I've had a great break but I must confess that all my Chinese medicine training has not stopped me from falling prey to the dreaded Eating-far-too-much-rich-food-while-on-holiday disease. My family and I spent a wonderful week in Lisbon, where a good friend showed us the sights and sounds of this beautiful city by the Tagus river.
I was also excited because I adore Portuguese food, having spent so much time in Macau while living in Hong Kong many moons ago. In fact, I got married in Macau and our our wedding feast was a happy marriage of Chinese and Portuguese food. So fast forward to 19 years later, and there I was, gorging on octopus and squid cooked in olive oil and cilantro, braised pork and clams, lots of fried potatoes, lots of vinho verde, endless pastel de nata. Oh Tess, you should have known better!
I always tell my patients to eat moderately, avoid foods that are too oily or Damp-forming (dairy and sugar are the main culprits for Damp, a climatic condition in Chinese medicine that is a source of disease), minimise alcohol (causes the build-up of Heat), and eat in a calm and relaxed atmosphere (put away those electronic gadgets!). In my gluttony, I managed to forget all about that in the first few days, and the result, shall we say, was a very unhappy digestive system. In my case, that was Damp-Heat in the Stomach.
I will still make caldo verde at home, that wonderful soup made of kale and potatoes, and indulge in Alentejo wines, but I will remember to be sensible and not overdo it.