Dietary Therapy is regarded as the most advanced form of medicine and preventative health care. Food, as a staple of daily life, has an enormous impact on one’s health. The food choices that you make send messages to your body which either support your healing or interfere with it. With the right food choices you provide important medical care to your body every day.
Basic Dietary Guidelines
A consultation is required in order to diagnose and prescribe specific foods. The following are general Classical Chinese Dietary recommendations.
Decreasing your intake of foods from the following categories can greatly improve your overall energy, digestive function, mental clarity, immune function, and mood, among other positive benefits.
COLD AND RAW FOODS/DRINKS
Items in this category include raw vegetables, salads, sushi, iced drinks, ice cream, and foods consumed straight out of the refrigerator.
Raw foods are cold by nature and therefore produce cold in the body. Cold constricts the body’s flow of energy, resulting in or contributing to pain conditions. Cold and Raw foods/drinks tax the energetics of the Spleen, which is responsible for producing Qi, or basic energy, and Blood. Foods in this category also compromise digestion, by cooling the body’s “digestive fire.” For this reason it’s best to consume water and other beverages at room temperature, and food either warm or hot. Long-term consumption of Cold and Raw foods is extremely taxing to the body’s immune system and overall energy, and should be strictly avoided during recovery from illness (including post-surgery recovery), and by women trying to conceive, or who are currently pregnant.
DAIRY PRODUCTS AND SUGAR
Dairy and Sugar produce a tremendous amount of stickiness in the body (what is referred to as “dampness” in Chinese medicine). If there is any kind of congestion in the body (including but not limited to: sinus congestion/allergies, skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, and acne, cysts/tumors, fibroids/endometriosis, candidal infections), foods in these categories should be avoided. Dairy and Sugar also tax the Spleen, and greatly impede its ability to transform food and drinks into usable energy (this creates a deficient state, with symptoms of fatigue, poor digestion, decreased mental clarity, and depression).
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and many other grains. It is extremely binding, and like sugar and dairy, causes congestion and “dampness” in the body. Over time, the body responds to the dampness by creating heat (the body attempts to transform the dampness with heat, forming damp-heat). While wheat in its whole form was traditionally used in Chinese herbal medicine to clear heat in the body, modern, highly processed and genetically modified wheat is heat-producing, causing inflammation and a host of other issues.
GARLIC, CHILES AND SPICES, COFFEE
These substances are heat-producing, and lead to the creation of heat within the body (what is referred to as “internal heat”). Over time, this causes anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, emotional volatility (i.e., angry outbursts), dehydration, and inflammation.
NON-GLUTINOUS WHOLE GRAINS
Non-Glutinous Whole Grains are considered a staple food, generally appropriate for daily consumption. They provide stable energy to the body without causing congestion as gluten tends to do. They are also incredibly nourishing to the Stomach/Spleen (the body’s energy-producing center), Blood, and Body Fluids. They make excellent porridges, can be added to soups and stews, or eaten on their own. Replacing refined and heavily processed flour products (i.e., pasta, bread, crackers, etc.) with nutrient-rich, non-glutinous whole grains can greatly improve digestion and overall health. Grains cooked slowly with extra liquid (i.e., congee) are especially beneficial to those with compromised digestive systems or who are convalescing.
The Non-Glutinous Whole Grains
- medium or long grained rice
LOCAL, ORGANIC, SEASONAL FOODS that support your individual health needs