The sheets appeared to come alive the other night as things began to heat up between my partner and I. As sweaty bodies collided, I looked over at my seemingly pretzel position and looked at my outer thigh.
And there it was... cellulite.
Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a new phenomenon, I've always had a little here and there, but suddenly, I was overwhelmed by body image concerns which instantly killed my mojo and apparently, this isn't uncommon. A new study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior details that women are more plagued by appearance anxiety versus men, who are more concerned about performance. Now given that I'm a nutritionist and Chinese medical practitioner, I had to question, is there a way to feel sexy and more secure behind closed doors and can we do it with a little help from food?
According to Chinese medicine, our sexual health and vitality originates from our kidneys, which store what is known as our pre-birth Jing and our Ming Men Fire. Our Jing is a combination of DNA and fundamental metabolic energy. It functions like a bank account that's passed down from good ol' mom and pops and unfortunately we're only born with so much of it. By spending it with stressors like alcohol, processed foods and late nights, we deplete it. Ming Men Fire on the other hand is where our sexual yang active energy originates producing sexual arousal and allows men to pitch a tent, so to speak.
As we get older, these two components begin to decline, potentially resulting in some of those feelings of performance anxiety felt by men possibly due to a lack of energy and issues with erectile dysfunction. With women on the other hand, our bodies change: our hips expand and fat deposition changes that potentially create body image issues that are amplified between the sheets. Add on a frequent romp with processed foods and you have a recipe for disaster.
Now maybe I went to too many patios this past summer and ate out too many times, which became a contributing factor to my new found cottage cheese thigh discoveries and my sudden mojo death that night. Because from what I've personally seen in practice is that from an emotional perspective, processed foods can create lethargy and an array of emotions from anxiety to fear (which I believe originate in our kidneys, when out they are of balance). Without the proper nourishment we run the risk thigh dimples and living in an emotional tailspin, which is why a little food therapy is in order.
I think that foods that are deep blue, purple, green and black help to support the kidney energy like small dark beans, seaweeds, winter greens and my favourite, a blue-green algae also known as aphanizomenon flos-aquae. In practice I've seen its positive effects when used as a supportive for weight loss, depression and bringing back a little mojo and energy. According to Paul Pitchford, in his book, Healing with Whole Foods, foods like blue-green algae has the potential of providing "renewal, longevity, reproductive capacity and protection from premature aging." This isn't to say that used alone it's a miracle, because I think it should be used in conjunction with a whole food diet rich in greens with minimal meat and dairy consumption that may contribute to weight gain and fatigue.
So with the fall around the corner, here's a thought: maybe a fresh start is in order. Letting go of bad summer practices, exercising and revamping our grocery list to include nourishing whole foods just might allow us to overcome our cottage cheese discoveries and our feelings of sexual insecurity. Maybe then we'll be able to tap into our inner pretzel and get right back down to business.
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