Congee is rice porridge, and it makes a great start to the day for most of us. I make mine by slow cooking 3 types of rice with lots of water, cinnamon, ginger, an apple and some other fruits and herbs. Mmm, I’m salivating just thinking about it! (How to make Jon’s Congee)

You could say that it’s the Chinese Medicine approach to breakfast – nourishing, easy to digest, satisfying, filling and delicious. Patients are amazed that they stay satisfied until lunch, and moving over to the congee approach to breakfast can really help optimise your weight up or down, depending on what’s required for your nature.

Our normal breakfast tends to have a variety of difficulties for our health. The traditional fried breakfast is far too fatty for everyday consumption, and can lead to problems such as clogged arteries and being overweight. Jam and toast and sugary cereals are just too sweet, which confuses the energy producing systems in the body from both the Chinese and bio-medical perspectives, and once again can make you overweight. The large amounts of dairy such as butter, milk and cream lead back to the problems of creating what, in Chinese Medicine is translated as Damp and Phlegm. This tends to clog the workings of the body and fatten you up!

Oat porridge is a good breakfast, and if it works for you, that’s great, but it will tend to be Damp-forming by the nature of the oats, and making it with milk with exacerbate this, so if you have a tendency to phlegmy lungs, congee will be an improvement for you.

Rice is easy to digest, and in congee form particularly so, and the large quantity of water moistens the digestion and helps keep things moving, so that the digestion can easily work to produce the energy you need without having to cope with being over-stimulated by sweetness, or clogged by Phlegm-forming foods. Most people can hit the ground running (if necessary) after a good-sized bowl of congee, it doesn’t slow you down first thing.

How to make Jon’s Congee