born a Taurus (14 May-14 June), a Virgo (17 Sept.-16 Oct.), or an Aquarius (14 Jan.-12 Feb.). They tend to be obese and easily develop diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatism, asthma, coughing, and cold. Food that has an astringent, salty or sweet taste is recommended to them, such as the following:

Samples of vegetables: unripe bananas, unripe jackfruits, lead plant, spinach, dishcloth gourds

Samples of Thai dishes: saute dishcloth gourds with shrimps, fried rice with shrimp paste, banana blossom spicy salad, Thai style stir-fried noodle with shrimp

Samples of beverages: coconut milk, soya milk, orange juice, guava juice, pumpkin juice, corn milk

Water Element

Water dominated people are those born a Leo (16 July-16 Aug.), a Scorpio (16 Nov.-15 Dec.) or a Pisces (14 Mar.-12 Apr.). They tend to have a lot of throat mucus and get the flu in winter. Their health problems are similar to those of the Earth-type people. They should eat something sour or slightly bitter, such as:

Samples of vegetables: limes, morinda leaves, bitter cucumbers, Thai cassia siamea leaves, trumpet flowers

Samples of Thai dishes: spicy papaya salad, hot and sour shrimp soup, crispy catfish with green mango salad, stir-fried sweet and sour pork

Samples of beverages: lemon juice, orange juice, tomato juice, tamarind juice, pineapple juice

Wind Element

Wind dominated people are those born a Gemini (15 June-15 July), a Libra (17 Oct.-15 Nov.) or an Aquarius (13 Feb.-13 Mar.). There is a tendency for them to develop problems with joints and bones, the digestive system and constipation. They also tend to get sick during the rainy season. They are recommended to eat something hot and spicy and eat less meat.

Samples of vegetables: ginger, galangal, pepper, holy basil, turmeric, chili, mint, lemongrass

Samples of Thai dishes: chicken green curry, hot and sour shrimp soup, coconut chicken soup, fried mackerel with shrimp paste sauce

Samples of beverages: ginger juice, galangal juice, lemongrass juice

Fire Element

Fire dominated people are those born an Aries (13 Apr.-13 May), a Leo (16 Aug.-16 Sept.) or a Sagittarius (16 Dec.-13 Jan.). These people often have problems with stomach malfunction, aphthous ulcer, allergies, and diarrhea. They tend to have a fever or flu in the hot season. Foods with bitter or cooling tastes and low-fat food are suitable for them.

Samples of vegetables: swamp morning glory, water mimosa, Chinese cabbage, bitter gourd, eggplant

Samples of Thai dishes: saute swamp morning glory, stir-fried eggplant, ivy gourd soup with minced pork, bitter gourd pork ribs soup

Samples of beverages: watermelon juice, apple juice, pandanus leaf juice, chrysanthemum juice

The Harmony of Flavours and Seasons

Even though one eats in conformation with the above principles, one might still be affected by seasonal changes which result in the imbalance of the body. Trying to eat properly will help maintain the body in a healthy condition. These are some dietary guidelines for each season in Thailand.

Hot Season (Feb.- May)

The fire element is directly affected by heat. In this season, people frequently have fevers or other symptoms such as fatigue, and thirst. One should avoid oily and fatty foods in order to reduce body heat. Eating bitter or sour food like papaya salad, bitter gourd pork ribs soup and spicy prawn soup will cool down and refresh the body.

Rainy Season (June – Sept.)

People tend to catch a cold and have feverish symptoms because of the increased moisture and coolness in the air. One should eat food that contains hot herbs like ginger, galangal, and basil to increase fire element in the body. Hot and spicy dishes such as spicy, sour shrimp soup and stir-fried chicken (or pork) with holy basil and stir-fried mixed vegetables are highly recommended.

Cool Season (Oct.-Jan)

The dry weather disturbs the water element. The coolness and the dryness decrease moisture in the body, resulting in dry skin, headaches, running nose and sprains. One should eat food which has bitter, hot or sour flavor and contains kra chai, ginger, pepper, and chili. Some recommended dishes are chicken soup with onion and tomato, spicy soup with sweet basil, dishcloth gourds and minced shrimps.

Our teachers know about Thai food; please do ask them during or after class about the names and how to prepare.

school closed 16th of July 2019

ASALHA PUJA

Asalha Puja is one of the three most important days of remembrance in Buddhism. It commemorates the first sermon of Gautama Buddha, the Dhammacakkapavattanasutta, which he gave to the (first) group of (five) disciples in Sarnath, India. During this sermon, one of these disciples attained sotapannahood, a degree of holiness. Asalha Puja takes place on the full moon of the month of Asalha, the eighth lunar month of the Hindu lunar calendar. Asalha Puja usually falls in July.

Asalha Puja is the day of the Dhamma because it commemorates the day that the Buddha began to teach the Dhamma, and on that day the first disciple also perceived or realized the Dhamma for himself.

In Buddhist countries such as Thailand, Japan, Tibet, and Sri Lanka, it is one of the most important religious days, and it is a national holiday. On Asalha Puja, the laity gives gifts to the Buddhist temples or to the Sangha and preaches them. Sometimes special events such as festivals are also held.

The day after Asalha Puja is the entrance to the pansa or vassa, the annual three-month rain retreat for Buddhist monks (Thai: Khao Pansa).

Children’s Rights Foundation

The Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights Foundation is a Thai NGO * that has worked for over three decades to rescue and protect victims of child labor, trafficking, sexual abuse, and commercial sex exploitation. CPCR was established in 1981 under the Foundation for Children and was later registered as an independent foundation in 1996. CPCR has also raised awareness of the social injustice of child labor and exploitation and developed a child protection network, backed by local law enforcement, hospitals, schools, and other government and non-governmental organizations.
* “non-governmental organization”

Please click on CPCR to find out more about this foundation.

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