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As the weather warms up and the days grow longer, it's natural to ask yourself: Am I making the most of my resolution to stay fit and healthy this year? At times like this, it's important to remember that it's possible to reboot your lifestyle without racing to keep up with the latest trends. Sometimes a fresh start can involve very ancient ideas.

Taoist texts from thousands of years ago named metal, wood, water, fire and earth as the fundamental building blocks of the universe. Everything in nature was believed to be composed of these five dynamic and interdependent elements. In the realm of food and health, Five Element Theory manifested in the interplay of flavors, colors, seasons, and major organ systems. Modern practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine still believe that paying careful attention to the foods we eat on a daily basis is absolutely essential to maintaining a state of optimal health.

So how exactly do the Five Elements relate to the human body and our ability to fight off illness? How do these longstanding Chinese philosophical tenets align with Western principles of nutritional science? And most importantly, how can we make use of these principles in the kitchen to create delicious meals?

In this interactive workshop, chef-nutritionist June Zhu will answer all of your questions about Five Elements diet therapy, which integrates the idea of Yin and Yang complementary energy with Western nutrition. As attendees nibble on sample ingredients, June will guide them on designing meal plans that are both colorful and seasonal, with a special emphasis on springtime and the unique local produce in Shanghai's markets.

1:45 pm Check-In

2:00–3:30 pm Workshop

About the speaker: June Zhu is the founder of CSE (Cooking Skill Exchange) Cooking Lab as well as Cuckoo Sustainable Table, which works with a dozen organic farms across China. She is also a nutritionist, food blogger, and occasional pop-up chef. As a practitioner of TCM Five Elements diet therapy, June is dedicated to guiding modern eaters on the healing power of high-energy food.

Convened by Lilly Chow, RAS Food Focus Group


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