Most of the traditional Christmas foods are seasonal, and therefore well suited to our needs at this time of year. Most (turkey, parsnips, brussels sprouts) are warming and sweet, so easy on the digestive system. This means the body doesn’t need to use so much energy digesting food, and more of the energy can be stored. Of course, we usually eat way too much (and have lots of sugary treats), so this doesn’t often work out!

Here is a list of the energetics of some traditional Christmas foods:

Food Temperature Taste Action
Turkey Warm Sweet Tonifies Qi
Ham Warm Salty Tonifies Qi
Goose Neutral Sweet Tonifies Qi and Yin
Beef Warm Sweet Tonifies Yin, Qi and Blood
Parsnip Warm Pungent, Sweet Clears Damp
Brussels Sprout Warm Sweet, Pungent Clears Wind and Heat, Promotes Qi Circulation
Carrot Neutral Sweet Tonifies Qi
Potato Neutral Sweet Tonifies Qi and Yin, Clears Heat
Cranberry Cold Sour, Sweet Clears Damp, Heat and Damp-Heat
Cinnamon Hot Pungent, Sweet Tonifies Yang and Qi, Clears Cold and Damp, Promotes Qi and Blood Circulation
Parsley Warm Bitter, Pungent, Salty Tonifies Blood, Clears Wind and Toxins
Sage Warm Bitter, Pungent Tonifies Qi, Clears Wind-Heat, Wind-Cold, Heat, Phlegm and Damp

Here are some ideas for ways you could tweak your Christmas menu to suit your imbalances:

Yin Deficiency: Choose goose rather than turkey (if you’re a meat-eater), and make sure you eat plenty of potatoes.

Yang Deficiency: No cranberry sauce for you – instead, roast some vegetables (carrots, parsnips, onions) with cinnamon and enjoy some mulled wine!

Blood Deficiency: Toss your potatoes in parsley before roasting, and maybe consider beef rather than turkey.

Heat: Plenty of cranberry sauce to balance the warming nature of most of the other foods, more potatoes and less parsnips, and use plenty of sage in your stuffing.

Damp: Plenty of parsnips and sage. If you’re also hot be generous with the cranberry sauce; if you’re also cold roast your veg with some cinnamon.