Five Element Recipes

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”

This famous quote is often attributed to Hippocrates, although there’s no actual proof he ever said it. But whoever did say it was brilliant! Everything we put in our bodies affects us, so not only can we nurture ourselves with food, we can heal and balance ourselves with it, too.

Beginning today, I’ll be offering weekly recipes that help balance one (or more) of the Five Element energies in our being. This week, as we move from spring to summer, we’re going to honor the departing spring energy of Wood. It always needs a little assistance letting go of being in the lead, so this recipe will help address any out of balance Wood energy we may have. Bon Appetit!

Lemony Green Beans with Walnut and Thyme


Recipe yields 4 servings

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop in the green beans. Simmer over medium-high heat until beans are just barely cooked and still bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain immediately and rinse under cold water. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add drained beans, nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, and thyme. Continue to cook until most of the juice has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Super easy and really yummy, this recipe from features the combination of tart lemon and green vegetables. Both are excellent for balancing Wood energy because they support the Wood organs of liver and gallbladder.